Is Your Career Affecting Your Love Life? Here’s the solution…

As founding owner of Soirée Society NI and a professional matchmaker, I have found that many of my clients, particularly men, blame long working hours for the lack of love and romance in their lives. And ironically, the lack of a partner leads them to undertake more work than they would otherwise wish to tackle.

Claire Hughes, Founder of Soiree Society NI

Claire Hughes, Founder of Soiree Society NI

In my earlier career in Banking, I recall that my first training course when I was promoted to Bank Manager was a talk with the interesting title – “There is no Tonight”.

A senior manager talked about the importance of work/life balance and advised us on good time management techniques. One of the things I remember most was his advice that when faced with a heavy workload and multiple tasks it was best to focus and complete the most important things first.

He said many people fell into the bad habit of doing the small less important things first and often consigned the larger more important tasks to the brief case to be done “tonight”, extending the working day and leaving little time for relaxation, friends, family and romance.

thumbnail_1478369252_soireesocietylogoI remember him saying that a laptop wouldn’t keep you warm in bed on a cold winter’s night or be a good companion in your old age! Despite the advice, I too was often seen carrying home the briefcase bulging with important lending applications that I intended to complete “tonight”.

Without being irreverent, it came to the point that I gave my briefcase a name and referred to it as “the Sacred Heart of Jesus” because, just like the holy picture that adorned so many Catholic homes at the time, (or alternatively think of the Mona Lisa) – it gave the impression that the eyes moved and followed you no matter where you were in the room.

So in addition to the already busy and long working day, I could feel the “eyes” of my briefcase glaring at me (even if in another room) making me feel guilty if it was left unopened. It stressed me out if those big important tasks didn’t get done that night as I would be in arrears the following day even before it started. The situation certainly wasn’t conducive to a healthy work/life balance.

Now as a professional Matchmaker, I interview many unattached professionals who are similarly “married” to their work/careers. It’s often the “chicken and egg” situation of having a long day travelling and being too busy with work to have the time or the energy to date and find a partner.

thumbnail_1478368815_monalisaeyesIt is also the case where people state that the reason for the breakup of their marriage or relationship was due to one or both of the partners prioritising work over spending quality time together.

It is also clear that not allowing adequate time for the important things in life, like relaxation, relationships, friends, family, nutrition, health and fitness leads to a decline in quality of work as the pressure mounts and stress leaves people less focused and less effective.

I find it is most prevalent with men, as they tend not to have as large a circle of friends as women and don’t have the same opportunities to go out socially or to have someone to talk to about how they are feeling.

In addition, many of the same people who are too busy for love also find that being single leads to them taking on additional work, which creates a vicious circle as often more is expected of them, leading to even less time for the relationship they long for.

It’s great to know the theory but not that easy to put into practice! To break a habit and to step of the wheel requires not only change but most importantly, a reason to change.

thumbnail_1478368840_soirebanner1For me it was to leave the briefcase at work and to spend the time connecting with family and friends and on more healthy outdoor activities, like walking the dogs.

I found I was less stressed, healthier, slept better and became more productive at work as it made me focus and prioritise the most important things while in the office, and the even more important things when away from work.

It has been wonderful to work with some of our clients – to be the spanner in the works as it were – helping them to reflect on better use of their time out of the workplace, and matching them with someone able to bring about the positive change they were seeking in their life.

It’s a bit like people outsourcing work that is going to bring about an improvement in their situation where someone else is going to work with you and for you – e.g. hiring a personal trainer to improve health and fitness, employing an accountant to save time and ensure you benefit fully from tax allowances.

Soirée Society NI works with and for our clients to help find them that compatible partner to bring love and romance into their lives – giving them that reason to work less and live more. We’re what you could call a recruitment agency for relationships, helping people to fill that vacancy in their lives and allowing our clients to have a more appealing pair of eyes following them around the room in the evening!

Do you need to assess your work/life/love balance? Check out for more information.

Claire Hughes, CMgr FCMI