If someone were to ask you what you've done over the past decade, what would you say? Most of you probably went off to college, got bachelor's degrees, landed good jobs and maybe even maneuvered up the corporate ladder.
You've probably had several significant others. Maybe you found "the one." Maybe you got married, had a baby or two or even watched them grow up a little.
A lot can happen in a decade. Unless, that is, you're a woman like me. If that's the case, you chose to pursue some crazy demanding career, the kind of career that demands to be in the center of attention in your life, much like an attention-deprived toddler. Then, you have done nothing but nurture that for the past decade.
Life for career women can be divided into two parts: your professional life and your (mythical) personal life. For a large majority of your 20s, your professional life demands center stage.
It's not that your personal life doesn't exist; it does. It just doesn't get as much time or mental devotion as your professional life.
Eventually, your professional life matures. It grows up, gets a job and moves out on its own. Suddenly, you have all this time and energy to focus on your personal life.
Maybe you can even do things like date and be a good partner to somebody. However, at this point, you aren't only overqualified for most jobs on the market, but you're also overqualified for the dating market.
Most men are either scared of you or can't seem to handle the demands of your career. But rest assured, my fellow ambitious ladies, your Prince Charming is out there somewhere. When he finds you, give him these six tips:
1. She doesn't care what you do for a living.
Just because a woman has a successful career, that doesn't mean she expects you to. Hell, it's almost better if you don't have that kind of demand on your time.
Career women choose to pursue their passions. However, most of us know that not everybody is lucky enough to know exactly what he or she wants to do. Some people don't really care about the kind of work they do at all. That is perfectly fine.
Dating isn't like a job interview. Your resume doesn't matter.
We aren't contacting your last employer, and we don't care how your 401(k) is doing. If what you do makes you happy, and if it allows you to live a life that makes you happy, it's going to make you a good partner. Nobody cares about your job title, investments or career projection.
2. Stop feeling emasculated.
This one is short and sweet. This isn't the 1950s, where women would spend their days in the kitchen with perfectly manicured hair and crisply-pressed dresses.
The role of the man as the sole provider is long gone. If a woman's paycheck influences your feelings of masculinity, you have far deeper issues. Women work. Women make money.
Some women may make more money than you do. Get over it.
3. Her job isn't "cute."
There is nothing more infuriating than having a bitching day at work, totally kicking some ass and being super hyped, but when you tell your partner about it, you hear, "That's cute." There is nothing cute about being a badass work ninja.
Her pride about her work isn't "cute," either; it's deserved. Her accomplishments aren't adorable. They are hard-earned.
Would you ever tell your buddy it's cute that his board meeting went well? No? Women don't want to hear that, either.
Nobody wants his or her accomplishments to be minimized and beaten down into a box. We are proud of them, and we want you to be too. I mean, that's just a good partnership, right?
4. When she says she “can't even,” she really can't even.
I hate to use this phrase, but it's absolutely true. Don't be surprised that you take second place to a career woman's job.
Sometimes, work gets a little out of hand. Things have to get done. Work things always go on the front burner because they have deadlines and priorities. Personal life things do not.
So sometimes, that date really might have to get rescheduled. That argument really does have to wait until later because at the moment, her brain is overwhelmingly flooded with work-related issues.
It's not that you aren't important to her. It's just that sometimes, work really does have to come first. Who wouldn't rather be out grabbing dinner and watching a movie with her man, instead of writing that last-minute briefing for the next day and drinking six cups of coffee at 3 am?
Even if the front burners are frustratingly occupied at times, they will clear off soon enough. Hang in there.
5. Have your own life.
This one is a big one. When you are dating a woman with a career, you need to have your own life. Get out there and live because we can't be the center of your world.
When work is crazy, and when the times come up where we put on blinders to the outside world and live in a caffeine-induced mania, you need to have your own hobbies and friends to occupy yourself.
Even when a busy woman isn't entirely busy, she might not want to spend every waking minute playing the girlfriend. She might need a night out with the girls to drink some cosmos and unwind. She will probably talk about you to her friends because that's what girls do.
If she doesn't want to spend every waking minute with you, it doesn't mean you aren't important to her. This is not to say she's losing interest. It means she needs a girls' night.
Don't be that guy blowing up her phone because she needs a few hours to herself. This is why sports, cars, beers and bromances exist. Go revel in them.
6. Relationships are partnerships.
Apart from the romance, candlelight, unconditional love, white steeds and shining armor, relationships are partnerships. You are each there to be a good partner to the other person.
Even though your career-driven woman might drive you mad with her time constraints, stress-induced meltdowns and nerves, if you stand by her and help lift her up while she's climbing, she will do the same for you. Even though we are chasers of dreams, once we arrive at the top of that mountain, we remember every hand that helped us up there. We are eternally grateful for your support.