Home » News » Dual Wage-Earners Can Still Have Romantic Relationship
Dual Wage-Earners Can Still Have a Romantic Relationship

Dual Wage-Earners Can Still Have Romantic Relationship

New U.K. research dispels the long-held belief that long work hours make it harder to maintain a romantic relationship.

Investigators discovered dual-career couples can maintain a romantic relationship if each partner is aware that their long work hours will inevitably cause sacrifices and if they make the most of their time after work.

In a study that focused on 285 couples, investigators from the Tavistock Institute discovered long work hours do not impede relationship satisfaction. Their findings have been published in the journal Human Relations.

For the study, researchers assessed the effect of working hours on the couple’s relationship. As the researchers explain: “Conventional wisdom and research seem to suggest that partners in dual career-couples have to decide whether they would rather risk their careers or their romantic relationship […] Our research questions the assumption that working longer hours is hazardous for all romantic relationships.

“Our study attempts to help answer the question of whether dual-career couples [relationships where both partners pursue their careers] should be hesitant to devote many hours to their work when they fear negative relationship consequences,” the researchers continue.

Investigators sought to determine if a partner’s working hours influenced a couple’s private life and happiness. They found that couples compensated for the time lost with their partners by making the most of time they have after work.

Knowing and accepting that one cannot do it all is an important consideration.

For example, the researchers explained how career-driven people who are investing long hours into work — crucial in the pursuit of their career goals — are also aware that they can’t have everything in their private lives.

According to the researchers,  “[…] there was no negative association between working time and relationship satisfaction […] Our results challenge the common-sense assumption about a negative association between working time and relationship outcomes.”

Source: SAGE/EurekAlert

Dual Wage-Earners Can Still Have Romantic Relationship

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Dual Wage-Earners Can Still Have Romantic Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 7 Jan 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.