EP194: Why High Achieving, Successful Women Struggle in Love (Pt 3) - Veronica Grant

Hello and welcome to episode number 194 of the Love Life Connection podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. I am so excited to connect with you all this week and I know I mention this a lot on the podcast, but if we have not actually connected, made this a two-way street relationship rather than the one-way street, that is the podcasting world, please change that. Come on over to Instagram, I’m @VeronicaEGrant, and send me a DM there or comment on one of my photos. I love hearing from you. I love learning more about you. I love learning what your questions are, what your struggles are, so that I can create better content to serve you.

And I also just love knowing who the women are who listen to this podcast. If you’re not on Instagram, not to worry, head over to veronicagrant.com/contact and send me a note there. Then I’ll go straight to my inbox and I would love to connect with you in that way. And if you’d like to be coached on the podcast for free, head over to veronicagrant.com/podcast. And there if you scroll to the bottom, there is a link to sign up and to get scheduled onto my calendar. And we are starting to fill spots for 2020, so make sure you do that sooner rather than later. And that’s also the place where you can search my archives, drop in a keyword of something you want to work on or that’s been a struggle for you specifically in your love life and all of the podcasts. On that topic, we’ll populate, and you can build a nice little playlist from there for you.

I’ve also curated some great episodes to start with if you’re newer to the podcast. And I’ve also curated some of the most popular podcast episodes so you can go and listen to what others in this community have loved.

All right. Today we’re moving on to part three of my three-part series on why high achieving women struggle in love. Episode one was all about the independence complex. Basically you created a belief somewhere along the way that maybe it was against your feminist values to want a relationship or that you had to be really independent and you had to stay super strong, and if you didn’t do that, then you are susceptible to being maybe heartbroken by or manipulated by a man or maybe that would make you feel like you were weak. Whatever it is, if you can relate to any of that, make sure you listen to episode 190.

And an episode 192, I talked about how your path to success in your career is not exactly the same path to success in your love life. The path to success in your career might be do this, work on that, achieve that, get the job, get the raise, get the new position, get the… Whatever it is. And in your love life, it can often be translated as sign up for dating app, send messages, go on dates. Eventually one of them will be the right person and get married, and that’s just not really how it works. There’s a key missing element. And so to learn more about that, head over to episode 192. In that episode, I talked about the numbers game and I shared with you a new formula for the numbers game that actually my husband came up with, which I’m super proud of him for doing that. He’s an engineer. So of course he’d be always thinking of everything in numbers and percentages and all that kind of stuff.

Today we’re talking about how as a successful career oriented high-achieving women, you have two very real realities. 

And that is you have less time and less potential partners at your fingertips than the average woman. So as a high-achieving woman, you probably have a lot of responsibility at your job. You probably have a lot of deadlines you have to meet. You might be managing others, you might be working longer hours, you might just have a high pressure, high-stress job where just emotionally you might feel drained. It’s probably not a job where you leave at five o’clock and then the job just is done until you get back to work the next day. But the job kind of comes home with you and you’re always thinking about it. You’re always checking email. If that’s you, then you’re not alone. And here’s what’s really real about that.

When you have a lot of success, when you’re making more money, when you have power in your career, the reality is you probably do have fewer options. There will be men who feel emasculated by your success and your career. And what is frustrating is I see this happening with my clients, with women in my community. And instead of doing what I want them to do, which I’m going to tell you what to do in a second, but what they do instead is they try to downplay themselves.

I had a client once who actually owns her own home and she would go on dates with men and she didn’t want to tell them that she owned a home because in the past she had discovered that that intimidated them. Or I’ve also had clients who kind of downplayed what their position or what their role was at a company because they didn’t want the man to think they made a lot of money or made more money than them, because they didn’t want to make them feel intimidated because either maybe a man in the past has made them feel bad for achieving what they’ve achieved. Or what I find to be even more common is people and their own lives have said, “You know what? You kind of intimidate men. Why don’t you just water yourself down a little bit?” Maybe not using that exact language, but I’ve definitely have talked to plenty of women who have experienced that kind of feedback from people in their life. And that kind of feedback is really hurtful.

Do you really have to choose between love and career?

And so it’s not surprising to me that high-achieving women do feel, “Well, maybe I do have to choose between love and career. Maybe I can’t have both. Maybe I am just going to intimidate men and I have to settle or I just have to decide that my career is going to be fulfilling and I’m just going to keep putting my love life on the back burner over and over again and just hope if it happens, great. And if not, that’s fine too because I’ve got my career.” And I also want to be really real and acknowledge that, yeah, I do my best to knock down the patriarchy every single day, but it’s still there. And in some ways the patriarchy is definitely crumbling and in some ways it’s definitely not. And I think the dating world, it in a lot of ways hasn’t crumbled. And there are still some invisible scripts/unspoken rules around gender roles, especially in heterosexual relationships.

I think if you’ve experienced a time ever where you’ve gone on a date with someone and they made you feel less than because of your success, then first, I just want to offer my compassion because that sucks. I’ve been there before and it’s not fun, and it can cause you to question everything about you to your core, especially if it’s a part of you that really values that part of yourself. I shared in the first episode of the series that I’m type three on the Enneagram. I’m a Capricorn sun, I am Sagittarius rising. I’m also an INFJ in Myers-Brigg. All of this to say is that I’m super success oriented and it’s a big part of my personality.

So let’s just make something really clear. As a successful woman in your career, and I’m also going to go ahead and say, as a woman who is doing the emotional work. And I know you’re doing that because you’re listening to this podcast, which tells me that you’re doing the inner work, you’re doing the healing, you’re doing the inner child work, or doing the journaling, you’re doing the meditation, you’re building that self-awareness. All of that is building up your emotional intelligence.

So you’ve kind of got two things “going against you”. I’m putting against in quotes, but it’s not really against you, but it can feel like it is because your emotional intelligence and awareness is going up and you’re all ready super successful at your career. So you’ve got these two things going on, and what that does is it makes your pool smaller. It makes the amount of people who would be good potential matches for you smaller because more people are more likely to be either not really operating at your emotional awareness, or they’re intimidated by your success. And you can choose to look at it in that way and say, “Damn, that really sucks. That’s really fricking frustrating because dating all ready feels hard enough and now you’re telling me my pool is smaller.”

And I’m saying, yes, your pool is smaller, but I actually think that’s a good thing. 

Those people just aren’t your people. So here’s the thing, when I go out to eat, I eat only vegetarian. So when I go to most restaurants, I have one option, two options. If I’m really lucky, I have three options. And I go to the restaurant, I say, this is what I want. I give the menu to the waiter and all as well. But if I go to a vegetarian or a vegan restaurant, I’m like, “Oh my God, I can order anything on the menu. What am I going to get?” And I’m asking everyone, “What are you getting? What are you getting? What are you getting?” I’m asking the waiter, “What should I get? What’s best?” And I’m just going back and forth. I always make the wrong decision. I’m always stressed out. It’s always ends up being a more crappy experience than if I just had a couple of options and I was like, “This sounds good. This is what I want.”

So the same thing is true I think in your love life. When your standard or your bar is so low, and let’s say you’re a woman and you are seeking a man and your only standard is does he have a penis, then yeah, it’s going to be a lot more frustrating. It’s going to be a lot more stressful because you’re like, “I don’t know what to do.” And you’re doing that and also going out with people who just aren’t good matches for you because they’re going to feel emasculated or because they’re not at that emotional intelligence that you are because you’re doing this work. And so you’re going to kind of create the same experience that I create when I go to vegetarian or vegan restaurants of like, “I ordered the wrong thing and it’s frustrating. I don’t like going out to eat. I just rather make my own food and just want to stay home next time.”

Versus when you can be more discerning about who you’re going to spend your time with, who you’re going to go out with? It doesn’t mean every single person or the next person that you go out with is going to be your person, but it does mean that you’re going to have more pleasant experiences and maybe they are emotionally available and maybe they don’t get intimidated by your success. Maybe they actually really think that’s really hot and really sexy part of you for being so successful in your career. They just may not be the right person. And yeah, I get, there can be some frustration, maybe some rejection involved in that, but it’s a very different experience than just going out again and again and again and having negative experience, negative experience, because that’s going to leave you in a really, really bad headspace.

And as a busy high-achieving woman, you have less time. And if you also have children, you have even less time. I find that if I give myself all day to do something versus three hours to do something, I’m way more productive when I just give myself three hours. And so what if you just decided that, “Yeah, I don’t a lot of time but that doesn’t mean that I can’t date or that I can’t go on great dates with great men or great people. It just means that Sunday nights, that’s when I’m going to go on a date, or Thursday nights, or I’m going to do lunch dates,” or whatever it is.

I had a client who decided that she was no longer going to do first dates on a weeknight. Because by the time she got home and ate dinner and just kind of took a second from the day and then went on a date, it was just too late and she was just tired. What if the date was bad or crappy? She just didn’t want to spend that energy managing a crappy date when she would rather just be out with friends, revitalizing herself after work, or just being at home by herself reading a book or watching a TV show. So she just set that boundary and she decided she was only going to go on first dates during the weekends and she had a much better dating life and dating experience from making that decision.

So what’s true is as a high-achieving successful woman, you have less time, you also have less options. But can you begin to see that as an opportunity rather than an hindrance to your ability to find love. Your action step for this episode is to go watch my brand new workshop and go to veronicagrant.com/workshop to sign up. And the workshop is called, The Five-step Strategy To Banish Anxiety and Overwhelm in Your Love Life. This workshop is specifically for high-achieving women who want to maintain their success and their career and not give up that part of themselves and also find a healthy, happy, sustainable, loving relationship. So if that’s something that you want, head over to veronicagrant.com/workshop. It’s totally free and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it.

All right, my dear, that wraps up the three-part series on why high-achieving women struggle in love. I really hope you loved it and I would really love to know what your favorite episode is or which episode of this series stuck out to you and really resonated the most. Again, the best two places to do that are either over on Instagram, I’m @VeronicaEGrant, or to comment drop me a note over veronicagrant.com/contact. And if you like episodes and series like this, I will make sure I do more. And again, if you loved the series then I’m pretty sure you’re going to love the workshops. So again, veronicagrant.com/workshop to get your hands on that. All right, my dear, I will see you next week with a brand new coaching episode.

After you listen to this episode, here are your next steps:

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