Lifetime movies and Investigative Discovery shows will lead you to believe that putting in long hours at the office will result in the unraveling of your relationship, but a new study suggests that’s it’s possible to win at love and career at the same time.
According to Glamour, the study, which was published in the Journal of Human Relations, found that despite having partners who put in long hours at work, couples expressed that they still felt significantly satisfied with their romantic relationships.
285 dual-career couples (280 heterosexual couples and five gay couples) were surveyed by researchers. On average, participants work 44 hours per week, with some working significantly more than that, and some working less. Researchers found that these couples were quite happy with their relationships. Apparently, relationship satisfaction is more reliant upon how couples spend their time with one another as opposed to how much time they spend at work.
“Our results show that it’s not so much the time you spend at work that matters for your relationship, but how you spend the remaining time with your partner,” the study’s lead author, Dana Unger, Ph.D., explained. “But this doesn’t always mean you have to think big; watching your favorite TV shows or having dinner together on a regular basis can be just as important.”
Unger went on to warn that while it’s possible to work long hours and have a successful relationship, you have to decide where you’re going to draw the line if you want your relationship to work.
“Having a great career and a perfect relationship, learning Chinese, and taking care of your parents can be too much,” she said. “It may be helpful to think about how to get rid of unnecessary obligations in your free time to make room for quality time with your loved one.”