For Love or Money…

 

It’s one of those tricky questions that sparks debate. Can you have a fantastic career, as well as a budding and long-lasting romantic relationship?

 

“Craig and I are open and honest with one another and others regarding our relationship. If we’re struggling and not getting on, we aren’t ashamed to admit it.”

 

In life, some seek love, whilst others pursue a career. In many cases, when one is thriving , the other is crashing and burning. Many fight for both, but, find it difficult to achieve…

Craig and I are open and honest with one another and others regarding our relationship. If we’re struggling and not getting on, we aren’t ashamed to admit it. We head-butt one another first and discuss it second. Craig and I stand at opposing opinions to this question. Craig believes that your relationship is the most important thing, whereas, I value my career.

Craig made a valid point, when you’re too old to work and are no longer able, it’s your relationship that is still there. I was raised watching my mum have a successful career, she works in Law and works hours upon hours. I would visit her office as a child, from then, I knew I wanted to work in London and have a great career, just like her.

As many of you may know, I recently accepted a new job in London, and moved to Richmond. With this move, I am further away from Craig.

In age, Craig and I have 10 years between us. I am just starting adulthood, whilst Craig is well into the mix. Craig is very much wanting to settle down, whereas I want to live in the city, work my way up the career-ladder and live that fast-paced city lifestyle. We are naturally at very different stages in life, which makes a relationship difficult.

I am not ashamed to admit that Craig and I have argued endlessly this week. Our relationship nearly ended. I have cried many times, not slept and generally felt drained. All relationships go through their difficult stages, it is whether you as a unit are strong enough to get through that stage. Unfortunately, Craig’s ex-boyfriends treated him badly and it has effected his confidence and given him trust issues. He has severe insecurities that I have had to fight with for the entirety of our relationship. My downfall is that I am impatient, short-fused and hot-headed. I feel like I am having to deal with the repercussions of other peoples mistakes, as if they were my own – I find that frustrating.

 

“We are naturally at very different stages in life, which makes a relationship difficult.”

 

I can understand that Craig finds it hard that I am living in London. At this stage in life, he had hoped to be settled, with a mortgage and waking up to the guy he loved everyday. From my point of view, your 20s are for being selfish, doing what you need to do and building a career. I have wanted to work in London since I was 8. When I was 21, I told Craig that I wanted to move to London with my friends and get a career I’d be proud of. He decided to pursue the relationship knowing that it was what I wanted. After a few months of being in a relationship, we had completely fallen for one another, and it was time for me to move to London. With Craig’s insecurities, he told me we would break-up if I moved. It both shocked and scared me, I didn’t go. I resented him for it for a long time. Since then, Craig has apologised and admitted he was wrong for saying that, therefore, I made plans to move to London and get a job.

 

“Your 20s are for being selfish.”

 

Throughout our relationship, it has always been difficult to find time to see one another. When we first started dating, I was in hospitality working 55+ hours and Craig worked unsociable hours. For months, I would drive to his house, climb into bed with him, then he would leave in the morning. That was our time together. It wasn’t easy, but, he’s worth it.

I think a lot of people thought negatively of me when I moved to London and they found out Craig wasn’t. I stayed working in Milton Keynes and wasn’t happy, I don’t want Craig to have to move to London and feel the way I did in Milton Keynes. In life and relationships, you have to make sacrifices for your partner, and it is normal for your relationships to have their rough patches. Who set the template for what a relationship should be? There isn’t one. They’re all unique and there are many opposing opinions on the elements that make a relationship. I was speaking to a man the other day, whose partner is Australian. They lived apart for a year and made it work. They did everything they could, sacrificed and made it work. Now? They live together in London, are engaged and been together for eight years. They weren’t even in the same country. I couldn’t quite fathom how this couple made it work form opposite sides of the world, yet we are not coping well being an hour away from one another. That seems crazy to me. Craig and I are building bridges, learning to work with one another, instead of against one another.

This is just how our relationship is going to be for a while. We may not see each other often, we may live in different places, but, the way I feel for Craig isn’t going to change. I love him, I adore his family and I need him in my life. He is my Teddy (nickname, the cringe). Plus, I think my family will never speak to me again if we broke up!

 

“Craig and I are building bridges, learning to work with one another, instead of against one another.”

 

I just need time to be a little selfish, build a career in London, make something of this blog and grow. I am fighting to do this whilst maintaining my relationship with my first love. Maybe I’m deluded, or maybe we can achieve this! Who knows…

 

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11 Comments

  1. Nick
    November 4, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Honest take, for a distance relationship to work you have to be on exactly the same page in every other aspect. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re compatible in terms of the lifestyle you both want at this stage in your lives – if you think career is most important that doesn’t make you a bad person but it is a basic incompatibility that is extremely hard to overcome. I wish you luck though and hope you can prove me wrong!

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:32 pm

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for reading and for sharing you opinion. We can only try and see what happens. The love is definitely there, so we shall see!

      Have a great weekend.

      Charles x

  2. Chris
    November 4, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    What a thought provoking, articulate post – really got me thinking about decisions I’ve made and the past.

    At 31, I suppose I’m near your boyfriends age than yours. What did I want 7 years ago? I wanted to be successful, happy, earning money, good group of friends…oh and to come out the closet.

    By 24 I did all that, bought a house, landed the job of my dreams, and experienced the ‘gay lifestyle’ ( I was very late in this). Sadly I pushed guys away because I was too insecure and too selfish to give my time. The one guy I fell for let me down and saw me no more than a causal convienience. I moved to London …enjoyed it for a few months, then loathed it. Too impersonal, busy, expensive and energy draining for me. I moved back home and took a less fulfilling job.
    Do I have regrets…none…I have met some wonderful people, traveled and had some amazing experiences. Now what do I want?…I feel like I’m still searching slightly. Maybe deep down it would be nice to meet a guy and settle. As yet I haven’t found him. Life now can get a little lonely. No matter how much you’re surrounded by friends I dread the wedding invitated for a plus one. I dread coming home late from work, the house freezing and in darkness. And I hate Valentine’s Day. I just want to vomit on all the sparkly-eyed, in love couples, holding hands in restaurants.

    Follow your heart Charlie, build your life, you deserve a great career and an amazing time in London if that’s your dream. But also don’t be afraid to change direction if you’re not happy. I hope it works out for you. I’m optimistic and sure you can balance both. X

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:34 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you so much for reading my post and sharing your story. If it helps, I hate Valentine’s Day even when I’m in a relationship!

      Good luck to you in finding your person, and thank you for your advice.

      Have a great weekend.

      Charles x

  3. Richard
    November 5, 2017 / 8:39 am

    To me it sounds like you have already made your decision, even the title suggests what is more important to you money or your partner and it would seem money comes out on top.

    If that is what is important to you there is nothing wrong with it but I think leading someone on and putting them second to money and your lifestyle is quite cruel, if you feel you need to be selfish then perhaps you should let him find love?

    All the best on what you decide

    • November 5, 2017 / 1:40 pm

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for your comments and reading the post.

      The title was based on the debate of whether you can have a relationship whilst fighting for a career. It was in no way representational of my feelings toward Craig.

      I also don’t think it is a case of ‘leading somebody on’. Which is why I gave the argument of what a relationship should be, because every relationship is different. So many couples are living apart and aren’t living in close proximities. There isn’t a set template or example for the structure of a relationship.

      Craig and I love each other and we’re trying to support one another, and that’s that! I just wanted to write an open and honest blog about it!

      Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Charles x

  4. Doreen
    November 5, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    This made me cry. Well done for following your dream. Keep focused on what you want both in your career and in love. It’s not an easy journey, however knowing you, I know you can succeed in both.

  5. Paul
    November 6, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Charlie you and craig are my favourite couple on twitter, (I’ve made that clear on there) you maybe young and there is nothing wrong with wanting a career, yes Craig has been hurt in the past,but that doesn’t mean that you will hurt him.
    I think the way you two have banter and are so open about everything is a credit to you both. but you two are brilliant together, one day hopefully we can all meet up for a beer, and not just be names on a screen!

    Carry on being the way you are, and Craig should too. You will work this out, and yes it maybe difficult at times, (but who wants to live in a bubble where everything that’s perfect?) I don’t, problems can be solved as long as you both work together. It will make your relationship stronger if you can work through it.

    I have every faith that you two will sort it out, and you had better do too as I’ve already bought my hat for the wedding! 🙂

    Stay strong, work together and most importantly talk to each other and you will both get exactly what you want!

    All the best to you both

    Paul xxx

  6. Nick
    November 6, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Just thought I’d add, look around you at all the 30/40 something single gay guys in London who were selfish in their 20s and thought there would always be time to find a relationship once they were established in their careers and one day they wake up and realise that partying doesn’t fill that void and you don’t look back on your life and wish you spent more time at work. Your job won’t hold you, keep you warm at night, support you through bereavement, create joyful memories that will last forever…etc etc.

    Obviously that’s taking it to extremes but find the balance, that’s what I’d say!

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