I had an interesting debate with someone the other day about whether or not I would ever move from New York if my partner wanted to or happened to live in another city – say Washington or Atlanta. My response was an unequivocal NO. Not because I don’t value relationships and love, but because I would never put my relationship before my own career.
Let me explain.
Because I’m a writer who primarily covers entertainment, culture and lifestyle for magazines and media sites like XXLmag.com, EBONY.com and JET Magazine – something I plan on doing for the remainder of my career – geographical location in my field is crucial. I have to be able to network and attend industry events, and sadly, there are few cities where I can make that happen. There are no major publications or media brands that I personally could see myself writing for outside of New York or Los Angeles, which is why I maintained that I would never consider moving for the sake of a relationship. If I were to move to a smaller, slower paced city, I would be compelled to change my career aspirations and take up a job at a local newspaper (which isn’t my passion) or even switch career paths, and that’s just something I’m not willing to do.
Love is great, but there’s a difference between accommodating your professional life for your partner, and completely throwing away your dreams for another person. If someone truly loves you or sees the potential in you as a mate, they will understand that putting your career first is not only what’s best for you but for the relationship as a whole. Now if you’re lucky enough to find a job that aligns with your career aspirations in the same city as your partner, then by all means do so! But oftentimes we sacrifice far too much for love without considering the consequences. The sacrifice and the reward have to even out, otherwise you’ll find yourself resenting your partner for being a factor in you giving up your dreams, while they carry out their own.
Sometimes I think back on silly decisions my friends almost made like attending college locally as opposed to going to an out-of-town college to get the full college experience – all done in the name of love – only to have that relationship not work out in the long haul. Just imagine the regret that would have consumed them had they gone through with it. The moral of the story is, NEVER follow someone to another city unless it’s fair for the BOTH of you. If one has a little wiggle room to make that move without compromising their career, then great. But if moving isn’t in the best interest for both parties, maybe the relationship isn’t meant to be in the first place.
Just look at all the basketball wives, etc., who gave up their passions to be housewives only to be divorced and compelled to live off of the money they get from child support. But at the end of the day, they have nothing to show for what they’ve accomplished in life other than having children and sporting a title starting with “Mrs.” When it comes to love you gotta play smart, and sometimes being smart means knowing when to make relationships your second priority. Following your heart can sometimes leave you in a place you don’t want to be.