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It Actually Is Possible To Be Too Busy For A Relationship

So in case some of you haven’t been paying attention, I have been very busy as of late. Lately my life has been nothing but office hours, deadlines, word counts, and not much of anything else. It’s actually gotten to the point where I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep on my pillow because I keep falling asleep on my laptop.

I’m not complaining though. It’s work. And having not had a job for months, trust me, the complaints about a job are far better than the complaints about not having a job. But I’m not going to act like all this work hasn’t stressed me out. It’s affected damn near everything and as grateful as I am for the blessings of a cool job and the opportunities to write for numerous publications, the other night I was struck by a thought I never had in my life:

For the first time ever, I may be too busy to be in a relationship.

It hit me the other night when I came straight home from work around 8:30, opened up my laptop, and literally stayed in front of it until 1:00. When I did get up, I washed my face, looked in the mirror and thought, “Did I really just work for close to 5 hours?” And then I thought if I had a girlfriend, how it would never work because I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time, but girls who are in my life always seem to at one point, get upset with my career behavior.

These days, I’m obsessed with doing the work and getting it done. I have created this luxury of sorts, to get paid doing what I love, and sometimes I feel if I’m not doing it, I’m being ungrateful. It’s like, how dare I don’t do this assignment just because I don’t feel like it! Sloth is a sin. To be slothful towards something I wanted to do my whole life? Straight to hell with me.

But then again, this is work. This isn’t playtime.  I love what I do, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy it from afar. Some time away from doing what I love to enjoy the people that I love would be nice and appreciated by both me and them because a lot of them, they don’t understand.

The number one reason I’m not spending time with any women these days — at least not any quality time — is because of work. Just this week, a friend of mine suggested we hang out on Sunday, and I told her I would love to if I’m not busy. She laughed and teased me, as if to say, “You think you’re going to be the only one who is busy on Sundays.”

She’s probably right. It’s not just me who is busy on Sunday. Everyone will be busy on Sunday, because these days, everyone is busier than ever trying to keep up with the Joneses. And so a woman will be quick to tell a man if he really cared, he would make time.

Well, I guess it’s fair to say that would be the case. So I guess it’s fair to say, I don’t care enough? Doesn’t sound too nice, but if the shoe fits wear it. As long as I don’t say no to one girl because of another girl I suppose all girls could forgive me while I knock out this latest review for the Wall Street Journal.

Just the other day I read a blog post about me (yes, those do exist) by this girl I used to date. And it was something about how she gave me a chance during my time of unemployment. She talked about all the time we used to spend together — because I didn’t have a job — doing things like going to the movies in the middle of the day and taking these long walks that people do when they are unemployed (like I was) or in between jobs  (like she was, as someone who worked in the arts). Come to find out, while reading the post, a lot of her friends were asking her why she chose to take a chance on a guy with no job. And that was strange for me to read. Strange and yeah, a rude awakening because I met those friends and thought they thought I was great for her. But as it turns out, in their eyes, I wasn’t. She mentions this in the post, and then talks about how as things started looking up for me, months after I decided to end things between us, I called to thank her for supporting me during those dark days when I was working to get work.

But the irony is, if her and I were still dating these days, we probably wouldn’t last long anyway, because while I do know plenty of women who would much rather be with a guy with some job stability over a guy with no job stability, I haven’t met any woman who is a huge fan of my work ethic. They’re supportive of it, admire it, compliment it, but they don’t like it, and so I say too bad, for now. If a woman doesn’t want a man who is unemployed, they might have to settle for a man like me, and the unfortunate thing is: I might not have time to settle down with them.

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  • **inquiring mind**

    Wow… I feel like I just watched you grow-up a bit right before my eyes. #weird

    Good post.

  • heaven

    Thats the thing about success huh?…. When it comes, it comes in overwhelmingly large loads… and then you’re so focused on the continued success that you don’t even have time to enjoy it! Good luck homey… it’s like being stuck in between a rock and hard place…

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  • Taraji

    Jozen, I love your writings, I love your thoughts, I love you! Marry me? I’m really busy too, so it would work! Haha, j/k. Keep up the awesome work.

  • KitKatCuty84

    I was just thinking this about this one guy I’m seeing. Hmmm….It’s a sign. LOL.

  • M. Hendricks

    To anwswer your question: Yes you can be too busy for a relationship. If you know you don’t have the time then why settle down. (<— hey that rhymed a little, and I just copyrighted it!) Just make sure you're honest with yourself. Good read!

  • N.Lara

    I respect everything you said – and for once, agree whole-heartedly with every word. I have been there myself before, working late nights, and even through-out the weekends…missing my s/o, family and friends…but as cliche as this sounds, it WILL pay off someday. This post has garnered you much attention, and the success you’ve achieved through your work and ethic, will hopefully one day put you in a position where you will be able to sit back and truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Not sure if you even read this, but just wanted to say, you’re hard-work is appreciated, and when you meet that lucky girl – you’ll know she’s the one because she accepts it!

  • Reecie

    I think I read that blog post. sounds familiar.

    and yeah I dated a guy once that was too busy for me. It was hard to realize I just didn’t prioritize where I wanted to be in his life, had to let it burn…

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Agreed. No obligations to anyone but yourself and your craft. That’s just necessary sometimes.

  • Syrita

    Very mature to realize you can indeed be to busy for a relationship. Very few folks do. I did an honest evaluation of myself last year and realized that if a relationship was important to me I couldn’t spend every available minute at work, no matter how much I love what I do. So I made some changes and a more balanced life has become mine. The relationship hasn’t happened yet, but I know that if/when it does come along there’s space in my life to fit it in.

  • Rae Rae

    Great post!! I can relate totally as to why it is probably for the best I am not in a relationship at this stage in my life!

    I can also relate to having to let a great guy go because he too was so committed to his work at the time.

  • Cristina

    Good for you! Been with a man that didn’t “like” my work ethic. Now I just say if you are too needy, you need not apply. To keep a job in New York in this economy takes hard work. We can date when we our economy is booming.

  • Cristina

    Also, congrats! You wouldn’t be writing for the Wall Street Journal without a great work ethic.

  • TiffiTaffy

    Thank you for this. I’ve been arguing with someone about this for about a year. It’s hard to understand. Hard to accept. Especially when that person makes time for family and a couple of other friends, and tells you they don’t have time for you. But I’m learning it’s just easier to keep myself busy, to keep my mind off of what’s NOT happening.

  • L. Dejean

    And then I thought if I had a girlfriend, how it would never work because I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time, but girls who are in my life always seem to at one point, get upset with my career behavior.

    ^^^I think that it takes maturity and understanding to be able to not get upset but maybe, their love languages are quality time, hence the upset. Maybe you need someone who keeps busy as well so that the focus isn’t all on you?

    I totally understand this post because i’m about to get really busy once september between my second semester of grad school & a new job. This also means stress…i think my main issue would more so be if I’m too stressed for a relationship rather than being too busy for it. *shrug*

    great post!

  • Violet

    Great revelation. Great post.

  • E

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been at different points in my life where I’ve literally been too buys for a relationship. Sometimes people wouldn’t believe me, and I understand, as the “I’m too busy” swindle is an easy excuse. However, relationships take work, from both parties. It makes sense, and is possible for someone to be too busy for a relationship. My argument was (at the time) this: sometimes I hardly have enough time to take care of myself, I would be being unfair not only to myself, but my potential boyfriend in question if I can’t take care of, or spend the time to upkeep and ENJOY the relationship.

    Great post.

  • That Writing Chic

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been to busy to write it for myself, so now when people ask why I haven’t dated in a while, I can point them to this post and then have the short version of the conversation! It is daunting to be too busy for a relationship and by nature of what I do, there are peaks and valleys in my time commitment. I don’t know if the answer is to find someone in the same industry, so they would understand or run the risk of someone who is so enamored by your career path that they don’t really get to know you. I’m sure the right guy will come along one day, but, of this I am sure: I’m not going to change pursuing my passion/purpose in life for the sake of a relationship.

  • Roni

    Great post … takes a certain level of maturity for a man to accept what he is incapable of but to admit it to the world is a whole ‘nutha level. ;^)

  • Mighty B

    Whenever I hear someone say they are “too busy” for anything I’m very quick to give them the side eye. No one is ever TOO busy for the things they REALLY want and/or need to do – as you can always take a little time for something leisurely that you enjoy/care about. It’s all about how much effort (and sacrifice) you’re willing to make for someone else… is that “someone else” worth it to you?

    I don’t consider myself to be a needy or dependent person, but I do require a certain level of time and attention to show and prove that you’re into me. I know what I’m willing to do to show it and because being around that special guy is a refreshing high, I’m willing to make adjustments in my day to see him and be with him… for both of our sakes. To me, one of the most important hallmarks of a committed relationship is selflessness. If you can find spare time to watch the game, workout, or get on Playstation… then you have a little time for me.

  • Angela

    Interesting as usual! Working in the media and being a single mother, I had/have the issue!

    I just do long distance relationships! That way I deal with them when I need to…

  • eyekneeduhname

    …and this is why we have “boo-thangs”…

    @Syrita I couldn’t have typed it better.

  • Ondrea

    I commend you for acknowledging that you are too busy. I dated a guy briefly who was busily doing things and he couldn’t understand why I stopped seeing him. He felt like I wasn’t supporting him while he was doing his thing. I told him I am supporting you by giving you all the time and space to do what you need to do. I am just in the way. He didn’t get it.

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  • Tea

    Yeah, no one wants to wait for you to get done working to spend time. (Or at least that’s what I hear all the time when I’m at work). Sad.

  • adrina

    I get this all the time from men. In the last year almost every man i have gone out with told me i was too busy for them. This post was much appreciated!

  • MissMina

    L. Dejean :
    ^^^I think that it takes maturity and understanding to be able to not get upset but maybe, their love languages are quality time, hence the upset.

    *Snap**snap**snap* @ love languages. If only more people understood what love languages really were…

  • **inquiring mind**

    @MissMina and @L. Dejean

    I’m so glad y’all pointed that out about love languages… I don’t think people take into consideration its importance and that it’s not just that you show someone you care about them but how you do it… people indentify love differently. #deep

  • Cali

    I’ve been thinking this myself lately. Weekends are packed! I keep wondering, “How am I gonna fit a boyfriend into this??” But I’m hoping I’ll find the time when he comes along… & he needs to make it quick, lol!

    I’m new to your block – nice read 🙂

  • Maria

    I read that blog post you are mentioning and I wonder is this Jozen….conformation.
    Anywho….we all make time for things that are important in our lives. I came across a quote the other day that really struck a cord with me: “Always be yourself, because the people that matter don’t mind, and the ones that mind don’t matter”

    If a strong work ethic is who you are and you are doing what you love, the important people in your life will undersatnd.

  • Steph

    I am in the same situation (I have a day job and a dream job that keeps me busy all evenings and week-ends) and met a guy recently. He’s the one who suggested we got together. I tried to explain to him that I didn’t have the time. He insisted, we got together and it didn’t work because had no time. I did like him a lot but my dream job was just more important. He didn’t get it and most people didn’t.

    I think most people think workaholic women work a lot because they haven’t found the right man. And there is this assumption that when they find him, they will put work on the back burner. The guy I was with did think so and was vexed to realize that no, my job at that time was more important.

    It is a difficult decision to make: I want to get married and build a family but there is also this goal I want to achieve. So I closed my eyes and tried a little visualisation game. In the first scenario, tells me I will never be married. I felt disappointment but was overall fine. In the second one, they tell me that I will never achieve my career goal. I felt crushed and felt like a failure. The choice was made. Career it is.

  • Emelie Healer

    I do want a guy who is unemployed and not attending any form of full-time study online or otherwise or runs a shop doing nothing. Someone who has as much time as I do to dine out, have coffee, spend time walking around town, afternoon movies, parks, drives around the island, do spontaneous and random things anytime. Someone like me who has like a 10hour work week maximum. Like how dating was like in freshman year. We attend classes less than 10 hours a week and we get to hang out til dawn, skip school if we can’t wake up. Club all weekend. Go to parties together. Never worrying about where money was going to come from. Not needing to feel significance. Just having fun and connecting deeply.

    I want what life was like during freshman in college. We attend class 3-4 days a week, 4 hours tops and get to hang out so much in between and not have to worry about what time to get home or where money was coming from.

  • 12fg

    But if you met a gal you REALLY couldnt stop thinking about, I bet the articles you’re writing suddenly wouldnt seem half as important and you’d find a way to fit her into your life, even if it was just for a tiny part of your day or a quick catch up… Youd want to keep her in your life in any way you could, work or not! Just need to meet that special person….. !! Everyone loves to be in love dont they?!!!

  • Busy Bee

    The economy has put a lot of stress on relationships and most especially on any one person building a career. Being busy nowadays is what it is. Things have changed since 2007 and the bailouts. We all want great relationships,but at some point we are all playing catch-up to keep things going strong. Financial matters have taken over the way we react to our relationships. If you are doing well then there is more free time,if not then we want to at least get to a comfortable position to be happy with our life.Complaints! just get in the way of positive thinking and moving relationships forward. There are going to be ups and downs. Overall finding time day or night to really enjoy a relationship is not that complicated it all depends on the two involved and how strong they are in this world of great ambition to be YOU!!! Just be yourself………