A key part of my management of 2 full-time relationships is special time with each partner. In theory this involves a number of different things, but in practice it revolves around the evenings we get to spend alone quietly at home.
The trick is not letting computers or cooking get between the time we actually spend paying attention to each other. For W & I that means putting aside our research in order to curl up on the sofa. Maybe its cliche, maybe its daft but our thing at this time of year is to watch University Challenge and Only Connect together each week. We call out the answers and look up the answers that we find odd; often we watch Dr Who. Tonight we had popcorn and chocolate and kept each other warm as the air turned autumnal.
B & I tend more toward House and Red Dwarf with pasta and red wine in our dressing gowns.
Either way its about relaxing and having a bitch and whine about our days and more than anything else about being a couple.
It stands to reason then for that time I must put aside my worries about my other partner and resist the temptation to contact them and let them know what I up to – for that evening they are secondary. On the other hand I must also recognise when my concerns about the partner I am not with are so great and valid enough to interfere with the evening and thus it would be better to put aside the designated partner in favour of the one I am worried about and carry time over, so that they both get real time.
Its a judgment I make week after week and sometimes I get it wrong; sometimes the time I need to spend doing other things (like work or conferences) interferes with the schedule and both are left feeling short-changed but despite the difficulties it poses I think its something all relationships need to make note of – its too easy to take your partner(s) for granted. Stop take a little time. Even time as trivial as your favourite TV shows together can make the difference to feeling appreciated.