Since moving to Los Angeles, Red and I have had opposite schedules. We have done the long distance thing in the past, and of course that was no fun, but this is almost worse.
Okay, okay, I know it’s not worse. I see him everyday, but we only really get to hang out or enjoy one another’s company in the evening. Normal weekend activities are now just a tease, because we can never look forward to doing any of them together. We are only living in LA for a short period of time and I would love to experience the city with him, but we don’t share any days off, so what am I to do?
If you are currently in the same boat, here are a few things I have learned to help make this situation a little easier.
1. If you and your significant other have set schedules, then decide how long you both can go without having a single day with each other. If it’s every three weeks, then make sure to schedule a day you two can spend with each other every few weeks. Make a short list of the things you just can’t do without the other. The first week Red and I arrived to the city we shared a day off because I hadn’t been assigned to a job yet. We didn’t have a day off together for a little over two months. I finally had it and we both decided I would schedule a day off on one of his days off. It was wonderful! We slept in, made breakfast and coffee, and checked out a museum that afternoon we had both been interested in seeing. It was fun sharing the experience together.
2. Find something that you both enjoy doing, that’s usually in the morning or afternoon, and see if you can recreate it back at home. One thing I decided we should do is make breakfast for dinner every once in awhile. We both love going out to breakfast together and can’t do it anymore, so we brought breakfast to our dinner table. Maybe one of these nights we will even check out a late night diner that serves breakfast all day.
3. Throughout the day send text messages to check in with one another. Folks, this is why texting is great; for those of us couples that have opposite schedules! Red and I normally check in at around lunch time and before heading home from work. If we have more time we will chat on the phone quick to hear each others voices.
4. Do something unexpected. Maybe bring home a treat that your significant other likes or write a note and place it in their work bag. Unexpected surprises are ways to show you are thinking of them.
5. Schedule a date night each week. We try to go out once a week to see a movie or to try a new restaurant. Or spend your date night in. Plan on having a glass of wine or tea and watching a movie or catching up on your current tv show. You don’t have to go out, but it’s important to just spend the time not worrying about the normal everyday topics. They can always wait.
6. Create a shared calendar. Since it’s not fun to run through schedules, appointments, and plans each and every night, I created a shared calendar. This way we no longer have to remind one another about our plans constantly when we do see one another.
7. Plan on doing the same thing on your separate days off. Remember, even if you do take a day off together every few weeks or so, you still won’t be able to do everything you want together. Say you are both interested in going to a museum, but it’s not on the top of the list of must dos together. Why not go the same week on your separate days off and then talk about what you thought of it and what your experience was like at dinner.
Hope these tips help my fellow couples suffering from opposite schedules. Of course, please let me know if you have any great tips to add!