When You Date Someone, You Date Their Profession, Too

By Dr. Seth Meyers | eHarmony.com

Let’s admit it: Some professionals have a prestigious or exciting reputation. If you start dating someone who has one of the following professions, it’s hard to deny that these jobs sound prestigious: lawyer, doctor, banker, business owner, or high-level manager, among others. Similarly, your new date may have a profession that sounds exciting: pilot, fireman, law enforcement, or even a chef, among others. At the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy to be swayed by flashy titles and to avoid imagining how such characteristics will strike you a year down the road. The rule to remember is this: When you date someone, you also date their profession.

A female client of mine in her 30s started dating a police captain who had all the trappings of success. Not only did he have money and a powerful position, but he was also full of personality and passion, and he had the good looks and physique that attracted attention wherever he went. My client was attracted to him from the moment she met him. As her therapist, however, I was wary of his profession from the start. I told her to think long and hard about whether she could handle a relationship with someone who worked 18-hour days when there was a crisis, and whether she would be comfortable with dinners regularly being interrupted by work calls. My client dated her (exciting) police captain for several months until she got tired of the inevitable: he didn’t return phone calls until much later because he was dealing with an emergency; she wouldn’t see him for days at a time because he had to work overtime; and she couldn’t plan trips or make social plans because a crisis would always emerge at the last minute.

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