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You Asked: My Boyfriend and I Have Opposite Schedules

Dear Sugar --

I work a 9 to 5 job at a law firm while my boyfriend bar tends all night. When I am ready for bed at a normal hour, he is usually not because he slept during the day after getting home really late. The problem I have is that he stays out after the bar closes to clean up and wind down and then at least once a week he goes out afterwards without me. I obviously can't go since I have to be at work at 9am. He sometimes will arrive home just as I am getting up for work, which makes me so mad. If he would just come home when his shift is over, we could have something resembling a normal relationship. My boyfriend does not see that this is an issue, but it really bothers me that we have such opposite schedules. Things are great otherwise. Do I have a right to be angry about this or should I just let it go and be happy for the time we do get to spend together? --Left Out Lindsay

To see DEARSUGAR'S Response

Dear Left Out Lindsay --

I can see why you feel angry and hurt when your boyfriend goes out after work, but I think you need to take a good look at the situation and see if you might be able to compromise in some way. If his late nights typically only happen once a week, try cutting him a little slack. It is not uncommon for couples to have different work schedules and we all need a little time to unwind and relax outside of work, but it is important to make time to be together so you feel more connected to each other.

With that said, are you able to spend time together on the weekends or on your days off? I think you have a right to voice your concern if his nights on the town are making you feel second best next to his job. Let him know that the schedule he is keeping makes you feel alone in your relationship. Listen to how he responds. If he has legitimate reasons for being out so late, make sure you hear him out and try to come up with a compromise. If he gets defensive and hostile, those are good signs that he values his time out partying with friends more than his quality time with you. If that's the case, you might be better off without this man in your life. Relationships take work, but perhaps your opposite schedules act as too much of a road block for you to get what you need out of this partnership. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
iceprincess07 iceprincess07 10 years
wow thats exactly what happened between Miranda Steve in Sex and the City!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
lol Val, Ive noticed that to. Seems pretty opposite to me. Im going thru this. Not the going out with friends thing but the opposite shifts. My Hubby has weird hours and pretty much as soon as he gets home its time for bed. Leaving little time for me in the kids. But you work thru it. If you love each other you work thru it and schedule times if you have to. Ever tried going to bed early so that you can get up at 4 and spend time with him? Wouldnt hurt you much. Then you could go out with him (cant drink but you can go out) when he gets off work and see what hes really up to. ~*~*~ MOM Im Bringing Bubbles back, them other toys dont know how to act! ~*~*~
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
Sometimes we really like someone and we try to make certain situations work but they just don't. If you have different schedules and you hardly spend any time toguether I don't see you guys being very happy now or in the future and it wouldn't be fair that he would have to quit his job which he loves and had before he met you its part of who he is. Think about how much you care for him and see if there's a way to compromise maybe you can go out on weekends and stay out late when you don't have to work the next day. But as much as it sucks that's his job its a very social environment its not the type of job where you just punch out a clock and just go home.
ChiTownEm ChiTownEm 10 years
Dear Sugar is right on...and I have to say, that didn't you kind of know this when you started dating a bartender? My fiance and I met when we were both tending bar and now I have a 9-5 but he is still in the restaurant biz until he is done with school. It is hard to have opposite schedules sometimes, but his job pays half the bills just like mine, so I really can't call him out too much. Plus, anyone who has ever worked as a bartender or waitress knows that the lifestyle entails a lot of late nights...I kind of think you have to be a little mellow here since you did decide to date someone with this type of schedule.
missyosigirl missyosigirl 10 years
my work is the typical 9-5 job, and my husband works in a call center and his shifts are usually at night. there are times that we really don't get to see each other for a few days. i have after work activities, so then i'd go home late, and by that time he's already at work. then he also has his after work activities, that by the time he goes home, i'm already at work. i already imposed that sundays are family days (we have a daughter already) so even though he has work on a sunday, he has to go home ASAP from work. and during his days off, i try not to schedule anything so that we can either go out or just be home together :) and sometimes, when i'm lucky, he's the one who makes the effort to spend time with me hahaha. no, just kidding. :P it should really take the two of you to work out your schedules and make time for each other. for some guys i think they will tend to take for granted "quality time" with their significant other. so it's up to us girls to remind them, but not in a nagging way. i think their reactions between "you don't spend enough time with me" and "i miss you a lot... can we spend more time together?" would be very different :) i hope this helps :)
Marci Marci 10 years
Many a relationship between 9-5ers and bartenders don't last simply because you don't have the time together that you need to build and nurture a relationship. We're all time-challenged, but if you're not getting any time together at all, it doesn't sound to me like you have a boyfriend at all; not in the true sense of the word. I think you'd be happier with someone you could actually SEE from time to time.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 10 years
I am with andaman on that there is not much you can do. Has he always been a bartender? Not a problem with going out once a week with friends. if he works till 2 or 4 a.m. it is likely that you won't see him that evening anyway (after he cleans the bar which is a requirement of the job he is not doing it just to come home later). I again disagree with dearsugar that his getting mad because she wants him to realign his priorities by not going out with his friends once a week means he values his time with them more than you. He probably had this job before he met her and should be able to socialize with his friends once a week. I would just be happy with the time you spend together since with his job you either accept it or move on.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
noticing a trend in the answers here; if the couple is single PLEASE at all costs work it out! if the couple is married: if you are unhappy don't punish yourself! you deserve better. just sayin......
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
things are great except you feel like you don't have a "normal" relationship, he doesn't take your concerns seriously and you never see him. could the relationship be more of a habit than anything else? might be time to move on to someone with a more typical schedule who see's things more like you do. i wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a bartender (jmho) their rate of substance is higher than any other profession (wonder why), they keep terrible hours, work with drunks (which i don't care to hear about) and it's a dead end job. what about some nice young partner at your firm, humm?
Megg21 Megg21 10 years
I don't think going out once a week is unreasonable. Especially when you work at a bar. You don't have lunch breaks or coffee breaks or any of those things to sort of divide the time up. I think if he's willing to compromise a bit than you should too. Do you ever stay up late to talk to him? Or get up early to chat when he gets in? I think it's definately doable, you just need to find the balance.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I agree with DearSugar, it's about finding out what his priorities are. If he really wants to be with you he'll listen to your concerns and work with you to find areas where you can both compromise. At that point you can just plan to make the most of the time that you do spend together. If on the other hand he really is all about the partying and doesn't seem to mind that he hardly ever sees you, then you need to decide if that's something you can live with.
andaman andaman 10 years
Often men aren't very good at lying...we always spot them huh? I pray i don't have to deal with anything like that...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
My ex-boyfriend and I had the same problem. He was working nights at a restaurant and I was working a 9-5 type job. He sometimes would stay out super late with his friends from work. But then, he was cheating on me with a waitress he worked with. So maybe that was why he was out late. Not saying that's your situation though. If he wants to party one night a week, that doesn't seem unreasonable. Make him schedule at least one night just for the two of you to balance out. Then play the rest by ear. I remember asking to come with him once, out with his friends, even though I had work the next day. I got in the car and everything to go out there and then was too tired to make it. So funny though... he was actually on his way to sleep over at the waitresses place, and I had accidentally called his bluff! Wouldn't SHE have been surprised to see me!
pixiechick pixiechick 10 years
I know how you feel nica..I'm always relating real life to SATC :)
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i feel like so many of these questions relate to Sex and the City, but didn't Miranda have this problem with Steve? Sigh...i need to stop being so obsessed with that show!
andaman andaman 10 years
There is nothing you can do about it I'm afraid. Get used to it :) He likes his job. Unless he changes his job you will always have this problem.
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