Should You Pursue Marriage Or Career?

Good relationships are the key to a fulfilling, rewarding life.

One of the biggest dilemmas women face is whether they should pursue a career or choose the traditional path toward marriage and children. I believe women can have all the dreams and desires of the hearts, but need to learn how to manage a good work and personal life balance. A smart woman is not afraid of stating her life desires and views marriage and children as part of that picture. It is not a step backward, but an empowerment women can embrace which says they are not settling for a lesser life, but one that has more lasting value and provides a richer life experience.

1. Successful Career Does Not Equate To Successful Life.
Unfortunately, many people have the perception that motherhood and being a good spouse is somehow not as important as career accomplishments. Most of the women I talk to in their mid to late thirties tell me they would not have spent so much time focused on career advancement and instead would have made room for love. Once you get into the workplace, it is very easy to allow career to dominate your life. It can be all consuming for men and women alike because the appeal of achievement is powerful and validating. I believe one key to prevent this imbalance is to acknowledge early in life the importance of love and relationships.

2. Life Moves Quickly With Or Without Living Purposefully.
Generally, we think there is plenty of time to meet the right person, fall in love, get married and have children. Ask any unmarried woman in her mid to late thirties just how quickly that time flies after college graduation. Developing good relationship skills and habits should be a priority in life, not just an afterthought that it will somehow magically happen without any effort on your part. There is something to be said about sharing your successes with your spouse throughout your career and the women I talk to on a regular basis do feel a sense of loss for not being more proactive about relationship decisions.

3. Life Imbalance Creates Barriers To Love.
The trap for those who want marriage and a family includes the development of particular relationship mindsets that many times sabotage their chances for love. Some believe that the men they date are intimidated by their success and earnings and sabotage their relationships when they feel too vulnerable. Some have such an imbalance between their work and personal life that they do not know how to really nurture a relationship, wanting a man to fit into their life instead of looking at love as two individuals coming together to create a shared life together. By not making relationships a priority, women inadvertently send men the message they do not need them in their lives. There is nothing wrong with being self-sufficient, but not making room for love only keeps you in the same place and further away from your relationship goal.

Lastly, many professional women tell me they have very high standards and expectations and just can't seem to find anyone who fits that ideal. It is important to have high standards for the internal factors such as strong character, high morals, values and faith. However, the most common barrier to love is the focus on external factors, which then becomes another way to avoid commitment. The real fear is change and not knowing how a shared life will look, however growing together is the beauty of love with the right person.

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