If you or your partner works a job that requires long hours and a hefty commitment, the general consensus is that, sooner or later, it will put a strain on your relationship. However, one study has found that workaholics aren’t doomed to live lonely existences – the work life balance can be achieved, even in the most extreme circumstances.
Published in the scientific journal Human Relations. this study is putting to rest the much accepted correlation between couples that work long hours and suffering love. Most effectively, it found, if you both work in academia.
As Mashable report, researcher Dana Zunger and her team focused on 285 couples, most of whom worked in academia. This industry was chosen due to the fact that individuals tend to work more despite having more discretion over their hours.
The research found that individuals who worked, on average, nine hours more than they were contracted to didn’t suffer in the love department. The survey measured the satisfaction in relationships and how they chose to spend their time across six months.
What, the results showed, this came down to was an agreed mindset. Because these couples worked more hours, they didn’t have any unrealistic expectations about the work-life balance and thus set themselves more attainable goals as a couple.
Many couples who work normal hours overestimate how often schedules will align or how much free time they think they’ll have. This leads to the mentality that they don’t see their significant other enough and start to resent their careers because of that.
Furthermore, the couples that worked longer hours, funnily enough, saw each other much less. As a result they made the most out of the time they did spend together.
The study should be taken with a pinch of salt since it primarily focused on academia but what it does prove is that the work-life balance in regards to a relationship is a matter of lenient expectation and being grateful for the time you do have together.