Surviving Creative Romance

Surviving Creative Romance

by Lillian Cohen-Moore on August 18, 2011

Let’s say you went on a business trip with your creative professional partner and came home angry, feeling neglected in favor of their work. Maybe you had a few clashes over couple time versus their career. Sound familiar?

While the following is mainly focused on romantic partnerships, it can be useful with any creative boss, friend or family member. Getting through a relationship with anyone takes mindful work as much as it does love; when you mix one or more people in creative fields into a relationship, considerations that you don’t always think about are helpful to keep in mind.

Ask for time

It may seem strange to ask, but your partner needs you to be honest and forthright about your needs. If you ask for time, you’re keeping communication open while honoring your needs, as well as doing right by your partner by asking them for the time.

That half hour phone call on a break, the night out for dinner or an hour of watching your favorite television show together recharges both your batteries without making sharing their time with you into a fight. Sometimes it’ll be less time than you or they want, but asking and talking about making time for each other will keep you on the same page about making your relationship work.

Respect their time

It’s easy to get frustrated at how busy they are. Maybe you feel that other people you know have a less difficult time getting socializing in or being able to take a break from work. Resenting their work or taking the issue of time spent on work instead of you isn’t a path with happy outcomes.

Life as a creative often involves long hours, and a demand for time can create a two way feeling of frustration. While you object to their schedule, they’re put off by how you don’t understand and respect their time. Talking to your partner about when they need time to work, or to decompress by themselves, keeps you informed about the time you’ll need to respect as being spent on those things.

Be supportive and learn the language

When you tell them about your day at work, there’s an expectation that over time, a support and understanding of your career will emerge. That expectation can and should go both ways. Make the effort to learn more about their job.

Know that understanding the language of their field brings you closer together. They can discuss more with you, and you walk away from those discussions with a better understanding of what they’re so passionate about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t hesitate to say if an explanation is overwhelming. You want to be supportive, but you have to respect your bandwidth too.

Go with them

There are countless events in each creative community, and your partner may have opportunities to take you to some of them. Attending with your partner gives them the emotional support of your presence, and allows you to see more of their life.

At the very least, you might have more faces to associate with names and projects they talk about. In the best of cases, you may walk away from those events with new friends and an energized sense of fitting more into your partner’s life.

You might not find all events enthralling, but if they ask you to come with them, answer with a yes when you have the emotional resources is giving a gift to your partner.

Communicate in ways that fit your lives

When you’re in a relationship, you have ways you prefer to communicate with each other, and those methods have some flux around schedules and work. Land lines, cell phones, e-mail, chat programs, texting, social networking sites and video chat are all options. As these methods of communication age and diversify, the cost to use them is slowly but surely falling. You know how you and your partner communicate best, and when each method would be appropriate. Just remember that a well-timed phone call or text can often be as meaningful and supportive as a meal together.

I’m a famed consumer of Post-It notes in my work life, and that’s made it easy for people to leave me love notes to wake up to. It’s a boost to crack open your laptop long before eight a.m. and find a note stuck to the lip of the screen.

Have your own passion

While your partner has you and their career to be passionate about, finding your own passions will benefit you both. Your own creative pursuits will recharge you by keeping you healthy, sane, and better enabled to be a happier, connected partner.

You might have a different passion than theirs. Share it, learn each other’s languages and make each other a priority. It’ll keep you a couple as passionate about each other as you are about creating things others are passionate about.

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