As co-owners of a boutique, my partner and I find the holiday season overwhelmingly busy. We're passionate about our business, but the increased workload takes a toll on the time we have for each other, often leaving us feeling more like business partners than life partners. How can we balance the seasonal rush with maintaining the intimacy and connection in our relationship?
The holiday season on its own can be filled with non-stop activities and taking care of other people but then adding in a demanding job or owning a business together, it can definitely feel overwhelming. The scenario you're facing is a common plight for entrepreneurial couples, especially during the holiday season when business demands can overshadow personal connections. I see this in my practice among entrepreneurs but also among couples that work 9-5 jobs and are juggling a lot of personal demands. It’s crucial to remember that the health of your relationship can significantly impact the health of your business.
Here are some strategies to help you get through this holiday season while feeling engaged and connected to your partner. The first step is to acknowledge that your relationship is the cornerstone of your business/life. Without a strong partnership, the business or family could suffer. It can be helpful to schedule regular check-ins with each other, not about work, but about how you're feeling and what you need from each other emotionally. These moments of vulnerability can strengthen your bond.
Second, establish clear work-life boundaries. Decide on a time when the workday ends, and personal time begins. This might mean turning off business phones or stepping away from the work area if you work from home. Boundaries help in compartmentalizing your roles as business partners and life partners.
Next, take the time to celebrate your business achievements together. Whether it's hitting a sales target or receiving positive customer feedback, acknowledging these moments can remind you of the success you're building together, beyond just the financial aspect. If you don’t own a business together, use this same principle to celebrate each other's achievements at work or in life. Maybe you or your partner hit an important achievement in their hobby or they finally solved a problem they have been working on for a while. Take the time to acknowledge it and celebrate it, even if it feels insignificant.
Find small ways to integrate shared, non-work-related activities into your daily routine. It could be as simple as a morning walk, preparing a meal together, or setting aside time in the evening to unwind and talk about your day. This intentional time is incredibly important for maintaining connection.
It’s important to remember that the holiday season won't last forever, and to plan for downtime afterward. Book a weekend getaway or a staycation where the focus is on resting and enjoying each other's company without the interruption of work or other obligations. It’s also important to support each other's need for individual space and self-care. Encourage your partner to engage in activities that rejuvenate them, and ensure you do the same. This individual growth contributes to a healthier, more balanced relationship.
The holiday season is indeed a test of balance and resilience for couples. By implementing some of these strategies, you can ensure that your relationship not only survives the holiday rush but also comes out stronger. Remember, the life you’re building is a testament to your partnership.
Queerly Beloved is an expertly curated column dedicated to the world of LGBTQ sex, intimacy and relationships that provides education, insights and actionable tips for the reader to enhance their pleasure journey. This column from Kelly Ghweinem, LCSW, will answer questions and provide advice to readers to deepen intimate connections, elevate pleasurable experiences, and empower people. Ghweinem is an established queer-affirming therapist and business owner who champions the LGBTQ+ community through activism and advocacy utilizing a queer, feminist, anti-racist lens. A University at Buffalo graduate, Kelly came to Fort Lauderdale from Manhattan in 2022.
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