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(Happening again) career vs relationship

  1. Jun 1, 2015 #1


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    This is going to be a huge wall of text. I don't even know why I'm writing this. Probably just need to get this off my head. I don't see how any advice or comments can help me...

    I have lost count of how many times I have made this decision.

    I have been on the move from country to country ever since the end of high school. Whether planning to go to a better environment for my education (that never happened though, turned out Auckland was just right for me for my undergrad and MSc), or looking for jobs, which I travelling 5 countries to do so.

    For this reason (and others) I have never made serious attempts to establish serious relationships, because if I would have to move again, I felt it would be irresponsible of me. I always chose my career over any potential relationships, and it never really bothered me.

    Now, I ended up with a job in China. I don't really like it, there isn't much to learn, and I hate this humid, polluted environment. I quickly applied to a PhD position in UK. While I waited and ground through my job. I got to know a girl I really really like, to the extent I am throwing all rationality out of the window. The last time I was attracted to a girl like this was almost 10 years ago.

    I thought I was immature back then but I don't have this excuse this time (or maybe I do). I should know my application result in a month. I am quite confident that I will get an offer. If that is the case, I will be thrilled to be able to get out of this place, but I will be tempted to stay just for her.

    The funny thing is (not so funny for me but okay...) there just isn't any known quantity here. I'm not 100% sure I will get an offer. I don't know where I will look for the next job. I don't know how this girl feel about me, as she hasn't hinted either way. (Neither of us are very talkative. I have been approaching her and try to let us know more about each other. I also spilled my guts one night under the influence of alcohol....).

    And then there are the practical issues. If we start a proper relationship, and if (the if's are racking up really fast) she is willing to go further away from her family with me, and if my savings and funding can support two people, I know how terribly tough it will be for her to move there not knowing English. I shouldn't even worry about this hypothetical problem but like I said, my rationality is non-existent at this stage.

    I always thought I should think about my career at this age and relationships would happen when they do. Now my 25th birthday is creeping up on me, and I am yet to experience a relationship. I'm getting a little worried. Especially when working in a rather foreign location by myself, the solitude is taking its toll on me.

    Well, thanks for reading this wall of text. I don't know what to do or think. All comments welcome I guess.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2015 #2
    Balance is required for a healthy life. I work long hours 7 days a week. In the past I have lost relationships to good ladies because of that. Once I met my current wife, I made a conscious decision to scale back and very very seldom use work as an excuse not to do something involving her. It's worth it.
  4. Jun 3, 2015 #3


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    Similar to Greg, only it was all with one girl. We moved to a new country for my PhD and it was so demanding that I went I to mule mode, I practically ignored my family for a while winter. My wife didn't fair very well being in a new country all alone and not getting much interaction from the one adult person she did know.

    I've since become a lot more family oriented. But this is with someone I already had a certain future with. No idea how to advise on an uncertain relationship. It's a personal call between developing your interpersonal life or your career. Both are important!
  5. Jun 5, 2015 #4


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    Thanks for the insightful replies. I feel myself leaning towards settling down. I am now realizong how I tired I'm getting with all this moving across the globe. Moving to a new country every few months or years may be interesting, but I no longer find it fun when I realize I'm doing it all on my own.
  6. Jun 6, 2015 #5
    Who do you want to be when you are 80?
  7. Jun 11, 2015 #6
    There's a saying that goes something like "Know thyself before you get to know others." IMO, it's important to establish your own views, goals, etc. and have some stability before entering a serious relationship. Nevertheless, as you become older, you should be at that point or getting to the point where this is true. I agree that it's important to have balance in your life, but think carefully before taking a big risk. Even though you like this girl, it seems like you don't know that much about her and how she feels about you. Personally, I'd choose going to the UK where you know the language and have a good chance of starting off on your career. It seems like you'll enjoy the environment there better, and there are plenty of fish in the sea (haha) so don't worry too much unless you're 100% certain this girl is the one (in that case, fight for her (metaphorically of course)).
  8. Jun 23, 2015 #7
    I meet the same story many times, and my opinion is, that relationship is important, when you will meet the right person to merry and feel happiness,
    then your work problem will solve, as you have work experience!
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