written by Megan Martucci
On an average day, I have classes and work from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. My boyfriend works seven days a week as a personal coach and often works from 6:00 am until 9:00 pm with sporadic breaks in between. Also, both of us have tight budgets which makes doing some things out of our price range. However, in spite of our messy schedules, we manage to see each other often.
The key to our success is—ironically—not planning. We both have schedules that are never fixed, and trying to plan around times that are subject to change at any moment makes planning a futile and usually disappointing effort. We don’t set up strict times when we should meet and instead look for any moment we both happen to be free and take advantage of it. This usually results in short meeting at cafes, running into each other to quickly say hello, and often meeting up late at night for a quick dinner before we both head home to pass out.
While we see each other regularly, our time together is all too brief and we have fallen into a rut of doing the same things which tends to dampen any surprise and romance in the relationship. At first, never planning times to meet up did help somewhat since it prevented our relationship from becoming another obligation to add to our seemingly never-ending list of things to be done. But it didn’t help break us out of our “greet-and-eat” rut which we eventually stumbled into. We tried just varying where we went to eat to add a new flair to our old system, but it quickly became just as routine to wander looking for a new place as it was to eat at a place we had been to before. It seemed like the rut would be impossible to escape unless both of us deliberately took off work, and even then it would be a temporary fix to a continuing problem.
A new solution revealed itself in the form of a friend’s own relationship problems. The two of us were were talking over coffee, and she began telling me how she felt her boyfriend wasn’t willing to contribute as much to the relationship as she was. She told me how she often went out of her way to do things with him that he liked though he often didn’t return the favor unless it was something he also enjoyed doing.
At first the situation seemed nothing like the issues my boyfriend and I were having: both of us were willing to do things the other enjoys—we just didn’t have time. I suggested that she try making him do little things that he might not enjoy and work her way up to bigger things so that he might find some enjoyment in it by the end. I suggested looking at the Campus Clipper to find coupons for things she might like to do on her college budget, and, while discussing this option, I noticed a coupon for I coffee shop I hadn’t been to. After I went home, I realized that I had found a solution to my own relationship problems.
The next time I met with my boyfriend, I suggested we pick a book we would both like to read and meet up to talk about it at the new coffee shop since we both enjoyed reading. From there, we tried cooking dinner together rather than going out to eat like we usually did, and then we began including other little things along the way to vary up our usual schedules, realizing that little changes made a big difference.
Not only have these little suggestions that we started coming up with made our time together more exciting, it has introduced a little more passion since both of us are always thinking of small romantic things to mix in. It has given a breath of fresh air to our relationship, and found us the time for romance despite our busy lives. If you run into a rut with your own relationships, try changing up the things you do and be sure to look at the Campus Clipper for ideas and deals!
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