Are you keeping up with the Trump White House? Most intense season of The Apprentice yet, right? But seriously, people are cycling in and out of there at such a rapid rate. It’s alarming on a lot of levels. While I’m of course gravely concerned about the future of our nation, all of these firings have also made me think about how job loss can impact a romantic relationship. (Everything circles back to romance and relationships in my mind. Hazard of the job!) Hopefully you’re not dating someone working in this administration, because I’m pretty sure that no matter who they are, their days are numbered! But, you probably will be in a relationship with someone who loses their job. It’s just part of most careers. Here how to be a good partner during those times.
Being fired or laid off is an awful experience to go through. It’s shocking in the worst way and can be humiliating and shameful for some people. Make sure your relationship is an easy place for your partner to be during this tough time. Let them vent to you without judgment. Don’t make suggestions about next steps or offer how you would have handled the situation differently. Just be a pair of ears, especially at first. Spend your energy asking “How do you feel?” instead of trying to fix their feelings and your relationship will be a lot healthier during this trying period.
Once the initial shock of the job loss is over, it’s time to get real. Talk to your partner about what adjustments need to be made to accommodate their new financial situation. If you two share finances, open your books and talk about where you can cut and how you can save so this period of unemployment is as low stress as possible. If you two are dating and have separate finances, let your partner know that you don’t expect your dating life to stay the same. Adjust date nights to be cooking together instead of going out. Go on walks instead of to expensive work out classes. Watch Netflix instead of going to the theatre. Your life is going to have to change because of your partner’s work situation. Have a good attitude about it and your relationship will be golden.
With all that said, you have to set your boundaries. You can’t be your boo’s therapist. So, if this unemployment moping goes on too long, tell your love to head to a therapist’s office. If you two are just dating, do not lend them any money. I repeat, do not lend them any money. And I’m going to say it one more time: DO NOT LEND THEM ANY MONEY! If you guys are together and sharing finances, you may even have to put a limit on how long you’re comfortable with your partner being fully unemployed. I know dream jobs don’t just show up every single day, but there are ways to make money while your boo looks for their next real opportunity. Maybe it’s driving for a ride share app or it could be freelancing in their field. Make it clear what your limits are and stick to them.
Jobs come and go, but if you follow the above steps, your relationship should be strong enough to stomach the twists and turns of a career rollercoaster.