Monday, March 24, 2008

What is a Relationship?

The profession of event planning is so glamorous!

You travel the world, stay in incredible hotels, see historical city attractions, experience unique venues and often share special days that last a lifetime with a client. So how do you balance that perfect world of a 14 hour work day and traveling along with spending time with your significant other? And if you don't have a significant other, how do you find one?

I remember distinctly while working for a major financial corporation, I had a boyfriend that had a lot of "vacation" time.....almost too much (LONG story, I digress). Often, he would travel with me while on business since the majority of his expenses were covered under the event I was planning. And always being a resourceful planner, I let him earn his keep with registration duty, which he was glad to manage!

But, this type of relationship traveling is not always the reality when your significant other has an inflexible job with limited time off. How do you spend weeks or even months apart without damaging or distancing your relationship? Or, how do you find Mr. Right when you are traveling consistently from month to month?

It's not easy and there is no correct answer. Often the beginning of a relationship demise is when its not stable enough to sustain the distance or even create a jealous presumption that you are "partying" in some "exotic" location with your (mostly male) colleagues. I am clearly not a relationship expert (OK peanut gallery, stop laughing) but I am an expert of dealing with the situation. Jealousy is one of the top challenges a relationship can experience because it can take a delicate situation from bad to worse. Making your significant other feel comfortable with your profession and responsibilities is priority number one. From there, you need to rely on trust, love and communication.

Now, if you are single (and I've been there also) how do you meet Mr. Right on a lovely October day strolling in your neighborhood when you won't be back in town for a dinner date until November 20th? It's a balance that is not easy. I am a victim of waking up 3 years later and realizing that although I have hundreds of thousands of hotel and airplane miles, I had no steady love in my life.

Eventually, push comes to shove and you have to put YOU and your relationships as a priority. Easier said then done, event planning is part of the hospitality industry and most planners are accustomed to handling everyone else's needs and deadlines before their own. That can't always be the case and as you must be responsible with your work, still remember who comes first and that if YOU are not happy, you can't make anyone else happy in the process.

I am just as much the victim of this theory and it's a daily learning process that I still have yet to master. I have found someone who understands the industry and the constant demands, but it's still a lot of continued work, understanding and communication. Make sure to always keep you and your relationships a priority, take 5 minutes to breathe, send a sweet text, maintain a weekly hobby and don't cancel that date! It's an important R.O.I (Return on Investment) for YOU!

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