Building a lasting relationship amidst a demanding work life can feel like an impossible feat at times. In fact, studies show that over 56% of busy professionals log way more than 40 hours per week, while 63% say they work more than 5 hours on the weekends. Whether you’re married or single and ready to mingle, all this overtime leaves little to put towards maintaining a relationship. With the emergence of social media and texting, the general belief is that relationships have become easier to maintain. The truth is, texting and liking your significant other’s Instagram photos without spending in person time with them isn’t exactly a proper foundation for a healthy relationship. No matter your love language, quality time will always be an essential requirement for a lasting relationship.
So as busy professionals, how can we make healthy choices and balance a thriving career alongside a fulfilling and happy relationship?
Make – and Keep – Clear Commitments
If you’re someone with a demanding and intense work schedule, becoming more intentional, and scheduling time to prioritize your relationship is key. To doesn’t sound like the most romantic approach, but blocking out time in your diary communicates what’s really important to you. Another part of being intentional is creating a clear image of what you want your ideal relationship to look like and communicating that to your partner. Come to an agreeable amount of time you’d like to spend with each other and commit to that consistently. Whether it’s dinner and a movie once a week, a monthly night out on the town, or a quarterly weekend getaway together, the important thing is that you designate time for your relationship the way you would for work.
Carving out time for your loved one is the easy part. As busy professionals know all too well, the hardest part is keeping that commitment. When unforeseen issues at work arise that demand a few extra hours that happen to be on date night, it’s crucial you stick to your guns and say “no” to work. It’s in these situations where you’ll have to think long and hard about where your true priorities lie.
Avoid Treating Your Relationship Like Another Job
Dating and partnership offer a chance to relax, not to perform. The moment you start equating the demands of your job with the basic maintenance of your relationship, you’ve already lost sight of what’s important. This can be an especially difficult thing for busy professionals and entrepreneurs to grasp. When so much of our self-worth is thought to be based on our achievements, it can be hard to view relationships as something other than another goal you must check off your list. Or worse, it’s seen as a burden or chore you have to get through. On the contrary, your relationships are supposed to be a means to quiet your mind and enjoy yourself.
Being with your spouse or partner should be the very thing you’re looking forward to rather than another demanding task being asked of you. Consider taking a more balanced approach by catering to each other’s needs in the relationship vs. wearing yourself out trying to make each other happy.
When it comes to balancing your love life as a busy professional, it’s important to get clear on what “balance” means for you and your partner. Ensuring that both parties’ needs are being met is the cornerstone of a successful and fulfilling relationship on both sides. If a lasting partnership is something you really want, prioritization is an inevitable part of the process.
If things feel a little out of balance, and you’d like more time to build a life (and a relationship) you love, we’re here to help!