Me to We

When is it acceptable to incorporate your significant other for your future plans?

Long story short, I need to make a decision for my military career (either go active duty [stationed away] or national guard [stationed home]).

I’ve always wanted to go active duty infantry, but ever since she’s arrived in my life, I’m completely head over heels for her. She’s truly the best thing to ever happen, but that does that mean I should abandon my dreams?
We’ve talked about it, which led to a lot of tears. If I choose active, she can’t follow (which is understandable, considering she’s a highly motivated overachiever, working towards finishing her chemical engineering degree).
Where is the point to where you think solely of ‘what’s best for me’ to ‘what’s best for us?’

(Background: Both 21. Graduate next year. Dating for 7 months. Best friends since freshman year of high school. Literally perfect.)

The point at which you think about what’s best for you is when you go it alone. If you’ve got a partner you both share in the decisions. But I mean this really depends on how serious the two of you are. And how serious you want to be. Because if she drops you 3 months after you’ve abandoned your whole future in favor of her you’re in a bit of a place.

Just like if you choose your career and lose your love life in the process. Hey. It’s a good time of year to watch A Christmas Carol right?

I don’t know. But there are really 2 things you have to watch in this. One. If you give up a big part of your dreams for her. Do it as a pure gift. Not as something that gets brought up every year.

And 2, if you do this for her what’s your plan B? I mean where would your career end up without this opportunity?

If you can see yourself marrying her in the not too distant future, then I think it’s perfectly reasonable to incorporate her into your plans or at least discuss all the options. I don’t know much about the infantry but I would want to explore the fol;lowing:

  1. What are you options for active duty? Where is “away”? Are there multiple “away” locations and do you have any choice in the matter where you end up? How long is active duty?

  2. What are her options for her field? Are there universities near your potential stationed away location that she could transfer to? If she’s graduating next year, does that give her some flexibility as well?

  3. Would you consider a temporary long-distance relationship? And are there any options for switching between active duty and national guard if you find that the one you choose isn’t compatible with your relationship?

On the one hand, you are thinking “we” by choosing to discuss options with her. You both have strong career desires right now though, so in that regard you’re each thinking in “me” terms to some degree. So maybe you each need to follow those individual goals, because if you went ahead and married sooner it sounds as if you’d each feel you missed out on something and that could cause resentment between you. If you love each other enough, a long engagement may be worth it so that there is no conflict regarding careers.

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