13 Things You Realize When You Start Dating At The Beginning Of Your Career

1. “Gotta get to work early tomorrow” has become the new and improved “I’ve got morning class, so… please leave.” Like, you could skip just this one little class and stay in bed. It is a flimsy excuse. Work though… You could dramatically impact your life by missing work. Unfortunately, it goes both ways, and some frustrating last minute cancellations are in your future. Hard to get that first big promotion if you waste valuable schmoozing time in bed relishing the human experience!

2. On dates, and at parties, when conversation is exhausted, you will always fall back on the thing you do most: work. Introducing yourself by talking shop, albeit in a descriptive and accurate manner, will soon seem boring to even you.

3. Being unemployed is, for the first time, a solid mark against you in the full package category.

4. Dating people you met in class was so reliable. You had a shared interest, you experienced the same inept classmates and eccentric teacher several times a week, and, best of all, you could play the “well, we should study together” card; the script wrote itself. Dating people you meet at the office has the exact same components, but you’re not Jim or Pam and you have a real HR person and you just don’t want to do it. You can skip a class, you can even drop a class, but as proposed in #1, your job doesn’t work that way.

5. You can’t Tindr at work. Or, in many circles, respectfully say that’s where you met your date for this weekend. People are still oddly closed-minded about all things Internet-dating-related, and tragically this begins to work against you in ways you cannot yet fathom. I complain to my coupled friends that I’m not finding the right person, they say I’m not trying, they judge Mel for marrying that dude she met on Christian Mingle, I don’t get it. 

6. Bringing your significant other to work functions is a delicate dance, one you will never be practiced adequately enough for. You are probably a different person at work than in your civilian sweatpants. Make sure this is understood by your date. You’re not introducing friends; you’re getting through a couple hours with your co-workers and someone you care about without hurting your stock with either party. #NoDrama.

7. Trying to match up your schedules and make adequate time for each other is a Thing. A really, actually, legitimately difficult Thing. And unless you live together, this often becomes a relationship killer. Maybe just date someone from work.

8. If the person you’re dating has specific career aspirations that can only be realized in another place, and you’re serious enough with that person to move with them, you have to be sure the move is practical for you as well. What could just be fixed with a temporary separation could be permanently ruined by an emotional decision to move.

9. One person’s entry-level job will make more money than the other’s. There’s no shame in that. No one’s the stay-at-home parent yet. There’s also opportunity: for one person, the greatest gift of all: to stunt, and for the other: to reap the rewards of said stunt.

10. Along those lines, some of your rivals for pre-procreation will make more than you, leaving you susceptible to be flexed on. If you pick your spots well, this won’t be a problem. “Flex this,” you’ll mutter, alpha-dogging your recently minted credit card to the waiter before announcing, “I’ve got this.” Everyone’s face goes red: some blushing, some fuming.

11. People will start getting married. Some already did. Some will start having kids. These people should not make you think it’s time to get serious about whomever you just right-swiped. Somehow they are shouldering the financial burden of at least your immediate supervisor.

12. “Unemployed” may be a bad look, but “doing a few different things” in order to shoulder your minimal financial burden is still something you can say with confidence, pride even. As long as you’re laying tracks, you don’t need a destination just yet.

13. Meeting parents is becomes a big, anxiety-inducing, next-level-relationship deal. “Doing a few different things” doesn’t really fly with these people. Being career-minded will seem even more important for a few hours. Explaining to a Lawyer and a Financial Advisor that my thesis was a narrative series of poems was a tough enough pill to swallow. Explaining that I lasted six months in customer service is an entirely new choking hazard. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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