Dating Open Thread: What’s Your Best Dating Advice for Career-Driven Women?

dating advice for career-driven womenHappy Valentine’s Day, ladies! If you’re happily partnered, what are you up to tonight (or this weekend)? If you’re still on the hunt for a partner, though, let’s have an open thread to talk about dating. What are your favorite online services or apps? Have you joined any IRL activities to try to meet someone? Are you open to dating at the office (and how does that look in 2018)? Whether you’re partnered or not, what is the best dating advice for career-driven women you’ve ever heard?best dating advice for career-driven women - image of heart marshmallow in cocoa

For my $.02, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’ve always been of the view that I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person — and knew it was time to break it off with guys as soon as I rolled my eyes at them. As a Type-A, career-driven woman, the best dating advice I got back in the day was to treat dating like a project, with measurable goals (update profiles on 2 sites this week, message 4 prospective guys, go on 2 dates). It gives you some feeling of control over what is essentially an uncontrollable process — and it helps you understand better what you do and don’t want, as well as appreciate when there is a spark or connection. Personally, this last part was really important for me — I went into dating like I might a hire, with a wish list of schools, careers, extracurriculars. Looking back, I’m glad I ditched the list and focused instead on spark, connection, and shared values and expectations about what our lives would look like, including things like how much you want your extended family in your life, what the “default weekend” looks like (together? apart? partying? with our kids? football widow?), and even generally being on the same wavelength on things like dirty dishes and toys taking over your living room. That said, I wound up meeting my husband at a friend’s party a few months after I’d decided to take a break from dating like a project… and both of us nearly hadn’t gone to the party. So luck (obviously) plays a huge role… but as the quote goes, chance favors the prepared mind.

Here are some of our previous discussions on point regarding dating advice for career-driven women:dating advice for career driven women - image of pink heart in hot cocoa mug

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Engagement Rings: Have You Ever Upgraded, Downgraded, or Swapped It Out?

engagement ring upgradeSo here’s something that I know people do but never really hear people talk about: upgrading engagement rings. If you’re married, engaged, or just fond of thinking about rings: when, if ever, can one “upgrade” an engagement or wedding ring to get a larger diamond, adding more stones like baguettes or upgrading the setting to something like a Halo? When, if ever, can one replace a wedding ring for fashion/style reasons? (Obviously, the easy answer is “whenever the heck you want,” but there’s an etiquette issue here with your partner, as well as budgetary issues, fashion/lifestyle issues, and more.) We’ve talked about whether you have to take a diamond ring off to interview — but we’ve never talked about an engagement ring upgrade or anything else from this angle.upgrading an engagement ring etiquette

A few questions, to focus discussion: is buying “too much of a ring” ever a problem? For example, if your partner were to propose with an engagement ring — but still be in the midst of paying it off when you get hitched — how do you feel about that? Would you prefer zero debt in your union and a smaller ring — or did you have a mindset of “hey, you only get one engagement ring so let’s make it huuuuge!”, but then be OK with a monthly loan payment to which you contribute (or where your partner pays for it alone but then has less resources to contribute to family discretionary spending)? (After all, there are lots of different married money management methods!) Irrespective of engagement ring size, I know of several women who found that ultimately they preferred to just wear their wedding bands, and leave their engagement rings in the drawer (or safe, as the case may be)…

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Online Dating for Smart Women: Apps, Advice, and More

online dating for smart women2018 Update: We’ve entirely updated this post on online dating for smart women, including rounding up all the latest dating sites and apps catering to smart people. You may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

Long hours at the office, plus no energy when you’re NOT at the office… these are not the great markers of a lively social life. If you’re not already attached to someone, it can be a nightmare for a young professional woman to try to meet someone intelligent — which means that online dating is the default plan for many. There are a variety of sites out there that pander to intelligent women, so, with Valentine’s Day breathing down our necks, I thought we’d round up a few… Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I’ve been out there, so if you have any new sites or methods to recommend please write in!online dating for smart women - image of a tree

Option 1: Online Dating Sites for Smart Women

The following sites focus on elite qualifications, resumes/schools, IQ, and more. (We’ve totally updated this list as of 2018…)

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Resolutions for 2017 – What Are Yours?

Resolutions for Busy Women | CorporetteResolutions: Do you do ’em? We talked last year about how some people have a resolution theme instead of a list (I had to read my post to remember that “hungry” was my resolution — sad!), but I think this year I’m back to a simple list of things, all aimed at finally losing the baby weight and trying to grow my business.

Like I did last year, I thought I’d round up some of our posts that might help you with popular resolutions, like looking more polished, moving more, growing your career, and more.  Ladies, what are your resolutions for 2017? How did you do on your resolutions from 2016? Did anyone have any breakthroughs that you’d care to share?

Look More Polished

Appreciate More, Stress Less

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A Marriage Mindset, Overachieving Chicks, and the Patels

Marriage Mindsets, Determination, and More2018 update: We still stand by these thoughts on having a marriage mindset, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women. Check out the latest discussion among readers about the marriage mindset here!  

I recently watched Meet The Patels on Netflix. (I recommend!) The romantic comedy documentary talks a lot about “marriage mindset,” and I thought it might make an interesting discussion over here. If you haven’t seen it, 30-year-old Indian-American actor Ravi Patel agrees to do everything he can for one year to find a wife the way his Indian parents want, including biodata, online dating, Indian weddings, and even attending an Indian marriage convention. His parents accuse him throughout the documentary of not having a “marriage mindset” — of going into the thing with doubts and hesitations and expectations that are too high. (Here’s a nice NPR article about it, and here’s the trailer on YouTube.)

Of course, in case it needs to be said: marriage is not essential to happiness or success, either in an “official document” kind of way or a long-term relationship (“LTR”) kind of way. In fact, for my own $.02, I’ve always had the mindset that I’d rather be by myself than with the wrong person.  In my teens and 20s this meant I didn’t date a lot and wasn’t in too many LTRs — I had other stuff to do, was happy with my life, and didn’t see any urgency to finding someone. Looking back, I think I saw a lot of girlfriends spend too much energy on the wrong guy (sometimes to the detriment of school and career), and unconsciously stepped back from the whole arena, with the idea that I would welcome love if it happened, but I wasn’t going to put myself out there and force something.

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Dating at Work

Dating at Work2018 Update: We still think this was a great discussion on dating at work, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on dating at work? Have you ever dated a coworker? What do you think are the rules for dating officemates? With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought we’d have a nice open thread about the pros and cons of dating at the office. (For those of you already happily coupled, let’s hear how you met, whether at the office or beyond!)

For my $.02: I never dated a coworker, although I had crushes on a few of them over the years — at the time I was very worried about being viewed as someone who saw the office as a dating pool. Looking back, this was probably silly — in Big Law so many people churn through the lower ranks it’s almost like another grad school, and there are always more people to work with if a relationship ends poorly. Indeed, I know several happily married couples who met as coworkers at BigLaw — although all of them kept it a secret, even from good friends, until the relationship was pretty serious. (In fact, a number of readers noted in our last open thread about dating at the office that they had dated at work, and discretion was the name of the game, as well as paying attention to the “don’t date assholes” rule that, you know, is a pretty good one for dating in general. I also agree with the other little rule that readers noted in that thread, though: Summer associates or interns should not date at the office.)

As for how I met my husband — I went through a phase where, fighting my introverted ways, I said “yes” to pretty much any activity that would take me out of the house. For about a year and a half I went to political fundraisers, soccer games, and trivia nights — and I also joined museum groups like the Young Lions (at the New York Public Library) and the American Museum of Natural History’s Junior Council. And just when I was about to give up my little “dating project,” I met my husband. We met at a friend-of-a-friend’s birthday party in a bar on the Lower East Side; Mr. G also did not know the birthday girl well and in fact had to be dragged to the party (by our future best man!). Our circles really didn’t intersect at all, so it’s really lucky that fate took us both to that party.

All right, ladies, over to you — have you dated at the office? Share your stories (and your rules)! If you’re happily coupled, how did you meet your partner, whether at work or beyond? 

Psst: we’ve also talked about finding time to date when you’re busyhow to date a really busy guy, and how to date someone with more time or less money

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