Expressing those needs is more important now than ever, especially since people in cities are living on top of one another with little space for physical and mental alone time. Dr. Johnson recommended, even if it doesn’t sound sexy, setting up a weekly meeting with your partner to take a look at the week ahead — who has work calls when, who should be watching the children when, etc. — to make sure you’re both on the same page and can anticipate the needs of the individual and the needs of the couple.
“This is an opportunity for a lot of couples to practice teamwork. It’s a goal a lot of couples have in couples therapy when I’m working with folks, and this is an opportunity to really sharpen and strengthen those skills,” she said.
Maybe some of you out there relate. Maybe some of you are staring at your partner right now and wondering what they’re working on, or how they could possibly prefer Microsoft Teams to Slack. Or maybe you’re just sitting there baffled, wondering how it is that you ended up partnered with someone who says “Let’s put a pin in that” with alarming regularity.
Alexandra Hsie, 30, is a freelance video producer who lives in Manhattan with her fiancé, Peter Andrews, 31, whom she hears is a UX designer. Mr. Andrews tries hard to understand what she does, Ms. Hsie told me, but she goes elsewhere (her friends in the industry and her colleagues) when she needs someone to get in the weeds with her about anything related to her work. Which is exactly how she wants it to be.
“I deliberately didn’t date within the industry because I didn’t want that to be the relationship, to come home, talk about work, and then go to work and do that again. It’s too much, and I need a break.”
Ms. Hsie and Mr. Andrews do discuss their jobs, but not the “nitty-gritty,” she said. “We can talk about top-level things like managing people who are younger than us, and dealing with Gen Z-ers and what our different tricks are for that,” she added. “Other than that, it has to be about the forest instead of the trees.”