Junior bankers don't have a great reputation as dates. You may have read that blog by someone who dated a banker for years and finally gave up on it (or him). If so, you probably read the comments from all the other people dating bankers who sympathize. But don't believe the scare stories. You can work in banking and have romantic attachments. I know, because I've been dating a junior banker for more than three years.
He's been in banking forever. We met at a mutual friend's birthday party and he was studying for his Master's, but he already had an offer to join the investment banking division of a well known bank.
I know finance. I come from a banking family, so I didn't come into this relationship cold. But my family are more in the middle and back office than the front office of banks. I didn't know what the working hours in M&A are like, but presumed the culture would be the same. I pretty quickly found out the difference.
I don't see him much during the week. We usually get together on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, but that depends when he finishes work. There hasn't been much difference in the frequency of our dates as he's gone from analyst to associate, but things have become easier as he's become more competent and efficient at getting the work done. He's also developed greater confidence to push back on working when there is a special occasion he has to go to.
Yes, it can be frustrating. Whenever he cancels, it's work-related. I've had to reorganize a day at the races with my family because he suddenly could't come and I attend most social occasions on my own. But when he takes me for dinner late on a Saturday night and he's shattered from working all day but still remains upbeat and happy, it more than compensates. That is real dedication to our relationship. He has a saying that helps me understand: "You are and will always be the most important thing to me but right now, my job has to be my priority."
Dating a banker isn't for everyone. Every other relationship from his analyst class has failed except ours. You need to be understanding. You also need to admire and respect the hard work that your partner's doing, otherwise you'll always be resentful. For me, his ambition and work ethic are part of the attraction. It takes effort on both sides. He dedicates every bit of free time from work to me instead of himself and I accept that his work is not his fault and to not take it out on him. No matter how awful it may be for me, it's ten times worse for him.
What advice would I offer other women and men who have banking partners? Never take out your frustration on them! It's not their fault. Be supportive. You're a team, not fighting against each other! Let go of the small things and focus on the big ones. - I don't mind if he misses dinners/lunches etc in favour of weddings and birthdays; choose your battles! And have your own life. It's easy to lose sight of friendships and family when in relationships; I kept mine intact and I have a lot of time to devote to them, which is a good thing in itself.
Alice Rose is the pseudonym of a marketing professional who lives and works in London.
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