Six months ago, I started going out with a guy. I am a young woman that was studying medicine, but because of the pandemic I had to take a year off, with plans to go back next year. Now my boyfriend, whom I love, has asked me to marry him…. That implies having to give up my intended career, because he doesn’t want me to go back to the city where I had been studying….

I think that it might not affect me now to give up my career, but that in years to come I might wish, for economic reasons, that I hadn’t done it. Do you think that I should give up my original plan for my life and leave everything for him?

Dear Friend,

We commend you for asking this question. It is likely that the other dream that you have always had is of being married to a man that you love. So what do you do when two dreams clash?

It is important to begin with what the Scriptures say. We know that when a man and woman get married, they symbolically become one.(1) That is why it is so critically important to make sure that you have the same dreams and goals as the person that you are considering marrying. After marriage, it is often too late and too difficult to merge the dreams and goals, so one spouse or the other ends up abandoning the dreams and goals that he or she had. Even though he or she might be willing to do that, the thoughts of “What if I hadn’t given up my dreams?” will remain and have the potential to come between the couple.

Couples mistakenly think that loving each other is enough to make a marriage work. They think that love will pave the way, and that they will be able to work out the details after the wedding. A wise couple understands that all the details need to be worked out before even considering a wedding.

Fortunately, you already know that your boyfriend does not want you to continue with your life plan to resume your career in medicine. This knowledge gives you time to consider your options before it is too late.

Furthermore, we are concerned that you would think that you are ready for marriage after knowing your boyfriend for only six months. Six months is not a sufficient period of time to discover each other’s dreams, goals, preferences, idiosyncrasies, strengths and faults. It is not enough time to know each other’s financial habits and financial commitments. And it is not enough time to get to know each other’s families and to observe the dynamics between the prospective spouse and his or her relatives. We would advise you to reconsider your engagement even if your career were not involved.

If this guy is the right one for you, he will realize that he should not ask you to give up your dreams. Instead, he will encourage you to study now and be married later or agree to move to the other city so that you can continue getting to know each other. If he is not willing to compromise for something so important to you, then he does not love you enough.

We wish you the best,

1 Ge 2:24