A long-distance relationship isn’t easy. And for super-busy couples, a same-city romance can present its own unique challenges.
Here’s how overbooked partners can strengthen sex life and relationship—without drugs or therapy.
Schedule Time for Each Other
With such limited time, busy couples may only see each other when tagging in and out of the bathroom in the morning or moments before passing out at night. It’s not exactly quality time—if there’s any time at all.
Many marriage and family therapists recommend scheduling one-on-one intimate times on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just different from the routine. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, lasting just an hour or for an entire evening, the time should be consistent and uninterrupted, a designated opportunity to reconnect and focus on each other.
Go for a stroll in the park. Cook a meal at home. Have sex. Go for the trifecta! Doesn’t matter, as long as you’re together out of deliberate choice, not just mere convenience of sharing a space. Bonus points for intimate conversation, physical touch, and eye contact—with your partner, not a screen.
Separate the Hard Stuff from the Easy Stuff
Beyond the pressure to spend time together, there’s pressure when some couples finally do. They just want to enjoy that small window, so some couples will avoid addressing difficult conversations.
For others, with so many important issues to discuss in so few opportunities, it feels like every encounter is an argument.
The solution: compartmentalize. If you’re having a regular date night, just appreciate the enjoyable company. Set aside a different time to broach an important conversation. If you allow fun times and difficult discussions to encroach on one another, you won’t find value in either.
Find Ways to Communicate When You’re Apart
Use technology to your advantage. It’s easy to send a text, chat, photo, Facebook message, or even Snapchat to your partner throughout the day, just to check in. It’s a low-maintenance way to stay connected and let your partner know he or she is on your mind. us.
Keep your workday conversations light (photos, jokes, whatever), loving (a few sweet nothings), or logistical (regarding plans for after work, for example). As for sexts, best to finish that conversation in person.
Work Hard at Sex
I think it’s something every couple needs to put work into. You have to be proactive and you have to seek out what your partner wants at all times. And I think that’s something we could work on.
While we’d all like organic, spur-of-the-moment sex on the kitchen table, sometimes couples have to schedule it in. That might seem less romantic or less spontaneous, but it can also introduce anticipation and excitement knowing it’s on the schedule.
It sounds oxymoronic, but you can (at least partially) plan spontaneity. Doing something out-of-the-ordinary beforehand, even if it’s a regularly planned event, can make sex feel more novel and exciting.
Candlelit yoga or a swing dance class after work can transform the experience in the bedroom. Consider it fore-foreplay. And be opportunistic: Even after a mundane dinner at home, the kitchen table is available.
Fight Exhaustion with Compromise (and Sleep)
Exhaustion is no excuse for avoidance. Yet, sleep is vital to your well-being and your relationship, too. Find a time both of you will have the energy to engage. If it’s something urgent that can’t wait, address it. But if you can get some rest now and block out 20 minutes tomorrow for a conversation or even sex, maybe that’s the best. It’s really about compromise and, sometimes, a little coercion.
Use Being Busy to Your Advantage
A lot of people might say they do a better job with time management when they’re busy. They communicate and prioritize effectively when they have limited time. What’s more, if two busy people feel productive and empowered by their hectic lifestyle, that’s an advantage, because feeling good about yourself always helps a relationship.
In the end, it’s about priorities. You can’t give 100 percent of your time to everything. Do the pros of the relationship outweigh the cons? Is it worth fighting for? For these two, the answer is clear.
This article originally appeared on DETAILS BY BEN KASSOY. Based on a true story of Aaron and Jila (last names omitted to honor the couple's privacy)