General Question

hollywoodduck's avatar

What do you think should come first in life, looking for love or starting your career?

Asked by hollywoodduck (638points) June 20th, 2008

I was reading an article on msn today about 20 somethings and the choices they have to make between love and their career. It mentioned that many twenty somethings have been told to do what’s best for them, and that we can wait to get married (in our 30’s) and that we should work hard to get to the top of the corporate ladder.

If we put work first we may miss out on love. And if we put love first we may miss out on our career. Why can’t we find both? Or is that the chance we have to take?

What do you think is more important to focus on in your twenties, finding love or your career?

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34 Answers

playthebanjo's avatar

kill two birds with one stone and find a job you love, then sleep with your boss

iwamoto's avatar

too bad there are so few female boss’es in the IT biz. but yeah, i put my job before finding a girl, in time, all will turn out great

iCeskate's avatar

career so you have a stable amountvof money when you do find love

iwamoto's avatar

money is the least important thing in a relationship, sure it’s nice, but that’s a bit of a weird thought there, i mean, it’s not like you’ll buy a house together within a few months or something…

rockstar's avatar

I think it depends on the individual. Some people are not mature enough to take on the responsibility of marriage until they are in their 30s. Then others feel like they are ready for it in early 20s. I personally think finding love is more important. You can always find ways to make money but true love is something that is special and unique.

playthebanjo's avatar

and some people are not mature enough to take on the responsibility of having a job.

iwamoto's avatar

i still wonder why people believe in true love, love is nothing more then our brains tricking us so we’ll reproduce, otherwise sex wouldn’t feel so good right… i mean, if reproduction would be unpleasant, we wouldn’t do it, and the species would die….

playthebanjo's avatar

Sex is different. true love is much more than that. It involves finding someone who not only allows it, but appreciates it when you do your helicopter dance for them.

wildflower's avatar

I never realised the two were dependent on each other in any way!

You finish school -> start career
– in another part of your life –
You hit puberty -> start falling in love, at first it’s a bit left, right and center, but eventually you get a bit pickier.
Same goes for the job situation, at first you want to try everything and you’re willing to take on any job to make big bucks, but later you become more picky, you want progression, rewards, recognition, development, etc.

Basically, professional and love life are not an either/or choice – if it is, you’re doing something wrong!

Dog's avatar

I would say a career first. However the question is flawed because often finding love is the opposite- it finds you.

hollywoodduck's avatar

I think when you are least expecting it, love finds you. But I also think that you can be so caught up with other things that you may miss your opportunity.

I also think that you can be so blinded by love that you would do anything for that person and maybe you miss out on opportunities to advance your career because you are moving for them or staying in the same spot for them.

robmandu's avatar

The longer you wait to commit to love, the more time you can work on yourself to become a person worth loving.

playthebanjo's avatar

wow that’s sappy

flameboi's avatar

Career, I made that choice, I’ve been 8 years behind a desk (take in count I’m only 24) and I know I haven’t had many girlfriends (lack of time is the main cause, and also because I learned to enjoy different things, instead of beer and pizza, I’ll go for mediterranean cuisine and greek wine), anyway, it’s kind of hard sometimes because, you feel lonely from time to time, but in the other hand, I’m in a better situation than most of my peers, with a wonderful job, a very nice car, expensive toys, and a wardrobe full of nice stuff, that’s what happens when you put your career first, I’m late in college but i’ll be done next year, I guess its worth it, if true love ever knocks at my door, I’ll be ready, and be able to be supportive :) and I’ve fulfilled most of my dreams

tinyfaery's avatar

There is no right answer to this. Some people do not find meaning in what they do to make money, nor do they find meaning in the things money can buy; instead, these people find purpose and pleasure in other things, like love. Others find great purpose and satisfaction in the work they do, or the career they choose, or what money can buy.

An aside…I think its naive to think that money is not important in a relationship. We live in a world ruled by money; our very existence depends on it. We need money to live, and the fears and insecurites of not having that money to live can really wreak havoc on a relationship. I do believe money is the main issue couples fight over.

wildflower's avatar

Seriously folks, what’s with this either/or mentality? How can you have an even remotely healthy, balanced life if you either spend 100% of your time working or dedicating yourself to another person – both are seriously unhealthy!!

rouss's avatar

I’m trying to do both at time: currently i earn money and seeking for a love.

robmandu's avatar

I agree, @wildflower. My only point was not to stress out seeking love when there are things a person can do to improve/ready him/herself in the meantime.

And nothing smacks of desperation more than someone, who’s not involved with anyone at the moment saying, “I can’t wait to be a husband/wife,” or worse, “I can’t wait to be a mother/father.” Ugh.

Nor is career-seeking an end unto itself, it’s just a means. A worthwhile effort to be sure, but not all-encompassing.

wildflower's avatar

Yes! Exactly!
And you’re so right about those freaks with the fully planned out lovelives…’s a bit like girls who keep a wedding scrapbook from the age of 5. If I ever encounter one of these, it’s a case of back away slowly… run!!
They really give me the Heebie-jeebies!!

playthebanjo's avatar

people do that? (the scrapbook, not the running)

wildflower's avatar

I’ve heard myths, but haven’t had anyone ‘fess up yet, but I have heard girls say they have their wedding planned out before they have their groom! freaks!

I wonder if anyone’s adding this to their scrapbook – at least that would win a few oddly-cool-weird points.

hollywoodduck's avatar

I agree that when you want something so badly, it isn’t healthy and most likely it’s not for the right reasons either. To get married just because you want to get married isn’t the right reason.

I think it’s great to be career oriented and to have goals, but I also agree that you need that balance and need to have the separation of your work and home life.

wildflower's avatar

I think in your twenties, the best motto you can go by is: “work hard – play hard”. You can slow down and reap what you sow a decade or two later.

playthebanjo's avatar

I am reaping. Don’t fear the reaper. (do you hear a cowbell?)

Knotmyday's avatar

Career first. Love just happens, generally while you were making other plans. Sorry about the mis-quote.

@Wild, how about this headline:
“From Boudoir to Bidet, Charmin wipes up the competition…”
Watch out for sobbing mothers-in-law.

bridold's avatar

Whichever comes first. Who says you can’t find love while in your career?

wildflower's avatar

love it!! I’d read your blog! – or bog roll….?

flameboi's avatar

the main purpose in life is one and one only, happiness i guess whatever the road you take, you gotta be happy don’t u think???
20’s: old enough to know better, too young to care, that’s my motto :P

wildflower's avatar

Ideally, yes. And should it happen that you get derailed from your path in that persuit of happiness, a decent backup objective is to achieve, experience and contribute as much as you can.

marinelife's avatar

@flameboi One caution. Nice clothes, money, nice car, toys and stuff do not offer companionship, comfort, warmth, good conversation or anything else we humans need.

The whole premise of the article is a set up. As peole have spoken of above, balance is what one should focus on in life. I also don’t think one can effectively “focus” on finding love. What you have to do is make time for recreation and activities in addition to work.

Warning: potential threadjack. I have noticed a difference when meeting and conversing with Americans vs. Europeans and would love to hear if others have found this true—especially European Flutherites. When you meet an American, the conversation does not go very far before the person asks you what you do for a living. Once you answer that question, you see the wheels turning and you being slotted into a certain niche.

When I meet Europeans, on the other hand, the early conversation tends to focus much more on their interests and my interests outside of work. Jobs seem like just something one has and not a way of defining identity.

My point is that we Americans could use more of that approach to life and less thinking that careers are the be all and end all of life.

Adina1968's avatar

I honestly don’t really see how anyone can plan for love. Love usually just comes along unexpectedly and when it does you should never close the door to it, because of where you are in your career. You can plan for your career but love is usually a surprise. :-)

ninjaxmarc's avatar


Love happens spontaneously with it.

flameboi's avatar

I agree, things don’t actually offer companionship, but words as “focus” & “balance” actually don’t satisfy me that much, I guess it depends on which point are, and see life, I think ninjaxmarc is right, love happens spontaneously, and then you just live the life the way you like to live it, the way you fill fullfiled by it, companionship comes and goes the way the moon does, always changing… is not that I’m in a cave lol I do have people to share with, a bunch of good friends, lovely family (o.k. some day they are not as lovely as they should be), but is not that you have to be in & out of relationships to feel that you actually have “that” someone. But when it comes to love (not the fraternal, the other one) lot’s and lot’s of other things come up as the game goes by, then you have to analyze the situation, maybe I tend to complicate things related with love and I think too much, nevermind…

TechtardedBabe's avatar

Love should def come first!! Love is a journey to not only find the one you love but finding yourself along the way and until we know who we really are how can we expect to know what career we really want!! And another point if you build your life before finding love then you create a lifestyle for that person to love they may not love you at all!

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