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How to balance out working heavy hours and having a relationship?

by DK123 DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

my sister is an ER Nurse and they are so busy. She had to breakup with her boyfriend because she is so dedicated to her work which I am happy for her. Basically she works 12 hour shifts but sometimes even more because of less staff. She was barely seeing her boyfriend and he was getting mad and telling her to quit her job. She only got 1 day off in the week and instead of sleeping in she would spend time with him but he wanted more.

She told him "I have dedicated my whole life into helping people, while this may seem like a little thing to you, being a Nurse has been my life's work.".

He didn't like it and it ended there.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

I feel like I just watched a really bad Lifetime movie. 🤔

Anyway, I always choose the man and just work once in a while. It's how I keep getting pregnant.

Nursing and relationships are not incompatible.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

That's not even a 'nursing' thing. You could apply that to any job or profession instead.

It's a good idea to have these conversations early on in the relationship, or while dating, on what sort of work/life commitment one expects in a partner or future spouse.

There's no shame in being in a relationship with a workalcoholic or with a stay-at-home spouse/partner if that's what you want the relationship to lead to. It is a good idea for partners to love and commit to each other, and prioritize their vows and family life over any job or career.


"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."

- The late Mormon President Thomas Monson


Specializes in Surgical, quality,management. Has 12 years experience.

I appreciate the fact that we are in trying times currently but martyrdom is not a place to go. You can "dedicate your life" to other things such as a healthy work life balance, having relationships, hobbies and downtime as well as nursing. Don't get me wrong I love my job but my obituary will not be "she dedicated her WHOLE LIFE to nursing ". It should talk about family, friends, relationships as well work.

Also, a nursing career will not keep you warm on a cold night 😉

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

Was this due to the pandemic or has she always been like this?

Work is overrated and I don't blame the boyfriend. As an ER nurse, she should be able to work only 3 12's and have plenty of time for her partner.

Balance is the key to happiness.

Your sister is setting herself up for severe burnout quickly. It’s one thing to pick up and extra shift or two a week, but to consistently do 6 days a week, every week, is a recipe for disaster.

Having a life outside of work is just as important as the work itself. My husband is my support system. My kids are my joy outside of work. My family is why I can mentally handle the job.


Specializes in nursing ethics.

Gee, at one time I considered or desired a relationship with a (female) nurse, don't know why, but surely not for health perks or someone to take care of me. Maybe I am better off without a devoted 50 hour a week nurse. No longer dating now and never knew where to meet them anyway. Not as a patient!

Just my 2 cents.


Specializes in Supervisor. Has 9 years experience.

She needs to find a person that adapts to her. Not the other way around. If she's obsessed with work, great. That's her choice and her significant other needs to respect that from day one.

She should be VERY frank about that on the first date. First few conversations. That way there are no unreasonable expectations that arise in the future.

I'm fortunate because my wife and I are both nurses. We both "get it."