Ask Dr. Gilda-Will My Career Ruin Our Romance?

She’s an executive, he works on an assembly line…will this love story have a happy ending?

By Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

ear Dr. Gilda,
I have been single for eight years. Divorced. I am a career woman working as a manager. I have a very responsible job and a degree. Now I have just met a great guy. He is 47, attractive and available. I have known his family members, mother, brother and his circle of friends for many years. I never met
He is a super guy, attentive, sensitive, loving and kind. He is also a good communicator.
this man until just recently because he lived far away. Now he is local. We hit it off immediately. He is a super guy, attentive, sensitive, loving and kind. He is also a good communicator. He works in the auto industry on the assembly line and he makes a good living.

He recently told me he fears my career will become an issue in our relationship. I consider this man to be very intelligent and we have meaningful conversations. I just adore him, and I assured him that I care about him, not about his employment level. While he seemed satisfied with my response, on occasion he still makes the odd comment. He has a heart of gold and I am so ready for a man like this. I have dated the cold, selfish GQs and I am past that now.

Can a couple be successful if the woman is more career-driven than the man? It should not matter if two people care for one another, should it?
-Very Much in LIKE

Dear Very Much in LIKE,
It sounds like you do have a winner here. Not only is this guy loving, caring, and intelligent, he’s also man enough to honestly share his fears with you. With all the “GQ’s” you’ve known, how many were in touch with their emotions, and how many more would be willing to share these emotions with a potential love mate? (But you already know this, so I’m preaching to the choir.) Yet, please give yourself credit for your role in this guy’s sharing. Many women don’t realize that they are the ones who provide the comfort zone for a man to come clean with his emotions. Our society trains lots of
Many women don’t realize that they are the ones who provide the comfort zone for a man to come clean with his emotions.
Lone Rangers whose only close ties are to Tonto, not to a woman. For you guys reading this, note my Gilda-Gram: “Men should know that sharing their emotions is a woman’s catnip.” (And, women, note that once a man does open up, never to use the information against him or you’ll lose his trust.)

Now, onto the crux of your question: I should have a dollar for each woman who, in my practice and at my lectures, has asked me whether being empowered would intimidate a man. The fact is, real men are turned on by a partner rather than by a trophy. At first, a trophy woman may be attractive and enticing, but over the long haul, most men prefer someone who will appreciate them for who they really are.

You’ve got a great guy, but recognize that he was raised in a culture where his gender is supposed to be the more successful one in business. You’ve obviously done a terrific job so far of quelling your guy’s fears about society’s expectations. Continue to do more of the same and you’ll probably find this guy melting into your arms—as well as your future.

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website ( and send her your relationship questions.
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