Whether you’re single or in a relationship, your job might be slowly (but surely) butchering your dating life. Here’s how to recognise the signs, and what to do to fix them.

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1) You work crazy hours


Maybe you have a demanding job. Or maybe you work two jobs to make ends meet. Whatever the arrangement, spending so much time at work will not give you the time you need to grow relationships with people. The solution? Balance the see-saw. Sometimes, give your job more attention. Sometimes, give it to your love life (because you should never give up on love, spills dating columnist). Besides, your partner will be more forgiving if they know you’ll be making it up with a cosy weekend together. Never focus on work while on a date (not even a “quick text”) and vice versa so you make the most out of your allocated moments.


2) You complain about work too much

It’s natural to vent, but go on about it too much and you’ll bore and annoy your partner, whether a casual date or boyfriend. And really, no one likes a whiner. The solution? Allocate an agreed amount of time for venting (five to 10 minutes is fair) and stop bringing it up after (and don't you dare make these 6 dating mistakes as well). The whole point of being on a date is to have a good time, so make him remind him of what’s attractive about you by being pleasant and positive.


3) You don't share enough about work


While you don’t complain, you also don’t share (and you're pushing him away slowly). You may think it’s not important enough or feel that you don’t want to burden your partner with your troubles, but that could just make him feel like he’s not important enough instead. The solution? Try to elaborate on your work, no matter how dull it all sounds, and ask him about his. Tell him about your triumphs and challenges; they can take no more than three minutes. If he’s your boyfriend, involve him in your ambitions. Tell him your goals so that he’ll feel more like a part of you, and be more supportive of your career.


4) You're always tired

Everyone’s tired. You, me, and the lady next to you (quick fix: get your glow instantaneously for emergency dates). But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to not make time for people, especially if it’s someone important (or could be potentially important). The solution? Put in effort for your own sake. Make that new date happen. Been with your boyfriend for three years? Netflix and chill shouldn’t be all that the relationship knows now. Surprise him with a nice dinner outside or plan an activity somewhere. Sure, you’re tired, but you can spend the next two nights in recovery. Don’t let the excuses snowball.


5) You let your job kill you


If you’re letting your job kill you on the inside (keep chanting this mantra), it’s bound to also kill the other areas in your life, including your relationship. Much as we’d like to think we’re capable of compartmentalising our lives, we aren’t always able to really do it, especially when the going gets tough. The solution? Either find a new job or learn to take things easier. If quitting isn’t an option now, you’ve got to find ways to destress. It’ll not only help you, but make your relationship healthier, and everyone wins.


This story first appeared on CLEO, 18th May 2017.