Can You Pick Your Career and Your Family?

When you were a little kid how many times did friends, family members  and teachers ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Since you were a little kid life was about picking your career. If someone asked you, “What type of husband/wife do you want when you grow up?”, well then I’m incredibly surprised.

In my last post on love, inspired by The Defining Decade, I spoke about the problem of how society views marriage. Society doesn’t worry about marriage until the age thirty deadline hits and then it suddenly feels like you’re behind. We should be striving for our dream marriage as we are for our dream job. Especially if the family you grew up with was not the perfect family you wanted or had internal struggles, your marriage can be a second chance at family.

We talked about customizing your life, not settling. This should apply in your love life as well. Think of the type of family you want. Think of the life you want to have for yourself and your family. Do you want a big family who is involved with extended family? Or do you want a quite little family? Find out what characteristics you want in a husband or wife. Find someone who can help you be a better you. Then there’s your future children, what type of life do you want them to have? What type of environment do you want them to grow up in?

Someone once told me to find a man with the same values as me and everything else will work from there. I think it makes sense because we should have the same basic wants then. A couple with the same values can work together and support each other. We should naturally have a relatively similar picture of what we want our futures to be.

In The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay suggests couples have “the define-the-relationship talk.” This talk will help see where you current relationship is going and see what that person’s view of the future is. If they have a view that’s completely opposite from you, maybe it is not the best relationship to be in.

This is why it is important to be smart in your twenties when it comes to matters of love. I don’t think I’ve explained what the age thirty deadline is yet… To me, it’s the unofficial expectation of society that you should be married by thirty. If you’re in a relationship now that isn’t going to end up towards marriage you’re cutting your time short. I’m not trying to pressure you into settling down right this second, I’m saying use this time wisely. Dating around can be fun, but be careful because time flies. Before you know it you can be 27 and only have a few years to date wisely and hope for the best.

“Twentysomethings who aren’t at least a little scared about their relationships are often the ones who are being the least thoughtful.”The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay (p. 87)

I think we should start getting serious about dating. Men and women should have standards. We shouldn’t date people just because they’re fun or really good looking, we should have some credentials  Let your dating experience show you what you like and don’t like, then stick only with the likes when you choose the next person to date. Let your relationships have some substance. When you have this picture and these standards, then you will be on your way to picking your family.

In my next post on love I will talk about dating down to speak a little bit further about sticking with your likes and giving your relationships some substance.


4 thoughts on “Can You Pick Your Career and Your Family?

  1. Great post! Society has really rigorous rules that are hard to stick to, especially for women. We’re supposed to explore our options and focus on our careers in our 20s and then start a family in our 30s… while still focusing on our careers. I don’t think men have as much pressure because biologically, they can start a family much later in life than women can. And although society is shifting slightly, women are still expected to put their careers on hold to raise that family more so than men.

    I think you bring up a really good point from Jay’s book. If you want to start a family in your 30s, you need to find a partner who envisions the same lifestyle as you and start building that relationship now. But it’s also good to remember that the whole “marriage + family” lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and that it’s OK to start a family a little later in life. I think the more general point that you and Jay bring up is that it’s important have a sense of what you want as far as a family and a life partner and to start working toward that lifestyle in your 20s.

    • I think you nailed it. I hope that people can take my posts in a variety of ways that applies to them, but you’re right the general overall purpose of twenties is to find what you want you future to be in a career and personal life and make it happen!

  2. Pingback: Dating Down | Ask The Young Professional

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