The Beatles made famous the sentiment that, “Eight days a week is not enough to show I care.” So, with only seven days a week and five of those traditionally devoted to education and work, how do we make our romantic relationships dynamic enough to withstand a busy schedule?
School has resumed, accompanying either a part or full time job and concerns for the health of your valuable relationship consume your thoughts and conversations.
Fifteen college students were surveyed about how their Monday through Friday hours were divided between work, school and their romances. In all cases, hours spent at work and school outweighed time with a partner.
13 percent of respondents said they spent more than half of their time with their partner, 27 percent said about half of their time and 60 percent devoted far less than half of their activate weekday hours with their significant other.This tells us that there are couples making it work, but most people spend more time elsewhere than with their partner.
No break up is necessary. Love can remain a priority despite this temporary dip in availability. Because your coworker is probably tired of hearing about it, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and San Diego State alumni Felicia Greene offers four powerful tips for keeping a relationship afloat during this hectic time.
Be open to compromise and flexibility
Greene remembers life as a college student and the effort it took to keep up. She advises couples to be up front about what their individual work loads are. “As long as you’re honest with what your limitations are, you’ll know if that person respects where you’re at. If it falls through, bet- ter now than when life gets more complicated later on,” Greene says. Nothing in life is ever consistent. Work shifts change as do classwork loads. According to Greene, the best way to be flexible is to communicate with each other about the upcoming week’s stresses. This allows you to show support, “even if it’s just lending an ear,” as well as setting up realistic time expectations for the week, so you’re not expecting to spend more time together than is feasible.
The grass isn’t always greener
It’s easy to look at couples around us and in the media and compare their relationship with our own. The probability of making these comparisons will increase when we are dissatisfied with the amount of quality time spent together in our relationship, whichbreeds insecurity. By making these comparisons, “you diminish the individuality of your own relationship,” green says. In reality, “You just don’t know. Out- side gestures can be full of false messages.” However, she does mention if you do see something you like in another relationship, it is your responsibility to incor- porate it however you wish.
Think outside the box
While we may not have hours on end to spend with our significant other, Greene recommends leaving notes and tokens of love and appreciation. She assures us thatthese do not have to cost money or require much time. These might include; text messages throughout the day to remind your partner that you’re thinking of them, a loving sticky note in their textbook, a coffee delivery to the library as they study, or even meeting them at the end of class to walk them to the next. Finding and taking advantage of the “just because” moments is what, “sustains any relationship,” because it shows unexpected thoughfulness. After all, Greene says “love is an action, not just an emotion.” We should not become complacent in a relationship, but instead continue to show people we value them, daily.
Remember, this is temporary
Greene concludes by assuring us hectic periods in our schedules are only a temporary, so you have to be open to change and flexibility. If you value the relationship, then make it work. Greene references a favorite quote of hers: “Life is like a grindstone – whether it wears you down or polishes you up depends on what you are made of.” So, what are you made of? Does your relationship wear you down or polish you up? If it polishes you up, then you owe it to your partner to be as creative as possible to weather the storm and come out stronger.
We could all use that eighth day to show we care, but if we implement these helpful suggestions, five may be all we need. Good luck, lovers!