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Your Love Life & Job Performance


I’m sure you’ve heard of that old statistic that married men live longer and healthier than single men. I figure it has something to do with the fact that when you find love, worth marrying, something settles in you, therefore the phrase “settle down.” I think the same thing applies to women, and your physical health isn’t the only aspect of your life that can settle down when your love life gets healthier. Your ability to perform your job might be another.

Let’s take a look. If your job involves a good bit of figuring things out, let’s say it’s cognitively or intellectually challenging, you’ll have to utilize quite a bit of focus and concentration. Focus being keeping your mind on what it is you have to keep your mind on, and concentration is the intensity with which your mind needs to be focused. Ordinarily, when a person “goes to work” he or she has to “put aside” whatever might interfere with the application of focus and concentration.

One of the most interfering areas of anybody’s life is her or his emotional life, more specifically for our purposes, love life. Realistically speaking, you really can’t be worried about, thinking about, focusing on, or even concentrating on your love life while you are being paid to focus and concentrate on business. Simply put, if you’re thinking about (or feeling about) your love life at your job, you are not going to be doing your job very well.

Now it’s really unfair and untrue to assume that only happily married people can perform their job well. To be more precise, it’s not marriage itself that is important here, it’s how much control a person feels he or she has over her or his love life. The feeling of being in control of one’s love life has a lot to do with whether or not your love life is being steered or directed by your personal choices or, God forbid, something else like past unhealthy relationship experience, or even worse, someone else’s failed love life experiences.

Unfortunately, there are just too many people who are simply not in control of their love lives. The clearest sign that this is indeed the case is whether or not the same love life mistakes are being made over and over again. Multiple disappointments and an eventual resignation from an active love life are the usual manifestations of a love life out of control.

Some people resign from seeking or sustaining love early in their love lives after only a few disappointments, others after more repetitive disappointments, with resignation or avoidance of love ultimately occurring because love life experiences become just too damn painful. Becoming aware of how and what we are repeating in our love lives begins the process of taking back control of our love live experiences. From there, consciousness is deepened by realizing, what is being repeated is really a replication from previous relationship experiences that may not have been healthy.

The hard part of this effort at taking control is the fact that much if not most of these repetitive, replicating experiences in our love lives are not in our awareness. The good news is, what we are repeating and replicating from what we’ve learned about relationships in our love lives is learned. 

Not only is learning one of the things we humans do best, but unlearning and learning something better is always possible whenever learning is involved. So understanding how love life learning can be changed can put someone back in control of her love life despite previous disappointments.

Businesses interested in the psychological and/or emotional development of their employees can now construct staff development programs that help people become aware of how a love life out of control is hampering their job and/or professional performance. The emphasis would be on how to look for signs that it is happening, identifying what has been learned that is unhealthy, challenging the unhealthy learning, and practicing healthier love life lessons that positively influence all areas of a person’s life, including and most especially work.

Dr. Thomas Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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