Guilty Of This Common Couples Mistake?

April 16,2019

As I’m writing this blog post, I’m coming off of having spent close to 100 consecutive hours with Xander. We travelled out of state to go to a business conference together, so for the last four days, the only times we have not been by each other’s side were when he slept off his second-ever migraine for a few hours, and when I snuck away for an hour to do a coaching call with the incredible ladies in Finishing School: Orgasm With A Partner Live. Otherwise, we’ve spent every waking second together.

I’m a person who needs alone time to recharge, especially after being in a hotel ballroom with close to 1,000 people, and I tend to get pretty cranky and difficult if I don’t have that opportunity.

But during this conference, Xander and I immersed ourselves in our big dreams about how we can best serve you, our community. It ended up being some of the best quality time we’ve had together in a long time, and I feel like I could spend another 100 hours with him without turning into a grouch.

This weekend reminded me of the importance of quality time in a relationship.

The reality is that the “quality” part of “quality time” is sadly lacking for most couples these days. This conference aside, Xander and I have totally been guilty of it ourselves!

So today I want to talk about “spring cleaning” your quality time with your partner.

If you missed the news last week, we’re doing something special this month…

Helping you spring clean your relationship!

Every week this month, we’re going to give you tips about spring cleaning one element of your relationship. Because the truth is that pretty much every relationship needs a little refresh from time to time!

Today I have 5 ways that you can refresh the quality time in your relationship.

Quality Time Refresh #1 – Actually have quality time!

I know this is an obvious one, but so many couples just don’t spend any quality time together! We get swept up in our to do lists and responsibilities, and we just don’t put the effort into making the time for each other.

Since we’re married and we’re business partners, Xander and I are fortunate enough to spend much more time together than most couples. But more time doesn’t always mean quality time.

Here’s my recommendation: spend at least 10 minutes a day for the next week engaged in some sort of undistracted quality time with your partner. I know 10 minutes might not seem like much, but you’d be surprised by what it feels like to intentionally spend this time together.

You can go on a walk, do a crossword puzzle, cuddle in bed, hop in the shower or bath, or just talk. Just make sure you try to be as fully present with your partner as you can. (So watching TV or being in the same room while you help the kids with their homework don’t count!)

Want to learn more about what I call The Leftovers Problem? Head on over here.

Quality Time Refresh #2 – Put away your electronics

When you’re having quality time with your partner, make sure to put away your electronics! There’s nothing that can spoil quality time faster than watching your partner check their phone while you’re trying to connect.

In our relationship, I’m the one who is most guilty of bad electronics behavior. I sometimes think that I’m a pro at multi-tasking, and can hold a conversation with Xander at the same time that I respond to an email. But it turns out that I usually end up missing about half of what Xander says, and I often end up hurting his feelings.

If you want to learn more about healthy electronics rules in a relationship, pop on over here and here!

Quality Time Refresh #3 – Have date night

On top of some sort of daily connection, I recommend that couples make the effort to have a special date night once a week. (Or at least every other week.)

For the rest of this month, could you and your partner schedule weekly date nights with each other?

It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. At the minimum, it could be spending 30 minutes of quality time together. Bonus points if you can get out of the house to do it!

Quality Time Refresh #4 – Try new things together

Time and time again, research shows that trying new things together – both inside and outside of the bedroom – is the best way to keep a relationship feeling fresh and exciting.

I’ll be the first to admit that Xander and I have to put more work into being consistently creative with how we spend quality time. We end up defaulting to going out to a restaurant too often. Going out to dinner is nice, but we know we can be more creative than that!

You can play games together, go to a museum, go to some sort of cultural event or talk, work on a project together, or do something physical together.

And if you’re looking to try new things in the bedroom together, may I humbly suggest my 30 Day Sex Challenge!

Quality Time Refresh #5 – Talk about your relationship

It’s so important to make the space for your relationship in your lives! So often couples spend their quality time together talking about kids, work, and other responsibilities. But this doesn’t exactly make for good quality time!

Xander and I have the tendency to talk about work too often during our quality time. It’s so easy for these discussions to lead to feelings of frustration or tension, which kills the mood and our connection.

Here are some prompts that you and your partner can use to talk about your relationship during your quality time:

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HI THERE!

I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!