You’re in a committed long-term relationship and have always wanted a good career, when suddenly you find yourself working your way up the ladder to your dream goals and realise you’ve started to let things slip at home. Maybe your partner’s noticed that whilst you’re at home you’re elsewhere, or maybe they believe your priorities have changed.
First things first, wanting a good career isn’t a negative thing. It’s born into us, we want to do well and we want to succeed – but it wouldn’t be worth doing if we didn’t have someone to share that success with.
I have found it particularly difficult managing my demanding full time career whilst exploring new paths with my boyfriend, in terms of moving in together. We have been together for over five years now, but this past year has been a testing one for us. Between moving in together and my ever-changing and growing responsibilities at work, it’s been difficult to find the balance.
There have been times where I’ve sat and thought ‘Why doesn’t he get it?’ or ‘Sometimes, when I come home from work, I just want my own space’, and I don’t feel guilty for feeling this way.
Here’s what I’ve learnt so far, and some things that might help you too:
Look at the way in which you treat your relationship at home – This is a big one and can affect things in so many ways. Ever get in from work and just run upstairs and put your pj’s on then do your own thing? Yep, guilty. Instead of thinking how tired you are; put your god damn pj’s on and go and sit with your partner.
Ever sit watching tv together but you’re constantly on your phone? Turn it off! Make the most out of your tv time together, find a new series and make it your dedicated time to sit and be together with no distractions.
Dedicate an evening to date night. This really worked for us before my boyfriend started working shifts, every Thursday night became a cinema and meal date night. It was valuable one-on-one time and allowed me to de-stress ready for the weekend.
Sit down with your partner and make an effort to ask how their day was, how they are. Show an interest – this isn’t all about your career and equally, communicate about your goals – explain why you’re working so hard, that things may slip at home but it’s okay because soon it’s all going to be worth it.
All in all – have ten minutes to reflect on your goals and weigh up whether it really is worth it? How long am I going to have to work 80 hour weeks for? How much of my relationship do I really sacrifice?
Like I said at the start, it’s good to be successful and have career goals and I will continue to have mine but what I’ve learnt is that getting to where I want to be in my career wouldn’t be worth it if I couldn’t share it with my boyfriend and equally I wouldn’t be able to work in a demanding career if I didn’t have somebody supportive by my side.
Remember what’s important and don’t sacrifice time. It’s finding the right balance that works for both you and your partner, you might not get it right straight away or all of the time but keep putting in the effort and it will work out.
How are you balancing a career and a relationship? Does your partner understand you and your goals?