Guest post by Jonathan Cohen
Scheduling is not sexy. If you’ve ever tried to arrange a business meeting, or even a social get-together with another couple, you know how tedious and frustrating it can be to find a time and a place that works for everybody. Maybe that’s why we resist some of the scheduling we need to do to keep marriages and other personal relationships healthy. But if we don’t block out some time “just for the two of us, including time for intimacy, we risk losing connection with our significant others and growing apart.
This is all the more important when you’ve got young kids. Family time is not the same as couples time and getting kids fed, bathed and off to sleep can be exhausting, especially for people who spend the first 8-12 hours per day at work. In my experience, it’s crucial while your kids are growing up to schedule a regular date night with your spouse or domestic partner. Was it Tolstoy who said “All happy families have a baby sitter they can trust?” The point is that you and your partner need regular time to be alone together. And once you’ve set a schedule, stick with it.
Waiting for the Planets to Align
The same goes for sex. I’ve made the mistake in the past of taking the “bicycle lock” approach to sexual relationships. In other words, all the tumblers needed to be perfectly aligned for my spouse and I to ever find intimate time together. Kids asleep or out of the house. Both partners in good energy. No chores, errands and previous engagements to get in the way.
The problem is that these rare harmonic convergences are too few and far between to keep most people satisfied. And when one or both partners start feeling deprived, resentment and tension can start creeping into your relationship.
Making love on schedule sounds unromantic. But you might discover something deeply sexy about knowing that you and your partner are both fully committed to what is about to take place. And putting your love life on schedule might just help you uncover issues—such as withholding sex to punish or control your partner– that could be keeping you apart.
I remember a passage from the memoirs of Garcia Marquez about Sunday afternoons in his home town in Colombia when most married couples, by tradition, would follow the siesta by making love. I think now that the people in that little town were wise in making a time and a place for what was most important to them.