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Don’t Believe the Hype: Successful Women Can Get—and Keep—a Man

Pop media may not favor, but you don't have to dismiss ambition for amour

Beyonce and Jay-Z Carter (Image: File)

You know, sometimes it seems the more “right” you do in your career, as a woman, the less successful you’ll be in love and relationships—that is, according to the constant media reports and barbershop/salon chats supporting the notion.

Study: ‘When both male and females were employed, the odds of [abuse] were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership.’

News report: ‘Pop star and actress Christina Aguilera and TV star Courteney Cox joined the ranks of so many famous women who can claim successful careers, but not successful marriage. …In most, if not all, of these cases, the female half of the power couple was making more money than her then-husband, and at a career high when the marriage falls apart.’

Relationship expert: ‘There is a misconception that men are intimidated by the educational, professional and financial statuses of successful black women. This is true when women are only exposed to groups of immature men who lack motivation.’

A neighbor: Oh, that’s nice. You’re doing big things. So where’s your husband? No kids? That’s too bad…

OK… OK… OK… we get it. The stats and quips are oftentimes not in power women’s favor when it comes to their love lives. We all seem like battle axes who emasculate men; who will never keep a man while on our grind; or who will be abused, put down and undervalued. We’ll never be married or stay wives because we’re too power focused or [insert other negative adjective to describe women who want more out of life than just average here].

I could report all day on the high divorce rates or how women are more likely to make power moves that put them in more advanced positions than men (though we won’t be paid the same or have same professional leverage, but that’s a whole other blog). I could also tell my own stories of dating woes and wonder, how some career women’s elitist attitudes can turn off ANY man, or how we sometimes have lists that are too long or unrealistic to even land a first date let alone a wedding consultation.

But, I think it’s time to level the playing field with a few positive insights that may help balance the woe-is-me, sound-the-alarm nuggets we’ve been force fed, realities that we often magnify in our minds when it comes to career advancement.

From power players like top ministers Courtney and Cory Jenkins and matchmaking entrepreneurs Jill and Paul Brunson to more publicized celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z Carter and Michelle and Barack Obama, there are couples out there making major strides in their careers with a companion who brings something to the table.

(Hey, I’ll even throw in examples I know in real life (for those who hate when folk use celebs to justify an everyday-Jane-and-Joe issue): My uncle and auntie, David and Betty, are both professionals winning in their respective fields and have been married for more than a decade, and the awesome Starrene and Anslem Samuel, are both solid journalists and bloggers who have made turning the tables on black love their business.)

Sure, we should all be aware of the negatives in life—and finding an appropriate mate can have its challenges—but let’s be sure to look at the bright side to alleviate the sting of being slapped with constant negativity. As a young, professional woman still early in her career climb, I’ll continue to hold hope that I don’t have to stifle my boss moves just to find and keep a man. (I never planned to stop anyway—but hey, some of us have those moments where we wonder whether we will have to choose between ambition and amour).

(Whenever you get discouraged—or hear yet another annoying reason why ambitious women will end up alone— check out this fun Ebony.com photo gallery of top black power couples.)

Do you find it harder to date the further you move up in your career? #Soundoff and follow me on Twitter @JPHazelwood.

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