This is amusing. Women are now being blamed for the failure of their own love lives. What is to blame? Well, that you are too smart. If you are intelligent and advanced at work or your career (or your interests that are also smart outside of just reading Cosmo and He’s just not that into you) than you have a low emotional intelligence. Because this is a common misnomer around women, you see. That women are emotionally UN-intelligent. Really now.
Anne, a very sad, disappointed and single 40 year old tells us clearly what we need to hear:
I never envisaged that at my 40th, not only would I not have a partner, but I wouldn’t even have a date. When I waltzed out of Oxford University nearly 20 years ago, throbbing with a sense of my potential, this wasn’t what I had in mind at all.
But now, taking stock, I can see that while my career as a writer has flourished, I have floundered massively in the relationship stakes. My romantic CV makes shockingly depressing reading – I was married at 32, divorced by 34, became pregnant by a new partner at 36 and was left by him as a single mother at 38.
Let’s start with the obvious. It is not your fault that you focus your energy on your work instead of your relationship and that a man cannot appreciate that in your life. If a man leaves you with a child, that is not your fault. Yeah there are two sides to every story, but it is hardly just your own fault.
So what does all this mean? Well, I believe that at the root of all this is the fact that many women with a high IQ have a perilously low EQ (that’s their emotional intelligence quotient). Put more prosaically, this would explain why bright girls are often fools in love.
Last year, American writer Michael Noer created outrage when he wrote a piece in Forbes Magazine warning men off marrying career girls. He claimed that recent studies had found that clever, professional women were more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children.
I know it is hard to take an article seriously that attempts to use last year’s atrocious Forbes article as legitimate information. But, all things considered, I can truly relate to this as someone with a thousand things to do-all-the-time, it definitely puts a strain on all my relationships. But why are women to blame for that? Is it our fault that men are taught that they should have a woman’s undivided attention and care? That perhaps when you are successful or more invested in your career than a relationship, that perhaps this is threatening?
As it is, women have to be needy and provide love, while men get to be invested in their careers (and not all men and women are like this at all, this is just what stories like this make me realize that dominant relationship myths tell us). If you don’t fit that framework, than I suppose you end up alone! And what, OMG, what could be worse than that?
OK, let me stop before I start talking about my own life. The reality is men are changing with women and there are men out there that are supportive of women that are in their careers and that could be anything, like for me my social justice work or writing, or whatever it is you love to do and feels you and motivates you.
What we don’t need is doom and gloom fear talk about how we are emotionally unintelligent and how we will end up alone if we are successful in our careers or our personal interests. Furthermore, WHO has the money to not work? And if I have to work, than I better be invested and interested since I have to spend a lot of time doing this work.
Perhaps there is a relationship between women having robust and flourishing careers and lack of male companionship, but is that such a bad thing? If the person you are with doesn’t take interest or support you in the things that you want to do, then they are not loving you for who you are, and that is not the situation you want to be in. That is not your fault. The blame game needs to stop. You didn’t do anything wrong. Divorce is not always such a bad thing, it shows that people know how to do what is right for themselves.
Showing interest in things other than a relationship shows a high level of emotional intelligence. You know what you want and aren’t afraid to get it. Does this change that some people just don’t want to be alone, outside of just the media motivated fear of it? Probably not, but it makes it easier to think about.