Girlfriend vs PE

Hey everyone,

I'm an analyst at a very small growth equity fund in Mexico. I just received an offer to join one of the biggest PE funds in my country which would increase my salary 5x. However, I already had plans to move out of Mexico with my girlfriend (she's European) to study a MIF in Paris and, after that, hopefully find a job in PE in Europe and stay there.

I already talked with my girlfriend and she's still going back to Europe with or without me since that was the plan form the beginning.

Should I choose my girlfriend, the MIF and recruit for PE in Europe (which I know will be very hard) over a clear career progression in Mexico?

Ps. I'm 24 and we've been together for 3 years.

Comments (79)

Jan 16, 2021 - 11:28am

Agree. If it works, it will work out with some distance.

Ask yourself what she would have done in roles were reversed.


JC -- Alpha Seeker --
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:31pm

Here's something to think about, if you declined the job and went to Europe would you have any regret if you guys broke up? If you would have regret, don't go your still really young and life has a lot to offer you.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:32pm

She's gonna go to Europe with or without you. That should be all you need to know. If she won't stay for you, you shouldn't go with her. 5x salary increase? Shouldn't even be a question imo. If you do go, and you don't break into European PE easily, you might always resent her for pulling you away from a great career opportunity in Mexico.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:34pm

If she'll go with or without you, it means you're not her main priority in life. It's her right to prioritize other things, but you have to keep that in mind when deciding on what to do (i.e. keep your own best interest in mind)

Jan 16, 2021 - 11:29am

That´s so true.

Her reaction is like the NPV of her worth now.

I trust your investment acumen.


JC -- Alpha Seeker --
  • 5
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:52pm

If it's meant to be it'll work out, this isn't the first time in the world somebody has had to make this decision and ended up together - take your job.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 15, 2021 - 7:16pm

Probably not the best place to look for advice. Most of the people replying are interns who would suck dick just to get into pe. Gl though!

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2021 - 11:14pm

Depends on the girl. You might not have a career chance like this again, but you may not meet someone like her again either. You might do great at your new firm or you might be run out of town in a year or two. You might marry her, or you might break up a few months into Europe.

One thing to consider - your Latin America investing experience might be valuable to a EU platform that is active in South / Central America. See what's available, generally, before making your decision. 

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:15pm

you have the opportunity to 5x your earnings and then go to Europe after a few years (probably). This is a life-changing opportunity man! 

If she really loves you she will understand. Seriously, slap yourself in the face with a bucket of water.. this decision is so obvious

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jan 15, 2021 - 11:48pm

Tell her how important this is to you and as a sign of commitment you want to get engaged. If she says no, you know where you really stand. If she says yes, you can feel comfortable in your role.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 16, 2021 - 12:59am

Pretty simple. I had to make a similar decision.

Ask yourself which one would be harder to get again. Would it be harder to get another similar Mexico PE offer if you go with your girlfriend to Europe? Or would it be harder to get another girlfriend of a similar calibre?

Also, I've seen people do LATAM Top PE -> Top MBA -> US or European PE before

Jan 16, 2021 - 3:21am

As a guy who has a long-term GF while making pretty crucial career choices 5-6 years ago, I'd still say make sure you take you career choices in the event you and the GF aren't aligned on what's next for you both. There is absolutely a universe in which you are both aligned on careers/geographies but you need to make sure you are both aligned and that you're happy with her prior to doing so. FWIW I'm still with my girl after 7-8yrs and making it work

  • 2
Jan 16, 2021 - 3:22am

Dude, take the job and leverage that immediately to recruit for a European opportunity if you really want to go there with her say within 1 year. If she can't even take a 1 year long distance, she ain't the one anyways.

Jan 16, 2021 - 4:44am

I'm a woman and if my boyfriend had such a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity, I'll 100% encourage him pursue the path he wants. If it is meant to be we'll be back together again anyways. I wouldn't want to be in the way of his journey to success. Go for it.

Jan 16, 2021 - 9:30am

Mate you will not just walk into a PE job in Europe, even with an MIF from HEC. If you made a deal with your gf then it is fair that she still wants to go back to Europe however with a job that gives you 5x increase you will be more likely to break into European PE in the future and you'll be richer. 

Jan 16, 2021 - 9:40am

OP - as someone a fair bit older than like everyone who has posted here, I'll pose some questions that you should ask yourself. Since you are 24, you probably don't know a lot of the answers. Or those answers may change. And that ok! It's normal.

Let's break it down into three parts... GF, You, Career (these are not mutually exclusive). The caution I would give in taking traditional advice is that our industry across verticals is filled with unhappy, uninspired, lonely and often morally bankrupt people. Some who actually make a lot of money. Many who don't. One thing to do is to look at people above you.. Do you want to be like them in 5/10/20 years?

GF: So she made her plan clear at the beginning. That's more than fair (and it would have been the same if you had). Do you love her? Is she the one? Do you believe she is the one? Or do you believe that you could be with others and be very happy? What is it about her that makes you tick? Also would she make big sacrifices for you? This making sacrifices thing is a two way street. Is she encouraging of you? Is there a potential where if you separate that you could maybe get back together?

You: What do you want in life? Do you want money? Prestige? Happiness? A ranch with some cattle? Where do you see yourself living the next few years? In a decade? How much do you see yourself working? Do you really really like what you do? If you could do anything what would it be? Why? What's your financial situation? Are you supporting parents/family/friends? Do they rely on you? What about social network? Is it a good one where you are? Do you make friends easily?

Career: From a money perspective this is a no brainer. BUT.. what's the cost? What are the people like in your current shop? What's your boss like? What are the politics? What's your role? What do you like about PE? What kind of people do you like to work with? Are you more of a team player? Or Independent?

This is a lot of questions and there are more! It is worth asking yourself these questions and it's ok if you can't answer them.

The biggest thing I would say is: Don't be afraid. Make a choice and move on. There is far too much fear in this industry and in society in general. And I'm including myself here.

TLDR: all else equal, I would probably take the job, but this is not necessarily so straight forward. That said, if I really didn't want to be in Mexico, well, then I'd probably leave Mexico, GF or not. But then again, OP, I'm not you.


Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
  • 18
Jan 16, 2021 - 9:51am

Hey man, let me approach this from a different angle. Would you consider doing all three without the girlfriend? 

I know compensation in Mexico will be significantly less than Europe (regardless of the 5x boost). But 5x is still a giant leap forward for the moment. The best path I see is:
-Take the PE fund in Mexico, work there 2 years
-Get an MIF in Paris 
-Get PE role in Europe

Not completely sure the MIF in Paris is required to get a PE role in Europe if you already have 2 years PE experience but that's for someone else to chime in on. If you really want to make things work with the girl, reconnect with her when you get to Europe (if you even really wanted to go to Europe, or it was just a commitment to the girlfriend). This opportunity is probably too much of a life upgrade to sacrifice.

Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

  • Analyst 2 in S&T - Other
Jan 16, 2021 - 11:34am

Legit question here: Why are girls so gd expensive? It seems like all the girls I know and all of my friends girlfriends are asking for $1000+ gifts because they know we can pay for them. Growing up in a family who didn't have any luxury goods or much of anything for that matter, it just seems so wasteful and manipulative. I feel like I worked hard to earn my money, and other people shouldn't just expect things from me. Am I being misogynistic?

Jan 16, 2021 - 12:52pm

This +SB.

Not being misogynistic at all. Like the guy above me says, you and your friends are dating the wrong women (for you).  An idea might be to go out on dates with women you are not necessarily attracted physically but may find interesting on other angles. You can always friendzone them (like women often do to men). But what you'll take away is that there are tons of cool women who are confident, smart, good looking and don't demand hugely expensive gifts.

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
Jan 17, 2021 - 11:14pm

You around the wrong girls man they clearly shallow as hell. As a side note this is why I feel like people who married before they made it in life fare much better in their love life than people who get married/in a relationship after they come into lots of money

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Jan 16, 2021 - 12:33pm

You should be prepared for the Paris bear case: she breaks up with you and bangs an art dealer named Pierre while you are jobless in a continent crippled by lockdowns

I think you already know the right call here

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Jan 16, 2021 - 1:38pm

Investment Analyst in PE - Growth

Hey everyone,

I'm an analyst at a very small growth equity fund in Mexico. I just received an offer to join one of the biggest PE funds in my country which would increase my salary 5x. However, I already had plans to move out of Mexico with my girlfriend (she's European) to study a MIF in Paris and, after that, hopefully find a job in PE in Europe and stay there.

I already talked with my girlfriend and she's still going back to Europe with or without me since that was the plan form the beginning.

Should I choose my girlfriend, the MIF and recruit for PE in Europe (which I know will be very hard) over a clear career progression in Mexico?

Ps. I'm 24 and we've been together for 3 years.

Is she an heiress of a large family fortune? If not, this decision is easy - you take the job always.

Plus, she already made her intentions clear - she is going back to Europe with or without you. As that old saying goes, don't let people become a priority in your life when you are just an options in theirs.

Jan 16, 2021 - 10:10pm

Ill give you a real world example from one of the "older" folks on this site. Just to put this in perspective you, this happened 25 years ago.

Dated a girl for 2+ years in NYC, while working in the pits for Goldman.  She was working at S&P ratings.  Told her i got into an MBA program and being civilized asked her what she wanted.  Her job was more important.  Her lifestyle.  Her friends.  Her Hamptons weekends.. blah blah. 

After realizing that this was the dropping of the veil (red alert!), I went back to my apartment (which i still kept...thank god), packed up my shit in two duffel bags, left all the furniture for my room mate, wrote him a check for the remaining rent, quit my job, got a rental car and left and drove to Florida.  Complete ghost (remember this is pre-cell phones) in 8 hours.

Met my wife 18 hours later in Jacksonville at a restaurant she was running.

The point?  Her veil has dropped kid.  This is all about HER.  Be like Steve Miller and Take the Money and RUN!

Take the job, ignore the girl, live life your way.  Who knows?  Maybe your future wife will be running the next restaurant you walk into?



  • 7
Jan 17, 2021 - 6:37am

damn. that is some Don Draper poetic shit - good on you sir

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

Jan 17, 2021 - 4:50am

As others have said, she made it pretty clear where she stands. So for this decision, you've got your choice pretty clear cut for you.

However, for your own personal development i'd sit and answer all the questions posed above by the more experienced members. It's very easy to go through the motions in life and wake up one day 40 and miserable asking yourself how the fuck did i get here.

So don't wait until later to figure out what you want in life. Half of people's anxieties are driven by the fact that they don't know why they're doing what they're doing. So thank her for her time, take the job and take a 2 week vacation to build your life plan.

“Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. ” - James Allen
Jan 17, 2021 - 5:46pm

Y'all always say you guys want a girl that is career-driven and motivated, but as soon as you see one, y'all are intimidated.


@OP I think your girls' point is fair. You guys made a plan and promise, and you're the one that's reneged. If she's the one, don't let her leave man. Please don't throw your chance away at happiness for money. That being said, if you really can't see a definite future together, take the job. You guys might be able to come to a compromise too. 1 year long distance, you go to school with relevant work experience, which will set you up well for PE recruiting in Europe.

Jan 17, 2021 - 6:10pm

Bro, take the job. Keep distance relationship. Fly in when you can. Get the job on your resume and then when you have the job on your resume you can move to Europe and u wont need to work your as off from the bottom again.

Jan 17, 2021 - 10:46pm

Don't be a simp. This 5x pay increase is going to change your life, and put you on a whole different trajectory. Women come and go. She won't stay for you, so why should you go for her? What happens if you let go of this opportunity, and 1 year later, you guys break up? Worth it?? This is an easy decision.

Jan 18, 2021 - 7:52am

The "5x salary increase" doesn't necessarily mean much if you were making crumbs before and/or the comparable wage level of such positions in Europe / the U.S. is far higher. Start tossing your CV to companies in Europe, build 1-2 years worth of local experience and then consider studying again.

Jan 18, 2021 - 8:02am

You can get a newer, much hotter GF once you're in PE after a 5x pay raise. You've already said she won't wait for you, so there's even less of a reason for you to put your career on hold for her now.


  • VP in PE - LBOs
Jan 18, 2021 - 11:23am

Sharing my own story with you as a data point. My SO and I met in college. We both got once in a lifetime opportunities after school, in different locations, and chose to do long distance off and on for 4+ years. We are now married with 2 kids in careers we love + financial stability. Throughout these years I've met many others who were in long distance situations during the early years of their career - the success rate is about 50/50, or maybe slightly lower. Post business school appears to be a common time when they make the "sink or swim" decisions - either decide to move to the same city after school, or move on. For those whose relationships failed, most seemed to be in happier cities/work/new relationships and attributed it to a new perspective on life that they are happy they got. For those whose relationships succeeded, most acknowledged it was a lot of work (be prepared to sacrifice any and all vacations for them and only them), but in the end it made them stronger because they grew independently (important when you are young) as well as together. 

Only you can make the choice, but my gut in your situation is along the lines of what some others have said: take the job for 1-2 years, go to school in Europe, find PE in Europe (or wherever else). Also, if you apply to schools, you usually know the decision about a year in advance, and sometimes that certainty is enough security for a relationship for a while. That's also why long distance relationships at an earlier age works better - there are life events such as going back to school or natural career transitions where you can actively choose to get to the other person. When you are post MBA at a mid-level/partner track role, that becomes harder because there's no timeline as to when you might actually get back together.

Jan 18, 2021 - 12:37pm

I would take the gig and see if could pull off long distance somehow. Maybe can use the much stronger brand name to move over to Europe (office or new fund). 
My POV is that what is you go to Europe and you guys break up, then you'd regret this and be stuck in Europe (unless you wanted to go anyways) or you would just always think what if no matter what. This option gives you the certainty of the 5x job while a chance to keep the relationship, I always have thought finance jobs are very sparse and the skillsets are forever while dating (doesnt matter gender) is a lot easier to find a fit in. 

That's why people just so happen to meet their "soulmates" within a close proximity of where they live despite how vast the world is, but there are only so many chances to secure the bag.

Jan 18, 2021 - 3:27pm

Let me tell you something none of the answers above have touched on. Assuming you want to stay in Paris for a job, there's like 0.0005% chance that you get into a PE firm (or really any firm) in Paris if you don't have a good French level.

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:57am

Do you have an EU Citizenship? If not, it may well be much much harder than you think to secure a European PE job.  Much like the US, firms in the EU prefer not to mess with any immigration stuff.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2021 - 8:56pm

Chase a check, never chase a bitch - Future

On the real tho, one of my mentors (a former fighter pilot and PE Titan) told me his single greatest piece of advice out of his whole professional and combat career was to never move for a girl. You're a man you have your own mission, go chase it. Girls are fun and games until you find the one and by the one someone who you want to commit to, and someone who wants to commit to you, a two-way street. I don't know your girlfriend and I'm sure your relationship is great, but if she is going with or without you means she doesn't respect your career/mission enough. If you move just to keep her, I hate to say it, you're putting her on a pedestal and she'll likely lose respect for you. I don't even think the 5x salary choice matters. All that matters is you need to do what's best for YOU; if that's staying in Mexico, stay in Mexico. Girls are great and wonderful additions to our lives, but should never be the center of it.


Jan 22, 2021 - 8:42am

Having gone through an MIF in Paris (starts with an H ...), I can tell you it's a mixed-bag, don't expect to land a full-time PE gig right away, and if you do expect it to be a graduate program at entry level.

Big diff between Europe and everywhere else is that (1) nobody really cares about MBAs / they are not real career boosters and (2) MIFs / any other masters are simply extensions of undergraduate programs. Most (almost all) of your classmates will never have worked full-time before, albeit several will have done a number of internships.

Consequently, funds are almost exclusively recruiting laterals from banks or other funds, albeit some larger ones (e.g. 3i, Partners Group etc.) have structured "graduate programs" that a select few among all the hardo MIF students across Europe can join - lucky you if you're one of them, but consider that you may also just be an intern again out of lack of choice (not even considering right to work issues - I presume you don't have EU passport + Brexit is gonna make it harder).


tldr: follow her if your heart tells you to, but in full awareness of the consequences

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

This Fucking Sucks
+50OFFby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
Why would any associate+ banker choose a BB over EB?
+33IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Intern in IB-M&A
PE isn’t the best way to get into b-school
+26BSCHby 2nd Year Associate in Private Equity - LBOs">Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Share a day that looked like a Suits/Billions episode
+25IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Generalist">Intern in IB - Gen
Evercore Target Schools?
+17BSCHby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
What's Wrong with Warburg Industrial & Business Services?
+16PEby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Boob job
+14OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 2 in IB-M&A

Total Avg Compensation

February 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (7) $694
  • Director/MD (15) $627
  • Vice President (61) $374
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (63) $267
  • 2nd Year Associate (119) $246
  • 1st Year Associate (256) $223
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (24) $164
  • 2nd Year Analyst (58) $137
  • 1st Year Analyst (168) $119
  • Intern/Summer Associate (18) $71
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (182) $59

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
Addinator's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
Edifice's picture