My boyfriend can sing – not just at karaoke, he can belt out a tune Craig David would envy. The issue is that no one knows it and he’s bogged down by his 60 hour week IT job. He has talent but like all mega successful jobs, there’s only 1% that make it to the top. I don’t doubt he has talent but it’s competitive. Recently he’s been thinking about quitting his job to pursue a singing career full time. We’ve got about 6 months worth of finances to support this and if it doesn’t take off, we’ll be struggling financially.
The practicalities of a mortgage and bills can often clash with pursuing the dream. Whether you can support your partner’s dream is circumstantial. We asked our panel for some advice on when to support your spouse’s career and when we need to tell them to get a ‘real’ job.
1. Say your partner wants to quit his/her job and become the next Jay Z or Beyonce. They have the talent and want to uproot their life to tour the country. Would you support your spouse’s career?
Alex: Yes obviously. Jay Z and Beyoncé were once poor artists. It’s the support that made them successful no one does anything alone. If pursuing the dream meant financial difficulties would come ahead, would you still support it?
Shan: Yep. I’ve been with my partner for 6 years and she’s been nothing but supportive of my career. (Shan is a musician). I’ve been in music since we’ve met. Never did she once tell me it was time to get a job. Quite the opposite, she’s supported me in everything I’ve produced, been at every show. Supporting each other’s dreams makes a relationship. When you don’t believe in your partner, that’s when the relationship breaks down.
Iona: Ok, so I’m going to be the one that bursts the bubble. At our age, it’s a huge financial risk to just moves our lives to another country especially in a competitive industry where few have succeeded. If my partner’s music gig got to a point where they were making more money than their full time job than yes – I’d jump into the deep end. If he wanted to quit and then start on a music career from scratch, I’d reassess.
2. What if pursuing your partner’s dream would create geographical distance between you i.e. he goes on tour for months at a time?
Alex: So be it.
Shan: My partner and I have been together for 6 years. In that 6 years, I’ve gone on tour for about 8 months at a time. We survived it. If you want to make it work, you will.
Iona: If I decide to support it, I’ll back it 100% regardless of distance.
3. Would you relocate if there was more opportunity for your partner to pursue their dreams?
Shan: Hell yes.
4. Is there an expiration date on these dreams? At what point would you give in and tell them to find a ‘proper’ job?
Alex: The two are rarely mutually exclusive. There are 24 hours in a day.
Shan: You never give up on the dream.
Iona: I think it’s important to set realistic goals you both agree on. So maybe you give yourselves 1 year to pursue it full time and if it doesn’t work out, you take on a part-time job in the second year to keep things afloat financially.
5. How do you differentiate between dreams and pipe dreams?
Alex: You don’t. All dreams are pipe dreams until they come true.
Shan: Dreams= You live and breathe it everyday and do what you can to achieve it. Pipe dreams= You daydream about it but do jack all about it. Like a couch potato who dreams of owning an empire one day but does nothing to get there.
Iona: Dreams are realistic goals. Pipe dreams are just dreams and day dreams.
6. If pursuing the dream meant financial difficulties would come ahead, would you still support it?
Alex: No one knows what will come ahead. The chance to be financially rich and financially poor look the same from the outset. A situation doesn’t determine someone’s happiness, pursuing ones dreams with enthusiasm is happiness.
Shan: Yes. You never know what’s on the other side.
Iona: If I had the financial ability to support it – yes.
Does your partner have dreams or pipe dreams you support or hesitate to support? Let us know.