Dating Advice #1 - Climbing the Ladder to What?
What happens when you wake up in your thirties and realize that your job's no fun to come home to? Our dating experts weigh in.
DEAR ROSIE & SHERRY:
I'm a 33-year-old professional woman who seems to have it
all: a prestigious job, a six-figure income, plenty of investments, my own
condominium, a beautiful wardrobe, yada yada yada.I have a few good friends and
get along well with my family. I love my job, which is challenging and gives me
an opportunity to travel and interact with many interesting people. Most of the
time, I think I'm pretty lucky.
Only one thing has eluded me. A man! That's probably
because I rarely date. My job is so demanding that I don't have a lot of time
for a social life. And besides, most of the men I meet are either married (no
thank you!) or not so interesting.
Now my dilemma: Should I slow down my climb up the
corporate ladder and start dating seriously now? Or can I put it off a few more
years? I'm concerned that I will look at myself a few years down the road and
wonder why I'm alone.
What do you say?
Well, let's start with some cold, hard facts. The older a
woman gets, the more difficult it is for her to find suitable men to date.
Until modern medicine has perfected a way of slowing down our biological
clocks, this will continue to be the case. In addition, as we age, many of us
increase our expectations and become more difficult to satisfy.
So if you begin marriage-oriented dating now, we can't
guarantee that you will find "Mr. Right," but you certainly will have
an easier time now than if you begin a few years later.
The real question you need to ask yourself is what place
marriage and family have on your list of long-term priorities. Personally, we
are dismayed with the American cult of near-total devotion to work in the
pursuit of wealth and corporate success. Like you, tens of thousands of men and
women will someday take stock of their lives and realize that they've missed
out on a personal life.
The American cult of near-total devotion to work dismays us.
So... if you want to carve a personal life for yourself, you
must make room in your life before you fill your day with work-related
obligations. You'll have to set aside time to meet suitable dating partners
through social activities and networking (friends, relatives, rabbis, singles
groups, matchmakers). Will this slow your ascent up the ladder of corporate
success? Probably. Is it worth it? Only you can decide.
If you choose to start dating now, bear in mind that the
skills that earn you a promotion at the office (competitive urge, ability to
shut out distractions, ruthless negotiating techniques) are often detrimental
to interpersonal relations.Take some time to explore other aspects of your
personality that make you a good friend and confidante (a caring nature,
sincerity, the ability to share your time and talents, loyalty, a sense of
humor) and emphasize these qualities in your interpersonal relationships.
Similarly, think of similar "non-corporate" personal qualities that
you would like to see in others, and look for dating partners who possess these
One more thing: It's common for a strong woman like you to
want to be paired with a strong man, someone you can "respect as an equal." But
be careful: Don't use material or corporate achievement to measure strength, or
you'll set yourself up for a competitive relationship. Instead, look for
someone who enjoys his work and takes pride in doing it well -- regardless of
whether he's a professor, a carpenter or a caterer.
Let us know how things turn out, and don't forget to send
us a wedding invitation...
Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, Esq., are
co-authors of "Talking Tachlis," a guide to successful dating.