When the Kim Kardashian iPhone game presents an ultimatum, it's certainly a lowest-common-denominator struggle, familiar to all of us. Despite what I feel are some very obvious, indisputable reasons to choose the former, the conundrum remains: career or love? And since you can't dish out dollars to buy more energy in Real Life like you can in the Kardashian app, the question mark just grows more pronounced. This is not a new dilemma. And while, more and more, people are figuring out that, no, we do not have to choose between love and a rewarding career, we do always have to have a clear hierarchy of priorities in our minds. That's what drives our decision-making. I'm not saying that career-driven women shouldn't have love lives, but are you going to stay late and get ahead at work tonight, or are you gonna leave to meet your S.O. for dinner? This is where the priorities come into play. And more women are starting to get onboard with putting their work lives on the top of that list.
There are heaps of reasons why being single is absolutely wonderful. You can skip shaving! That one's a bit silly, but you get the idea. Career is one of the more convincing arguments to stay unpaired. What if Jane Austen chose to accompany a boyfriend on an ill-advised vacation to Puerto Rico and completely ran out of time to write Pride and Prejudice? Coco Chanel perhaps, instead of spending her time launching a freakin' legendary fashion brand, could have wasted it with some half-baked twerp hanging around, guilting her into another round of Scrabble while staying home for the 100th night in a row. If OKCupid were around as an option, Emily Dickinson might have donned something other than white, left the attic, and never inked down "I love luxury, but freedom and independence better." That's right, sister. All these women elected to pursue worthwhile professional lives over the husband hunt. Here's why you should follow their lead:
You've been striving towards work goals—why stop now?
There's momentum! When you're single, you can hunker down and really focus on how to excel in your specific field. Pursue an advanced degree. Hustle for a promotion. There isn't really an equivalent to this in the romance realm. Sure, we could and should all strive to grow into more mature, compassionate, less-selfish people regardless of relationship status. But none of that necessarily lends itself to finding, securing, and enjoying a romantic partner 'til death do you part. You can wisely, tirelessly date for stretches of time but not come any closer to finding That Person. Working toward work goals doesn't absolutely mean success there, either, but there's certainly a better shot there. The odds are more in your favor.
You really only have yourself to rely on
Just because you deliberately lean your nose into the proverbial grindstone to improve, who's the say a partner would give it the same oomph? If you simply hold yourself accountable, it's less likely you can cast blame elsewhere. It's also less likely that you'll find yourself disappointed because hey, not everyone gives a damn. Plus, when you're entirely in charge of making all that income, you're also in charge of spending it.
You can move—or not move—at a moment's notice if a job calls for it
Without having to sweat another person's comfort, livelihood, or personal preference, you have the freedom to accept a new job offer across the nation or even the globe. You alone get to decide whether or not you care to join the company as they launch the new Tokyo bureau. Or you can stay and hold down the fort with the branch you're currently at, sans the pressure from someone else dragging you in any specific direction, or holding you down where you are.
Face it: You spend waaay more time at the office than you ever could outside of it
A recent Gallups study revealed that the typical American spends an average of 47 hours a week at work. Assuming you book at least seven hours asleep each weeknight, that leaves only about 7.5 hours each workday to eat, commute, exercise, generally maintain physical and mental health, etc. How is quality time with another person supposed to fit in that measly time allocation? That's nothing in comparison to all the hours logged at the office. Might as well do your damnedest to make sure you sit exactly where you want at the conference table.
You get to stay in the driver's seat
You may work best in the morning but what if your partner is a night owl and that's literally the only time y'all can hang out? That could throw the whole flow off! When you're single, you get to work when you want, all you want. Obviously, you can do that when you're in a relationship too, but it might come with some guilt or sadness attached. With technology making a mobile office more commonplace than ever, indulge in the options it grants you. You're steering this car(eer), you know.
You can save energy for stuff that always has and likely will continue to matter to you
Trying new stuff because your partner pushed you to give it a go might be fun, but ultimately, what if you just don't like camping? Because, like—peeing outdoors? Ew. Conserve that precious vigor to funnel into the professional well you've been tending years before you even met this person.
You can still have meaningful, non-romantic relationships
With no pressure. On your own time. In your own way. On your own turf. It's your life, bb. You get to decide what's worth your time and where it goes.
Images: Shahrokh Hatami/Amazon; Giphy (7)