They Don’t Love You Like I Love You

It’s time to talk about some of the most exciting, most stressful, most dramatic, sometimes longest-lasting, sometimes shortest-lasting relationships you will build while organizing: romantic relationships.

Sure, romance isn’t a part of your job, but it’s an important part of your life—a part that doesn’t just stop because you sign up for an incredibly intense job. In reality, instead of taking a hit, your love life is probably going to get a boost while you’re organizing. Where else are you thrown into a small space with a bunch of cute people who share the same passions and goals that you do?

Many people have met their partners while organizing. Many others just had some fun for awhile. Both are great and both will happen.

Your very own editor and publisher of 63 Magazine met on a campaign in 2010 and are getting married in September 2016. We definitely didn’t do everything right, but we eventually made everything work, learning a lot along the way.

Here is some advice for you to think about as you find some cute boys and/or girls to make out with. (You’re going to make out with someone, just accept it.) Good luck!

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Have fun! Take a break! Make out!

You work SO hard. You’re allowed to take a break and have some fun with some of those cute coworkers of yours. But remember to keep it fun. You don’t have any extra time for drama and now isn’t the time to make huge life decisions anyways.

I know that organizers are a passionate bunch. You may not be the type to take things casually and that’s okay. But this is just a short time in your life. You will have plenty of time in the future to pursue things more seriously.

Don’t get too distracted.

Taking a break from your incredibly intense work can help you be a more productive and more effective organizer. Make sure that whatever romance you pursue energizes you, not stresses you out even more. When things start to get a little too tense, reevaluate where you’re prioritizing your time and energy. Be willing to step back when you need to.

Do NOT hook up with your manager. (And if you do, keep that secret like it’s the nuclear launch codes.)

Obviously, this is the number one rule. It’s the rule HR tries to sear into your brain the second you join and there’s a reason for that. Hooking up with your manager makes your working relationship all sorts of messy, whether you think you’re immune from it or not. (You aren’t.)

If you think your manager is your absolute soul mate and you absolutely must pursue them, remember that the election doesn’t last forever. What do you think victory parties are for anyways?

But if something happens (blame the alcohol, blame the little sleep, blame the true love), do not let anyone find out. Seriously. You may think secrets are bad and childish but trust me, they aren’t. You do not want your fellow organizers knowing this

In whatever relationship you start, discretion is your friend.

Even if you’re cuddling with someone more appropriate than your manager, you should still be discrete. Romance complicates everything and it’s cool if you’re ready to take on that complication, but don’t talk a lot and bring it onto other people. It’ll also help if things get rocky and you don’t want everyone knowing your business. Besides, secrecy makes it exciting!

“This is obvious to the point of being trite, but you should think twice before getting involved romantically with someone you work with! You’re working so much that you basically live with your coworkers. At the same time, you might also be living in a new place where those same coworkers are the only people you know. These are the factors that make campaign friends some of the strongest personal bonds you’ll ever have, but it also can lead to something more. Everyone in politics knows a couple who met on a campaign; however, even if you only work together tangentially, be realistic about how it will affect your job. Approach any relationship assuming that everyone on the campaign will know about it. If you wouldn’t want the campaign manager to know about it, it’s probably not a good idea.” —Ryan Gallentine, deputy director of public affairs, Solar City

Respect your supporter housing. It’s time to get high school-level creative.

This should be obvious, but don’t do anything that is disrespectful to the incredibly generous people who are letting you stay in their house. Make sure you understand the boundaries set for you and follow them. Get creative about connecting with your beau. You had tactics in high school—use them!

Never use your campaign email or phone to flirt with a coworker (or anyone, really).

You know that everything you say on a campaign phone could be subpoenaed at any second. Do you really want someone else reading your awkward flirting? Nope, you don’t. Also, everyone accidentally texts the wrong person every once in awhile. If you text on your personal phone, you limit your chances of sending that sext to your boss….

After August, it’s time to stop trading sleep for fun.

You are young and full of energy and think you’re unstoppable when it comes to working hard. You have so much fun going out with your friends and staying in with your boo. But at some point, you need to start prioritizing sleep over fun almost all the time. That sucks so much and I’m sorry. But you are so close to the end. You will make it! You will have free time again!

Whatever happens right now with your relationship isn’t final.

If you feel like you really want a long-term relationship with someone you met while campaigning, that’s amazing. Your relationship isn’t doomed because it starts in a high-pressure situation that makes serious commitments challenging. But, you also don’t need to accept every bump in the road as final. And if the person on the other side wants to keep things casual, that doesn’t mean it will be that way forever.

Take a step back and recognize that you are in the middle of a super-intense campaign. New relationships can’t be the priority right now. That’s okay! November 9th will come, your romantic future is wide open, and you will have plenty of chances to change your fate when you’re not sleep-deprived and overwhelmed.
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