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Love or Career: How to Choose & Make Sure You’re Not Left Feeling Bitter

The decision to choose between chasing love or your dream career can be very frustrating. It’s never easy to choose one over the other, so here are some things to think about.

love or career

When it comes to choosing between the two – to pursue love or a career – it’s never an easy answer.

You have the diehard romantics who’d tell you to choose love.

And on the other hand, you’d have the ladder-climbers looking down and yelling to give up your personal life and reach out to your ambition.

But seriously, if it ever comes down to choosing between love and your career, there’s never an easy way out.

Unless one side wins by a mile or you have no regrets, whatever the decision, you’ll always be bitter unless you’re wholeheartedly convinced with your decision.

Does age play a part in choosing between love or a career?

Age is a big determining factor in a lot of life decisions. So, yes, age can definitely be a big part of which you choose – love or career. [Read: How to balance your career, social life, and dating life]

For example, if you are fresh out of college, in your early 20s, and your career is just getting off the ground, then it is likely that you will choose a career. Even if you want to get married and have a family, you are still young. There is still plenty of time to meet the love of your life and get married. For those in that situation, there is no rush.

However, if you are a woman in your 30s or 40s and still want to settle down with “The One” and have babies, then your career might have to take the back seat. Let’s face it – biology complicates this for women who want children. Past the age of 35, pregnancy becomes a whole lot more difficult, and the risk of complications increases.

If you are a man, then that is a whole different story. It’s a sad fact of reality that men can father children at almost any age in life. Unfortunately, most women have until their early to mid-40s, if they are very lucky. But a man can have a new baby in his 80s. [Read: Money can buy happiness in love]

Regardless of that fact, both men and women need to think about their ideal ages for them to get married and have children – if that’s what they want.

Some people prefer to be young parents and focus on their careers later in life. Others prefer to delay parenting and work on their careers when they are young. There is no right or wrong answer.

But you do need to figure out if you are okay with being a young or old parent. Just because a man can have children when he is over 50 doesn’t mean that’s a wise choice. If he has a baby at age 55, then he will be 73 when the baby graduates high school.

Even if you are middle-aged and have grown children, you might still be faced with the ultimatum of choosing between love and a career. Maybe your career is well-established, and you don’t have a lot of time to find love. And even if you do, you might not have a lot of extra time to devote to a quality relationship.

So, when you are trying to choose between love and career, these are some ways that your age can come into play. If you delay parenthood and marriage too long, then you might not be alive to see your grandchildren. But if you have a family young, then it might be difficult to catch up with your counterparts in the workplace when you decide to focus on your career.

Examine your values

When you are choosing between prioritizing love or a career, what you really need to do is examine your values. What is more important to you? Personal relationships or work? [Read: What to do if your partner makes less money than you]

Again, there is no right answer. Some women prefer to be stay-at-home moms because they value children and marriage over any career. On the other hand, some women value money, status, and success more than they do building a family.

The same is true for men. It may not be expected so much for men to stay at home with the children, but that doesn’t mean that if a man focuses on his career too much, he might miss out on all of his children’s important milestones. He could become a workaholic and miss out on his personal life too much.

That’s why it’s important to sit down with yourself and have an honest conversation. What will you regret more at the end of your life? Sacrificing your career, or sacrificing love and a family? When you frame it that way, it helps you put your values into perspective. [Read: Family oriented – the meaning and what it means to be this person]

Choosing between love or a career – What you should know

If you ever do find yourself having to make the big love-or-career decision, here are a few things you really need to understand.

1. True love is hard to find

Love is special, and that’s what makes it so rare.

While falling in love may be easy, staying in love requires two soulmates that understand each other and are selfless in love.

Do you have that relationship that makes you feel lucky at the end of the day?

2. A better career can give you a better life

There’s no beating around the bush here, a good career can make for a better life. You can find your perfect partner, but if you’re suffering in a bad career, will you ever be happy in your “miserable” life? [Read: What does your office table tell about you?]

3. True love can withstand all odds

Now, this is true. If both of you truly love each other, you don’t have to worry about spending less time with each other or even separating for a few years.

Instead of forcing yourself to choose between love or your career, work with your partner to think of ways to have both. With the right partner, you can have your cake and eat it too.

4. You’ll always be ambitious

Will one promotion in your career satiate your ambitious heart? Will you ever settle down and be happy with what you have? All of us want more. And sometimes, we decide to give up on a perfectly good relationship and pursue something that will never really satisfy us.

When it comes to deciding between love and your career, we’ll help you understand what really matters to you and how you should deal with it. After all, every relationship is unique and all of us have our own goals to achieve happiness.

When you choose love

If you decide to stick with love and give up on getting a better career prospect, here are a few things you should ask yourself before you make that final leap.

1. Would you ever forgive yourself for letting go of a career opportunity? 

Most lovers who choose love over improving their career end up remorseful and regret their decision the very next time they have a fight or argument with their lover.

2. Would you feel bitter? 

Bitterness is a slow killer of relationships. If you ever do regret giving up on your career, your bitterness will turn to hatred towards your partner.

Over time, you’ll end up feeling grumpy or annoyed all the time, especially when you can’t afford the things that you want to splurge on. And at times, the bitterness will also take a toll on your happiness, and you may end up blaming your lover for your shortcomings. [Read: Money can buy happiness in love]

If you choose work

1. Can you find a partner as loving or as caring? 

Is your career move a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? You may end your relationship and move on, but you have to remember this; finding the love of your life is a miracle that few people ever experience. Have you found the one?

And is this promotion or career move a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? If you’ve decided to focus on your career, then don’t look back and ponder over your lost love. It’s a decision you’ve made, and you have to learn to give up on love and move on.

2. Can you move on and forget all about it? 

Sometimes, you may have second thoughts about moving away from your lover or having to end the relationship, even if it’s a perfect one.

Can you really put it all behind you and avoid regretting it? There’s really no point in ending a relationship for a career and then spending several months regretting your decision and ruining your career at the same time. [Read: How to end a relationship]

Can love and your career go together?

You don’t always have to pick one and stick with it when it comes to making a decision between focusing on love and your career. If both of you love each other, you can always figure something out. And hopefully, that can keep the relationship strong while both of you progress in your careers. [Read: How to be successful in your career]

Perhaps, the only hard part comes in when both of you have recently started dating each other. The relationship would be new and too fragile to face a relationship test. And that’s the only time when you really need to ask yourself if your new love has the potential to blossom into true love. 

And on the other hand, you have to make up your mind on how badly you need your promotion or a new job that may require more of your time or you having to move to another state.

Making the right choice

It isn’t easy to meet the right partner and find your soulmate, so if you genuinely think you’ve met the one who can warm the cockles of your heart for the rest of your life, then decline the career opportunity.

But if you’re not very happy in your relationship and think you deserve something better, go full speed ahead and choose your career. If you’re not happy with your relationship today, what are the odds that you’ll feel better after giving up on your career? You’d definitely feel worse about giving up on your career on those tough relationship days. [Read: Is your partner serious about you?]

But whatever your decision may be, stick with it and never look back. Life is a box of mysteries, and no matter what you decide to stick with, love or your career, coincidences, and circumstances, have their own way of playing out.

Why we think love wins over career

Weighing the pros and cons could help you decide between prioritizing love or your career, but if they’re both even or if you’re confused, we’d still suggest you stick with love. It’s a gamble, yes, but one that can have a huge payoff for the rest of your life.

True love can give you more happiness than money ever can.

And at the end of the day, you want to earn more money to create happy memories and spend more time with the one you love. But if making money means having to give up on love, what are you fighting for anyway?

All of us need someone in our lives to share the happy moments with, and those sad times when we need a hand and a hug. Love can make your life so much more fulfilling and worthwhile. [Read: How to find true love]

Today, you may assume you don’t need anyone to share your life with. You may love yourself too much to care about anyone else. But as the years pass by, you’ll soon see that putting yourself first all the time, career promotions, and money will have no value. That’s because you’ll have no one to share it with. Love completes you when you share it with someone selflessly, and it gives more meaning to your life.

You can earn all the money in the world, but it’ll never really give you the happiness that a happy smile or a warm hug from your lover can give you. That is something that you really need to think about when you are choosing between love or a career.

If the choice is extremely tough to make, always choose love. Better to build a romantic relationship with lasting memories and happy times, than a workaholic lifestyle with all the money but nothing to spend it towards.

[Read: What is true love? 22 signs of love to know if what you feel is real]

But then again, when you have to make a choice between love and a career, are you really happy in love, or do you think you deserve better? That would make all the difference to your answer.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...