January 24, 2021

Love versus career dilemma with Chad Garrett

Perfect young couple


Can you balance love and a career?

​What if you are long distance or have a lot of career ambition?

In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews Chad Garrett, podcaster and Air Force Geek Squad service member, on the struggles of the love versus career dilemma.



  • Military dating can be hard due to long distance 
  • Military dating can be hard due to career ambition 
  • Being “Mr. Fix-It” isn’t always helpful. 
  • It is a balancing act between career and relationships


1. Chad Garrett owns Forerunner Productions with 3 podcast shows, and is also active duty Air Force—part of the Air Force Geek Squad. 

  • The West Meadow Show—a group conversation on various aspects of culture; 
  • ​​The Chad Garrett Show on motivational empowerment, leadership development, and spiritual readiness;  
  • Impetus hosted by Andre Deneualt who interviews influential people at the local, state, national, and international levels to see what makes them tic

​2. Chad and I know each other from west coast swing dancing. Liz’s husband teaches west coast dance classes which is where she met Chad.

3. Chad’s dating experiences while being active duty military: 

  1. In his most recent relationship they met through dancing. They were long distance, and he would travel a lot to see her. One of the challenges ended up being his podcast and public speaking—having big ambitions for what he wants do and accomplish in his life. This was a catalyst for the end of the relationship. He thought he would marry her and when it needed it through him for a loop. 
  2. The two big challenges were 1) long distance and 2) Career ambition.

In modern day relationships, my partner is fulfilling more roles than they have ever had to fill in previous decades—they are my social support, best friend, emotional support, and sexual partner” – Paraphrased from Elizabeth Polinsky

4. Why is long distance so hard?

  1. Chad asked a great question during the show: Why is long distance so hard when people were able to do it during World War 2 when there were no zoom calls, etc? They were able to connect and stay together through letters. Why is it so much harder now when the technology should make it easier for us too stay connected.
  2. We discuss how it was a different time—the availability of partners wasn’t as frequent. It is easier to find a suitable partner today and our culture is more “pro” finding people to date now. They were more community oriented which allowed for other avenues for social fulfillment.
  3. From a spouse perspective, there is a big push for family support, and yet the military community is not always supportive of relationship and family life—there are often conflicting messages.
    1. ​​“If you are spending the majority of your time away from your partner and you are choosing to not engage in your community, then that adds undo stress” – Paraphrased from Chad Garrett
  4. Communication is often difficult with long distance as well. Chad discussed how he’s “Mr. Fix-It” in relationships. He stated, “It is hard when women don’t tell me that they just want me to listen at the beginning of a conversation”. When this happens, he will naturally just try to fix a problem. Many men, especially with military training, tend to feel this way.
    1. “Fixing it” often comes from not understanding what a partner is asking for, or because it is overwhelming; it is easier to fix it and move on than to provide comfort sometimes.
    2. “Partner A needs to send a clear message that they are looking for support and comfort.” – Elizabeth Polinsky
Group of Friends

My romantic partner should be my primary support system, but they can’t be the only one”

Elizabeth Polinsky

5. Dating while in training and wanting to focus on career development: 

  • Chad had through two serious relationships while in training. In one of them we went through couples counseling because he wanted to prepare for the long-distance relationship that was coming after training. “I didn’t want undue stress on the relationship”. When he left, other friends did too. His girlfriend became very sad but she got help through the chaplains corps. Still the emotional stress of long distance was a catalyst to her not being able to take things slow in the relationship and led to the downfall.

Distance compounds issues; it there are problems in the relationship, distance multiplies in 3x” -Paraphrased from Chad Garrett

  •  It was hard to give his girlfriend the attention that she needed to feel safe and secure in the relationship when he also needed to put so much attention toward his career. It can sometimes feel like having to pick between a partner or a career.
  • “One of the most important elements is to find someone you can grow with” – paraphrased by Chad Garrett
  • Everyone needs a sense of safety and security in relationships. We all need to know that our partners care about us enough that they won’t do things that will harm us in a relationship. This includes financially–especially when talking about career ambitions. There is only so much energy someone can have in a day, and people have to decide where to place that energy, which leads to prioritizing different things at different times.

If you have a solid relationship with your spouse, it will trickle down and have positive impact on your kids”

Paraphrased from Elizabeth Polinsky

Words of Wisdom from Chad Garrett: 1. be careful who you are spending time around; there are good and bad people and who you spend time with will impact your thought process. You want to be around people who are supportive of your relationship. 2. Long-distance will take issues and multiple them by 3x. Be extremely transparent and over communicate. Get as many pain points ironed out before leaving. Make sure to check out Chad’s podcasts, The West Meadow Show, The Chad Garrett Show, and Impetus at https://www.forerunnerproductions.com/

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Adventure Challenge  is a mysterious scratch off book of 50 unique and creative adventures. You don’t know what you’re doing until you scratch it off! The goal is to inspire connection in your relationships through adventures and fun.  There are 3 editions–one for couples, one for families, and one for friends. If you are feeling in a rut in your relationships  and in need of adventure, this is a perfect book to get out outside of your normal routine and into fun experiences aimed at bringing you closer together. To get 15% off the adventure challenge, enter “CONNECT15” or go to https://www.theadventurechallenge.com/discount/CONNECT15 .​

Thanks for Listening!


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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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