Finance Relationships

How to spend more quality time with your partner

Legal & General
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Have you ever considered how much actual quality time you spend with your partner?

It’s hardly surprising that once the little ones come along it becomes a lot trickier to spend quality one-to-one time with your other half. Gone are the days of vegging out on the sofa for hours on end, or impromptu trips to the cinema, or nipping out for a quick drink together down the local. ‘Date night’ has well and truly become a distant memory. Pretty much everything requires planning to a military level. And when you’re both exhausted from broken sleep, school runs and work, it can be hard to muster the energy!

In a study by Legal & General, they found that 36 per cent of parents aged 18-44 spend quality time with their partners just one or twice a week. It isn’t because of the lack of will either. Sixty-seven per cent of couples agree that spending time together is important for their relationships. So what gets in the way?

Thirty-nine per cent of parents surveyed struggle to come up with ideas for things to do together, meaning they actually give up on date night completely. Other factors commonly blamed are cost and tiredness, which we can all undoubtedly sympathise with.

To combat date night disasters, Legal and General want to introduce parents to micro-dating, the art of making the most out of the little things. It can be affection, appreciation, or anything the pair of you enjoy – so why not give it a go? Some suggestions for micro-dates include:

  • Grabbing a coffee and a cake whilst the kids run around at soft play.
  • Synchronising your lunch breaks to have a little catch up over Facetime.
  • Finding ten minutes in the evening to give each other a mini shoulder massage.
  • Playing together – a video game, a board game, a game of cards, whatever you enjoy.
  • Digging out your photo albums and reminiscing about the old days.
  • Making your favourite dinner together and enjoying it over a glass of wine.

It’s all about taking advantage of time, using those fleeting moments between nappy changes or making dinner to show our other halves that we love them.

Micro-dating can be a quick, convenient way of connecting with our partners. But it isn’t supposed to be a long-term fix, from here couples are encouraged to step things up. It’s important to stay connected. Try to arrange some couple time without the kids in tow. Even if it’s out for a meal in the local Indian or a trip to the cinema.

With this, of course, comes another hurdle – who will look after the kids? Grandma and Grandad are the obvious choice for number one babysitter, but with a lot of us no longer living around the corner from our relatives, the option isn’t always there.

Thankfully, as there always is in the smartphone era, there’s an app for that. Services such as Bubble, Yoopies and Sitters allow parents to find verified babysitters who have undergone an online background check. These services also include reviews from other parents, so mums and dads can enjoy their night out together without worrying about their little ones.

So, with all this in mind, what else are you waiting for? Master the art of micro-dating!

(And if all else fails, why not just order a takeaway and binge on a new Netflix series?)