How to sort out life priorities?
May 8, 2011 10:27 AM   Subscribe

How do I sort out my life priorities (relationships, career, travel) without always feeling like the grass is greener?

I recently made a rash job change that moved be halfway across the country from my entire family, friends, and girlfriend. I ended up breaking up with my girlfriend because I couldn't rationalize in my head how our relationship could ever work. We had only dated 3 months, but she was my longest relationship and it was going great. I had always been really picky about who I dated, mainly because I really had no interest in having a relationship.

So I'm 24 with basically only that relationship in my dating history and now I'm in a job that, frankly, I don't like that requires me to move around frequently for the next couple years, meaning a very slim chance of establishing meaningful relationships, platonic or otherwise. I took the job for the wrong reasons, I think. I always felt like I needed to move somewhere to make something of myself, and this job offered that opportunity. I ignored my gut reaction that I wouldn't really like it, but the fact is I don't know what I want out of my job or life a lot of the time.

I've realized life is what we make of it, and I've worked to discover some things that make me happy outside of work. That really makes me feel great because it's the first time in life that I've been so proactive in finding my own happiness. Basically, my question is though, how do I calm down to feel like life isn't passing me by? Now that I have this job with travel opportunities, I want to move back closer to home and find something more permanent so that I can settle and work on establishing more meaningful relationships. Where before the establishing relationships wasn't an active goal of mine.

I feel like if I continue on this job path of moving around, I'll end up being in my late 20s never having had a long term relationship or knowing how to work at a relationship. That seems like potentially bad news to me. I was hoping some members might have some experiences to calm me down or help clarify things for me.
posted by Amistad to Human Relations (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
meaning a very slim chance of establishing meaningful relationships
Change your attitude. Just because you are moving in a few years from now is no excuse to hide behind and not make real connections. A meaningful relationship will still be meaningful if both parties no longer live near each other.
posted by Neekee at 11:14 AM on May 8, 2011

All relationships are temporary (we all die someday). If you spend your time worrying about when they're going to end, you never get the opportunity to enjoy them. This also applies to travelling too.

You've gotta stop thinking about what you are missing and start enjoying where you are. Go enjoy a sunset, or an awkward with a new friend. Those things are meaningful if you allow them to be.
posted by dflemingecon at 11:42 AM on May 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

an awkward moment, is what that was supposed to say.
posted by dflemingecon at 11:42 AM on May 8, 2011

Be careful of conflating "having a lot of dating history" with necessarily "being good at relationships." The point isn't really to rack this stuff up. There is no magical number of relationships or cumulative hours of girlfriend-having time that make you either an adult or someone who's good to be with.

Perhaps as someone who was ambitious enough to get this job where you get all these eye-opening travel opportunities, you maybe tend to see think of life as collecting and possessing experiences that you can look back on satisfactorily, all piled up in neat stacks of "relationships" and "jobs" and "places you've been." Let go of that. No one is counting. The stacks don't matter to anyone except you, and you are only going to consistently find them smaller than you would like.

Experiences aren't things you hoard; they are what happen to you when you open up enough to let seemingly insignificant interactions change you. If you go forth determined that your being in motion these next few years precludes you from having any meaningful relationships, well, then you certainly won't have any.

If you decide that what you are on is the adventure of a lifetime and you are going to live it up, enjoy going out in the world, and seeing new things and encountering new faces, that sounds like a great way to be 24 with no regrets.
posted by sestaaak at 4:51 PM on May 8, 2011 [9 favorites]

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