Does Career Matter, or Are Singles Too Picky?

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, Single by Debra Fileta

This weekend I was out in Houston, TX doing a True Love Dates event at Woodlands Church. A big shout out to all the awesome single men and women I met this weekend!! God is up to great things in Texas!

During the Q&A time, a question came up that I want to chat about today on the blog:

“What if you are dating someone who has a totally different career path than you?”

During the talk prior to the Q&A time, I had spent quite sometime discussing the importance of knowing your “calling” and your purpose in the process of finding your identity, because like I always say:

If you don’t know who you are and where you’re going, you won’t know what kind of person fits into your story!

With that in mind, let’s keep in mind that calling and career are not necessarily the same thing, though they can be.

When I think of someone’s career, I think of the job they are pursuing to financially support themselves.

When I think of someone’s calling, I think of the journey they are on toward loving God, loving others, as well as the role they are playing in God’s kingdom! EVERYONE HAS A CALLING.

So when it comes to calling, it’s such an important piece to a marriage to be on the same page with regard to your heart for Jesus, your love for people, and your desire to serve God and make His name known. There is nothing worse than being married to someone that you have to push (or drag) with you in your journey toward Jesus. You want someone walking beside you on that journey!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s back up to the original question: does it matter if you have different career paths? The answer to that is YES….and NO. Because the answer to that question is dependant upon your preference and needs.

Take my husband and I for example. I’m a therapist/writer. He’s a surgeon.

I fix hearts for a living using words. He fixes eyes using surgery instruments.

Talk about two TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAREERS. I mean, totally. I mean, you can’t get much different than that.

But our careers don’t define our relationship –  our love for Jesus and our love for one another DO.

This weekend, while I was on stage speaking and meeting people, my surgeon husband was manning the book table, giving out bookmarks, and snapping photographs.

This afternoon, while he was seeing patients. I was home taking care of our two kids, making mac and cheese, and reading Curious George.

Our career’s don’t define our relationship. Our love for Jesus and for each other is what defines our relationship. And it’s always been that way.

So if you ask me personally, I say career is a PREFERENCE, not a NEED when it comes to creating a compatible relationship.

But to be honest, I know some people who would disagree. I know an artist who is only willing to marry an artist. I know a nurse who was only willing to marry a doctor, or someone in the medical field. I know a musician who is only willing to marry a musician.

Mind you, all of the above are still single. But let me ask you this: is that a coincidence? Or do we live in a culture where people can’t differentiate between a PREFERENCE and a NEED in a relationship?

My theory would support the latter. 

I’m not saying that a person’s career is completely insignificant, because it’s not. There are things you need to take into consideration with regard to the lifestyle the blending of your careers will bring. But from my experience, there are only RARE occasions in which this blending of careers becomes problematic. But what I am saying is that different career paths aren’t a deal-breaker. They are a matter of preference.

It’s important to know the difference between your Majors (NEEDS) and your Minors (PREFERENCES) in a relationship (if you don’t, read up in Chapter 5 of True Love Dates). Because otherwise you may find yourself passing up on great relationships for things that don’t really matter in the long run.

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. You may also recognize her voice from her 100+ articles at Relevant Magazine or! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter


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