How to deal with the risk of wanting to do something differently so that you can create your own life — your own dream

The question:

Five years ago, we met at a movie. We got together at the bar afterwards. Since then, we’ve become inseparable. But that’s not the only thing I’ve become attached to.

I’ve started working full time again, while he works part time as a lawyer. We’ve both set up holiday gifts for a family member, and I’ve bought our dog for his mom. But as great as all that sounds, I can feel him getting bored with the corporate world and job security. I have since changed my career and am working towards becoming a journalist. Do I have to sacrifice the one thing we have in common, and my love, so I can become successful at this new venture? Do I owe it to myself to go after my dreams even if it means leaving behind my long-term relationship?

The answer:

I am here to say you should make this decision for yourself.

If you choose to stay in your relationship with your boyfriend, there is nothing wrong with that. You two love each other and it’s possible that you two will develop strong feelings for each other. However, let’s not pretend that having love doesn’t impact you.

Since you love him, you two have already chosen to be together and make sacrifices in order to be together. And if you decide to stick around for a longer period of time, the uncertainty of your life, both personal and professional, will be there. So you and your boyfriend’s love will be impacting each other and not always for the better. That’s OK! We all need some stress in our lives and life decisions.

If you do end up moving on, there are a couple of things that you can do — besides enjoying the relationship, which is a huge gift — to make sure your decision is the right one. First, have fun figuring out what you want to do and where you want to go. Share your passions and wants. Identify what you want, and don’t be afraid to ask your boyfriend to be on board for a change. If you and your boyfriend find that he is on board, then having fun will naturally evolve into planning, planning, planning.

The second step is finding a mentor that you and your boyfriend will trust — someone you can sit down with to help you transition from long-term companion to serial entrepreneur. However, as much as it may be hard, find a mentor outside of your relationship to lean on when you are stressed or facing challenges. I’m not saying your boyfriend is not supportive, I’m just saying that if there is anyone who would make a good mentor, it’s probably someone else. And if he’s not your type, I’m pretty sure that you and your boyfriend will be quite happy working through the process on your own, in your space.

Yes, these are huge decisions that you have to make, but at the end of the day, this is your life. If you decide to do them, do them. If you decide not to do them, find something else that you find fulfilling and also provides you with the security that comes with love.

Follow Ellie on Instagram: @elliealexandra

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