I watched Sheryl Sandberg in an interview and was excited to see she’s leading career women to follow their dreams, and causing quite a stir while doing it. I read her book, Lean In, and found that her chapter titled: ‘Make Your Partner a Relationship Partner’ was aligned with what I have been telling my single career-oriented clients for quite some time. Sandberg hit upon many of the key points that I made in my new book, When Mars Women Date: How Career Women Can Love Themselves into the Relationship of their Dreams. So, I will review five ways that Sandberg’s advice jives with my own:
1. The Most Important Decision a Career Woman Can Make is Who She Will Date:
Choosing a partner impacts your career, children, schedule, household duties, resources, emotional support, and so much more. Women need to use their hearts – and their heads – when choosing a lifetime mate.
2. Both Partners Careers Are Equally Important:
Sandberg describes how when she and her husband dated and were first married, they lived apart for their respective jobs. She did not follow him (as was often the “woman’s expected role”) and in the end, it was he who got a new job and moved to be with her. This is a good example of the new dating and relationship expectations.
3. True Partnership is a Good Model for Future Generations:
Having a working mom and an involved father benefits children, and can serve as a good model for their future relationship behavior. The choices we make for ourselves as future moms have a huge impact on future generations and our societal evolution.
4. The Best Thing a Man Can Do For a Woman’s Career is the Laundry:
Sandberg quotes a professor in her book who said that the best thing a man can do for a woman’s career is the laundry. I laughed because just before I read that section, my husband sat down on the couch in his undershirt and asked me to feel his shirt. He said that he tried the new “Tide with Downy” on our laundry and it felt great! Furthermore, he often takes our 4-year-old son down to the laundry room with him to help fold the clothes, so our son is learning to help out too.
5. Career Women CAN Have It All:
Sandberg is a great example of a powerful career woman who found a romantic mate who found her strengths attractive. As a psychologist who specializes in dating, I’m aware that some dating experts advise women to “dumb down” their accomplishments and not to display leadership qualities while dating. These so-called experts even warn women that if they share accomplishments, give advice or make suggestions about the date, this will be unattractive! I did not want my daughter to follow this advice and I knew a dating book for career women along these lines was badly needed, so I wrote it. It details examples of powerful career women who have attracted romantic mates that were not threatened by who these women are – or the dreams they hold!
I’m happy to read that Sandberg feels that the correct choice of a romantic mate is crucial to her success, and I support her efforts at raising consciousness about creating whole romantic partnerships.
Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and the author of “Dating from the Inside Out” and “When Mars Women Date.” She also works as a love coach and runs groups on dating and relationship issues in Manhattan. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com.