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Hot Stuff: My girlfriend's a workaholic

What to do when your other half has put her career first

Gemma Halsey

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:04:28 GMT | Updated 4 years today

Dear Hot Stuff,

I've been with my girlfriend now for over four years. She's slightly younger than me and when we first got together she was was a newbie TV runner, just beginning her working life. We had an excellent relationship; supportful, intimate and loving. It was only normal then, that during the time when she wasn't earning a lot, I paid for things, rent, food, trips etc and she contributed whenever and wherever she could.

Four years on and she's made it big, working on hefty and time consuming television projects for some of the biggest channels. As a result I hardly ever see her anymore.

I don't know how to tell her that the career we both worked so hard to construct is now an obstacle between us. She's so driven but I just miss my girlfriend and my best friend. It's as if she's just not there anymore.

Emilie from London

Dear Lonely in London,

Relationships that have taken place during strong periods of transition can be complicated. A relationship that was wonderful in high school can't always be packed in a suitcase and taken to university. That girl who you dated the whole last year at uni moved, or got a job abroad at the end of her degree.

People are constantly shifting gear, changing opinions, growing up and evolving. Sometimes relationships can't do the same.

You did an amazing thing for your girlfriend at the start of your time together. It's not every couple that can stand the extra complication that financial inequality can bring. When the earning divide is so pronounced it can sometimes be hard not to fall into (however unconscious!) feelngs of being owed or owing.

The simplest way to think about your current situation (simple but very near impossible,) would almost be to try and forget about your history and concentrate on the current situation and how it's making you feel. If you constantly keep your past in mind you will inevitably end up thinking- I can't judge, I understand, look how hard we worked, I have to be more patient, give her more space, more time...

But sadly, no.

I'm assuming if you're writing to me it's that you have already gone through this process. The problem when we love someone so much is that being selfish can be almost impossible, even when we are really unhappy. The forgone conclusion of being such a lovely person is  'it's not her, it's me. I'm demanding too much.'

Analyse the reality of how YOU feel right NOW and act upon it. Don't be afraid to say, 'I'm here, where are you?'

I hope it works out.


If you have question, query or quivering issue that you would like to see treated, drop Hot Stuff a line at (in confidence).


Follow Gemma on Twitter: @GemmaHalsey

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