You don’t want to be the man working late nights trying to make ends meet, and one day, you find out your girlfriend does not want a relationship with your anymore. It’s true, work has been particularly heavy-handed with the hours, but you didn’t expect this to happen.
When confronted, she points out that you’ve been unavailable for months. She says that she’s felt alone for so long, that she no longer feels like she’s in a relationship with you. She leaves you for the other man. You knew you kept saying that you were busy, but you never realized how much it hurt her.
Believe it or not, breakups sparked by overworking oneself are fairly common. This is especially true when you’re working long hours while your partner’s taking care of the kids.
Learning how to balance work with relationships is a crucial part of keeping the partner you care about happy.
Let’s talk about it using our step-by-step technique to balance work with dating and relationships-
1. Ask yourself if your work schedule has become problematic
It’s true that everyone needs to work to survive, and it’s also true that being passionate about your work is a great thing. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that tends to praise being a workaholic or devoting every waking moment to work.
Certain industries (including finance and music) can even require it as a prerequisite for success. This isn’t healthy for anyone involved. If you are overworking yourself on purpose, then you may need to take a step back from your career if you truly want to have a relationship.
If any of these signs are true, it may be time to make a conscious effort to decrease your work hours:
- You work more than 55 hours a week. Honestly, even 50 hours a week is a lot of time to spend at work. Any more than 55 work hours, and you may be giving up vital time to exist as a person.
- You use work as a way to escape from things. Do you consciously bury yourself in work? Work can be a great way to get energy out, but if you find it turning into an addiction, then it may be time to address your workaholism.
- Your partner has begged and pleaded with you to stop working so much. Has it gotten to the point that you’ve seen your girlfriend cry over the fact that she barely sees you? Has she mentioned feeling alone in the relationship? That’s not a good sign.
- You feel like you’re not really living as much as you are existing to work. This may be a sign that you are not earning a living wage—at least for your lifestyle.
- People have called you a workaholic or made comments about your work ethic. There are comments about being a good worker, and then there are comments that make you realize that people are worried for you. If you regularly have to deal with people calling you a work addict, it may be a smart idea to look into workaholism.
- Your family and partner have been pleading with you to decrease your workload. This is generally a sign that you’re either ignoring them or that they are terrified for your health.
You cannot feasibly balance work and your relationships if you are working insane hours. This is a sign that you are overworking yourself and that you may need to get a different job that doesn’t work you until you break.
2. Don’t compromise personal life for work
It’s important to remember that you should not live to work, but rather, work to live. Workaholism is a little-discussed addiction that can destroy relationships, daring lives, and more. Like any addiction, it’s often best to ask for help or set hard boundaries with yourself.
If it’s a matter of an overbearing employer, you may need to rethink your career and take steps to find a better position elsewhere. No amount of money is worth overworking yourself to the point that you stop living.
Going for a more minimalist lifestyle can make leaving overly demanding jobs easier. At times, you have to choose between paying down your bills and staying with golden handcuffs.
3. Ask yourself if you’re really looking for a relationship
Many men tend to pursue a relationship when they don’t actually want to be in a relationship. They do this because people tell them that they are broken or wrong for not wanting to be partnered up—or because people pressure them to follow a specific life script.
It’s okay to be more interested in your career than meeting with women. It’s also perfectly fine to be more invested in hobbies than to be interested in dating or even having sex. The truth is, you should never try to go into dating if you aren’t feeling it.
This is your life to live, and if you’re honestly satisfied with how things are going, there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.
4. Start by carving out time for both your work and life
Work is one of those things that can bleed into every facet of your life. You have to set clear boundaries and go so far as setting times for each type of relationship. Here’s the scoop on how to do this:
- Set your work hours and have clear boundaries about after-hours work. It’s okay to tell others that you will not answer cell calls after 6 PM. You have a right to your own time with your family, dates, and friends.
- Make a minimum amount of hours to devote to family, relationships, and friends. A good starting point is to carve out 12 hours a week for all of them combined. This gives you five-hour-long family dinners, two 3-hour nights out with dates, and a little extra time for friends.
- Figure out what days and hours are best for your social life. This is a great way to pre-plan stuff and make sure that others know when you’re free. Most of the time, Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the most popular days for dates and love-related stuff. Sundays are often better for family time.
5. Remember that it does not take much to show you care
Let’s say that you’re in a really tight bind as far as time goes. It happens to the best of us.
This doesn’t mean that you should “go dark” on everyone you care about. It only takes a couple of seconds to text them that you’re thinking of them—and only 10 minutes to give them a phone call.
When you’re neck deep in work, the right woman will know that you care when you give her a text saying you care about her.
Most of us know when someone cares through the little things that they do for us.
6. Always block out time for major anniversaries, holidays, and life events
They may be “just another day” on the calendar to everyone else, but things like anniversaries and birthdays are huge for the people who they involve.
Anniversaries, particularly wedding anniversaries, should be an all-day event whenever possible.
Many relationships end because of one partner skipping out on major life events one time too many. We’ve all heard about relationships that ended because a partner didn’t attend a funeral, a wedding, or even the birth of their child.
Don’t be that guy. Work will always be there. Those days won’t.
7. Make more time for those around you
One of the easiest ways to get a better work-life balance is to figure out ways to make more time for the stuff you care about.
This means that you should look at maximizing your efficiency on every chore and work front. These tips below can help you do way more while keeping in touch with those you care about:
- If you can, hire a cleaning service. Even if it’s just the teenager next door doing your laundry, the amount of time that it frees up might shock you. On a similar note, you should not put the entire burden of housework on your partner. That’s not freeing up time—that’s being a jerk.
- If you can’t hire a cleaning service, turn chore time into bonding time. You would be surprised at how much fun going grocery shopping can be with your date. Bonding with your kids or family members over things like cleaning can be remarkably wholesome and also gives your family time to talk to you.
- Bring your dates or loved ones to the gym with you. There is nothing wrong with being the family (or couple) that stays fit together.
- Outsource work whenever you can. This isn’t always doable, but if you are a freelancer or a business owner, this can make a world of difference.
- Maximize the time you spend with lunch, brunch, and coffee dates. These times might be in the middle of the day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to form a connection with people. These dates are casual, but they can still help you find the partner you’ve wanted to find.
Deep down inside, you know when something is a priority because it becomes your top focus. Ask yourself what you really want out of life. It’s okay if you don’t actually want a partner or to date. This life is about you, not what society expects you to do.
Most of us have had a date where one person just wouldn’t stop staring at their phone, or where the date had a minimal grasp of what a conversation is supposed to be like. It’s terrible! If you want to see a major improvement in your social life, put away the phone and make yourself present.
Of course, this also has to go both ways. If you’re with a date whose idea of “quality time” is staring at her iPhone and giving one-word answers, it may be in your best interest to cut the date short.
8. Choose activities that encourage bonding
Most people underestimate how much one’s choice of activity can make an impact on how closely you bond.
The best activities for bonding include playing board games with one another, sports, going camping, and communicating.
It’s best to avoid bonding time that involves a screen. Going to the movies, for example, may be fun, but it doesn’t give you time to converse with someone. It just gives you something to talk about—and if you’re short on time, that translates into a lost opportunity to talk.
9. Choose the people around you wisely, and spend time with those who enrich your life
It’s important to remember that you can make a lot more time in your day if you try to, but there are still only 24 hours per day. This means that you have to choose who to spend that precious time with if you want to maximize that time.
If you are dating women you feel lukewarm about, keep an eye open for someone who you feel may be better suited for you.
If you notice that people are not returning the same effort you put in, reduce time spent with them until they change their behavior.
The only people who you should always make a point of making time for are your family. Your family will be there when friends bail on you and they will be the ones who end up being closest to you in your old age.
Today, men feel more “stretched thin” than ever before—but the power to fix this is within you.
Do you feel like your work would implode without you? Does it feel like you’re constantly being pulled in multiple directions, with no way to actually get five minutes to breathe?
Getting to the point that you are able to get your schedule freed up can be more daunting than you want to admit, especially if it’s a matter of peer pressure in the job.
Having someone who can help guide you to a better life is often what men need, but don’t have. The right guide can help you figure out how to balance a precarious work-life situation and also give you the push you need to get the life you’ve always wanted.
Our program is designed to help men become the person they always wanted to be, but it takes the right type of person to work with our coaches. The question is, are you ready for that big step?