Do you have to sacrifice one for the other? Are there really enough hours in the day to achieve your career goals plus find (and keep) a romantic match? This week’s blog is for you if you’ve ever complained, “I just don’t have time for dating” but.
The career success trap
If you’re anything like the people I work with, you’re triumphing in your career.
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, but instead of looking back, you’re focussed on your next big goals.
You love meeting your potential and don’t stop until you get what you want.
You’re used to the thrill of achievement
But there’s one thing that is lacking in your life: a truly fulfilling romantic relationship.
Maybe you’ve found (and lost) love before and are scared about getting back out there. You may have even thought to yourself that it’s a waste of your precious time to prioritise dating, when you don’t see a return in your happiness.
When you put the work in in your career though, you get tangible results and it feels good. So you keep devoting all your energy to work. After all, relationships may come and go, but your skills and talents will stay with you no matter what – they won’t let you down, betray or hurt you.
Fulfilling relationships don’t just magically happen
Perhaps you tell yourself that love will come in your way when it’s meant to and, if it hasn’t shown up by now, it’s obviously not meant to be.
Yet you’d never apply that logic to work. If you want a promotion or to grow your business, you don’t just do nothing and wait for it to happen – instead, you put the work in and put yourself out there. You take risks because the potential reward is worth it.
Dating is just the same. If you want results, sitting back and waiting for love to magically appear won’t help. Is it time you admitted to yourself what you really want? Whether that’s simply a few dates to meet some new people, or a full-blown committed relationship, be prepared to own your goals in your love life. The best results come to those who make an effort, do things that are out of their comfort zones, and admit when they need a little help. Admit to yourself that love is a priority, and you’ll find it’s easier to justify putting in the effort needed for success.
Time is precious
I understand why, sometimes, it can feel pointless to invest so much of your effort in finding a romantic partner. Who wants to spend their down time scrolling through hundreds of potential “matches” on a dating app anyway? You tell yourself there are more important things to do with your time.
But then the weekend rolls around, and you’d really love to head out for a romantic dinner. You want a companion in your life, someone to share meals, holidays and your bed with.
Well the good news is that, with a shift in perspective and some simple tools, you can have success in love and work.
I work with incredibly successful people who are ready to find a lasting connection. They hire me because they haven’t made the mistake of getting stuck in all-or-nothing thinking. They know that you don’t have to choose between work or a relationship – no matter how demanding your job is.
Here are a couple of actionable ways to successfully balance work with dating and love.
How to balance love and career
It may sound simple (the best advice often is) but when you’re at work, be at work fully. That means no checking your Instagram to see if they liked your latest photo, or Googling romabtic date ideas. Leave the fantasies for later and ringfence your time.
The same goes for your free time when dating and nurturing your relationship is your priority. That means creating rules around work such as no working on a Sunday, or turning emails off after 7pm.
This stops the guilt or worry that you’re not devoting your time to the right things – simply learning to be present when you’re at work, or on a date is a game-changer.
Know when to switch focus
I guide my clients to look switch their perspective when it comes to that elusive “work/life balance” and instead, to know when to switch focus.
Learning to recognise where your priorities lie in life isn’t so different to doing it at work. You’re probably great at knowing what’s most important on your to-do list, and recognising where you need to focus most of your attention and where you can relax is just the same when it comes to dating and relationships.
If things are stable with your job, it might be worth slowing down so you can spend some time going on dates. If you’re worried about a big project at work, and your love life is in a good place, prioritise some extra time at the office – and communicate this clearly to your date/lover/partner.
Question your assumptions
Many ambitious people harbour a limiting belief that, in order to be successful, they have to dedicate all their time to work and that a relationship will only hold them back from meeting their goals.
I’m calling BS!
A loving, supportive relationship is an emotional bedrock. Being supported emotionally actually enables us to thrive and advance in our career more easily.
The truth is that sometimes we can have it all. Sometimes we can’t.
Sometimes we have to momentarily give up one thing to fully embrace another. Sometimes we have to put our dreams on hold for very valid reasons, and that’s ok.
Be mindful of just how much time you’re investing in your career and your dating life or relationship. If there’s an imbalance, can you take one small action today to move towards what you want?
Too busy to date? Join the Tailor Matched Community and find out about our offline matchmaking service here.