This is a lament often repeated on many a Girl’s Night Out or just one on one with your BFF. I’m more social than my boyfriend. Couples who often start off strong hit that relationship wall when it turns out one member of the couple is more outgoing than the other. We break it down and offer a solution.
One Problem: I’m busier and more social than my boyfriend and it seems to (quietly) hurt his ego. How do you balance pursuing success in your career, with the subtleties of a relationship?
One Solution: Remember the early days of your relationship when you couldn’t keep your hands off of each other? The newness and the chemistry was the glue that overrode almost anything. That’s why they call it the honeymoon phase. Everything seems perfect. You and your partner agree on everything. You want to do the same activities together during the week and on the weekends. According to a New York University study this period typically lasts about thirty months. That’s why you might not realize you and your significant other have slightly different social styles right away.
In today’s Instagram world, the issue is even more exacerbated. Work often involves the need for numerous social events, wardrobe changes, photos (without your fella because that is not the documented part of our social lives except on rare occasions except when you want your significant other documenting it.) That little bit of exclusion is often the beginning of a slight undertow of male discontent especially since men today often want and crave as much attention as us ladies.
As soon as you start to experience the withdrawal of your significant other, it’s important to start to develop a new structure for your relationship. Pick your moment, and maybe it’s over a glass of wine, to work out a compromise to meet both your needs.
One of the best ways is let your partner know in advance key dates when you have an important work or social commitment and why it’s important to your career. At the same time, invite your partner to special private time together and a few select events each month you would love him to join. It shows you care. The goal is to take the pressure off him while not overloading him with requests. The caveat is you only expect and ask him to join you for special events.
This is the part where technology can really be your friend. One of the best ways to do this is be his social secretary and literally send separate events on his Outlook / Apple calendar for him to accept or decline. This way he knows your schedule, can plan his own activities in advance on those nights as well as decline an upcoming joint event enabling you to bring a girlfriend as a plus one. He might also begin to subtly realize he is missing out on some of the fun and reengage.
The ultimate question is whether you truly are compatible after the honeymoon phase is over. If you compromise and he is isn’t willing to “meet you halfway”, as the Black-Eyed Peas say, then maybe this is not your forever love.
As my mother used to say, you shouldn’t have to compromise ever single day to make your “Happily Ever After” work. Love you mom. I still miss you everyday.
98 Down and 97 to go.