Dating and Relationship Advice

What is quiet quitting?

Articles about "quiet quitting," this new trend in the workplace following the Great Resignation of the early COVID era, are beginning to pop up everywhere — including TikTok.  And the controversies are already heating up, especially surrounding the name. The main argument is that "quiet quitting," which refers to workers starting to set boundaries and only doing the work they're paid to do, is a name that benefits employers rather than employees who have been overworked and underpaid for years.

Is quiet quitting a concern for daters?

There are parallels between quiet quitting in the workplace and in relationships. While the past few years have effectively been a 'love lockdown,' genuine, authentic engagement in relationships (romantic and platonic) has been on the decline since before then.

If quiet quitting at work is basically going back to reasonable boundaries (as in, only working the hours you're paid to work and demanding more balance in your life, refusing to let employers take advantage of your time), what does this look like in dating? Some might argue that quiet quitting damages interdependence and places "distance" between members of a couple, turning committed partners into part-time lovers as if the distance is always a bad thing. But this doesn't consider the need for boundaries and balance in relationships, just as at work. Distance is not always a bad thing, and boundaries are necessary for relationships, even (especially) in long-term marriages. In an era where we talk as if we are surviving romance rather than being nurtured and challenged to grow in significant-other partnerships, we must be careful not to over-label healthy behaviors as "quiet quitting."

So, what are the signs of relational quiet quitting?

For example, one partner might start wanting to spend more time with friends or pursue a new hobby. Or they might start spending more time at work or advancing their career. They might begin to make fewer requests from their partner. They might start doing any of these things that, if we're not careful, we can frame as negative or "pulling away" when they can be an investment in themselves — ultimately making them a better partner.

Is quiet quitting in relationships ultimately positive or negative?

In a culture where it is no longer okay to wear your love on your sleeve, it can be hard to tell if someone is quiet quitting a relationship. Casual dating seems to be more and more people's only experience of dating. And it's pushing the dating culture to go more and more that way, and more and more of us live our real lives as fake profiles of ourselves just to survive our relationships. If quiet quitting is actually a positive thing for most employees, even as employers might not appreciate it (and attempt to gaslight their workers into thinking they're "quitting" when they're going back to doing their actual jobs). Perhaps those "overworked" in relationships — the partner upon whom more emotional labor falls; the partner who invests more than the other in the relationship; the partner who literally does more of the "housekeeping" in a relationship — would benefit from a little more quiet quitting. And partnerships based on mutual attraction from the beginning might have a little less need for quiet quitting in the first place.

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