Love or Career — How to Make the Right Choice

Love and career can go hand in hand with a little effort

Ravi Shankar Rajan
Nov 4, 2018 · 5 min read
Image Credits: Joyce Huis

She was Smart. She was ambitious

And she knew she will have an amazing career.

But she was also a diehard romantic who also wanted love in her life.

Then he got transferred to Detroit (a no-option transfer. Go or leave).

What to choose now? Love or Career

She chooses love without a second thought and moved with him.

She was still unsure. He was damn guilty.

But both were happy in love apparently.

A knot developed around their mantle of love……

Fast forward 5 years………

The knot opens up into fissures, long and ugly.

And one day the volcano explodes….

I sacrificed my career for you and this is what I get !!!”

They split.

End of story…………..

Sounds familiar? What went wrong here?

Who is at fault here?

The real culprit is the lopsided balance between Relationship and Love.

The choice between a successful career and love is not always clear-cut. Personal goals, current job satisfaction, financial needs, and personal beliefs can all play in role in the decision. But, it doesn’t have to be as hard as some people make it.

The key to this whole dilemma is not making the choice between a career and a relationship, but finding a way to better balance the two.

“People keep getting stuck in all-or-nothing thinking. They think it is either work or a relationship, but life is more than both. Couples need to change their thinking to look for alternatives,” says Kim Leatherdale, a relationship therapist.

And the ultimate finesse lies in knowing when to switch focus.

Love and careers can go hand in hand.

And Here is how you can successfully balance work with your relationship.

Treat your partner like a partner

Talk with your partner, keep him/her abreast of what is going on and inform well in advance when you need a little extra focus at work. Leatherdale says. And, remember love. “If you truly care about your partner, you will take time regularly to make sure you aren’t taking them for granted.”

Set boundaries and rules and make them sacrosanct to be followed.

No phones after 7 pm.

No Office work on Sundays.

We will make sure to have dinner together every day come what may.

Career-oriented couples often enjoy working, but setting boundaries allow you to also appreciate each other’s time.

Make Every decision “Our” decision.

You are a strong-willed person and you know exactly what you can do because you are smart, driven, and extremely capable. Your decisions can never go wrong.

Things have changed now. You are in a relationship and relationship demands co-ownership in every activity.

The first step to making a decision is you, and the second is your partner. No longer are you operating in life independently, no matter how headstrong your personality.

Your decisions now affect each other, and you have to recognize your partner has equal say. Prepare yourself to handle the consequences of the other person’s actions.

Forgive and Forget

In times like this where careers are uncertain and stressful situations are bountiful in professional life, people do end up grumpy, tired and angry at things beyond their control.

Don’t make life even more difficult by holding grudges. Communicate often with your partner; show compassion toward their bad moods and celebrate their good ones. Remember he/she don’t mean what they say in a fit of rage. They are only a victim of circumstances. Chill and move on.

A successful relationship is often the first step toward a successful career. Make sure you commit to the long-game.

Stay Connected

Social networking exists for a reason — to reach out and touch people. Spending time at the office is unavoidable, but ruining your relationship because you have a job is 100 percent avoidable.

The fix? Take five minutes each day to send a quick private message to your significant other, write on his Facebook wall — heck, even send a quick email to let him know you’re thinking of him.

Leatherdale says that “relationships and careers often feed off each other. For example, some workers might be so focused on advancing his or her career that they end up stealing time from their relationship.”

A loving, supportive relationship — if you are lucky enough to have one — is akin to emotional bedrock. Being loved and supported emotionally enables us to thrive and advance in our career.

Share Household Chores

You may be the high flying CEO in your office. But at your home sweet home, you are just one of the partners managing the show and there is nothing to be ashamed of, in doing any work however menial it can be for your own house.

Divvying up household chores is often a sticking point between couples that escalates into ongoing arguments. Assign clear roles and decide who takes out the trash, who does the dishes, who cooks, and who cleans.

Stick to it, but then don’t be afraid to do the dishes when your partner is having a tough week.

Lastly, Acknowledge that Life Changes

Decisions about life cannot be cast in stone. Life changes. Perspectives change. Circumstances change. Nothing is constant in this world except change.

So the decision you made 5 years ago might not hold good now. In fact, it might be making your life miserable now. Be nimble with life and reevaluate, revalidate and reconfirm your decisions at regular intervals.

Quitting is bad. But knowing when something or someone isn’t good for you and taking yourself out of that situation makes for one great character trait. Be mindful of just how much time you’re investing in your relationship or your career. If the balance is getting lopsided it is time to take corrective action. Evaluate where you are and where you want to be, and plan accordingly.

As Fawn Weaver has rightly said.

About the author-:

Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast, and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.


How to be your best self.

Ravi Shankar Rajan

Written by

Technology Manager,Poet,Archaeology Enthusiast,History Maniac.Also a prolific writer on varied topics from AI to Love.


How to be your best self.

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