Do you feel like you are fighting for your significant other’s attention?
It seems as if they are either always at the office or plugged into their phone checking emails, responding to texts or answering calls. Plans are constantly being rescheduled and your significant other is willing to put anything aside for work – chances are you are dating a workaholic!
Relationships need care. Working too much, and in result, neglecting a significant other can have extremely negative effects on any relationship.
If you’re dating a workaholic, ask yourself, what drives my partner? Consider some probable causes: Do they have a highly demanding boss? Are they picking up the slack for a lazy coworker? Are they driven by the need for approval? Are they working on a business start-up? Seeking a promotion? Does he/she come from a family of hard-workers, and was brought up to think their work habits are normal? Try to put yourself in your significant other’s shoes and understand why work is so important to them!
Avoid playing the blame game – explain that you want more time together. Patience and open communication are essential – talk to them about how their work schedule makes you feel. It’s important that they understand life goes on, outside the office. Remind them you’re proud of them – no career – but just for who they are!
Bring perspective. Ask them if they were at the end of their life, what would be their greatest memory? What would they value most in life? Chances are, it’s not their job! Discuss the future, both personal and career goals. They may be truly passionate about what they do and love immersing themselves in their work. Or they may foresee the next five years as the time they need to focus on establishing themselves.
The signs of dating a workaholic should be easy to spot early on – decide if the relationship is worth fighting for. Keep in mind that you can never force someone to change who they are – in some situations, you may have to just accept who they are and decide whether the two of you are a fit or not.
He/she might not understand work/life balance. Talk to your partner – set boundaries together! Try to compromise and set ground rules. Set aside certain nights for just the two of you – no work! Turn off all electronics at dinner so there isn’t any temptation to check email or answer a quick call. Meet for lunch once a week. Most importantly, make the most of any time you have together.
Be independent! Keep a variety of hobbies and socialize with friends to avoid being too dependent on his/her company. Set goals for your own growth. There are also some positives to dating a workaholic. For example, it can motivate you to advance your professional career. You will never feel suffocated, and the time you do have together will be that much more valued.
Each relationship is unique. Each relationship presents challenges and requires work. Above all else, it’s about establishing what works for you! Focus on both understanding what drives your partner, and setting aside time specifically designated for together time away from all distractions!