Boyfriend and I are both third year law students. For three job application rounds in a row (2 summers and a clerkship) Boyfriend’s stayed here where we go to law school, while I’ve taken a job elsewhere. Each time that’s made sense for me, and we’ve survived the temporary long distance. Each time, as luck would have it, Boyfriend has gotten his offer first and had to make a decision to stay before I had to make the decision to go. Each time the ball’s been in my court to decide between Boyfriend and my dream job.
We’ve talked about it all ad nauseum: I know he knows I know it’s right to do what’s right for me, etc. And it really is just circumstance that’s made my decisions come second each time. So here’s the problem: I’m so self-conscious of falling into gender roles it effects my decision every time.
With each decision came the same internal discussion: I really want to be with Boyfriend, but I don’t want to pass up an opportunity for him, but being with Boyfriend is really for me so maybe passing up the job is for me not him, but … ahhh. OK so clearly I have some issues, but I find it really difficult to decide “what I want” without thinking about the implications my decisions have on my uber-feminist credibility. If I decide to take a less prestigious job so I can maintain a relationship am I loosing a greater battle for women’s rights? If so, is it worth being miserable not to? For now I’m hoping that next time around I get my job first, and Boyfriend can grapple with these issues instead.