One important detail to know about your guy or gal before falling head over heels for him or her is what career path he or she is taking (or would like to take). This may seem like a trivial piece of information in the early stages of a relationship, but it is something that will affect you for years, if not the rest of your life, should you choose to marry each other.
Think about your own personality. If you marry someone with political aspirations, are you prepared to meet a lot of people, be in the public eye, and host dinners or other events?
If you marry someone in the medical field, are you prepared to cancel plans, occasionally sleep alone, and support a spouse whose job takes significant time and emotional stamina?
If you marry someone in sales or with business aspirations, are you prepared for him or her to be on the road, or in the air, much of the time? Will you be upset if the cell phone rings constantly during dinner or if he or she misses family time due to business dinners or late nights at the office?
If you marry someone with a blue collar job that makes a modest income, will you be happy not keeping up with the Joneses? If you marry someone who works hard for a non-profit organization that he or she truly believes in, but does not pay very well, are you prepared for a lifestyle of constant giving and less receiving?
These are questions you need to ask yourself before pursuing a relationship. Career aspirations can change, but you shouldn’t throw caution to the wind and marry someone hoping that he or she will change career paths from where he or she is heading. Your spouse will need support from you and if you are not on board with his or her career, supporting it will be an exhausting, constant challenge.
Once you know what career path he or she wants to pursue, or is already involved in, think about your own talents, gifts, and interests. How do you see using your personality to assist his or her career? Some careers will need more spousal assistance than others (ranging from none to a lot), but any career can be enhanced by a spouse who is appropriately involved. Will your future spouse’s career be enhanced by a spouse with an affinity for business, writing, negotiating, or hospitality?
If you have not already, consider your future spouse’s dreams, goals, and aspirations. If you know in your deepest parts that you cannot handle, or will refuse to live, the lifestyle his or her career will require of you, it may be best for both of you to go your separate ways now before the attachment gets stronger. This is an area where pre-engagement counseling would be in order to discuss this – and many other issues.
Especially in modern times, people don’t often stick with one job for many years as was more common in American history; however, the type of job and the direction toward which they want to proceed is important to know.
Married life is sweeter, and less stressed, when both spouses are on board with each other’s careers and what they require of the family. As always, we wish you the sweetest marriage possible!
Have you and your boyfriend/girlfriend discussed your career aspirations at length?