Life can be busy, especially as parents, and with a business in the mix! How do you keep the spark alive? We put the question to this group of entrepreneurs to find out…
Valentine’s Day has been and gone, but the need to maintain the love in your relationship is year-round! Life can get in the way, with busy work schedules, a family to take care of, meals to plan and social circles to maintain. Being a parent is busy, and running a business can make it even busier! We had a chat with our lovely Launchpad entrepreneurs to find out their best relationship advice, as well as learn how they make time for their other half alongside all their other commitments. Read on for their top tips for keeping the spark alive and some insider inspo for the best date night ideas and locations…
How do you make time for your partner?
1. Make time for each other
“We both run our own businesses, so making time for each other can be a challenge sometimes. One advantage we have is that we’re based in Spain, yet our businesses are in Asia. With the time differences, our evenings are normally quiet, as Asia’s asleep then. We often spend our evenings together once our daughter is in bed.
My best relationship advice would be that I believe it’s important to spend time together to catch up and discuss what’s going on in our lives and our businesses. Really making time for each other, and not just at the end of the day when we’re both tired. It’s easy to forget to do that when you’re busy. One thing we do almost every Friday is go for lunch together. This has really become ‘our’ thing. Trying out a new restaurant, enjoying the sun and being outside – it’s the perfect way to start the weekend and reconnect.”
Karin van Vliet, Distributor, Super Synbiotics Singapore
2. Partners that exercise together, stay together!
“My husband and I are in business together, so for us, “keeping the spark” alive means getting out of the office and not talking about work. At all. We don’t get the luxury of weekly date nights (like we used to before the joint business and two toddlers at home!). So instead, we get active together every day. We love sharing our weight training sessions, yoga classes, and evening runs together. It might not seem very romantic, but workouts together are actually great avenues for conversation, vulnerability, and a little bit of sexy sweat. We love a date night head massage at Oscar Head Spa in Clarke Quay, with a walk to a riverfront restaurant just after!”
Amanda Lim, Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Coach Amanda Lim
3. Be vulnerable and honest with each other
“My other half is my co-work spouse, and it’s been the greatest blessing ever. Key relationship advice from me is to ensure that your values, direction, and vision are always aligned. Our hearts beat as one, not just at home but also at work. We have a sacred twenty minutes of dinner or fruit time every day where we sit down to reflect or just vent about the day’s challenges and joys. This is done regardless of how busy we are. Every Friday and Saturday night, it’s “movie” time for us, and it’s always such a (simple) joy chilling out and relaxing. Sunday night is our “date” for our regular foot reflexology.
I also think it’s really important to be honest with each other and show your other half your vulnerable side. For us, it’s being honest about when the days of being an entrepreneur are so hard – and for me to appreciate the encouragement that he gives. As one who is busy at work and at home with two young kids and three fur kids, life, in general, can be very daunting and exhausting. But making time for each other has to be deliberate, intentional and disciplined. We recognise how important it is to be united as ONE couple to better lead our colleagues and our children.
Our best “date night” can be anywhere really (the location doesn’t define us). We could glam it up a bit, look good, feel good or even be decked out in our casual tees and shorts. Whatever it is, we must have the opportunity to talk to each other.”
Serene Seah-Ma, Group CEO, Freia Medical and Aesthetics
4. Be spontaneous, be present for each other, and book that staycation!
“It can get very busy with active little ones, working late in the evening on MiliMilu, and my husband’s hectic work, but we do try our best always to have the weekend together when we head to the beach, hike or enjoy our time at home. Less-planned date nights are the most fun ones; often, they are at home, as my other half makes the best BBQ. We love staycations (my favourite is Four Seasons), and now, with HK open, we are planning a few trips ahead so we can all have nice quality time together and be present for each other! The main tip is as busy life gets, make some time for each other; it can be as simple as watching TV shows together or having a meal together.”
Linda Morrison, Founder and Creative Director, MiliMilu
5. Communicate with your partner, and don’t try to be everything to everyone
“It’s no secret that relationships take work! It’s not just what happens before you start the business, but what happens after too. Having seen lovely couples break up, even when they were business partners, has helped me to see that business can be all-consuming. I think that being willing to accept your limitations as a human being is vital towards building a sustainable business and a sustainable family.
At the end of the day, that’s what we all want! Personally, I really don’t think it’s possible to have both at the same time. One has to give. I would say that in the early stages of building a business, asking for support from your partner and telling them that you need help is key. Letting your partner know that you can’t give as much time to them and the kids would probably help your partner to expect less from you. And in my opinion, that’s not a bad thing.
I think what could be worse is that you try doing both and end up dropping both. My suggestion is to accept your limitations and communicate them to your partner. It’s probably been the relationship advice that’s helped me the most.”
John Lim, Founder, Live Young and Well
6. Make time for each other with small gestures, date nights, and lots of laughs
“Being a mum and entrepreneur is like trying to balance a stack of pancakes on your head while juggling flaming chainsaws. And when you add in a partner who’s always travelling for business, it can feel like trying to balance that stack of pancakes while juggling flaming chainsaws in a tornado.
Despite the craziness, I think it’s important to make time for each other. Small gestures can go a long way, like complimenting each other on the little things, like finally finding the other sock or successfully navigating the grocery store with all four kids. And put the phones away! When someone starts talking, give them your full attention. I realised that these little things in our daily life can make a big difference.
Date night, even if it’s just a Netflix binge on the couch, is a must for us. And don’t forget to laugh! Life is crazy enough, so why not have a little fun while you are at it? It might seem like a hard one, but a little bit of humour and love can go a long way in keeping a relationship strong and healthy. Happy juggling!”
Dana Wolf, Feng Shui and KonMari Consultant, Anjia Living
7. Learn to speak your love language
“Looking for relationship advice, in my late twenties, I read the book ‘The 5 Love Languages”. It has brought me so much insight into relationships! My husband’s main love language is ‘physical touch’. Not being a touchy person myself, I have to remind myself regularly to give him those cuddles, foot rubs and head scratches he enjoys so much, even if I’m exhausted after a long day of shoots, editing and child minding.
To me, quality time together is important. Our favourite way to do that is to exercise together. This usually means a lengthy run on Saturday mornings, followed by coffee or brunch. If we are home in Austria, we make time to go hiking or cycling in the mountains.
Of course, we also make a point of having regular date nights, and as we are still fairly new to Singapore, we enjoy exploring different spots in the city. This is also great for my business, and helps me to find great locations for my next photoshoot!”
Rebecca Berger, Photographer/Owner, Rebecca Berger Photography
Thank you to our Launchpad members for sharing their stories! Have you got date night ideas you’d like to share with us? Let us know!