Should I Give Up Relationships To Have a Career?

Jan 17


Dr. Dennis W. Neder

Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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Do you have to give up dating and relationships to have a career? What combinations between professional men and women work out the best?


Hello Dennis:

I recently started a graduate (doctorate) program where I have to keep a 3.5 GPA or else I will get kicked out. It's kind of a conditional thing...err sort of. So no guarantees I'm going to get my doctorate. You know what I mean. Also you can’t get any C,Should I Give Up Relationships To Have a Career? Articles D, or F grades. So basically this year I have to be really focused on studying and schoolwork and not be distracted from it. The thing is though I have been really lonely for a long time and the last few years have been really hard for me because I haven't had a boyfriend. The last time I kissed a guy was...oh jeez I can't even remember!

But now that the situation that I'm in with school and stuff, would you say it's wiser for me to lay off the dating scene for these few years? Because relationships, dating, and breakups really are a lot of drama and they can really mess up your grades. And I don’t want to get kicked out of school.

Also...since I'm going to be an educated career woman, what are the types of men I should date. Everyone tells me that men are intimidated by women who are more educated and make much more money than them because then they dont feel like as much of a breadwinner (which I will be most likely) but I wonder is there really a truth to that...or do guys want women as successful as they are?

OH yeah and last question - when a man leaves a woman (his wife, girlfriend whatever) for another woman - what have you seen in your experience to be the main reason? Money, careers, fights, sex, conflict of interest, difference in personal values, race, religion, etc...What do you think are the BIG reasons? it the same reason women leave men for other men or different reasons? I’m just asking what have YOU seen in your life experience?

Thank you!====================Hello!

Well now, are YOU full of questions today??

Regarding your degree; certainly sometimes one thing takes precedence in our lives over others. If you feel that dating or relationships will prevent you from meeting your GPA requirement, than I certainly agree that you should avoid those things.

However, consider this: when you get to the end of your life do you think you'll be most happy that you got your degree or that you have warm, fulfilling, loving relationships? You see, it's the friends and lovers we make throughout our lives that give it real definition. If you put that on hold, you're actually stunting your emotional/relationship/sexual growth and I think that would be tragic.

Do you believe you can't balance these things enough to have them both? If not I just think you're not trying hard enough.

Regarding careered, degreed women intimidating men: no, this is mostly a fallacy held over from years ago. Men today aren't intimidated by accomplished women; but on the other hand, women have a very real problem dating men that are less-accomplished than they are.

I've been doing work on this very concept over the past few years and will write about it in my up-coming book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World III". It's something I call the "Power Gradient". It's a little complicated, but it works like this: in general, women have a built-in need to date "up", into greater power than they themselves posses. Power is measured in many ways and can be different from woman to woman, but the facts remain.

As you gain greater accomplishment you also gain greater power. What this does is serve to limit your available dating pool since fewer and fewer men are perceived as having greater accomplishment (power) than you have.

Interestingly, this works just the opposite for men! Men don't care as much about power and use other criteria to select a mate. Thus, a woman's power is of little consequence while his own is of great importance. The more powerful he becomes, the greater his own dating pool is!

The point of all of this is simply that your status will have much to do with finding that mate in the future. This is all the more reason to find him (or them?) now, before you reach your academic and career goals.

Regarding men leaving women: While there is no main reason, the far most common reason men leave their women is sex. Of course everything else in the couple's life adds to this, but be clear on this point: any woman that wants to have a successful relationship had better grow her skills as far as she possibly can. It is the rare man that will leave a situation where he's getting not only the quantity but the type of sex he needs.

Now here's the problem with this: almost every woman believes she's incredible in bed, and in fact, very, very few really are! My own experience puts this at about 10% (and trust me, I've been with many, many women!) From my research, most men say about 25% of the women they've been with have any real skills!

Why the disconnect? Simple: men will tell you anything they have to in order to have sex with you. They'll even lie and tell you that you're great when you're not and will not even expect you to get better or grow! They are often just happy that they're getting sex in the first place.

Thus, there's little motivation for you to learn these skills while in a relationship! Further, women don't put much emphasis on sex as being an important relationship skill and thus, often don't bother to study and practice. They even believe that this is the man's job anyway so they focus on other things.

Very, very bad choice for any woman that actually wants to keep her man around!

As to the reason that women leave, yes it's different. Although sex can be an important factor, it's far more common for women to leave when they perceive that the man has lost his power (see above) in whatever way she interprets it. A close second however is loss of affection, closeness, passion and intimacy as this translates to the same boredom men feel in sex.

Best regards...------------------------------------------------------------------Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's Worldtm" (volumes I and II), and other products visit: Check out the discussion group at: Stay tuned for our new Internet TV Show – BAM TV – starting soon!

Copyright (c) 2008, Dr. Dennis W. NederAll rights reserved.