All work and no love

Illustration by Ed Appleby

How to balance work and relationships

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Feb 17, 2015

There are two key channels in life that we are all sailing through simultaneously. One is the career path we have chosen. On this route we are empowered to catch the wind and ride as far as we can undaunted. The other channel finds us embarking on a journey for love and companionship. Our attitude on this trip, however, is much different. We dock occasionally, testing the waters here and there, uncertain when we’ll reach our destination. As you can tell by my longwinded metaphor, the success of work and love are two separate achievements, both of equal importance. But how do you attain one without losing sight of the other?

While some believe that people should keep work and love separate, I don’t believe that is true. A healthy relationship is built upon support, and a thriving career requires that too. The two channels feed into each other. The time you spend working and the time you spend with your loved one should be interchangeable. It should be teamwork. You and your partner should have careers that feed into each other’s lives; both of you should be passionate about what the other does and sail the same course.

Men are often praised for not bringing work home, but in today’s world what does that really mean? It means keeping a significant portion of the day hidden away. Your partner should be there to encourage you when you have an assignment due, or if there is an opportunity for promotion. It’s a competitive market and having someone on your side is irreplaceable encouragement.

With that being said, dedicating time to your romantic partner is equally as important. While accomplishing work or showing up on time is imperative, time you have away from the office, kitchen, studio, and the like should be portioned appropriately. Here is where you can help your partner better their situation. Help clean, make dinner, or even do some repairs. Life can unravel when there is nobody looking out for you, so do your best and pick up some slack when your partner can’t.

Life is not all sunsets and paycheques. Work is work and relationship is work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. I’m not going to tell you the type of person to date or the kind of job to have, but if you want a fulfilling life, it’s better if the two channels intersect occasionally. Find a partner that cares about your job and find a career that your partner is passionate about as well. Only then will you find true balance between work and love.

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