Modern times are busier and more unpredictable than ever and sometimes a comfortable relationship can suffer as life flies by. There are a number of different reasons for our busier lifestyles; our modern digital life – with its smartphones, social media, blogs, and so on – has improved our productivity immensely, but we are now inundated with emails, distractions, and even more work. Things are getting more technical (if you’ve ever seen the guts of an iPod or smartphone you’ll know what I mean) and capitalism has created a subtle force, known colloquially as ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’ that compels us to keep up with the latest trends.
These trends change faster than ever, and we are constantly bombarded with new information that we are expected to understand and absorb almost immediately. The cost of living is more expensive, too, and many couples now both work. Some couples have children and are trying to raise a family, whilst both working. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in all these things that we forget to nurture the real relationships we’ve formed with real people.
One thing that can really help busy couples is to schedule dates or alone time together. It might sound silly and somewhat unromantic to schedule time with your partner, and older generations might scoff at the thought, but as someone who is very busy and always juggling a few balls at once, and dating someone equally as busy, it is something we really benefit from (Friday night is ‘date night’ for us).
As you might hear on an aeroplane, “All electronic devices should be switched off,” meaning shutting laptops and turning off phones/tablets. Mono-tasking is the new multi-tasking. And it’s true that actions speak louder than words: giving your partner your focused attention speaks volumes. As Simone Weil once said, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
How do you cope with the stresses of modern life and maintain a healthy relationship with your partner? Do you schedule dates?
In the next post of Part 2: Keep Love, Relationship Maintenance & Avoiding Relationship Ruts, I discuss relationship maintenance and avoiding relationship ruts that can creep up on us before we know it.