Dating : Her Career Goals Surpassed the State of the Relationship — Why Didn’t Mine?

h2>Dating : Her Career Goals Surpassed the State of the Relationship — Why Didn’t Mine?

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

January 7, 2019 — I had taken an extra day of Christmas vacation. As a beleaguered inner-city high school teacher in need of way more than two weeks off, I decided that an extra twenty-four hours would at least allow me to, as one might say, “Get my shit together.”

She went to work.

We texted throughout the day, joking about the daily humdrum of her work existence and the menagerie of things I was trying to check off in anticipation of reentering the Thunder Dome the next day.

And then she came home and destroyed it all, blindsiding me after four years together with the, “I don’t see a future anymore” talk.

I should have realized then that she had tapped out. It was only six weeks later after doing everything in my power to keep things afloat that I came to, breaking the surface of whatever shock-induced pool of denial I had been drowning in.

“I think I want this to work,” she had said the first time, “But it seems like it’s going to be a lot of work for me and I have to do well in my classes. That’s the most important thing right now.”

I had nodded along, ego shredded, self-respect thrown out of the window, completely missing the subtext: I’m not going to try very hard to repair our relationship because school is all that matters.

In fairness, school swallowed up a lot of her time. She was pursuing a post-baccalaureate science degree so that she could apply to medical school. Not easy by any means, but at some point along the way it became so difficult that nothing else mattered. Living in the shadow of her anesthesiologist brother, she decided that the only goal worth achieving was “doctor,” and the only way to do that was to put all of her energy into her classes.

Am I mad about that? Absolutely not. How can you fault someone you supposedly loved for pursuing their dreams? And, what’s more, I could have made my life a lot easier by surveying just how far outside of the circle she was standing back in January (and saved myself a lot of birthday turmoil, for that matter).

Instead, I find myself looking back and asking — did I not push my own desired career far enough into the spotlight? Teaching was not the endgame for me — it was a means to an end. A financial support system while I passively pursued my writing interests.

It paid the bills, often supported the indulgences and activities of (2) people, and actively killed me on a daily basis. I’ll spare you the long teacher’s diatribe because any cognizant American knows that the current state of public education is not great.

Such was my experience.

I loved the kids, hated the adults, needed the paycheck, and despised the fact that I’d come home so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted that I’d make little attempt at putting any words on paper.

Instead, it’d be come home, take care of the dog, cook dinner, tidy up the apartment — anything and everything to ensure that when she got home from work and had to snap right into study mode, she could do so.

Problematic? Absolutely.

Love is such a tricky feeling. It’s easy to sit here and believe that it’s 100% natural (and, admittedly, I had grown to see my past relationship as infallible — a big mistake), but it’s not. It takes work — you turn yourself over to another human being, giving into emotions and learning how to grow in one direction with that same person by your side.

It’s very easy to lose yourself. If you care about this person, if you’re in “love” with them…it’s so easy for that support you give to transform into some demented version of servitude. Perhaps not to the fault of either party, but it still happens.

Now, four months removed from having my lack of productivity thrown back in my face (“You’re just really demotivated these days…”) I wonder again: Should I have worried more about my own career? Maybe I became so absorbed in the relationship that I let my own pursuits topple into the backseat in favor of supporting her.

I pursued my writing when I could (mostly the occasional weekday evening and weekend days), telling myself that one day it would be something I could do full-time. Instructing myself that the apartment my paycheck paid for was more important. Convincing myself that the support for each other’s careers would go both ways once “we” got her through this program and med school applications.

But now the only thing I’m convinced about is how backwards my thinking was. Sure, sacrifice and selflessness are components of any relationship, but they shouldn’t favor one person over the other and, if they do, there should be an indiscreet understanding of what one partner is doing for the other at that point in time.

I silently thought that was understood in my relationship. I was loudly incorrect. And, while I’m past the point of playing the “blame game,” I can look myself in the mirror and admit — this one’s on me.

You can’t get mad at a selfish person for doing selfish things. That’s like getting mad at a dancer for dancing.

She wagered her career above all else.

Maybe I should have matched the bet.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Writing is therapeutic. Check out my other relationship-related posts:

  1. I survived the Birthday Dumping
  2. The Confusing Aftermath of Emotional Manipulation
  3. Forgiveness is Selfish and That’s Okay
Read also  Dating : The Rewilding

What do you think?

22 Points
Upvote Downvote

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Dating : kiss on the first date?

POF : We all need a David in our lives…. right?