Spice up your spreadsheets! Should you run your relationship like a business?

Name: Office romance.

Age: Recently upgraded.

Appearance: Highly layered and effectively organised.

That is not my experience of office romances. This is not about finding romance in the office; it’s about finding the office in your romance.

What does that even mean? It means optimising your love life to make it run more smoothly.

How would I go about doing that? There are many ways. You could, for example, use Slack.

What is Slack? It’s a management tool.

Sounds riveting. Of course there are other platforms if you prefer: Notion, Trello, even Google Sheets.

I see – you’re conjuring up some dystopian future where couples use business management software to organise their relationships. It’s not the future; people are already doing it.

What kind of people? Tech-savvy young people. Ben Lang, a venture capital investor, uses Notion to manage his marriage, keeping track of shopping lists and forthcoming trips while also cataloguing memories from date nights. “My wife and I use Notion religiously to manage our day-to-day life,” he wrote on X.

He sounds fun. He was so pleased with the result he shared the template online. “I thought a few people would respond and think it’s cute,” he told the New York Times.

Did they? No. They were largely outraged, although 2,400 people did download the template.

How could management software possibly be tweaked to facilitate romance? The principle is not that perverse: if you streamline the boring-but-necessary admin of a relationship, then it leaves more room for spontaneity and fun in your actual romantic life.

I guess that sort of makes sense. And it can also be used to establish shared relationship principles and maintain a roster of a couple’s various love languages.

I’m sorry, but that’s insane. Nevertheless, the software is there if you want it. There’s even a product called Hearth Display – a family management tool with a 27-inch touchscreen showing family schedules, lists of chores and children’s bedtime routines.

Insane – and unnecessarily modern. How do you organise the day-to-day administrative tasks of your relationship?

The old-fashioned way: my partner does it. And how do you cope with the simmering resentment that builds up over one of you having to do everything?

I don’t resent it. Wouldn’t it be better if there were some kind of central relationship database you could both access?

Maybe. What’s the password? Never mind.

Do say: “I can action that for you going forward, my little summer squash.”

Don’t say: “Without Slack I would never be able to keep track of the affair I’m having.”

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