Dating

Let’s see if this sounds familiar… shall we? **

So, here you are, a 9-5′r…Ready, willing and able to find that person who makes your heart skip a beat, someone who makes you smile from ear to ear … wherever you go.

GAME ON! You do what’cha gotta do (online dating/events/etc) to meet this person.
VOILA! ~ you’ve met this great guy or gal… been on one or two dates.

The chemistry is there for sure (va va voom!), they are pleasing to your eyes (YUM) and a HA! It’s mutual! SCORE!

You know that their in the restaurant biz…they’ve told you about their wonky schedule, you think “okay I can do this.” Doesn’t sound terribly horrible.

I mean… ‘How cool is it that I’m dating someone that I could go visit when I get off of work!’, it looks like a win win…

So you dive in… adapting to their nocturnal ways, their fly by nite, on the fly spontaneity that you find exciting! Having him or her have a scrumptious dinner for you on the table ready for you when you get home from work! Someone who is available to meet you for lunch during the 9-5 workday (How great is that?) before they head off to their shift.

Your friends are jealous that you get to do this with them.. And it’s different than anything you’ve experienced (and.. It’s kinda sexy!)

Things are great and it’s official! You’re a thang!

Well true, you kinda miss him or her in the evenings when you get off of work; especially Fridays, but you know that they’re doing what they love and you want to support them, so you are cool going to events solo, or just staying in.

At first this feels AWESOME because you can still hang out with your single girl/guy friends. Hey, it’s kinda like you have the best of both worlds!

And yea… they’re sleeping when you leave for work kinda stinks.. cannot kiss them goodbye. But you know they just pulled a 12 hour shift , so you do your best to keep it quiet while leaving your place.

I mean it’s not THAT bad…

(Plus you don’t want to seem like a complainer.. So you keep it to yourself the best you can, I mean you’ve only been dating a few months)

And well, it is strange to you that whenever you hang out with their co-workers, or friends (who also are in the biz), their ‘work family’, you never seem to fit in. Actually, you kinda feel like an outsider. They keep the subject to things going on at their restaurant – servers, customers…food issues… and you’re wondering when the topic is going to change to something you can talk about! I mean, you’ve got plenty of interesting stuff to talk about!

Bottom line, this does not feel right. So you keep yourself quiet – and then his or her friends begin to think ‘Why is she so quiet? Does she not like us?”. So, as Heidi Klum says.. You’re OUT.

Additionally – if your beaus peeps are celebrating something – and the alcohol is flowing.. You look over at your loved one and think, ‘he doesn’t look like the person you spend your time with. Who is this person?’

You mention something to your beloved – but the conversation leaves you feeling like you’re just being sensitive. Maybe he/she says that you gotta ‘jump in there’ and join the conversation. You’re thinking “Yea, I’d love to but I have NO experience with difficult customers sending back their food 3 times!”

These experiences are quickly becoming red flags to you.

Maybe you push on. I mean, You love him/her. That has NOTHING to do with how you feel. Maybe this is just you being sensitive as he/she said.

You keep on… with one exception – you’re hearing the awesome stories of your other girlfriends who are dating fellow 9-5′rs and (sad) you want that too. Someone to wake up with on the weekends, and to have dinner with after work. So you continue into your relationship knowing there is another way to ‘be’ in a relationship.

Maybe this brings in some resentment? arguments? “Why can’t you be more like this…”, “Can’t you rearrange your schedule so you open everyday and be with me in the evenings?”, “What do you mean I have to go to my parents for Thanksgiving alone!”

My guess is – you probably recognize the feeling this brings.
One of two things happen – you acclimate because your love for him/her is so strong.
Or you break up.

Does any of this resonate with where you are or where you have been?
I think it might.

It’s a TOTALLY different world – being with someone in the industry and without having the right tools (shoot, ANY tools!). We’re out there journeying alone.

And to add to it, those around us do NOT understand what it’s like. They are with fellow 9-5′rs.. They do NOT understand. Right? Lets talk about said tools, shall we?

TOOLS FOR FINDING SUCCESS

Part of why I’ve created Married to a Chef is to share some tools (most likely that you already have but aren’t aware of!) that you can use to ‘bring to the table’ where you are in your dating journey with your restaurant man or woman!

Firstly – you’re here! (with MANY of your fellow 9-5′rs in the SAME boat as you!)
What does that tell you?

It says that you are serious about your relationship and are out looking for help! Good for you! If you look at the comments below - being here also tells you you’re not alone!

Doesn’t that make you feel good? (it should.)

Okay… here are three things to ponder and ask yourself:

1. Yes. Being a 9-5′r and dating someone in the restaurant industry is going to have it’s share of being the pits sometimes, we cannot deny that. But so does being with a fellow 9-5′r! There are some wonderful blessings that come with being where you are.

What , do you think, are some of those perks? (I bet you could name three right now.)

2. Let’s talk about who you are? What does being here, to find the tools to success, say about YOU? (hint: that you’re strong, determined, willing to work out of the box perhaps?)

3. Anything worth having is going to take a willingness to dive into the unknown, wouldn’t you say?

It’s about perspective, after all. How could you take a different approach to where you are , instead of the solo holidays, going home to an empty place may seem like a dead end of your relationship, that these are opportunities to create excitement in OTHER areas of your life?

In other words, how could you see this relationship and it’s parameters as an opportunity to focus on other areas of your life? (Kinda like.. Relationship? Check. Career? Um… Social Circle? Well?…. ) you get my point.

TRUST me – it may not seem like it, but there is a big red bow tied around your relationship, it’s just a matter of seeing the opportunity where you might currently see lack!

It is my vision to create interactive and self seeking programs designed to guide you to the tools that you most likely already have, but need some awareness seeing. These tools are what your VALUES are; and once you really grasp what they are and how they show up in your life,you’ll see a whole new world before you! (Like, for example, successful 9-5′rs in relationships in this industry find their WILDLY INDEPENDENT!!!)

  • What does being independent mean to you?
  • How do you show your independence within and around your relationship?

How does it make you FEEL when you are being independent?

Finally – to me, it’s VERY important to guide you back toward giving yourself PERMISSION to make this life as authentically personal and genuinely rewarding as humanly possible!

I mean it’s YOUR life. Don’t you want to get as much out of it as you can? (answer: yes!)

I’ve made it my mission to lead you back toward being comfortable giving yourself PERMISSION to LIVE!

Somewhere along the way we lost the confidence to give ourselves permission to really LIVE. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you’re in – we first have to give ourselves permission to make big bold steps, in EVERY avenue of your life!

It’s time to take that back. (Wouldn’t you agree?)

Part of that is understanding what your values are, how NOT understanding them can trip you up.

{MUST READ} – A chefs take on What you need to know BEFORE you marry a chef. *PLEASE READ THIS – I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT ANY BETTER!

- Marrying a Chef? What you need to know BEFORE saying ‘I do’ by Chef and Steward

I recommend you really do some soul searching NOW. After reading the article above.. ask yourself if this IS or CAN BE YOU. Because once you get married (if you believe in the long haul anyways) Knowing the things in this article will save you a LOT of resentment and loneliness.

Sign up to get updates, create your own profile, join the conversation in the groups, check in with the blog, and join your fellow 9-5′rs in programs geared toward meeting you EXACTLY where you are!

SHARE YOUR STORY! Leave a comment below and tell us what else you’ve experienced!

**I know that everyone has different experiences, I’m giving a general gist from what I’ve heard (or experienced) from the front lines.

Dating

53 Comments

    1. Elizabeth says:

      First off, I don’t think this site could have came at a better time for me. I have been with my chef for 6 months and its been amazing. Yes we have had our ups and downs and I have gone through my lonely nights and lonely weekends…but we have always seemed to pull through. But, the past couple of weeks it feels like we are in a rut. He made a comment to me about how his life is predictable how he works all night, goes to bed, wakes up, goes to work…then on his days off he comes to my apartment he sleeps in while I get up go to work come home at 5 he either cooks dinner for me or we go out to dinner and then we go back to my place and relax. Now, I’v been obsessing over that word “predictable.” I want to find a way to make things unpredictable on his days off do something different but its hard sometimes for me because I wake up at 7:45 every morning on the rode by 8:30 I work all day come home by 5:30 then I wait up to talk to him which sometimes isn’t until 2, 3, or even 4 in the morning. Yes, occasionally I get a nap in here or there but for the most part I wait up because if I go to bed I’ll miss his call and then I”ll never get to talk to him. But, then he gets annoyed on his days off when I get tired and I want to go to be early actually attempt a full nights sleep but he gets mad about it. Which always ends up in an argument with me saying I worked all day with little sleep and now you want me to stay up again into the wee hours when you slept till 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Then of course I here him tell me well I work 13, 14 hour days and then its like ughhhh!!!

      I just wish there was a happy medium here I don’t want to fight with him but I give in to his hours and do my hours to have a relationship with him…I just don’t know what to do…

      sorry if this is rambled or off topic from maybe where I started but I’v been holding it in and I needed to get it out to someone who may just understand. Please help? with any ideas?

      • Laura Fontanals says:

        Realize that you are the one making changes in your life and your routine to nurture the relationshipi. You each have a responsibility to take care of your own selves and take care of the relationship. Take a step back and evaluate if you both are making the same efforts. You sem to be neglecting your own needs a bit and taking more responsibility for the relationship. You need to discuss that or make peace with it because it won’t change.

    2. Shannon says:

      I have been with my girlfriend for almost 10 months. When we first met she was unemployed. I had almost 2 months of having her all to myself. She would come over and make me dinner and when I was sick she wanted to take care of me. It was my perfect relationship. When she got a job I was so happy for her..until it started affecting out relationship. I work late nights myself during the week (12pm-10pm) so we would never see each other during the week and then on the weekends she would always be working. She was always tired after work so we would have a few drinks to mellow out and then spend some time together. As time past it just seemed to get worse and worse and then the holidays would come and she couldn’t spend them with me (thanksgiving, xmas, valentine’s day). I had my 10 year high school reunion and she said she would go so I bought two tickets…then she tells me a few days before hand that her boss wouldn’t let her off. I balled my eyes out. Then my birthday came and she said she would spend the day with me…again she says a fews days before that her boss won’t let her off…so I spend the day by myself. All these special days and all ruined because of her job. I don’t know if I can take it anymore. I thought over time it would get easier but it’s not and I know it won’t get any better in the future. I’m sorry to be venting but I felt like this was the only place that people would understand. Thank you for listening.

      • Hey Shannon.. First off – Kudos to you for even writing! I don’t care what anyone else says.. it takes courage to reach out. Sounds like you’ve had a bit of an eye opener when it comes to being connected to someone in this industry. Want to say that whatever happens.. you will be OKAY. It takes most of us other halves a bit of time to get accustomed to the ins and outs of the restaurant world. Next comes the hard part… what you are experiencing…. her hours, her having to bail at the last minute is unfortunately common. The restaurant industry is, If I may be so bold.. is very reputation based. It’s about who works the hardest that will give one a step up. It’s kinda like an endurance race.. who has the most stamina will succeed. She probably is spinning along with you as she gets her bearings in her position.

        Your feelings are VERY valid Shannon. You have every right to be thrown off by this sudden change in her energy level toward you. How can you give yourself permission to be okay where you are? Whether this is the right fit for you or not.. you are learning a huge amount about yourself.. and what you value and want in a relationship. We have ALL been there. Go easy on yourself.. this type of relationship is unlike many others.

    3. Mandy says:

      Shannon and Elizabeth

      I can totally relate. It is hard and it takes resilience to stay. I have actually been with my partner for 17 years and even a short time ago went to counselling as it was yet another Xmas alone and I got all upset. I have decided that I just have to be independant and not worry about attending functions etc by myself and that even though we live very independent lives I still love him and want to stay. Have to think about their good points – hard working, honest, good chef, a match personality wise.

      Last year I just had to just organise myself knowing he would be working on Xmas Eve, Xmas day. I don’t get upset if he gets called into work when he is supposed to be off and I am very used to important dates us not being together.

    4. Ali says:

      First of all I am so happy to have found this website. I woke up this morning hysterically crying and feeling so alone and googled married to a chef thinking I might find a post here or there on the topic, but am so happy to see an entire website dedicated to people in a similar situation to myself.
      Growing up my step-father was a chef and I remember very well going to bed every night with him gone and spending every holiday and vacation with out him. I was a restaurant brat because my mom would take any opportunity she could to spend time with him so we basically lived in whatever restaurant he was working in at the time. Up until about a year and a half ago I swore I would never marry a chef, I knew it was not the life I wanted.
      About a year and a half ago I met one of the greatest men I have ever known and despite my insistence at not dating a chef (or not dating at all as I had just gotten out of a bad long term relationship)I fell very hard. He works very long days in extreme heat and I could always see it taking a toll on him but at the time he was working at a lunch place so we still had most evenings together. I realized early on that the only way for me to be in this relationship was to get into the restaurant business myself. I have always been a foodie and am a people person so it seemed like it made sense. Before I knew it I was working as a hostess at a fine dining establishment, trying to learn everything I could for the restaurant my boyfriend and I talk about opening. We talk about marriage, we talk about what were going to name our kids, we talk about the restaurant were gong to own one day and what were going to do differently than all the people we work for. My boyfriend has been working 14+ hour days 5 days a week for a while now and than you take into consideration that he wants to go drinking after that and I basically feel like im in a relationship with myself. Slowing im feeling the romance fade as he is so tired when I see him, and I want him to rest because I know how hard he works, that were starting to loose the little things. I cant remember the last time he made some grand gesture towards me, he used to make me feel like the sexiest woman alive, used to text me during the day just to tell me he was thinking about me and loved me and now I feel like we’ve gotten boring and predictable and I can easily go 14 hours without hearing a peep from him. This than makes me feel selfish because I know how hard he is working. I know that he is trying to move up in his restaurant and prove himself, I respect what he is doing, I respect his work ethic and his passion for food. Its just hard knowing that there is no end in sight, this i’snt a phase, this is his life. We recently got a kitten together and I have ended up taking full responsibility for him because my chef is never home and the kitten still needs to be cared for. This caused a freak out the other day when it occured to me that my chef was going to miss every doctors appointment, t-ball game, school recital, etc for our potential children and this caused me for the first time, to doubt if I can be a chef’s wife.
      A week later and im still having doubts, I attempted to discuss this with him and he told me I needed to make a decision, this is who he is and I need to decide if I can deal with it. I love him so much and don’t want to imagine my life without him in it, but also don’t know if I am thick skinned and independent enough.
      It feels so childish, but I have been feeling so lonely lately. Im on the other side of the country from my family and my support system, and my number one support system here is almost never around for me to talk to. Last night I was feeling really down and waiting patiently for him to get home. He called me around midnight to tell me that his two bosses wanted to take him out for a drink to talk. I was fine with this and made the mistake of not communicating to him that I was waiting up for him because I missed him. When he finally came home around 2:30 and I discovered that one beer turned into a night at the bar with all of the people I work with at my restaurant, I got really upset. I would have happily met up with him, had he just taken 2 seconds to ask me how I was doing or feeling when he called me, I would have told him I was feeling really lonely and to call me if he was just drinking at the bar so I could meet up with him. I was frustrated that he didn’t think to invite me to join, and more frustrated when I told him I was upset how he spent the rest of the night talking about everything everyone had said and done at the bar.
      So here I am, I woke up this morning crying, feeling alone, not knowing where to turn. Even if I get no response for this, it has felt really good to write it out.
      I don’t know how i’m going to resolve this situation, the way I see it I have two options. Accept it and find more independence, or don’t and break it off with the love of my life.

      • Erinne says:

        Ali: You are definitely, for sure, not alone. I have been exactly where you are right now. My Chef was my high school sweetheart and I love him with all my heart and could not live without him, and I know because I’ve tried. I’ve left numerous times because I thought I could no longer take the lack of time, affection, attention, pretty much lack of everything from him because he put it all into his work. This has gone on for the last 12 years with us. I thought if I couldn’t have him just the way I wanted him, then I would let him go and find something that did fit the ideal lifestyle that I always thought I’d live. Doing stuff with my boyfriend/hubby every weekend, enjoying every moment together with our children (we have a 2 yr old together)seeing each other every night and having dinner together as a family. But it turns out the perfect “lifestyle” doesn’t mean anything if you’re not with the person who’s perfect for you. And he is perfect for me. No, I don’t get to see him as often as I like, no, he’s not emotionally available for me at all times when I want it, but HE is the man I know that I’m supposed to be with, and when we do get special time together, as few and far between as it may be, I’m reminded why I’m staying here, keeping my mouth shut, whining as little as I can stand, and putting him and his career first. Its hard and its annoying and nobody I know understands it. But it means the world to him and he might not tell me alot but I know it. And being with him means the world to me. And I know that if he wasn’t a chef and he didn’t have this passion for his work and his craft that he does, he wouldn’t be the same person anymore and I love him exactly as he is. I left him before for someone who was always there, always wanting to talk, always buying me gifts, always doing everything I thought I wanted….but everything I thought I wanted really isn’t all its cracked up to be if it isn’t with my Chef. I just had to get a different perspective. And that’s not as easy as just saying it, that’s for sure. It took me years to get here. You have to make a life for yourself outside of him. Get hobbies….reading….movies….gardening….shopping…anything to fill your time. And you need to have some friends nearby. I don’t know how I could make it without any…..do you have friends you work with that you could spend some time with? Or maybe wives of sig others of other chefs that he works with? And maybe make more time to travel and visit your family and friends that live across the country. If you really feel he’s the love of your life, I would strongly recommend you try to stick with it, I wish I had then we wouldln’t have lost the time we did. The grass is not always greener on the other side, in fact it rarely is. What you want is more time with HIM, and if you can’t get that, going elsewhere is really not the best solution to your problem. And alot of people (i.e. your friends and family) might think that you’re making all the sacrifices in the relationship and that’s not fair, at least that’s what I’ve had to deal with, but I think when you love somebody as much as I love my Chef and he loves me, sometimes there is going to be more give from one and more take from the other. But if you love them, its worth it. In my case, a small amount of time from my Chef is definitely what I’d choose over no time at all from him and not having him in my life anymore. If you wanna talk, feel free to send me a message or email me at enr1212@yahoo.com , I love meeting and becoming friends with people in the same boat as me because none of my friends who are with people on regular schedules with regular jobs understand what I have to go through, we need the support to keep us going!!!! Good luck!

        • Erinne – it’s so amazing how similar our stories are. It wasn’t until I left my then chef boyfriend to be with a fellow 9-5′r that I realized the VALUE I had being with chef. Once I had that lightbulb moment… I, too, feel EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. Totally agree on having my own passions, my own friends… There is definitely a common thread that binds us all together. Thanks for sharing!!!

      • Thank you Ladies for your supportive comments! I hope hearing that there are others that are in the same shoes as you helps you feel not so alone. What Erinne wrote definitely rings true for me as well. It’s about understanding what works and what doesn’t. This process takes time. Go easy on yourself and know that we are here when you don’t know who to turn to.

      • Kimberly says:

        Oh Ali! I’m sending you a virtual hug right now! You’re in a tough situation for any relationship, let alone one with a chef. I have found the best way to resolve issues like this is communication. You have to be able to sit down and CALMLY talk about how you’re feeling. You also have to decide what you as an individual really want. Some people need more attention than others and some people give more attention than others. I’ve been dating a chef for 6 years and he has always found a way to remind me he cares even with his crazy busy schedule. As much as it hurts, if your boyfriend isn’t willing to listen and find a way to make you both feel better, maybe you would be better off with someone else who can provide the level of affection you need (chef or not). Good luck!

    5. Elizabeth says:

      Reading everyone’s post after I posted does make me feel better because you all sound like you were in the same boat as I was. Unfortunately, my chef and I are no longer together because I felt like he wasn’t being honest…not like cheating not honest like personal things but a lot of what I am starting to realize I feel as if I was influenced by people on the outside. It’s almos as if the things people were saying about him made me believe what they were saying rather then believe him. I am not proud of it and I miss him dearly because I truely believe he is the one for me. Luckily my chef and I do still talk a lot and I did go on one date and quite honestly I hated it the whole time I thought about my chef and I really didn’t like the fact he was at my beck and call all the time and it made me realize I liked having my independence and the relationshp I had. So, I just pray everyday that my chef and I can move on from this and hopefully one day get back together.

      • Hey Liz – Firstly, I’m glad you feel better. It’s not a cake walk figuring out if this type of relationship works. For most of us, it takes TIME. TRUST is an important part of figuring it out. Sounds like you are figuring out what works for you. Hang in there… most of us have been EXACTLY where you are.

    6. Emily says:

      Ali, you are definitely not alone, however, when you’re in the situation you’re in, the only company that is fulfilling is the person you’re missing, I know. I think you already know the right answer: If you’re going to make it work, as you wrote, you have to accept it & find more independence. If you’re far away from your support system & friends, you can find other ways to occupy your time. I found fulfillment in joining a chorus, becoming active in my alumnae association, volunteering, etc. This not only kept me busy & helped me meet new people, but part of keeping a relationship exciting is each maintaining your own life. This keeps a little bit of mystery around the person you’re with. (Remember how intriguing it was when you first got together & everything you were learning about each other was new?). It won’t be perfect because you’re still not likely to have pastimes that keep you busy at 2:30 am when you’re waiting for him to get home. However, you can’t change anyone else, but you can make changes for yourself & you’ll be surprised sometimes to see how much a change in yourself may create change in your relationship.

      I think you deserve a pat on the back for acknowledging that you could have communicated better & told him that you were waiting up for him. As much as we all would like our men to be more sensitive or perceptive, restaurant or not, men are like puppies & they don’t get subtlety. They have to be told, “Sit!” “Stay!” “No!” & like a puppy, they actually want to know exactly what you want & expect of them. They hate trying to figure out what we women want. So never hesitate to tell him how you’re feeling. You may often feel like a broken record or a nag or just hate to whine, but tell him. He loves you & that means he wants you to be happy. He’ll be glad if you tell him how he can do that.

      Do you have a day that you try to reserve for both of you or make sure to schedule regular date nights? Even my nine-to-fiver friends in relationships with other nine-to-fivers have to maintain regular date nights to keep the relationship fulfilling. We may think they are lucky since they get off work at the same time every evening, can have dinner & whole weekends together, but I think we see their grass as greener than it is. They see each other every night & every weekend & it makes it easy for them to take their time, & sometimes each other, for granted. One thing that makes me grateful to be in a relationship with the General Manager of a restaurant is that since he can’t always be around, even six years into our relationship, every moment we have together is sacred. Maybe you can make some regular plans to make sure your time together is special.

      Whatever you do, keep talking! :) Keep telling him how you feel & trying to do things to make yourself happy. (Ask yourself, if I weren’t in a relationship, what would I want to do today? Then go out & do it!) As long as you keep the communication open & active, things will work out the way they’re meant to be.

    7. Alex Rosario says:

      I am so happy that I found this site, and others like it. I have been dating my chef for 4 and a half years now, before he even went to culinary school. I actually pushed him to go to the CIA because he was good at it and it was his passion and I wanted him to be happy. We moved in together 6 months ago after 4 years of dating, and while I love living with him, I miss him terribly all the time. I thought that I was the only person who felt like this, and that I was selfish for even thinking this way, but I have moments of resentment: I hate not talking to him all day, I hate coming home to an empty apartment, and I hate spending all weekend by myself. When he was on an AM schedule, it was beautiful, he was home every night for dinner, and we actually spoke more than two words to each other. But he was also cranky and miserable because he was leaving for work at 5 am every day. So, he would end up asleep at 8:30.
      What gets me the most is the loneliness of it all. Most days, it’s ok because I’m used to this and I keep myself fairly busy. He had very similar hours in culinary school, and throughout his externships. But then there are days when I have had a bad day at work, or am having trouble dealing with something in my family, and all I want is to have him home when I get there so I don’t have to spend that time by myself.
      All of this being said, I would not trade him for any other “normal working” person out there. But is nice to know that there are others out there in the same boat as myself.

      • Hi Alex – I’m so glad you found us! What you’re feeling right now, missing him and feeling moments of being resentful, is a VERY common place to feel at one time or another in this type of relationship. SO MANY of us can relate to wanting our other halves there when we have a bad day,etc… (I know I can!) You’re not alone, that I can ASSURE you.

    8. Sam says:

      I’m SO excited I found this site! I’ve been with my chef for 2 years. We are both 23 years old and currently doing this long distance (Im in Los Angeles, he’s in Orlando- building his resume after graduating from culinary school ’11). Up to this point I’ve been relying on long distance relationship blogs to keep me sane but I never thought to look up “dating a chef”!! I’m literally all smiles as I write this – I have found my ladies! :)

      Anyone else been in a LDR with their chef that can offer advice/tips??

      We’ve been LDR pretty much from the beginning but things have gotten difficult as he has become more focused on his career and has had less time to keep in touch. He is set on coming back to LA in May 2013 – looking for advice/tips to keep strong till then!

      • Hi there Sam! Apologies for my delay. I’m so glad you’re excited! Wow.. that is a distance, huh? How long have you been apart? It makes total sense that he would be less available as his studies got more intensive. Sounds like there is an End in sight – May 2013!! Sounds like you need to figure out what to do in the meantime… it makes me wonder what the hardest part is, being apart? Not being able to talk on the phone would be my thought.. what are your thoughts? I’m totally curious!

    9. Kristy says:

      I’ve been with my bartender boyfriend for the better part of 3 years. He moved to Boston in July to be a bar manager in a restaurant that has been doing very well. They’ve only been officially open about 3 or 4 months now, but they’ve built quite the reputation. I’m really happy for him, but we are doing our relationship long distance, and I am desperate for some sort of connection and I feel like he’ll never be able to give it to me. We sometimes can go days without speaking, maybe with a quick “i miss you” text message here or there, but never a conversation. When I bring it up, he says that he wants to be “that” person for me that can give the attention, but right now has to focus on his career. I just don’t know what to do, I love him but this industry is crazy- will he ever be able to make time for the relationship or will I always have to get by on a “i miss you” text every few days? I find myself very upset and resentful of him now because I want some of the attention he is giving to his restaurant and he just can’t give it to me. I’ve read some of the other posts on here and it seems similiar to my situation. I’m willing to do what I can to make it work but it just seems like I’m the one doing all the work and moving my life around so I can accomodate his crazy schedule (6 days a week). Please help. :(

      • Hiya Kristy – Eek, being in a restaurant relationship in the same town is difficult enough… add to that moving to another town and you’ve got an added krimp in the mix, huh? I can only imagine how lonely a feeling that is. What is the long term vision for him moving to Boston? Are you planning on joining him at some point or will he eventually return home? While he may not showing you that he wants to be “that” person… I gotta give him credit for being self aware ENOUGH to say that right now he needs to focus on his career. A lot of restaurant men/women don’t even know HOW to say that to their significant other, so it goes unsaid, and because actions speak louder than words… RESENTMENT settles in. Sounds like he’s given you a heads up, which might not be 100% comforting, you’re not completely in the dark. What does he say about his trajectory? His long term plans? Does he include you in them? If so… maybe you can put ALL your focus on that time, knowing it WILL eventually turn around. As your resident life coach, maybe this is a time for YOU to figure out where YOU want to be in the next two years… and work on that goal, while he is working on his (and if he sees you in them) I’m here if you ever want to work on this more. :)

    10. Kristy says:

      Thank you so much for your response. The long term plan for him is to stay in Boston, and I will be moving up there next month actually. I won’t be living with him, but it will at least eliminate the distance and hopefully make things a little easier when he does have that glorious one day off.
      When we talk about our future, he does talk about it in terms of us being married, having kids, all that. But, he says he wants to get more into the management side of things before he makes those committments so he actually has time for them. He is very open and honest about everything in our relationship, I will give him that. He just isn’t very good at expressing his feelings in the time inbetween when we see each other, which is the majority of the relationship, which is when I need the affirmation the most. We’ve talked about it before, but he still doesn’t do it as much as I hope he would. I know it must be hard for him. The thing he always says to me is that “we are making the small sacrifices now (like not seeing each other a lot/talking a lot) so our future can be the best it can be.”
      I’m trying really hard to focus on myself right now so I do have a hobby or something I am just as passionate about as he is the restaurant business, but I’m a big planner and all I wanna do is plan when our next convo will be, when we’ll see each other, when we’ll finally live together, blah blah. The stuff I can’t control! He always tells me we have to take things day by day and let them happen naturally. ugh.. now that I’m writing this I’m realizing that he’s saying a lot of positive things that maybe should be my focus rather than when I’m he’s going to put a ring on it. gahh!

    11. natasha lee carter says:

      Hi, reading all of your comments on this site and being in a relationship with a Head Chef, I feel that if you are secure enough in yourself, independent enough and not needy then a relationship with a chef works well. I unfortunately am the same as everyone on here…I also miss him, feel he could text more, wish he would try to make better plans on his splits or time off and wonder why the boss always has to have meetings at night after work rather than on the quiet times in the day when the place is quiet!…. Its hard and I am trying to not be needy, not want attention and most of all trying to not fight with him over it. We have definitely had our fair share of fights about this, he says the same as all the other chefs it is his career, he loves me and shows me when he can. I just need to get it I guess…..

      • Hi there Natasha! I could not have said it any better myself! Hey the first step is knowing what it’s going to take and it sounds like you KNOW! Go you! Unfortunately we get into these relationships without knowing what it’s going to take and end up feeling like we’re treading water without one of those red lifesaving rings. Personally, I think there is a middle ground between what he is saying and how you are feeling but I have yet to be able to articulate it into words and how to help others find it. I won’t give up trying though… and neither do you! I don’t know if you already are but a great place to find solace, for now, is our private Facebook group. Find us!

    12. Kimberly says:

      Im so glad i founf this website!! like so many have said before, i thought i was the only one feeling this way, i felt like i was the selfish and demanding one!!
      Ive been with my head chef boyfriend now for 5 years, im 22 and he is 25 (yes childhood sweethearts) we have just purchased our first home together and oh my goodness, when i was still at my parents i still had human contact…. now at our home i have our 2 dogs!! i speak to them more then i speak to realy people!!! i miss him so much and when he gets home im either in bed or brushung my teeth and we never get to spend anytime with eachother…. mondays he has off but im at work!! every 2 months or so i explode and let everything out, i rarely complain or call and cry about not seeing him so he knows my once every 2months breakdown is a build up of missing him daily!!!
      1 thing he always says that is sweet but now plays with my mind is ” i am working hard for our future” which is beautiful…. but what about the “present” … the “now” ???
      i iwhs i had a dollar for everytime someone says “you are soooo lucky to have a chef as a partner!! you must have amazing dinners cooked for you all the time”….. yes toasted sandwiches ont he couch .. ALONE!!!!!!

      Im just worried what im going to be like once we get married and have children… i dont want to become a bitter person towards the industry…. he loves what he does and seeing him happy makes me happy, i just wish we had more time together.

    13. Michelle says:

      My sous and I have been together for 2 and a half years…his job is his wife and I am his mistress…we have been in counseling for 6 months trying to work things out…before I join this site, in a further attempt to find more solutions I wan to know if it is still being updated as the as the last things showing are from 2012…..

      • Hi there Michelle – I actually have to laugh as I know we significant others totally understand what your saying about his job is his wife and you are his mistress. I wish it wasn’t true, but so many of us are feeling this exact same way. You’re NOT alone. As for being updated, yes, it gets updated. My last blog post http://www.marriedtoachef.com/blog/ was on Valentines Day, and I’ve been a bit delayed to keep up as I am in my first trimester with my first child and have NOT had much energy to do much these days! I can feel my energy coming back so I predict to soon return to my regularly scheduled program of blog posts. If you join as a member, with a one time $15 contribution, you will be invited to our private Facebook group where there are hundreds of our fellow significant others who are regularly posting, sharing their experiences. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at info@marriedtoachef.com

    14. melissa says:

      I have been dating a restaurant owner for 18 months. Im divorced, 2 kids, he’s single…never been married, no kids. In fact this is his longest ever relationship and hes nearly 60. His restaurant is open 365 for breakfast lunch and dinner. IE Every waking hour. Its a fabulous french place that everyone loves…of course..including myself, thats how we met. I admire and respect his 7 day a week commitment. But it is his entire life. There is room for nothing else. The spark of our relationship is that every 2months, he takes me on fabulous trips.
      But there’s no sense of daily life. My question to you all is: Why be in a relationship with someone if you are not sharing your life and spending time together. What is the point in spending every holiday, weekend, evening alone, without the person you love? The resentment builds up. I can see it in myself. If the customers always come first, it simply dosent feel good. Its not sexy and its not fun. No matter how busy you make yourself, you’re really just filling in the gaps because your love is not around. It might be better to be single. Or just be lovers and travel partners….thats where I’m headed… :)

      • Hey Melissa… I’m glad you reached out! I LOVE your question… let me ask YOU that question… Why be in a relationship with someone if THEY are not willing to share their life with you, spending adequate amounts of time together? It sounds like you already know this is NOT working for you… unfortunately, MOST of us significant others had NO idea what we got ourselves into until we’re already in it. Of course add to that when we start out in our restaurant relationship, we too, think what most people do… it’s glamourous, it’s exciting and we get wisked away because it’s all so sexy, the restaurant is SO good.. everyone loves it. It’s not until we’re IN it that we figure out what it’s REALLY about. Sounds like that’s where you are too. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Now is the time to figure out what WORKS FOR YOU. Another question for you – how willing do you think he will EVER be to shift his life away from the restaurant? Time to get serious and trust your gut with the answer. IF you think that the possibility is there.. then maybe it’s worth figuring out how much you’re willing to adjust until he comes around… IF NOT.. that does NOT mean you’re weak, that you don’t love him enough. It simply means this DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU. We don’t live out of what works for us and when we do, we can quickly begin to live out of the thought that we are living for EVERYONE ELSE. ONLY YOU KNOW if this does or doesn’t work for you. It takes time to figure this out but it’s SO empowering…time to look at your long term vision.. add to that the answer to the question of whether or not you see him ever shifting toward your relationship… and then take action to connect what works with you… with what you’re willing to accept. If this works for you… find out how long, and then find ways to maneuver around his schedule. If it doesn’t work for you, it will NOT mean that you do not love him, it means you have a desire to take care of YOU more. I”m here, as your resident life coach, if you want to work with someone who REALLY understands. Finally, if you are interested in actively chatting with your fellow significant others, contribute to our mission and you will be invited to the private Facebook group where there are hundreds of women… in the SAME boat as you. Thinking of you. I’m here if you want to talk.

    15. Kim says:

      Hi all. I found you tonight while I was having another sleepless night. Though my chef is home tonight, a rare treat, all I can think about is how this ever ending cycle will begin again in the morning. I’ve been with my chef/fiancé for 8 years now and we have a 3 yr old beautiful baby. I’ve separated once from him but just ended up getting back together after 8 months. It’s good not to feel so alone with reading all these blogs. But still, I don’t think I am strong enough to do this my whole life. I feel so alone often and feel like an outsider whenever I do have a chance to be with him. I’ve even started to become quite the jealous type when I never was before. The fact that he works around pretty little waitresses all day and night, gets text messages from them and he pretty much talks about them & work all the time is draining. He will also have drinks with them after work to “wind-down” after his shift and it makes me feel like i’m not worth coming home to or that he cant “wind-down” with me at home. My tank is on empty and I am looking for a life raft. Please, please send me some encouraging advice. I don’t want to loose him or break apart our family.

      • Hi Kim – I’m glad you reached out! You are NOT alone! So many of us have to manage through the same type of experiences.. with our restaurant man/woman SO focused on what’s in front of them, it can be SO CHALLENGING to see how they want to do anything else while we are desparately lonely and unsure how to move forward. It can absolutely be a challenging type of relationship, in general, but even moreso when we are not meeting on the same page. I wish I could tell you that there is ONE way to shift both yourself (to see your own value, find ways not to feel so lonely) and his (to see how his actions and inactions affect his relationship and his family) Every relationship is different, and what works for one might not work for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s about finding out what does, and what doesn’t work for you. I am proud of you that you were able to say that you know you might not be strong enough to do this your whole life. It takes a LOT of courage to even say that out loud. Unfortunately, as much as we wished we could, we cannot control our partners, sure, we can influence them for the short term, but we know, until they WANT to make the change, we will be feeling like they don’t want what we do. That most likely is NOT the case. We all grow and evolve at our own pace, most likely they need a bit more time to figure out what you have already figured out. NOW… that doesn’t change what does or doesn’t work FOR YOU. It’s so important for all of us to figure out what works and then ACT on that. Does it make it easy? Not usually. It takes GREAT COURAGE to figure out what feels good/works for us. That’s what I suggest… despite your love for him… it’s important you find out what works for YOU, what you know you’re willing to accept, and for how long, and then create an action plan to eventually feel better. Does NOT mean you have to leave.. it means you take the time to find out about YOU. Be real to express your inner knowing about your partner (Will he EVER come around and if so? Can I wait for him?) You are not powerless. It just feels that way right now. I’m here, as your resident life coach if you want to work with someone who REALLY undertands. Finally, if you are interested in actively chatting with your fellow significant others, contribute to our mission and you will be invited to the private Facebook group where there are hundreds of women… in the SAME boat as you. Thinking of you. I’m here if you want to talk.

    16. Kim says:

      Thank you Kerilyn. I appreciate your kind words and positive attitude. I’ve talked to my chef about some of the things that were really bothering me and some boundaries that need to be set with regards to his job…and my sanity :)
      A couple ground rules that we agreed on is that instead of him staying at the bar after his shift every night on the weekends, he would have one day on the weekend where he could stay after his shift and hang with his co-workers to unwind. In addition, we’ve arranged to have our baby stay at daycare an extra day so that if he gets an extra day off, he’ll be able to have his “me” time. We’ve also made a plan to be together on his one day off for dinner or a movie (grandma agreed to watch the baby). I think this will help us come together and make this family work. The only thing I couldn’t seem to address is the text messaging with the female co-workers. I am trying to keep a cool head about it and try to understand that these are his friends now and I need to give him my trust. Secretly I wish I could call them all up and scare the pants off them, lol, but I know that that is not a mature nor sensible thing to do and I must uphold the strong mentality of being a PROUD chef ‘s wife. You have given me peace of mind and a lifeline to hold on to. Thank you.

    17. Randy says:

      Hey need help all.

      Ive been dating my girl for 3 and half years. A chef also.

      Weve been through the ups and downs, the promising new job that ends up in the same 12 to 14 hours shifts with no weekends, the holidays alone, the weekends alone, the nights alone, The constant complaining about long hours and bad pay. Ive always told myself that Im strong and that it allows me to do other things with my life. But the reality is it really is a limiting factor in my life.

      Now she has just finished up another job, so well have a bit of time better the next one, but she wants to take advantage of the fact that chefs can litterally work anywhere in the world to travel and maybe stage internationally. I have a good career where we live currently, so extended travel is definitely not possible, and I dont want to quit my job.

      Can we get over this? Yes, maybe. It will be hard. But heres the question, is there ever any point when these people make decisions that factor you in them? Because right now, it seems to be like they are all selfish egotists and I should save myself before I get trapped in this for the rest of my life…

      Thoughts?

      That said, you have

      • Hi Randy, Apologies for my delay. I’m so glad you KNOW that the long hours and holidays alone might not be something that will make you happy in the LONG run. Sounds like she might have a different idea of her trajectory than you currently do, and that is OKAY. I wonder how you two have been able to manage the challenges so far… is it that you just have to deal with it, or is it something that can be compromised? In my experience, until our significant other is READY to be on the same page with us, there is no amount of creating arguments that will make them change their trajectory.

        My answer to your question is a two parter… Do restaurant men/women make decisions and factor you in them? YES. Not all of them do, but in my experience, yes 85% of them do. The biggest question is WHEN? What I have seen is usually it takes them to EITHER a) moving to a restaurant group that has more stable hours, vacations, etc or b) something happens in THEIR life when they realize that if they don’t slow down, shift their trajectory.. they’re going to end up alone. This industry is VERY passion based… that sense of ego is necessary for them to put in the dedication and hours to craft their specialty… that’s why they NEED US (when they are ready) to remind them that there is more to life than just what they see in front of them.

        I have not yet seen a relationship that has a restaurant man/woman come to an easy realization of this fact. That is why WE have to know that we must be strong enough to manage that resistance, to KNOW that we are worth the wait… and if it’s not worth your energy and time, IT IS OKAY. It doesn’t mean that you have failed or are not strong enough. It’s really tough to be in relationship with these epicurean creatures… so it takes a bit of inner knowing to KNOW if you have (and want to have) what it takes to thrive.

        If I may, join the village http://www.marriedtoachef.com/your-village/ – and become a part of the PRIVATE Facebook group so you can interact with the hundreds of significant others all over the world, going through the same thing as you.. right now.

    18. Ema M says:

      Hello! iv been dating my chef boyfriend for a few months, Im actually STUDYING to become a chef too… not that i know as much as him or his coworker. I met him at a bar, we started talking about food and that was IT!! we didnt stop seeing each other, it was amazing. He is a Chef in one of the best restaurants in Toronto and he lOVES his job, he even works 2 weeks in a row sometimes, from 6am to 5pm, so we have time to be together in the evenings, (not every day, i go to his house 4 times a week maybe) but he is always tired, we barely talk, he says “same as always” (thats really how it is… at least something new happens we talk about it). I knew he was going to be tired after work, i try to make dinner for him, we hockey and top chef together, but barely talk. He keeps apologizing and says he wants to work as much as possible to have a better life in the future and he hopes is with me. i keep saying I understand, im about to get in that business but i just miss him so much! i wish i could do fun things with him other than relaxing at home. Sometimes i get tired to see him tired, yesterday for example i went over for dinner at his house and i felt SO MAD at him i didnt even know why, then i realize i miss him i wish we could have some alone time but most of the time he wants to stay home and his 2 roomates are always around. (i love them but cmon i want to be alone with him not only when we go to sleep) Its hard for him to come to my place since the restaurant is far from my house and he has to leave early in the mornings… i know i just keep writing but sometimes i dont know what to do to keeps our relationship happy and fun and not doing the same routine.
      Thank you for reading ! !

    19. Jess says:

      Ive been with my best friend and the love of my life for about three years now. We live in New Jersey and when we first started dating he was a line cook at a country club where he went in at 1:30 and got out at 9:30. His mother ( who I have grown very close to) warned me how hard it was dating a chef because shes been married to one for years. I didnt really pay any mind to it because his hours at the time were not really that bad and I could deal with it . It gave me time to myself, to be with friends , and do things I needed to do. About 8 months ago he got a job as a line cook at a restaurant in NYC. His hours quickly changed to going in at 12 and getting back home at 11:30 / 12:00. Thats when things started to get difficult and i started to think about what his mom told me 2 years ago. It was okay though because he still woke up at a reasonable hour in the morning and we got to talk over a cup of coffee for a couple hours before he headed back into the city for work. He also had Sundays and Mondays off which I had off too. A month ago he had gotten promoted to sous chef so now he doesnt get home until 2:30 in the morning sometimes because he always stays for an after service beer with everyone and I usually dont stay up that late. When he doesnt stay for the beer he still gets home at 1:30 in the morning and now his only day off is a Tuesday which is of course the day I work all day. Since he gets home so late he sleeps is so we dont get those couple hours in the morning anymore. Seeing him more than once a week is a miracle sometimes. Its so hard and im so glad im not the only one with the same feelings. Two of my friends have gotten married and I went solo because he couldnt get off work. Ive been thinking about the future alot and how this is going to be for the rest of my life. Sometimes ill have my bad days where i feel like saying ” whats the point?” and then on other days i see exactly what the point is because even though i dont see him he makes me so happy and I could never see myself with anybody else. His day off hes so tired and I know he wants to relax so I feel bad ever asking him to do anything. I know this whole thing i just wrote is all over the place I just dont know how to deal with it anymore and if I ever say anything about maybe even once a week he could wake up a little early all i hear is ” Babe i work 13 hours a day 6 days a week im tired” and i feel like I cant really say anymore and the conversation stops there. I know its not his fault ( his hours , him being tired, so many work days ) and I got myself into it but I just wish I knew the right things to say without him getting offended or feeling like I want to end the rellationship which he usually does when i bring it up

    20. Charlotte says:

      This website is sooo handy! My boyfriend is a young chef (we are both 20)and been together for over a year. Im a barista so i work early morning till afternoons, but thankfully im leaving my job for hours that start later. My boyfriend since working for a new restaurant has had more less intence hours and only occasionally doing 16 hour days. So I do get to see him some days it just sucks we dont share the same day off he gets his on a thursday friday and mine are weekends. My only real problem now with dating a chef is his attitude sometimes. He’s very anal when it comes to cleaning. Example is when he gets home from work and i’ve had a long day gyming after work and finally get to sitown I may have forgot to empty the rubbish or left something where it shouldn’t. Instead of giving me a hug or kiss hello (since its the first i’ve seen him all day) he’ll just nag about how I haven’t cleaned one small thing and makes it out to be the biggest deal. And he has a short fuse from work also and no matter how calm I try to be he either thinks i’m being smart or getting wound up. I just cant win whenever we have a little arguement! Most times shortly after once hes cooled off he’ll come apologise but all I want him to do is LISTEN and TALK not be stubborn and get angry!

    21. Sasha says:

      Hi,

      This is my first time writing to a blog (?) even though I’ve read thousands before this one…I can’t say that anything I’m about to express is any different than anything I’ve already read. I started dating my boyfriend a year ago when we both lived in Seattle. Three weeks later, I moved to NYC. After about six months, he decided to follow me out here. The first two months were great since he wasn’t working but it ended up that I met somebody who was opening up a restaurant and was looking for a chef with a nordic/scandinavian background. Two months into our blissful reunion, my boyfriend opened up his first restaurant here in NYC. While it was super exciting at first, it has been three months since their opening and I’m going to sound like an echo to this blog, but I am really getting sick and tired of NEVER seeing him. I too often wonder what is the point of being in a relationship if you never spend time with your partner or EXPERIENCE anything together? You are practically living these parallel lives that intersect every once in a while. When you do get 10-20 mins in the morning to be together, there’s so much pressure to make the most of it. I always leave those moments feeling even more disappointed because either I get used to having him around and I want more of him or those moments spent together end up being so anti-climactic. Not to mention, the one day he has off, I’ve started to get nervous about whether or not we even have anything in common anymore being that are lives are totally separate. His job is SO stressful. He’s constantly stressed about reviews, finding employees, budget and his overall product that I feel the slightest bit guilty about burdening him with how I feel. The funny thing about it is when I get upset at him, I’m not angry at him. I’m just sad that I’m not spending more time with him. The thing is that I live in NYC and I am out EVERY night going to see live music, the theater, or comedy and it still pains me that WE are missing out on these experiences together. I don’t think there’s any advice I can get but the one thing I’ve taken from this site is that if you really love your Chef, you will perservere through these adverse times. Thanks for listening and contributing so many helpful and supportive messages.

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Hey Sasha… Apologies for my delay, I had my son a few days ago and are just SLOWLY coming out of the cocoon of heads down time with him.

        I’m SO glad you reached out. Wow.. mover and shakers… the both of you, eh? Congratulations on making the move to NYC and finding your way… my guess is, any restaurant relationship is challenging, but a restaurant relationship in any MAJOR city takes an extra beating, so it’s not surprising me at all that you’re saying you never see him.

        So it’s been only three months… unfortunately, my fellow significant other, the industry is VERY reputation based, and it’s going to take your other half quite a while for him to gain the respect and the know how in order for the powers at be to trust him enough to relax his hours, etc… It’s not uncommon for the first year.. year and half of a chef at a new place to have NOT regular days off and to work his/her ASS off, just to prove to the owners/EC that they have what it takes.

        EASY? No. Possible…. if you want it bad enough.

        I know it feels unfair (truthfully, when you’re in the midst of it.. it IS unfair. I know that I would love to shift the dynamic around where they aren’t basically hazed the first few months there… alas, this is a long running well oiled machine and there is, nothing you can do to change the train he’s on… the ONLY thing you can do is figure out what works FOR YOU and stick with it.

        I’m guessing he doesn’t have a regular day off, right? It’s probably very random and very last minute. He’s basically their bitch boy until they feel he deserves the honor of a regular day off… *Sad that they do that but they do.

        I hear what you’re saying about 10-20 minutes… that’s the thing… a thriving restaurant relationship HAS to make those minutes SACRED. What can you do to make those minutes count… so much so that you can go back to those moments when you feel disconnected to him? SACRED TIME IS KEY. Even if it’s 10 minutes.

        I’m POSITIVE that he feels sad that he’s not getting to do those things with you too… my guess is… once he’s “put enough time in”, you’ll see his schedule and his stress level go down a notch (not a lot.. just a notch), and then maybe you could start to explore the city together.

        If you ever want some one on one help… my clients are women like you who want to move from where they are (frustrated and feeling alone) to where they want to be (seeing the up side, even if it’s a small up side, and finding ways to create more sacred space in your relationship), email me.

        Again, thanks for your patience while I navigate through the waters of new parenthood.

    22. Stephnie says:

      Ok , so here it goes …. I am dating the most amazing man on earth who I believe to be the most amazing upcoming Chef alive ( yes I am biased, but it is true).
      I love this man with all my heart and they way he views the world and how it works amazes me daily! His talent and passion for food is spellbounding and spills over into my life too, it makes me want to be a better person, and rekindle my passion for baking. Being a typical 9-5r I do not get much time to do that.

      My chef always makes an effort as much as he possibly can to speak to me and spend time with me. so whats the problem you may ask?

      as for most of you strong, independent and amazing 9-5rs , it can get extremely lonely at times when you need your chef the most. we text as much as we can but I do understand and accept when he is in service or prepping there is not much time to talk.

      We do not live together and his family is very demanding of his time, so on top of service hours I have to understand he needs time with his family too in order to avoid world war 3. he Recently got appointed by his exec chef to launch a kitchen in Botswana, I am so proud of him and happy for him.

      He should be back in a months time and at least the trip is not long as we live in South Africa.

      I have come to terms with flying solo and being on my own when my Chef is doing what he does best :) but I have been extremely emotional lately and having panic attacks for reasons outside of our relationship, last night he stayed up until 1:30 talking to me and praying with me.

      he had to be up at 4am for service, and despite my best efforts to call him he overslept… I feel devastated about all this… besides feeling like a crazy person, I feel terrible, I feel like my emotions may cost him being promoted, or reflect badly on him launching this kitchen (which I am praying with all my heart it does not). I could not really talk to anyone else as I don’t have open communication with my family although I love them dearly.

      I just don’t know what to do or feel, my Chef is pretty understanding that I needed him, but I feel like I have let him down. what do I do? I don’t really want to talk more about it with him so that he can concentrate on this kitchen launch, besides letting get to bed early tonight?

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Hiya Stephnie! Apologies for my delay, I’ve been in cocoon of new mamahood with my six week old and am technically still on maternity leave. Thankfully I’m feeling myself coming out of hibernation with my little one so here I am!

        I’m so happy to hear you are your chefs number one fan. I can feel your admiration coming through loud and clear! We usually are our restaurant men/womens president of their fan club because if ANYONE knows about what they go through (what YOU go through to maneuver through this) I can totally relate to what you say about how being with your chef inspires you to be the best version of yourself. I feel the SAME way… it’s interesting they have a way to do that, right?

        Sounds like you really work hard to understand the parameters of his life.. his family life, his work life, etc… you understand that this is not like most 9-5′r relationships, that it takes a strong woman (or man) to thrive in this type of relationship. I’m curious how much participation you have with his family? How involved are you in his family obligations? Sounds like you are not very involved, and if so, how do you feel about that?

        Congrats on his Botswana appointment, another value most of our chefs have is ACHIEVEMENT… sounds like he’s kicking butt and taking names. I hope it’s as successful as it can be!

        What do your panic attacks revolve around? On a scale of 1-10 (10 being QUITE intense) where do you lie on the scale of how intensity of your current panicky feelings? Is there anything you can do to find someone to help you, and also keep your man in the loop, so you won’t feel like you are hindering his plight? Of course he wants to be there for you, but if you feel like you might be needing to find someone else to help you navigate through this moment, how possible is it to find someone to help you.

        I’m always available, as the resident life coach for Significant Others like yourself, to assist you in going from where you are, to where you want to be (If interested, fill out the form at bottom of page http://marriedtoachef.com/coaching – and if not, please know you’re awareness about where you are is something to celebrate. Reaching out to find someone to lean on while your other half achieves great heights is something to be proud of. I hope you find relief from the panic moments in order to step back and continue to enjoy living life with your chef!!! Happy Holidays! ~Kerilyn

    23. Stephnie says:

      Hi Kerilyn

      Congrats on your new little one :) hope all is going well, and that you are resting as much as you can. You are over the 6 week adjusting mark, more sleep in the evening should come soon :) Thank you for taking the time to respond to me it is really appreciated.

      With my Chefs family, I am quite involved in family obligations and running them around especially when he is working ( they don’t drive, and taxi services in SA are horrid). But when they want to have ‘family time’ that never includes me, I was not even allowed to see him last year on Christmas day after service. This constantly happens and when we have a chance to go somewhere it is always questioned or there are complaints about how he is not spending enough time with them. I am trying so hard to resent them or get my back up with situations that involve them and always try to be the bigger person. But this has caused huge strain on our relationship because we are always talking about it and it’s like a never ending circle of frustration.

      My Chef and I have put our foots down about this and have tried to explain to his family that things are different now and that they need to accept our decisions and where we as a couple spend our time, and that they need to trust us that we will not exclude them. But its been a huge push back from them. Now things are like a ticking time bomb of tension whenever we decide to do something. I just don’t know when it is going to get better.

      My panic attacks are about a 7, I would say, when they hit I can’t focus on anything. They normally caused from being alone when I am having a rough time and needing someone to talk to but my Chef is in service, a fear of failure, fear of loosing everything I have worked so hard for, and fear of loosing him, especially when I get like this!!! when I tell my Chef I feel that I end up sounding illogical and silly and then I get more frustrated with myself. Wish there was an off switch. But I am dealing with them a lot better now but I still could learn a lot about how to just let things go and let them be, I had a really bad childhood so I guess there is an expectation that things will go wrong as they always do.

      There are people I can talk to but I feel like I am being a burden on people who want to be there for me but don’t understand the situation and dynamics of me and dating someone in the service industry. I know it sounds contradictory but I also don’t want to sound like a soap opera drama queen to anyone. But when it comes to my relationship sometimes it is super hard to not get upset when I just need him for 5 min and he cant, or to understand that he does care but at that point in time he is plating for a function of 250 people. Sometimes I can get very snappy with him and say things that are not cool and I always regret it.
      Relationships are about putting each other first, so I tend to feel really selfish when I get upset with him over situations he cannot control. He is not responsible for my emotions I am and I know that, but it can be really hard sometimes.

      I am a tough lady and have dealt with a lot worse than this, I just don’t understand why I am being the way I am! I just need some help so that I can put my big girl pants back on and carry on loving life with my Chef.

      So happy I found your site, you are awesome :)

      • Stephnie says:

        and Happy Holidays to you and your family too, may it be blessed and awesome :)

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Hiya Stephnie – I’m glad you feel comfortable writing back. Sounds like an intense situation with his family. I can only imagine how stressful that is and only adds to your anxiety. I guess all I can say is to remember that this type of relationship is NOT like 9-5′rs, we are not always with our other half and we HAVE to find what lights us up, inspires us to be the best version of us so that when we do connect with our significant other, we can be motivated by their passion. It’s not easy but if you can see it… it’s honestly a gift. THAT SAID.. it’s totally okay if it doesn’t work for you either, being in a relationship with someone who isn’t as available isn’t for everyone. It’s good to really look at yourself… what YOU want for your life going forward. Odds are, his hours will adjust but they will not change. He will always work long hours, not be available while in service.. it’s up to YOU to figure out if you can find a way to make that work. It doesn’t surprise me that you said that you’ve been through a lot.. it takes a STRONG woman (and man) to navigate through this type of relationship. Most of the women I meet/talk to who are in relationship with those in the restaurant industry are truly STRONG. I know I’m biased but not everyone can handle a restaurant relationship. I hope that’s reassuring. If you’re ever interested in working with a coach, please know I’m taking on new clients in the new year. http://marriedtoachef.com/coaching

        Wishing you and your chef a peaceful holiday.

    24. Mce says:

      Wow my heart goes out to everyone who had commented. I’ve only been dealing with this for a few months. The restraunt my boyfriend works in is in Hollywood and they actually haven’t opened yet. They have been giving him crazy 12-17 hour shifts so can’t even imagine what it will be like when the restaurant is actually open. Like others have said I find it selfish for me to have these feelings of being alone when he’s working his ass off. Torn between sticking it out and accepting this is the way it will be and wanting to find someone who can fulfill my needs because seeing him once a week (if that) is doing nothing for our relationship. He is 25, I’m 24 and before this I saw myself spending the rest of my life with him. But now I don’t know if ill be able to stick it out even though I want to be with him more than anything. So torn :(

    25. Julia says:

      First I have to say how happy I am to have found this site. I was at my wits end for the past few days and discussing the difficulties of dating my boyfriend, the chef, with my friends in regular 9-5 relationships is not the same. So thank you!

      I met my boyfriend in Culinary School we were both finishing our bachelors in hospitality management. He found a job as a chef in NYC and after a month of soul searching I moved out to NYC for adventure and to be with him. I always knew I didn’t want to work the line and so I found a job at a restaurant group in food advertising.

      Everything was going well for the first year and a half. It was very hard and required a lot of flexibility on my part.: meeting all his friends from work, changing my sleep schedule so that I am able to be awake when he gets off work, understanding when it takes him an hour longer to get home because he fell asleep on the train after drinking with his friends and missed his stop. I understood because I knew the life. The problem is when does it become too hard, too many sacrifices.

      Because on top of all that, on top of all the everyday sacrifices, (that no longer feel like sacrifices, because you did them voluntarily and they gave you time to be with each other) Your chef finally gets time off and decides that he wants to visit his family and you need to take time off for HIS vacation, where you get little say in it because he NEVER gets time off. Or when he has a day off and wants to hang out with his friends from work, and asks you to tail along because he also wants to spend time with you. How are you supposed to respond to this?

      I am tired of going to the same bar, restaurant and such where he takes me out on a date, but inevitably a third party meets up with us and joins us. Or when he gets off work at midnight and drinks with his friends till 4 am and then sleeps over at their apartment without calling. The boyfriend who has no money because he spent it all on the bar. And especially the boyfriend who can never make plans more than 1 week in advance and has canceled: dates, vacations, broadway shows and on my parents. I just don’t know how to plan the next two days let alone the rest of our lives and while I love him more and more each day it just feels as if it is impossible.

    26. Anna says:

      Wow, I never realised when I took on my darling chef a year ago, being his missus incorporated a lifestyle.
      I can honestly say, this website has just saved me.
      My partner is a wonderful chef who has lived the life of plenty; a year ago when we first began dating, he became the executive chef two restaurants in London. It was a living hell. On top of his crazy working hours, he’d stay out late partying with the owners, would go out to the market after work at 3am and would come home at 6am, only to be back out at 10am; I acclimatised begrudgingly; I put up with the mood swings, I went out clubbing with him even though I hate it, just to spend time with him, I tried not to get upset of I didn’t see him at all during a day (we were living together early in our relationship).
      It got too much for him and he bowed out and took a head chef position at a gastro pub right round the corner from where I worked.
      It was heaven.
      For six months we have lived a relaxed, contended life, always seeing one another, popping round to each other’s restaurants, spending at least 50% of the day together. I got too comfortable.

      He’s now back in the “serious” restaurant business. It’s been three days since he started and I feel like I’m back in hell.
      I’m being very horrible to him at the moment which I know is unfair, selfish and very inconsiderate of me, but I can’t help myself.
      I feel like I’ve just lost half of my person at the moment. It’s making me lash out, depressed, on edge all the time- I’m having panic attacks and just resent him more as each day goes by.

      It’s a tough re-adjustment period which I know I’m going to have to buck up or break up- preferably option one as I would very much like to marry the guy, despite him being a chef.
      I’ve just forgotten how hard it is to be a chef’s girlfriend.

      How do I get through this period without causing more damage than I have done?
      He goes to work every morning anxious about my well being and I feel like he’s beginning to wonder if I’m cut out for it.
      I’m just a very sensitive soul who loves her boyfriend more than anything on this earth. I want to make it.

      God bless to all you chef’s wives. I take my hat off to you.

      Anna x

    27. Sabrina says:

      I really appreciate these sites to keep me sane at times. I met my man while we were cooking together, and I abandoned that lifestyle for a more stable career, thinking I could live my restaurant dreams vicariously through him. He is the sous at a new restaurant that is busy busy. Now, I understand the demands of the kitchen, but lately, the constant talk about work, staying out after work to have drinks with co-workers, and texting/calling work while eating the breakfast that I made… it’s really getting to me. Resentment city. I know I want to be with him but I can’t seem to shake the bitter poisonous feeling that arises in my chest when I hear his text message go off and I know it’s his head chef. I make sarcastic comments about him living there. He has also become best friends with his head chef, which I am happy for, but I find myself getting jealous!!! At least its not a hot hostess or line cook -_- Thanks for being a much needed resource for the frustrated partners of restaurant folks. I know I need to be independent, live my own life, yeah yeah yeah… but I think my partner could put a little more effort in to make me feel like our home is OUR home, not just a place where he comes to crash and make late night nachos when he comes home drunk at 1 in the morning. I’m starting a M-F 9 to 5 job soon, and I am very worried about this new schedule and my security in this relationship

    28. Connie says:

      I am elated to have come across this wonderful source of knowledge in a time where I needed it most. I am looking for advice for those who have experienced dating a head chef LONG-DISTANCE. Yes, if you thought it was bad enough that you don’t get to speak or see your guy for days at a time, try months that turn into a year and upwards. I (23) have been dating my extremely talented and passionate boyfriend,(25), for just over a year living in two separate cities. We originally met working in the same restaurant in our home town. A month later he was moving indefinitely to another city a few provinces away to pursue a better culinary opportunity. Despite bad timing, we decided to stay together both enduring our share of ups and downs along the way. Now, over a year into our relationship, things have become the worst they have ever been. We recently just saw each other for a handful of hours for the first time in FIVE months (the longest we have ever gone without seeing each other) and the time was not spent remembering our bond, but trying to get along despite the elephant in the room. I not only hit, but surpassed my tipping point. I am confused, unstable, depressed, lonely and heartbroken. I know the root of the problem lies in having no human contact thus I rely on verbal support, attention and affection to fill the void. Because the communication in our relationship is not steady or actively periodic, I become excluded from his life. I fill with sadness, jealousy and rage because I feel forgotten. Essentially I suffer silently. I am unable to seek comfort in others in the ways that I need. I can’t ask a friend to hold me at night or place one hand on my knee to show me they are there. I become vulnerable. I put myself down. I become less confident. I worry about my relationship incessantly. I constantly wait by my phone late at night wondering if I will hear from him. I always reach out to him first, my messages and calls remain unreturned. Sometimes it gets so bad that I will have positive news in my life I would like to share with him and a week will pass and I have yet to of had the opportunity to tell him. I interpret this as not being loved or cared for enough although I know it is directly because of his work. I become annoyed when he finally does call or text. I don’t always want to pick up or reply to try and send a message. I always pick up and reply because I never know when I may get lucky again. Calls received between 10AM and 10PM are automatically assumed as pocket dials. I pick them up anyways. My predictions are always true. I fill up with emotions, I bottle and bury them naively hoping things will get better or change. I erupt at any opportunity we get (to speak) together. We are unable to break the reoccurring dispute cycle and blame game. I admit that I blame him a lot, send empty break-up threats and tell him exactly how I feel only hoping he will somehow change or speak the words I want to hear so desperately. I know that his experiences are valid too. He goes through a lot and it only makes me feel selfish that my words bring him down more. I can’t remember a recent happy memory we had being physically in the same place at the same time. I have become a bitter and unsupportive partner. We both feel unloved. I feel I have always made the sacrifices in our relationship and am getting little in exchange for my efforts. The give and take scale is not balancing. Our communication is non-existent. I refuse to give up because I know he is what makes me happy. Our romantic life has diminished. I am going crazy and he is calling me “dramatic”. I am beside myself. I can’t go to him looking for the help, support and understanding I need so desperately. I would love to know I am not alone.

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Hiya Connie! Apologies for my delay! Been bombarded with spam lately (yuck) and somehow your message got filtered through the cracks.

        First off.. you are NOT crazy that you are feeling this way. Not at ALL! Anyone who doesn’t see their other half for months, barely talks to him and then has a less than comfortable time when you do.. would feel the SAME adjectives you mentioned above. I mean.. how could you not?

        You are NOT crazy that you are confused. Let’s stick with that one feeling… It would make sense you are confused. Long distance relationships can be very difficult to navigate ALONE, add to that his crazy hours, you’re probably not talking with him on a regular basis, which means even longer spans of space.

        You’re totally not crazy to feel jealous, enraged, and forgotten. This type of relationship is difficult to navigate when you live in the same house, I can only imagine how exponentially more emotional is it when you’re in different cities.

        Give yourself a break.

        Please forgive me… but what about this relationship IS working for you? There has to be something.. or else you won’t be in it, right? RIGHT? Even if it is, a way that you sabotage your happiness (telling yourself “See, he treats me like shit… I’m not worth it.”, Which is quite likely) it’s serving you in some way.

        What is the benefit to staying in this relationship, as you see it TODAY?

        Other curiosity… how old are you and your chef? *This is rhetorical, I think. In my OWN experience, his behavior of not including you in his life tells me that he is NOT READY TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEED. I have typically seen this when a chef is still on the early upward swing of his career, and is still trying to figure out what HE wants for his life, in this industry. The industry is VERY reputation based… so going out, drinking, hooking up with co-workers, and trying to “fit in” is VERY important right of passage in this industry (NOT, that I condone it, it’s just what I’ve seen, time and time again) and there is NOTHING you can do, EXCEPT TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, until/IF the moment he stabilizes out (if that happens in the first place, I know chefs in their late 50′s who, 5-6 kids, 2-3 ex wives later, STILL are not stabilized) then he will begin to be ready to TALK about giving you what you need.

        And this is DESPITE what he SAYS. The huge kicker in this type of relationship, with MOST (not all chefs, there are ALWAYS exceptions) is that they are committed type of people.. They are very committed to their passion.. they have commitment in them..it’s just TOTALLY misdirected and until HE is ready.. he will TELL you he wants to commit… but what he doesn’t know.. is he doesn’t know WHAT to commit to.

        I hope this makes sense. I can only imagine how difficult it is to consider doing what’s right for you. BUT… in the end.. you MUST do what’s best for YOU.

        Finally, You don’t have to stop loving him. Ever. You can love him for the REST of your life.. you just have to love yourself a little bit more.
        I’m here if you want to continue this conversation, via a coaching partnership. My email is kerilyn@marriedtoachef.com

        PPS: Consider joining The Village – http://www.marriedtoachef.com/your-village/ – The Private Facebook group WILL help you not feel so alone, I assure you.

        Thinking of you.

        • Connie says:

          Hi Kerilyn,

          Thanks so much for the reply, i’m glad you could spend some time to offer your advice, it means a lot.

          I am trying my best to navigate our relationship from afar despite my feelings of being left in the dark. If there is one thing that I have learned from my experiences is that distance does not make the heart grow fonder. Distance is cold and isolating, it is a prison. I can also say that the many repairs our relationship needs in its current state today is becoming overwhelming. And these repairs may never be resolved given the long-distance state of our relationship. My vision and memory is cloudy. I can’t find the positives shared between us anymore, where is OUR silver lining? This is the distance setting in. All I have is a collection of dusty old memories of being in the same city at the same time. Do I really fit into his life anymore?

          What is working for me? I draw an instant blank. My thoughts and feelings are so convoluted. I enjoy the way he makes me feel even if those moments are so far and few between. Being in the relationship makes me feel secure. (This could be a false sense of security as I am starting to realize how I am only able to rely on myself for support). The benefit of being in this relationship currently today is to look forward to the future. This means living in the same city and testing the relationship waters as a more “normalized” couple face-to-face. The long-distance will ultimately test the strength of our bond. However, being just over a year into our relationship I get the feeling that despite the end of his contract come December, he would not make the sacrifice or the leap in our relationship to be closer. A part of me doesn’t blame him, yet the other part questions why he would waste my time holding onto me while knowing this. That action would devastate me.

          My boyfriend is 25 and I am 23. We are both young and ambitious individuals drinking in great career opportunities apart. I cannot say that I am positive he is ready to commit, we haven’t had the time to speak about commitment in a very long time. We both continue to remain faithful despite our infrequent visits, sleepy phone conversations and unfinished text messages. This gives me at least a hint that he still sees me as the right person for him. No?

          I am trying my best to both focus on and take care of myself but this requires me to have the strength to let go of the things I cannot change and the ambiguous attachment I have to a person whom I continue to have strong feelings for.

          Bottom line is that I need to be with someone who is willing to make the time, effort and energy to make changes in exchange for a stronger relationship because they value my company in their life. I cannot rely on change to occur at the mercy of another person’s watch.

          • Kerilyn Fox says:

            Hi Connie! Apologies for my delay! One day I’ll have the focus to respond right away. Still in the midst of new mamahood.

            I am so sorry you’re not feeling any more clarity around your restaurant relationship. I understand the feeling of isolated, of not really knowing what’s happening, feeling so out of control of our desired trajectory. It can definitely feel like a prison. I want to share from experience that being in the same town (or the same house for that matter) can feel the EXACT same way.

            I gotta say, I love your self awareness of how you’re feeling. I can tell that you’re not necessarily blaming your other half for your feelings, but for the circumstances of the distance. Good for you. I know it isn’t easy. I also get the sense that even though you wish you were wrong… you ultimately know what you want to do (despite what your heart says) It can be so difficult to take care of us FIRST, especially when what we look out at is so exciting, it’s easy to put our needs and wants last.

            One of THEE most important things we need to value, above all, in our restaurant relationships is the understanding of our need for independence. When you said that you realize that you will need to rely on yourself for support, part of that is right on.

            Someone once told me that they KNEW they needed to be with someone who was around in the evenings and weekends. I didn’t even know this person well, but the clarity this woman shared with me, knowing what SHE NEEDED… well, I think we all could learn from that clarity.

            What do you NEED? And once you find that out… what are you willing to do to get it?

            Do you NEED someone to be around on the evenings and weekends? It’s totally okay if you do. I would bet that MOST of us didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into until we we’re already KNEE deep in it!

            Here is what I tell my clients who KNOW they are not getting what they need from their restaurant relationship.

            You can LOVE HIM for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and still CHOOSE to do what is best for you.

            *I had to leave my then chef boyfriend for THREE YEARS (to be with a 9-5′r) because I had to do was right at the time. Was it easy? HELL NO. But I inevitably got to a place where my own yearnings were screaming at me that they were not being fulfilled, and I had to do what I needed… DESPITE my love for my chef boyfriend.

            I hope this helps a little. I’m more than willing to help you work on your clarity, and offer a 30 minute “Free Taste” of what coaching is, if interested email me at kerilyn@marriedtoachef.com

            Thinking of you!!!

    29. Michelle says:

      Hi everyone,
      this website has been a huge eye opener and I am so happy I found it! I am not dating a chef but am in a serious relationship with a restaurant manager and I deal with alot of the same comments that everyone has written above. It is so difficult to know if I see a future with this person. I love him to pieces however I think about kids and a family and am not sure if I am tough enough to handle all the nights and weekends alone. I dont know how you are supposed to know! at what point have you realized that you can handle it or not. Also when it comes to the other servers at the restaurant, it seems as though his connections with them seem stronger than with me, and always texting and messaging people he works with when we have one night to spend together can be very frustrating. I worry about his loyalty to me in our relationship because of all of the late nights, drinking and nights where I can never really be there. (tuesday night getting wasted). when I have to work, I just cannot consistently make that sacrifice. I guess I am struggling to know at what point do I decide, and how long does it take to become more understanding? We have been together for almost 2 years, and we are in our late 20′s, I guess I am trying to figure out, is loving him enough? and is love strong enough to get you through the tough times.

    30. kat says:

      I cannot BELIEVE I have found this!! I felt so alone apart from that I feel as if nobody understands!

      My chef and I have been together 2 1/2 years we have a 10 month old beautiful baby girl and are getting married next August.

      My partner owned a popular take away venue which was run very old school and worked 6 days a week 8am-9pm, he is extremely ambitious which is one of the reasons I love him so so much. I never had a problem with his hours until the birth of my daughter I felt like a single mum and was not coping, cracks were starting to show and I was on the verge of a breakdown, I needed him emotionally but he was in over drive with what he had to do next to provide for his family ( all his intentions are for the greater good and setting up a future) however I felt as though he was so busy working out a five year plan that he lost site of what was right in front of him. He has now opened up a waterfront restaurant which he calls “ours” however I don’t really have a say in anything at all. 6 days has turned into 7. 8-9 pm has turned into 7-11:30 12 if really busy. I quit my job to be a server and persue his dream, I am however now thinking I don’t really want this, I never really wanted this and we are at crossroads. I love him but believe he loves his business more than our daughter and I. I still remember the day he put the idea of the restaurant to me I didn’t say one word I just cried and cried and cried he said he wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t 100 percent but I knew from the moment he told me it was going ahead whether I liked it or not he has expected me to just slot into his life but if the shoe was on the other foot I’m sure sadly that he would not do the same. I don’t want us to separate but I am struggling to come to terms with my new life :( any advice would be super!

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