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Dating a Workaholic: 20 Signs and Tips to Maintain a Happy Relationship

When push comes to shove, would you choose love or a career? There are certain struggles you face when dating a workaholic, so is it possible to date one?

Dating a workaholic

Most people aren’t super invested in their jobs. They don’t care enough about them to put their relationships on the backburner. But if you just so happen to start dating a workaholic, you’ll quickly realize how difficult that can be. The primary challenge is their lack of time for you. [Read: How to balance your career, social life and dating life]

They prioritize their career goals and ambitions rather than the relationship, which is why partners of workaholics often feel neglected. Is it possible? Yes, of course. But you’ll have to work twice as hard compared to others to maintain a relationship. If you care about this person and even admire their work ethic, the extra work is worth it.

Society tells us to value relationships more than work

For a lot of us, this is just what we believe. We grow up learning that the relationships you build are more important than your job. This can be completely true if you’re not someone who has what you believe a very important job. But then there are people who end up with their dream jobs.

While it’s certainly possible to balance both, there’s always something you’ll be prioritizing more. It can be challenging if you’re dating someone with a solid work ethic or passionate about their work line. They won’t always have time for you, and they can’t accommodate every need you have.

But it can still work – you can still date a workaholic and be happy with your dating life. [Read: How to make the right choice between love or your career]

Career versus love: The real battle

Does one really have to be more important than the other? It’s easy to feel neglected when you’re dating a workaholic because all they do is work. This is the problem of every workaholic partner – that feeling of neglect because they have other priorities.

However, you should also know that dating a workaholic is one of the best people you can date. They know what they want and the kind of future they see.  They might prioritize work over you most times, but they’re also someone you can have the brightest future with.

When a workaholic gives you even just a portion of their time, you know that you mean a lot to them. They don’t just sacrifice their time for anyone so if they do, you must be special. [Read: Love or career? – How to make the right choice]

5 signs you’re dating a workaholic

We’ve talked about what it means to date a workaholic, but how do you know you’re dating one? Where do you draw the line between dating a workaholic and someone that just happens to have a busy week?

1. They prioritize work

This is one of the obvious signs of dating a workaholic. When they prioritize work more than anything else and continue to have this priority throughout your relationship, they’re a workaholic.

They spend the majority of their time doing work-related tasks and finishing deadlines than anything else. [Read: The right priority in your relationship: How to find & focus on it]

2. They’re always on their phone

Whether it’s checking and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, talking to clients, and a whole lot other things, a workaholic spend the majority of their time on their phone or laptops.

Their gadgets are crucial to their line of work, and they can’t go anywhere without them. Even if it’s as simple as going for lunch, they make sure to bring their gadgets with them, just in case. [Read: 15 cell phone rules every couple has to follow to build real trust]

3. They spend more time in the office than at home

Technically, yes, we all do spend more time in the office than work, given our 40-hour workweek. However, when you’re dating a workaholic, they really do spend most of their time doing work. Even on weekends, you might find them drop by the office every now and then *even when it’s not needed.*

If they’re self-employed or freelancing, you might see them endure 12-hour shifts and spend most of their hours focused on their work tasks. [Read: 8 ways to get your “me time” in amidst a hectic schedule]

4. They always reschedule plans

A workaholic only has a limited amount of free time. So if you have a date planned and there’s an emergency meeting or deadline that came up, expect your date always to get rescheduled at their convenience.

This is also why the time they’re mostly free is on weekends and even then, they might still reschedule it if something work-related comes up.

5. They have valid reasons for overworking

When you’re dating a workaholic, you’ll notice them exceeding the typical 8-hour work timeframe daily. You might hear them say they’re just finishing their deadlines, they have a meeting, or they’re just reducing their tasks for the following days.

If you think about it, these are all valid reasons to be overworking, especially for them. They love what they’re doing, and they thrive when they’re working. It’s a workaholic’s element, after all.

Dating a workaholic and keeping your relationship healthy

Once again, you’ll have to work hard. It might get tricky at times when you feel like their job is more important than you. But if you’re ready to take on this challenge, here’s how to make sure your relationship stays happy and healthy. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]

1. They have to be willing to work for it, too

You can’t be the only person putting forth and effort to make it work. When their job becomes the only thing they care about, your relationship won’t last. So even if they do prioritize their work, it doesn’t mean the relationship has to be purely one-sided.

Sit with them down to talk and ask them if they’re serious about the relationship. Once you see in their actions that they really are trying, you can move forward with ease. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship & not feel like you lost out]

2. Schedule time together

They likely have a hectic schedule. That means you’ll have to find your way into it. Sometimes that means you both have to actually schedule time together.

Quality time is the one aspect workaholics are terrible at, so both of you are going to find a way to meet halfway and spend uninterrupted time together. You’re in luck if you get them to put their phone down for an entire hour. [Read: 10 dating tips for guys with a busy girl]

3. Visit them at work

If they’re at work far more than you are, go ahead and visit them if it’s allowed. You don’t have to stay long. Sometimes all you really need to do is bring them a coffee and kiss them. Dating a workaholic means you have to accept the fact that it takes a lot of understanding and patience to make it work, especially on your end.

You have more free time than them, so it’s often you that’ll have to go to their place or office.  This selfless act isn’t just doing something kind for them. It’s also supporting their work and making an effort to be there during your free time. [Read: How to surprise your girlfriend and score brownie points]

4. Support their work endlessly

When you’re dating a workaholic, you need to remember that they’re passionate about their work. That’s why they do it so much. You have got to be supportive of it if you want your relationship to work out. It doesn’t take a lot for them to feel that kind of support from you.

It could be waiting up on them to finish work, bringing them coffee, or being so understanding on your date nights. It’s tough, but it’s something you need to be okay with before dating a workaholic. [Read: 10 signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]

5. Learn more about why it’s so important

Get to know their job better. Ask them why it’s so important to them that they have to be working all the time. Sometimes all you really need is a better understanding of what’s going on in their head in order to make your relationship work out.

If you see the passion and drive behind their work, you might better understand what drives them to keep working. For all you know, they could really love what they do and can’t imagine doing anything else. [Read: 10 ways to know if your relationship is work keeping]

6. Never cancel date nights

Both of you have to keep to this rule. Your scheduled date nights are one of the only things keeping your relationship normal. You have to have that intimate time. When you’re dating a workaholic, they tend to cancel and postpone date nights for their work. [Read: 33 awesome date ideas every couple should try]

By implementing this rule, both of you can really stick to having date nights in your relationship. Unless an emergency comes up, you should never be allowed to cancel date nights. And if you absolutely need to, they have to be rescheduled ASAP – preferably for the next day.

7. Make sure to stay involved with their work life

Try to help out. Why can’t you put forth some effort to integrate yourself into their work life a bit? Not only will it help you spend more time with them, but it’ll be significant to your partner. When you’re involved, then it’ll feel better for both of you *and gives you some form of quality time as well*.

A relationship is about a partnership, so when a workaholic sees they found a teammate in you, they’ll be so happy because you understand their priorities. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in a relationship & wow your lover]

8. Communicate when you feel neglected

You have to be able to talk to them. There will be times when their work will start to take over a bit. You have to be able to tell them when you’re feeling neglected so you can get back to a better place. Expect to feel neglected every now and then when your partner focuses on nothing but their work, so be open to discussing this with them.

Relationships are a two-way street, so they also have to be willing to put their phone down and adjust if they want things to work out. [Read: 14 steps for better communication in a relationship]

9. Pick up the slack at home

Your significant other works a lot. You likely work a lot less than they do. That means you’ll have to pick up some slack for them. If they have to work all the time and then come home and do many chores while you’ve been doing relatively nothing, it’ll upset them.

Dating a workaholic is easier said than done, but it requires both people to find a compromise on what’s okay and what isn’t. In other words, work together to find a happy medium.

10. Use the time they de-stress from work to bond

Give them a back massage or rub their feet. Make them dinner so you can eat together when they come home. It’s very simple stuff that can make the most significant difference in the happiness of your relationship. It might look like such a simple gesture to you but for them, this is everything.

Workaholics are exhausted from work, so even a simple de-stress act can benefit them so much. Not to mention, it’s also a great way to insert quality time with them. [Read: 34 ways to build a stronger bond]

11. Never let your sex life lag

Your sex life is absolutely non-negotiable so if you’re dating a workaholic, don’t sacrifice physical intimacy with your partner. It’s time for you two to connect and actually feel like a couple. So if you have to, schedule time for it. Don’t let it slack. Be intentional with maintaining a sex life.

12. Ask them what they need from you

They’re busy, and they work a lot. The best way to know how to make a relationship work with them is to ask how. Ask them what they really need. You might be surprised what they ask of you.

When you ask them what they need from you and they state it, don’t hesitate to give them what they need. *if you can provide it, of course*. [Read: 10 ways the perpetually busy can still find love]

13. Patience is everything

When it comes to dating a workaholic, patience is the one virtue they’ll appreciate so much. When you have patience, you’ll understand where they’re coming from and their work ethic.

You need to accept that this is how things will be most days and be patient enough that they’ll reciprocate your efforts in their own way and time. Maybe not right away, but they will eventually. [Read: Love is patient love is kind: 14 rules to experience true love]

14. Work together

If and when possible, why not join their work hours and do your own work as well? That’ll really make them feel like they found a partner and teammate in you.

When you work together, it reduces some of the pressure on the relationship that you don’t have time for one another. Not to mention, it’s an underrated way to spend time with someone you like or love.

15. Accept your situation

Before dating a workaholic, realize that this setup is how it will be for a significant period. You can’t change them, nor should you ever try to. So if you really want to date them, you need to be okay with them prioritizing their work over you most days. If not, then move on and find someone who can fulfill your needs better.

[Read: How to make a relationship work: 34 ways to a stronger bond]

So, is it worth dating a workaholic?

Even if a workaholic is extremely busy and won’t give you the majority of their time, their work ethic is something admirable about them. They’re confident individuals who know what kind of future they want to have, which is why they’re working hard towards that future. It can feel neglecting most days, but you need to understand where they’re coming from.

When you’re dating a workaholic, things can get really confusing if you’re not sure how to handle it. With these signs and tips above, hopefully, you’re fully equipped on what it’s like dating one.

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Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...