Last year we released “5 Reasons to Date an Occupational Therapist,” because let’s face it: occupational therapists make great partners. Yep, we went there, because we at NGOT want to prepare our future spouses for all of our unique quirks. To prove it, here’s our compiled list of reasons why you should marry an occupational therapist.
You could meet your future spouse anywhere, whether it’s at a coffee shop completing last minute online continuing education courses or at a health and wellness convention facilitating competence in health promotion interventions. You never know . . . the stars may align at a meditation workshop held to increase your ability to incorporate mindfulness training into pain management treatments, or you can even meet your star-crossed lover on a dating app such as Tinder or Bumble, swiping right to find your match.
1. Freebie wedding planner
Stressed about having to plan a wedding (much less pay for a wedding coordinator . . . )? Well good news is that OTs are especially suitable at activity analysis to develop and implement a plan to identify the resources needed for occupational engagement, the overarching process (including the timing, sequence of steps, and procedures), and the connection between the event and its symbolic and spiritual meaning (i.e. proclaiming wedding vows and exchanging rings equates to loving and giving yourself fully to your spouse until death do us part).
Additionally, your OT fiancé will probably have already assessed the accessibility and potential fall hazards of your venue site before the thought of your sweet Great Aunt Sue attempting to wheel herself into the reception hall even halfway crosses your mind.
2. Educated and mOTivated
Occupational therapists put in at least 6-7 years of school in to achieve their initial degrees—which requires at least getting a Master’s or an entry level Doctoral degree. In their efforts to further their education, OTs can also achieve Post-professional Doctoral degrees or PhDs in an array of topics.
Education is an area of occupation that we take pride in and where we enjoy supporting others: especially our love’s educational aspirations (PSA: we also help make brownies and coffee -#5 IADL/meal prep- when you procrastinate studying for your exams).
There are two educations.
One should teach us how to make a living
and the other how to live.
— John Adams
3. Can live and work anywhere
Occupational therapists can be employed in a wide variety of settings in both urban and rural areas alike. One could say there is a need for OT almost everywhere.
Take comfort in knowing that your spouse will be able to find a job in areas across the country (and world) suitable to making your relationship thrive. So basically, find yourself an OT and move to whatever area will be the most enticing and romantic . . .
4. Want you to pursue meaningful, purposeful activities
“Occupation is used to mean all the things people want, need, or have to do, whether of physical, mental, social, sexual, political, or spiritual nature and is inclusive of sleep and rest. It refers to all aspects of actual human doing, being, becoming, and belonging. The practical, everyday medium of self-expression or of making or experiencing meaning, occupation is the activist element of human existence whether occupations are contemplative, reflective, and meditative or action based.” (Wilcock & Townsend, 2014, p. 542)
This is the maxim that guides OTs in all we do. So whatever is necessary to carry out life’s daily duties in addition to whatever is meaningful to make life worth living (such as dancing in your lover’s arms), your OT spouse will do all things in his/her nature to facilitate this participation.
We care deeply about our loved one’s ability to perform life tasks to completion while being there for them during the journey! As OTs especially skilled in task analysis we consider it pure joy to be apart of the process to break down any participation barriers.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking down complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
— Mark Twain
5. Highly versed in home maintenance
OT spouses are all about facilitating optimal engagement in those instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) we have to perform to support daily life within our homes and communities. If you luck into marrying an OT practitioner you can assure they’ll know the most effective and efficient ways to complete these occupations. (Of course, knowing and doing are different stories . . . )
Whether it’s planning ahead to create long term financial goals, secretly signing up their spouse for a gym membership to develop physical fitness as well as enable health promoting body positive behaviors, attending church to perform activities that are spiritual, meaningful, and religious, or even planning, preparing, and sharing a well-balanced meal (or a delicious and less than nutritious dessert), occupational therapy spouses are the best because we are literally trained for this!!
6. Help kids meet milestones
Having an OT as your partner in raising children is a recipe for promoting participation in daily activities, supporting learning through sensory play, engaging in handwriting practice, reading social stories to achieve age appropriate behavior, and developing skills to interact socially and more. You better believe that your OT spouse will do everything in his/her power to create a baby/infant/child wishlist (for your future baby shower) of age-appropriate toys to maximize baby Charlotte’s ability to achieve her developmental milestones.
Picture tummy time, weight-bearing through upper extremities during prone play, fine motor manipulation with assistance for age appropriate grasp, puzzles, make believe, and play exploration, prewriting drills to progress to near point copying, dancing for bilateral gross motor coordination . . . the list goes on!
Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements.
— Maria Montessori
7. Partner in the unspoken ADL
The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Edition (AOTA, 2014) lists sexual activity as an activity of daily living. It states that sexual activity is defined as “engaging in activities that result in sexual satisfaction and/or meet relational or reproductive needs” (S19).
Sex. This one is essentially a given.
From an OT lens, not only is sexual activity perceived as a normal and physiologically driven ADL, we view it as an essential and fundamental part of the human condition. As a basic part of being human sexuality can be addressed by OT practitioners in any setting (hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pain centers, rehabilitation units, etc); likewise this ADL will be a special part of your relationship with your occupational therapy spouse! Cue the candles, light music, and rose petals… (note to public: geriatric patients view sex as meaningful as well #micdrop!!!)
8. Improve your ergonomics
Since a core component of an OT’s education is on task analysis, your OT spouse is a handy dandy tool to perform ergonomics training and consultation in order to identify and minimize musculoskeletal or other injury related risk factors so that you can both have a long, happy marriage and a long, happy career.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
— Jim Rohn
9. Gracefully age in place
Envision growing old in the home you have grown to love. Think universal design, replacing steps with a graded ramp, tub showers equipped with transfer tub benches and handheld showerheads, grab bars galore, lowered countertop heights, bed risers, widened doorways, changing doorknobs to lever style handles, increased wattage for improved lighting… the list goes on.
You can rest assured that your OT spouse will plan and take charge in effort to transcend your home into one that will successfully facilitate aging in place in the comfort of your home.
10. Occupational balance between roles
OTs believe that the health of their spouse is supported when he or she has the opportunity to engage in personal, workplace, and community life. We not only care about our loved one’s ability to have occupational interests, but we care very strongly in making sure they feel empowered to pursue occupations that will lead to a good work/life balance and overall wellbeing.
11. Firm believers in the importance of leisure
This leads me to the last point! Leisure!! OT spouses not only encourage occupational balance, but we want to live it. We enjoy exploring non-obligatory tasks that do not involve self care or work or sleep. You can guarantee if you marry an OT, you will surely be on the route to explore and participate in all things intrinsically motivating!!
#Last but not least
From some of our IG followers who participated in our prewriting . . .
Reasons to marry an occupational therapist . . .
Reasons not to marry an occupational therapist . . .
Romance is Bliss
So there you have it, folks: marry an OT because you’ll have someone for life there to cheer you on to participate in hobbies that are meaningful, with whom you can go on adventures while maximizing accessibility, who will help you perform your self care and instrumental home management tasks more efficiently, and advocates for causes and purposes that you believe in. An OT will be a ballin’ parent who crafts up sensory bins on the reg in addition to facilitating your child to achieve that dynamic tripod grasp, and together you’ll love and cherish each other in your refurbished and fully accessible home as you age in place.
Did we miss something? Comment below so we can add them to our list.
I hear wedding bells…
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(Suppl. 1), S1-S48.