In the current market, long working work hours and high levels of stress seems to be the norm rather than the exception. It used to be entrepreneurs and executives running round fire fighting and answering emails 24/7, now most of my expat friends and clients are doing the same. There is no denying that demanding work schedules make it even more difficult to have a close and happy relationship, for various reasons especially when you had work travel or children to the mix.
As I hit my seven-year mark as entrepreneur, I know from my own past mistakes that unless you manage your life well, you can lose good relationships or limit your chances of finding love. So from my heart to here are 7 relationship advice tips:
Relationship Advice Tip 1. Be open and honest about your level of commitment to work:
This is essential, saying you will be home early or around and then not following through can destroy trust. Update your partner when you know your be later, travelling, or switched off which as much notice as possible. By keeping them informed you are more likely to face a forgiving, rather than a resentful partner for the times you are stuck in the office, or fire fighting.
Relationship Advice Tip 2. Set boundaries:
Before I set boundaries and working hours for myself, I would work around the clock. This is not healthy for me and also doesn’t allow time for your love life to grow and develop. I also recommend you agree limits for working at home. Many of us frown at the couple who go to a restaurant, don’t talk and spend all night on their phones. Yet in my marriage counseling, many couples confess they do this every night at home and it leads to marriage problems like resentment, communication breakdown. Nothing is more unromantic and lonely, than being invisible to your spouse.
Relationship Advice Tip 3. Have a life outside of work:
Remember your work is not the centre of the universe. Of course, you will be excited and passionate at times, or possibly stressed and fed up at others. However, not everyone wants to hear about that all of the time, especially your lover. It’s important that you both take a break from the topic at home, as you run the risk of bringing work stress into the relationship. Why not join a group of other professionals if you want to talk about your business to your heart’s content? Maintain other interests too. Keep up to date with current affairs and have at least one hobby or ideally something you can do together, to keep the conversation and relationship alive.
Relationship Advice Tip 4. Control your calendar:
Like many other entrepreneurs, I follow my calendar fairly religiously. An early worry of mine was that I wouldn’t’ have enough people, or work to fill my diary, which is far from the case these days, life is busy. I recommend sharing your calendar or work plans with your partner in advance. As well as book in date nights, lie ins, family events. Otherwise, your time will get booked and the relationship won’t have time to flourish. Neglect is often the most common reason given for affairs and divorce, so you want to avoid it at all costs.
Relationship Advice Tip 5. Take breaks but be honest about how long you can check out for:
Taking a break, having holidays and focusing solely on your partner is important. Nevertheless, don’t set unrealistic expectations. For example, good friends asked me to go on a 2-week mountain trekking trip. I’d love to go, but a holiday but without Internet access for a week won’t work for me, as I need to be there for my clients. Be honest as to what works and what doesn’t for you, otherwise it can cause disappointment for your partner and put a strain on the relationship. Shorter more frequent trips tends to work best for me.
Relationship Advice Tip 6. Make your partner your main priority:
This incredibly important. Whilst you may feel that your main focus should be finances, career and business, if you’re with the right partner they will support you and your vision. If you put it the other way round, you may lose what you cherish most. You can always make more money, but never get back time.
Relationship Advice Tip 7. Keep your sense of humor:
Lastly have a sense of humor about life, your work and the events you experience in your endeavor to be the best. Humor will keep you and your relationship happy, even when things get tough. Watch comedy, exercise or take time off to relax. Not sure if you noticed, last month, I sent out an email out that said “Hi first name”. Yes, it looked unprofessional but it happened, so there was no point sweating about it. We all had a good laugh about it anyway.