Maybe it’s because I did my 20s in North Carolina rather than New York or something, but this doesn’t sound at all familiar to me: young women being ashamed to want a boyfriend, or feeling like a boyfriend will derail their careers. As Leslie Bell writes in The Atlantic:
[Today's 20-something women] face a new taboo and it’s not about sex or money or power. Instead, it’s a taboo about that traditional province of women: relationships. Ambitious young women in their 20s feel they shouldn’t want relationships with men at this phase in their lives.
Really? Most of the women I hung out with in my 20s – AND most of the men – were pretty relationship oriented, and not ashamed of it either. And when I say “I did my 20s in North Carolina,” please don’t think I’m talking about something out of Deliverance. That’s Georgia. JK. But seriously, I spent most of my 20s in the Raleigh-Durham area, and most of my friends were ambitious PhD candidates and journalists and artists and what have you. Nobody worried that a relationship would hurt their careers. Why would it? It’s not like the men we were dating expected us to be home to cook dinner for them. Sure, we didn’t want to be married with two kids in the suburbs at 27. But we did want committed relationships – with the right person.
But maybe I’m missing something. My sense is that young people of late have been rejecting the 1990s “Sex and the City” thing, and are trying to focus more on “what matters” – including relationships. Or maybe, at 30, I’m a microgeneration too old to understand this phenomenon?
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you and your friends embarrassed about desiring a relationship, or worried that a relationship will bring down your career?