How to Balance Your Relationship and Your Career

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If you belong to the half of all employed U.S. adults who label themselves “workaholics,” you probably know how hard it is to maintain a good work-life balance. With many professionals working around 50 hours per week—and sometimes more—carving out enough time for yourself can be tough. Add in a romantic partner, and things can get even harder!

Of course, if your career holds great value for you, finding ways to strike the perfect relationship balance can be crucial. How do you give yourself enough time to focus on your work without sacrificing your time with your partner?

We won’t lie: this can be a tricky prospect. However, with the right tips, it’s far from impossible. If you’re hoping to make the most of your work life and love life, here’s what you should do.

Consider Where You Spend Your Time

Before you can work on creating a stable work-life balance, you’ll need to understand where your time goes. If you and your partner are both working long hours, especially if it ranges between 50-70 hours per week, you’ll need to figure out how to maximize the time you do have together.

Sit down and figure out how much free time the two of you tend to have during the week. If you’re not happy with the limited time available to spend together, look for places where you can carve out more time.

Can you sneak a quick breakfast together most days? How can you make the most of those ten-minute breaks? Can you spend time running errands together or have joint exercise sessions on weekends?

Making the most of your spare time to connect with your partner—using the tips below—can help.

Set Boundaries

Many career-oriented couples find that their work begins to bleed into their home life, making them feel “on call” at all times. This often means that their energy and time go toward their work, even when they’re at home.

Setting clear boundaries can help you prioritize both your love life and your work life in equal measure. These boundaries will vary depending on your needs, but no matter what expectations you set, it’s important to communicate them with your partner and your team at work.

Consider setting boundaries around the time you’ll leave work, when you’ll answer work calls, and whether your team can contact you on your days off. You may also need to decide things like how often you’ll work from home or when you can check your phone at dinner.

Once these boundaries are in place, it’s easier to manage your needs without feeling guilty about them.

Communicate Often

Communication is key when it comes to balancing any relationship, and it’s especially important when your careers are huge parts of your lives. There are three main ways to focus on your communication when it comes to a solid work-life balance:

Big-Picture Goals

Start by communicating your big-picture goals and values. What are you hoping to achieve in the long term, both with your career and outside of it, and are there ways you and your partner can work on them together?

Deciding on dreams and goals you’re both interested in achieving can give you a sense of shared connection. Consider sitting down to create a bucket list that both of you can work toward with anticipation.

Major Decisions

Make sure you’re considering your spouse’s insights on every major career decision. In a marriage, you’re no longer an independent party managing your own life, and your partner should have equal say in the discussion around any big moves you’re making. This includes major changes like quitting, relocating, and promotions, as well as the financial adjustments that come with them.

Everyday Connections

In terms of everyday contact, making an effort at frequent communication can breathe life into your relationship. In many ways, partners who work long hours are experiencing a long-distance relationship, which can take effort to spice up. When you have limited time together, keeping in touch can help you stay connected.

Give your partner a quick call during your commute, share a silly picture, or send them a text to let them know you’re thinking of them. Surprise them with a gift in their love language like getting lunch delivered to their office. Small gestures like these show that you care even when you aren’t together.

Stick to Your Schedule

If you and your partner have a rigorous work schedule, it often helps to make sure you schedule time for the two of you as well. This might seem decidedly unromantic at first, but putting time with your spouse into your calendar shows how much value you put on your time together.

Unless it’s a true emergency, make a point of never rescheduling time with your spouse. Whether you have a running date night or you’ve set up a weekend getaway, view this time as a sacred opportunity to spend time with someone you love.

Be Present

One of the best pieces of relationship advice for men and women alike is to be present. Career-oriented professionals are often prone to multitasking or to checking their phones often, both of which can impact the quality time you carve out with your spouse.

While it may be tempting to jump into other activities while you and your spouse are together, try making it a point to be present. Practice active listening, appreciate the current moment you have with your spouse, and make an effort at a real connection.

Strike the Right Relationship Balance

Juggling your career and a long-term relationship with the person you love can be tough, and limited time can put a strain on any couple. However, with the relationship advice for women and men we’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to find success in both your career and your romantic life.

Looking for more tips on striking the right relationship balance? Make the most of your love life with the other insights on our blog, and consider signing up for our newsletter for news, offers, and discounts!

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