Many of us join the workforce not because we love what we do but out of economic necessity. Sadly, many of us select our partners not because we truly love them and want to share our lives with them, but because we expect them to meet our immediate needs and goals. With this attitude, maintaining a relationship is a bit like taking a job just because it pays the bills.
With no deeper sense of fulfillment or potential for growth, we have little commitment to a relationship like this. In The Sacred Path of the Soulmate I use the term “relationship employment” to describe this very common phenomenon.
Here are six signs that your relationship could be based on relationship employment, rather than on true romantic love.
1. When our work is just a job, the main concern is whether the remuneration adequately compensates us for our labour. Similiarly, you may find yourself comparing your partner’s contribution to the relationship against a checklist of expectations, and weighing up whether or not they deserve your love.
2. If our work is just a job, we are prepared to quit anytime it fails to please us. Likewise, if we are in a relationship for convenience, our commitment to our partner is loose and conditional. If this is the case, you may feel ready to walk out on your partner if they no longer meet your needs. Any sadness stems largely from a sense of regret that you have wasted your time with this relationship.
3. Just as we don’t generally have high expectations of a dead-end job that we take for pragmatic reasons, you may just want a hassle-free relationship and have low expectations of its potential rewards.
4. When our work is just a job, real life begins after quitting time. If you’re in a state of relationship employment, you may pour most of your passion and creativity into things outside the relationship. Perhaps you spend more time cultivating connections with your Facebook friends than your partner, for example.
5. Just as we would not identify with a meaningless job or take much pride in our work, your partner plays a small role in your public persona and or positive sense of identity. You might even be ashamed of them, rarely mentioning them to your co-workers and friends except to complain.
6. Fear of unemployment is a big reason why we might stay in a dull job even though we could quit anytime. Similarly, you may stay with your partner largely because you are afraid to be alone.
Do any of these signs resonate with you? Odds are, you may be treating your relationship like it’s just a job.
All of us have physical, sexual, social, emotional, economic and reproductive needs. But if meeting these needs is all we want from our partner, we miss out on the most important gift that romantic relationships offer: the potential to transform each of us into a better person.
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