Can you have a balanced relationship if only one of you pursues their dreams?
Picture by: Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Everyone loves Wimbledon. And, when he’s winning, everyone loves Andy Murray.
And with her perfect hair, stylish outfits and perfect smile, it is hard not to love his girlfriend, Kim Sears, too.
But while we’re busy feeling seriously envious over yet another bang-on-trend look she’s pulled off in the stands, we often wonder about her own career.
The 25-year-old, who is becoming a dead ringer for Kate Middleton of late, appears to have put her own career as an artist on the back-burner while she follows Murray around the world.
The fact she excelled at school and university but has decided to put that to the wayside and support her man is a decision she is totally free to make.
But in the same vein, that means she’s bound to encounter some judgement for it too.
When it comes to discussing their personal life and relationship, Sears has always been private, once publicly saying: “It’s not about me, it’s about Andy.”
But last year, she revealed that Murray wasn’t the only talented one in their relationship, when she launched her blog showcasing her impressive paintings.
The media loves scrutinising high profile relationships, looking for any signs of weakness that can be picked apart. For Murray and Sears, the unbalanced dynamics were an obvious target.
Sears may look happy enough when she cheers her famous boyfriend on from the sidelines – but will she end up resenting him? Will she be willing to sacrifice her own career success, to support his, forever? Is it right that he’s soaring to ever bigger heights, while she remains the ever-present, uncomplaining companion?
It’s only natural that questions like these pop up. After all, equality and balance in a relationship is crucial. Support has to come from both sides, regardless of whether you dream of global sporting victory, or work in a shop on the local high street.
That’s one of the fundamentals of a strong relationship. It’s about being a team and respecting one another.
While some will be quick to rally criticism against Sears – women have fought for decades for career opportunities and equality, yet here she is, sacrificing her own ambitions to support a man. But sometimes things aren’t as simple as that.
Regardless of sex, when one partner has big ambitions that require a lot of work, dedication and travel, from the outside, it’s bound to look as though things are unbalanced.
Murray’s tennis hopes aren’t a recent revelation. Sears would have known exactly how ambitious he was – and all the endless training and discipline that came with it – when they got together back in 2006.
Yes, she’s always there. Cheering him on when he does well, ready with a reassuring hug when a match ends badly. Being the perfect, supportive partner.
Murray’s rise to success is a journey they’ve been on together, starting off as teenagers. The spotlight’s been on Murray, but if Sears had chosen to vigorously pursue her own career success, perhaps the relationship wouldn’t have survived. After all, that may have meant frequent long spells apart.
Plus, if Sears wasn’t so closely involved in Murray’s tennis, it might be difficult for her to understand just how demanding it is for him.
In many ways, it’s probably extremely demanding for her too, being the supportive girlfriend.
But, to all intents and purposes, they look very happy together and the rewards of the relationship, and Murray’s victories, probably mean a lot to them both.
Let’s not forget that Sears is still only 25. Just because she’s not racing up a career ladder doesn’t mean she’s not fulfilled – and there’s still plenty of time for her to focus on her own goals should she wish. Tennis has a shelf-life after all, but Sears’ artistic talents won’t burn out as quickly as Murray’s elbows!
When it comes to the choices we make, in love and in life, it’s not about how those choices are perceived by others. It’s about making sure the ball’s in our own courts. And we’re choosing the things that make us truly happy.
If you can achieve that, you’re onto an ace.