How much time do you get to spend exclusively with your partner? If you have children, the answer might be something to the effect of ‘not a lot’! Help is at hand in the form of ‘micro-dating’. More on that later.
A recent survey by Legal & General has found that 36% of parents between 18 and 44 spend quality time with their partners just once or twice a week.
This is despite 67% agreeing that quality time is important for their relationships.
Elsewhere in the findings, 39% struggle to think of what to do on date nights, while tiredness and cost were cited as common reasons for skipping them altogether.
I sympathise a lot with all of this. Despite me working from home and my wife being a stay-at-home parent, we still don’t get much proper time alone together.
Once all three kids are finally asleep and we’ve eaten, we’re exhausted. We tend to just watch telly for an hour or two and, in my case, fall asleep in front of it. Oh dear!
We always seem to have so much on our minds too. So, while we spend time together every day, we can’t truly call it quality time.
We don’t go on date nights as such either. Indeed, we only tend to go out on our anniversary and have been known to skip that to save money!
Now, this isn’t to say that the desire to spend regular time together is absent. Far from it. It’s just that we tend to think of quality time as something that’s on hold while the kids are young.
It’s an inevitable part of parenting. We put the kids first so of course we’re too lethargic to go out.
This is where micro-dating comes in. It’s something I hadn’t heard of as such, but we’ve actually been unwittingly doing for years. Yay us!
It’s all about looking for moments to share – no matter how small they are as they add up to make a big difference.
These moments could be anything from making video calls during lunch breaks to cooking together.
There are plenty more suggestions alongside Legal & General’s research.
We always take a few moments each morning to chat about how we slept and what we’re looking forward to each day. We usually have breakfast together too – albeit very quickly – before the school run.
I’m pleased to have discovered that we’re good at micro-dating. It’s a great first step and I hope that we can build on it with some more quality time.
In fact, now youngest is at nursery twice a week, we might be able to sneak in the odd lunch out together. Result!
What do you think of micro-dating? Is it something you do? How do you fit in quality time with your partner?
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.