A Guide to Dating Someone Extremely Career-Driven

What to expect when seeing someone who is career-oriented? Discover the pros and cons of dating a career-driven woman or man.

There’s a lot to appreciate about people who are career-driven as they dedicate themselves to achieving their career goals and excelling in their professions. However, dating a career-driven man or woman can have its ups and downs. After all, they are likely to have a lot of admirable attributes, but with that can come stress and a lack of free time. 

In our guide below, we address some of the pros and cons of dating someone who is extremely focused on their career to help give you an idea of what you can expect in your own relationship. 

They Have High Expectations

Career-driven women and men often have high expectations of not only themselves but those around them, too. They’ll likely expect the best from you, encouraging you to go above and beyond in all facets of your life. While it’s great that they have confidence in you, it can sometimes lead to disappointment if you drop the ball or don’t perform to their standards. 

Because of this, we recommend having conversations around realistic expectations. You may have to ground your partner and remind them that you’re trying your best no matter the outcome. The same goes for discussing the high standards they set for themselves. Sometimes, it helps to hear they don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time and have your support no matter what. 

They are Dependable

One thing many career-driven women and men have in common is that they’re reliable. After all, to be successful, they must arrive on time, complete their tasks, and be ready to take on new challenges at the drop of a hat. And the good news is that these characteristics often carry over into their relationships. 

When dating a person who is career-driven, there’s a good chance you can depend on them. They’ll likely be true to their word, act responsibly, and follow through on their promises, paving the way for a stable, grounded relationship. 

They May Not Have a Lot of Free Time

Whether they’re working a high-stakes job or trying to make it in a new field, career-oriented individuals often dedicate all their time and energy to their professions. This means they don’t always have a lot of free time to spare for going on dinner dates, taking vacations, or lounging around on a Sunday morning. 

When dating someone in this position, it’ll help if you’re flexible and understanding about their demanding schedule. For example, your partner might have to bail on date night at the last minute because of an urgent assignment. Or you might find they have to work late at the office for five nights in a row. 

That said, it’s not fair if your partner constantly cancels on you or fails to make you a priority. Your time is valuable, too, so be sure to speak up if you feel that your career-focused partner is inadvertently taking you for granted. 

They Might Carry A Lot of Stress

Being career-oriented often comes with its fair share of stress. Maybe your partner is studying for the LSATs, working to get their start-up off the ground, or trying to increase their salary

Whatever it is, that can put a lot of strain on them and create a recipe for stress and anxiety. And unfortunately, they may take that built-up stress out on you, getting annoyed, frustrated, or even angry with you for no apparent reason. 

If you’re dating a career-driven man or woman, it’s important to realize stress may be part of the equation. When navigating it, try to understand the root of their stress and emotions and realize that it may be misdirected at you. If you can, think of ways to ease your partner’s stress in other aspects of life, such as picking up the groceries for them, surprising them with dinner plans, or booking a couple’s massage. However, if you feel like you’re constantly the target when their stress level rises, it may be time to breach the topic of better stress management. 

They Have Priorities 

A big part of being professionally successful involves prioritizing one’s job. That could mean staying late at the office, working toward making partner at the law firm, or becoming the lead surgeon at the hospital. While these are ambitious goals and aspirations, achieving them can sometimes get in the way of other aspects of their lives, like dating or raising a family. 

We hate to say it, but it’s a good idea to have an honest conversation with your partner and ensure you’re one of their priorities because sometimes dating or getting married isn’t always at the top of their to-do list. In fact, in some cases, it’s not a priority at all. If your priorities don’t align, you may want to discuss what that means for your future as a couple. 

They May Need a Helping Hand

While they may seem like a superhero, your partner might be struggling to keep everything afloat, from their job and relationship to their household duties and other responsibilities. And if they’re especially ambitious, they may be too proud to ask for help. 

If you suspect your career-driven partner is feeling a little overwhelmed, look for ways to lighten their load. Can you pick up dinner on your way home from work, drive the kids to school, or take over their volunteer shift at the community center? Little acts of service like this can go a long way when your partner is feeling over-tasked. 

When you’re seeing someone who is passionate about their job, it doesn’t necessarily have to come down to one or the other, career or relationship. As long as your partner is willing to strike a balance between the two and have open conversations about its impact on you, then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a thriving relationship together. 

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