I’m a 29-year-old woman who has met a charming gentleman online. After chatting online for almost two weeks we finally met in person and hit it off. We’ve been dating now for well over a month. One thing that has become crystal clear is that I am definitely a morning person and he is an absolute night owl. We both made concerted efforts to go out in spite of our normal scheduling tendencies. Even so, it is now becoming an issue. I feel that if we don’t tackle this head-on we are going to start seeing less of one another and eventually the relationship could suffer. What can I do? How can I morning person and a night owl sustain a long-term relationship?
This is a problem that arises frequently. As you said, in the beginning, the problem is easily swept under the rug. During the euphoria of the first few dates, it is easy to make time-related sacrifices. However, as the relationship begins to enter an established routine, it can stress the lifestyle of one or both partners.
You should first have a conversation with your partner and make it clear that you are a morning person and that you understand that he is a night owl. Do not post it as a problem and do not make him feel guilty about his preferred schedule. Suggest to him that you should rotate your preferred schedule on a weekly basis. In other words, spend one week scheduling dates that follow your preferred daytime routine and spend the alternate week following his late night schedule.
Keep in mind, the above-stated suggestion should function as a bridge until a more permanent solution can be reached. Usually, as a relationship matures, the different habits of both partners begin to fade and a mutual routine begins to converge and form. That means that after a few weeks or months of dating you’ll find that your schedules will begin to meld on their own.
This doesn’t mean that you will abandon your enjoyment of a morning routine, nor does it mean that he will abandon his late-night productivity sessions. What it will mean is that the hours of activity that you do share will be placed to better use as a couple.