You Asked: Are We Too Different to Make It Work?


Dear Sugar,

I've been dating this guy that I really like for a few months now and we've fallen quickly in love. I'm 26, he's 31 and this is the first serious relationship for both of us. We have a pretty good relationship for the most part, but when we touch upon sensitive subjects, things can turn a little sour. He loves luxuries (Italian designer clothing, nice restaurants, etc) but I prefer more simple things because I'd like to save money for the future. I want to get a master's degree within the next couple of years and he's stuck in a low paying job and doesn't seem to be doing much about it. I make more than him. He says he wants to find something better, but when I presented him with an opportunity that I heard about, he was more concerned about the transportation to that job than the wonderful opportunity. The job is only 35 minutes away by car and it pays a lot more than what he makes now.

When I was starting out in the working world, I did everything I could to find a good job, even if it meant I had to drive 40 minutes to work. My family did the same. He says he wants something better but that he isn't sure about what he wants to do in the future. I feel like we are on two different levels in our life and I'm starting to wonder if our relationship can work. I've talked to my parents about this and they feel like we are just too different, that we have different morals and that it could never work. I know he loves me and I want to be with him too, but now I'm confused. What do you think? — Mismatched Malorie

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Dear Mismatched Malorie,

You've heard of opposites attracting, and while I feel that saying holds true in some cases, I happen to believe it's the similar traits that really make for a long lasting partnership. Money and work ethic are huge subjects that must be discussed before entering into a long term relationship. Since you have such different views on life goals now, and since you're already becoming so irritated by his lack of drive to better his occupation, keep in mind that it could only get worse later down the road. I'm pretty sure you don't want to be a harping, nagging girlfriend and unfortunately, it's not very likely that you'll be able to change him.

One thing to keep in mind is how you react to each other when you do touch upon those sensitive subjects. It's important to have your own beliefs while respecting each others. I would keep getting to know each other better and follow your own feelings about this, not your parents. If you have to really question whether or not you're too different to make it work, chances are the answer is yes, but before you give up, make sure you have all the evidence you need to make the right decision. Good luck.

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