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The Working Date

September 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

Not only do we often have working vacations as we struggle to manage time better, but now it seems some people cannot even find the time to date. The “working date” is becoming more commonplace: out to dinner and then sitting side by side with your laptops for several hours in the evening, followed by a break for dessert. For those people, it may beat the alternative of no social life at all due to heavy workloads. In my time management seminars, I often find audience members who want to get out, meet people, learn to dance, and generally have more fun, but who instead feel trapped at the office.According to Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal, this working date can become a compatibility test. If one works longer hours than the other, the relationship might not last. On Match.com and True.com, big online dating services, you can find descriptions such as “hard worker” to denote those individuals who may feel the need to extend normal working hours.

The biggest issue in this matter of work/life balance seems to be a stifling of real communication in favor of presumed productivity. If you only have to talk for an hour or two each evening, and then are able return to your familiar work zone, can you really get to know someone well? I personally like the idea, with moderation.

There are situations when having someone else who also needs to work lessens the self-imposed guilt. For instance, I am writing this on an airplane flight. I’ve just come back from a great vacation week, but sitting in the airport waiting for a plane and then being on the plane for four hours is my opportunity to concentrate and get caught up a bit.

Since I prefer to limit personal conversations while in close quarters among strangers, it is, for me, a perfect time to work side-by-side. However my husband’s work does not include the need to carry along a laptop, so when I settle in at the airport, do I feel some guilt that I might be neglecting him? Yes, sometimes. If it were being done to me, and I were not working at the same pace, and I were still in the dating stage, I think I might occasionally be offended.

If you are currently involved in a dating relationship, I would be interested in knowing how much, or how little, work spills over into your times together.

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Tags: Changing Times