Working 60 hours a week and relationships.

I just got dumped. The relationship lasted about 3 months. It was fun while it was happening, and while I hoped it would continue…it was her decision to end it. I feel sad, but since it was so short I’m sure I’ll be over it soon.

My question though is: Does working 60 hour weeks mean that your relationship will suffer? I’m in a job for five more months where I will continue to work this much. I am constantly evaluating if maybe working this much regularly will prevent me from ever being in a long-term relationship. What do you think? Is it even possible now to find a reasonably well paying job working 40-50 hours a week? I’m a teacher.

Thanks all.

I’m sorry to hear your relationship ended. I work about 60 hours a week and it doesn’t cause a problem with my relationship.

Why do you think your working hours hurt the relationship? Maybe you can adjust for future relationships.

There are 168 hours in a week leaving 108 hours for other things including relationships. I think the people for whom working 60 hours a week cause a problem is because their job dominates their life when they are off work–they are too exhausted to do anything, they are bitching about their bosses, they are taking work home from the office… Look at all the people with 40 hour jobs: most of them waste huge amounts of time watching TV, posting on Straightdope…

Try working the night shift dude. I’ve ended many a relationship due to my odd hours.

[del]How does a teacher work the night shift?[/del] Never mind, I’m dumb. I get what you’re saying.

And even if you only sleep 6 hours a night, that’s still more than 40 hours, so “108 hours for other stuff” is a little misleading.

I think it’s important to prioritize well so you’re not neglecting aspects of your life. I budgeted my time once, similar to how I budget money, and was amazed at how much time I waste. So I always felt like I was missing out on things even though there were several hours every day that were squandered on things that I realized didn’t matter.

Also, find a partner who is independent enough that the lack of attention isn’t a terrible, huge deal. And make an effort to make the time you do have with that person special. No talking about all the crap you have to do, or bitching about work, or whatever.

I honestly did not complain very much about my long hours. In fact she complained about her busy schedule more than me. She felt things were “going too fast”. Over Christmas I and her birthday I went the extra-mile. I brought her flowers at work, read books she liked so we could talk about them, and bought her a present she really enjoyed (A penguin scarf, her two favourite things). As recently as two nights ago she invited me over to spend the night, called me sweetheart, told me how awesome I am. We were planning on going to a dance workshop in a few weeks. I went to watch her curl today and made her cookies. I sent her texts and messages everyday wishing her well…to which she reciprocated. In fact she stated she liked the speed we were going.

I just don’t understand why people don’t state what’s really on their mind. I did all of the above despite working 60 hour weeks. If I hadn’t been so busy…she would have been as busy and unavailable. I mentioned in a previous thread she is young…so she’s probably not really sure what she wants yet. She thought our relationship was becoming too focused on sex as we were both too busy to do things together other than hang out late at night…which I admit is somewhat true…but I it’s really hard for me to believe we couldn’t work through something like this. I do care for her beyond sex.

Bah…it’s so confusing. I’m tired of trying to figure out what people want…most people have no clue what they want it seems.

If it makes you feel any better, the earlier in a relationship you are, the less you have at stake. People are more willing to cut an iffy relationship loose at that point then later on when they are more committed and your lives are more intertwined.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. It just means that maybe she wasn’t sure and she didn’t want to roll the dice on being ‘sure’. For every relationship to fizzle like this, there’s another incredibly toxic relationship that dies a very slow, lingering death.

Bolding mine, because when you get right down to it, THAT’S the issue.

I’ve been working either overnight shifts or very early morning shifts for over half my working life and anywhere from 40-60 hours/week. It’s not unusual in my line of work due to the lack of skilled help, but it’s also the reason why there’s a lack of skilled help in my line of work.

Most of what you’d call a “social” life is online. Let’s face it – people IRL get sick of asking when you’re free to do X and you having to continually turn them down because you’re so tired you see double. Sometimes all I do is literally work/eat/try to sleep. I’m in one of those phases right now. It’s very hard to turn off the adrenaline arising from it and remember that no, most people don’t operate the way you do. OTOH sleep is fitful if and when you can sleep.

It’s very difficult balancing this kind of schedule with everyday life. In some ways it’s easier to do so if you don’t have a SO, for obvious reasons. My husband and I have the occasional snit-fit over my hours and such, but he takes care of a lot of things around the house when I have just enough energy to crawl upstairs and into bed.

I think there is a significant difference between trying to begin a relationship while working 60+ hour weeks and trying to maintain one. I work those kinds of hours, and I don’t feel like it’s detrimental to my marriage, but it would be very different in a new relationship.

On the other hand, if she didn’t say “The problem is that you work too much”, then I would not assume that was it. That’s not a reason she’d avoid giving. “It’s going to fast” generally means “I think you are more into me than I am into you. You love me; I like you and might love you later. But I think there is a pretty good chance that I won’t, and will have to break up with you eventually. If I keep dating you now, I am a horrid scum bitch who is exploiting your love just to avoid feeling lonely and setting you up to hurt even more later”. You said yourself that you will probably get over this quickly because it’s only been three months. That’s her thinking too: break up with him now, when it won’t hurt too much, rather than string him along and break up with him when he’s more emotionally invested".

That is your answer right here. The average age of first marriage for a college educated woman is 30. And this is with good reason- for women, a later marriage is associated with MUCH better earnings and more stability. So if you are looking at ladies younger than, say, 27, you are unlikely to find many who know what they want romantically, much less who are ready to think about settling down.

Even if an individual seems to buck that trend, statistics show that the relationship is unlikely to last. Serious relationships are just not very compatible with what young people need to accomplish in this time of their lives.

I agree with both of you. I wonder though now that I’m working this much If I should hold out any hope of meeting someone. It took considerable effort to “woo” her while i was working part-time. I don’t know how I would manage to to find the energy while working this much.

It seemed I was more into her than the other way around. This Monday sucks.

You may have overwhelmed her with all the “woo-ing”. If a woman is concerned that her feelings for a guy are less intense that his, nothing brings out that anxiety more than lots of overt displays of sentimentality. The younger a woman is, the harder time she might have with this. It doesn’t sound like she made a snap decision, but an older woman may have communicated her wants and needs more clearly before cutting things off.

Early on in my relationship with my bf, I felt a bit smothered by his sweet and plentiful gestures of affection and love. The cards, the flowers, the little gifts he’d buy me, the back-to-back text messages…it was overwhelming. But after 5 months, I’m used to this (in a good way), and I’m just happy he enjoys me enough to do all these nice things. When I look back on some of my dark and dreary dating experiences from the past, it’s awesome to know I have a guy who treats me like this. But I wouldn’t have this perspective if I were in my early 20’s.

So if you don’t have much time right now to “woo” someone like you did your ex, maybe that’s not so terrible. That’s hardly a prerequisite for a good relationship. If “woo-ing” is something you like to do, make sure the woman wants to be married soon. Maybe your ex isn 't all the marriage-focused?

The best relationship I have ever had (and still do) requires absolutely no effort from either of us. In a nutshell, we both entered into it with the mindset of: this is me, love it or don’t because I am not interested in changing. Neither of us expected it to last, but now I can’t imagine being with anyone else. In contrast my first marriage required a lot of work and, well, too many people know how that worked out. I suspect you’ll know if/when it’s right.

There are times in my life where, in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t even tried to date. On the other hand, I’ve never worked less than 60 hours a week on a regular basis. If I was ready to give up just because I had to work some evenings or Saturday mornings I’d never date anyone.

According to Wikipedia, the average man in the US works 8.4 hours a day and the average woman works 7.7. So yes, apparently for most people it’s possible to find jobs working 40-50 hours a week. But I don’t know any young professionals who do that. For that group, 60 hours a week seems more like an average workload than some excessive burden that should cause you to question even having a dating life.

Getting dumped really sucks, but honestly it sounds like you’re hunting for an excuse that’s unlikely actually holding you back.

If a woman is into you the hours are secondary for striving young adults. I think the decision she made to break up was because she wasn’t feeling it even if she was making nice to you face to face. If people are really invested in each other they value the hours they have. If her feelings were tentative about you at this stage and several months of interaction it’s better to cut the cord now.

Having said this if 60 hours a week is going to be a permanent lifestyle mode you need to find a woman willing and able to live that way. Lots of executives work at least that many hours but their wives put up with it without bellyaching because they are either invested in their own professional careers and understand the context, or they value the time they do have and the resources he brings to the table. However, there are limits to what women are willing to put up with. If you work long hours AND don’t make much money you had best be well endowed and have mad lovemaking skillz.

Is the 60 hours all at work, or is some of it done at home? Does it include commuting? Is it physically or intellectually exhausting, or just time served?

With commutes, I used to work 13 - 14 hour days Mondays through Fridays at an intellectually challenging job. I had no time for my kids, was exhausted on weekends, and was always behind. Quitting that damn thing was the best thing I could do for my marriage. People in the middle of this don’t even know what it is doing to them.

Most of the 60 hours is at school or at home, either teaching, planning, and marking.

My commute is 10 minutes thankfully.

I don’t want to be a sugar daddy. I did treat her in terms of spending money well at the start…but we talked about how we didn’t want the relationship to be based on spending money. We became steady in December and her birthday was the 27th, so I felt like I needed to treat her extra well due to it being both Christmas and her birthday. Lately it has been small things (I went to watch her curl, I made her cookies)…and we were supposed to go a dance workshop. I was happier with the small things.

I called a counselor for a talk…I think I need one session just to clear my head. I feel stressed and am doubting myself.

Do you think a lot of women see a schoolteacher and think cha-ching? I’m curious where the idea of being a sugar daddy even came from. Teaching seems like possibly the best example of a career that’s professional and respectable yet there’s no chance of making a lot of money.

The problem is you might have come on too strong, not that you might’ve been used as a sugar daddy. For every nice thing you did for her, how many nice things did she do back for you? It should be about 1:1.

It sounds like you are overthinking things. Sometimes relationships just don’t work out. She was a lot younger than you, so it would not be a major surprise if she’s simply not really ready for a serious, grownup relationship right now.

That said, if being a sugar daddy was an image you were actually self-conscious about, this suggests that you didn’t see her as a true peer. Maybe she didn’t see as a peer, either. Could be this be another reason why she initiated a breakup? Yes, and that’s not really your fault. It just is.

I was self-conscious about it because she is a student with low-income so in comparison I am quite wealthy. The peer thing rings true though. It was about 4:1 with the nice things. I tried not to keep score, but it’s true.