SP: Dating a high achiever? 7 smart ways to make it work in your favour

SP: Dating a high achiever? 7 smart ways to make it work in your favour

This post is kindly sponsored by RubyRadar, a dating website for executives and busy singles.

For many of us, the thought of working weekends is right up there with root canal therapy. But what happens when you fall for someone who devotes every spare section of free time to his or her work and better yet, thrives on it? It’s challenging, but don’t throw in the towel before reading my top strategies for making a relationship like this work for you (yep, it is possible!)

1. See the positive side. When you made that list in your head of the type of person you’d like to fall in love with, chances are it was someone who had passion. Dreams. A desire to make their mark. Pretty sexy, right? Ultimately, I think you want to be able to respect the work ethic and go-getter attitude of the person you’re dating – even if their job pisses you off at times, too.

2. Roll with it as much as you can. Whether your partner’s job is a demanding long-term deal, a start-up that’s consuming every waking moment, or a particularly intense period that won’t last forever, recognising that it’s not about you, and being as supportive as you can, will make the dating side of things easier. Viewing it as a competition of you versus your partner’s career? Not so much.

3. Use the free time for you. If your partner’s working, don’t sit at home twiddling your thumbs. Go away for weekends with friends, start those dance classes you’ve had your eye on, crack on with your best-selling novel, paint the living room, do a cooking workshop, hang out with your parents who wish they could see you more often. Things we often let slide when we’re consumed by a relationship.

4. Keep connecting. You may not be able to spend a lot of time together, but don’t let that stop you being in touch – be it with a sexy text, a jokey email, a quick call, funny tweet or Facebook message. Such things can make a big difference between feeling lonely and isolated from the person you’re dating, or feeling content that even if you can’t be together, at least you’re on each other’s minds.

5. Set non-negotiable boundaries. That might mean agreeing that one day – or one night – a week is time you spend together, no arguments. Someone who loves their work may be unable to create work/life balance so you may have to do it for them. Carve out this time with love and understanding, making it clear to your partner that there is something to that saying, ‘Work to live, don’t live to work’.

6. Do special stuff when you are together. Tempting as it is to flake out on the couch and watch Masterchef when you guys have a sliver of spare time to hang out, resist the urge. Instead, plan dates that build memories and reconnect you – like a picnic. A romantic dinner in that gorgeous little French bistro you’ve been dying to try. Champagne at a sexy rooftop bar with a view of the city lights.

7. Don’t sweat ALL the social stuff. Of course, you shouldn’t sacrifice all your needs to your partner’s schedule, but a little give and take can go a long way. Figure out the things that are really, super important to you – weddings? Family gatherings? Milestone birthdays? – and make it known that these are the non-negotiables that you’d like your partner to be at. Learn to let the other little stuff go.

Have you had a relationship with a high-achiever or die-hard workaholic? What are your top tips for carving out some balance?

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

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