Home Advice Career Pathways in Love: Girlfriends versus Wives

Career Pathways in Love: Girlfriends versus Wives

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Let me begin by saying it is it my belief that after a certain age, let’s say 25 for context, most men aren’t out to purposefully hurt women. With that said, there are still only two career pathways to love, the job path of the girlfriend and the career path of the wife. Arguably, at any age, the majority of men don’t want to hurt women. Older men simply accept that some of their actions, even the passive ones – like casual sex for example – can potentially hurt the women in their lives. Informing a woman that you’re a jerk, then subsequently acting like a jerk towards her and saying it’s her fault because you “told her the truth up front” is no longer a viable excuse. Wiser men attempt to adjust their actions to hurt as few women as possible. In a perfect world this would be zero women, but we do not live in a perfect world.

To obtain some level of objectivity, today I want to analyze love and relationships through the purview of a career path. The proverbial CEO position, the ultimate measurement of success, will be defined as the wife. I want to highlight the key differences between the career pathways of the girlfriend and the wife. If you don’t want to be a wife or you don’t like my analogy you are free to leave now.

Career Pathway – a strategy used to support an individual’s transition, development and advancement.

The Girlfriend and The Wife career pathway:

To begin, there is nothing wrong with being a girlfriend. In 9.9 of 10 cases you can’t be someone’s wife without first being their girlfriend unless you are in an arranged marriage or he found you on one of those Russian bride websites – not that I’m judging. The only problem with being a girlfriend is if your title of girlfriend is permanently affixed when you prefer the title of fiancé or wife.

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There is one thing about being a girlfriend that I want to clear up. If you want to promote from girlfriend to wife, you should technically never have to ask. You should never have to give any ultimatums either. HOWEVER, just because you should not does not mean employing either of these options is wrong. In some cases, it’s completely valid. I’ll describe such a scenario later.

Before using either strategy you should mentally (or emotionally) prepare yourself for receiving an unfavorable response. For example, when you want to move up at your job (I assume) you have received performance reviews, which give you an idea of how well you are performing in your current position. If you never receive such a review, it may be an indication that management is not considering you for promotion. This means two things: 1) It might reflect management’s disinterest or 2) It might be a simple misunderstanding. Management may be unaware you are interested in the promotion.

The same may be said for a relationship. If a man has never mentioned marrying you, it might mean he is uninterested or it could mean he doesn’t know you want to be married. In other words, don’t assume that simply because you’re already his girlfriend he knows you have ambitious career goals involving advancement to wife. In his mind, you are perfectly content “gaining experience” in your current position. For now, you very well may be. If both parties are happy, then there is really no reason to make a change, yet.

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On the other hand, if you want to promote and it hasn’t been made clear you will, I believe this is a discussion that needs to take place. As I referenced earlier, if you two are not on the same page it may be time for pointed questions involving your future and as a last resort, ultimatums. This discussion should occur when you feel appropriate. Your career goals should be guided by management, not dictated. Neither party is wrong but one party is unsatisfied. Regardless, you must accept that having this discussion will only result in one of three outcomes:

  1. Management agrees with the assessment of your abilities and agrees to promote you immediately or in the near future.
  2. Management disagrees with the assessment of your abilities but believes you have potential. In time, you may receive the promotion you desire. This promotion is not guaranteed and from management’s viewpoint, it is not time sensitive. Remember, you approached management. Management didn’t approach you.  This means they are obviously fine with your current role. Even if they don’t want to lose you, they know it’s a very real possibility and it’s one they have not proactively tried to prevent.
  3. Despite your stellar qualities, service, reputation and resume, you are not the person management is looking forward to make CEO. This means no matter what you do, how well you do it, and how long you do it, you will never promote beyond the current position of girlfriend.

These realities are difficult to accept. Obviously, scenario #1 is ideal. Even with scenario #2, you have to decide if you want to remain when the promotion you desire is not guaranteed. Lastly, scenario #3, places accountability squarely back on you. Sure, the economy is bad and the job market is tough but does that mean you’re going to remain stuck in a dead-end job or are you going to look for a “company” that will eventually promote you versus one that has made it clear you may never promote? Is trying to change their mind time well spent or wasted?

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If you stay, no one will fault you. Sometimes even the benefits of a dead-end job are better than unemployment (being single). That’s for you to decide but it is your decision. Good, bad or indifferent scenarios #2 and #3 dictate you must accept that when they look to fill the CEO position they may not inform you. Further, in scenario #2, while they may ultimately select you, it is not guaranteed. Despite your years of loyalty, you will be objectively compared to all other applicants when the time comes to find a CEO aka his wife-to-be. Fair or unfair, another woman’s overall resume may supersede your own.

As with our career goals, I believe the questions many of us need to ask as it relates to our relationships but often fail to ask of ourselves until it’s too late are:  1) Do I remain loyal to this company (man/woman) even though they have not guaranteed the same loyalty to me? 2) Have I properly assessed what I bring to the company (the current relationship) and is there anything I can do to change or improve the desired outcome? 3) Would I be better off moving on to another company (new relationship) to satisfy my career (relationship) goals?

Comment(102)

  1. Good analogy, and good questions to ask oneself. I hope to never be in a situation where I have to ask where things are going, although I definitely would if we've been together for upwards of 1.5 years and there doesn't seem to be any serious conversation around a possible future together. Most guys I know who've gotten engaged had already decided by the one year mark whether or not they could see a real future with their partners, so I don't think it's an unreasonable timeline. If there are things that we need to work on within the relationship to get to that level, then that's reasonable. However, if our respective assessments of my abilities and potential are significantly different, it's more than likely that we're not looking for and/or will not be content with the same things. There'll always be things that I can work on (and ditto for him), but if they are big enough to delay thoughts of marriage, then we may want to rethink the relationship altogether. To be safe, I'll say it may depend, because someone could bring up a very valid example during today's discussion.

    I'm not one for ultimatums, so I'd be more likely to tell him that we should end the relationship if I get the sense that he's fairly passive about things. That's only an ultimatum if I do it expecting him to beg me to change my mind.

    If you stay, no one will fault you

    Ha. People definitely judge the hell out of permanent girlfriends, whether real or perceived, and look at them with all kinds of condescending pity.

    1. You're right Naija. The 'lifetime' girlfriends definitely get judged. I personally can't understand why some women…or even men…would stay in a relationship that hasn't progressed in years. I don't know if it has to do with comfort or something else entirely.

      I'm curious, when you give the ultimatum that you all should break up…how long would it take you before you reached that point. I know that's hard to predict, but if you had to put a 'number' on it, what would it be?
      My recent post Look in the Mirror

      1. If he seems sufficiently passive or doubtful of my potential as his wife, then it could be on the spot. Alternatively, it could be after having mulled over things for a week or two. Whatever comes to light will colour our interactions from that point forth, so if there's a looming breakup, it'll happen sooner rather than later. So let's say 0-14 days, with the upper end being conservative.

    2. So you wouldn't ask "where are we going?" prior to a year and a half? I support asking every 3-4 months. Doesn't have to be a heavy convo, it's not to pressure the dude. But by the time I was ready to date seriously I was in my late 20's and had no interest in the wait and see on his time game.

      1. I think it should be known while dating that you ultimately want to be someones wife. That you aren't interested in being a career girlfriend. If he then asks to be committed to you…considering what WIM said earlier "most men aren’t out to purposefully hurt women", why bring it up every 3-4 mos? He asked to be committed to you understanding your terms. Why do you then need reassurance every 3-4 mos that he remembers what the ultimate goal is?

        IMO, bringing this up every 3-4 mos may not be to pressure someone, but it is pressure for that other person. It'd be pressure for me…

      2. See, I answered this question with a worst case scenario frame of mind. In the kind of relationships I expect to have going forward, we would both actively be talking about these things as we go along. It will be established from the very beginning that although I don't expect to end up marrying everyone I date, my end goal is marriage. The 3-4 month thing is a bit early for my taste. And I hope we're not talking about the boyfriend/girlfriend conversation, because that goes without saying for me. If we don't have a solid relationship by that point, something somewhere is amiss and I will have no problem walking away.

        Ideally, we would be edging our way towards that end, and the goal of being open from the beginning is to ensure that the other person is on the same page. We would casually discuss each other's ideal timelines in terms of the dating-marriage journey, and there's a lot of information that you can glean from those conversations that can dictate the appropriate timeline for assessment. I can't honestly tell you I'd know that I want to marry him within 3 months, but the point of being open at the beginning is laying it out there that we're trying to work towards something solid if everything goes well. I may bring things up earlier if I have serious doubts, but not otherwise.

    3. "…although I definitely would if we've been together for upwards of 1.5 years and there doesn't seem to be any serious conversation around a possible future together."

      Iono…maybe cause I've been divorced…but I think this is way too soon. There are some exceptions to all rules, but I think part of the reason folks get divorced so much these days is that they decide too soon…they don't spend enough time letting the relationship develop and grow. You don't give yourself enough time to see how this person deals with an array of situations…situations that only occur with time. Personally, I don't want to start having blatant conversations about marriage until year 3. For me, "I do" needs AT LEAST 5 years of relationship building. I wouldn't mind being on lay-away or engaged in year 3-4…but, today, I can't see myself confidently saying "I do" till year 5.

      1. 5 years? You gone have some poor girls eggs on life support talmbout "But CO said we need one more year before we really KNOW him!!" lol – 5 muthafuggin years!

        1. LMBO!

          Look, you can be perfect for 18 mos. Life will show you whether or not y'all have some real staying power. But you need time for that. What in the world is the rush????

          Disclaimer: I already have 2 kids and I'm going on 31, lol. Been there (married). I am in NO HURRY! Lol…

      2. The conversation I was referring to is to gauge where his mind is at. Imagine people's shock when they find out that the person they're happily cuddling up to has already decided that they don't have a future beyond the bf/gf title. No ma'am, I will not be waiting three years to find that out.

        The biggest part of why people get divorced at an alarming rate is because they don't focus on the important things while dating. There are a lot of people who date for 5-10 years beforehand and still end up parting ways. Almost as important (if not more so) as seeing people deal with certain situations is getting to understand and know their mindset and past behaviours. As my prof is fond of reminding us, "the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour under similar circumstances; the more recent or long-standing the behaviour, the better the predictor." There are certain situations that will test a marriage that won't occur outside of it no matter how long you prolong the dating session. Then again, I don't come from a culture that promotes long term dating, so that could be part of it.

        1. "There are certain situations that will test a marriage that won't occur outside of it no matter how long you prolong the dating session." True. People not spending their time wisely doesn't make it any less valuable though.

          "The biggest part of why people get divorced at an alarming rate is because they don't focus on the important things while dating." A part, yes. The biggest part, I don't think anyone can put that in general terms. The biggest part is different for each marriage.

          End all be all is, you gotta do what's good for you. For me, microwaved relationships are not the business. I prefer to be put in the oven…or the slow cooker, lol. I've made my list…and I wanna check it twice, thrice, etc…until I'm peaceful about it.

        2. Actually, people not spending time wisely does make it less valuable (IMO) if they are not able to glean information of high importance. If I spend 10 years with a man and content myself with just talking about how our days went and growing closer by mere virtue of spending time together and sharing some things, that relationship would be worth much less to me as someone who wants more, than a 4 year one in which I can tell you with assurance that this is the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life because we know one another well enough to say that with confidence.

          That actually covers a lot of it. One of the biggest reasons for divorce is money. A lot of people don't think to sit down and discuss future professional goals, how money will be shared & spent, what kind of financial arrangements and/or safeties they should have, etc. They turn a blind eye to red flags or don't pay attention to how their partners spend money. Another is that people go into marriage with different expectations. Again, something they fail to sit down and address.

          End all be all is, you gotta do what's good for you.

          Yep. You won't find me advocating for people to get married if they have serious concerns. Most people I know who've proposed and accepted proposals that weren't brought about by "special" circumstances were at peace about it. I seem to recall you saying that you were scared and nervous even at the point of getting married. That has probably affected your views and approach to marriage.

        3. IMO, time is valuable…period. That's why misused time is wasted time. They are using it as if it isn't valuable when it is. And when I refer to this additional time, its under the assumption that it is being used wisely.

          Scared/nervous to get married period? No. I don't fear marriage. I fear divorcing again. Thats real. So, whatever I need to do ahead of time to make sure that's not the outcome, I'm gonna do. For me, not rushing things has a lot to do with that. There's no prize for those who get married within 2 years or so, lol…at least, not from my view point. Marriage comes with its own issues/stresses. The more you can work out before you get there, the better.

        4. I didn't mean that you're scared/nervous to get married, I meant that you were the first time, which signifies that you weren't ready for it. It's only natural that you would want to make 150% sure the second go around. That was my thinking, anyway.

          I generally agree with you in terms of taking one's time vs. rushing unnecessarily, but I still believe that people can be reasonably well equipped to make that decision within a matter of three years. And I'm going to throw an approximate one year's worth of engagement on top of it. Nonetheless, I need to know that we're on the same page 1.5 years in and are working towards the same goal. And that any substantial red flags would be brought to my attention without me having to ask.

        5. Gotcha…you are correct there, Naija.

          I can see what you're saying. But, I think you should work toward a good relationship first and foremost…and period. Focus on that, and let the man find his "Good Thing" in you <—thats the word. If it gets to the point where you are no longer satisfied with how the relationship is going (he ain't ready to marry you when you want to be a wife), end it. If you told him initially what you want and your ideal time frame, KNOW that he didn't forget. And can somebody PLEASE tell me what the daggon rush is??? LOL. Y'all been together 4 yrs or so and this dude doesn't even mention the type of wedding he'd want…hasn't playfully eluded to how y'all'd be with y'alls kids…ok, be concerned, lol. 1.5 yrs? Give that man a minute or two, lol. If y'all are happy, no reason to question anything just yet…

        6. Good stuff, I was hoping I hadn't fabricated that memory.

          lol I think you should be able to consider yourself in a good, solid relationship by the first year mark. Again, I said the 1.5 years is to get an assessment of his mind frame. To see if we're on the right track and if there are any concerns regarding our relationship. Converse and determine that we're still on the same page. It doesn't even mean that we have to be engaged within the next 6 months.

          In keeping with the work theme, think of it as a company strategy. Any company worth its salt will evaluate where it is compared to where it wants to be, and whether it is on the right track. It will definitely not wait until the fourth year to make that assessment.

  2. i just disclosed to a friend today how the interview process is really similar to the dating process. this analogy is a great tool to assess a relationship and remove the emotion-driven decision making out of the equation. sometimes, hell, many times, us women need that.

    this article is kind of one-sided though. i think you could've touched on the impact to the CEO if his worker bee chose to work elsewhere. Let's be honest, everyone's work ethic ain't the same ;).

    If employer's don't appreciate my value with reciprocity, I dip. Quickly.

  3. Definitely enjoyed the analogy.
    I've been one to give ultimatums in the past but found that although effective in getting results the relationships don't fair too well afterwards. Ultimatums are justified at times but always be aware of the possibility that although they did what you wanted they might resent you for it. Sometimes we get so caught up on having a position we don't realize that we sabotaged our relationship in the process.
    This was my first time reading one of your posts… I will be reading more.

    My recent post I love Barack and Michelle's marriage =)

    1. In your experience, when were the ultimatums necessary? Does it vary with each situation or are their certain instances where an ultimatum is the only option?

      Good point about the sabotaging. I believe some people do that when they are confused and unsure of how they should proceed. I don't think it's the best option, but I guess people find what works for them and stick with it. You know?
      My recent post WOMEN EMPOWERMENT MONTH

  4. I loved your analogy. And many women can relate. For me question #1, hits home. Do you remain loyal? It's a question I am wrestling with this very moment. 

    Great post. I look forward to your next.

  5. The job analogy makes sense as I'm faced with that staying loyal decision now (on the job lol). I think when it moves from scenario 2 to scenario 3, it's time to leave.

  6. Good post and good analogy!

    I agree with the two paths: the gf job and the wife career. I think the best way to get a promotion is to cause the boss to desire more from you. Not in a manipulative kind of way, but play YOUR position so good that he wants you/needs you/trusts you to take on more tasks…but inform him that you don't take on duties that you haven't been hired for from the jump. If you're doing a CEOs job, you want that CEOs title and pay!

    I agree with WIM…make sure your boss knows that you want to be a wife ultimately. Not that you've determined its him per se, but it pretty much lets him know up front that if you don't see a promotion once the relationship has proven successful, YOU will bounce…forget what he'll do. You will quit.

    1. Personal story…

      After dating dude for about 6 mos, we were talking one night and he called me his "friend". It cut me…deep. Cause I knew I'd been giving him way more than "friend". This dude got the majority of my free time…and time is money. So, the next day, I informed him that since I was only a "friend" to him, I needed to treat him like I treat my male friends. I stopped calling every day. No more hanging all the time. I started giving him "the friend hug", lol. No bitterness…just friendship. It took him a little over 3 weeks to call me with, "Enough is enough. I don't want to just be your friend. I'm hiring. Do you want the job?"

      Needless to say, no ultimatums. Just do what you need to do for you…and let God work out the rest.

      1. cynicaloptmst81: "After dating dude for about 6 mos, we were talking one night and he called me his "friend"…So, the next day, I informed him that since I was only a "friend" to him, I needed to treat him like I treat my male friends…No bitterness…just friendship….Needless to say, no ultimatums. Just do what you need to do for you…and let God work out the rest."

        That's called following the playbook and perfectly executing the game plan.

  7. Great post WIM!

    I would just add that it is not so much about giving an ultimatum. It is about stating your goals. The person you are with should know your intentions once the relationship reaches a certain point. You don't have to say "if you don't do A then I will do B." Know thyself. You don't have to give your mate deadlines, however, you should have your internal deadlines. You don't have to pressure, however you should check in often enough that your deadlines don't come and go without knowledge of where the relationship is going.

    If I go to my employer asking for a promotion, I will give that employer a reasonable amount of time to get back with me. I also won't dare say, well if you don't promote me, I'm quitting (even if I am).

  8. This right here

    "Despite your stellar qualities, service, reputation and resume, you are not the person management is looking forward to make CEO. This means no matter what you do, how well you do it, and how long you do it, you will never promote beyond the current position"

    This has been the biggest fear of my entire 12 yr career. Its also the reason why I've always managed to maintain control my very own destiny. And in about a yr or so I'll be going into business for myself (eff CEO"s!) The downside is I take way more risk than anything. Somewhere down the line I yield the same results in my personal relationships…i gotta figure out how though

    1. Thanks for this comment. I actually wanted this post to be two-fold, so it's good people are taking it that way. After I got back out here in the job market, I became really humbled. I'm 29, good experience with a few certifications but I'm competing with men/women twice my age by the nature of the market. At first I was offended I wasnt getting picked up but then I had to remain grateful that I even have a job to begin with. Also had to do some real self-assessment to see if I should focus on getting my masters and were my true passion is – which is, of course, writing in my case. Like you – and most people, I assume – I would like to eventually work for myself. Ironically, this experience has strengthened my resolve in achieving that goal.

      As I said up-thread, the whole job hunting experience seemed very applicable to dating. In essence, no matter how well you know you can do the job above you, unless management agrees, it doesn't matter. You can't promote yourself. It's been an interesting experience. Anyway, good luck on your end brotha.

      My recent post When Your Parents Become Mortals

    2. i think its about finding a company that's in alignment with who you are, and what you want. many of us hunt for a "job" but if we take that process a bit further and identify who we'd like to work for, what type of environment, pay, values, and growth strategy, we'd be more likely to make a connection where both parties get what they want and need.
      i vet a man when we first meet, thru dating, observation and conversation, the same approach can be taken toward companies.
      executing based on preparation and clear intent, and not desperation leads to better partnerships.

      in business and in love.

      1. That's my problem uhm, I'm at a crossroad in my career where I no longer want to invest my time and energies into someone else company. then hope and wish and beg to be promoted to a level where already belong. Nope! Not gonna do it. I'm pushing harder than Ive ever have to open a small business near the end of the year. I still may hold onto corporate America for the benefits but that's about it. I'm tired of bumping my head on the glass ceiling.

  9. I am a woman…I am also Management. I've never had to ask for a commitment or had to give an ultimatum. I have always been the one who is asked for a commitment and marriage. But I am not an easy person to convince…I have to be inspired to want to marry you…inspired to create a family with you. I also don't like people putting me on a time-clock…like oh we ought to be on this stage or at this level by now. I'm a free spirit…I don't like mandates, ultimatums or regimens…and trust me I do understand that people want to know where they stand with you…where you're "headed" etc. etc…but it's like damn just relax and let things unfold on their own…if things are not moving at your desired pace then by all means, consider your other options.

  10. Oh, and while we're talking about workplace analogies…don't get caught up with empty titles. Let's say you're a cook looking to become head chef. You see the org chart at the restaurant is: prep cook, line cook, sous chef, asst. head chef, head chef. So you put your work in, get to choppin' and get great reviews. You let management know you're looking for a promotion, and they get that look in their eye while the smile freezes on their face. Next thing you know you find yourself in possession of all sorts of bootleg job advances:

    Tippy Top Line Cook (babygirl)
    Almost Best Sous Chef (Friend with Benefits)
    Prep Cook of the Month (Girlfriend in Training)
    Greatest Sous Chef Alive (wifey)

    LOL – I'm serious, a lot of men (who are less than honorable) know that women want a commitment, but they'll dance around it with off-brand titles and vague commitments. Ask them what's up, and know that a "promotion" that includes neither title upgrade nor benefits is a trap.

  11. Your analogy rings true for a certain type of woman. The woman who measures her worth based on relationships. She aspires to be a girlfriend or wife or mother. She aspires to be chosen by someone else. Her identity and self esteem are in the hands of other people. In that situation, the man is the CEO and she is a job applicant hoping and praying that he will find her good enough.

    I think that when she approaches life that way, her qualities automatically get downgraded because of bad marketing. Because she is offering herself up to be evaluated, she is somewhat less than, by definition. The man does not need to offer anything but yes. It’s assumed he is acceptable.

    But another type of woman is the chooser. She looks at men critically for qualities she wants. Because there are so many men who believe just being male is enough (probably because of the number of women approaching dating like a job interview), acceptable men are few and far between.

    She is not waiting to be chosen because she is being chosen and rejecting men all the time.

    Many men like to chase and they value what is difficult to obtain. So a woman who is a chooser will be chased. Being chased will increase her selectivity. That will increase her value in the eyes of men. She will be thought of as wife material automatically by many men just based on this. She won’t have to interview or put out resumes. She will be constantly head hunted.

    I’ve said before that men’s tendency to value things that are hard to obtain is foolish. It’s based o them believing they have conquered a rare gem. But more importantly it reinforces their belief in their specialness. Because she didnt take just any man.

    However, as a woman I advise that women should exploit this trait and never treat dating like a job interview. Why give away negotiatimg power when the person you are negotiating with can be swayed by such things as the appearance of exclusivity?

    1. In keeping with the analogy, I believe this would be the woman leaving a company, becoming an entrepreneur and her own CEO. Nothing wrong with that.

        1. I wasn't referred to the made woman, but more of the privilieged. One who has never had to compete to work for other companies because she has always had her own through family. In keep with wild cougar's comment, the woman I feel she describes is looking for her CEO. This isn't the greatest analogy to use because of the power dynamics that comes into play. People just are having a hard time see past it.

        1. lol..

          Ummmm, but on the real WC, it would be interesting to know based on your comment here today and your personal blog posts where you fall. #NoJudgement just Curious

        2. This is exactly why I asked. To be honest with you, WC, I haven't put much thought into your sexual practices. I've never thought of you as a hoe/heaux/whatever. What piqued my interest is the non-sexual aspects of your interactions, and that's all I've addressed even though you tend to assume everyone is judging you for the sexual freedom you revel in.

        1. SMH – always trying to show me up, with my own cash too….lol. That's ok, I got something for yo azz…..

          *dougies down to the front of the church, holds a twenty up to the light to validate it, then puts it in the deacon's hand*

        2. tsk tsk tsk… *lol*

          *Snickering while deacon walks over and smoothly places Tef's $20 in my hand so I can get my nails did for our dinner date lata* HardWink

          lmbo

        3. Girl, you messin' with the deacon? I heard he's hot in all the wrong places.

          *puts your name on the Sick and Shut In list*

    2. I guess I only disagree enough to address this line in particular. Her identity and self esteem are in the hands of other people. I don't think just because a woman wants to be a "girlfriend or wife or mother" means her self-esteem is in the hands of others. I want to be a boyfriend, husband, and (possibly) a father one day. These are goals I have for my life that have nothing to do with self esteem. I want a woman in my life, the right woman, and I want her to be there for me and me for her for the rest of our lives. I look forward to it and think it's a beautiful thing. To each their own.

      My recent post Someone Like You

      1. "Her identity and self esteem are in the hands of other people."

        In addition this is the risk we (men and women) all face when taking on a relationship/or a new job for that matter. Sometimes you gotta jump in with ya eyes closed!

        Also prior to that jump be confident in who you are and what you represent.

      2. Wanting to be a wife is a beautiful thing. Approaching that goal like a job search puts that part of your identity and the self esteem attached to it in the hands of other people.

      3. I get Wild Cougar. It's not so much the desire but the approach one has to relationships that makes him or her at the mercy of others. You can wait for other's to validate you(petition for that job position) or you can validate yourself (create the job position you want). Other times you may need a little bit of validation from others to help cultivate it within yourself (transitioning from employee to employer). What Wild Cougar is saying to me is that there are some who reach an amazing level of comfort with themselves that people just naturally gravitate towards them. If you carry a non hubris conviction that what you have to offer is rare and unique, people will find you.

    3. Welp, in reality I’m neither. I would be the woman who is head hunted based on my attitude, but I don’t like being pursued, so I shut down guys who chase. I like to be the chooser, pursuer, decider and closer. Control issues. I end up with men who dont mind being told what to do. Then I cant stand them for it. I’m working on a hybrid where I control but make him think he’s in control.

      1. "I end up with men who dont mind being told what to do. Then I cant stand them for it."

        that shit kray!

        At least you're aware of it..lol

    4. I found this post to be a little pompous so I was going to take the blogger's advice and skip it until I read your comment. Thank you so much providing a eloquent counterargument as well as voice for "another" type of woman. There are those who groom themselves to work for others; while their are others who choose to harness their talents and work for themselves. Proud business owner since 2005 ;).

      1. Interesting…reading comprehension at its finest.

        I hope folks realize WIM never said anything about the man being CEO. Wild Cougar said that. WIM called the man "management" and said the woman would be promoted to the role of CEO, which in actuality, places her ABOVE the man because what role is higher than that of CEO? I vaulted y'all to the highest position and you went out of your way to find fault. Naturally, only certain women glossed over this little fact, which is clearly stated in the second paragraph of this write-up. The reason I chose the analogy I chose is simply because men ask women to marry them. Has nothing to do with where men or women are placed. I had no ulterior motives. Honestly, Wild Cougar played y'all like a fiddle – and I imagine she is sitting behind the scenes just as amused as I am.

        My recent post When Your Parents Become Mortals

        1. Just think of the uproar if you had actually spelled out what management technically is, which is the owner. Despite the fact that the CEO makes the decisions about the company and the direction it heads (with the owner's best interest in mind), there still would be plenty of objection.

        2. Thanks WIM, reading is fundamental, ah comprehension that varies, lol.

          Well, in actually the board of directors are above the CEO.
          And guess who has the most power, like determining goals and objectives, i.e. advancing the relationship and when, as well as the responsiblity of electing the CEO? The board of directors.

        3. Hence in your analogy, with the responsiblity that you have ascribed to the men, they aren't actually managers but board of directors.

          A CEO is powerful, hmmm. How are you ever in a powerful position when you can't even secure your own permanence let alone select your position from the beginning?
          Nobody is finding fault per se, but I think the analogy kinda took the point you were trying to make in a direction than was not intended or maybe that was the act of your subconscious.

          You say that this has nothing to do with where women and men are placed, so what's up with this vaulted to highest position statement? Why make that a point if it was never goal. Stress what is the point.

        4. If you notice in my comment, I didn't use gender specific pronouns unless I refered to myself. As for Wild Cougar, you confused her with the titles so lets not give this a level of complexity that isn't there.
          She made a fab point that can apply to both men and women which is when you validate yourself opportunities have a way graviting towards you. So later for soliciting and petitioning for a position, when you undeniable… they knowwwwwwwwww (Drake's Voice)
          And we should all aspire to be just that confident.
          Just my humble opinion, emphasis on opinion.

  12. This entire post makes too much sense but "IT AIN'T FOR EVERYBODY" though.

    Some are Career Driven (aiming for and wanting that Upgrade/Promotion) and some are just generally happy staying where they at for whatever reason "Complacent" (No Fuss No Muss/No Stress)

  13. I've always subscribed to this thought.

    Here's the problem though, you have to learn how to tell women, "You start in the mailroom." Most women will agree with this post, but they won't want to have the courage and vigor to start out in the mailroom, they want you to move them in as an executive. And there's stages, you have to work at each stage and satisfy all the requirements at that level before you move to the next. The problem is, most women in their head think they're CEOs, and have a short patience when trying to satisfy lower level requirements.

    Man I could teach a workshop on this topic, let me go back to work.

    1. some women ARE CEO's though. That's the thing.

      Real CEO's communicate about shared challenges, exchange ideas, discuss best practices and are equals. They collaborate on how to best run businesses together.

      Relationships are partnerships; no opportunity for mail room pimping over here. If you're a CEO, why rock with a mailroom woman in the first place?!

      And i suppose men see that; i usually start the conversation in the C-Suite, lol.

      1. There is so much wrong with this…

        If a woman is a CEO, she's married. If not, she got laid off or is trying to start a new career. If she got laid off, damn recession! FIFO. If she is trying to start a new career, REPORT TO THE MAILROOM.

        1. I interpreted uhm as saying that, some women already have the experience of a CEO and feel like they shouldn't have to start in the mailroom (so to speak). If you were an actual CEO of a company, why would you apply for a mailroom position? Just to have a job?

          If I've got CEO qualifications, I'm not going to work a menial position just to have job. A woman who knows her worth will hold out for the position she deserves. A woman with CEO qualifications choosing to work in a mailroom would essentially be "settling."
          My recent post Never Married

        2. Let me just say it this way, here's what you should say…

          You've got to have the same vigor as the mailroom clerk, but if you don't see yourself as a CEO at the company, you shouldn't even accept the job in the mailroom. But even the mailroom clerk has the ambition and potential to be a CEO. That's important. But if you've been bouncing around from company to company as a CEO, maybe you're not that good of a CEO, or you don't know which companies to work for.

          I understand what you guys' sentiment is, you want to know your self-worth, but don't convince it with pride. There's so many people without jobs right now because they aren't willing to accept the job in the mailroom. They'd rather stay home than just accept A JOB.

          There are some men who see a company fail and they snatch up their CEO, most men will not do that when it comes to women. Just face it. You've got to go through each level, the old fashioned way. There are no shortcuts. But hey, if you've got CEO potential, i'm sure you won't be in the mailroom for long.

        3. "But hey, if you've got CEO potential, i'm sure you won't be in the mailroom for long."

          Seriously yuck at the whole idea of working my way up to be with a dude as if he's the pinnacle and I'm not at all worth working up to TOO. Whatever. To each their own. Either this is where the analogy breaks down, or I'm glad not to be relegated to the mailroom by the men I date.

        4. Well there is a such thing as being overqualified for a position. Usually, this poses a threat to the company and dismisses a person's chances for hire.

    2. I agree with this. I have been guilty of this in my younger days. I also had friendships with women who were complaining that they shouldn't have to put in the work in because they're pretty, the sex is good, they cook, they wear lipgloss, etc. Needless to say the eye rolling was non stop and the friendship ceased.

      The benefit of taking your time in relationships, but more importantly, BETWEEN relationships is to understand and work on yourself enough to know how to gauge the worthiness of working from the mail room to CEO. This also gives you time to research the expectations of each level to see if you can meet or exceed those expectations. I've noticed those girls who don't really know themselves and what they're looking for are far more impatient than women who have gone through trial and error and have learned through those experiences how to read a situation and determine the worthiness of working from mailroom to CEO, simply based on KNOWING WHAT THEY WANT.

      Those who don't know what they want , go in HARD demanding that title without understanding what that title is all about because frankly, they don't care. Or they just want that title to make up for something they're lacking. People know when they don't measure up. Admitting it and bowing out gracefully is a different story. My friend is going through that now. His wife swindled him to get CEO status and needless to say, she's an absentee CEO. And he's pissed.

      Another gem about working in a worthy mailroom: that's the only place where you can really learn the ins and outs of the company based on the correspondence that's being exchanged.

      1. Co-sign!

        Both parties should be interviewing simultaneously and working from the bottom up…which takes TIME!!!!!!! lol

      2. "Those who don't know what they want go in HARD demanding that title without understanding what that title is all about because frankly, they don't care. Or they just want that title to make up for something they're lacking."

        I love that ^^^^!! I instantly thought of Kim K. when I read ur comment. A slim waist and a fat ass does NOT always guarantee CEO status and even if you do get a CEO position off of those superficial credentials you've got to have the ability to maintain that position properly or you'll be fired after 72 days smh. I'm thinking that some of the skills u need to maintain that position are probably acquired in the mailroom.

        I often say even though Khloe is seen as the less attractive of the two, she KNOWS how to be a wife. Perhaps she did a stint in the mailroom? Not sure and I know I'm venturing away from the original post but your comment made me think of her.

        Agree with you wholeheartedly

    3. I wish a dude WOULD try and tell me I start out in the mailroom. LOL! I would seriously laugh in his face and promptly delete his contact information out of my life.

      I gotta agree with Wild Cougar on this one. While I do agree with the intent of the analogy (that you should make known what you'd like to ultimately accomplish in a relationship to your partner and leave/stay based on their response to that), in what world is a dude I'm dating a CEO and I'm a lowly mailroom worker? I have things on my husband checklist too! [email protected] in the mailroom. I'm gonna laugh a little bit every time I think of that later today. I wanna meet the chick with self-esteem low enough to accept with a straight face when you tell her she has to start in the mailroom. LOL!!

      1. I think to be fair he's just taking it from one vantage point. You can feel free to look at it from the woman's vantage point and when a dude first approachs you and gets your number than he can be in the so called "mail room"…nothing more, nothing less. Not sure why some people and taking the analogy as a perfectly direct correlation, lol. If you don't like the term mail room then he could easily use the term "entry-level position"….either way the whole point is your starting at the beginning of the relationship and working toward a certain destination if it is a good match. People get so hung up on the specific terms used as opposed to the desired definition behind them. *shrugs*

        1. When all we have are our words with which to communicate, it's hardly silly to interpret them as written. I did, however, address upthread that perhaps this is where the analogy breaks down.

      2. You don’t get it. Don’t you realize that any man worth their salt is gonna understand that they most likely will have to start in the mailroom too? And guess who determines that? A woman who ALSO knows her worth. It’s not about being an indentured servant. It’s about both parties acknowledging the WORTHINESS of each other and behaving accordingly.

        It’s like this: If your man can’t appreciate you before you sleep with him (mailroom phase) he isn’t going to appreciate you when you decide he should be CEO.

        If a man feels that you’re not appreciating him in the mailroom phase (his determination) he’s NOT going to promote you to CEO.

        It goes both ways.

      3. You’re missing the point. It’s not about “proving” yourself per se. It’s about appreciating and acknowleding the WORTHINESS of an opportunity and ACTING ACCORDINGLY. What is so wrong about that?

        Let me put it to you this way: any man worth his salt will understand that he starts at the mailroom phase. To me that’s pre sexual relations. And who determines if he moves up or not? You do.

        Sure, he will be the one to promote you to CEO by proposing. But he is also asking YOU to make him CFO by accepting the proposal.

        People deep down inside want to feel acknowledged and appreciated for who they are and wbat they do. If you come across a man who knows his worth and he’s expecting acknowledgement and respect from you, and the first thoughts you have are about preserving that pride, then your stagnation is on YOU.

        1. "If you come across a man who knows his worth and he's expecting acknowledgement and respect from you, and the first thoughts you have are about preserving that pride, then your stagnation is on YOU."

          That is hardly the case, and I certainly didn't type anything to allude to this. My issue was the idea that a woman should have to prove herself to a man before she's deemed worthy. In your opinion, that wasn't what was being discussed here. In my opinion, it was.

          Your point about a man having to prove himself as well is true. But that's why I mentioned upthread that the analogy breaks down at this point, because no ONE person is doing the hiring and firing in a relationship, and even if the man is supposedly doing the hiring by proposing, it is a QUESTION, and not one that is always accepted.

          So yes, the terminology of "working my way up from the mailroom" is EXTREMELY problematic to me in relationship terms, because despite your valid point, that is how MANY men like to believe it works.

          I was just addressing a flaw in this particular logic, for those dudes that are in the "taking applications" phase.

          Personally, in my current relationship, I have no problem with beginning at the beginning, and progressing naturally. In my opinion, a natural progression has nothing to do with EITHER person PROVING themselves to the other, but acknowledgement of compatibility in each other (or lack thereof, if the relationship is doomed).

        2. In my opinion, a natural progression has nothing to do with EITHER person PROVING themselves to the other

          I understand the contention behind the mailroom analogy, but I'm going to take a second to disagree with you here. A man most certainly will have to prove to me that he is reliable; worthy of my time, effort, and affection, etc. over the course of time. And vice versa. We may not approach it as "Ooooh, I have to prove x to him/her today!" but it is essentially what we seek to do through our actions and exhibits of fondness.

        3. "So yes, the terminology of "working my way up from the mailroom" is EXTREMELY problematic to me in relationship terms, because despite your valid point, that is how MANY men like to believe it works."

          Many women believe the same thing. They want the man to wine and dine them, take them shopping, etc, etc in order to be in the running to move up to AT LEAST the front desk. This is not limited to just men.

          However, in the man's defense, I can see given the burden that men have to undertake when they do decided to wife someone up, that they would have to be as SELECTIVE as possible and sift through the options VERY carefully.

  14. WIM I see your point and where your going with the analogy. However I feel that when people compare other things with love and relationships it is like comparing apples and oranges….not apples and apples.
    Reason being that in love and relationships people can be fickle, picky, and very immature. They can also be sometimey, not have a clue what they want, or want everything for nothing, or want the unattainable to be quickly and easily attainable. People can have a warped sense of love and a warped sense of self. You can be trained on any job to do it well….the main things you need to be a good manager, CFO, CEO etc etc is education, training, and the right kind of personality where you can handle being in a management position and your strong enough to fire people if you have to and your a fair person who doesn't show favoratism. Even though many CFO's, CEO's and managers have the education and years of job training and experience, many lack the right personality traits to be an effective manager.
    Many things can be controlled on your job. In most cases there is no reason in the world why you cannot advance if you do a great job and follow the rules of the company and represent the company well and exemplify the model employee. Even in "at will" states like MD, VA and PA where you can get fired for any reason legally you can fight and win if your discriminated against. No company can legally fire you because your too short, too tall, not pretty enough, too black, too light, or too white or black or indian or whatever. If anything they must be respectful of your race, culture and religion.
    Not the case in relationships. In fact sooooo many people pass by good people and remain single because we as human beings are soooo very shallow and disqualify potential mates for the dumbest reasons…..ie she's too black, hair too nappy, too short, too tall, pinky toe is jacked up and whatever. I know a guy in college who after sleeping with a girl who was a really good girl for him and she really liked him he rejected her because he said her coochie hair was too nappy. Said he just couldn't get past it so he kicked her to the curb. My ex rejected a girl "after sleeping with her" because he didn't like her voice and said she was too corny and acted too proper and too much like a white valley girl. Your job cannot legally be that shallow and fire you or not promote you for superficial reasons. (not to say that many jobs don't hire and fire and promote folks for superficial reasons but when they do it's on the hush and if that person took them to court and fought it they would be s-o-l. They know the possible legal repercussions so this doesn't happen all the time at all jobs I don't think. If anything more and more I see them promoting more acceptance of diversity in cultures and religions. Every company I ever worked at always calls the "Christmas Party" a "Holiday Party" to be politically correct and not offend anyone who doesn't believe in Christmas. Many companies also acknowledge Jewish holidays and Kwanzaa.
    At any rate, point is there is no comparing love and relationships to anything else in life, except life in and of itself because there are too many differences.

  15. Damnnnnn! Everyone has dug into this post and written such great arguments/comments… I don't even have a real comment, I ran into the bathroom and cried after reading this;

    "Despite your years of loyalty, you will be objectively compared to all other applicants when the time comes to find a CEO aka his wife-to-be. Fair or unfair, another woman’s overall resume may supersede your own."

    Another good post WIM!

  16. Also what about the men, and some women who choose to Never Ever get married, (like my uncle and his girlfriend).
    Some people never want to promote anybody to CEO. They never want anyone "managing their company."
    Also what about the folks who are "eternal" players, golddiggers, users, and abusers….?
    Some people I think never want the grown up responsibility of a relationship, much less a marriage and children, because mentally they are like kids themselves.
    I think 1 smart thing women who have a strong desire to get married need to do is date marriage minded men who seriously want what they want. To the ladies, the playa's and Rico Suave's may be fine and sexy and charming and "have it goin on" but if these men don't want to settle down with any woman anytime soon why waste your time with them. Weed out the bad seeds and stick with people who are on the same page and timetable as you…….I know it's easier said than done….but it's definitely a viable solution.
    And btw WIS some men I know would not have married the women they are married to had those women not gave them ultimatums and forced them to make a decision. Many times the women who end up in "common law marriages" can be the ones who "settled" for the okey doke and never took a chance because they didn't want to "rock the boat" for fear the man would leave. Women who have the balls and confidence to step to a man to make a decision can sometimes get what they want.
    Like they say, "closed mouths don't get fed."

  17. This article is ingenious. I'm what you call a "lurker" to this website lol but I had to comment on this article. The more I live life and mature (I just turned 23 btw so I definitely have a long way to go) I realize that life is a game, and sometimes you have to play to win to get what you want. Creating the analogy of becoming CEO in a company to upgrading from girlfriend to wife makes a lot of sense because being a girlfriend is a job……and why wouldn't a man evaluate a woman before promoting her to wife? I think women at lot of times look for the magic solution to get a guy to "wife" them…..if we were to view it this way it would save a lot of us a lot of pain (by either realizing we weren't being considered for promotion anyways, and quitting the "company") or eventually becoming engaged (by having the discussion, and the option 1 or 2 occurring). I'm currently single & not looking to be in a relationship at the moment, but I'll definitely keep this advice in mind when I get in one. Wisdom indeed 😀

  18. If I can be frank It depends on what both parties want and how long are they willing to wait for and what they are up against if you know the person you trying to cuff up is slow to commit then you can't go around giving ultimatums lol. And Furthermore, People need to realize that marriage and g/f and bf relations are two different arenas they are similar in ways but still different.

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