Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I am not some throw back to pre-feminism. I do believe that a woman should be able to support herself and that we deserve equal pay for equal work.
However, I am in a debate with my sister over an issue, and I wonder if you can throw your two cents in.
I really believe in the value of a good relationship- I think that if two people can help and support each other, they can go farther than someone going it on their own.
I want to have a career, but I do not want to wait until I am established and successful before I have a relationship. I am actively looking for a partner.
As you know, this isn’t a simple thing these days- I don’t want to hook up with some loser just to be in a relationship. I am willing to put the time into attending meet-up clubs, even trying some online contacts (cautiously!) and getting out to openings and functions so I have choices.
My sister tells me that I would be much better off putting my time into my career and going to night school to get another degree. She is working on her master’s in business and has her eye on a job with big pay checks. I can’t help but notice that she is alone though. And she doesn’t seem to be any happier
for her career intensive life.
Am I a fool for spending my spare time dating instead of toiling at books? Is my sister right? Will I end up with less of a career because I want to have a relationship?
I once was in your shoes and everyone told me the same thing- focus on yourself and your career first! However, my priority and intent for my life was to have a family and not end up alone. My career and own interests were important too, but I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do both. A person can also learn a lot about themselves through dating. To me, the important thing (besides finding someone nice, not insane) is to gauge how a potential partner will fit into your life. We all are packages and you get the whole thing when you are with someone; people often forget that. If you both have a mutual intent, and the same picture of the future, this helps to insure that you will enhance each other’s energy rather than suck it dry.
I think too many people wait too long and believe that their entire life must halt when they are with someone. Anyone who needs that, you don’t need. Once kids come and the focus can’t stay on your partner any longer, these relationships tend to fall apart anyway.
As long as you find a partner who is on the same page as you about relationships (this is an ongoing conversation you must be having) I’d say go for it.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: I have no idea why people think that they can parcel their lives and neatly take care of one goal after another. A family certainly doesn’t operate that way.
If you want a relationship, don’t wait until you have your life all set up. If you do, there will be no room for a relationship at that point. You will have developed a system that operates efficiently on it’s own. Fitting another person into it will be a complex task.
To be honest though, I can think of certain professions where one might prefer to get a degree before assuming a family- my son went through law school and told me that he saw every relationship his fellow students had, both married and dating, fall apart due to the stress of too much work. If you are a medical intern and you don’t already have a partner, you may want to wait until after you get back to a normal sleep schedule to pursue new partners. Otherwise you may sleep through your dates rather than getting to know them.
But let’s face it- as we go through life, we constantly face challenges and difficulties. Two people who are helping each other can often go further than someone operating on their own. It sounds as if you want to go through life with a partner. Put your life together with that potential in mind. You don’t have to put either your career or your emotional life on hold. They really do both go together.