Calendars: The Relationship Saver

Last week, I asked a good friend of mine what makes couples break up. My friend, a marriage counselor of 20 years experience, knows this better than most. “You know what?” he said. “It’s the everyday things. Dishes, cleaning, stuff like that”.

Of course, no couple breaks up because of cleaning alone. But those things, the constant annoyances of everyday life, tend to snowball. It’s starts with a small fight over cleaning, which leads to a bigger fight (“you never do what I ask of you”) and all of a sudden you’re packing your things, wondering what the hell happened that initial spark.

Fortunately, this seemingly banal relationship killer can be easily remedied. All you need is a calendar. From now on, everything goes in the calendar: Who’s cooking? What day is cleaning day? At what time are we leaving for the party? Set exact times and use reminders generously.

Using iCloud, you can create a shared calendar between you and your partner. If one person enters an event, a notification immediately pops up on the other’s phone. It also shows up in their calendar on their computer, iPad or phone. It’s a ridiculously simple way of improving the communication and planning in the relationship.

If you plan a night out with your friends, you can pick a day where you’re not expected to cook dinner. As an added bonus, your partner will immediately know about your plans in advance and you won’t have the “but I thought we were going to…” discussion later on.

Scheduling your lives may seem square at first, but what you’re really doing is freeing up time for the things that really matter. So many everyday annoyances can be removed by agreeing on the little things.