Career Driven Couples: The Long Distance Dilemma
Prioritizing career can pay off down the road, but it comes with sacrifices. One’s career path consists of many chapters: high school, university, work, and so on. Every new chapter offers a change of pace and a fresh beginning. Unfortunately, this exciting transition is often riddled with tough decisions. A common dilemma faced by professionals is choosing between work and love. For career-oriented couples, this often means putting your relationship in the backseat.
Picture this: You’ve worked hard to get where you are in your career. Along the way, you’ve made good memories and great friends. You’ve even managed to find a partner, someone who clicks with you. They too have their sights set on their goals, and that’s probably why you two bonded so well. Time flies with them. Before you know it, your current chapter is coming to a close and you’re faced with a fork in the road. This could be anything from school admissions to job offers.
Change and growth excite both of you, but something holds you back. Both of you know that choosing your preferred paths would mean separating, at least location-wise.
This is where even the strongest couples may struggle. So what do you do? Breakup? Compromise and pick an alternative path? Long-distance relationship? Which one should you prioritize: career opportunities abroad or your relationship at home?
Career first, relationship second
Many couples will share a dilemma like this at least once in their lifetime. Every situation is unique and there’s no easy answer. In the past, I’ve put my career goals first, and I’ve done so to avoid two main issues: risk and poor relationship dynamics.
It’s tempting to drop career goals in the name of love, but it’s a risky move. What if your relationship doesn’t work out? It may seem unlikely, but it’s a possibility you should consider. If you drop your career goals and follow your partner, will you be financially independent if things don’t work out? What will you do?
This may be a pessimistic outlook, but you never know if your partner is the one. Even the strongest relationships could fall apart for all sorts of reasons. In my opinion, a relationship that may eventually crumble is not worth compromising my career.
Guilt and resentment
Sacrificing your career for your partner is quite the romantic gesture, but it can complicate your relationship dynamics. Nobody wants to live their life with “what ifs”. Turning down career opportunities for your partner’s sake may cause emotional conflict down the line. Bitterness, regret, and even resentment towards these big sacrifices tend to surface during stressful situations.
On the flip side, it isn’t easy for your partner either. Your grand gesture can become a source of pressure and guilt. They don’t want your sacrifice to go to waste so they may feel the need to overcompensate. You will always be “the bigger person” and they will feel indebted to you.
What started as a romantic sacrifice may eventually become an emotional burden for both parties involved.
Long-distance compromise for “the one”
Focusing on career doesn’t necessarily mean throwing your relationship away. It’s possible to juggle a long-distance relationship, but it’s not easy. Committing to a long-distance relationship means you’ll have to say goodbye to the little day to day things.
Feeling bored? Sorry, no spontaneous dates.
Have a bad day? A call is all you get.
Need a hug? You’ll have to wait until the next time you see them.
In my opinion, the little things are what make a relationship, a relationship. Many people aren’t willing to do long-distance and you can’t blame them.
However, if both you and your partner are willing, this may be a reasonable compromise. Long-distance may be a good temporary solution while the two of you figure out long term plans to reunite.