Why your relationship choice is a career choice

by | Jan 2, 2016

"The most important career choice you'll make is who you marry"

             Sheryl Sandberg

Your relationship choice is a career choice

Your relationship choice is a career choice

Choosing a partner wisely is a challenge, which many get wrong. As many as 50%. This is possibly why so many younger women are remaining single. Read: Flying solo. Why Millennial women are staying single. Ancient cultures recognised the significance of effective alliances and it was only in the 17th and 18th century that the notion of marriage based on love started to come into being.  Marriage has become a contract between two individuals seeking "love, stability, and happiness."

Yet, most of us don't evaluate our choice of partner logically, especially in the love and lust phase of a relationship. We are caught up in racing pulses and passion. We don't see it as part of a career choice and planning.  But it's important to look at a potential partner in terms of personality, values, communication style, relationship with others, especially their immediate families and friends and how they handle a range of issues from stress to money and conflict.

Many qualities that attracted us in the first place, can become relationship deal breakers. We simply don't spend enough time thinking about the implications, especially in the early stages, when couples are making marriage decisions. Many couples know each other for only 2-3 years before they make a major life decision. The spontaneous generosity can morph into ill-considered fecklessness. A calm and gentle personality can become passive. The life and soul of the party, can become loud and overpowering.

Despite what we think, all elements of our personal lives impact us professionally. It is impossible to separate the two. [Tweet "Your choice of partner is a career choice, even if it doesn't seem so at the time."]

10 questions to ask about your relationship as a career choice

  1. Lust and love are easily confused.  Do you know the difference? Most decisions to marry are taken while in the lust phase, where the risk of loss plays a key part to creating romantic tension and excitement.
  2. What are your partner's core values around relationships and family? Have you discussed this? Mara was shocked when her husband of 7 years, told her he didn't want children.
  3. What is his relationship history and how did he behave?
  4. How are your needs met and how are your requests received? Make your needs clear and stated. This is the greatest communication barrier and if this is a problem area it leads to unmet needs and resentment. Penny and Miles ran into difficulties when Penny was offered a promotion and Miles was not willing to take on increased family responsibilities.  Read: How to avoid the chore war
  5. Do you respect your partner and does he respect you? How does that manifest itself?Dual Career Couple
  6. What are  your strengths and weakness and how do they impact your performance as a relationship team?
  7. How do you manage your differences and expectations? Negotiation is a key part of a relationship now that gender stereotypes are being eroded. What do your conversations sound like? Constructive discussions or bitter, blaming shouting matches?
  8. Do you really listen to each other and try to accommodate and cooperate? Do you have room for growth?
  9. Are your goals congruent or do they involve one partner making sacrifices the other? Read: Why couples need a congruent career strategy
  10. All relationships have their ups and downs and the high of the early phases can't be maintained. How do you  work through the tough times? Have you set up any protocols?

Understanding that the meaning of love changes is important. It comes and goes and has many stages.  Bad relationship choices do impact  your career choice.  But when things are tough in a relationship, use that as a moment to reflect on yourself, not blaming the other.

If you need support planning your career within your relationship - contact 3Plus now



Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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