Add a relationship and kids into the mix and those portions can quickly become unbalanced. Spouses and significant others don't like feeling ignored or second-tier, and while women like you and I who are busy building a business (either full-time or on the side) don't mean to make our partners feel that way, the truth is, it can happen without even realizing it. When you tie your identity to your profession, it's easy to think that others do as well. But usually? They don't.
So how do you make time for your partner, your lover, your best friend, when most days you barely have time to shower or eat a proper meal? An even better question — cause let's admit it, we're talking about sex here — how do you gather up the energy to get hot and heavy in the bedroom after only four hours of sleep?
Bottom line: if your relationship is important to you, you'll make time and you'll make it work. Below, you'll find some tips and advice to keep the spark alive and the communication flowing to prevent you from having to change your relationship status to "It's Complicated." Cause that's just awkward for everyone.
SPOILER ALERT: none of these tips include sending sexy emails to your partner. You have Cosmopolitan for that.
- TALK ABOUT IT — This should be in one million point bold font, because it's the MOST OBVIOUS but probably the last thing people think to do when overwhelmed with life and work. Talk about your situation with your partner. Let them in on your goals, how you're both feeling about your current work/life balance (or lack thereof), and how each other fits into the big picture. Getting it all out on the table will help you both understand where you are and where changes need to be made.
- Include Your Partner In Decisions — Ask your partner what he or she thinks about an upcoming decision, launch, product, or service. Give them an opportunity to weigh in on details, and he or she will feel more like a part of your life than an observer.
- Ask For Help — Does your partner have a particular skill that could be helpful to you and your business? Ask for their help! If they have a design background, ask them to help you redesign your website. If they know a metric tonne about accounting, maybe they'd be willing to give you some pointers if you're lacking in that area. Truth is, they probably want to help anyway, so asking for it might spark a new idea, a new way of thinking, or sex on the office desk. You do look damn fine in those square-rimmed glasses, you know...
- Schedule In Sex — This sounds like the most UNSEXY thing eh-ver, but scheduling in time for your partner may help. I mean, some people schedule gym time, so why not do the same for the love of your life? If your goal is to have sex twice a week, schedule it. You'll know it's coming (zing!) so start thinking about sex ahead of time and your engine will be fully revved, warmed, and ready to roll when you hit the sack.
- Eat at The Dinner Table — My husband and I eat at the dinner table nearly every night. Those old fashioned traditions are there for a reason since it really does give us a chance to decompress, chat about our day, and get in sync with goals and plans. Crack open some wine, make dinner together if you can, and really be present in that moment so your parter knows he or she is a priority. Who knows — maybe the dishes won't be the only things gettin' dirty. Wink wink, nudge nudge!
- Create a Shared Calendar — The cheesy "couples calendar" actually works. Create a shared Google Calendar (or your preferred method of calendaring) that you both can add to to keep your upcoming social events and appointments in check. Yes, you should include the aforementioned sexy time on this calendar. It's something to look forward to, right? If not, then you have a whole other issue that should be talked about with a professional couples therapist.
- Kick One Thing to the Curb — If you still find yourself playing out a real-life romantic drama with your partner and you can't seem to get your shit together, then take one thing off your plate. Obviously the balance isn't working, and if your relationship is suffering, you NEED to decide what thing you can put off in order to make it right. Can you work on your business three nights a week instead of five? Can you get up earlier to do all of your work before your spouse wakes up? Can you put off launching that ebook until after you've finished your ecourse? Can you go part-time at your current full-time job? Don't forget to include your partner in this discussion and ask what kind of results they would like to see (ahem — point number two). Set goals. You may aim and miss but at least you're working it out together.
It's your turn — I'd love it if you could share your stories about how you're keeping the spark alive while workin' your business cause lord knows I don't have all the answers. What worked for you? What didn't? What lessons have you learned? Share them on our Facebook page or in the comments below!