For some people, marriage means security. I’ve contemplated this and, in some circumstances, the security blanket that a husband can offer would come in handy. I have colleagues who have been able to quit jobs with nothing on the horizon because they weren’t happy. Losing your job involuntarily is also a lot less terrifying when you aren’t the only bread winner in the house. On the flipside, I’ve seen people let this security lull them into a complacency that sucks the drive right out of them.
I’ve noticed this to be especially true of women who lack a sense of direction. When there is no sense of urgency to cultivate a path of one’s own because the financial necessity is removed from the need for a career path, it is easy to settle for less than one’s full potential. In some cases it isn’t about having no desire for a career, it’s about caring about someone so much that his career goals become more important than your own.
It’s not that all women in committed relationships ignore their professional paths. It’s just that, when in love, even the most motivated of women can quickly fall into the role of the supportive female who sacrifices everything for her husband’s career. As a single person, I have the luxury of focusing all of my time and efforts on advancing my own career. I can move across the country for a promising job without a second thought about uprooting someone else’s life. I can pour my energy into professional groups, current job and networking events without feeling guilty about neglecting someone.