Working 9-5 for Love?

A great relationship is a Career…not a job!

Written by Jewel J. Carter , Founder of Jewels Voiceworks

Yes, the statistics are staggering…50% of divorce. My question is what’s going on with the other 50%? How many of them are permanently separated, living in the same house but separate lives (open marriages)? How many are consistently unfaithful, being abused but they’re still hanging on to that piece of paper? The question I really want answered is…how many married folks are plain and simple HAPPY?

It astonishes me to think about all the methods, devices, programs, games and websites that have been created to get people together…everything from blind dating to naked dating. What do we have to strengthen those , to keep them strong and growing? Although clergy and therapy are options, by the time you get to the “experts” there’s already a problem in the relationship.

As I see it, too many of us are treating our relationships like our jobs, instead of like a career “choice”. Think about it; we look in the paper, do a search on-line or hear about a “prospect” from a friend. We fix up ourselves/resumes, to look a certain way to get the attention of the “prospect” and we put it out there. Then we wait!

Now, some of us only go after one “prospect”. Others put out multiple fielders to increase our chances of finding the “right one”. Then, there’s the first meeting. We put on our best clothes, face and behavior hoping to make a lasting impression. We’re just trying to get our foot in the door.

Bingo, we’re in! Now what? After the initial honeymoon stage, our appearance goes from putting our best foot forward to thinking out loud, “shoot, they better be happy I’m wearing shoes”! We start living paycheck to paycheck, day to day, and just waiting for the next “big or best thing” to come along. Forgetting the reason why we took on the responsibility in the first place. You know people that go from job to job, relationship to relationship? Or people that stay at a job/with someone, that (they obviously don’t enjoy), for so long, because it’s easier than looking for something else?

How should it be? Well, we still find the “prospect” the same way, by referrals, research and dumb luck. However, we must do our homework our due diligence. We put all the effort at the front end (to get in the door) and at the back end (to get out). Wrong! We do very little in the middle. Much like we would do with our career (that we love), we must take refresher courses, invest in the latest technology to continue to stimulate our minds, bodies and spirits. Most importantly, we must continue to communicate.

At work, there are daily memos and progress reports to tell us about our challenging areas and things that need improvement. We get incentives and bonuses. Not just “annual reviews”. What do you think about yearly relationship evaluations and self-evaluations? This could be a way of keeping track of our goals and aspirations individually and as a couple. Men and women do think and process things differently so, we should talk to each other and most importantly, don’t forget to shut up and really listen too!

Perhaps the problem with relationships today is that too many of us are treating them like jobs that we work instead of businesses that we own?

Jewel Carter can be heard on WBAV/101.9 FM Charlotte, NC, and founder of Jewel’s Voice Works. Follow her on Twitter @Jewelsvoice