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On Hiatus Because of Lifestyle Differences?

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I have initiated a break with my girlfriend of three months mainly due to our lifestyle differences. I need some perspective on my feelings to try and find out if these issues should be considered a deal-breaker or not.

Her Lifestyle

She is 28 years old, successful pharmaceutical sales rep, makes really good money, and owns a house. Her job requires her to be extremely social and attend a lot of swanky social functions. She is always on the move and anytime we establish some kind of normal relationship routine at home, she is off to a week long seminar in Florida where her days consist of meetings and her nights take place on a beach taking tequila shots with her coworkers and jumping into pools with her dress still on (I guess that's better than going totally nude!). That leaves me with nightly drunk calls from her where she explains the night's shenanigans and how fun it all is (and evidently leaving any concern for how my week has been at the back door).


When she is not on a business trip, she is usually really busy with doing paper work at home. She drinks wine on a frequent basis to calm her nerves and has to take sleeping pills to fall asleep. We both have a great time when we are together, however, and we do have many similar personality traits outside of her professional career and lifestyle.


My Lifestyle

I am 25 with a decent paying (low compared to what she makes), 40 hour a week job that requires very little of my time outside of the office. I live in 2-bedroom, 2-bath loft with a roommate who has been a good friend of mine since high-school. I enjoy the simple things in life and I am considered heavily introverted. I am very content with what I have at any given time and I am not driven by the accumalation of wealth and material possessions. I like the simplicity of my life right now and all the freetime it allows me to pursue my passions (i.e. reading, learning, seeking new music, watching movies). I would also love the freetime this lifestyle would allow me to spend with a wife and family when that time comes around. I follow a lifestyle schedule that rarely alters from week to week and I generally sleep really well at night and hardly ever drink.

The Conflict (if you didn't already deduce from the facts above)

It's the typical quiet artistic type with the typical busy successful career-oriented type. In this case, both are smart and successful in their own respective ways, but the lifestyle that the two lead don't seem to mesh well. Wait, let me rephrase that: the lifestyle that she leads does not mesh well with me while the lifestyle that I lead is great for her. She has mentioned to me that I am her "constant" in her busy life and I can only assume that I give her a decent amount of emotionaly security.


I can live with this conflict now, but we have both mentioned marriage and kids in the future as something we both want and I find picturing this type of commitment to her harder and harder as time goes on. The relationship has started to feel like a road with a dead end in the not-so-distant-future. It simply sprung from the question I asked myself recently: "can I really see myself starting a family with this girl and being happy?" You see, despite how well we get along when we do have our time together, I can't say "yes" to that question because of her lifestyle.


I'm trying to be realistic and avoid wasting both of our time in a relationship that does not have a future. She has made it clear (and understandably so) that she wants to continue working in her field and moving up the ladder despite the increase costs on her time. This is a respectable decision and I can only wish her the best, but I'm not sure if that is what I want in my life.


Am I making a bad decision? I really miss her and I am hurting really bad emotionally, but I'm currently standing fast in my decision based on the above facts. Any advice?

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You sound lke a really smart guy.


Firstly I wanted to ask - you said you miss her. What do you miss about her -HER- exactly.


I can see she's a fun person, smart, outgoing, what's not to like, but as you said, you two sound completely opposite - directionally - and you've only been dating a short time.


I would personally cut my losses as you are considering doing.


This obviously has nothing to do with what kind of person she is or isn't, it has more to do with just a not so perfect fit. It happens. Maybe there's someone out there who is a just a better fit. Hopefully for both of you....

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Thank you both for the input. It really helps.


I'm really glad you asked why I missed her. I think I miss the normal relationship benefits (cuddling up watching a movie, going out to eat, kissing, etc.) more than I do HER. Of course, she is very attractive and she has some cute idiosyncrasies that I "fell in love with." Alas, I guess every relationship has good qualities about it as it wouldn't have gotten past the first date, otherwise. Good question (and a helpful one).

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I have been on both sides of this one my friend. It is truly a tough position for you. I can empathize from both perspectives. I lived for work for about 8 years. Anytime someone would come into my life, I would enjoy it. If it got to close and they wanted more, I had to explain to them that "don't you realize how important I am and I am saving the world!!!!'.


The reality is that some people get very wrapped up in career. I did it for so, so many years. I have posted out here about my breakup with my fiance last year. It's very ironic. She was the one that really taught me that there was so much more to life than a career. About 4 months before we were to be married, I started watching her career take center stage in her life. Relationships are about balance.


You are with someone that does not want that balance right now. It really comes down to accepting who you are dating for what they are, or moving forward. There is no telling how long, or if ever her career will not be the most important thing in her life. If you are looking for balance, you should move on before you invest too much more. She will realize there is more to life at some point. The question is when...


She might be the right person for you, but maybe just not right now. If you convince her to switch jobs or change her life, she may resent you for it. She has to come to that conclusion on her own.


I am with you though. I have a great career, but it does not run my life any longer...

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You are making a very wise decision, esp at the 3 month mark. It is better to break off now than invest so much in a relationship you feel has no future.


I know your situation because I am going through the exact same thing. I broke up with my bf over the weekend. It was an off/on 2 year relationship. We really loved each other but the different lifestyles were taking a toll on me. He is pursuing a PhD while juggling a parttime job, he's much younger and poor whereas I have a stable job, financially secure, want a longterm commitment and want to travel. Since I'm older than he, I can't have any more children whereas someday in the future he may after he finishes grad school.


I was very understanding and patient of his schedule because I loved him. But the frequent cancellations, the rush for time began to take a toll. I had only so much to give and I couldn't give anymore. He is not in the same phase to where he could make a commitment.


I had to call it off. It was sad. I won't feel it until the weekends but I knew I just couldn't give anymore.

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