I Have My Whole Life To Find Love — For Now, My Career Comes First

It seems like all of my friends are in long-term relationships that are on the fast track down the aisle… while I’m single and loving it (or at least not really caring about it). I have plenty of time to find love, and right now I’m concentrating on something way more important: building an amazing career I can be proud of. My career comes first and that’s just the way it is.

  1. My career is more reliable than a guy. There’s nothing worse than investing your blood, sweat, and tears on something that you end up losing in the end anyway. That, unfortunately, is the difference between a relationship and a career. While you might lose your job, it will still pay you returns for your years of hard work and serve as a jumping-off point for an even better position, whereas a relationship has no payoff when it ends. Instead, you’re expected to start from scratch and hope the same thing doesn’t happen again. Ugh.
  2. won’t apologize for being ambitiousI have a strong work ethic and it’s incredibly important for me to make my mark in the professional world — why should I have to apologize for that? I have so much drive, determination, and talent and I refuse to let that go to waste. If that offends a guy or turns him off, then clearly we’re not meant to be together anyway. He should respect that my career comes first and even find it sexy. If he doesn’t, sucks to be him.
  3. A Relationship and A Career Aren’t Mutually Exclusive. I truly believe that I can have both. It’s not that I don’t see marriage or kids in my future — I definitely do. It’s just that I don’t want it if it means I’d have to sacrifice my career. In most circumstances, these two should never have to compete, but there are times when I’ll have to put work first and I want to be a relationship where that’s understood and I don’t need to feel guilty.
  4. It Works Both Ways. The benefit of thinking this way is that I’ll always be understanding of my partner’s ambition as well. I’ll encourage his career goals and support his dreams wholeheartedly, so if that means forgoing a few date nights during your busy period at work, I completely understand. While obviously we’ll need to carve out time to nurture our relationship and shut off from our jobs, on a day-to-day basis, we should be on the same page about our dedication to our professions.
  5. The right guy will love, respect, and admire my ambition. My ambition is one of the characteristics I love most about myself and I want the guy in my life to be able to say the same thing. I want a guy who loves my dedication to my work and doesn’t begrudge it. I want someone who accepts that my ambition is part of who I am and part of the reason why he loves me — someone who thinks my hustle is sexy. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
  6. I Need Something That’s All My Own. My career is all me and no one can take credit for the long hours and the endless work I put in to get to where I want to be. It makes me feel accomplished, successful, proud and ultimately happy. I need to be able to do my job well in order for me to be the best version of myself. My future partner and I will accomplish a lot together, but this is something I’m doing on my own.
  7. I Don’t Want Any Regrets. My biggest fear is living my life with regrets. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and start imagining what could have been if I’d just dedicated more time to my own pursuits. I don’t want to sit there wondering if one less date night would have catapulted my career. Sure, it could be argued that I might wonder what life could have been like if I’d spent more time on romance, but if love is meant to be, it will be. It needs to be cultivated, sure, but if it’s right, the basics are already there. A career needs to be built from the ground up.
  8. My job is my life’s calling and purpose. My job is an unconventional one. It’s enmeshed with my life’s calling and purpose, and I have the joy of being able to get paid for that for a living. In my job, I work to build up women’s self-esteem and body confidence, which is so innately a part of who I am and what I believe in that I couldn’t imagine having to sacrifice that. I believe my job has a greater cause and will do more good than just padding my bank account.
  9. That being said, I know I may change my mind. Just because this is how I feel right now doesn’t mean it might not change down the line. Part of me questions whether I only feel this way because I haven’t met the right guy yet — I simply haven’t met someone who’s worth the sacrifice. I also question if this type of mentality is due to my age. After all, in your mid-20s, you’re afforded the privilege of being more selfish. Will this all shift when I hit 30? Perhaps. But for now, meetings over men!
Michelle Elman is a body confidence activist, certified life coach, creator of Scarred not Scared, and founder of Mindset for Life. She’s written for publications including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Grazia and appeared on ITV’s “This Morning,” Sky News, Loose Women, and more. She’s also the author of the book “How To Say No.” You can follow Michelle on Instagram at @michelleelman, on Twitter @michelleelman, or on her website, MichelleElman.com.