Dating is a tricky thing! It’s frustrating and full of mind games, clues, and insecurities. I was recently reading a book where the female lead character was making almost 3 times a year as compared to her partner who was making.
The awkwardness of making more than your partner is universal. (Being a heterosexual, I can only speak for a heterosexual relationship.) Our society has continued to incorrectly portray successful single women as “Too Ambitious”! With such negative notions prevalent across continents no wonder it’s next to impossible to go on normal dates and not have the other person make a big deal out of your career.
Being in STEM is bound to bring you more money and definitely more professional success. This might intimidate a lot of people. I’m not going to tell you to care about them. You deserve someone who loves and respects you and your work like you respect your work. No compromises there!
But the awkwardness can come with even the good people who probably don’t know enough about you or your work yet. Here are some tips that may help with getting over the awkwardness during your search to find “THE ONE”! All of them are drawn from my personal experiences.
1. Be Unapologetic
There is no need to apologize for being successful. Don’t downplay your achievements and be proud and confident about who you are. Breaking stereotypes especially the bad ones starts with accepting yourself and owning it.You have worked very hard for everything you have, so OWN IT, and learn to say thank you to compliments.
It will be difficult in the beginning but be aware of how you respond to positive feedback. There’s a real insight in this uncomfortable behavior that we can use to change and improve. This can lead to real personal and emotional growth.
2. Be Authentic
The other thing to keep in mind is, as Dale Carnegie said: “Be authentically interested in the other person”. This says a lot about how much you care. Sometimes it’s very easy to get lost in our own blabber. Ask authentic and genuine questions. Bring up your interests and try to have a natural and interesting conversation.
Authenticity is one of the most appealing characters. When people know you are showing them your REAL self, they trust you more and the connection is instant. In today’s social media obsessed, over the competitive world, it’s very easy to slip into fakeness. Bring awareness to your words and be consciously authentic.
3. Be Respectful
Some of us think because we make more money or work at a better job that gives us a right to question and doubt everyone else who’s not doing exactly what we are doing. That somehow they are less than us. Be aware of your words and be respectful of other people’s career and life choices. Try to be non-judgmental.
Treat people like you’d like them to treat you. The golden rule applies everywhere, using it can prove very useful in dating as well.
Keep in mind all of this is a two way street, you are the best judge of when to walk out of situations that don’t go with your values. It’s always good to set boundaries, this can set the tone of the rest of the relationship.
4. Finally, Align Your Life Goals
A lot of times I’ve noticed that people set up two completely opposite goals for themselves. They want to get married but they want to also take that job in Tokyo. Expecting that someone will move their lives for you in the first few weeks or months of dating, puts way too much pressure on the relationship and no wonder some people bail out. Then they find themselves in the empty apartment in Tokyo!
It’s only us that can bring joy or sorrow in our lives. Choosing nonaligned goals is a very popular and a huge cause of pain. Success doesn’t mean you need to be in pain, success means that all parts of your life are in harmony. The more you declutter, simplify and align your life and goals the more JOY you’d find.
Finally dating and achieving your goals are both just a part of life, don’t put stress yourself over either one of them! Somethings in life happen at the right time, just be patient and positive that you will have it all!
CALL TO ACTION: Make a list of your achievements and feel gratitude for it. See if you can also list some boundaries next to your relationships.
Read the amazing book “How To Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie for some incredible insights on dealing with people in many different circumstances.