There’s a saying that “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” That means, even though the context and circumstances may change, who you are as a wife, as a friend, as a sister, and as an employee are fundamentally the same. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, because of that consistency of character, when something’s not right in one area of your life it should be easy to notice when something’s off in another because you’ll naturally react the same way.

Though most of us look at our romantic relationships and our professional ones through different lenses, there are a number of similarities when it comes to how we treat our jobs and our partners. So much so that when it comes time to move on from either, we tend to exhibit similar behaviour. Not sure what I mean? Check these five signs that show you’re checked out and note how they can apply to both your relationship and your career.

You Give Just Enough and You’re Okay With That: Complacency is real. You’ve been in your situation long enough that you’re aware of what’s acceptable and what’s not. You’ve read all the paperwork and memorized the fine print on how to not get fired. You stay abreast of what’s going on just in case you get called out, but you’re not fully invested. You’re never late, but you’re never early either. You continually check the mood and climate of the room so that you don’t raise eyebrows, but when it comes down to it you do the bare minimum, checking off just enough boxes to earn your steady paycheck or free room and board.

You Don’t Like Them: Long sighs and eye rolls have become a standard part of your interactions. Seeing this person or being in that environment creates a shift in your mood. This type of exchange has gone on for so long it’s now normalized and you no longer recognize what it’s like to enjoy your work or being in the presence of your partner.

Apart From Them, You Become A Different Person: Escapism is your new reality. Your partner no longer recognizes you on your girl’s nights out, and your colleagues don’t recognize you when they spot you away from the office. You mark your calendar to count down until your next getaway, and you’re unable to be fully present where you currently are. When you clock out, you instruct your workplace to not call you, text you, or think about you. And when your partner gets too close, you respectfully ask them to respect your space. If you had your choice, you would be further away from either circumstance than closer to it.

They Don’t Know Your Full Capabilities and You Don’t Want Them To: When we value something, we give it our all. On the contrary, when we feel like we’re simply buying time we don’t offer up our best selves, either out of fear we won’t be appreciated or because we’re saving that energy or effort for someone or something else. Which brings me to my next point…

You Are Still On the Market: Applying for jobs has become your new hobby because you want out. We’ve all heard the best time to find a new job is when you already have one and you are living by that rule. Your resignation letter is pre-typed and you are secretly waiting for the opportunity to walk away. Similarly, you plan for your relationship to last only until someone better comes along. You already know what you’ll say to your partner when that moment comes, but until then you’re like Rashida from Love & Hip-Hop:  Here but not really here.

While it’s never easy to walk away from a partner or your profession, when you find yourself more checked out than checked in, know that you aren’t the only one who notices. The best thing you can do for yourself in those instances is to accept the signs before you, and move on as your heart truly desires.


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