Work and love

Friday feels like the day of freedom for many office workers; a time to let your hair down, loosen your tie, get a few cold beverages down your neck to kick off the weekend, two days of ‘rest’ - which normally involve catching up with chores -family, friends and back to work Monday. A typical week for many professionals.

If you’re a professional with bags of ambition, Friday will not be the end of the working week. Many of the top firms in accounting, finance, and consultancy have a culture where dedicated staff are expected to put in the extra hours over the weekend to show their commitment to the project at hand.

The use of technology and work phones synced to emails mean people are plugged into work mode more often than ever. It is hard to switch off. 

 Those in relationships suffer through lack of quality time. Although physically you may be in the room; checking emails or taking calls is absence. With men and women’s roles becoming increasingly blurred, work and play between the two becomes a juggling act.

Singletons feel that they have to make a sacrifice between work and dating. With work seeming like a surer bet in the success stakes, they are more willing to place their energies into accelerating their careers than love life.

Natasha for example, 40, CEO of a start-up, bordering the now-or-never age regarding starting a family, having yet to meet her Mr Right  has decided to give dating a back seat. “At least I know with work, I have control over how successful it can become; with men, I feel like I have none”.

Natasha doesn’t seem to be alone in her views.

Although others may not admit their lack of success in love so directly, most tend to use the excuse of ‘being too busy to meet anyone’, inexorably throwing themselves more and more into work to avoid disappointments of the heart.

It’s not uncommon for dates not to progress to the relationship stages due to busy work commitments and schedules.

Ross, a Director in Dubai was dating Sarah, a Marketing manager; despite their few dates of chemistry their busy schedules took the momentum, fun and spontaneity out of the equation. They found themselves ‘talking shop’ each time they met up. Which Ross said, for him killed the spark.

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The Book ‘ Life lessons’ by Elisabeth Kubler Ross asks people in a hospice at the end of their lives what they learnt about life. Most people said it wasn’t about a change in career, or longer hours… instead they said they wished they had spent more time with loved ones and wished they’d been less preoccupied with work and money.

Although putting the hours into careers may seem to make sense now, in the long run, investing time in building and maintaining healthy relationships is the best investment.

We work to live, we don’t live to work.

And Love after all is what makes life worth living.

Siobhan Copland