Make the Time to Invest in your Relationships

love1Editor’s Disclaimer: I’m no love doctor. I’m just a busy blogger who dates another busy blogger so I know how hard it is to juggle a relationship when you are both busy side hustling but believe me, it can be done!

Happy Monday Friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. This weekend I got together with my girlfriend who I hadn’t seen in over 5 years and of course one of our main topics of conversation was relationships!

Apparently side hustling isn’t just a blogger thing because my friend was telling me how her boyfriend who works full-time as a website developer (making over $70K/year) also spends all his free time working as a freelancer making an extra $5k-$10k a month!!! If you do the math, this adds up to a very decent income at the end of the year.

The problem is, he’s only able to make all this extra money a month because he will sometimes spend up to 14 hours a day working non-stop. She must have remembered all my earlier complaining mentions of J being a workaholic in the past because she was asking me for advice on how to date a workaholic. Boy oh boy, did I have some great advice to give her that I’m also going to be sharing with all y’all today!

Eat Dinner Together
No matter how busy J and I are, we always eat dinner together. We usually catch up with each other and find out how the other person’s day was during this time.

Accept His/Her Workaholic Tendencies
I found out really early in the relationship that J is a workaholic and even though I didn’t like it at first, I had to accept the fact that he is the kind of man who is always going to want to have a side hustle going because he simply likes to make more money. He will say it’s because an SEO Manager isn’t a stable career path but I know the truth! :P

Spend an Hour Each Weeknight Together Just Chilling
J and I will usually try to watch an episode of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad together during this time so no one feels neglected all evening. It may not be the most productive thing to do with our time, but it’s something we both enjoy and it’s relaxing!

Have Causal (Inexpensive or Free!) Date Night Once or Twice a Work Week
Once or twice a weeknight, we have a causal date night together where we will go for a walk, have a picnic or grab some ice cream together. Tomorrow night we are going to go see my favorite movie of all time, Clueless at an outdoor park!

Plan a Real Date Night on the Weekends
Weekends are usually full of errands, but J and I always find time to at least do something fun together.

Go to Sleep Together
Sometimes one person will stay up later catching up on work, but we always try to make an effort to go to bed at the same time. I can’t explain why but it does make a positive difference in the relationship.

Any other tips to add to my list? How do you balance love/family and side hustles?

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50 Comments on Make the Time to Invest in your Relationships

  1. Do or DebtNo Gravatar
    July 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm (9 months ago)

    Too funny, I just wrote a similar post! I think spending an hour together each night, especially at dinner and at least having one date night per week is SO IMPORTANT. It starts to be draining and straining if you don’t do those things! Damn, someone makes 5-10k per month in addition to 70k per year? I need to up my side-hustle game!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm (9 months ago)

      Great minds think alike! ;) It does start to be draining and straining if couples don’t spend QUALITY time together. J and I live together so we spend plenty of quantity time together but that’s usually with him working on his computer and me blogging on my laptop. These quality times together away from work, no matter how small make a world of a difference! As for my friend’s bf’s insane income – he works hard for it haha.

      Reply
  2. eemusingsNo Gravatar
    July 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm (9 months ago)

    Well, I’M the hustler/freelancer in our relationship, so I know what it’s like from the other side! Haha.

    I don’t know if I agree with the last point. On the road, I’m usually more tired than he is. Back home, I am the night owl (he starts work about 3 hours earlier than I do) and I usually use my late night hours to fit in work. Game of Thrones was definitely the one thing we always sat down together to on a Monday though :)

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm (9 months ago)

      I’m not sure why the sleep thing works for us but we both agree that it’s good for the relationship so that’s why we make an effort to go to bed at the same time. It also helps that our work hours are similar and we take the 45 minute train together into work M-F so we wake up at the same time each morning. Game of Thrones, it’s bringing millions of couples together each week I bet :P

      Reply
  3. debtfreeonedayNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 12:05 am (9 months ago)

    I love the date night option! My hubby works away a lot so when he’s around I don’t do too much blogging – not as much as I would like! We don’t get to go out much these days because of our daughter and the expense of getting a babysitter, but we do go for walks every night when he’s here as a family with our dog and we always eat and go to bed at the same time. I agree – it does make a difference! Then, when he’s working away, I don’t feel too guilty about spending time with my blog :) P.S. Clueless is one of my favourite movies too!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm (9 months ago)

      That’s awesome you go for walks every night he is home! Clueless is my absolute favorite movie. I remember being a teenager and everyday going home afterschool and watching that movie for 5 months straight lol. Cher was like totally my hero ;)

      Reply
  4. GirlCountingPenniesNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 12:20 am (9 months ago)

    Great tips! I agree it is very important to make an effort and spend as much time together as possible no matter how busy your schedules are.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm (9 months ago)

      Quality time together is priceless!

      Reply
    • Marissa @ Thirty Six MonthsNo Gravatar
      July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am (9 months ago)

      I completely agree with you. I know of a couple that became really busy with their respective jobs and didn’t make efforts to see each other – they broke up.

      Reply
  5. NatashaNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 1:06 am (9 months ago)

    Communication is the key. You need to be on the same page. What goals is your partner trying to achieve. My bf and I have been together 3 years in October and we have always been on opposite shifts. He always works days and I always work nights mostly because I am not a morning person and we never have days off together. It wasn’t so bad before because he would still be up when I got home from work so he would have dinner ready for me and we would talk in bed before we go to sleep which really meant we would talk until he would fall asleep on me which I was in the middle of talking. He was then and still is now the #1 person I text. We were friends for a year before we started dating so we knew what we were getting into. We knew that each other was a workaholic that if work called us to work and extra shift we were going to take that shift. We both knew that we both like our alone time so the opposite shifts always worked for us. We knew that we would never get days off together so we decided then that if we really wanted to spend time together that we would book the days off. We eventually started getting the same days off together but it only lasted like 6 months and of course during the winter when there is like nothing to do. Now he has a new job so we see each other on average if we are lucky 12 hours a week. I’m asleep when he gets up and he’s asleep when I get home. We usually text each other a couple times a day some days we don’t text at all. It ultimately makes the time we spend together a bit more special even if it is just running around doing errands. We don’t have cable so when we do see each other we are usually watching one of the tv series we have on dvd which is currently Roseanne. If its sunny sometimes we walk down to the school and shoot some hoops or go for a walk at scout island. Our joke is that we have been together so long because we don’t see each other. I believe our relationship is stronger because we don’t see each other a lot.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm (9 months ago)

      I think it takes 2 people very dedicated to each other to be able to make a relationship like that work. Congrats Natasha! :)

      Reply
  6. cjNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 3:25 am (9 months ago)

    Tim and I work different hours of the day. He’s usually in bed an hour or so before my alarm goes off for me to get up. He’s home 3 to 4 nights a weeks depending on the week

    We see a lot of each other, sleeping because even tho he’s home those 3 to 4 days, he still has to keep the same hours but he does tuck me in when it’s time for me to go to bed. But we do eat dinner together on the nights he is home.

    We communicate a lot via text or Google Chat and I will sometimes bring dinner out to his work if I go out to the farm. Sometimes, he will stop by my work for lunch (his breakfast) or just a walk down to the store.

    Really tho, it’s about give and take. A few years ago he worked the early morning shift and would be home way before I got off. He’d take a nap, usually have dinner ready or we’d cook something together and then we’d go out to the farm together. Sometimes, I miss those days but he has ambitions that I’m proud of and his promotion came with these crazy hours.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm (9 months ago)

      It really is all about give and take! It sounds like you both support each other wonderfully cj! :)

      Reply
  7. Holly@ClubThriftyNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 4:58 am (9 months ago)

    I’ve been with Greg for nine years and it has been about 99 percent bliss! I agree that making time for each other is the key. Now that we have kids, we almost always get a babysitter on Saturday nights so that we can go out alone. We also take at least one kid-free trip each year… In fact, we’re going to Mexico without the kids next week! Its not exactly frugal but since my marriage is the most important thing in my life it’s definitely worth the extra money.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm (9 months ago)

      You guys are so obviously in love, I love it! :) I think it’s awesome that even after kids, you and Greg still go out and have date night once a week. I think it’s even more awesome that you take at least one kid-free trip a year!

      Reply
  8. DaisyNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 6:24 am (9 months ago)

    I’m the one who is always working and busy, and it’s definitely hard, but I found even time together in small doses like you’ve mentioned is important. We try to always go to bed together, and if we can’t, whoever goes first will stay up until the other comes to bed.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm (9 months ago)

      Awww Daisy, that’s so cute that whoever goes to bed first stays up until the other comes to bed! :)

      Reply
  9. Budget and the BeachNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 7:19 am (9 months ago)

    I used to date a workaholic and the only way to make it work is to have that structured time. For some reason it seems to help because otherwise they just don’t “make time.” Glad you and J have that!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm (9 months ago)

      Trust me, J wasn’t so enthusiastic about it at first, but I think he is now finally starting to see the benefits of making time for each other during the work week lol.

      Reply
  10. John S @ Frugal RulesNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 7:43 am (9 months ago)

    Wow, it sounds like you & Jeremy are just like my wife and I. She calls my computer my mistress as I always seem to be on it. What can I say though, I like to be busy and doing what I can to grow our business. ;) That said, you’re spot on – if you’re not putting time in to the relationship to be together and be away from the computer then too many things just fall by the wayside.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm (9 months ago)

      J always says he spends so much time being on his computer because it’s for OUR future’s benefit -which I appreciate, but I want to make sure I get more time than the mistress does :P

      Reply
  11. annaNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 8:15 am (9 months ago)

    Aww, I love that pic! I completely agree about daily hang time, even it’s just dinner or watching TV – just being next to B makes me feel connected with him, and we’re able to talk about the day’s events or future plans. I also like our boring weekend ritual of going to the gym, doing errands, etc. since we have a system based on teamwork all dialed in. Great tips, GMD!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm (9 months ago)

      Chill time is so key. Our weekend is usually full of boring errands too but doing them together make it slightly less painful and feels more like teamwork like you mentioned. We always try to finish our errands early so we can have fun time :)

      Reply
  12. Kendal @HassleFreeSaverNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 8:33 am (9 months ago)

    My husband and I aren’t workaholics, but we seem to have different interests that keep us from each other periodically. Like you and J, we always try to eat dinner together and will go on the occasional after-work bike ride when the mood strikes. Sometimes, the best way to catch up is when we go to bed – laying there and chatting until one of us dozes off works pretty well!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm (9 months ago)

      J isn’t much of a talker in bed because the moment his head hits the pillow he seems to start snoring, so we always try to chat and catch up during dinner time haha.

      Reply
  13. MichelleNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 9:07 am (9 months ago)

    Love this post! W and I both work a ton, and sometimes it does get hard because one of us is always extremely tired, and usually it’s the both of us!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm (9 months ago)

      J and I know all about being extremely tired. Sleeping in late on weekends is a nice luxury we enjoy! That is until one of the cats wakes us up haha

      Reply
  14. CFNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 9:20 am (9 months ago)

    I’m more of the workaholic than Brian is, but we both have our moments. It’s fun if you can help each other in your side hustles. When Brian goes to sell glowsticks, I will come visit him and hang out. When I’m at work on the weekend, he’ll come and go to the gym and we’ll have lunch together.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm (9 months ago)

      J and I write seperate blogs so we don’t help each other out, but we do bounce ideas of each other often. I think it’s cute you and Brian make an effort to go see each other when one of you is working weekends!

      Reply
  15. Newlyweds on a BudgetNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 10:50 am (9 months ago)

    my husband works 24 hour shifts and now we’re both working and going to school full-time. So we are VERY busy. We try to enjoy the small moments we have together but two things we always try to do is eat dinner together when we’re home together, and we always go to bed at the same time. Other than that, there are no guarantees!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm (9 months ago)

      Wow! You two do sound like you have very busy schedules! That’s awesome you both make an effort to eat dinner and go to bed at the same time when it’s possible!

      Reply
  16. Sam Gill @ Digital SpikesNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 11:20 am (9 months ago)

    Fully agree with you. If you can’t spend time with you dear ones then no point in earning lots of money. It is all about investing and nurturing relationships. Dinners are best way to catch up after stressful work throughout the day

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm (9 months ago)

      I like that – “investing and nurturing relationships.” :)

      Reply
  17. zimmy@moneyandpotatoes.comNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 11:54 am (9 months ago)

    I have worked nights at my job for many years and I have to agree that making time for your relationship is the key. If you don’t schedule a date night, you will just schedule more work instead. Go ahead and put it on the calender and stick to it once it is there.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm (9 months ago)

      Exactly. J wasn’t exactly scheduling date nights during the work week, so I had to step in lol.

      Reply
  18. Mo' Money Mo' HousesNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm (9 months ago)

    Agreed. Setting that special time together is super important!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm (9 months ago)

      So important!

      Reply
  19. SarahNNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm (9 months ago)

    Wow your boy’s in SEO too! So’s mine! And he’s into his side hustles too *ekk did I just say that, I have been infiltrated by PF blogger speak*

    Without having to ‘say’ it, we have met most of those ‘rules’. We always eat dinner together – and when at my house, always at the table without TV (his house has no table!). Means we properly talk. He has adjusted to my early bedtimes, and I let them slide a little later. We’re always going to bed together (and part of me wishes, like my parents, we got up together, but I know I start unconstitutionally early!). I have to try really hard to ‘watch’ something without laptoping at the same time… He’s realised how much I can be sucked in. I was even replying to comments as he set up the show we were going to watch! But I’d rather be ‘busy’ than bemoaning him ‘just finishing something’ for work on his computer…

    Great little post!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm (9 months ago)

      SarahN, I don’t know if you know that J is actaully Jeremy from Modest Money. http://www.modestmoney.com/ So we are 2 PF bloggers trying to side hustle for different reasons :P I’m notorious for laptoping too! It’s rather ironic because last night when I published this post, I was approving my comments on my cell phone while in bed and he was telling me it was sleep time LOL.

      Reply
      • SarahNNo Gravatar
        July 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm (9 months ago)

        I did know he was from another blog, but it’s not one I knew before I ‘met’ you… So feel honoured, I’m ‘your’ friend :p I thought you meant on the other side of SEO. My BF works for companies who want to improve the SEO, and the other half of his company sells SEM and that sort of stuff… so I think I got confuzzled a little there… All so techy – I just keep the lights on and the power pumping from the poles to the wires :)

        Reply
        • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
          July 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm (9 months ago)

          You weren’t confuzzled at all – J’s day job is an SEO Manager. And I’m happy and honoured you are ‘my’ friend :)

          Reply
  20. Marissa @ ThirtysixmonthsNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm (9 months ago)

    I’m the workaholic in my relationship, but you’re right- date nights and a set schedule makes all the difference.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm (9 months ago)

      It really does :)

      Reply
  21. E.M.No Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm (9 months ago)

    I totally agree on going to sleep together. It feels weird if we don’t! Ever since I started blogging it’s been hard to find a balance. I know my boyfriend has been feeling a little neglected, and it’s even harder because he wakes up super early and goes to bed early. We’re just not on the same schedule. We do eat dinner together and catch up, but sometimes just cuddling for a little will make a difference. It’s great that you’re so understanding of J being motivated and driven, and that you support him. Not everyone would be, and I’m sure it’s not easy some days (thinking back to an ex that preferred playing video games instead of paying attention to me…at least J is being productive!).

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm (9 months ago)

      I have to admit, I became a lot more understanding of J’s workaholic habits/side hustling AFTER I started blogging too lol. Blogging is great fun but it’s A LOT of work to build up a new blog…

      Reply
  22. Lindsey @ Cents & SensibilityNo Gravatar
    July 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm (9 months ago)

    Thanks for this reminder GMD. This was a good read for me. In my relationship, I am the workaholic and sometimes I forget to spend the time with the people important to me – like my new husband. :/ I like your tips – they’re easy to do and it keeps everyone feeling connected. He’s lucky to have you in his life to remind him about what’s important.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm (9 months ago)

      Thanks Lindsey! That’s so kind of you to say. I remind J all the time that he’s lucky to have me in his life as well :P

      Reply
  23. Rachel@MobilligyNo Gravatar
    July 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm (9 months ago)

    My hubby is also a workaholic, and we tend to abide by the rules you listed. The most important one for us is having dinner together (without the television on!). We didn’t used to have side hustles going, and so we’d spend all evening on the couch together. Now, though, we are both pretty aggressively pursuing “passion projects” on the side, so we sit at the dinner table and eat together without any distractions. Then, we each retire to our respective offices for the rest of the evening and work until one of us decides it’s time for bed. We’ll both finish up what we’re working on and try to go to bed together.

    I honestly think this works so well because we both have things going on that we want to spend time working on – I think it would be really hard if he wanted to work all evening and I didn’t have anything going on.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      July 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm (9 months ago)

      It definitely helps that I blog too which looking back is probably why he pushed so hard for me to start one in the first place I think lol.

      Reply

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