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And as for Dan, um, remember that episode The Kids are not Alright or the one after it, Dan has that big internship interview but gives it up because of Serena. Because she has to be somewhere before and something like that. Before that too, he used to be such a promising idealistic writer, but he was obsessed with Serena.
When Dan and Blair were driving to Juliet's town, Blair notes that. Blair asks Dan: When was the last time you wrote something?
This is when she is also giving a parallel of Dan and Ben.
As per the guide of Raiders of the Lost Arts, Dan gets some fellowship to Rome over the summer (which i cant fathom, as he hasn't attended NYU after end of season 3. And wrote a stupid sarc novel). So anyway, I guess we know what the BIG professional sacrifice he will make for his love towards Blair. http://www.spoilersguide.com/gossip-girl/season-5-episode-22-raiders-of-the-lost-art-guide/
Side note, in the "Townie", Blair notes about Dan how he gave up his love, passion for writing, or anything at all for Serena. So this guy just gets passionate about writing in between being passionate about girls? whatever.blah.