Community + Relationships

Why Dating is Different for Lawyers

  • Being a lawyer on the dating scene can be hard because of the long hours and stress you likely experience daily
  • The need to find a partner who can be flexible or at least understanding of your crazy hours adds an extra wrinkle
  • Dates are often disappointed to hear that a lawyer’s actual work looks nothing like it does on TV

As a lawyer, your job is rarely going to consist of the usual eight-hour workday.

This means not only is your day stressful and tiring, but also that your motivation to get dressed up to go out on a date may be low. But hey—dating is fun! Going out to dinner, drinks, or a movie with someone new is a way to destress and enjoy yourself. Not only is the process of dating exciting, but eventually finding a companion to share your life with can increase your overall happiness as well. So if you’re down to date, whether you’re a lawyer yourself or attempting to date legal types, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Lawyers Have Tight Schedules

Being well organized and often keeping to a tight schedule is an important aspect of your job, which means it’s an important aspect of attempting to plan your life. Someone who is on the same organizational wavelength as you can make for a great partnership. Finding someone with a complementary or similar schedule may make dating a smoother process. If you both have demanding jobs and tight schedules, you may be more understanding of each other’s limited free time.

The sometimes-nonstop job of a lawyer can often get in the way of having a robust dating life. Plans may have to be rescheduled and dates reorganized in order to maintain a healthy relationship while getting work done. So finding someone with a more flexible schedule, rather than another person in a workaholic profession, might also be an ideal way to make sure you’ll get to spend as much time together as possible.

Lawyers Need Independent Partners

An independent, secure partner is generally best for a busy lawyer. With the often time-sensitive nature of legal work, work simply sometimes must take precedence over a personal life. This means it’s important that you and your partner both feel that you can maintain a healthy relationship even if you end up having long stretches of time with limited contact.

Just make sure the contact is not too limited. Independent does not mean that you rarely see each other. You can be independent by doing your own things while in the same space. You may need to go over some documents while your significant other does their own work, reads a book, or does something else while sitting next to you on the couch. In this way, you’ll at least spend your free time together even if you can’t participate in the same activity.

The Perks

Being a lawyer can often mean attending many business dinners and networking events. Having a partner who is excited and able to come along with you is often invaluable. You can introduce your significant other to the other important people in your life and be able to share more about what you do each day, as well as enjoy a good meal together.

For lawyers worried about dating the wrong people, pay special attention to weeding out those who might be interested in taking advantage of any imagined lawyer perks. It is well known that lawyers in certain practice areas are paid quite well, which might be just a bit too attractive to some less-than-savory characters. Besides, a well-paid lawyer isn’t necessarily going to spend it all on their significant other—they’ll be spending most of it on paying off law school loans for several years, if not over a decade.

Lawyers Have Trouble Disconnecting from the Office

If you’re determined to put real effort into dating, you’ll need to practice the skill of learning when it’s time to put the work down. This includes putting the phone down when you’re supposed to be having a romantic dinner. The same way you completely focus on work at the office, give all your focus to your partner when the two of you have time together.

Putting the work down means also understanding that the arguing and debating you do during the day are not usually the best tactics to use in a discussion with your partner. Make sure to listen to your partner in discussions and take time to try and understand where they’re coming from rather than just trying to win the argument. Know what battles to fight and when to let go. In short: Don’t be so much of a lawyer at home.

Do you date differently than your non-lawyer friends? Do you have to put more thought into certain things than they do because of your job?

Being a Lawyer Isn’t as Exciting as it Looks on TV

Your partner will probably want to know a bit about your work and be invested in it because it’s an important part of your life, but you should not forget to return that interest in their work and what’s important to them. If you’re not dating a fellow lawyer, you should give them some basic information about what you do for a living without boring them and drowning them in legal jargon. Remember: Plenty aspects of lawyering are completely uninteresting for legal civilians, so don’t talk about it too much. And don’t be too offended when your dates are disappointed that your job is nowhere near as exciting as the lawyers on TV make it look.

Of course, all the key aspects of a good relationship apply no matter what your profession: Communication, trust, and the ability to compromise will go a long way towards a successful dating experience. Having someone to share daily work frustrations with and to help you wind down instead of focusing solely on work is good for you, so good luck out there!