Imagine that your relationship was a shiny new startup, with limitless potential. Now, imagine that you and your romantic partner were the co-founders.
Related: 4 Signs a Relationship Is Failing
If you knew with absolute certainty that you could turn this business into a booming Fortune 500 company within the next few years, would you sit back and wait for it to grow on its own? Or would you put in as much time, energy and personal investment as you could muster to ensure that it reached its upper-limit potential?
Treating your relationship as a business isn't a new concept, but people tend to shy away from the idea of it. They believe that intimate relationships should run on autopilot. That there is some sort of intangible magic that happens to keep two people together long-term.
As an entrepreneur, you know that there is no such thing as magic when it comes to keeping your business’s key performance indicators trending up and to the right. Real results take real effort. They require a combination of your smartest strategy, strongest mindset and genuine hustle to make your dreams a reality (whether we’re talking about quarterly targets or romantic relationships).
Much like your business, your relationship needs constant maintenance in order to be successful. If you start implementing these three key practices into your romantic life, I guarantee an immediate, positive impact on your relationship.
1. A non-negotiable date night
You and your partner both get busy. When you're attending to the needs of your business, your health and your personal growth -- at the same time -- your schedule fills up fast.
So, set aside one night per week as strictly time for you and your partner to connect. Whether it's a night in together, a date at a new restaurant or the rental of a hotel room, the habit of having at least one night for the two of you will make all the difference in your relationship.
Remove all distractions in order to be able to truly connect. Turn off your phones, hire a babysitter or do whatever you have to in order to just have fun with each another.
2. Weekly "co-founders" meetings
Every week, hold a (minimum) 30-minute "co-founders" meeting. This is different from a date night. It's a chance for you to bring up anything that could be improved in your relationship, or discuss the things that have been working.
Did you have a fight earlier in the week? Touch base on any communication slip-ups that need to be brought to light. This is the time to lay everything out on the table and ask the important questions.
- "How have you been feeling about our relationship lately?"
- "Is there anything I can do to make you feel more loved and appreciated?"
- "Is there anything you'll need from me in the coming week that you'd like to tell me about?"
- "How can I better support you?"
As intentional as you may be in the rest of your life, sometimes your relationship will slide down your list of priorities. Use this weekly allotment of time to get it back on track.
3. A calendar presence for your partner
Show me your calendar, and I'll show you your priorities. Your schedule is likely filled with meetings, product launches and sessions with your personal trainer. But beyond his or her birthday, is your partner represented there?
Start scheduling appointments with him or her, as you would an important client. Schedule your dates, add a reminder to pick up flowers, note a particularly big milestone coming up and even schedule sex. Because, you know what's better than the perception of spontaneity? A flourishing relationship that deeply fulfills you.
Scheduling in your partner makes him or her a more constant part of your life. No, you can't take that late meeting; you have plans to give your partner a back massage. Whether or not you want to tell that client on the phone your reason verbatim is up to you.
Maintaining and keeping plans tells your partner that he or she is just as important as any other part of your life. You know intuitively that when your relationship feels off, it affects every area of your life. Your emotions are all over the place, your work performance suffers and you generally feel defeated and distracted.
In contrast, when your relationship is thriving, it boosts your mood, business performace and general sense of well-being better than anything else available to you.
You've never chosen the easy route before. Why start now?