Anonymous: Is choosing to pursue a career instead of settling down selfish? I am attending university in the US, but my boyfriend is studying in the UK. I am working on finishing my degree so that I can start a master’s program in the fall, but my boyfriend wants to settle down. I can tell he is hurt by my decision, but this master’s program will increase my earning potential and will make me somebody of worth.
It sounds like you two are in different places in life. He wants to settle down and focus on you two growing together, and you wish to focus on growing and evolving your career. There is nothing wrong with either path, but you both have to listen to your hearts. If he wants to focus on settling down, and you don’t, it might mean the end of your relationship. But also, neither one of you should settle or feel as if you have to settle in order to have each other in each other’s lives.
And no, pursuing your career instead of settling down is not selfish. Do you think it is selfish? Did your boyfriend accuse you of being selfish? Going after your goals and working towards the life of your dreams is never selfish. And anyone who would call that selfish, I’m not saying your boyfriend did, but if anyone did, would that person be the best, most supportive person for you and your goals?
And your partner’s feelings are valid, but so are yours. You cannot live your life for someone else and neither can your boyfriend. You two have to have a come to Jesus moment, and figure out the direction you wish for your lives to take and whether or not you two see a future together. And neither individual should have to give up their dreams to make the other person happy. That always breeds resentment, which is the kiss of death for any relationship.
And okay, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but your worth is not tied to your career or how much money you make, remember that. Your worth is not tied to anything. You are and always will be a worthy being. And in my opinion, I think you two still have some growing to do. You are defining your value and your worth through society’s standards, so loving yourself no matter how much money you make could be your growth. And maybe you have to walk alone on this new journey of learning to love yourself without any conditions and just take this time to focus on yourself and what you really desire from life.
And I can tell you feel confused and pulled in different directions. It is okay to take a break from your relationship, and just process where you are in life and where you wish to be and just ponder what steps you wish to take to make your dreams come true. And I know you may not want to hear this, but something has to change, and some next step has to be taken. This relationship is in limbo right now and I guarantee you that this will not work long term for your relationship.
I honestly think it would do you both some good to just be and process everything and figure out what is best for the relationship as well as for yourselves. And my advice, listen to your heart, even if it takes you away from your boyfriend. And I hope you two come to a conclusion that works for all parties involved. Wishing you peace, love, and happiness.