Ways There Is More Pressure On Women To Balance Love And Work

August 29, 2019  |  
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work life balance

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Just because women are generally better at balancing work and their personal life doesn’t mean they have to be perfect at it. And yet, it seems that’s what the world expects of us. Maybe it’s because research has found that women find social interactions more rewarding than men do. Or perhaps it’s just centuries-old misogyny at play that states a woman’s place is with the family. And that could also just mean with the boyfriend or with the friends. Whatever it is, I just know that men get away with neglecting their personal lives in favor of their careers so much more than women do. In fact, it’s sort of expected that a woman will have to nudge her partner to prioritize his relationship. But if a man has to nudge his female partner to do this, everyone is shocked. They say the poor man is neglected. Here are ways women feel much more pressure than men do to balance their work and love lives.

 

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Career-oriented=workaholic

If a woman is career-oriented, people can often just call her a workaholic. And, look, there is such thing as being a workaholic, but I think this term is applied to women too liberally and too frequently. It seems in the eyes of many, women skip right ahead to the workaholic phase and few simply live in the career-oriented one.

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We don’t even say it about men

Eh-em can I just point something out: we don’t even really say the term “career-oriented” about men. Think about it. I bet you mostly hear people describe women as this way because it’s surprising and out of the norm (apparently) if a woman is career-oriented. People just assume men would be career-oriented, so the label isn’t even applied. He is career-oriented by the very fact that he is male.

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Missing date night is so taboo

If a woman has to skip out on date night because of a work opportunity, everyone feels so bad for her partner (even the partner himself can throw himself a big ‘ol pity party). It’s a big deal. A woman choosing work over her partner? How could it be?!

 

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Men missing date night=the norm

In many heterosexual relationships where the man is the more career-oriented one, the woman just embraces the fact that finding time for date night will be difficult. She doesn’t lament and cry over every night her partner can’t meet her for happy hour. That is the norm. When date night happens—that’s the extraordinary. But, when it’s the other way around, and a woman misses date night for work, that is considered abnormal.

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We have to make up for it

And when we choose work over our partners, we have to make up for it. We are in the red as far as romantic gestures and relationship points go. We are facing a deficit. We have a debt to pay. We feel it, hovering over us.

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Do men face that debt?

Nah. They get brownie points for putting aside two nights a month to make date night happen. They don’t face a penalty for the other 28 days they don’t make it home for dinner.

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Our partners are sex-deprived

I hear it all of the time: men pitying their poor friend whose wife or girlfriend works so much that they don’t have sex much. They talk to him as if he’s being abused because he isn’t getting it on regularly. The woman is talked about as if she is cold and neglectful.

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What about the female sex drive?

It just doesn’t seem people feel so bad for the woman who’s man works so much that they barely have sex. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where it isn’t as accepted for a woman to admit that, hey, she has a sex drive as high as man’s and it’s being neglected.

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We can’t be preoccupied

If we come home from a long day at work and are—god forbid—still thinking about work, we are accused of not being present. Men can sort of be babies about this, getting too upset when their partners are just a bit preoccupied with work. We’re expected to just put work aside entirely the second our partners want our attention.

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Yet, we understand it

Meanwhile, I, personally, get it if my partner is preoccupied with work. Most of my female friends will say with empathy and understanding, “He’s had a lot on his mind lately.” They don’t throw tantrums if their partners are a bit out-to-lunch when they get home from a stressful day.

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Working on vacation is a no-no

If we should dare try to work on vacation, we’re accused of ruining the vacation. We’re told we don’t appreciate the vacation and don’t value quality time with our partners. We’re evil for stepping away from the pool for a second to take a work call—our partners in the background, whining, “Get off the phooone we’re on vacaaaation.”

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Again, women are more understanding

Meanwhile, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on vacation, lying by the pool, and witnessed a man leave his partner’s side for a half hour to take a work call. She just sits there, happily reading her magazine. No tantrums thrown. She gets it.

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If a sweet gesture goes unnoticed…

Obviously I hope to show my partner all the appreciation he deserves when he does something like, makes me dinner or even just remembers to pick up ice cream that I like from the store. But what I will say is that if I’m just tired and distracted and fail to throw a full on parade for this sweet gesture, I’m suddenly “ungrateful.”

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I do that sh*t all of the time

Just for the record, perhaps the reason I don’t think it’s trophy-worthy when my partner remembers to pick up Swiffer wipes or something else we need, or when he makes me dinner, is because I do things like that almost every day. But if I’m busy or preoccupied with work, and don’t show my partner 270 percent praise for doing something like that, then I’m too “obsessed with work” to care.

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Working when the in-laws are here

I’m sure most women out there have experienced this: you’re chastised—either with words or the death stare from your partner—for stepping away from a non-stop 48-hour hang session with the in-laws to take a work call. “My parents are here can’t you do that later?!” is what we’ll hear.

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The expectations are just unfair

When my parents are in town, I tell my partner that, it’d be nice if he could join us for one meal. I certainly don’t expect him to take a break from work for two whole days to show my parents around town.

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