I think it is safe to say that most people work in order to live, but some of us are fortunate enough to love our work, and it may be said that we live to work. We love what we do, it is a passion that consumes us, and it is a huge part of our identity. For those that fall into this latter category, I think it is really important to be aware of this characteristic within ourselves and to appreciate that most people are not like us. This becomes particularly critical when picking a partner– for it can really be a problem if one person hates to work, while the other is a workaholic.
When people meet early in life– such as high school or college sweethearts, it is still too early to tell whether someone is going to be addicted to his/her work. Later on, as careers are defined and take on a key role in someone’s life, if the other partner cannot adapt to this change, it can cause an insurmountable divide between the two parties. There are some who meet already entrenched work-junkies and delude themselves into thinking that this person will change his/her priorities for the right relationship. Others are quite drawn to the intensity exhibited by a person driven by his/her work. In either case, as time wears on, it is often the fact that the partner not married to his/her work eventually starts to resent the time and effort that his/her partner is putting into work commitments. If these concerns are not addressed and a compromise is not reached early on, I believe these relationships are doomed.
After observing the dynamics describe above for some time, I am convinced that the best partnerships for career-driven people are with those who share that same core value. Those that are equally work-motivated will have a level of respect and understanding for each other that few others can share. Finding time to coordinate calendars and schedule time together may not be easy for such “power couples” and yet if there is love I believe they will find a way to make it work, precisely because they have to realize that meeting someone with whom they share not only a spark, but also a major philosophical view towards the work/life balance, is like finding a needle in a haystack.
If you are lucky enough to find that needle, don’t discard it with haste the first time you hit a hiccup in the romance. All relationships require work– and especially ones involving power couples, where you have two very dynamic personalities. In the heat of an argument, which is bound to happen sooner rather than later with two fiery personalties, ask yourself this: how often does someone really get you? When you find that person that completely syncs with you, and is not out to change your work ethic but actually loves you because of it, make sure to take a step back and appreciate the gem you have just found.