Are You Too Busy For A Relationship?
By: Aesha Adams-Roberts
Tammy was a smart, goal-oriented, successful woman with a great career and a new boyfriend who loved her. However, he was about to break up with her because she was too busy. According to her boyfriend, when they were planning dates she'd say things like, "I have a dinner with my friends on Monday, volleyball on Tuesday, church on Friday, work on Saturday and I'm volunteering on Sunday. Oh, I'm free on Wednesday. . . want to get together then?" He broke up with her because she was too busy and made him feel like he was number 50 on her priorities list.
Rachel was an ambitious, driven woman in her 40s. I listened to her share how her marriage fell apart because she put all of her energy into her dream job. She reflected on where things went wrong: "I shouldn't have gotten married anyway. Marriage was one of the goals I had on my checklist of things to accomplish in my 30s. I didn't put enough energy into building the relationship. You can't have your dream job and your dream man…"
Kisha's story underscored that belief. She was only in her 20s and had already built a successful company. However, when she met her dream man, she decided to give it all up for love so she could focus on her new marriage. Less than a week before her wedding, she called it off to avoid making a big mistake. Now she was without a husband or a career!
Tammy, Rachel and Kisha have all struggled with cultural messages about women, work and love. Everyone from Oprah to Emma Thompson to powerful CEOs featured in Forbes magazine have told other women: "You can't have it all!"
There's some truth to that statement. If you're trying to DO it all, then no, you can't have it all. There's no way you can have a powerful career, a flawless physical appearance, an immaculately clean home, well-behaved kids, a successful husband, a thrilling love life, and a bunch of extracurriculars all competing for your time, energy and attention. Something's gonna give.
The problem is that women like Tammy, Rachel and Kisha don't know there's a simple solution. Instead, they believe things like:
- You can't climb the corporate ladder & have a fulfilling relationship. You can't have kids who don't hate you & pursue your career goals at the same time.
- Once I reach my career goals, I can focus on the rest of my life.
- Working at your love life is a sign you're desperate or needy. I don't need a man.
- Being a workaholic gets me instant rewards like promotions, raises, and the approval of other people.
- You should be able to do it all and do it perfectly, without help.
- If you're stressed or overwhelmed it's because you need more balance (not more help!).
- Hiding behind my work will keep me from facing the fact that I keep choosing the wrong people. I'm scared I'll do it again.
You don't have to accept these messages about women, work, success and love. You have more options about how to create a successful life than you think.
It's time for YOU to define what a successful life looks like. Remember, you may not always have control but you do have choices.
Let's talk about it! Do you think women can have it all? Why or why not? Come share your thoughts here