Some believe striking the perfect balance between work and love will lead to a happier, more harmonious life. UK researchers from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations decided to put the old adage to the test, that working too much can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship. Their study, published in the journal Human Relations, reveals whether people are really forced to choose between a promotion and an engagement.

"Conventional wisdom and research seem to suggest that partners in dual career-couples have to decide whether they would rather risk their careers or their romantic relationship," the study's authors wrote. "Our research questions the assumption that working longer hours is hazardous for all romantic relationships." To answer their question, the research team surveyed 285 couples and recorded the amount of time they spend working, how happy they were in their relationships, and what their private lives looked like.

Couples that spent more time working spent out-of-work hours with their partner more efficiently by making the most of their time. Researchers explained that career-driven people who invest long hours into work are oftentimes acutely aware of where they allocate their time, which leads to more quality time to substitute for lower quantity of time.

Turns out, researchers wrote, there was no negative association between working time and relationship satisfaction. They added, "our results challenge the common-sense assumption about a negative association between working time and relationship outcomes."

According to eHarmony, well-rounded individuals are able to cultivate friendships and relationships outside of a heavy-work schedule. It's when workaholics stay at work because they're more attracted to the attention they get from their career, rather than the attention they get at home or even in their social life. Licensed clinical psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Seth Meyers reinforces how important it is for two people to devote time to one another; it only strengthens the relationship.

For those who are on the receiving end, and who may often find themselves waiting for their partner to come home after a long day of work, psychologists recommend blocking time for high-quality attention — don't be afraid to get creative. Mini vacations and routine dinners are an important way to instill solidarity and a ritualistic pattern both ends can commit to uphold.

The bottom line: if a person wants a successful career and a healthy, flourishing relationship, they will find a way to make it work. It's all about balance.

Source: Unger D, Sonnentag S, Friedrich-Alexander CN, and Maximilian AKL.The longer your work hours, the worse your relationship? The role of selective optimization with compensation in the associations of working time with relationship satisfaction and self-disclosure in dual-career couples. Human Relations. 2016.