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So your partner's between jobs...

It could be for any number of reasons; relocation, layoffs, finally giving the boss that telling-off he really deserved.

Whatever the situation, here you are.

Chances are your partner feels a lot worse than you do, so it’s important to let him or her wallow in self-pity for at least a of couple days. Once that’s out of the way, try to avoid treating the one you love like a disgruntled teen. Here’s an example of what not to say, “You didn’t even make the bed! What did you do all day (although, that’s sometimes a valid question)? While I’m paying the bills, I expect the toilets to sparkle.” It’s important for your loved one to keep busy, sure, but that doesn’t mean that you now have a live-in maid.

Stress levels are bound to skyrocket when someone in the house is unemployed, but do your best to see this whole ordeal as a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to spend more time together. Have your man or lady meet you for lunch. It can be fun to see someone other than your office mates for a change, and your spouse is bound to tell you if you’ve got something in your teeth.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, all it takes to feel like you’re on a real after-hours date is a living room picnic and a borrowed dvd from your local library. Go on. Rekindle the spark; really remember why you’re with this person. The only potential problem here is if you’re just with him/her for his/her paycheque.

Then I can’t help you.

Now, what do you talk about when there are no co-workers to gossip about? Tough one. I like a little “information sharing” as much as the next person, but maybe it’s time to consider pushing a hobby on your loved one. Volunteer work is nice, and it does pad a resume, but it usually generates a lot less gossip. A cooking class might be a fun thing to try on for size (did you see how much salt Jeffry put in his frittata!?) What about a bridge group? (I don’t know any bridge jargon, but you see where I’m going with this) Encourage your partner to get out and meet some new people. There’s a whole new world out there; us employed folk really have no idea what goes on between 9 and 5. If your spouse gets involved in the community, you never know who he or she might meet, but let’s save networking for another day.

I guess what I’m saying is, yes, it going to be tough, but unemployment, like most things, is what you make of it. Cheesy, but true. All right, go get ‘em!