Career Woman Dilemma: How To Maintain A Relationship While Climbing Up The Corporate Ladder

December 30, 2014  |  

It’s not a secret: successful women have a hard time dating and maintaining lasting relationships. It is hard for some men to handle a powerful woman and a woman who spends a lot of time on her career.

“The traditional male role is to be the provider and protector. If a guy loses that, he may feel like he’s losing his pride. Many men feel like their identity is wrapped up in what they do and how much they earn. It’s an external validation of their success, and a woman who is more successful than they are may threaten how they view themselves,”Steve Nakamoto, author, Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know, tells

Women face unique pressures on the job, often finding themselves working longer hours and taking on more projects to prove themselves. These demands can wreak havoc on a relationship if the man is unavailable to handle the situation. Women tend to adapt better than men as they are accustomed to juggling various things.

“I think most women are innate multi-taskers with the ability to ​ manage both roles successfully. While it may be ideal to turn off one aspect of your life to focus on another, it’s not practical. Most women learned to adapt. To stay productive and progressive at work, while making sure you are dedicating time to your relationship, you have to be very organized and get help if you can,” says life coach and career expert Stacia Pierce, CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises. “There are times when the majority of your attention may go to your significant other or your job, but in reality, the lines are blurred. Especially since we live in a society that thrives on 24/7 access. Sometimes you have to send out a few emails before cooking dinner or reschedule an appointment to attend a play.”

Oftentimes women play a part in pushing men away by being intimidating, say experts. “I think some women inadvertently send the message that ‘I’m too busy or too important for you,’ and no one likes to sit down at a table with someone who goes on and on about their accomplishments or how busy they are,” Diane Mapes, author of How to Date in a Post-Dating World, tells “With online dating, the whole process is accelerated: There’s a tendency for women to dump their resume in a guy’s lap, and it can be overwhelming.”

Jenifer Daniels, founder/CEO of social impact consultancy Good & Smart: Social Impact Strategies, has had to find a way to strike a work-life balance to keep her relationship strong.

“Being an entrepreneur celebrating 10 years of marriage (and with two children) has created quite a few difficulties. With emotions ranging from elation to guilt–I’ve had to deal with saying no to clients and my family,” shares Daniels.

There tricks you can use to strike a balance. “Plan your day in advance. Pre-planning and organization help you to think clearly and act fast when you have a lot on your plate,” says Pierce.

Also setting boundaries at work helps. You have to schedule your personal time as you do meetings. And you wouldn’t skip a meeting would you?

“I have begun to identify my needs to maintain a balance. Creating boundaries like firm business hours (9am-3pm), no working on weekdays, and bringing my family on trips when I speak at conferences,” says Daniels.

Get organized at home. “Creating work and home systems that can be implemented to keep things running on autopilot,” explains Pierce. This will give you more free time to focus on your personal relationships.

Keep your options open if you are single.

“Women who are very accomplished tend to have very high expectations—perhaps unrealistically so. It’s tough to find someone who seems just right for you, and successful women may have a smaller dating pool because they won’t necessarily ‘date down’ financially like many men are willing to do. I’d advise women to be open-minded. There are a lot of really smart, substantial guys who are attractive in non-traditional ways,” advises Mapes.

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