Who doesn’t want love? Who wouldn’t want back rubs, a shoulder to cry on and dinner dates? The perks of having a significant other speak for itself.
Between the shear joy of having someone who genuinely cares about you to feeling like there is at least one person in the cruel world you can trust, no one ever has ever had to dress up the idea of being solely with one person to me. I’m sold.
But there is always one small, little, itsy bitsy problem that always tends to stand in the way: ambition
Ambition is tough to define because it varies from one individual to the next. While you never want to say that someone lacks drive, you can most certainly determine their level of commitment and the kind of priority they place on ambition.
For some, a college degree was the summit. Others have aspirations to stay at home, or to be a mom, or always wanted to raise a family in the town they grew up in.
Furthermore, some find it easy to balance their ambitions with other aspects of their lives, while in other instances, a full-on investment in seeing their dreams come forth is their objective.
We all place value in different interests and have different definitions of success as it pertains to our lives.
So can you balance both the pursuit of a dream and a relationship? Is ambition the killer of monogamy?
Well, let’s look at some hurdles that come with the balance of the two, how to deal with them, then maybe you can decide for yourself.
Unlike the retail gig you call off from after a long night of drinking, you cannot half-ass the emotions of a woman who has deemed you worthy of her time, insecurities, and goodies. At least if you’re taking a relationship seriously.
Relationships are fragile — they’re like newborns, they must be nurtured. Attention, listening, communication, and time are non-negotiable when you’re in a relationship.
And it’s not as if these are all obligations that you have to pull teeth to give, especially if you care about who you are with, they’re just not realistic when you’ve decided that your time is best spent making your dreams come true — and this is the hardest realization to come to terms with.
Relationships that thrive are the ones where partners live life together, not live life through each other.
Instead of a relationship that revolves around the 5 hours spent after long hours of work cooped up in an apartment or the intimacy is solely physical, you want a partnership that involves activities such as going out to the movies, going on vacation together, or tackling Netflix shows together — and these things take time.
There is a popular myth in the startup culture that says if you want to be successful, you have to grind for a minimum of 80 hours a week. While this has since been disproved , the 80 hour workweek mentality is strongly encouraged by any motivational speaker or entrepreneur who has achieved success.
The life of a workaholic simply does not permit proper commitment that a healthy relationship requires. When you associate happiness to success, the journey becomes a controlling majority of your life.
It’s what’s kept me from giving my all in past relationships, and has been the downfall of my relationships to date. It’s a decision only you can make; it’s a judgement call that must be thought out long before getting involved with someone.
Besides an indescribable sense of accomplishment, one of the strongest motivating factors for following your dreams and chasing your ambitions is the money of a real career.
There are financially stable individuals without having gotten to where they desire, but usually the person placing high priority on seeing their ambitions through aren’t exactly the most financially secure people in the world.
Settling into a relationship can be tough when meeting basic fundamental requirements for survival comes as a test.
At that point not only is a significant other not second behind your ambition, but it’s third, maybe even fourth, right behind, bill one, bill two, and bill three. And don’t be misled, money is a major factor in relationships, regardless of what the young couple in puppy love without a major financial responsibility says.
Money not only dictates what you do, but what your limits are. How many times can you stomach telling your girl no before feeling incompetent?
Even if your significant other understands your passions, it’s natural to not feel comfortable entering relationship until you are able to monetize these passions.
While time and money are both valid roadblocks to any monogamous relationship, equally as valid points can be made to as to why they aren’t roadblocks.
You have time for what you make time for and money does not define who you are as an individual.
These are both strong arguments, and again, money and time may not be what defines your self-worth.
You cannot fully and truly be with someone unless you are truly and fully happy with yourself, and if significant value and self-worth is placed on the fulfillment of a goal, both parties will never be content until it is seen through.
Insecurities are horrible for relationships. They create a vicious cycle where one does not love themselves enough so the other tries to overcompensate, all the while not getting love in return.
The question of whether ambition is the killer of monogamy lies in three variables: how you define success, how close you are to achieving it, and how closely that relates to your self worth.
If having a partner is as important as making it to the NBA, maybe you can do both.
If you feel like you can balance giving a woman the attention she deserves, while working three jobs to pay for your film’s submission into next year’s festival, by all means, go ahead. But YOU are the only person who can make this call.