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Would you sacrifice your future for your significant other (gf/bf/wife/husband)? Would you drop everything you worked so hard for (acceptance letters, fellowships, scholarships) to your number one school and knowing that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to school in the future.

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Is this question purely hypothetical?  I suppose my answer is "I'm not sure".  It would largely depend on the surrounding context.

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To clarify: I would not want to be in a relationship with someone who thinks it is acceptable for me to sacrifice everything to be with them, and I wouldn't enjoy my life if that happened, even if it's the most amazing SO to ever walk on the face of the earth. I don't think my relationship could survive it. There is a difference between compromising (acceptable and necessary in a relationship, goes both ways) and giving up everything for someone (straight up unacceptable). 

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It depends in how extreme you mean... I'll be moving for my phd with my fiancé (will be husband then). If I get into my top choice but he gets an awesome job opportunity near my second or third choice then yes, I would give up the top choice so that we can both be happy. I wouldn't give up my dream of a phd completely though.

There is a difference between giving everything up for your SO and compromising so that we can both live our dreams. I'll willing to do the latter.

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I wouldn't completely give up my career or anything.  But I would be very willing to make some sacrifices if the relationship was serious. 

 

I wanted a PhD, but my SO (5 yr relationship) was already settled in an area, and would be for many years.  So I limited my school applications to within ~ an hour's drive.  I didn't apply to all the *best* programs etc, which I considered a minor sacrifice.  And, if I didn't get in last year, I would have just continued working in biotech for the year and maybe applied next cycle.  Honestly I think I could have had a fine career either staying in biotech and moving up the career track with a BS, so I would have been fine making that small sacrifice (ie, not applying all over the country if I never got accepted locally). 

 

I would never have applied anywhere that would require a long distance relationship.  I'd rather have a less than ideal career than give up my relationship.  (I'm loving my PhD experience, but would have had a good-enough time just working with a bachelors).  I'm set with my SO and have no interest in giving it up for career.  Maybe it's an age thing.  I'll probably graduate when I'm 31.

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No.  BTDT.

 

I told the BF that there may be times that I would be away and that I was applying for grants that could take me away for up to a year.  I also said that I wanted to be in a big city and that in 2 years my job was going to take me elsewhere for sure.  I said this within the first month of us getting together before we got too serious.  He wanted me to know about his kids and his custody sitch and I wanted him to know what life was going to look like for me.

 

I tried to compromise in the past and it did not work.  In this arrangement, I will be the breadwinner most likely but I'm okay with that.  He is, too.  It's the only way this works.

 

Everyone is different.  The inevitability is one person will need to compromise more on this issue.  I can compromise in other areas but this was not one of them.  I made that clear and would have done the same for ANY person I dated.

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No.  The opportunity is not going to be possible again; the relationship might be.  Who knows where you two will be after?  A year ago I ended up talking to the first girl I ever dated; I hadn't seen her in a decade.  We struck up a brief fling that didn't last but the point is that it's a connected world now.  If you two are so statistically compatable that you can find no other person that matches during this time, you'll find each other again.

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Yes and no. My husband is obviously extremely important to me and the way I see it, my future is not complete without him in it. Therefore, I would not take any action that would jeopardize our relationship. That being said, I fully expect the same from him. If we both approach the relationship this way, I see no reason why we can't both achieve what we want, by making the appropriate compromises (and sacrifices). Ultimately, it comes down to us both thinking of it in terms of our future. We have the same goals. 

 

For us that has meant being in a long distance relationship for the past year, as he began his MA and I finished my UG. I then applied to schools that would allow us to live together. Yes, that limited my choices. Luckily, there was a school with an amazing fit within that area. 

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I'm with fuzzy on this one. I wouldn't do it. I broke up with someone to move across the country to do my PhD. I don't regret it. If we were meant to be together, we would be. My current SO is someone I dated years ago and have gotten back together with more recently. KindaHardWorker is right in that if you're meant to be together, it will work itself out.

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Would you sacrifice your future for your significant other (gf/bf/wife/husband)? Would you drop everything you worked so hard for (acceptance letters, fellowships, scholarships) to your number one school and knowing that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to school in the future.

 

 

No. Your degree will never leave you -- I say this knowing how hard my mother struggled after putting my father's career first all of my childhood and then having no degree or recent work experience when they divorced after 17 years (when I was 15). Marriages can break up, people can separate, etc. But once a degree is earned, you'll almost never have it taken from you. That's substantially more guaranteed and more permanent. Not only that if you think this is a once in a lifetime chance, it is -- you shouldn't deny yourself the ability to: leave, support yourself, or be happy/do what you love outside an SO. 

 

If your relationship is meant to be, you'll work it out. If not, you have something much more likely to stick with you. 

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Only if I could hold it over her for the rest of our lives.

SO: Honey, could you take out the trash?

ME: I gave up my dreams for you!

It would never work. She'd renege on the deal within a month.

Edited by spellbanisher

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Would you sacrifice your future for your significant other (gf/bf/wife/husband)? Would you drop everything you worked so hard for (acceptance letters, fellowships, scholarships) to your number one school and knowing that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to school in the future.

No...unless he was a rich man with a terminal illness and no children! :) JK!!

Seriously: No.

Edited by personalityresearcher

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I might- but then I also have a back up career, if I absolutely need to leave my field and I might one day. Right now we can move wherever I find a job since DH works from home. But if his company decides they only want onsite people we have to go where he finds a job because he makes 2-3x/year more than I could. I love my field and I know it's what I'm supposed to do, but also DH would never make me drop it completely (work as a volunteer until someone takes pity, sure but that's what I'm doing now.) I jokingly suggested if I can't get a job in my field in a little while I go to my back up (which does not require any degree necessarily), he didn't find it funny.

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Would you sacrifice your future for your significant other (gf/bf/wife/husband)? Would you drop everything you worked so hard for (acceptance letters, fellowships, scholarships) to your number one school and knowing that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to school in the future.

 

No.  And no.  

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Hell no. I'm single and not ready to mingle. The reason why is that I've been there and done that and I know exactly what it's like to drop everything that I am for someone I "love". It ended up hurting her and destroying myself and I'm still picking up the pieces from that disaster. Don't drop everything, since a large part of that holds the relationship up.

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I have moved for my career/education five times in the last eight years, three of those times overseas, and each time I've had to break up with a partner to make that move. I have never regretted these decisions. I am not yet at an age where stability/having children matters to me, and my possibility of a bright professional future is still the most important thing. When I enter into a relationship with a new partner, I'm very clear with them about what comes first, and if they have a problem with that, then the relationship wasn't meant to be.

 

Learning to let go of someone (even if you love them) when you know it's the right decision is something that everyone should learn how to do at some point in their lives. If I sacrificed my dreams in any way to make someone else happy, I know that I'd regret it for the rest of my life, and I'm sure it wouldn't be long before my partner began to feel guilty about asking me to give up something so important to me for him. Over time I'm sure that I'd grow to resent him for having asked it of me and it would probably poison our relationship. 

 

Of course, I'm not saying that there can't be compromise if both parties are amenable. My mother became a stay-at-home mom when I was born, but when I was fifteen and my father sold his business, my mother told him that she wanted to open her own restaurant, and he supported her all the way. I'm sure that someday I'll reach an age/point in my relationship where I'm willing to compromise on some things, especially if I'm already married with children. However, that time hasn't come yet, and I still have big dreams that I want to achieve before I even think of settling down with someone. 

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Would you sacrifice your future for your significant other (gf/bf/wife/husband)? Would you drop everything you worked so hard for (acceptance letters, fellowships, scholarships) to your number one school and knowing that this is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is a very high chance that you won't be able to come back to school in the future.

 

 

It depends on exactly what you mean by "very high chance".

 

I put my plans to go back to school on hold for 5 years because my husband had an incredible opportunity that we decided together we couldn't turn down (and I had a great experience out of it as well - we were living in Europe for four years, which was well worth the delay in my schooling).

 

I knew that delaying my education by five years could be significant.  As a non-traditional student already, I knew my chances were smaller than someone who went straight through along a traditional path.  However, my husband and I discussed things together, and we made the choices that were best for us, as a couple.

 

When I made plans to return to university when I was in a position to do so, I ended up going in a completely different direction than I had been planning earlier.  It actually ended up working out better for me, I think.  Although the university I'll be attending for graduate studies in the Fall was never on my radar before our international experience, it had become my top choice for program and discipline over the past several years.

 

You never know what life is going to bring.  My husband and I made all our decisions together as a couple, always respecting each other and deciding what was best for us.

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I would and did compromise my school choices for my partner. I wouldn't give up on going altogether. I've done what I can/am willing do in my chosen career path without at least an MPH, and I'm not interested in spending my career meandering down the slow track to being top research coordinator.

 

When I first knew it was time to leave my job, I looked at everything. I considered leaving the country for my degree, and looked into fellowships where I'd move for just a year. Ultimately I promised my partner we wouldn't leave the Midwest unless it was for something really special, and that the goal would be to come back to the Chicago area. My partner has a portable job, so his continuing to work remotely for his employer or finding a new job wherever we moved were options. It's obviously better for my partner's career to keep working on site for the employer that likes him enough to keep him if we'd moved-- otherwise my first and second choice would have been flipped. He's my family, so that's what's best for me too. His goals are no less important than mine for involving a less specific path.

 

Sometimes I wonder what I would have done if my partner just couldn't or wouldn't support me in this, but it's kind of a nonsense question because that's not what he's like.

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I think the key is that you make decisions together.  He's fine with moving with me as long as we are on the same page about summer custody and having his kids that time of the year (which, obviously requires more of a time commitment on me in the summer).  Custody is tricky enough with a 3+ hour commute to see them currently, so summer custody should change things for the better, but his decision was that we do that if we were potentially going to move to a far away place.  The other thing we've prioritized is looking at schools near where his kids are first.  If a job becomes available closer and offers me a job, it takes precedence over another offer as long as it is workable.

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No, a thousand times no. I have already been in this situation and I got a divorce because of it (admittedly it was a stupid decision of mine to marry him in the first place). A relationship is not healthy and not worth keeping if you are expected to give up your dream, no exceptions. I am at a place now where I do not even want to compromise on my dreams which is why I have chosen not to get involved in serious relationships. I think it's just a matter of being self-aware and knowing what your priorities are and what matters to you. For me, it is research and my career. If a relationship comes along, fine, but it's not something that I am actively pursuing.

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