It’s a Thursday night, 9pm, and you’re at the office eating dinner at your desk.
Many of those juggling a high-pressure job will know too well the strain that countless late nights and early starts can place on a relationship, particularly if your other half doesn’t share the same demands in the office.
While the holy grail of work/life balance can often seem unattainable, making time for your partner is crucial to your relationship’s survival, according to psychologist Sabina Read.
Read says being available to your partner demonstrates your commitment, and the only way you can be available is to be physically present and emotionally present – an impossible task if you’re always at work.
“The biggest difference between relationships that work and those that don’t is both partners working on the relationship,” she says. “If one partner is working very long hours, they’re not prioritising the other partner.”
Where and how you spend that valuable time together doesn’t matter, according to Read, as long as you make the time.
“Finding time together is the number one priority and for different couples that will work differently. It’s not prescriptive,” she says.
And while some couples choose to designate a particular time for ‘date night’, Read prefers a more flexible approach.
“I’m not a big advocate of ‘date night’. It’s a bit prescriptive for me. The way couples work best is when they collaborate to come up with what would work for them,” she says.
For some couples, Read says going for a run together could be enough, while others might benefit from sitting on the couch together flipping through magazines.
“You’ve got to be realistic because when you’ve got kids in the mix it makes it even more tricky,” she says. “It’s about being cognisant and aware that your relationship is a priority and you need to act. The behaviour needs to match the intent.”
How do you find time for your partner? Let us know below.