Relationships: The Importance of a Joint Calendar
I’m excited to spend more time writing about relationships this year as I think it’s such an integral part of our lives (hubbies, S.O, friends, family, ALL the people). Last year I touched on a few topics: balancing work + personal life, not getting too comfortable, and wedding planning with your hubby-to-be.
To kick off this year, I wanted to chat about a topic that really hits home for couples, especially those who are newly dating or recently co-habitating: SCHEDULING. I’m talking flat out coordinating schedules and co-existing together as a unit. Initially I was surprised at the number of DM’s I received about this, even people submitting via the site. But then I was reminded how SCHEDULING was a serious issue/problem back when Andy and I first started dating. And then after moving in together/getting married we had to sit down again and discuss how we were going to manage our schedules especially as it related to cooking/ having meals together. We also SHARE A CAR!
My number 1 tip: CALENDARS, CALENDARS, CALENDARS.
With technology you basically have your pick of how you want to do this. We use a combination of google calendars and the apple calendar app (the one that automatically lives on your iPhone).
SHARE your calendars
Andy and I each manage our own personal calendars. Both Google and iCloud allow you to share your calendars with other people - USE IT! He has access to mine and it’s as simple as him looking at his phone when he wants to know what’s on the horizon - he can see what my travel plans are or what I’m up to that night for dinner (events, out with friends, etc.) This eliminates the middle of the day “are you home tonight?” texts or the “are you free on the 5th for a double date with XYZ?” Gchats.
This has helped us so much from a communication stand point because I used to feel like I was telling him my schedule ALL the time and repeating things I said earlier in the day which sometimes got V frustrating.
Calendar joint appointments/activities
I’m the social chair in our relationship. 90% of the time activities flow through me and when they do, I instantly put them on the calendar and invite him so it lives on both our calendars. He will do the same if he’s planning something (after looking at my calendar and making sure I am free). A lot of the times we don’t even discuss it because at this point in our relationship I know if he’s down for drinks Downtown on a Friday night (absolutely not - traffic is a b*tch) or dinner with my family (obligatory, always!) Obviously, it takes time to get to that point and believe me, we’ve grown leaps and bounds when it comes to scheduling.
Andy didn’t use a personal calendar (outside work) when I met him! He was super single and had no one to account for except himself. I was coming off an 8 year relationship and couldn’t fathom how a normal human could live without a personal calendar. It all came to a head when I booked a Palm Springs winter getaway for us (our first trip ever). I, of course, cleared the dates with him first ** checks non-existent calendar ** and he said he was free. The night before our trip, our text chain looked like this:
Andy: “it’s my best girl friend’s birthday party tomorrow night and I totally forgot.”
Ashley: “umm, okay, well we are supposed to leave work around 3pm to head to Palm Springs, remember?”
Andy: “I know, I totally forgot about her party. I really feel like I need to go though.”
Ashley: “okay, I guess we can drive to Palm Springs after. We probably won’t get there until like 1am then.”
What was I to do? Our relationship was new and I didn’t want to be THAT girlfriend that said “you can’t go to your best girl friend’s birthday party.” Even though it was HIS fault! I was obviously fuming and it all came out on our middle of the night drive to PS. Andy definitely felt bad but not bad enough to start a personal calendar.
It wasn’t until 2 or 3 more double booking issues that I finally looked at him and said “this has got to stop! you’ve got to start keeping track of things you’ve committed to!" And that, my friends, is when Andy became a calendar person.
Every couple is different in how they communicate and I’m sure there’s other really great methods for managing schedules, this is just what works for us. The “sharing” calendars thing is something we didn’t do until we got married but as of 2 or 3 yrs into dating we were adding appointments/inviting the other person for any joint activities. Hope this helps! Always open to hearing what other relationship topics/concerns you’re interested in discussing, so don’t hesitate to slide into my DM’s or send me an email. xo - Ashley