After eight years of love, it is time to say goodbye? Dani Cole’s relationship dilemma

In 2018, when my partner Tom landed a graduate scheme in Derby, I didn’t hesitate in moving there to live with him.

I was jobless, had no friends or family there but I kept the faith everything would fall into place.

I spent the first month lying on the floor in our cold, empty flat, scrolling through job ads.

It took some time to settle, however, I never regretted or resented moving.

As Tom’s job was high-paying, I was comfortable putting his priorities first.

Fast forward two years, things were looking much different.

A career change and a global pandemic has made me reassess what I want from life.

I left a role in marketing after being deeply unhappy. I realised journalism was my calling.

Before I became a journalist, I had never given serious thought about my professional development.

I never thought I was an ambitious person. I had lived through Tom instead.

As journalism is a competitive industry, I’m now determined to follow all the opportunities I can. This caused Tom and I to butt heads.

Here’s the problem: if I moved for my job, Tom wouldn’t be coming with me.

Because of what he does, it isn’t very easy to relocate. His area of work is specialised and that limits where he can go.

It was a difficult conversation to have, especially when you hear that the person you love doesn’t want to compromise.

It was hurtful that he still expected me to put his career before mine.

At one point, he talked about going to America for his job – and asked me to move with him.

I no longer want to follow Tom around and give up on my own aspirations.

I never imagined we might break up over our careers.

We have tried talking it through and reaching a resolution. No such luck. 

I can’t bear the idea of splitting with him.

We met each other on the school bus when I was 16 and we have been inseparable ever since.

Before the pandemic struck, we had even talked about buying a house together.

We are still together even though we live in different cities.

It’s been tough without him and I’m not sure what the future holds.

I’ve learned that despite the strength, richness and longevity of our love, in this relationship our commitment to our careers is a barrier that we cannot overcome.  

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