“I suppose I should tell you what this bitch is thinking
You'll find me in the studio and not in the kitchen
I won't be bragging 'bout my cars or talking 'bout my chains
Don't need to shake my ass for you 'cause I've got a brain”
Lilly Allen said it best in her song “It’s hard out here”.
Which got me thinking that there are a lot of empowering tunes about focusing on being a fierce female and not needing love. Like Bey’s Irreplaceable and Who Run the World (Girls) or Katy Perry’s Firework.
But there are almost no songs about having a career and having love - having both at the same time. And that’s okay. I mean, with this whole #selfcare trend that’s going on, it’s almost considered backward to want a relationship when you have a bangin’ career.
But it’s not backward at all, it’s a truth a lot of women believe, but that’s just not popular to speak.
But we do need to speak about it, we need to speak about what the experience is like when you’re trying to find a balance between asserting yourself as a professional and finding love as a woman.
Here’s a list of 5 experiences that happen when you’re trying to find love as a career woman:
You resort to dating losers. You convince yourself that partners with less ambition will not be intimidated by your fierceness.
Not everyone you’re with has to be on the same bell curve of achievement as you and you tell yourself that that’s okay.
The driveless car
When you date a loser who’s career focus is to answer phones in call a centre where minimal thinking is necessary it can be really soul numbing.
You’ve spent the day working for an NGO that tries to fund cornea transplants for Cambodian children who are forced to hand stitch the seams on All Stars all day and lose their eyesight as a result.
Someone who has no drive won’t drive you. It’s time to break up.
The caged bird sings for self care
The drawing board of dating is intimidating. You start to wonder whether breaking up was the right decision. But Beyoncé becomes your self-care god, and you even give that Rachel Platten song about small boats in the ocean a listen: Fight Song.
You’re not lonely you’re independent and learning. So you turn to literature.
Book club for one, corner table please
Enter Cheryl Strayed, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey and Sheryl Sandberg to name a few. Hell, you even read that inspiring one about “education for girls” phenomenon: Malala.
You learn about feminism properly for the first time. You have reached new heights of power and it makes your blood blaze with an anger hot enough to melt a metal that’s really hard to melt. You become consumed with the fight, and you use it as a reason to stop looking for love.
But once you’re well on your way in the fight for feminism, you decide to get out and get in there.
Getting out and getting in there
You haven’t seen the inside of a club in forever. Your tastes are a bit more sophisticated than a watered down daiquiri served on a pseudo-wood bar counter still sticky from the sadness of the night before.
Tinder is filled with photos of people who aren’t ashamed to pose with partners while asking for a quick lay and bragging about their body parts.
You take the cow by the udders and register for a part time post-graduate qualification. A lecture hall filled with people, who are maintaining careers and filling their intellectual tank, is surely the perfect environment to meet someone?
Not so much. Business School is like: Nope, nope, nope. You discover that while you were fighting the patriarchy in your professional environment, everyone else has been getting hitched. You feel as though there are no more partners left to be had.
Society teaches you that career focussed women have to give up having the same “life” other women do because they choose to spend all their time slaying in the boardroom or the medical practice for example.
You start to believe that truth yourself. But feminism is about choice. You want a fierce career and you want a fierce family and choosing to admit that is not anti-fem at all.