The 2004 film "Open Water" epitomizes lots of our relationships. The couple in the film clearly has issues from the beginning, mostly due to the fact that they both lead busy lives, work all day, eat dinner together, then go to bed. Sound familiar? Because this couple is like two ships passing in the night, they decide it would be a good idea to get away on vacation together. The only problem is that when they go deep sea diving, their boat leaves them behind and they end up dying in the sea, surrounded by sharks. In their final hours, they finally manage to find the time to reconnect and find the relationship they had lost to busy lives.
In most long term relationships where both partners work, it often becomes difficult to connect. In my own relationship, my boyfriend and I both work two jobs and opposing schedules - meaning he's working nights while I'm working days. And one of the two nights he's off, I'm working the evening away at my part time job. In the end we only spend one night a week together, as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sex has become a rarity, and the time we do spend together has become routine - eat a meal together, then split up so he can watch TV and I can get on the computer. While every couple's situation is different, some of these same characteristics probably creep into most long term relationships.
Let's make a check list of some of the things we lose from not having enough time:
-Passionate connection with our partners. Once you settle into the long term and the honeymoon phase is over, we slowly start to sacrifice things that once brought us a deep connection. For example, perhaps your partner goes to work at 6AM and you go to work at 9:30AM. In beginning, you'd get up with your partner, cook breakfast and see him or her off to work before taking a nap and heading to work yourself. Eventually you gave that up in favor of sleep. Or perhaps your partner really enjoys watching TV and while it's not really your thing, you used to sit with him or her and watch TV because you wanted to spend time together. Now you opt to retreat to the computer to get on the internet or play video games because you feel like you never have time for yourself.
-Hot, frequent sex. Not only do we not have a lot of time, but we're also perpetually tired from work. Instead of having sex 4 or more times a week, we might find ourselves only having sex once or twice a week - and when we do it's just the quick old in and out, over in 15 minutes. How many times have you and your partner talked about buying a sexual position book? Or a Liberator product? Then you never do. Or worse, you do and then after trying one position, the book sits on a shelf for three years. Have you ever wanted to explore tantric sex or multiple orgasms and keep saying you'll find the time? What about revisiting the hot 3 hour lovemaking sessions you used to have?
-Self fulfillment. Remember how when you were in the honeymoon phase of your relationship you were on cloud 9? And now you're stressed, tired, unhappy? When we put time and effort into our relationships, they give back to us.
So when are you going to find the time to find some time? It seems like every time I think about it, six months have gone by since I last thought about it. We have to find a way to put the brakes on and reclaim lost love. Don't wait for a tragedy like in "Open Water," or for a divorce or breakup. The time is now.