How To Deal When Your Partner Can't Balance Both Career And Your Relationship

by Desiree Johnson

It's ironic that only a year ago, I was writing about being in a relationship with a partner who had no set goals, ambition or determination. But now, I have someone in my life who's exactly the opposite.

For the first time in my life, I am involved with a partner whose hustle matches mine.

He works and I work. He wants to build an empire, and so do I.

It's been an interesting few months. I've taken on roles I've never had with a partner in terms of supporting him, playing cheerleader and rooting for the other person's success.

This is not to knock my former exes or say they were just out there doing nothing. But he's a dreamer, with grand visions for his career... just like I am.

There are no limits, no ceiling and no boundaries. It seems like it's been a whirlwind of success for both of us in the time we've been building and getting to know each other. But the one thing I didn't count on was being on a seesaw.

People who struggle with time management and organization might relate to this. If you're like me and for the most part balance your career and relationships hand-in-hand, you understand the frustration that comes with trying to be empathetic to that struggle.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not a me, me, me woman. I don't need to be your phone background, number one Snapchat friend or the person running up all your minutes.

I understand priorities and the sacrifices that come with ambition. I know the tunnel vision that comes up when you're blazing trails and on a career high.

At the same time, it gets lonely at the top. So, what do we do? We date, mate, hook up and get into relationships.

So, where do you draw the line between being understanding and frustrated? How do you dance with a partner who's only there half the time?

For me, the biggest learning experience through this process with him has been patience. I don't think I've ever exercised more patience than I have over our time together. Steady communication and phone calls ceased to exist thanks to multiple jobs, missed phone calls and strained communication.

We often spend the beginning of the week discussing our work schedules, just to get an idea of what the week will look like, and when we can expect to talk.

Does this always work? Of course not.

Life happens: meetings run late, you fall asleep early, etc.

It's about developing a thick skin and knowing you're always juggling your life.

Is it always fun? No. I would love nothing more than to not have to do this. But at the same time, while we both still desire to adapt and work with each other, we're still fighting the good fight.

Clear communication has been my saving grace. But even that can be really hard sometimes.

At times, I shake and teeter. Sometimes, I feel like I'm falling with no net because he's not aware of how I feel. But I try to be honest 100 percent of the time.

Distance makes everything trickier because communication is all we have at the end of the day. A few missed days feel like a week when you're trying to catch up on lost time.

Being truthful with your feelings is the most vital component. Don't hold everything in because you don't want to seem selfish.

As much as you think about the other person, you have to remember your wants and needs. Building a relationship requires compromise, giving and work from two parties.

If only one person is working, it will fail.

At the end of the day, it's about how much you're willing to take. So many of us are career hungry, and we understand personal sacrifice is necessary. You can't always have everything in your life figured out: career, relationship, friendships, social life and success.

At the same time, you have to reflect on what's important to you. If it's worth it, you organize, manage and make time for it.

That doesn't mean there won't be doubts or struggle.

Is this investment going to pay off? Will we cross this mountain? Is it always going to be like this?

There is no right or wrong answer; it's just a gamble we all take in dating.

Just remember: A relationship is not a solitary partnership. You're way better off alone than struggling with someone who may not be ready for what you're offering.