One of the top reasons people claim a relationship didn’t work out is that the other person changed. When I pry a little further, I usually find out that circumstances in the ex’s life were changing at the time—circumstances usually pertaining to their work, or any pursuits they had outside the relationship. If you’re someone for whom a job is not just a job, but (hopefully) something you care deeply about, then what you do for a living will touch and affect every area of your life, including your romantic relationships. When you’re passionate about what you do, you never leave work at work. Work isn’t work to you—it’s where your heart is, so it is home. If you meet someone before you know what you want to do, or before you really start pursuing it, and start going after your passion during the relationship, it can be hard on you as a couple. Here is why it’s important to pursue your passion before a relationship.
You need a free schedule
When you’re first starting out in your career, it will require almost 16 hours a day from you. Not all of those hours will be spent working, but they will be spent on important networking events, on reading up and educating yourself further on this passion, and even on simply brainstorming and daydreaming. You can’t dedicate that time if your partner wants you to go with him to his networking events.
You’ll find your people there
If you are truly passionate about an industry, then that’s where you’ll find some of your greatest friends. It’s important that you have your social network in place before adding a boyfriend to that. It can be hard to date someone, then develop a social group, and discover your boyfriend and friends don’t mesh.
Some men target lost women
Some men specifically seek out and target women who don’t have their own path yet, hoping to lock them into being a housewife before those women have the chance to think about what they want for themselves.
You may even find your partner there
Meanwhile, if you are really passionate about something it’s not so crazy to think you may fall in love with someone who is also passionate about it. You probably have other things in common, like personality traits and values. Following your passion could lead you to your perfect match.
Your values may change
If you start dating someone when you don’t have a career path, but then you get on one, you may find that your values change drastically. The way you feel about society, politics, money, family and a lot of other important things could change once you find your dream work. And your values may no longer match up with your partner’s.
It requires your full attention
In order to get your start in a new field, you need to give it your full attention. That means you need to be free to zone out and follow an idea to its completion. It means you need to call your mom to think out loud about your work for an hour a day. It also means you won’t be so great at listening when your partner is venting about his work.
You don’t need outside influencers
Whether you like it or not, you care what your partner thinks about your work. But when you’re just getting started, you don’t need outside opinions influencing what you do and how you do it—you just need to follow your gut.
It will make you happy, on your own
It’s so important to know you can be happy on your own before you start looking for a mate. Knowing you don’t mind being solo will make you more selective, in a good way. And part of being happy on your own is finding a job you love.
It will empower you
If you find an industry you love and thrive in it you’ll be far less susceptible to controlling, misogynistic, narcissistic or manipulative men who try to tell you that you “need a man.” It will be so clear to you that you don’t.
It may require some money
You’ll need some startup capital either to take that business class, open that shop, or simply pay your bills while you apply for work you love. You just cannot afford to spend money on dating.
You may need to move
Your passion may take you across the country or the world—you can’t have a boyfriend influencing that decision. Land where your passion takes you, and find a partner there.
You’ll always only have you
At the end of the day, you are the only person you can rely on to fully look out for you. So establishing your own life and career is so important. What if you get a divorce? What if your partner loses his job?
Careers are forever
Your career will be there for you while boyfriends come and go, while friends come and go, and while life changes. It’s something you have some control over. So nurture that.
You’ll meet people with the same work ethic
When you’re working hard at your passion it is very clear to everyone you meet that you can only date someone who A) Is also a hard worker and B) Is attracted to hard workers. Slack-offs need not call.
You need to be selfish to be selfless
Ultimately, you need to be selfish before you can be selfless. You need to dedicate all of your time, energy and resources to building something that is just yours before you’re even capable of giving yourself to somebody else (boyfriend, husband, children…) If you don’t do that first, you’ll always regret it.