By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
This is a question and topic I've seen people ask, use as an excuse for their distance or frustration, or because they truly believe that there's only one way to achieve your goals. They say that the best way to avoid being distracted from your true path is to focus on that, and that alone. Well, I'm here to tell you - that is wrong.
Now, that may seem like a bold statement but consider this: You have goals and you have things you want to accomplish in life. You see your dream in the distance. Whether you're an artist, a musician, what have you, people tend to believe that there should be a "no girlfriend" clause to boys in bands, or that having a healthy relationship will effect a general artflow - but that too, is also false.
Yes, people can be distracted by their significant other, but here's the thing: If you can be distracted by your significant other, or your partner does not support your dreams, then that's a big wrench in the relationship glue that honestly may be the nail in the coffin, so to speak. And yes, sometimes people will use this as an excuse to avoid a relationship, to break up with someone, and more, but I have a couple indicators that might be of use to you to understand that you truly can have both.
You are PARTNERS, not gender+friend+gender+friend.
People tend to chase relationships as if they are constantly in need of a body to stand next to them, but don't exactly see themselves being with the person for the long haul. And that's not to bash anyone who doesn't want to get married because you totally don't have to - but you need to realize that one of the major keys to a successful relationship is to find someone that will be on your team, be your support, and stick with you. They will applaud your triumphs, but they will hold you when you're broken. You talk things out, versus argue, and at the end of the day, they are the one person you can trust.
They don't get jealous of your dream.
Boy, oh boy, have I heard countless musicians say that their girlfriends don't support them or get frustrated when they spend "too much time" on their music and not enough time with them. Your significant other should understand that you are trying to make a dent in a very hard world to make it, whether you're making music, making art, or just trying to become successful in your job field. Yes, sometimes that means time away. Yes, that sometimes means working when there's a holiday. But if your partner is playing on your team, they will already understand that this needs to be done.
That does not, however, excuse people that ARE doing things like touring in a band to act shady, cheat on their significant others, etc. If your person can't trust you - then there's bigger fish to fry.
Have your own dream.
There is nothing worse than watching a creative person wind up with someone who's as-bland-of-a-spice-as-flour. If two people are in a relationship and one person has aspirations for themselves, while the other doesn't, that makes all the more difficult in a relationship. I'm not saying one of you has to be a model while the other is a photographer, but if your partner is genuinely unhappy with their situation in life, while you're trying to build your empire, that is going to make the situation a lot harder, and will find little loopholes for your partner to have resentment. You can aspire to be something crazy awesome like a rapper, or a fashion photographer, or a director, but there's nothing wrong to aspire to be good at your day job, to be the best parent you can be to your child, or to be genuinely happy with the day to day grind. You just have to KNOW what you want.
Stop listening to what other people are telling you to do / not do.
Considering I'm telling you what to do right now, that may seem a little counter-productive, so ASIDE FROM ME, don't let someone tell you "You shouldn't have a boyfriend/girlfriend." Now, I have, in the past, told my clients this when they are starting out, only because I know that they have had issues in the past separating their desires from their partners, and that would be the ONLY time I would say having a significant other is a bad thing when you're chasing a dream, but the reason being is that you have to have a strong enough mind to balance both. If you are able to know in your heart that you can handle both a career and a supportive, KEYWORD: SUPPORTIVE partner, then by all means do it.
Words of wisdom, based on my life.
I had a lot of unsupported situations in my life, up until 2017. I nixed a lot of friendships and relationships in my life, including family members because I was being put in toxic situations. I never thought I'd have someone have my back until my guy came along. Now, I'm not going to mush on how awesome my boyfriend is - but I will say this much: I know at the end of the day, he's got my back. He asks where I am occasionally because he wants to make sure I'm okay, not because he wants me home. We help each other out with our respective goals and dreams, even if we have reservations against certain situations, and we very much avoid the "I told you so" mentality. I know that if I need his help, he's there, and vice versa - and it's always been clearly discussed where we stand. If anything, we OVER discuss things to make sure we're on the same page. I have my writing and photography while managing others' careers, and having a 40-hour day job, and he has his jobs, his band, his radio show, and a podcast he manages, on top of all the video games he plays due to his radio show. And sometimes we're passing ships in the night, but we've made it work this long. It can be done - but the key part is I found the right person. And I looked for those things in him for so long.
I urge any of you that feel like you're in an unsupportive or unhappy atmosphere, where your partner is keeping you from chasing your dreams, or you feel lost about where your direction is, to sit down and try to find it, and find whether you're in the right position to obtain the goals you're trying to tackle. In the end, you'll thank me.
SEE: Steven Bartlett's Video "Can You Have A Relationship And Chase Your Dreams"
Bartlett touches on some of the same points I have, and adds his perspective as well - and it's what inspired me to write this post in the first place. Check it out below: