Love in the Workplace – Maintaining Ideal Work-life Balance

“People are weird. When we find someone with a weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.”

– Dr. Seuss

This quote has not only been an inspiration for many but has also become more of a go-to line to justify falling in love at the most unexpected places. Love is a feeling which can blossom at any place without any intimation. Office romance, thus, is not at all uncommon. Several couples in today’s time have met because of work, and their relationships have turned out to become remarkably successful. This is true across industries and professions.

For example, we have seen celebrity couples falling in love with each other while making a cinema or a series and then getting married later after months of courtship! As a human being, what you are expected to do, at the end of it all, is to be open to the idea of love and not close yourself out of the surroundings to focus on work.

“You know what’s sexy? A real conversation!”

The atmosphere at most an office ends up having a group of single people with similar interests in a confined area to work together. According to psychology experts all over the world, it is not uncommon to fall in love with a co-worker when you are spending considerable time of your day with him or her, having open conversations, and working. Ever remember the feeling of seeing this one person at office everyday and feeling your heart beat faster? Or maybe the fact that you know every single dress the person owns and can even recognize them from a whiff of their perfume? That is exactly what I am talking about.

Most of you might not have everything in common, but the mind works in the weirdest ways. The communication and clarity of thoughts when you are working together is always a turn-on. If you are on the same team, celebratory lunch or dinner, and even parties can bring you closer to each other. If something like this happens, my advice? Go with the flow!

In a Relationship with a Co-Worker!

Once you are sure that this is the person you want to pursue, you need to ensure that the relationship doesn’t interfere with your professional life. You need to first see if the

person you have developed feelings for feels the same for you or not. IF and ONLY IF the answer is yes, you should go ahead with nurturing your feelings. Or else, you must discourage your heart from thinking about it or moving forward. You should also learn how to handle breakups gracefully.

A huge reason why office relationships are discouraged because most people think that it might affect the quality of work. Well, quite frankly, it is more about how you handle the situation than anything else. I have, thus, taken the liberty to jot down a few points, which can make such a relationship strong!

1. The Company Policies: There are a vast number of companies that prohibit dating a co-worker. So, make sure you double-check the company policies before you begin the relationship. Based on those same rules, you may also be asked to sign a contract and inform other co-workers about your relationship.

2. Certainty: Always know at the back of your mind that being in a relationship at the office is a big deal, and that is why you need to be certain that he or she is the one. Ask yourself if you are only attracted because of the intense project you are working on, or does the attraction carry forward to when you are together. Knowing the answers to these questions would help you make a decision that will ultimately affect your relationship.

3. Professionalism: We all know the butterflies of first love. We would want to constantly be around the person we love, touch them or look at them, and that might come in between your professional commitments. Maintaining the office decorum falls as a priority for both of you. Stealing moments where you are looking at each other is fine, but that must never come in between your work. Even if you are sitting beside each other or working on something together, you must not let the romance affect your work. If it, by any chance, ends up affecting your performance and it comes into sight of your peers, you might even be asked to break up or worse, leave the job.

4. Power Play: NEVER EVER BE BIASED! Always note that once your colleagues get a whiff of the fact that there is an office romance brewing, they will try their best to find out the bias in your work towards each other. Don’t let them fool you. That is why it is always recommended that you do not date someone in a higher-or-lower position (the chain of command/hierarchy), or else it might affect your work quo. However, since these things come unannounced, you might fall in love with someone in a different position, so just ensure that you have your professional and personal life apart.

Two Can Play a Game!

While you keep all of these things in mind when it comes to your professional stance, you would also have to live up to the expectations out of a relationship. Maintaining the ideal work/life balance is crucial, and you must learn the correct trick to the trade. You may often find both of you talking about the project you are working on at the office when you are alone. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!

It is always recommended not to take office-work at home when it is not necessary. This can take a toll on your mental health and thereby hurt your relationship as well. Yes, if you are living together, discussing the project for some time as you return home is normal. But when you have only a limited time with each other after office, you would want to utilize the time to strengthen your bond as a couple.

You have to prioritize your responsibilities and divide your time equally. Make the most of the limited time you get with each other. Plan surprises for the other and see their reactions. You can also buy sex toys online and plan a beautiful night to make your relationship spicier.

What Happens in Office Stays in Office!

When you are thinking of making your bond more powerful, you must always remember a few things. The most common mistake made by people in an office romance is that of bringing their fight over a trivial office matter at home. NEVER DO THAT!

When you have logged off from your office and stepped out of the premises, you are a couple with other goals in life. You cannot let the feelings at office bring down the moments you were otherwise going to spend with your partner and vice versa. You cannot let a fight in your relationship manage the whole day you spend together at the office.

Understanding each other’s scope of work and the pressure that comes with it is crucial to ensure that the relationship is long-lasting. You cannot expect your partner to leave the office at the same time as you every day. Two separate individuals have their own set of work at the office, and their pressure might differ as well. Forcing your expectations on the other and telling them that when you could get off early, why not them is just not ethical in a relationship.

One of the significant benefits of an office romance is having someone to talk to at all times. In an office environment, it is not uncommon for people to feel bad or have a rough day. Being by your partner’s side and understanding their side of the story is what makes your relationship unique.

To summarize it all, office relationships are beautiful, and you need to be brave enough to surpass all unwanted comments and do what your heart desires. When you do, however, you need to see it to the end and make both your professional and personal life flourish with no complaints. Love is an excellent feeling, and you need to embrace it whenever cupid strikes!

Long Distance Relationship Based on our Google Search History

Some say we are the sum of our experiences; I think we’re the sum of our Google search history. Well, maybe not literally, but our search history tells a lot about ourself. Our questions, our doubts, our problems, we entrust it all to Google. That’s why I like Google Trends, Google’s tool to explore worldwide search trends and statistics.

Right now, I’m writing a lot about long-distance relationships (LDR). So, curious as I am, it was natural for me to use the tool to investigate what our searches have to say about LDRs.

How we used Google Trends to understand people’s concern about LDR

The popularity of search queries can tell a lot about different subjects in our society. LDR is an excellent example of a topic where our search history can reserve us some surprising insights.

Before we delve into my finding, first, we need to understand the popularity metric in Google Trends. Google Trends gives us an index on a 1-to-100 scale. This index is a relative metric. It indicates how popular something is compared to other similar things. 

Now, I know that this last sentence might sound too abstract for many. At least, it was for me when someone first tried to explain it to me. So, let’s use an example. In the geographic report, we have a list of states. Not surprisingly, in our case, it’s Hawaï that has the highest index for “long-distance relationship” with a score of 100/100. That doesn’t mean that there are more searches related to LDR in Hawaï than in other states. That means the ratio “LDR searches/All other unrelated searches” is the highest in this state.

The state where LDR searches are the least popular is New Hampshire, with a popularity index of 59. That means that, based on our search history, LDRs are almost half as popular in New Hampshire than it is in Hawaï, but the fact that it’s >50 means that it’s still more popular than most of other searches. 

Long-Distance Relationship Infographic

So, even if our little analysis is not scientific, it shows us some interesting insights. I’ll go in detail about each section, but first, here are the results in an infographic format. If you follow this link, you can view the interactive format where you can sort columns: https://datastudio.google.com/s/mb_5TAfzVvA.

Source: Google Trends

If you want to share this infographic on your website, you can share it via Data Studio (https://datastudio.google.com/s/mb_5TAfzVvA) or ISSUU ( https://issuu.com/katrina-russell/docs/long-distance_relationship) You can use the share button in both cases. Please give an attribution link to https://katrinarussell.com.

What’s wrong about Kansas?

On the top-3 states where LDRs seems the most popular, you find the two non-continental states: Alaska and Hawaï. That’s not a surprise because… well, those states are afar. As the two remote states, people who either live in those states or migrated here for work has more chances to be involved in a long-distance relationship.

What’s stand out, however, is number two: Kansas. This big blue rectangle in the middle of the country. With a popularity index of 99, it’s well above the number 3: Alaska, standing at 85.

I’ve tried, with no success to find an explanation for it. If someone has an explanation, I would like to hear it! Don’t be shy and share it in the comments section.

All I know is that’s there was a big spike in LDRs related queries in 2015 in Kansas. I tried to figured out what what the cause, but nothing really stand out.

Related Searches

Topics

When we look at related searches, Google offers two ways to look at it. We can compare two different things. First, there’s the actual search query. That’s what you enter in the search bar. We will look at those later. Second, there are the related topics.

Google nests all the different search queries into various topics. Google Trends can show us the popularity of related topics. The higher is the index, the more people who searched about LDRs searched about those topics too.

Nothing is shocking here. With an index of 100, intimate relationship crushes all the other topics. What’s more interesting is the recent trending topics. That’s are the subjects that have shown a recent increase in their popularity.

What stands out is the rise of technology to help separate lovers to cope with the distance. In the last five years. topics such as bracelets, gadgets, and facetime show a recent surge in search volume. In the last five years, those searches are up to 7.5x more popular than five years before. Even more impressive is the rise of sex toys. With the invention of long-distance sex toys, sex toys and vibrators show a 4x and 6x increase. Vibration (which can include queries related to both sex toys and gadgets (like bracelets) is up to 16.5x.

However, the number one place is for the topic paragraph. You might wonder what the deal with a search topic like paragraph? I find it very interesting, and it shows us another aspect of how technology now shapes our relationships.

Searches that fall in this topic are queries that aim to help people write a paragraph to their love one. There was a time where love letters were well thought. Five years ago, we would still use our emotion as an inspiration for writing a love email. Now, we turn to Google to find a template, and we send it via our favorite messaging app.    

Querries

Now, we can look at actual querries. Here again, the related queries aren’t particularly interesting. What’s intriguing is the rising ones.

We can now see in detail what are the long-distance gadgets that have gained in popularity in the last five years. “Friendship lamps” (39.5x), “touch bracelets” (13.5x) and “distance bracelets” (8x) seem to be the new LDR devices that made a buzz.

Also rising is the “DDLG punishment for long distance relationship” querry. For those who do not know, DDLG is a form of a type of BDSM, or domination style, relationship. That, with the sex toy topics mark a trends toward sexual related querries for LDRs.

If we take a look at the breakout section (new rising topics that weren’t used five years ago), we can see that sexuality is at the heart of the rising topic. With querries involving “dirty talk” and “sexting,” we can see where the relation between technology and LDRs is heading.

Thanks to Mark Lafontaine for his help with Google Data Studio.

9 Tips to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

A long-distance relationship (LDR) can be like turbulent waters, but does it have to be? With the following tips, you can navigate these waters and come out unscathed.

Set couple goals

Any LDR will suffer without a well-defined purpose in view. What exactly are you both doing? At what relationship stage do you plan to be in say six months or one year? How long are you both going to be apart? A LDR without an end in sight to the distance cannot work.

Some types of relationships can survive “going with the flow” but not LDR; if both of you are not on the same page, it can’t work.

Decide boundaries

Many problems in relationships are associated with little or no boundaries set in place. You both need to discuss and answer questions like, are dates with other people allowed? Is this an open or exclusive relationship? And many other issues.

You will also need to discuss what infidelity and loyalty mean to you both.

Be honest with each other

It’s vital to be completely honest in a LDR; considering how fragile it is naturally, you don’t want to be poking holes in it with dishonesty. To be honest with your partner, you should first consider situations that may cause you to be dishonest, and seek to avoid such situations.

Don’t become boring

At some point, regardless of how much we love our partners, the chances are, we get bored with them. Getting bored in any relationship is the beginning of the end. At this junction, you do everything as an obligation and not because you want to.

Couples in long-distance relationships suffer this when they try to suffocate their lovers with attention and constant communication – even when they don’t have anything meaningful to talk about – in a bid to make up for the distance.

Try to spend time with family, friends, and colleagues. Having a life outside your relationship is healthy and can prevent you from getting paranoid or obsessed. 

Plan visits and vacations

Besides the ultimate end to the distance between you both, visits are usually the highlights of LDRs. You will probably spend weeks or months discussing and planning the visitation, knowing that every moment you have to spend together has to be special considering the length of time you spend apart.

The beauty of LDR is that simple things like hugs, holding hands, and kissing will mean so much more after a long period of abstinence.

To spice things up, you can both decide to meet at a neutral city with the time you have to spend together, and have a vacation or as it is now fondly called, “a baecation!”

Engage in similar activities

Regardless of the distance, participating in similar activities and keeping track of each other’s progress will help strengthen the bond between you and create more conversations to anticipate.

Now, the activities you share can be anything; it can be a hobby, a new TV series, or even a new book. Doing any of those at the same time, and discussing about them will also help to reduce the feeling of loneliness and seemingly shorten the emotional distance.

The key here is to choose activities you both enjoy.

Understand your partner’s schedule

Knowing your partner’s work schedule and itinerary can help you reach him without distracting him from work. This way, you don’t become a pest, which is a situation you’d want to avoid. Although goodnight and good morning texts should be the norm despite any schedules.

Take care of yourself 😉

Now, there’s one thing that we haven’t address. As humans, we all have our needs. If you’re in a monogamous LDR, there will be one need that will remains unfulfilled.

Let’s be honest, sex (or lack of) is one of the main downside of LDRs. One of the key success of long distance relationship is to be able to manage this urge. If you let your sexual desire put pressure on your relationship, it will be hard for both of you.

That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself. If possible, initiating yourself to sexting, sexy Skype session or even long-distance sex toys is a way to profit from intimate moment with your significant other. But it’s still advised to take your self game to the next level.

Don’t be shy to invest in your masturbation. That’s literally an investment in your relationship! Women might want to try an high-end vibrator or spend a bit more than usual for a quality dildo. Men, don’t be afraid to try toys too. You can check those Fleshlight reviews and buy a top male masturbator that will help you enjoy yourself.

Manage your expectations

For your mental health’s sake, it’s crucial that you manage your expectations from the beginning, and also adjust the expectations accordingly as the relationship progresses.

To properly do this, you should pay close attention to your partner and sense the unspoken words and get the cues. Essentially, go with your heart, but don’t leave your head behind.

The Emotional Stages of Long Distance Relationships

Human relationships are as complicated as anything can be; whether it’s a platonic relationship between people of the opposite sex, a BFF-type relationship, a relationship between siblings, or a romantic relationship, they can all get out of control. But of all the different types of human relationships, one of the easiest to spiral out of control is a romantic long-distance relationship.

Despite LDR being a challenging type of relationship, most of us have lived and may still have to live through it at some point in our lives. For this reason, I’ve set out to name the stages involved and how you may avoid common mistakes.

Stage One: Apprehension

Apprehension is likely going to be the first feeling you get when the idea of your man going away for a long time sinks in, and you start to think of all the things that could go wrong. You begin to feel that disturbing knot in your gut that usually signifies a bad omen, but as the supportive girlfriend/wife you are, you put on a smiling face and say, “We got this baby!” but you don’t “got it” and you know.

The only way to deal with this phase is to reminisce just how far you’ve come on your love journey and how much you are in love. Do this until the apprehension fades away.

Stage Two: Love Conquers All

Strengthened by memories of your personal love story and the renewed promise of love that is common before a long separation between spouses, you look forward to the coming weeks or months with hope and an unshakable belief. He moves, and you both can’t have enough of each other, and you want to talk for hours all day, every day.

This is the best part of a LDR, and you should keep it going. Try to build your conversations around highly intimate subjects like goals and challenges, as these topics encourage stronger connections.

Stage Three: Loneliness is the Enemy

Nothing gets our feelings all mixed up as loneliness. All of a sudden, you begin to feel his absence a lot, miss his smell and all. At this point, you may find yourself demanding a lot more time than he can offer, and may start contemplating going all the way out there to hook up with your man.

To avoid getting too lonely, you should start a new hobby, learn a new skill, or get involved with some outdoor activity or something, just don’t entertain the enemy.

Stage Four: Doubts

Okay so he posts pictures of a milestone at his new job, and you notice a particular girl in all the pictures, or you call him and hear a woman’s voice in the background, or he seems to be having a good time and having less time for you, and now the doubts set in. You begin to wonder why you’re stressing over one person in the first place. This is a particularly testing phase, most especially in dating relationships with weaker bonds.

At this stage, what you need is a constant reminder of the trust you share, and you need to find a personal reason to continue. Otherwise, this is the beginning of the end.

Stage Five: The Big Decision

After a while at it, all that you’re left with is your decision. Now you’ve been through the highs and lows associated with LDR, and you can tell if it’s for you or not. If it’s a LDR with no end in sight to the distance between you both, at this point, it’s a natural death. But if the period apart is specific, you might never get to this stage, or if it does, it won’t be an easy choice to make.

If you want to go-on, you might want to read a bit more on how to manage this kind of relationship.

Through all the stages of a long-distance relationship, your best hope of success is trust. Without trust, there’s no hope for success.