My name is John, and I am trying not to be a workaholic.
October 16, 2007 4:36 PM   Subscribe

Is there a support group for a charming, literate, young, kissable workaholic media professional who is trying to be less of a flake in his personal life?

Seven weeks ago I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. At a coffee shop the first week of September, I met a really awesome woman* but around the same time my professional life really took off with a vast amount of management work. I turned into a flake with all the work I had to do, and that ended the relationship. Since, I have really worked hard to make sure all of the work is not on my back. I hired two new employees, have (nearly) kept to my commitment of being smoke-free, and am working out at the gym on a regular basis. Now that I have a semblance of free time, I am trying to put an end to my free-time flakiness so that I don't make the same mistake with a wonderful woman (and friends) again. I should note that at this point, I am really more interested in making friends and dating (and keeping those commitments) rather than jumping into an LTR. Advice, suggestions, encouragement, "cool beans" are asked for and gratefully received.

*And what a kisser.
posted by parmanparman to Human Relations (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Call her back!
posted by Ironmouth at 4:37 PM on October 16, 2007

posted by autojack at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2007

First you get the money, then you get ...respect..uh...thenthe womenorsomething to that effect. Scarface said it. But Yes we are proud of you. Just because you missed an appointment or date because of obligations doesn't mean you're a flake. Just keep organized. But remember what Face said.
posted by Student of Man at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2007

Yes, and it's called Happy Hour. There are many locations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:06 PM on October 16, 2007

Student of Man writes "Scarface said it"

Fuck scarface, not literally !

Just phone her, see if she's hip to go anyplace, it doesn't have to have tete-a-tete ! If she says she has somebody else, take that literally and just invite her in a social situation (definitely not a tete-a-tete) and just see if she's the person you tought she is. That of course, while keeping in mind she's with someone else. If you can't do that because if makes you feel jealous, well then don't do that , try realizing it is not anybody "fault" if it didn't work and try to move on.

As for your being rather succesful, this is quite a personality character that could impress...or maybe not at all, depends on the person. If you feel you like to talk about your good work, then do it. Otherwise, don't do it.

Whatever, the more you ARE yourself , the less you ACT the way you think she wants to see you, the less trouble you'll have in the future.
posted by elpapacito at 5:20 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: This isn't about going back to the same person, more, how do I get out of the practice of being a flake and getting into the habit of having a life outside of work?
posted by parmanparman at 5:30 PM on October 16, 2007

I'm willing to bet that if this girl is as good a kisser as you think she is, she had the same experience and feels likewise. Maybe if you pick things back up, try to spend less time kissing and more time talking about this completely forgivable problem of yours. Who knows, she may actually offer some insight on the subject. You never know unless you ask. And that sort of talk is a turn-on to a charming, literate, young professional female, which I assume is what you are into.*

Good luck! ;)

*Most definitely leads to kissing. Does not require commitment or LTR.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:38 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: No, I will definitely be calling her. However, this post is not about the girl, it's about having a semblance of a life outside of work and how not to let work get in the way of personal happiness and your advice on how to do that. That is all. Now I need to go to the gym.
posted by parmanparman at 5:40 PM on October 16, 2007

This isn't about going back to the same person, more, how do I get out of the practice of being a flake and getting into the habit of having a life outside of work?

The original poster says nothing about going back to the same person--I think it's women in general.
posted by wafaa at 5:45 PM on October 16, 2007

Best answer: turned into a flake with all the work I had to do, and that ended the relationship.

Put another way, you ended the relationship because you prioritized work over the relationship. Period. The question to ask yourself is what are you going to do when you get busy again -- and you will get busy again -- to prioritize things differently? So, to that end, part of this is not allowing yourself to make excuses, even if they are legitimate reasons, for why you're not doing what you claim you want to be doing. If you want to meet a nice woman more than you want to do good at your job, or voce versa, you can make that happen and anything that is NOT allowing that to happen is you making choices that steer you that way.

So let's start simple... you can either be a workaholic or someone who wants to work on a relationship. Otherwise you're going to have a hard time connecting with non-workaholics. If dating other workaholics is what you want -- where you all plan to meet up one of these days when you've finally cleaned out your inbox -- super. However if not, start looking at yourself differently, figuring out what you want and why you're not getting it. I'm not one of those people who thinks that you can magically WILL yourself to be rich or thin or whatever, but often times you can realize what you are doing or choosing that is getting in your way.

So, a few questions. Nothing that you need to answer out loud...

- Do you drink too much coffee or have some other substance abuse problem (nice job quitting smoking, btw!)
- Have you figured out the answers to some of the other questions you've asked in AskMe over the years?
- Do you think you may have ADD or something that keeps you "flakey" no matter what you do?
- Do you think there is room in your life for another person? Do you have other things that you have been able to make a committment to [Plants, pets, other friends?] If not, why do you think you can make it work this time?

I ama busy person who, right now, is happier hurling myself into work than dating. However if for some reason someone who seemed super-right dropped into my neighborhood, I would say to hell with work to spend some quality time with him, and I can't imagine doing otherwise. That said, figuring out just why you're not doing the things that you claim you want to be doing is going to be parmanparman's introspective question of the month. If you have any ability to step outside yourself and observe your bahavior, see what it's telling you.
posted by jessamyn at 6:02 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

sondrialiac wins.
posted by desuetude at 7:51 PM on October 16, 2007

Best answer: sondrialiac has good advise, to which I'll add:

Cellphone technology means that it takes ZERO effort to call someone these days and say a brief 'hi, how's it going, whatcha up to, I was just thinking of you!'. ZERO effort. I mean, shit, it's so easy that friends even call me from their pants pockets... (those are fun txt messages to send, heh...)

You don't have to pressure yourself into having a Meaningful Conversation every single damn time you connect with [kissable girl / whomever]. Don't put that pressure on yourself. Seriously. Same goes for email. The mister and I send each other random links-of-the-day / fun stuff (MeFi figures heavily in this mix) but we save the Deep Meaningful Convos for when we're in-person.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:08 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: UPDATE: I get the message. Thank you Sondrialiac, Iamkimiam, and LoneFrontRanger. I am not a flake at work, and I definitely put work forward a lot of the time. I talked it over with my work team and told them I was going to mark off the parts of my day when I was not available to take their calls or from anybody else related to my radio show. I am also going to spend less time kissing and more time talking about this totally forgivable problem of mine, so that I am never again the guy toddling around in jeans and a sweater writing work notes while everyone else is out surfing. This is not "Hooray! New John Parman" and I am really working on the effort.
posted by parmanparman at 11:11 PM on October 16, 2007

For the record, I thought the sweater and notebook was kinda cute. The workaholic self-absorption—not so much. ;)
posted by iamkimiam at 10:00 AM on October 17, 2007

put "people" before "things" more often
posted by mrmarley at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2007

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