mature_girls_guide_case_4_inside.jpgSo you’ve set yourself apart from your peers by being the best at what you do. You’re one of the few who actually like your job, and it shows in the accolades you get from your bosses and co-workers. But being at the top of the career ladder has some serious drawbacks, and while your work life may be thriving, your personal life may be suffering as a result. Devoting all your energies to making your career flourish may have helped your company, but what about your social life? Shouldn’t that count for something as well?

Read this article to find out what experts have to say about cases such as this.


Gillian, 39, runs her own events management firm and considers herself the most career-oriented among her friends. She has been this way after graduating from college because she became the family breadwinner after her father died 18 years ago. She’s extremely proud that she was able to establish her own business and claims to have no interest in developing relationships at the moment.

“I’ve been in three serious relationships before, but I was committed to my career as well,” she recalls, “and none of them, particularly the last one whom I lived with, seemed to have understood my need to do really well at work.”

Gillian found this strange because she thought that men, of all people, would understand the importance of having a career and a viable source of income. But when she brushes off the idea of having a serious relationship, she says many people mistake her for being a man-hater.

“People seem to have this idea of me as a bitch,” she says, “but I’m really not that at all. Don’t get me wrong. I still do go out, and I have other activities outside of work. I was even president of our high school alumni association, which kept me even busier for a couple of years. It’s just that I can’t be with someone who demands that I give up the time I spend on my work. For me, work is not work. I love what I do. To ask me to give it all up is like asking me to stop breathing.”

Until she meets the man who can accept her for what she is, she says, “we can stay friends and still have a good time, but my dates will remain just that.”


“There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a career the way Gillian does,” says psychologist Stella Dizon of the Health and Wellness Center in Quezon City, “as long as it’s what she truly wants. What career-oriented people have to remember, though, is to balance career with the rest of life. Like they do in their business, they must determine their long-term personal goals and keep them in mind or work towards it to avoid any regrets later on.”

“I don’t believe women who say ‘I have no time to date,’” says therapist Malyn Cristobal of the Living Free Foundation. “If we really want to, we can find time for whatever it is: shopping, family or friends, even dating. Maybe we need to ask ourselves if we’re just afraid to face the truth— that if we finally find time to date, maybe there’s no one there for us? Or maybe we’re just escaping reality. Why are we choosing not to find time?”

*Names have been changed.

Read the first part four parts of FN’s Mature Girl’s Guide to Dating series:

Read this article for tips on balancing your personal and professional lives:

(First published in Marie Claire Philippines, Features section as “The 30+ Dating Files” in February 2009; photo by Niccolo Cosme; adapted for use in Female Network)
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