I chose love over money. Was I wrong?

by Kristina on January 31, 2013 · 18 comments

A lot of people don’t the story that I am about to share with you, actually I haven’t even announced it on my personal blog but lately I have been dealing with some personal issues.  As you may know I was very unhappy at my previous job working as a financial planner in a bank branch.  I didn’t hate the job, actually I love financial planning, I just hated all of the office politics and sales pressure that comes with working in a bank.

I didn’t want to work in a bank branch anymore because I wanted to be a writer.  I went back to school and worked my butt off finding freelance work so that I could build my technical knowledge along with my writing portfolio.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Like many people do, when I was searching for a new job I applied to several different positions hoping to get a call back from at least one.  I ended up getting a call back from two different companies and I interviewed for two very different (but both communications) positions.  The first position was with a well established international finance company and the second position was with the employer that I was already working for.  The first position was in the city where I live (Montreal) and the second position was in a city near my hometown (Toronto).

I have been wanting to move back to Toronto for many years but I have just never made the move because my boyfriend of 13 years doesn’t want to go. Actually he doesn’t want to go anywhere (not even New York City) he wants to stay put because he likes it here.

Why I couldn’t tell my family

To make a long story short I was offered both positions and I chose to leave my former employer to start fresh in a new position, in a new department and at a new company.  I couldn’t tell my family about my dilemma or my decision because they just wouldn’t understand.  They didn’t agree with my decision to move away from home (I am the only family member to ever leave) over a decade ago, they don’t understand why I still live here and they definitely wouldn’t understand my choice not to come back.  I guess this is why I am sharing my story here – because you will give me an unbiased opinion on the situation.

In order for me to leave my long time boyfriend and start my entire life over at 32 years old I told myself that the money would have to be worth it, but it wasn’t.  I am making a little bit more money at the job that I accepted and I didn’t have to turn my entire life upside down.  This time I chose love over money, but next time maybe I won’t.  Is that a bad decision?

I know three different people who moved away from their marriage for a new job, I always wondered if they were really in love and happy to begin with.  Maybe some people prioritize money over love so when a great career opportunity comes along they can’t turn it down. Or maybe people who leave their marriage for a new career were never really happy with their spouse and they use a new career opportunity as a way out.

What do you think – would you chose money over love if a profitable career opportunity presented itself?

Photo by epsos

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt January 31, 2013 at 6:50 am

It kinda depends on your boyfriend really and how much you love each other.
Money certainly helps a lot in life, but it doesn’t solve loneliness or other emotional issues. It doesn;t provide you with kids, and it doesn;t keep you warm at night unless you set fire to it…
Personally, I think love is worth far more than money, it’s just that the money problems often get in the way

2 William Cowie January 31, 2013 at 9:33 am

When you’re 70 years old, the job or the amount you make in the next job (or two or three) probably will have little meaning to your happiness. But who you live with will. make a huge and permanent difference. My wife and I just celebrated our 40th anniversary, which means I have about twice the miles under my belt than you. :)

You run risks both ways: the Toronto job might not work out. You might find proximity to family stifling after years of being out from under their shadow. You might find unexpected costs and expenses. In other words, no benefit is guaranteed if you make the move for career or money.

On the other hand, there are no guarantees in love, either. Your “other” may find another love or die, or you may find another love.

Like Matt says, it depends on the love situation. You have to wonder why the mister would be so adamant over remaining in Montreal. Sounds like he would choose the big M over his love for you, but that is said based on very little information.

All things being equal, though, love over money usually wins. It has for me.

3 Peaches & Whiskey January 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

My initial question to your post is – why won’t your boyfriend ever leave? It seems interesting that you believe you are choosing love, when that statement makes it seem like he wouldn’t. I could be wrong.

I don’t think you are wrong at all for picking a new job within a comfortable environment. I believe you’d be successful in either position (as evidenced by your blog success), so why can’t you have your cake and eat it too. I turned down an opportunity to leave my hometown because I was in love and the job wasn’t right. It has to work both ways. I’m extremely happy in my job and enjoy traveling to the other city from time to time!

Happiness goes much further than money.

4 Financial Samurai January 31, 2013 at 10:42 am

Always go for love! But always take care of your finances like you will never need to depend on love.

It’s worth getting your heart broken than always wondering what if.

All the best!


5 SavvyFinancialLatina January 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I agree with Financial Samurai. Loves trumps money, but make sure to always take care of your finances!

I think you made the right decision. Believe me, I always get guilt tripped because I moved away from family for my career.

6 Gen X Finance February 1, 2013 at 3:33 am

I think I agree with Matt. Relationships are worth than anything. Love is heavier than all the wealth in the world. Think it through. ;)

7 James February 1, 2013 at 7:04 am

Has your boyfriend agreed to marry you yet?

8 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter February 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

I’d choose love too. I would hope that if you found a job that you really loved elsewhere though, that your boyfriend would insist on you taking it and come with you. :-) But you seem happy, which is all that matters, right?

9 Kristina February 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I know I made the right decision, but I still wish I was living in Toronto and not Montreal.

@James – No ring, no engagement, no wedding…yet.

@Crystal – No he would not move with me if I did go, we would have to go our separate ways.

10 Elizabeth @ Simple Finance February 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

In a word, no – I’d never choose money over love. Then again, I’ve been with my husband for more than a decade, and we have two young kids. To choose money first at this point would be irresponsible.

11 Emily @ evolvingPF February 2, 2013 at 9:29 pm

My husband is planning to move away from where we currently live in a few months for his career while I stay put, but I wouldn’t put it as a “love vs. money” dichotomy. It’s not that he’s looking at a current salary and potential salaries like you were, but rather that he needs to find great job for his next career stage. I know a bunch of married couples who live apart for at least a few months during the graduation (from PhD programs) process, and so far they are all still together and seemingly happy. (And I assure you that we are very happily married.)

While of course I would love it if my husband could find a position locally so he can stay with me, his field is quite small all the best people to work with are in other cities. By him taking the best position he can get, regardless of where it is, he is investing in his career and, indirectly, our future together. Likewise, it would be extremely foolish for me to leave my PhD program when I am within a year of finishing. We’ve known about the lack of opportunity for my husband locally for over a year so we have become acclimated to, though still not happy about, the prospect of living apart for about a year.

But I agree that a married couple living apart for an indefinite period of time is perplexing. But perhaps for them it about career, not money, and they have a plan for reuniting.

12 Kylie Ofiu February 2, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Usually I would choose love over money, but I do wonder why he would never move. Love goes both ways and I just couldn’t be with someone who didn’t want the same things I did.

For me, I’d possibly leave a boyfriend, but it depends on the relationship as a whole. Am I happy? Do I see this leading to marriage/kids/being my life? If not and he is just a boyfriend for now, but possibly not my husband, I’d move.

But if I were married and in a committed relationship I would find a way to make it work where I am.

13 eemusings February 9, 2013 at 3:45 am

I think I was expecting something different when I first clicked on this link!

I would have made the same choice, I think. The question is what is the long term plan – will you give up Toronto aspirations entirely in order to stay here with him?

14 Kristina February 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

@eemusings – LOL. I don’t know, a year ago I would have probably said yes but now I’m not sure.

15 Anthony February 15, 2013 at 6:20 am

As an avid science & technology fan, I wonder if your choice would be affected if you were to live much longer than people do now. Would you have made a difference choice if you lived until say 150 years? What if it becomes a norm in the near future to have multiple life companions throughout our lifespan because of the advancement in medical technology, and as a result we need to work more years to maintain financial sustainability?

Do you think it will affect the priority between romantic relationship and personal finance?
I know I read SciAm too much. haha

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