Job vs. guy

Dear Meredith,

I've been in a serious relationship for almost a year. Serious meaning he's "the one." It's not even been a year, but in that time we've spent every day together. I moved in with him after five months. He treats me better than anyone has. He's supportive, kind, and funny.

The problem? We met in grad school, and now we're searching for jobs. The "plan" was to find jobs in the same area, and luckily in our field, that's quite possible. We decided that whoever got their job first would take it, and that the other person would move with them and find a job nearby. The problem is, I've always been independent. I keep asking myself, "What if a really great job comes up that's not where he is, but it's the job I've been thinking about for years?" He said he'll follow. I would want him to.

But I don't know what to put first, the job or the guy. I love him, but I don't want to sacrifice my own career (I have a fear of my education going to waste). If it helps, I'm 24 and he's 26. We want to be together but are in no rush to tie the knot. I've done distance before and it's not really an option. So what should a girl with a master's go with -- the job or the guy? Please, tell me something.

– For Love Or Money?, Boston


Stop making this a job vs. guy thing, FLOM. There is no "vs." here. It's about balancing the personal and the professional. It's about being good to yourself and the people around you.

You want to stay in this relationship? Then you have to make decisions about your career with your boyfriend in mind. Moving to a random city or rejecting a job for a significant other doesn't make you a sellout or someone who's wasting her degree. It just makes you someone who has personal and professional priorities.

You pursued a career that doesn't restrict you to one place. You have a boyfriend who loves compromise. Take advantage and find the right mix of work and play. Answer questions as they come based on what's best for you and everyone else in your world. For now, stick to the plan.

Readers? At 24, should she be planning her life with this guy? Is this a job vs. guy issue? Does her letter suggest that she isn't as committed as she says she is? Should she make decisions with him in mind? Help.

– Meredith