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having time for music and a relationship

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hernameisrio, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    So I play in one band already, have a full-time job, am in a relationship, and freelance occasionally on the side doing writing, audio, and various tech gigs.

    I'm looking for additional work as a bassist; paid projects, whether sessions or a cover band or some kind of collaboration. I'm also starting lessons which I'm hoping to make at least bi-monthly if not weekly.

    I was asked recently by my boyfriend if I would still have time for him once all this is underway. I honestly didn't know how to answer. I said I'd make time but I feel like that's sort of a cop-out answer. How the @#$ do you MAKE time? Like I'm gonna magically add more than 24 hours to the day or something?

    I guess this is the flip-side to all the threads I see on here about OMG MY WIFE HATES MY BAND and MY GIRLFRIEND DUMPED ME BECAUSE I PLAY BASS or whatever (I find them kinda borderline-misogynistic at times but that's another thread for another time...). Turns out, it really does work both ways, apparently. The bottom line is that if you asked me point-blank what's more important, music or a relationship, I would say music. But at the same time, what am I gonna do, dump the guy because I don't have time to hang out with him anymore? That seems douchey, no?

    So it's a somewhat precarious balancing act. And I just don't know how many other dedicated musicians would actually choose music over a relationship. But if you did or didn't, and you don't mind talking about it, why/why not? Who else has had to navigate a situation like this?

    Hope this don't get ugly. Thanks, y'all.
  2. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    When you have been together long enough that you fight over little things just tell him "remember you wanted to spend more time with me". There is plenty of time for a relationship some people work as much as possible and still maintain relationships. This is no different what he may see as a hobby since it not your regular job is seen like more work for you. In the end if he doesn't feel like you give hime enough time then it probably won't work out anyway.

    I wouldn't choose music over my wife because I wouldn't have too. She knew who I was when she married me and would never ask me to choose.
  3. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Nothing trumps family and relationships. When you're old and near the end do you want to be surrounded by your large family of children and grandchildren or your basses?

    That said, you don't just drop all your life interests for a new squeeze.

    Continue pursuing your musical goals and if you want to "make time" (you make it by taking it away from something else) for a BF, then do that. If he doesn't support you in your musical pursuits he's not right for you.

    If he's not, send me your number.

    (Just joking, I'm ecstatically married.) :eek: :D
  4. If you're under 50 you don't need a steady.

    That said, I did not meet my wife of 30 years at a gig. I was a perfeshional moogician and she was a college stoogent. I told her I'd likely never amount to anything.

    It worked out anyway.
  5. Hacke


    Jul 16, 2012
    If you really think that music is more important than your partner, maybe you should just release him/her so none of you do not waste time in your life on someone not so important?

    But the real question is how to make time.
    I think you should try to put the things you like to do on a time schedule and plan some things for later in life.
    It is impossible to do all the things you want to do in the same time.
    Save some fun things for later in life.
  6. antonspon


    Mar 27, 2013
    No contest...my basses! Since having kids...much as I adore them...my life has been pretty much over. If your music's really that important to you, don't hurt others by adding them to the "to do" list.
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    The best way to ruin a music career is to have a family.
  8. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Hmm. All good points. Well, I think I need to start by at least managing my time better. Because that's kinda the underlying issue. I would be hurt and feel pretty empty and alone if things ended between us because of my inability to run my life in a way that allows for others to be in it (besides bandmates I mean). At the least, he knows I'm trying. It's not like I'm blowing him off completely and telling him outright that music is more important. It's more like, as someone who's not married and doesn't plan to be, I have this abstract sense that in the whole grand scheme of chasing the boys, I'd rather prioritize music. Or to put it another way, if I weren't already in a relationship at this point in my life, I wouldn't be...and it's weird to realize that now.
  9. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Life is not impossible to balance. It's all a matter of your own personal priorities. Regardless of the reason (music, work, extracurriculars), if you don't want to make a relationship a priority, don't be in one. It really is that simple.

    So, to answer your question "am I supposed to dump the guy because I don't have time to hang out with him?" I answer, "yes." Staying in a relationship that you don't have time for (or the desire to free up time for) is selfish. You obviously get something positive from being with this person, but the way it sounds, not AS positive as what you get from your other stuff.

    Everyone has a finite amount of time on this planet. IMO, one of the worst things you can to to a fellow human being is waste theirs. You alone decide how that time is allotted, and reap the rewards or consequences of that decision.
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    I married a musician
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Two words. Bryan Tracey. Look him up. Get his stuff on time management and goal setting. The latter will help you figure exactly what you want in life and the former will help you get closer every single day. I promise that if you listen to that guy your energy will be focused like a laser beam at whatever you truly want in life.

    By the way, other than an insane desire to harm others there is no wrong answer to the question "What do I want out of life?".
  12. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Two things jumped out at me. 1, what you said...

    2, what ChrisB2 said:

    For me, the best thing the last 22 years has been my spouse knowing I am a musician and me knowing what her extra-family activities are from the start. The key is being with someone who supports your activities and you support theirs. THEN the relationship is not forced and you're both happy with each other. Just a thought. You shouldn't have to give up one for the other.
  13. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    any healthy relationship is a balancing act. including your relationship with music. if your guy is genuine and solid and worth staying with hell understand and support you...to a point. its healthy to voice what he needs from you and you from him, including your time apart for music. maybe sit down and talk it over, in depth. figure out how much time works for you both, how much is the agreeable balance? im not suggesting punching a clock with him, but it might help your music time to do so. if its structured more you might be more efficient and find time your not maximizing to find now.

    my GF and i dont have a set time that we spend together but she knows music is apart of who i am and supports it. i repay in kind and dont neglect her. it varies week to week as to how much music takes my time but i counter it with my attention. ex, im playing fri and sat, ill suggest a thurs date.
  14. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011

    you have like ... 3 jobs at the same time ... one could ask, why owrk so much ? are you running from something ?

    also you clearly say that one of your jobs is more important than you boyfriend ... so euh ... why you keep that relation ?
  15. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Uh bro, if you read the thread, I never said that my jobs are more important than my boyfriend. And I don't have "3 jobs." I have ONE full-time job, very sporadic freelance gigs, and am playing in a band that makes money by passing the hat at small shows. We rehearse once a week and gig 2-4 times a month.

    I'm not really a workaholic. I just enjoy an active and fulfilling life. It is not in my nature to go home after work, mess around for 20 minutes on my bass, and call that my life. I care a lot about everything I'm involved in right now, including this relationship.

    And I'm not "running from something" either. What do you mean by that? Apart from what I tell you, which is not an atypical "schedule" for someone in my city at my age, I don't think you know enough about what's going on in my life, to adequately make a call like that.

    The only thing I might be "running from" is the day when I wake up and feel like I missed out on amazing opportunities because I didn't go after them. And given that this forum is full of dedicated, talented players who have spent tons of time, money, and energy on music...I really doubt I'm alone in that sentiment.

    Check yoself before you wreck yoself.
  16. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    To add: it also just occurred to me...I think my boyfriend is asking if I have enough time for him because he sees that sometimes I do get a little overwhelmed with everything on my plate and he knows that if I get stressed, it'll make both of us miserable. I mean, I didn't mean to sound like he's not supportive of me...he is, as much as he can be. He works in the music industry to, so to a degree he "gets it" even though he's semi-retired from the typical hours of people in that business (both musicians and studio folk). He comes to my gigs and has helpful suggestions for the band and good ideas. He listens to me practice and is encouraging but also offers constructive criticism. He knows how much this matters to me and has never once dismissed that as a worthless hobby or a waste of time.

    I'm gonna check out this Bryan Tracey guy, it sounds very promising. :)
  17. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours

    With all due respect, there's absolutely no choice here..Music comes first. I've known hundreds of pro-players who are on the road for weeks at a time. If you want to make music your career, your partner has to accept that status. Most that I've known DO.....Happily. :)

    An add on......While I was posting, the phone rang and I had to cut it short so, if I may, I'd like to add this.

    Music is the Blood that runs in your veins....While it appears that you have a wonderful relationship with someone who knows the business, relationships come and relationships go. Music sits in your soul Forever. I Wish you BOTH the Very Best and I hope that what exists between you and your BF lasts Forever. :)
  18. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Thanks R Briere. I've been feeling like a lousy girlfriend lately so that makes me feel better. Saw you're from Northampton, that's a cool town...my parents are up in Beverly. How's the music scene up there? (Go Red Sox :D)
  19. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I'll be the first to say it.

    Ditch him and marry me.

    Seriously. Whenever I find myself on your end of the "do you have time for this relationship" conversation, one of the first places my mind (though not necessarily my mouth) goes is that if my SO kept as busy as I do it wouldn't be a problem.

    "Let's just stay in and do nothing together!" We can do nothing when we're dead. While I'm young and have the fire, I want to burn down some churches.
  20. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    I find that trying to do music on a semi-professional/professional basis is really difficult when you also have to hold down a job.

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