With our busy schedules, our career aspirations, and our commitments to family and friends, finding time to devote to our romantic partners can often feel like a challenge. While healthy relationships can certainly withstand the occasional lapse in communication, a serious lack of “quality time” can chip away at the partnership’s foundation, weakening bonds and compromising the level of happiness you feel when you’re together. If any of the following nine signs sound familiar, that could be an indication that investing time in your relationship should become a priority.
When you plan to spend time with your significant other, are those plans always super immediate (like, within a week or so)? Do the two of you make an effort to avoid scheduling activities or events farther in advance? If so, that could indicate that you don’t spend enough time together on a consistent basis to feel secure in making arrangements for the future.
Obviously, folks in relationships don’t need to be kept abreast of every workplace argument or mass-transit mishap that befalls their partner. But if you don’t have any sense of your SO’s daily routine and the stresses that affect them on a regular basis, then that’s a pattern that could cause larger issues for you as a couple.
An example of a problem that can emerge when you don’t know what your partner’s day-to-day affairs look like: your significant other confides a stress or concern to you, and you’re really surprised to learn this information. If you’re communicating regularly, you’ll probably know what’s causing friction in your partner’s life before they need to directly tell you about it.
In certain circumstances, it makes total sense to share big news with your mom or your best friend before your partner. But if you find yourself turning to others before your partner on a regular basis, then than could suggest that you don’t feel as close to your SO as you’d prefer.
Partners don’t have to share all of their interests, and it’s healthy to have hobbies and pursuits that are wholly your own. However, if you constantly struggle to think of activities that you want to share with your partner (and vice versa), then that could be at least partially influenced by a lack of shared time and a surfeit of knowledge about how your partner likes to spend their free days.
When you began your relationship, did you see each other more frequently than you do these days? While a drop-off in scheduled dates is a natural result of a longer-term relationship, spending less physical time together can cause emotional distance that ultimately proves detrimental to your connection.
Sometimes, when a partner feels a lack of time investment in their relationship, they may respond by attempting to force proximity. If you notice your SO suddenly calling far more often or appearing at your house or workplace, that could be their way of coping with a perceived sense of distance.
Of course, your partner can’t be your number-one priority at all times. But if you always put other commitments and responsibilities ahead of your relationship, then your SO could (justifiably) feel that your time and energy is unevenly divided.
If you don’t regularly spend time with your partner, then you may find yourself becoming more and more comfortable with that dynamic, to the point where you don’t really miss them when they’re not around. While this can be a symptom of a bigger problem with your relationship, it can also be the result of an ingrained habit, and making a concerted effort to make space in your schedule for your SO can mend the divide.