…building a successful career, dating, finding her Harry, and learning to live without apologies.
After breaking up Mr. X, I quietly starting hanging out with another guy and kept it very much on the down low as I wanted to protect it from all the judgement from family and friends. I was not ready to answer all of the questions and defend myself as to how could I be ready to date again after ending a 3 plus year relationship. Again, I did it my own way on my own timeline. It took a few months and then I decided to tell my friends and family I was dating a new guy.
There will always be pressure from society, friends and family members asking you at each step of your life more and more questions but my best advice to you is to stay your ground, and make your own way. Don’t be a sheep and follow the masses, stand out and be yourself.
About 6 months into this new relationship, my new boyfriend and I had a talk about expectations and wants and where we saw ourselves in 5 years. Heavy questions at 6 months yes, but we were both almost into our 30s so I felt these questions were warranted. I followed my instinct and knew I could not emotionally invest anymore time into this relationship if I didn’t put it out there what I wanted in life. I told my new boyfriend that I would give this relationship 2 years at most and if before that or at that time we both don’t see this going anywhere then we can walk away. He was startled and shocked that I could put a timeline on a relationship and expected him to accept that. I told him I know for ME that I will know by 2 years if I see a long term future with the person I am dating. I was NOT shy and told him that I dated people and I KNEW what I wanted in a partner. We had our up and downs during this relationship but one thing that was for not misunderstood was MY timeline and my feelings because I did what I thought was right and put it on the line.
Fast forwarding two years, we were engaged to be married. My boyfriend has proposed on our two year dating anniversary and took me by surprise! No mention of anything at all until one evening when we were walking to dinner after a play and I look over and he was down on one knee! AHH! I said YES! Here I was over the moon happy and couldn’t believe it!
Even though I was on cloud 9 with excitement there were still some friends and family in my life saying the engagement wasn’t fast enough and you already lost two years and that I should get married ASAP if I wanted kids. Again, people love to share their opinions regardless of the occasion or event in your life.
My advice is to always be true to yourself and take a pause and enjoy moments of joy with your significant other and let your friends and family wait. We told our closest family and friends about our engagement the day but the rest could wait.
Dating and having a career is challenging but it can be done. Don’t be shy to cancel dates because of a project at work, or pushing dinner plans because you are trying to meet a deadline. If the person you are dating is truly supportive of your career they will understand. I hated rescheduling dates but I often did because of work. I didn’t think it was fair to the person I was dating to have to put up with me when I was fried from a bad day at work or let alone in a horrible mood that no amount of cosmos or food could fix. Sometimes we all need a personal mental health day to go home get chick-fil-a and watch a romantic comedy on Netflix and that is OKAY. I always felt it was better to reschedule vs go ahead with the date and end up in an argument or something because I was NOT at my best to start with.
Sometimes it’s hard to not talk about work when you are on dates but one rule I made was I allowed the first ten minutes of the date to be where we can talk about our days at work but after that no more work talk. I felt like this allowed me to truly “leave work at work” and be the true me and relax, unwind, and get to know the person across from me.