Girlfriend broke up with me because of IB

Not looking for sympathy what so ever

Just curious, anyone else have relationships that didn't work out simply because of long hours, semi-long distance, and/or girlfriend not understanding IB and why the hours are so long. Also she hated the fact that I actual enjoy working, yes some days are tough but in the end it's what I studied and graduated for.

Background: We we're dating for 3 years not just a short term thing.

Comments (93)

Aug 4, 2022 - 8:42pm
BBDreamin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For real. If she can't support your goals and be understanding then she's not the one. It'll be tough at first since it was a long relationship, but after a while you'll realize you're better off. You're still super young too and securing the bag. The world is your oyster. 

To be fair, who the fuck wants to date someone that works 14+hour days 5+ days a week (with weekends likely getting blown up constantly)? Kind of hard to be happy in a relationship if you never see the person

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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2022 - 12:17am

For me the solution was to date a girl in IB.  Most girls don't get why you work so many hours, why you have to cancel plans, why you check your phone constantly, etc. Being an analyst or associate is rough.  Your time is not your own. Dating a girl in IB makes life so easy.  She gets me completely and she isn't demanding.  Same goes for me with her.  It's win-win. We spend a lot of nights together, Friday night, and some weekends.  It's great.  100% would recommend.  Life as a single analyst was brutal.  Having a connection with someone is so much better.

Aug 4, 2022 - 4:09pm
bigmixxx681, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I really enjoyed being single when I was an analyst. I made a lot of friends and found regular hangouts after work. I enjoyed I didn't have to be the object of someone else's happiness during the busiest time of my career. Some women will really respect your grind and take pride you're such a hard worker.

Aug 3, 2022 - 1:14am
pavementroad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you can't tolerate me at my worst, then you don't deserve to have me at my best. When she comes running back later, remember this line.

Aug 5, 2022 - 1:08pm
pavementroad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What kind of female Facebook post shit is this 

i guess my tone is hard to convey over the internet. it is exactly from facebook and i was posting to be tongue in cheek.

Aug 3, 2022 - 6:12am
Leeeeemmmmm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I live with my GF, often on weekdays I leave the house before she wakes and return after she falls asleep. She never complains, & tries to support me if she sees I am stressed. Likewise I support her goals (although different to mine). 

If your girl is punishing you for working hard & having ambition, sounds like a lucky escape

  • Consultant in Consulting
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:58am

Hi mate, similar boat. ~2.5 years, were living together, had explained to her in college how little free time I would have as I started my career and at that time she thought she would be okay with that. When I started she realised how much she valued spending a certain amount of time with her partner / being there for smaller things.

I suspected that prioritizing my career would not be compatible with a relationship with this girl in advance and accepted it (we discussed what would happen if I had gotten an offer in a bigger city / different state and she wanted to stay to be near friends/family). Ultimately I have enough conviction that I want to focus on my career, health, and financial foundation at this stage in my life and that will mean I deprioritise other areas including relationships with friends and family that aren't as compatible (though I have a great group of friends that get it, still see them regularly just don't hang as much).

As for dating in general now, I've been seeing a couple girls casually that I make ad hoc plans doing cool stuff when my schedule looks clear. This approach suits me atm, if something happens to develop with someone with a compatible schedule and life trajectory then I'll let it but I don't feel any pressure to pursue a relationship at this point.

Overall I've seen the same thing happen with friends before in finance but also in semipro/pro sport (having to travel, rigid training schedule) which has led relationships to end. I feel as long as you know intrinsically that you are pursuing what is best for you in the long term you'll work the rest out. It sounds like you are enjoying your work and are reaping the reward of the grind to break in, congrats man. I can appreciate coming out of a long term can make you reflect on this, happy to DM if you wanted to talk about anything personal.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 3, 2022 - 10:22am

Unfortunately had the same thing happen to me - I actually broke off the 2-year relationship because knew the cord had to be cut. We were dating for 1.5yrs before I switched to banking and we made it work, but when I really started ramping up the weeknight dates went out the window. Friday night were hit or miss and always caused tension. Sundays used to be our fun day, but always having to be around my computer ruined that.I've seen plenty of people in my group make it work, but really think it goes back to each individual within the relationship and how both respond to a non-existent WLB.

Aug 3, 2022 - 10:59am
Aspiringmonkey9029, what's your opinion? Comment below:

She is shortsighted. Guess she is going to settle with the big 4 accountant who will hit your salary in 10 years. Go get yourself a gold digger mate.

With all seriousness mine broke with me because of crazy hours. I don't work in finance yet but whatever. You will find someone will support your goals. Maybe ask your MD how he got his wife and mistress too.

Aug 3, 2022 - 12:11pm
CharlesCheese, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sorry about the breakup.  I agree with a lot of sentiments, mostly that you'll be completely fine.  Long hours and long distance complicates things, but (assuming you're an intern) you're at a big, post college, transition point where most relationships fail anyway.

I've got nothing against the "don't worry, King" style advice and, unless you're ready to propose or cannot imagine your life without this person, would not ever recommend deviating from your goals for the sake of salvaging a damaged relationship.  That said, coming from a 29 year old with a fiancé who put up with my shit during my banking years, if you're sincerely interested in making relationships work, you have to be considerate of where your partner is coming from.

You can have the most supportive partner in the world, but if you're unable to take even a long-weekend vacation without breaking out the laptop at some point, you'll eventually start to alienate them.

Aug 3, 2022 - 2:00pm
capex fairy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not sure I understand the comments shitting on the gf for ending things. It's OP's choice / right to pursue a career in banking, and it's also her choice to realize that's not a fit with her interests / personality / life goals. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to date someone they can only see for a handful of hours a week even if they make good money. 

Aug 3, 2022 - 9:12pm
PWM Hopeful, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Totally balanced perspective that runs counter to theme in the thread. I dig it.

So let's give folks something to chew on; what is a sustainable balance of available hours/week in your mind?


Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

Aug 4, 2022 - 8:40am
Arroz con Pollo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That all depends on the people involved. A 9-5 is only 40 hours a week, but say you commute 30 minutes each way. Probably waking up at 7:30am to get ready then leave, and you're getting home by 6. That 4 hours is a lot of time to spend with your family / girlfriend.

8-6 cuts that down to 2 hours more or less really after work.

I'm like a 9-6 and will get back online around 10 or 11 and work for an hour or so before bed.

A relationship that will lead to marriage isn't 50/50. Imo, it's 100/100 from both sides, and if you're working even 60 hours a week, it's hard for your partner to see you are giving 100% simply because you aren't around. One could argue that due to the occupation you chose, you're not giving 100% to the relationship.

Aug 3, 2022 - 10:42pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not to mention that who's to say if things were going on for that long you two weren't really into each other in the first place? And that as things calm down when you're more settled into your career you don't reconnect? 

Source: a friend may have had a similar experience with an ex-fiance. Or so I heard...

  • 1
Aug 3, 2022 - 10:17pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, she was waiting for the 4th year before finally letting him fuck her. Too bad, our boy was 75% of the way there 

Aug 3, 2022 - 10:42pm
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, she was waiting for the 4th year before finally letting him fuck her. Too bad, our boy was 75% of the way there 

Those darned vesting schedules at it again...

  • 10
Aug 3, 2022 - 10:39pm
Miracle1111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At least you didn't have kids, and she didn't marry you only to decide she's not happy anymore and divorce you taking half your money.

Aug 3, 2022 - 11:16pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was told constantly that women like guys that are ambitious and hard-working. What I've come to realize over time is they only like the end product of these traits aka $$$. They want to wait at the finish line; very few are willing to stick by a man's side while he is on the grind. However, the ones that are willing to...we call them keepers.

Aug 4, 2022 - 12:13am
throwaway-finance, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Considering he's already in IB and making very good money, wouldn't he already be at the "finish-line?" Especially for people who aren't in finance and see that kind of money at such a young age. 

Aug 4, 2022 - 12:48am
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's definitely a good point. Just want to preface my response by admitting that I'm not in or have never done IB, but my understanding is that people work those jobs for 2 or so years due to the lucrative exit opportunities in high finance (HF/PE/VC). 

You are absolutely correct that OP is already at this hypothetical finish line, making 6 figures at such a young age, but what you are missing is that many women want a guy to be earning a lot but also have constant free time. 

I'm guessing OP has to work those crazy IB hours right now, and a lot of women won't be willing to put up with that. But in 5-10 years when he's making multiples of his current salary with much better wlb, I guarantee you these women will start to appear out of nowhere. 

Aug 4, 2022 - 1:53pm
Global_IU_11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's not about the money for women, it's the product of having money that they like. If you tell a woman - I own x,y,z, my income is $x, my retirement account has $x, and my expenses are $x - they truly don't care. If instead you tell a woman - I can take you to get a new outfit at ~trendy boutique~, get us a table at LIV, and take you on a 2 week vacation to Greece.. that's what they want. Women want/need fun, entertainment, and excitement. You can be as financially secure as you want, but if you have zero time to take them out, buy the random thoughtful gift, or go on the "spontaneous" trips... they lose interest. 

Aug 3, 2022 - 11:25pm
HYPSdropout, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I like to live by the idea that "When life sucks just enjoy the head"

Wishing you the best, you'll find someone who appreciates you and understands what you're trying to achieve.

Aug 4, 2022 - 1:10am
DukeGrad_1stYear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Here is a secret. If you're in a long term relationship, you work in IB, your gf does not, and she doesn't complain so you think things are going well. Things are probably not okay. I started talking to this girl and she invited me out with her friends (most of their bfs were in the industry) and I heard so many horror stories that made me vow to not date again until I'm burnt out and hop over to FP&A or whatever. Women crave attention more than anything else. They will get it whether it is from you or not.

Aug 4, 2022 - 2:31pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Comments blaming the girl, like saying "she belongs to the streets" is nice comfort food , especially immediately following a breakup. But they aren't helpful.

breakups suck, especially in your early 20s when you're still figuring things out. But they also serve as a nice moment of self reflection. Blaming someone for a breakup is a classic sign of emotional immaturity and ultimately insecurity. Breaks signal a combination of one of two things:

1. There is just a compatibility issue. Different major values, interests, goals. If you are working 80 hours and she wants someone to do things with then that will cause an issue. This is no fault to you , if you love your career then don't force a relationship with someone who will get in the way with that 


2. they think they can do better. Difficult to hear but it's the truth. If you were broken up with it's likely because they think they can get a upgrade in some area. If you think "but I'm a banker at Y firm and I make $XXX!!!" Then congrats but guess what a lot of people don't give a shit, especially if your personality sucks. You don't have any hobbies or interests outside of work aka you're boring. Your physical health has deteriorated, etc. 

Not saying #2 applies to you but in general no one wants to hear they aren't good enough, especially after a breakup. But it should serve as a moment to stop and reflect on what you suck at and use it as fuel to improve (and ultimately forget about her). 

chin up buddy it'll get better and don't get caught trying to win her back or anything. Life should be about you for the time being 

Aug 4, 2022 - 4:03pm
bigmixxx681, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Let me start by saying this happens to most younger workers in this field (including myself when I was younger). Spend your 20's dating when you can, but don't get into anything serious because it will be stressful and will interfere with your purpose. Things slow down in your 30's to a certain extent then you will have a bit more time for relationships and they will see your value and wouldn't think of leaving you for working long hours. Trust me. She did you a huge favor and you won't have to worry about emotional maintenance of a significant other. One takeaway that I learned from that breakup was never prioritize your girlfriend ahead of yourself and make a point to tell the next girlfriend where your priorities lie and they will leave right away or respect it.

Aug 4, 2022 - 5:20pm
Dunder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP at some point in your career, you'll start thinking more seriously about your personal life vs your work life. There are a lot of people in this industry that never see their families. It's possible your partner saw that in their future and decided they don't want that. 

It's also easier for a partner to stick around a tough period when they know it will end eventually. e.g. you're going to do banking for x years and go to something with more of a work life balance. But if you're going to do this forever, your SO will see this is going to be their life. This may seem crazy to this forum, but some people actually want to spend time with their SO instead of viewing them like a human atm machine.

But like some other posters have said, you're very early to be thinking about this. Don't think prioritizing your career is a bad thing at this point in your life. 

Aug 4, 2022 - 5:40pm
Incoming-PE-Intern-2023, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I went through a breakup recently and was sad to end a 1-year happy relationship. I can't blame her because she has her own ambition and needs that I can't meet. We are still in college but I am already making good money from my internships and have an excellent career lined up after college. Many girls want things besides money. I have given this a lot of thoughts. Don't let your bf/gf relationship negatively affect your career plan or your mental health. After the crazy analyst and associate years, we would be better off in our late 20's. By then we will have all sorts of options and will definitely be a better bf than now. Having supportive parents and some good mentors help.

Aug 4, 2022 - 6:13pm
Basil Hayden, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was dating a girl for 2 years pretty seriously, she moved in etc. Well, long story short, she wanted us to move, I busted my ass to get a PE job in the tier 1 city she wanted to move to (I was pretty happy at the IB I was at and probably wouldn't have moved otherwise), and then she decided to break up with me right before the move. Life comes fast. Jokes on her though, PE and the subway is paradise!

Plus OP, assuming you're in your 20s, you'll bounce back quicker than you think especially if in NYC. Flocks of women everywhere and the ratio is very in favor for males. If its meant to be you won't be left because of your job or other reasons, theoretically.

Aug 4, 2022 - 9:43pm
its-accrual-world, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Recently got out of a year-long relationship. SO was also in high-pressure finance job, but we didn't break up because of our work schedules. That being said, I am really enjoying the single life. It's great to not have your schedule tied to anyone else's, and I am reconnecting more with my old friends, colleagues, and my family. When i was in a relationship, the precious free time I had was probably 85% dedicated to my SO. Now I can focus more on my own goals, career, having a good time etc. It's also pretty fun to just date around and see what NYC has to offer. Enjoy your newfound freedom!

Aug 5, 2022 - 12:00am
earthwalker7, what's your opinion? Comment below:


You dodged a bullet my man. GF did you a favor. She can't handle you being ambitious and working hard to make a better life for yourself and those close to you?  Wait until you both get a bit older and shit really gets real. If she can't hack this how could she have hacked the harder things in life - like, i dunno, layoffs, family members getting sick and passing, or any of a f-ton of harder things.  "Oh my bae work so long he don't have time for me.  Boo hoo."  Don't let the door hit ya on the way out. So... Congratulations!!! Now she's the ex-girl and you can get straight with the next-girl.   

Aug 5, 2022 - 12:04am
Miracle1111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A wise man once told me that if a man lives his life trying to make a woman happy, then he will be miserable and isolated, and she still won't be happy. Focus on your purpose and mission first. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to please a woman whose emotions, moods, and wants change with the wind. She'll either respect you more or see herself out of your life, and you will be better off.

Aug 5, 2022 - 9:25am
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah sometimes I text girls so sporadic and infrequent cuz I don't have time and they lose interest. Also go too straight to the point cuz I don't have patience to flirt over text during my limited free time.

But anyone who expresses negativity b/c you like your job is bitter and jealous b/c they hate working and are miserable spending most of their waking hours doing something they hate. You got life figured out bud, leave her in your tracks

Aug 5, 2022 - 11:46am
Abusement Park, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well this might be the douchiest thing I've said on this site, but women are extra to what you want to do in life.

Ex: I'm currently looking to make the lateral jump to a different country. I've fully discussed this with my GF, and she claims she'll "go anywhere" with me, but I know deep down that when the time comes, she won't make the move. I love the girl, but there is no way in hell I compromise my happiness just to try to make things work. 

Hopefully one day I find someone who will change my thoughts on this, but for now, time to grind.

Aug 5, 2022 - 5:55pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I will caution about putting off relationships when older. As with anything there are pros and cons, and your decision should be based upon your aspirations , values, etc.

when you wait until you're 30-40 then relationships often become more like business mergers. Both people often have own careers, own houses, own life's, etc and are much less open to fully sharing their life with someone else. More of a one foot in one foot out scenario. 

you also run the risk of having women value you more for your paycheck. Women 30+ are looking for that provider more than girls 20-25, so easy to get someone who views you more as a wallet

also , men can typically date younger, but will warn that unless you're killing it this range is only like 5-6 years or so. Meaning If you're late 30s you aren't getting that 24 year old model but the 32 year old looking for security blanket. And most women (and men tbh) who are single and in their 30s have some sort of issue fair or not. So the quality dating market dries up. Matters less if you're looking for fun, more if you're looking for a future mother of your child

also don't put off relationships entirely in your 20s. You need to date causally to get reps, experience, understanding of what you like and don't like, tolerate and deal breakers, etc. if you are 32 just dating for first time then you will be having teenage heartbreak over girls who probably dgaf

Long story short not saying not to wait. Marrying young has its own issues for sure. But just understand the trade offs 

Aug 9, 2022 - 10:23am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Amen.  Part of it is that the WSO echo chamber is disproportionately incels, college kids, or 20-somethings who think Instagram is a reflection of people's real lives, but this idea that you bust your ass and then just effortlessly pick up hot women in your 30s is... well, what it sounds like - a fantasy.

also , men can typically date younger, but will warn that unless you're killing it this range is only like 5-6 years or so. Meaning If you're late 30s you aren't getting that 24 year old model but the 32 year old looking for security blanket. And most women (and men tbh) who are single and in their 30s have some sort of issue fair or not. So the quality dating market dries up. Matters less if you're looking for fun, more if you're looking for a future mother of your child

This is 100% true.  There are plenty of good catches for both men and women in their mid-30s, but for the most part, if you are single and 36, there is a reason for that.  Devoting 100% of your life to work is never healthy, and the people who manage to go on to great things in their career learn pretty early on how to balance that out.  Someone without a personal life just won't have what it takes to hack it in a business which is essentially relationship based.  And if you've got that down, finding a partner in your 20s isn't difficult.

Aug 9, 2022 - 10:18am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Aug 15, 2022 - 1:02am
alpharoedc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Aug 19, 2022 - 10:37am
RegretMyJob, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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