Home and Away’s Sophie Dillman on living and working with a partner: ‘Can be tough’

    EXCLUSIVE: Sophie Dillman and her partner Patrick O’Connor were the golden couple of Summer Bay.

    Sophie Dillman is Yahoo Lifestyle Australia’s brand new columnist. Sophie will be bringing insider insights into everything from her time on Home and Away to what it’s like being in the public eye and falling in love in the workplace.

    No marriage is perfect. Everybody finds occasional dishes in the sink, unfinished laundry, or an empty package of double coat Tim Tams when they get home (spoiler alert: I am ALWAYS the Tim Tam thief). Let’s now multiply those little irritations by a factor of 1,000 because the dirty dishes have now evolved into missing work pens, disorganized changing rooms, and confrontations with coworkers (Does this seem like it’s getting personal?).

    It can be challenging to cohabitate. It can be awful coexisting and working with a partner.

    The good news is that Patrick and I not only made it through living and working together, but we are stronger than ever. It was a journey, and there were many lessons learned along the way, but I am very lucky to have had him on this insane adventure.

    We were first coworkers and friends, and I genuinely think that this was the secret to our success. Can you picture falling for a prince charming only to learn later that they are food thieves from the office fridge? Heartbreaking. To my knowledge, Paddy did not steal any food from the office refrigerator.

    Paddy and I had a great working connection. We respected each other a lot from the start for our tenacity and dedication. Once we began dating, the worlds began to converge after spending many months and hours on set together.

    I faced many difficulties, one of which was separating domestic disputes from those at work. It was difficult if we would fight at home and then have to be joyful and in love at work. On the other hand, it was incredibly helpful if we got into a quarrel at home and then needed to argue at work, hehe.

    If Patrick and I had a disagreement at work, he would be fine at the dinner table while I would be eating in quiet since he is much better at getting over a fight.

    I also came to understand the distinction between quality and amount of time. You can spend the entire day with someone and not actually speak to them. Undoubtedly, there were instances when Paddy and I could have put our personal relationships ahead of our profession.

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s crucial to have someone who fully comprehends what you do on a daily basis. You benefit from feeling heard and seen. Additionally, it means that you will not feel criticized if you need to go to bed at 7 o’clock because you will have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of at the dinner table.

    If I could give somebody thinking about kissing Kenny the copy guy (#Friendsreference) one piece of advice, it would be this:

    Communication is crucial.
    Every thought and emotion must be talked about right away. You spend too much time with your partner for them to ignore your frustration, and you don’t have a lot of time to yourself to unwind. Uncommunication will result in an explosion.

    Separate work and home

    Set some boundaries that you are both comfortable with. You can’t maintain a healthy work/life balance if you take work home with you, or take home with you to work every morning. Make sure you have time at home to be yourselves doing life things, and remember you are people and partners outside of the office.


    It can be tough remembering who you are as an individual in a couple. I have made it a big priority to spend time doing the things I love both alone and with friends. You can’t put your best foot forward in a relationship or at work if you are neglecting yourself.

    It takes compromise, respect, communication, patience, and a whooooooooole lot of love to live and work with your partner. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Must Read