How do you and your partner stay in touch when have totally different schedules? Here’s how one reader uses technology to keep up their communication when they rarely see each other.
Describing my relationship as “night and day” takes on a more literal tone when I am awake during the day and sleep at night while my fiance (let’s call him boyfriend because the F word still sounds funny) works overnight and sleeps during the day.
It could seem that our communication could struggle in a relationship like this, but the truth is we maintain very open communication with each other; we just have to utilize methods available to us. So how do we “make it work” as the fabulous Tim Gunn is known to say? By using three kinds of virtual communications…
Texting is our primary source of communication while we are apart. While he sleeps, I text him things as they happen. Kids got sick? I paid a bill? I made a trip to the store and picked up something for him that I know he needs? I text it. It saves me from bombarding him when he wakes up in the afternoon and he gets to read it at his leisure. He is kept up to date on the daily happenings this way. At night when he leaves for work, this is our time to “conversate.” We chat about things, make each other laugh, and unfortunately sometimes argue through text. It may not be ideal, but the written form works sometimes.
Email is how we got started in our relationship. We started by emailing each other a series of questions ranging from serious to funny to get to know each other. “What three bands could you listen to forever?” “Would you rather have a unicorn horn attached to your shoulder or an alligator tail on the back of your head?” “What life lesson do you hope your children take away from your parenting?” We did this almost daily. It is great to look back over those emails as it reminds us of where we started and where we are now. Email is also great when needing help on class assignments (me) or needing something ordered online during a sale and shopping online at work isn’t allowed (him).
We also use Facebook (and used to use MySpace back in the day) to share hilarious pictures, crack jokes on each other, and keep up with long-distance friends as most people do.
With all this technology, you would think we never talk face-to-face, but honestly we’re just as old school as the rest of them. We still leave Post-Its in surprising places with sweet sentiments or silly words. We spend an hour or so before he leaves for work (and after the kids are in bed) just being together, having a great conversation or sharing a meal together. On his days off (once-twice a week) we scour Netflix trying to one-up each other with the best/worst B-rated movies to watch and enjoy.
This is soon-to-be our second marriage each, and we learned early on how important communication is to keep the relationship going and working. We work hard at maintaining this crazy thing called love, and although it is far from traditional, it suits us just fine.
So what kind of relationship hacks do YOU use to communicate with your partner with a wildly different schedule? Technology? Love notes? Sky writing? Tell us.