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News to Me: Women Are Choosing Their Careers Over Love

The days of obvious gender roles are over, according to a recent article on, which says that many women are choosing their careers over love. In a study conducted by Catherine Mosher of Duke University Medical Center and Sharon Danoff-Burg at the University of Albany, the stereotype of men being more dedicated to their jobs than their relationships is debunked; it's actually the men who are more willing to sacrifice achieving their career goals.

According to the article:

Researchers asked 237 undergraduates to rate the importance of goals such as financial success, career, education, and contribution to society, as well as goals such as romantic relationships, marriage, children, and friendship. While 51 percent of the women prioritized romantic relationships over achievement goals, more than 61 percent of men did the same.

These numbers are not all that surprising to me since women have fought so hard to have equal rights in the workplace. In addition to proving our abilities, it's much more disruptive for women to leave the workplace after having children than it is for men and even harder to return. Luckily I have not had to make a choice between my love life and my career, but have any of you? If so, what did you choose? And if not, how do you think you would sway if you were faced with a decision like this?


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Green Green 8 years
stability is important with or without love
batula-blue batula-blue 8 years
I will go with what jadenirvana said... like that answer!!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
Agree with everyone said the headline of this article is BS. Fact that men are valuing home time and love MORE is much more interesting, empowering. On the issue of love/career, why choose? Jobs are cutthroat, love is supposed to be unconditional. If I got a dream job opportunity, I believe if my fella is The One, he will pack up or rearrange his life however to support me. This is what men have been expecting from women for years. Bottom line: Guys don't choose, why should we?
rlveronica rlveronica 8 years
I choose both! Haha. I believe it is "true love" for the BOTH of you... you both would compromise. Isn't that what you do in relationships?
yayaisland yayaisland 8 years
I don't think love or career is just a choice to make. You wonder if this love is true and you are not sure if this career is promissing. I recently turned down my ex-boyfriend's propose because I couldn't let myself drop out from graduate school to move to him and we broke up later. I would say a woman's tolerence seems bigger than a man's on this career thing. For example, distance relationship is same tough to both of us, while I waited for my ex to finish his school, he couldn't wait for me to finish mine.
bbkf bbkf 8 years
I always choose my relationship over everything else (family, school, work) and it's always been a great choice for me. My husband is much more important to me than my job; even when we'd been dating only a few months (long distance), I chose to take double courses to get my undergrad degree a year early so I could move to be with him.
heineken67 heineken67 8 years
I turned down an ivy league school so I could go to undergrad near my guy. It's worked out so far, though, since we're still together years later and I still got into medical school.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Ugh...I am making this decision right now, as we speak. I am trying to figure out whether a five year relationship is worth saving at the expense of my career. It irks me because it will be MY career that suffers to stay together, not his. There is pretty much no question about this. It's one thing not get married since I'm still young, but at this point, I expect more from him and I don't want to sacrifice my career because at least that is something that I can "create" and have control over. Maybe I would feel differently if he would propose, so I guess I'm almost lucky he isn't. Sorry for this very depressing post, I am just really frustrated and need to make decisions sooon. Graceunderfire-your post was especially thoughtful. Thanks everyone for pointing the flaws out in the study, I was too lazy to look at it...ooops!
twocreativenerds twocreativenerds 8 years
I agree. I've worked this hard to get where I am, and my boyfriend has worked hard to get where he is, but neither of us expect the other to give up their dream jobs. I work in San Diego, where there are chemistry jobs, and he works in Los Angeles, where he has a job at a start-up. There are no interesting chemistry jobs in LA, and there are no interesting computer networking jobs in San Diego, so we're just dealing with the 2 hour commute to see each other. I'm just lucky that the graduate school I want to attend is closer, so then we'll only be an hour away from each other.
belletrist9 belletrist9 8 years
As wonderful as love is, and as much as I love my boyfriend, I don't think that I could sacrifice my career for him, and I don't think that a loving boyfriend would make me. I mean, I'm young, but love is a very transient thing. What I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life for work is going to be for the rest of my life and I'd much rather pursue something that I am really passionate about and end up with a job I love rather than settling for something else and hate waking up every morning like so many people I know. Also, I think it's much more interesting (and more accurate) to know that 61% of male undergrads are more romantic than we perhaps thought before. Hehe.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
TFS - love can pay the bills haha, just find a rich one ;) in all seriousness though, that study proves nothing from a research point of view and was completely spun to say something completely different than what it actually says. Like others above have pointed out the sample is EXTREMELY biased. And also, it clearly says that women are pretty much split down the middle on the career/romance issue rather than "majority are choosing career over relationships". And when you are an undergrad, career IS the most important thing to you. And with a sample of only 200-some people, these results may only be true for that particular college. they have generalized and blew this story waay out of proportion.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 8 years
Well I don't blame them divorce is so common now days women are looking out for themselves. What does that do for their overall happiness though?
TFS TFS 8 years
pinkdragonfly pinkdragonfly 8 years
I would never sacrifice my career for a guy. Never.
ccsugar ccsugar 8 years
In response to the last few posts... If someone asked me that when I was 20, I would probably say career. But now that I'm a little older, I would definitely say family, marriage, kids. I would never put career over any of that. It saddens me that some people see a job and a pay check more important than relationships with people they care about.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 8 years
I think this is more true every day. one of my ultimate goals is to get to a place in my life where I can go on a doctors without borders mission, and that would mean leaving behind my boyfriend for 6 months or so. it's going to be tough, but it's something I need to do for me. I don't even see it as choosing career over love- my love's just gonna be at home for a bit while I do my career.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
The title of this post is completely misleading. Women are NOT choosing their careers over relationships. Rather, college undergrads are merely stating what seems important to them. Who is that relevant to other than a bunch of 20 year olds? And what does it mean in actual terms? Not much, since these kids are still in college. I guess if this poll were given to a variety of age groups I'd find the answers a little more interesting. These kids won't really be faced with an actual decision for a year or two. And also, the romantic partner may be telling in the responses, too!
taboos taboos 8 years
I don't think this study has proper data to get an accurate "result". I mean they are asking women in college to tell them this. There is this huge social pressure for women to say that they would chose career over love because women had tried for so long to get equality - especially in college. Plus, if they did a study where undergrad, grad and married women and men were asked the questions - I'm sure the answer would be very different.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
I suppose my conclusion there was that I'll go with career - because my academic work makes me happy too. And there's other men in the world.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
I would rather not have to choose, but I'm afraid I will as soon as I finish my BA. I want to continue in academia and the bf is going straight into teaching, and I don't think that it will work out - particularly because women academics just don't get the same treatment as male ones, and even once you get your degrees and a fellowship, maternity leave, etc. can flush your promising career right down the toilet :-(
aeschere aeschere 8 years
haven't made a decision like this yet, but i think i would choose career. it would get me somewhere in life.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
I would choose LOVE over anything at all. Maybe there are some women who find more joy, contentment and pleasure in a great career over a man. I don't know what type of woman is that. Maybe she 's too pained to let open her heart again or maybe she has a lot of aspirations that she thinks being in a relationship with a man could deter her path to that goal.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I'd try to make a compromise - I'm young, and I'm very driven individual who would feel prouder for what I've accomplished in my career at this point in my life than my relationship. My boyfriend has a very high profile job which inspires me even more to find my own niche. But after seeing wayyy too many of my girl friends from high school just pick up everything and follow their boyfriends to wherever HIS career took them, I vowed I'd never do that. Works for some people, but not for me. At some point in my life, I'll probably put my relationship/love/family first, but not at this stage.
Luckily, I never have. However, I would always choose love over success. You can be the most successful person in the world, but what's it matter if you have noone to share it with? I'd rather have someone to grow old with, instead of growing old with my company and money.
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