Why is it that when a man chases his career dreams he’s seen as motivated and ambitious, yet we eventually get the pressure put on to find a nice guy and “settle down”? Not only is it archaic to judge a woman for being determined, but in an era where dating involves swiping left and right and dodging pictures in our inbox of stranger’s penises, forgive me if I’d rather set my sights on finding my dream job over my dream guy.
There’s more time for dream guy later. I’ll have time for “The One” later—you know, when the dudes my age have grown up and aren’t mostly terrible. Dating in your twenties is like shopping for an elegant evening gown in Walmart—exhausting, depressing and in my experience, futile. So far I’ve found work to be way more satisfying than some guy inviting me over to Netflix and Chill. And while I’m not willing to compromise on career (and while most decent guys seem to only exist in Nancy Meyers movies), I’m happy to stick the dream guy search on the back burner.
I want to chase my dreams while I can afford can be flexible. Because life happens—one minute you’re free as a bird and the next you have someone else to consider and that amazing job prospect interstate is no longer an option. Being young and single is a wonderful time to go where the wind takes you and take every opportunity. Even if I meet a great guy who wants me to take every chance, once attached, our hearts have a pesky way of prioritizing love. Plus, that feeling of the world being my oyster doesn’t suck either.
The search for dream job is infinitely less frustrating. Yeah, working crappy jobs at first sucks and rejection from a potential employer still hurts, but slogging through the over man-fumed sea of frogs to find my Prince Charming? Why don’t I just poke myself in the eye with a fork and call it a day? It’s about as much fun. Unread texts, games, guys who act keen and then disappear faster than my motivation to exercise every morning—I’m so over it I have my cat lady starter pack ready to go on my eBay wishlist.
Having ambition doesn’t make me selfish. It’s only been the last few months I’ve fully acknowledged it’s an option to forgo the whole white picket fence scenario. It’s one of those things that we “should” be looking for, but why should we? Also, men have been pursuing careers for decades and still landing great relationships. So I’ll be damned if I’m not entitled to strive for the same thing. Chasing a dream job isn’t self-indulgent, it just means we live in an era where our sole purpose doesn’t have to involve producing human beings.
I want to strike while the iron’s hot. I love those stories about people finding their dream career in their 50s, particularly in my “I’m getting old and getting nowhere” quarter-life crisis moments. But realistically, if you have a dream job in mind, it’s better to start earlier than later. I feel like it’s more beneficial to climb that ladder now while I’m sharp and before all my wine and “The Bachelor” nights have killed off my brain cells.
Self-discovery is more important than dude hunting. Call me crazy, but I feel like it’s more valuable to spend time figuring out who you are and what you want than chasing tail. I’d rather spend my time soul searching than searching for a clue when dream guy has decided to ghost for no obvious reason. Plus, I should probably know myself fully before I’m capable of knowing what you’re truly looking for in a guy.
I want to be a fulfilled individual first. Nothing will kill a relationship down the line like resentment that you sacrificed your dreams. Sure, relationships are fulfilling for a time, but once the honeymoon phase wears off and the novelty disappears, I’m just left with the average relationship… and probably a few extra pounds of comfort weight. I’d rather be 100% satisfied with life, pursuing dreams and being single—then anything after that is just a bonus.
A good career will set me up. While a bad relationship will pull me way down. If I’m constantly chipping away at my goals, I’m always making progress; I won’t go backwards. But what if dream guy ends up being a douchebag nightmare? I’m back to square one with not only no guy, but no career progress. It’s so dangerous to put all your eggs in a situation that’s so dependent on another person. Even if it seems so promising initially, things change.
Dream guy will support my dream job. Ultimately, I want someone who will support my goals. If I meet someone by chance while I’m career hustling, and if they’re worth it, they’ll work in. I would never ask someone to give up their ambition for me, so I’d expect the same in return. And if my dreams transform me into the Miranda Priestly of my field and I continue disappointing consecutive husbands, so be it. Let’s be honest, her life is pretty awesome.
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