Maintaining Relationships With Different Work Schedules

Updated on February 14, 2018
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Candace lives in Tennessee with her husband and a bunch of furry creatures.

Many people sleep during the day and work at night.
Many people sleep during the day and work at night. | Source

In today's world, people work many different types of work shifts throughout all hours of the day and night. So finding yourself on a different work schedule from your significant other is pretty common.

When couples are on different work schedules, it can make maintaining the relationship harder. Staying connected with your significant other when you are on opposite schedules can be tough, but it isn't impossible.

Here are tips for couples to manage different work and sleep schedules and still remain close emotionally. There are also ideas for handling sleeping arrangements so both of you get the rest you need.

Working the night shift can be hard on your body and on relationships.
Working the night shift can be hard on your body and on relationships. | Source

Tips for Managing Different Schedules

Making relationships work is all about making time for each other despite hectic schedules that don't coincide. If you and your spouse or significant other are on a different shift, it doesn't mean you can't continue to have a good relationship.

These are some ideas to stay connected even when you aren't on the same schedule as your loved one:

  • Designate time to spend together at least once a week. Don't plan anything else during this time. It doesn't have to be anything special. It can just be sitting on the couch watching tv. The important thing is to be together when you are both awake.
  • Try to spend a bit of time together every day when your paths cross. Squeeze in time for a kiss at the door or a quick conversation in the hall. Connect in the spare moments you have.
  • Eat a meal together daily. It may be breakfast for one person and dinner for the other. That doesn't matter as long as you get a chance to sit down and eat with each other.
  • Try to schedule your days off for the same day as your significant other when you can. That way you both can relax together without having to worry as much about schedules.
  • Meet for lunch breaks when you can. If one of you is off, go out and meet your partner when he or she is on break.
  • Vacations together are important for any relationship. They are time to reconnect and spend quantity time as a couple.
  • Leave notes for each other. Tell each other about things in the household. Say "I love you" and other romantic messages.
  • Text, email, and phone are other great ways to manage being apart. Other technologies like Skype, Facebook, Instant Messenger, Google Hangouts, and Facetime are also great if your workplace allows it.

Having a designated area for sleep and another space for other activities can ensure that everyone gets proper rest.
Having a designated area for sleep and another space for other activities can ensure that everyone gets proper rest. | Source

What works for you?

How do you and your significant other handle sleeping arrangements when you are on different shifts?

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Sleeping Arrangements for Different Schedules

Apart from finding enough time together, sleeping arrangements can be one of the biggest problems for couples who are on different sleep shifts. This is especially true for light sleepers.

Ways to make sleeping more comfortable for couples who don't always sleep at the same time:

  • If you share a bed and room, try to be respectful of each other and keep noises and disturbances in the room to a minimum. For instance, get headphones for the tv, computer, or any other devices.
  • Some people find it easier to share a room, but not a bed. Twin beds for couples are actually starting to become a bit of a trend. It can be good for people on different schedules because you won't disturb each other when you get up or lie down. And they can always be pushed together when you want.
  • Light sleepers may consider having separate bedrooms. That way you won't wake your significant other up while doing normal activities and you are each able to get the rest you need. Days off and vacations can be times when you can sleep together.
  • Many people find that polyphasic sleep schedules work for them. These are basically sleep schedules where your sleep is broken into shorter lengths more frequently during the day. Some people sleep for a few hours, then take a shorter nap during the day. Others have more periods of sleep. Adopting sleep schedules like these could give you and your significant other more time together.

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