Following the Toronto Raptors’ Game 2 win over the Brooklyn Nets’ in their playoffs series (their first playoffs win in over six years), we saw DeMar DeRozan walk out of the locker room and into the company of two very special ladies: his daughter, held by his fiancee Kiara Morrison. This, we thought, is a lucky man—NBA players are some of the busiest men in the world, and yet they still seem to find ways to keep their relationships alive. It just takes a little work. Here’s how you too can keep your relationship moving forward, no matter what work gets in your way.
Turn downtime into time together
No matter how busy we are, we waste hours every day scrolling through collections of GIFs and commuting to our jobs. Instead, avoid letting time slip through your fingers. Meet up for lunch if you work within driving distance of one another, or pick each other up after work (like Kiara did)—if you get stuck in traffic, you’ll be stuck in traffic together. Likewise, you can make chores or grocery shopping a lot more pleasant if you tackle the job as a couple.
Sometimes, you’ll really get swamped up to your eyeballs in extra work. By not overusing the “I’m too busy to even text you” card, you’ll build trust with your girlfriend. That way, she won’t ever have to doubt your commitment to her even if you’re stuck committing date night to completing the Johnson report. The last thing you want her wondering is if you’re really that busy, which can lead to some major (and merited) resentment.
Speaking of which, use technology to your advantage. If all else fails and you are truly busy, you can still take 15 minutes out of your day to remind her that she’s a priority in your life. There’s no such excuse as being too exhausted or overbooked to set aside time to catch up on your daily goings-on. If you’re the overachiever type, you’re not fooling anyone by suggesting that you can’t swing a few minutes for the lady in your life if you’re great at using your time management skills to gun for that corner office.
Schedule time… without scheduling time
The funny thing about appointments is that you can generally move most of them around. Put this truism to use to find times that are convenient for her and compromise when you set up dates. A little bit of sacrifice goes a long way in making her feel appreciated, and your flexibility will be repaid when you truly can’t bump that 5:30 meeting with your boss. This also avoids the dreaded phone call nobody ever wants to get: “I’m busy Monday, Thursday and Friday. Are you free Wednesday between 3 and 4:30?” Nobody wants to feel like a chore.
Don’t take drastic measures
You may want to show your commitment, but do it in ways that don’t involve turning your life upside down. She wouldn’t expect you to quit your job for her, so stop eyeing that part-time, work-from-home contract just so you can have date nights on weekdays. Nor should you fast-track your relationship and move in together before you’re ready as a way of patching things up. Act like a grown man and find cool, calm and collected ways to make your relationship work instead. Taking a measured approach will make you far more attractive to her than the impulsive guy who cuts out his buddies for her.