Lifestyle post promotion to VP?

Hi there, am an SO to someone in banking. He's one year out to promotion to VP. He keeps telling me it will get "better". Not sure what it means and I would really like specific details. He still works to 9/10/11 longer most nights. Still working most weekends.

I asked him what it'll be like post promotion and he said getting home round 7:30 with maybe some work later at night/weekends he can do from home. I'm not sure what that means exactly--exact details on the level of consistency in my live would be helpful? He'll be home at 7:30, can spare an hour and then will have 3-4 more hours of work? Will it be like that most weekdays? Will he still be working from home half the day or more, most weekends? How often will it be volatile where he's working to 2-3 am in the office again again? Any other details you guys think may be helpful..

I'm trying to figure out long term what this means. I have been with him through this analyst/associate years but I am pretty wiped out. He insists he wants to stay in banking.

Thanks
A.M

Comments (98)

Sep 22, 2018

Do you really think we don't realize that you're the incoming V.P.?

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Sep 22, 2018

I'm honestly the SO, believe it or not. I'd appreciate help because I dont know much about banking ( in medicine) . I'm just not sure long term how we'll make it work. it has created a lot of friction and argument recently. I was super at wits end I came to post here.

Array
Oct 3, 2018

become a trader

Sep 22, 2018

Yet again another comment from theaccountingmajor that does not add any value.

RIP LEHMAN
RIP MONACOMONKEY
RIP THEACCOUNTING MAJOR

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Funniest
Sep 23, 2018

You could've just said "Yet another comment from theaccounting major" and you wouldn't have had to added the redundancy

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Sep 23, 2018

@theaccountingmajor would love to see an AMA... looks like the future of WSO is men like yourself....cheers to years ahead of active posting!

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

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Sep 22, 2018

I'm doing one.

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Sep 25, 2018

can we ban this guy already?

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Sep 22, 2018

I'm in a similar spot to your SO so I can give you some guidance, albeit every shop is slightly different and I don't know the specifics of his role. Generally most days I leave the office around 7, home for dinner with the wife, watch some TV together and then from 9 or 10 onwards I'm in my study either checking work from the juniors or reading up on industry news or preparing for meetings the following day. The late work at home is not that intense. In saying that, if there's a live transaction I'm in deal mode and all bets are off - I could be the office with the whole team jamming until 3am every day of the week inc weekends. Unfortunately that's the nature of the industry, you just have to accept it. I'm lucky in that my wife doesn't have any issues with me not being home during those periods, she would prefer me to do my job well and be successful because it makes me happy. The best thing you can do for your SO is to be supportive during those busy times. If you make it hard for him by guilting him for not being home, I guarantee it will cause problems for your relationship, because the industry is already hard enough as it is and he will be ultimately forced to make a decision between his girl or his job. Maybe just give it some perspective and imagine how you feel if he was in the military and away for 2-6 months on end in a war zone. The fact he is home most days and on weekends is already a win. Plus ou've already made it through the hard yards, he's not lying when he says it gets better from here.

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Sep 22, 2018

I guess I've been feeling that I don't get the companionship I need. He makes time to call me for sure but I'm not sure that's enough for a relationship. Showing you care through actions, helping out at home, and what about when we have kids? Will he be around enough for them? All those things matter too.

Does your wife not feel a lack of your presence? Does she feel you're around sufficiently? I am in medicine will have decent hours but don't want to single parent. I want to know he'll be around and I won't constantly feel lonely as I have the past several years. I feel that he isn't able to make time to do the little things to show that.

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Most Helpful
Sep 22, 2018

I'm going to be 100% real with you right now. Trust me when I tell you I understand what you're going through, but it's best to be blunt with you right now.

  1. You're firing off way too many questions you should've already known the answers to dating someone that is in the Investment Banking industry. You might want to re-read what diverse_kanga said because his post was spot on.
  2. You need to make the decision to either accept his line of work or not accept it and go separate ways. As another person in IB, nothing worse than a SO that can't accept hours required within the industry. If you can't accept it, tell him now before you guys have kids and end up in a situation you both don't want to be in. Because here is the fact - AFTER VP promotion, he still will be in IB, which means he still may require crazy hours. But, on a consistent basis, his hours SHOULD go down materially.
  3. Please realize you're his motivation, and he needs you to be his. It sounds like you have nagged him before about not being home enough, and legit seems like he may already make sacrifices at work to benefit your relationship (that you won't see btw). By this, I mean putting shit off till the next day which he should've done that night.
  4. Have official "offline hours" where he has to put down the phone for some period of time on weekends and possibly during the week. But at the same time, be understanding if something comes up.

I hear you from the standpoint that it's hard to understand how demanding a job is unless you're in it. If he's an associate up for VP, I promise you that he right now has one of the most difficult jobs in the entire industry. He's trying to balance impressing Seniors while developing junior staff; it's a very difficult job. I'm sure he's also competing with other senior associates trying to reach VP.

To be 100% real, that man needs you right now. He's on track to be where people would literally kill for professionally. That's not to say your concerns aren't valid, but he sounds like someone who wants to generously provide for his family as we all do.

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Sep 22, 2018
ibankergf1:

I guess I've been feeling that I don't get the companionship I need. He makes time to call me for sure but I'm not sure that's enough for a relationship. Showing you care through actions, helping out at home, and what about when we have kids? Will he be around enough for them? All those things matter too.

Does your wife not feel a lack of your presence? Does she feel you're around sufficiently? I am in medicine will have decent hours but don't want to single parent. I want to know he'll be around and I won't constantly feel lonely as I have the past several years. I feel that he isn't able to make time to do the little things to show that.

Time to tell you what you don't want to hear:

Judging by your user name, you're his girlfriend not his wife right? Assuming you're his girlfriend right now, I hate to tell you if this guy knows what's good for him your ass is going to get dumped if you don't improve your attitude. It's every man's worse nightmare to get nagged after work no matter what industry they're in. I'm sure you enjoy the money he's bringing in but guess what every benefit has its costs. If you're not willing to make any sacrifices yourself as part of the team then this won't work out. Stop being so needy. If you can't handle delayed gratification and short term sacrifices do him a favor and end the relationship. This is what you need to hear as opposed to what you want to hear.

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Sep 22, 2018

I know this is your relationship and none of my business, but I'm going to give you the difficult advice, better to end it now than dealing with all the future heartbreaks and troubles. Banking hours decrease at higher level, but travel requirement increases and unpredictability is still there. My wife is also a doctor, but both of us are pretty independent types and don't need that much together time to make it work.

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Sep 22, 2018

thanks for the honest response. I will be doing a pretty chill speciality with a lot of time on my hands. I will be honest that I require more companionship/ want him to be more involved hence its tough these hours aren't coming to an end.

Array
Sep 22, 2018

Also, sorry can you elaborate on decrease at higher level? If you could be specific it would be super helpful! How does your wife feel about your hours? Does she not mind, simply because she is also working very intense hours?

Array
Sep 22, 2018

Banking lifestyle can have some pretty big differences between groups and firms, so this may not apply to your boyfriend's situation. Hours decrease as in having to stay in the office. A lot of MDs and VPs leave earlier and work from home for a couple of hours. However, there will be more travel with unpredictability. It's common for higher ups to cancel plans at last minute due to clients' request. My wife understands this is the nature of high-end client facing industry. Her father is a partner at MBB consulting, so she is used to it in someways. Also, she's an OB/GYN resident, not exactly a chill specialty. Then there is the personality thing I mentioned above, we are just the kind of people that can deal with less hours together. In fact, we feel that the time we have are more precious because there are less.

Sep 22, 2018

Wow...Coming to WSO for Relationship advice. That's like going to WallStreetBets for long-term asset management advice.

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

What happens in, say, two years when you decide to run off for a few months for Mohs training. Will you expect the support of your significant other? Or...? Try to put yourself in his shoes and think about that question.

Just a thought...

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Sep 22, 2018

I guess its not about physical time at work. It's about the consistency of effort. Maybe it sounds like I'm equating it to time because I figure if he had more time, he'd be able to be more consistent with effort . If in his spare time he was more consistent in demonstrating he cares through his actions I might not feel this way. who knows. I'm not asking for relationship advice. Just wondering how couples where one is in banking long term feel about the level of effort and energy their partner is able to put in.

Array
Sep 25, 2018

@BirdoInBoston Honestly, this has been one of the most productive and informing "relationship advice" threads that I've seen around on the internet. While there are certainly a number of young people and non-professionals on this site, it looks as if most comments come from industry professionals that have experienced this or have seen this play out.

OP also realized that her expectations were different than her previous significant other and broke up with him. While it is difficult, it was likely the best move for everyone.

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Sep 22, 2018

If the problem is indeed his actions when he's not working, then you need to tread carefully when you address it. Be honest about how you feel about him not being fully in the moment when you're together, helping you around the house, doing small things to show he cares, etc. Just don't make it about his work because that will drive a wedge.

From my own perspective I try to help out with house chores and do interesting things on weekends. However if I'm in deal-mode there's very little on my mind except work - I find it hard to have basic let alone meaningful conversations about anything except work. On weekends all I want to do is either catch up on sleep or rest watching mindless tv for the few hours I have to myself. Its a temporary phase and my partner leaves me alone during those horror weeks because she understands that this job requires such an intense focus at the expense of everything else in life. Then when the deal is over things revert back to normal and I make a point to do more than my fair share of the housework - because I am always aware of the attention deficit I created. Seems like your partner just needs a bit more awareness of how you feel and needs to make more of an effort to true up the balance, again just be sympathetic when you raise it.

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Sep 22, 2018

You make a really good point. My concern is that these live deal things sometimes go on for months. It's been that busy of a stretch for him since July actually. We're long distance and so we also haven' been able to see each other since then.

Array
Sep 22, 2018

Long distance is always hard. Things will become a lot easier for you when you live together. We did long distance for two years in completely different time zones so I know first hand how tough it can be, but it gives you perspective and makes the time together more valuable. I wouldn't change a thing in hindsight. The key to long distance is that there's an end in sight and always something to look forward to. This is actually the main issue you're facing, but him being in banking probably doesn't help your situation.

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Sep 24, 2018

The advice you are getting here is good. I am a few years ahead of your SO and made all the same promises. VP lifestyle does not improve much. While the true in the office hours required are slightly lower than an Associate's, the travel is worse and the stress from having to actively drive deals and show progress toward SVP/Director level responsibility is much worse. I am not home for dinner or bedtime more than once a week (best case). It is a constant source of struggle because, whatever you say now, there will be times you will resent him for not being home and every time he leaves the office early and gets flack or misses the potential to score points toward the next level he will have pangs of resentment toward you. Tough situation but trying to be brutally honest.

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Sep 22, 2018

yeah, we discussed things yesterday and broke up. He doesn't think he will ever be around in the way that I'd want him to be. thanks for the honesty.

Array
Sep 22, 2018

Jesus Christ. Very sorry to hear that.

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Sep 24, 2018

I am not a VP and do not have first-hand insight into what a VP lifestyle is like. I can give you my opinion, but don't want to lead you astray, scare you, or give you false hope.

From reading thread, it seems like the issue is less about your SO's hours and more about the fact that he doesn't "show he cares through actions" when you are together. In my experience, that phrase has been an ex-girlfriend catch all for "I can't articulate what I want, but I want something different".

I would challenge you to be specific with what you are looking for from him when you are together instead of hoping he will start doing something different or assuming he should know what you want. Doing the opposite of both of these things (that is, using nebulous phrases and not being transparent with expectations) is a surefire way to end up in an unhappy relationship.

I would also recommend you not assume he doesn't sacrifice anything for you (#3 from the list posted on the 22nd above). If he is making time to talk to you for extended periods of time on a regular basis during the week, that is a massive sacrifice. As you probably understand, there is always something a junior in finance can be doing. To allocate one's time to something other than work is, in its purest form, a sacrifice. He is sacrificing sleep / career advancement / peace of mind in order to interact with you - you should take comfort in the fact that he values your relationship enough to do that. If I were an associate up for a VP promotion (as I am I would dedicate 100% of my time to ensuring I got the promotion - all else would be second to that.

EDIT - Just as an addendum here: You speak a lot about the things your SO is not doing to better your life, but I'm wondering what some of the things you do to add value to his life are. Obviously not trying to be inflammatory or aggressive whatsoever - I am just curious to hear as I think every relationship is a bit different and I would love to comp what you do against what I've experienced.

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Sep 22, 2018

I have asked him what he needs from me and his response is just that he needs me to be understanding about work/ to be ok doing stuff on my own most of the time time. We don't see each other often enough for me to really plan stuff for us. I have spent several years being as understanding as possible.

There is nothing about me that specifically makes him tick or that he requires from me. He gets most of his life fulfillment from work. When we converse hes not particularly interested in the things I talk about and he can really only talk about work, which I don't understand. I think I could have tried to express more interest in work but I don't think he truly cared either way. He didn't mind when we didn't talk about it.

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Sep 22, 2018

Thank you for your thoughts everyone. We broke up yesterday. The final conclusion was there is a difference in long term values and we will never make each other happy. I care a lot about family and he would never be around in that way. Me and family would always come second forever. He doesn't see himself being less intense about work ever. 5 years ago he told me he would re-prioritize in the future but he cannot commit to doing that now.

I feel like I just lost 7 years of my life and a love that I will never find again.

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Sep 24, 2018

If you really think you lost a love you'll never find again, find a way to make it work. Otherwise, look at it as saving yourself from sticking out another 2-3 years only to go down this same path further down the road. Regardless, there's no need to be overtly dramatic on this site, you won't find the sympathy you're looking for

Cultivating mass and wealth since '95

Sep 22, 2018

yeah you're right. Time to move on. I just felt the need to post for closure.

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Sep 24, 2018

My best friend from childhood is now a partner at an ibank...worked his way up the ranks.
Like all bankers, he worked long hours, and had a girlfriend thru it all (now married with kids). Here is what makes it work

1) you live together...so that regardless of how late a banker works, the SO sees them at home...you don;t need to make special plans to see each other....you sleep in the same bed every night (travel for work excluded of course).
2) the SO has other things going on in their life that the ibanker does not need to be a part of...for example... a hobby that you do with your girlfriends.

These 2 things are all that you really need. You get the social aspect from your friends...and you get the togetherness from sleeping in the same bed with your SO.

If you don't have girlfriends...that will always be a problem that you will need to solve. Girls need girlfriends. If you are not living together...i mean,..its 2018...why not?

just google it...you're welcome

Sep 24, 2018

Sorry to hear that. As someone who just completed the VP years, life has gotten better, but there will always be lifestyle sacrifices. That being said, I'd walk away tomorrow if it meant losing my SO. Don't second guess yourself over this decision; he made it clear what is currently his top priority.

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Sep 24, 2018

Edit

Sep 25, 2018
ibankergf1:

Thank you for your thoughts everyone. We broke up yesterday. The final conclusion was there is a difference in long term values and we will never make each other happy. I care a lot about family and he would never be around in that way. Me and family would always come second forever. He doesn't see himself being less intense about work ever. 5 years ago he told me he would re-prioritize in the future but he cannot commit to doing that now.

I feel like I just lost 7 years of my life and a love that I will never find again.

It may suck now, but breaking up is the right call. Ultimately, you can't change people. Next time find someone whose goals are compatible with yours.

On the bright side, at least you found out now rather than when you were married with kids.

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Sep 29, 2018

....7 years? Holy shit, that's a long time. I wish you the best; plenty of people find love in their 30s though so it's not all over by any means

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Oct 1, 2018

This is honestly how I feel about crypto rn

Dudette- he should be missing you too. If not-good riddance.

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Sep 24, 2018

Going to PM vs. draw this out publicly.

Sep 22, 2018

Seems like keeping it public is fine since she just announced they broke up.

Sep 24, 2018

It'll improve.

With him about to make VP, and you as a doctor, y'all should be planning a wedding and an early retirement.

Sep 24, 2018

A piece of advice--he may not have a choice but to leave banking at some point. Maybe he's great at his job, but being a great analyst/associate/VP doesn't necessarily translate to being a great director or managing director. At the VP level or below, you're not really responsible for selling anything. You don't bring in deals for the firm. At least, you don't get judged on bringing in deals. As a director or MD, you need to bring in deals. You need to produce meaningful revenues for the firm every year or you'll be kicked out.

It's probably not what you'd like to hear, but most of the kids on here are just that--they're kids. They only imagine that their bosses work less hard than they do. Sometimes that's true, but directors and MDs do different types of work. There is a lot more travelling. You have to see clients in person. I don't know if you mentioned your boyfriend's industry coverage (which sector he covers), but even if he covers tech and lives in San Francisco, he'll have to travel a fair amount. Or if he covers financial services in NY, he'll have to travel a fair amount. And I specifically selected those two sectors and those two cities because if he works in one of those roles in one of those locations, he'll travel A LOT less than if he covers almost any other sector or lives in any other city.

Investment bankers want to deal with C-suite executives which almost universally sit in corporate headquarters. When you're selling something, you go to the customer, so while his work hours may improve slightly as a VP, director and MD, he's not going to be home that often. It's almost 9pm in New York right now, and I guarantee I can call a number of Ds or MDs in the city to come meet me for a drink at this very moment.

In that sense, if he wants to be an investment banker at a major firm for the rest of his career, he's always going to be working in some form or another. Just because he's not sitting at the office looking at spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations doesn't mean he'll be home. Fortunately, the two of you should be able to afford a nanny.

Once he makes VP, he can lateral at a more senior level to a corporate development or private equity role, but the hours there aren't much better. In short, he's not likely to have a 9-5 job any time in the near future even if he laterals to something related with slightly fewer hours.

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Sep 24, 2018

I still work from 8:30am to about 9:30pm every day. During the weekend, I work about 5-7 hours including client lunch/golf/dinner. I probably take out less than 10 vacation/sick days the last 2-3 years. Been in this industry for 12 years.

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Sep 22, 2018

Why do you give your whole life away to your job?

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Sep 24, 2018

So what is the alternative to working hard, saving money, doing what you actually like, getting a purpose in life, building something, and being a part of your community?

Living the life of Wolf of Wall Street: constant drinking, fucking around, splashing money, going on vacations, and doing whatever you want? Tried it. No one can do that forever.

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Sep 25, 2018

This is a fake post. Your subject line is a clear indication that you are an ibanker. Only people in finance say "post" when they really mean "after".

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Sep 25, 2018

oh that's how her bf talked about it

Sep 25, 2018

@theaccountingmajor here's your chance buddy ...

Sep 26, 2018

Lol'd, +SB.

Sep 25, 2018

It's really not as complicated as some of the responses are making it sound.

His hours will get better. It's harder to say exactly how they'll get better because every week is different. One time he'll have a light weekend. Another time he'll get home earlier. But the big picture is, you'll see more of him as time goes by.

Biggest mistake you're making is assuming that VP is a big change. It doesn't change overnight, it happens gradually. Think more year-by-year, not rank by rank.

Understand that VPs are arguably the most often fired people at the bank. When times get lean, the people at the top and bottom are safer. MD's can point to their book of clients and analysts/associates can point to their low salaries. VPs making 500k+ with no clients are easy picking. So there will be pressure after promotion to keep the foot on the gas and establish yourself. But VP2 is easier than VP1, VP3 is easier than VP2 and so forth. Year by year.

Sep 25, 2018

I really hope this guy - having sacrificed a 7-year long relationship - makes it to MD and then has a long and fulfilling career as a banker. Going to be regret on a higher plane if he washes out or discovers that he hates it...

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Sep 25, 2018

My thoughts FWIW.

Get to the bottom of why he wants to be in the industry. Materialism? Prestige?
Competitiveness with you career-wise? From my point of view, your career mix will not allow you both to spend an adequate amount of time on family planning/raising. I assume you both clearly do not have any money issues, and could still live very comfortably with a 20-30% HH income cut.

Marriage usually works best when one of the partners sacrifices their career to dedicate time to the children/household. This is typically the female role as women are nurturing/conscious while men are aggressive/competitive. It is no mystery why the divorce rate in America is directly correlated with the growth of dual-earner households.

You both will need to figure out who is seriously willing to sacrifice their career for your future family. I would suggest considering a qualified couple's therapist to help guide your conversations.

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Sep 25, 2018

They don't "need" to figure out which one will sacrifice their career. That's one way to go, but if they both want to keep charging hard at work they would hardly be the first couple in Manhattan to make that decision. $1m+ combined income probably allows room for a nanny or five.

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Sep 25, 2018

From my (non-NYC) experience, the hours get slightly better in the sense that you have a bit more control over your schedule, depending on the group of course. I know plenty of VPs that routinely leave around 6-7, have dinner with the family, then hop back on to do work until 12 every night. So from the family's standpoint, they may view this as more favorable since there is less of an expectation for routinely burning the midnight oil at the office.

The downside of the promotion is two-fold: 1) almost guaranteed to be more travel and 2) at times it is harder to mentally disconnect from the job, which can offset the increased amount of time that you may interact with him.

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Sep 25, 2018

Dude I'm just wondering why he is dating you if you don't understand what real work and dedication take..

If you don't like his lifestyle and banking lifestyle in general, date someone who works at a tech start up or in asset management. Plenty single non bankers out there...

It ain't what you know, it's who you know

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Sep 27, 2018

Will give you a pass because there are a zillion comments here and it's not your job to read them all, but FYI, you are lecturing a board certified physician on "real work and dedication." Which is something you might not want to make a habit of...

Sep 25, 2018

They broke up (see her last comment), which only proves my argument.

Can't handle the lifestyle --> find someone else

It ain't what you know, it's who you know

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Oct 1, 2018

Classic college sophomore comment

"Anything less than the best is a felony"

Sep 26, 2018

Looking at your posts and at the responses, sounds like you've already made up your mind, and you're straight up just looking for the courage to end it.

The hours are rough, from the MDs that I've met, the hours get better, but it doesn't sound like it will be enough to suffice your need for "companionship". How much face time do you need to have with him? And you're complaining about it being difficult, but you guys are doing long distance?

If you can't deal with the rough hours (even though you're not the one working them), and you can't come to a compromise, then you should end it. Preferably before Jan so that he can spend his bonus freely on coke and bottle services to impress the 22 year babes at the club.

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Sep 26, 2018

Wow, this thread took us on a ride. Rare for a thread to include real-time closure.

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Sep 26, 2018

OP,
You seem to have a calm demeanor. Maybe your personality type got you this far in the relationship. Con: your personality type can deal with a lot of pressure, more than normal. Pros: You make it through tough times and achieve more than others. In this case, all you're achieving is joy so it's different than your career where you're achieving success. 1. If this is a great partner and there's no logical solution you will likely walk away once that logic is enough for you. 2. If this is the only guy, it's tough but in the end there's no where else to go bec this is it for you and you go through thick and thin together. Don't mix choices 1 and 2. You can have (2) even if you end up making choice (1) so no need to mix the two choices. Some ppl feel guilty for not doing (2), no guilt here since they are independent of each other. Problem with your personality like i said is you take a long time to decide (not bec of the 7yrs, but bec of your approach which is borne out of your personality). But ultimately, the choice will come down the road to pick between the two, it all depends how far you as the individual are down that road. It def depends on your laid back, understanding attitude in weighing all options. The upside with your approach is that when you decide, it will be a solid answer and you won't look back. This kind of stuff usually takes longer than imagined. Medicine, IB are just backdrops.

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Sep 27, 2018

Brilliant comment

Sep 25, 2018

.

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Sep 26, 2018

It means he is prioritizing his banking career over others at this stage. Truth be told, the lifestyle doesn't improve as one becomes more senior. Yes, he probably does not need to spend as much time in the office as a junior banker but he will spend more time on new responsibilities (e.g. traveling/client meetings) as he becomes more senior.

Sep 27, 2018

just spend his money and sleep with the gardener while he's away like every other ibankers gf

Sep 27, 2018

I know friend, female, married to ibanker. Met in grad school. She started off as an analyst in corporate banking out of undergrad but didn't want to pursue any sort of banking any further. He got in after a summer internship. So she completely understood his situation. Were fine, living together. She handled her alone time well, regimented routine, etc. Once they had their kid, it was rough times due to the imbalance. The thing is, he expressed early on his desire to get out at some point, which I guess made it easier to handle (had the ups and downs on it). Got promoted VP, but still long hours than desired, though could come in later. Was able to get into buyside recently on the referral of several ex-co workers. Still long hours for a father of a toddler, but much better than before.

So OP, you made the right move. If you ever want a family, forget it. He's already stated his long-term desire. and is too immersed in that world Yea, I guess you 'wasted' time. But things happen for a reason, and don't look at it negatively. There are people in worse situations that make it work for the best. There's no time like the present to open your eyes and pursue your life objectives. Hope you find the happiness and peace that you're looking for.

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Oct 1, 2018

This is an interesting point - would you then make the assumption that ibankers simply cannot have family? Not agreeing or disagreeing, lean towards agree.

Sep 29, 2018

For what it's worth, I know how it was to be on the other side as an analyst, not an associate/VP. I was in a long distance relationship -- we were on different coasts. She was still in college while I was working 80-100 hr weeks. In the end, we broke up, but I learned a lot from it.

She was always telling me I didn't spend enough time talking to her. I was frustrated because I didn't have a lot of time to give, but what I did have, I gave freely. I took at least an hour every day to talk to her daily and texted her throughout the day. When I worked 16+ hrs a day, all I wanted to do is sleep or drink (myself to sleep). You also forget that there's a lot of boring stuff that takes time outside of work (commuting, eating, laundry, etc.), so I felt like I was sacrificing a lot just for that. I also paid for her to fly out monthly while we were in a relationship, which added up to real economic cost. During those trips, I had to prioritize all the little things that had to happen (laundry, etc.) to make time for her. She never noticed those small things.

She was always telling me that if I cared about the relationship, I should leave... but it's just not that easy to leave IB. The entire time we were together I was paying off student debt. Add to that, the monthly trips, the gifts I bought her, and money I sent to family turned into golden handcuffs. That's beside the fact that I took literally years of my life to attain that position. Coming from a non-target to IB, it was especially hard for me to "just leave." It takes time, effort, and luck to find a position in finance doing interesting things with similar pay and better hours. Did I try to leave? Yes, but juggling work, a relationship, and personal stuff made it difficult for me to interview. I have to practice a lot for interviews, so it was only after we broke up that I had enough time to do all that.

The biggest lesson I learned was for the relationship to work, we had to be at similar levels of busy. As a college student, she was just hanging out a lot vs. me working all the time. That imbalance definitely caused rifts, especially with the amount of relationship maintenance she required. Also, I think that I could have done a better job of being positive around her. The people/environment of banking and lack of sleep tended to make me an irritable, impatient, negative person. Often, because I wasn't doing hobbies or had much of a social life, our conversations turned out to be unloading -- not good for a long distance relationship, much less any relationship. She finally "understood" when she graduated and worked in consulting, though we were in different places in our life by then.

Sep 29, 2018

If you're looking for an hours comparison, assuming he's working at a solid bank (solid MM, BB/EB), his current 70-80 hours/week should probably drop to 60-70 once he becomes VP. At the end of the day, he's still working 9am-8pm most nights, and then when he comes home he'll constantly be in contact with the analysts/associates who are being fucked with work at the office to send edits/comments back.

The life of a banker doesn't end when you come home. And for a guy who's clearly looking to make it up and seems determined, he's going to need to grind hard as VP to make Director, so yes, he will work long hours. If he does get to that level (Director/MD), and that's a huge IF (that's the hardest leap up the chain), his hours will finally drop to 50-60. But at the Director level (and especially at the MD level), these guys are gone on travel all the time. 2 weeks/month is pretty much mandatory, and could be more than that (I've seen Directors traveling 1 week/month and I've seen Directors traveling 3 weeks/month).

I respect your position, and I get how frustrating that must be; the life of a banker is that of a glorified slave; I may get flamed for this, but unlike most of this forum, which glorifies the life of a banker and take a hostile stance against how you're feeling, I'm going to give it to you straight. You're not selfish for thinking this, your concerns are valid, and money can only do so much. I got out of banking as fast as I possible could once I saw the lives of the senior people. They're never offline, half of them have been divorced, and I had one director who suffered 3 strokes by the time he was 30 from the stress/long hours that he was in a wheelchair for months. No amount of money/stress is worth all that, at least to me.

I'm not going to tell you what to do, just providing the real. Some SOs can deal with all this, but most can't. I know I coudn't, which is why I would just make things easy and not date a banker, to spare both their time and mine; I sure as hell could not have done it for as long as you have, which I respect the hell out of. But as a long-term SO, I understand your position is much harder here. I wish you the best of luck

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Sep 30, 2018

My man. Finally some sense.

Sep 30, 2018

Yo, so much bad advice here. Deadass sounds like some of these responders want to mold the perfect IB mate. "Stop nagging him -- you should be a better girlfriend" isn't good advice. Nor is "Hey, he's not in Afghanistan! Lucky you!" "Don't leave him, it'll hurt him professionally." Just look at this quote:

"But I will say that I think the sacrifices, effort, and energy it takes you to be supportive, patient, and understanding are minuscule compared to the sacrifices, effort, and energy he is putting into his job alone in order to provide for a future family."

Jesus fucking Christ.

Yo. You're in an emotionally unfulfilling relationship and it sounds like you've felt that way for several years now.

Your emotional labor in sustaining this relationship is equivalent to (if not greater than) the work hours your partner is clocking. And you sound tired. Asking your partner/potential spouse about spending quality time undisturbed by work isn't "nagging", it's fundamental to a healthy relationship. It sounds like your partner is maybe promising something that he's not sure of. Probably means that he wants it to work out with you. Which is special. You've been together for a long time and you must care about each other a lot to have gutted it out through some pretty tough years. But will the promised improvement (if it comes) be enough improvement for you? Enough companionship? And kids are such a big fucking deal. It's a bad sign that you already feel alone when it's just you two. Like really bad.

Granted, you did have some foreknowledge of this regular conflict. But you don't seem naive about it, just tired. And don't feel bad/guilty about initially accepting it or thinking you could handle it, but now feeling the onset of burnout. Especially given the fact that there's been a carrot dangling in front of your face for quite a few years now. You're about to turn a corner in your professional life and you should know whether your personal life will finally shape up to expectations.

Also, while true that he's making sacrifices at work for your relationship, his time in IB is seriously compromising your relationship. I'm not saying he's selfish, just that he's colliding with the tradeoffs of electing an intensely consuming profession. But you are emotionally unfulfilled, and he said he won't change careers. This is not martyrdom. Regardless of how generously he can monetarily provide for a future family.

I can't provide any new information to help you answer your questions. But I just wanted to speak up for the idea that your emotional fulfillment doesn't need to take a backseat to your partner's career track, even if he's on the cusp of promotion to VP. And it sounds like pretty much everyone who has responded thinks exactly that (while perfunctorily adding the disclaimer "not that your concerns aren't valid"). Your concerns are fucking valid. It's possible to earn plenty of money and maintain a good family life and relationships. Ask any doctor.

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Sep 30, 2018

Just read entire thread now. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Oct 1, 2018

The in-office hours will get better. Home at 7:30pm is a reality. Home at 7:30pm with no more work to do isn't a reality. My general rule of thumb is don't go to sleep until at least 11:30pm, because shit can still blow up on you and require your focus / attention.

His weekends will be spent increasingly at home (2-3 hours at the office instead of a full day), but when he's at home, he will be waiting for emails / work to review. As a VP, you can be around more, but your attention is likely focused on the job, and so you'll be "unavailable" to do things that your SO might want to do regardless of where you are physically.

I'm a VP; my hours still suck, and frankly, it's a lot worse when you're at home and focused on work instead of your wife/gf/ than being in the office. It doesn't get materially better until you have your own book of business. Then you set the hours.

The best way to figure out what his hours will be like and how "available" he will be is to understand what the rest of the group is like? As a VP1, he'll likely be staffed with more junior associates. Are the A1s / A2s any good? If they are sharp and reliable, his life and hours will be much easier and you'll get many weekends totally free, and have coverage at night. Are his analysts detail-oriented and razor sharp? If so, you're in good shape.

More than likely, the bullshit that is banking will continue to frustrate you. If you hang in there, be ready for it and find hobbies/friends/family to keep you occupied and fulfilled. If that's not interesting, cut bait....

"Anything less than the best is a felony"