As wonderful as the holiday season is, the busyness of the end of the year can quickly put a strain on your romantic relationship. To-do lists are transcending your notepad, calendars are double and triple booked, and you’re running on coffee and a prayer, baby. Especially as women, we feel immense pressure to say “no” as little as possible, which can often lead to us over-extending ourselves, and unfortunately, not only putting a strain on our own mental health, but also the health of our relationship.
The last thing any of us want to do is make our significant other feel like they’re not a priority or, likewise, feel like we’re not a priority to them. Luckily for us, there are plenty of simple, tangible ways to show affection and appreciation to our significant others that will let them know our relationship is a priority. Read on below for nine ways to prioritize your relationship when life gets busy.
1. Get a date night on the calendar
Whether it be a dinner at your favorite restaurant or simply sitting down together after the kids go to bed with a bottle of wine and the newest episode of Yellowstone, take time to be alone together. Scheduling quality time gives you an opportunity to reconnect with each other, which is so important during the busy times in life. Date night can also mean a date day where you meet for coffee or lunch during the week.
2. Leave notes for each other
When you’re running out the door in the morning, it’s easy to forget the kiss, hug, or ‘I love you’ goodbye. A great way to supplement these small moments is to leave a note for you significant other to find. The best part? It takes approximately 10 seconds to write a sweet message on a post-it note and stick it on the bathroom mirror for them to find when they’re getting ready. It will put a smile on their face and remind them that your relationship is a priority to you.
3. Run errands together
During the holidays, our schedules instantly fill up with things we have to get done. Grocery store runs, Amazon returns, and Target pick-ups become somewhat of a daily occurrence. The next time you have to complete a mundane task like this, ask your significant other to tag along and make it a meaningful moment together. Yes, we have to get these things done—but the good news is, we don’t have to do them alone!
4. Express gratitude towards each other
‘Tis the season for our to-do lists to take over our lives. When this happens, it can be easy to feel like the burden of getting everything done is on you and to not recognize the things your significant other is doing. Take moment to reflect on everything they’re doing and express gratitude to your person. Hearing a simple “thank you” will make them feel appreciated, and give them an opportunity to show gratitude to you as well.
5. Make their morning coffee
Something as simple as making their coffee and bringing it to them in bed or when they’re getting ready in the morning can actually be seen as a huge gesture. You’re probably going to be making your own anyways, so take a small task off their morning check list to start their day off right.
6. Listen when they speak
Stop scrolling, cleaning, cooking, or what-have-you and just listen. Intentionally listening to your partner, whether they’re talking about work, a fantasy football team, or the great idea they had while standing in the shower, shows them that you care about what they have to say. Many couples have communication challenges for a myriad of reasons. But one sure fire way to get your significant other not to share things with you is to portray to them that you don’t care about what they have to say. The next time they’re speaking to you, show interest and listen intentionally.
7. Utilize their love language
We’re probably all aware by now that not everyone feels and shows love in the same way. Everyone has a “love language,” a term developed by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, that allows them to express and feel love, including words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. If you know your partner’s love language, you can incorporate those types of acts around them. Likewise, they can use your language to express love to you. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with your love languages—you can take a free, simple quiz online and begin being a better partner right away.
8. Join them for their favorite hobby
Has your significant other been begging you to experience their virtual reality game? Or sit down and actually watch the Packers take on the Bears? Or, for once, join them during their fitness class? We know there never seems to be enough hours in the day; but if an evening spent in a VR headset, a few hours spent watching them yell at the TV, or practicing your vinyasa will grow your relationship, it seems worth it.
9. Make time for physical intimacy
When life gets busy and your relationship is not your main priority, one of the first things to go is often physical intimacy. How are you supposed to want to get down to it when you’re physically and mentally exhausted from everything you had to do today?Unfortunately, cutting back (or even cutting out) the physical part of your relationship can be one of the most detrimental things you could do to your relationship. Whether you have to schedule time for physical intimacy, or even talk with a couples counselor, it’s important to prioritize this part of your relationship to remain connected to your partner.