Can I Really Have the Career and Relationship That I Want?


I remember all too well growing up, my family and elders would deter me from having a boyfriend while in school. They told me to focus on my studies and career, and that a boyfriend would only serve as a distraction from my successes. In my family’s case, those successes were graduating high school, getting a degree, and having a well-paying career that would allow me to travel, own a home, and live a life that was less impoverished than theirs.

I believed them because 1) coming from an immigrant family, I wanted those successes for me too and 2) I’ve heard and witnessed stories of those who had the same goals, but didn’t reach them because they got “distracted” by romance.

Fast forward to present day. I have a career that is something I love doing, am pursuing my other dreams/passions, am paying off a new car, and have recently started to travel. In recent years, I have been forewarned by friends about the dangers of being so career-focused. As much as I’d like to believe it’s possible to find love as a career woman, the thought worries me every now and then. Now I’m hearing and witnessing stories from the other side…

There are my fellow career-oriented colleagues. They either have trouble with their relationships because their significant other can’t deal with the demands of work, or end up in situations where they’re forced to choose between a rewarding career and a healthy relationship.

But one should always choose love over work, right? It’s not that simple when work is actually something you also love doing. Turning your dreams into a career requires a lot of time and energy. So to me, compromising my work is like compromising my dreams and individuality. It seems as if it’s rather difficult to have someone loyally stand on the sidelines in my 20’s unless they are directly in my line of work.

But then there’s my aunt. She recently entered her 40’s and I have always admired her independence…until now. Now I hear other family members blatantly tease her future as an old maid. It’s also difficult for her to date because most of the men at her age are either married or divorced with kids.

Then there’s my most recent relationship. My own story. Although it was never what I wanted, it was a long distance relationship. But to be honest, that was all I could really manage between my career, this blog, family, adult responsibilities, and such. On top of that, one of the main reasons the relationship ended was because we were both focusing on our own careers and dreams…and even those were in similar fields!

What I’m also struggling with thus far are the qualities I should be seeking in a partner. I’m not sure if it’s enough to have someone who complements my interests and quirks. I would like them to at least be as established as I am because money and contribution will soon become an issueI don’t want either of us to be the superior breadwinners. Then again, I don’t want money or success to be the reason I can’t be with someone either.

In confiding this to my best friend, she advised that I’m limiting myself if I hold those standards against a potential mate. (Long distance is okay to have as a deal breaker, though.) Perhaps instead of making sure he’s as established as me, he should at least know what he wants and is proactively pursuing that, just like I do. Maybe she’s right.

I honestly don’t know at this point. It just feels like I can only be “successful” in one of these areas. I’d have to compromise one to have the other and I’ve chosen the rewarding career so far, while my love life has taken a toll. Well, love is unpredictable anyway, right? Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no rush and have enough independence and self-confidence to be single. But I don’t want to be single forever. We all deserve to share a love with someone.

I suppose this goes to show that you can’t have it all

…or can you?

About Ronnell Morris

Ronnell is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NWYT. She is a copywriter by day, a performer by night, and a triathlete by weekend. She loves Disney, musicals, eating, YouTube videos, list-making, and the colors pink and gray too much for her own good. See All of Ronnell's Posts

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