Tonight, I’m sitting here blogging and waiting for my sweetie to come home from work. This is an extremely busy time for Eric at his day job and he has been putting in some unbelievable hours lately. He comes in, plops on the couch, and either messes around on his iPad to clear his cluttered mind or dozes off. It’s hard watching him drag in day after day, but thankfully this project should be over before too long.
One trait I loved about Eric when we were dating, and still love about him today, is his work ethic. Eric is unstoppable. When I’m throwing in the towel for the day, Eric is just warming up. I am amazed at how he can keep going. When we were in graduate school, he hit the books more than I did, and what I used to think was a hard day at work is the equivalent for Eric just getting started for the day. The man has skills.
It wouldn’t be wise to expect your future spouse to work as hard as Eric, but it is important to have an idea about his or her work ethic. When Eric and I were dating, he asked me to work on a project with him. I honestly don’t remember what we worked on, but I remember Eric telling me after the fact that he wanted to see how well we worked together – I guess I passed. ~smile~
It is fun to have a boyfriend or girlfriend who can play hard. I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying life and playing with all of your might; however, before adults can spend money on a good time, they have to spend time earning money. No matter how much fun you and your sweetheart are having now, you will want the comfort of knowing that once you are married, he or she will be willing to put in a good day’s work and then some. You will want to eat. You will want clean clothes. You will want gas in your vehicle. And you won’t want to be the only one getting it all done. You may be in a love trance now, but nothing crashes you back to reality faster than the realization that you are working your rear end off while your honey sits on the couch watching TV or playing Angry Birds.
At the same time, it’s important to know how to slow down and smell the roses too. If your sweetie works all the time and refuses to take a rest and have fun, you may be looking at a lonely marriage. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”… and an absent spouse. There are times in life when work may take precedence for a short period of time (e.g., getting out of debt, settling into a new job, big projects at work, etc.), but if your sweetheart chooses work over play most of the time, even when it’s unnecessary, that could be a sign of workaholism. It’s great to enjoy work, but it’s not okay for work to be an addiction, especially at the expense of one’s family.
So, the word I want you to take away from today’s blog is balance. Look for someone who puts his or her heart into the task at hand and then puts his or her heart into the game!
The following are some signs that your sweetie may have a weak work ethic:
- He or she is constantly between jobs because something is wrong with all of them
- He or she leaves tasks half-finished in order to enjoy more amusing activities
- He or she makes excuses to put off tasks
- He or she whines and complains about having to work
On the flip side, the following are some signs that your sweetie’s work ethic may be over the top and heading toward workaholism:
- He or she puts off getting proper sleep because there is always a new project that needs completing
- He or she consistently chooses work over time with family or friends
- He or she feels ill-at-ease or worthless if he or she’s not accomplishing something (e.g., can’t take a nap because it’s a waste of time, etc.)
- He or she cannot think of anything to talk about other than work
Your life will probably be full of work (hopefully exhilarating and fulfilling work), but be sure to make time for stress-reducing fun. Someday, when you’re married and settling into bed at night, you’ll be thankful to have a man or woman lying next to you who puts solid effort into keeping the household running properly, but you’ll also be thankful if the man or woman lying next to you is your best friend with whom you laugh, play, and act your silliest.
Does your sweetie work hard, play hard, or both?