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5 Easy Ways to Couple Time

Here are some ways to keep the spark alive amid your busy schedules.

By April Zara Chua

1. Establish couple rituals

Create activities that can become habits. Habits take time to form so it might be tough at first, but by doing it regularly, it will become second nature, making it easier to carve time for each other. This can be as simple as scheduling a lunch together or quick coffee breaks a couple of times a week if your workplaces are nearby. And one way to ensure neither of you skips out because of one more thing to do at work, try to keep things interesting. For instance, date nights for the month of, say, November can involve trying a new sport each week.

Brian Yeo, 31, and wife, Vanessa May, 31, (right) are both freelancers with erratic schedules. To ensure they make time for each other, the couple sets aside strict couple days: “Sundays are family days for us. We both don’t work on Sundays so we can spend the day together, like watching movies and going for dinner.”

2. Make the most of your mornings and evenings

Cram in extra moments by synchronising your morning and bedtime schedules so you’ll be gearing up for the day and winding down together. In the mornings, try waking up at the same time to have a quick breakfast together before rushing off to work. Light chats before turning in are also a good way to catch up and connect with each other. Do this regularly enough and it can become a very reassuring couple ritual!

3. Stay in touch

While you may not be spending actual face to face time with your partner, short phone calls, a little FaceTime or sweet messages throughout the day is a good way to stay connected. In today’s social media world, it’s even easier to let someone know you’re thinking of him or her. Saw a funny video on YouTube you know they’ll like? Send it to them! A cute cat video on Instagram might even cheer them up during a stressful day at work. Read a good review of a new restaurant in town? Share it with a note to check it out together, and you both can look forward to a date night. Turn it up a notch and surprise each other with a gift once in a while. No one can resist a sweet and thoughtful surprise!

Esther Chin, 33, who occasionally travels for work, prefers to stay connected with boyfriend, Lepham Tan, 33, (right) via video chats. “Seeing each other’s faces and hearing each other’s voices really make a difference. It’s almost like we’re just beside each other even though we’re a thousand miles apart.

4. Do everyday stuff together

Still finding it hard to find free time? Try turning mundane tasks and errands into couple time. For instance, make it a point to hit the gym together once or twice a week. The best part? You’ll both come out of it refreshed, invigorated and, not to mention, fitter. And don’t restrict yourself to just gym – shop for groceries or walk the dog together as well. Making an activity out of everyday routines will make it seem less of a chore (and bore) and more of an enjoyable “just us” time. Doing uneventful yet necessary tasks together also creates that spirit of teamwork and builds bonds.

5. Plan some R&R together

If the daily grind is keeping you from your couple time, try planning short- and long-term vacations where the both of you can spend quality time with each other, away from daily distractions. Long weekend coming up? Organise a quick getaway to neighbouring islands. Prefer a longer holiday? Plan ahead for the ultimate year-end vacation. Pressed for time? A local staycation counts too! The destination does not matter as long as you spend it together.

To keep things interesting, arrange a surprise trip for your partner. Local travel company can help, as they plan surprise vacations for anyone up for the excitement. Simply indicate the type of trip you want – adventure, getaway or a cultural experience – and have fun discovering the surprise together!

Rikki Suarez, 34, and wife Koh Yu Ling, 29, (right) always make it a point to set aside time for vacations. "We target two holidays a year (with our) family and one holiday as a couple, where we visit somewhere new, somewhere exciting or somewhere familiar." 

Final tips

Don’t be afraid to review your schedules

If nothing seems to be working and you both can’t find time for each other, sit down and discuss how the both of you spend your day or week. Identify areas where you can compromise and accommodate some changes, then start from there.

Make it count

You only have 24 hours in a day. How you spend your time defines you and your relationship, so make the best out of it!