My friend Helen wrote a post today about the the effects of being a workaholic on a relationship. As she talked about how both she and her friend had boyfriends who get frustrated about how much they work, I wondered how many relationships have this kind of dynamic. Not more than an hour after I read this post and was talking on the phone with Alex about my day, he said, "You work too hard."
Perhaps after being told all of our lives that we can be anything we want to be and that we have more opportunities than ever in history, women are taking it to the fullest. The majority of my friends or other women I know work full days or are in the classroom obtaining our professional degrees, take our work home with us, plan social events for the organizations we belong to, insist on putting dinner on the table, and want to have children who we can be PTA members for. We want equality in the workplace without also giving up roles traditionally assigned to women. We want it all.
And maybe many of us gravitate to significant others who balance us out. Who tell us to take a break, not to let work define us, not think about work all the time, and relax. I know that dating Alex has made me less of a workaholic (yes, I used to be worse). It is almost a little scary to think about what it would be like to date someone who is as bad as I am.
I first postured that this was a generational thing, but then I realized that this is not a completely new phenomenon. My dad always tells my mom that she needs to stop taking her work home with her. Perhaps daughters inherit this trait from mothers. And then we befriend other females who are like us. Birds of feather flock together.