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Putting Your Relationship First In An Increasingly Busy World

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by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder

Image Source: Unsplash

The world seems to be moving faster than ever. People are working longer hours (or working from home and having a tough time work-life balance). Social demands are higher. We expect instant gratification, and we have to stay constantly connected via social media so we don’t “fall behind”.

Exhausted yet?

Take a look at that first paragraph again and think about where your relationship fits in. If you’re feeling a little guilty right about now, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In today’s increasingly busy world, it’s not uncommon to let things distract you from your partner and your relationship as a whole.

That also doesn’t mean you need to allow it to continue. Let’s dive into how prioritizing other things above your relationship can be dangerous and what you can do to put your partner first.

Disconnecting From Your Relationship

Think about a typical date night with your partner. How often are both of you looking at your phones? If you live together, your evenings might consist of watching television or sitting on the couch with your laptops over takeout. While that might not seem like a problem, it really doesn’t leave room for healthy communication and connection.

When you prioritize other things over your relationship (even if you don’t realize it), you could be cheating yourself and your partner out of the happiness and fulfillment you deserve. Beyond that, there are some risks involved with that kind of behavior, including:

  • Miscommunication
  • Loss of trust
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Doubt
  • Resentment

People recognize when they aren’t being prioritized. Your partner might start to feel uncared for and not valued. So, the first step in putting your relationship first is to identify what you’re prioritizing ahead of it now. Whether it’s work, your social life, or something mindless like scrolling through Instagram, take stock in what’s important to you so you can rearrange your priorities accordingly.

Don’t Be Married to Your Career

Work is important, and having a career you’re passionate about is something your partner should support (and vice versa). But, a healthy work-life balance is still required for a strong relationship and your own mental well-being. How many hours are you working each week? Do you ever have to cancel plans because of your job? Has your partner ever mentioned you working too much?

If so, it might be time to put some helpful work-life balance strategies into place, including:

  • Setting boundaries with your job
  • Keeping your workspace separate from the rest of your home (when working remotely)
  • Talking to your employer about more flexibility
  • Considering a career change

One of the best things you can do is to talk to your partner about your career. Chances are if they think you’re working too much, you do too – even if you won’t readily admit it. Not only can that damage your relationship, but it can also cause burnout and you might end up resenting a job you once loved. Remember, you’re partners – you’re on the same team, and you can work together to come up with effective solutions.

Balancing your work life and home life isn’t just important for your relationship, it’s a necessity if you have children. Think about the type of family life you want to have, and how much you want to be present. No matter how passionate you are about your career, putting things into perspective when it comes to your family can quickly change your priorities.

Learn Your Partner’s Love Language

Because we’re in such a busy world, time often feels like a precious commodity. Your relationship needs your dedication and time, but it’s also important to know exactly what your partner needs to feel valued and loved. If you don’t already know their love language(s), take the time to learn.

Some people feel love when you give them quality time. Others appreciate acts of service, physical touch, gifts, or words of affirmation. Learning your partner’s specific needs will make it easier to prioritize your relationship and the person you love.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with love languages and how they can impact your relationship. If your partner most values your time, consider planning a “staycation” in your community. You can play the part of local tourists and visit restaurants and cafes, a local zoo, or have picnics in the park.

If gifts are their love language and it’s early in your relationship, make things personal. Whether your gifts are large, small, or romantic, they should be a reflection of your love and relationship. Something as simple as bringing your partner their favorite coffee drink to their office can make their day and show them how much you care.  It’s the little, everyday things that can make your relationship stronger.

No matter how busy you are, putting your relationship first is a choice. Your schedule might be full, you might be easily distracted, and you might not think you have another spare minute in the day. But, there’s always time to prioritize. You might find that you have more time than you realize to dedicate to your relationship when you make the active decision to put it first in your life.

About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.

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