How To Tell If Your New Relationship Is Affecting Your Career
Getting into a new relationship is incredibly fun and exciting. Likewise, going after your career goals can be the same. But balancing relationships and careers can be a tricky tightrope walk, especially if your new relationship is changing up your lifestyle more than anticipated.
There's nothing inherently wrong with your relationship affecting your career. Being with someone creates consequences. But if you're less than a year in, and already having the feeling that things are shifting, it may be time to examine things on a deeper level.
First, it's important to consider whether you're able to balance your relationship and your career. "Relationships are important factors of maintaining that work-life balance we hear so much about," Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "While relationships are a good way to make sure you’re keeping your life in perspective, if your partner is the reason you can’t balance you work priorities, then your equilibrium is off." Whether you feel like the scales are tipped heavily towards either your partner or your career, looking at the reasoning behind that is important.
"A new relationship can be good or bad for your career, depending on the nature of it," former Wall Street hiring manager and co-founder of Resume Writing Services, Jennifer Roquemore, tells Bustle. "If you have a partner who encourages you to reach for the stars and achieve your professional endeavors, you're actually more likely to excel in your career. In fact, according to a study done by Washington University, your spouse's personality has a huge influence on your personal career success." If you're starting a new relationship, but thinking things might last in the long-term, then taking into consideration how your career might be affected is more necessary than you might think.
Here are seven signs your new relationship is affecting your career, according to experts.
1. You're Feeling Distracted
Distraction is something that happens at the office. That's fine. But if you're in a new relationship, and can line up your period of distraction with the amount of time you've been with your partner, that might be a red flag.
"It’s normal to be thinking about your respective other throughout the day, especially if the relationship is new and exciting," Backe says. "But if your daily tasks are affected by your brain's overdrive, you should take that as a warning sign that you might need to take things slow in this relationship." The key word is balance. You can daydream a bit, but your productivity shouldn't be suffering.
2. You're More Tired Than Usual
When you're in the honeymoon period, it's perfectly natural to want to stay up all night with your partner watching Netflix, diving into deep conversations, or having marathon sex. But this might not be sustainable if you don't want your work to suffer.
"Bottom line is, while it’s fun to spend as much time as possible with your partner, it's important to make it clear that you need to be refreshed for a full day’s work," Backe says. "If your sleeping habits are starting to be thrown off by this new relationship, it’s time to establish some boundaries." It's also been proven that sleep patterns can affect your relationship, so this is one more reason to get a good night's sleep.
3. You Feel The Need To Communicate All Day
The workplace can be full of distractions. And having your phone out, or texting on your computer, can be especially tempting if you have a new romance in your life. As appealing as constant communication is, however, it can seriously hurt your job performance.
"It’s fine to text your significant other here and there, but if you’re partner is contacting you relentlessly throughout the day, to the point that you’re not working to the best of your ability, take that as a warning sign," Backe says. "It’s important to set boundaries early on in the relationship, making it clear that you won’t be as readily available during your working hours." Plus, these boundaries will make seeing them or calling them once five o'clock rolls around all the more exciting.
4. Your Partner Has One Too Many Opinions About Your Workplace
Of course, a good partner will want to talk to you about work. But if your new partner is acting particularly nosy, or gossipy, or trying to sway your opinions on your workplace, you may have a problem.
"A new partner might have too much of a say, they might not agree with professional decisions you are a making or who you are associating with at work," Dr Nikki Goldstein, sexologist, relationship expert, and author of Single But Dating, tells Bustle. "... If it's about jealousy then the relationship might need to be reconsidered." You deserve to make workplace decisions either alone, or with support. Someone who only has bad things to say about your job is likely not the best partner for you.
5. You Skip Out On All Those Non-Mandatory Work Events
You may want to run home from work into the arms of your loved one, and that's OK. But if you're missing out on happy hours, networking events, or other career-development opportunities because you are trying to spend that time with your partner, that might be a red flag.
"[Be wary if] you fall into the habit of skipping work engagements and outings with clients and colleagues in order to run home to your partner," Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, MAPP, and James O. Pawelski, PhD, co-authors of HAPPY TOGETHER: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love that Lasts, tell Bustle. It's important to have a conversation with your partner about your career and relationship goals, and make sure neither of you are missing out on opportunities you want to experience because you think you're obligated to spend an evening together.
6. Your Partner Isn't Cheering On Your Work Goals And Successes
A lot of these new relationship career roadblocks may be symptomatic of a partnership where your goals aren't being adequately supported. So, if you feel like you are experiencing any of these workplace issues because of a new relationship, you may want to look at how your partner views your career as a whole.
"A relationship with someone has many benefits, and one of the most important ones it should offer is moral support," Roquemore says. "Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader as you deal with the obstacles that confront you in life and in the workplace. If you feel like your partner doesn't listen to you when you voice your concerns about work, or simply provides you with empty remarks that don't help at all, this is a sign that your partner doesn't take your career seriously.” And you absolutely deserve someone who is going to have your back career-wise.
7. You Feel More Motivated
While most of these are examples of a partner getting in the way of your career progress, the opposite is also possible. Your new relationship may actually end up being the career boost you need.
“You [may] feel inspired, energized and more creative as a result of being in a supportive relationship," associate marriage and family therapist (AMFT) April Snow tells Bustle. "You [may] find yourself reevaluating your priorities, improving your work-life balance and focusing more on yourself than work." If you find any of this to be true, chances are you're in a very healthy relationship, and that your career will improve as a result.
Yes, a new relationship can distract you, or even prevent you from building your career in the way you want to. Falling in love can, however, also provide an added level of emotional support that can boost you up to reach your work goals. So if you're with someone new, assessing how your partnership is affecting your career can provide some valuable insight into the nature of the relationship as a whole.