A Marriage Mindset, Overachieving Chicks, and the Patels

Marriage Mindsets, Determination, and MoreI 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 WorkLadies, 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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Kat’s “Time to Break it Off” Test (and other Dating Thoughts)

Pink and Red Hearts Cupcake, originally uploaded to Flickr by Zen Cupcake.How do you know when a dating relationship isn’t worth pursuing?  How do you know when to break it off with a romantic interest?  I thought this might be a fun topic for today, in part because I was just reminded of (and thankful for!) one of my “it’s time to break it off” tests for relationships, and in part because it’s been far too long since we talked about dating.  (Pictured.)

Let’s say you meet a person, either through a friend, or an online dating site, or maybe even the office.  Things are going great! Then, five or six dates in, things start to take a turn for the worse.  Maybe your phone stops ringing quite so much — or maybe it’s ringing too much for you.  Maybe the conversations you’re having leave you with niggling doubts.  This is all the normal start of a relationship, right? It takes some time to get used to another person in your life!  No one is perfect; everything is a compromise… right?

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Finding Time to Date When You’re Super Busy

finding-time-to-dateReader J suggested a post about advice for finding time to date …

I liked your post today “Fitting a Social Calendar into a Busy Life” and I have an idea for a related post. What about one about dating? I know you’ve been off the market for a while, but I imagine you’ve had some experience in the arena! Specifically, making time to date when you’re a busy, professional woman and/or how to meet men when you’re a busy, professional woman.

We’ve talked a bit before about where to find guys to date, as well as on dating at the office, but in terms of general advice on dating when you’re busy, I don’t really think we’ve gone there.  So let’s get into it a bit.  (And, my usual caveat applies: apologies in advance for every time I say “he” or “him” or “the guy” — I really do mean “your prospective date” or “the person you’re dating.”)  (Pictured: Hearts and Candy, originally uploaded to Flickr by Rdoke.)

I’ll start by saying that I met my husband in 2007, when I was a fifth-year associate — it would have been a ton easier had I met him in law school or even at the office, but, alas.  So it can be done — but it isn’t easy.

A few tips from my experience:

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Open Thread: Dating at the Office

dating at workWe’ve talked about dating a wee bit on here, but something we’ve never talked about is dating at the office.  (Disclosure:  This author has no experience with it personally — and as a newlywed, we hopefully never will).  Still, it happens frequently — a 2003 study by the American Management Association found that two-thirds of managers and executives say it’s okay to date someone at the office, and 30% have done so.  We’ve certainly known (and respected) folks who dated people at the office — in fact, a lot of those people wound up marrying that co-worker.  So what are the rules for dating a co-worker with dignity?

(Pictured:  Linda Lee Johnson Claddagh Ring, available at Barney’s for $3200.)

We thought we’d throw some suggestions for the single ladies amongst us — readers, please chime in.

  • Do not view your office as a dating pool. It doesn’t matter how big the company is, or how many floors or offices it has — word will get around, and it will hurt you professionally.  There should be a chance for the relationship to be a fairly serious one — do not just “date” a co-worker for a “distraction.”  If you happen to really like someone you work with, let your feelings develop naturally, and let the relationship progress naturally.  (We might also advise that if you’ve already dated someone at the office and it ended, then you should be very, very careful about dating anyone else at the office, lest you be seen as someone who does view the office as a dating pool.) [Read more…]

Weekly Roundup

Liking these posts? Follow Corporette on Twitter — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale.)

– Lots of blazer news this week: SheFinds gives you advice on what to wear with a blazer.  Meanwhile, other outlets are on to NEXT season’s trend (apparently) — blazers with very, very strong shoulders. WhoWhatWear advises how to wear it, while Fashionista wonders whether Mary-Kate Olsen or Anna Della Russo (fashion director at large for Vogue Nippon) wore a strong-shouldered Balmain dress better.  (And, hello! The jacket pictured at left — by Aryn K — is only $82.)

Forbes advises how to date when you work all the time.  (See our own dating advice here!)

– We thought we’d alert you to this series by Patricia Handschiegel over on The Huffington Post — she’s been writing about various aspects of the new “power girls” — the latest is all about how they like to discuss business over meals or drinks.  [TheHuffPo]  Meanwhile, The Glass Hammer is reporting that more women business owners are turning to coffee dates in this economy. [The Glass Hammer]

– Finally:  The Daily Obsession raves about a new apparatus for your hair, The Clever Clip.  We’ve already ordered a set and will let you know how it goes! [The Daily Obsession]