(PRWEB) May 26, 2012
While parents juggle work and kids, singles in the workplace often end up feeling more stressed and overwhelmed than their married counterparts. An article in the Wall Street Journal points out that parents aren't the only ones who "step back to reclaim a life;" singles are now also seeking a better balance (http://on.wsj.com/KgxG7V). Relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says that society often overlooks singles and assumes they have endless amounts of time and money because they don't have anyone to worry about. It's the flip side of this that causes a problem: "Singles don't have anyone to care for THEM," emphasizes Dr. Bonnie. And they often aren't flush with cash either: 65 percent of singles provide financial assistance to family or friends.
In her book, Financial Infidelity, Dr. Bonnie reveals that working moms often spend an additional 30 hours working inside the home, on top of the time they spend on their careers. Singles can face this problem as well but can be even more overwhelmed because people take advantage of their singleness. Sixty-two percent of singles say they're treated differently from their coworkers who are married with families. They say they do more traveling, late hours and so forth than their married counterparts.
On CBS News a Linked In exec said she faced this treatment, as a single woman, from her boss and had to talk to him about it (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7411856n). She encourages people to have an open conversation with their boss but to do it cautiously, especially nowadays when people are so afraid of losing their jobs. Dr. Bonnie suggests Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue for this conversation: "Put yourself in your boss' shoes, and understand why he or she may be empathizing more with married co-workers. But also ask he or she to walk a mile in your shoes and understand the roles and responsibilities you have, if without a spouse or family."
It may come as no surprise that 68 percent of women say they'd prefer to have more time than money, compared to 52 percent of women with children, according to a 2011 More Magazine survey. They'd like to date, to pursue their dreams, to have time for themselves. "This is not to say that married people aren't stressed as well," says Dr. Bonnie, "but when you're part of a couple you have someone to help lighten your load - literally and figuratively." Dr. Bonnie points out that singles don't have someone around to help with the day-to-day chores like laundry, dishes, and meals. And they also don't have someone on-hand to remind them to exercise, to eat right, to slow down when they need it.
The single patients Dr. Bonnie sees complain of excessive work more than married people do, they're less connected due to lack of time to have outlets, they're more depressed, have sleep problems, their immune system is down so they become sicker more easily. Then there are financial issues. "There is a connection between credit card debt and money mismanagement, and frontal lobe of our brains," Dr. Bonnie explains. "When it's overworked, this can cause irrational decisions."
And for singles that do want to be in a committed relationship, this leads to a vicious cycle. They'd like to have a partner but don't have time to find one because of the time they're committing to work - especially in a recession where they have to stay on their toes to get ahead. For this reason, Dr. Bonnie tells her single patients to get a life. "There's a lot of guilt around that for singles," she says, "because work becomes their life so it begins to consume them. It can become a way to avoid not having a family - then it becomes reason why they CAN'T have one." Conversely, some singles may be working too hard because they're afraid of getting close with someone. They're fearful of the risk and courage it takes to fall in love and commit.
For this reason, Dr. Bonnie admires Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group who subscribes to a "work/life benefits" way of doing work. "He believes all his employees should be happy - he pays for employee's gyms, encourages flex time and says that you should work to live not live to work. Hopefully more people will get on this bandwagon!" This isn't a problem that's going away - as more people get married older and wait to have kids, this is something people in the work place will learn to deal with gracefully for a long time to come!
To see Dr. Bonnie talking more about sleeping and staying healthy, click here: http://youtu.be/A2ZmcpuP1j0 And check out her book Make Up Don't Break Up, with the accompanying DVD - Falling in Love and Staying in Love for Singles, along with Financial Infidelity which discusses credit card debt and the brain.
Learn more about Financial Infidelity at http://youtu.be/76k1UM2K4vk