When your phone buzzes at 3:30 in the morning, it's never for a good thing. It's either a booty call, a worried parent wanting to know where you are or a drunk friend acting melodramatic.
In my case, it was the latter.
“I'm so tired of being single."
This was followed by a gif of Robin from “How I Met Your Mother,” crying under her desk while cradling a bottle of wine.
More texts followed.
“Why don't guys like me?"
“Is it just me?"
“It's definitely just me."
At this point, I was getting angry. This particular friend was up for a promotion at her Wall Street advertising firm and made enough money to buy her own studio apartment in Midtown Manhattan. Did I mention she's not even 30?
And yet, all of her achievements — her insanely successful career, her ability to look good after a SoulCycle class — didn't matter if she didn't have a dude to validate her.
This is not a confined issue. My happily cuffed friends all tell me my job won't comfort me when I'm sick, cuddle me at night or help me when I need it. To that, I say bullsh*t. Haven't y'all heard of health insurance?
In your 20s, the only thing that should matter — except for your health and family, natch — is your goddamn career. You didn't spend the last decade of your life in school just to find a f*cking husband. You spent it preparing yourself for how to function like a living, breathing adult.
So please, always remind yourself why you should never give up your career for a relationship.
Your career is founded on hustle; your relationship is founded on luck.
So you met the love of your life crossing the street, in a bar or at CVS? Congratulations, you got lucky. You were both in the right place at the right time.
Your job, however, takes a fair bit more skill than that.
You worked your ass off to get where you are. You pulled all-nighters, set up interviews and built up your resume so much, it deserves to be hung up alongside the Mona Lisa.
You are responsible for getting yourself here, and it was a lot harder than making a Tinder match.
Your career is based on intellect; your relationship is based on butterflies.
The sh*tty thing about relationships? You always have to depend on the whims of another person. Their happiness, sadness, anger, confusion and hurt becomes yours.
Your career is made of tougher stuff than that. In your job, you're wired to learn and continue learning. You build skills and become a better person day-by-day because you're always growing.
You have full control over your career; your relationship has full control over you.
Yes, there are wonderful power couples out there that do have it all, but they are few and far between. From weddings and work parties to double dates, your relationship can dictate your schedule.
A career, on the other hand, is something you built up and grew. Sure, it can lead to long nights and a tough work/life balance, but that's because you cultivated it to be that way.
Your career breaks the bank; your boyfriend breaks your heart.
It's a numbers game. Most relationships — no matter how wonderful they are in the beginning — fail. Divorce rates are enough to scare anyone out of putting a ring on it. When your significant other cheats, leaves or is an all-around d*ck to you, you're left with what feels like nothing.
Your career rewards you for the time and effort you put in (hello, overtime!). Weekends spent in the office put you on track for a promotion. Sure, sh*t happens and jobs don't always work out, but each misstep brings you closer to a better opportunity.
Your career fulfills you; your boyfriend just fills you.
I like to feel proud of something. Whether I wowed in a meeting or looked like a f*cking superstar to my boss, I know when I get home after a busy day, I can feel like I accomplished something.
I'm sorry, girl, but no one gets a gold star for getting some D.
Your career is your Plan A; your boyfriend is the reason you get Plan B.
I will never compromise my success, it will always take precedence over everything else. I know my success is in my hands and I have no one to thank or blame but myself.
If your boo forgets to rubber up, you know who's running off to Walgreens to grab that Plan B and six overpriced pregnancy tests.
Your career will always be a reflection of you; your boyfriend's mistakes can f*ck you up forever.
You can always fall back on your career; your relationship will trip you up.
Those late-night international Skype calls with the London office? All you, babe. No matter what, you know you can always fall back on your talent, skill and what you cultivate at your workplace.
Relationships are riddled with questions. Someone is always on a different page. Someone is always angry at someone else. It's a minefield of emotion and drama, so why put up with it?
Your career will always be the one logical thing in your life. Your relationship? Not so much.
Your career is your future; your relationship is always cloudy.
With a career, you get what you give. Taking more of an initiative will help you in the long run.
With a relationship, you never have that guarantee. No matter how much time or effort you put in, it can still end up in smoke.