Some of you may not know, but I actually work with my fiance. I tend to get asked all the time how I like it and how it’s going. And oddly enough it’s a pretty simple answer, I love it. I was never ever was one who encouraged or planned on working with my significant other because it seemed like something that would be quite difficult for a relationship. I was wrong, and wanted to share with you my experience with you. Although this is definitely not for everybody, I do think it’s a great thing to have.
My fiance and I have been together for almost 9 years, and in that time we have gone through a lot. In college we both worked full time (along with a full class credits), on top of that he worked 3rd shift and I worked first and second shifts…basically working out buts off to pay for school! Overall we really did not get to see each other very often, and when we did we just spent all the time together as we could.
Out of college we both lived in our own one bedroom apartments, and typically got to see each other from 6 – 9pm most nights before he left for work. To top it off he constantly had to work overtime on weekends…which meant we rarely ever got to sleep in the same bed! About a year or so later we decided to move in with each other and had our own little 2 bedroom apartment…which was quite fun being able to ‘play house’ finally. Not long after that I decided to move to North Carolina to pursue my career…which meant we were living long distance for 2 years. Aaaah (crazy!) Once my little Saffron Avenue started growing I decided to finally take the leap of self-employment and moved back home to be with family.
Now onto actually working together ;) My fiance worked at a local brewery for about 8 years before quitting and working together. It was a pretty easy decision for us because not only did I need help with my business to be able to grow, but working with that company was a constant struggle for him (for sleep and consistency). Yes there was a pay cut (obviously), but the fact that he is now able to sleep (like a normal human being) and have the energy to put time into things he is passionate about is beyond worth it. For the first time in a long time, we seem to actually be ‘dating’ and have the opportunity to go have dinner together, take a weekend trip, stay in and watch movies, be on the same sleep schedule, and just be together…because in the last 8 years we never really had those opportunities. Of course not everyday is rainbows and butterflies, we both definitely have our little moments (doesn’t help how similar our personalities are), but again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
1.) Have separate offices/spaces
2.) Set boundaries or ‘work hours’
3.) Dedicate time to just your relationship, if that means taking a lunch together with no cellphones or taking a weekend trip together
4.) Don’t always discuss work, but do set time to brainstorm together (we are trying to do that every couple days).
5.) Put the computer down! (A constant struggle for me ;)
6.) If you work from home like us..find extracurricular activities and even separate activities. We do a lot together so I think it’s important that we also have our own activities (drinks with girlfriends, softball, dart leagues, etc).
6.) Agree and understand that if it’s not working, it’s not working! Before doing it, we made sure that if at any point our relationship is put in jeopardy because of work…we simply wouldn’t do it anymore. Relationship > Business – plain and simple.