Work-love imbalance

August 13, 2009

Dale Salwak's article on partner compatibility ("Love me, love my work", 30 July) evoked many thoughts about my predicament.

I am not an academic employee, but I am dedicated to self-directed research that, in addition to a lively continuing professional development plan, consumes a vast amount of my time outside work. Essentially, I work and sleep.

I've arrived at the conclusion that there would be little point entering into a meaningful relationship, as it would be doomed from the outset by the all-consuming nature of my work-focused lifestyle.

Let's face it, no matter how well two people get along together, or how much they might have in common, compromises (something I feel unable to do) are still required if a relationship is to work. This has led to a very solitary existence, but I would advocate not confusing feelings of loneliness with the need for a partner in life.

Salwak, quoting his mother, noted in his article: "you'll meet the right person when you become the right person". I agreed. I would warn against seeking happiness in another person before you have found it in yourself.

On a humorous note, and not being sexist, an elderly acquaintance gave me a useful tip based on his 60 years of married bliss. He told me that if I decided to get married, I should first agree with my future wife that it would be me who would make the difficult decisions and her the easy ones - but she would decide what was difficult and what was easy.

Name and address withheld.

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