Is It One or the Other?

I used to be a fan of MTV’s “The Hills” before it became a show solely about folks making bad relationship decisions. However, I still tune in to that series’ spin-off, “The City,” which is centered on a 20-something, single gal trying to create a successful career for herself as a designer.

I think lots of women can relate to watching the show’s star work hard, stress and network to make it in her industry. (She also dates.) Luckily, she has a mentor to help pave her way and offer great advice as someone who’s been there.

One nugget of advice from the mentor, Kelly Cutrone, had me nodding my head when I first heard it, but after further contemplation, it just really had me thinking.

The quote: “Some women follow men. Others follow their dreams.”

For me, that raised the question: “Is it either/or?” When it comes to career vs. relationships, can a SIS successfully pursue and manage both, or is it one or the other?

I know more than a few single, independent sistahs who are on their grind. They have professional goals they’re trying to meet. They’re on career paths, and although they want marriage, too, the path to that goal seems a little less obvious.

I also know a SIS or two who would be perfectly content just being housewives (the real kind, not the reality TV kind).

Either way, they’re all single.

I do know some wives who are professionally motivated and still focused on their marriages. They own their own businesses and work long hours, but manage to find lots of quality time for their husbands, too. So, I’d have to conclude that it is possible to have both a successful career and a healthy relationship.

Maybe you don’t have to choose one or the other.

However, the truth is that, I know a lot more career-minded women who are single. I’m not sure if it’s a cause or an effect. Are these ladies focused on the job ‘cause they’re not in relationships, or are they not in relationships ‘cause they’re focused on the job?

I’m not sure, but I think it’s a lot more fulfilling for a SIS to have a life while “waiting” on a man – if that’s one of her goals — than waiting on a man to be her life. Doing the latter may leave you with neither.


7 Responses to “Is It One or the Other?”

  1. 1 Tina
    June 11, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I believe you are right about that…you can have both. Its all about managing your time, I see the wonderful woman in life doing it daily to my amazement. I do understand that since I am in school they don’t want me to “put my life on hold” for a man. Meaning I can’t just follow his dreams I have to follow my because in the end who’s to say that he’ll be there; but then again I wouldn’t just be following any old guy around the states..haha..I would defiantly already have a ring! 🙂 But yet nothing is guaranteed….taking chances is what life is about.

    I will say though, when it comes to your life and his life…compromises will be made either way it goes because the life of two becomes one….what do you think?

    Just some food for thought…

  2. June 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    There has to be a balance of work and life. I have a friend that works 13 hours a day and barely sees her husband and she is wondering why he is distant. The sad thing is he wants his wife but she has this mentality that she has to be successful and the only way to define that is by workig so hard. I told her she needs to cut back if possible because trying to obtain that look of being successful is going to leave her with an unsuccessful marriage.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  3. June 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

    You should pursue both at the same time. When you go all in for one or the other…you always miss out on the other and later live to regret it…if that was something you really wanted.

  4. June 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I definitely think it’s possible to have both but you have to learn balance. You can’t let one overshadow the other one. I look at my mother who has managed a career, 3 children, a 30 year marriage and ahousehold all while completing her bachelors degree at 40 years old. If she can do it, I think anyone else can. As far as being single, in some cases some women make need to throw themselves completely into their work to focus; others can balance two such extremes. It varies.

  5. June 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    When I was single my career was my primary focus. I met my husband while on that journey… he has always supported me, even following me across the country to further my career. Now that I have accomplished a lot of my own personal goals I no longer feel the drive to be successful in anything but my marriage.

    My career is very fulfilling and I wouldn’t mind continuing to work but now my focus has shifted to making my role as wife my primary occupation. Sounds weird, but pay raises and acknowledgements at work pale in comparison to an approving glance from my husband. I never thought he alone would be enough for me. But I don’t think I could have learned that without chasing my career first… I like trusting him enough to follow – it’s a nice change; he did it for me 🙂

    Work, play and marriage all have their relative importance in everyone’s lives. Either way, a great partner will always support you.

    ~Cheers with wine~

  6. 6 Syi
    June 11, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Monique is right….you need a balance…

  7. June 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I don’t think it’s a one or the other deal. But I wouldn’t advise putting aside your goals for some man. In my own happy little world I like to believe that while following my dreams, I’ll eventually meet someone and end up in a relationship. If it doesn’t happen, at least I stayed true to me.

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