on partners

This might seem obvious, but I am realizing that women in academia don’t necessarily have to be in relationships that are based on financial security. Since we, unlike most women everywhere, have the benefit of a fulfilling intellectual life that pays enough to support us comfortably, we can pick our partners based on other qualities, like primarily on their ability to stimulate us intellectually and sexually. The big difference with us is that they don’t have to be financially successful. Like I said, that might seem obvious, but I’ve been looking around at other women in my position, or women whose position I will soon be in, and many of them are married to men who don’t work or who work part time. These are not career oriented men. I also find myself attracted to these kinds of men. Whether or not they bring money to the table is not of concern to me. What concerns me is their ability to hold a conversation and whether or not I am sexually attracted to them. My old friends, friends with whom I attended high school, etc. have chosen relationships and partners that are very different than mine. Don’t get me wrong, they really seem to love and have a passion for their partners, but there is also a significant financial aspect to the relationship. It is one that serves both parties, but it is not one that would serve me anymore. In terms of relationships, I haven’t always been sure who to look for, not sure who to love. That was until I started to look to women who were actually like me, women who choose to pursue educations and/or careers and have enough power (intellectual, cultural, and financial) that they in no way need a partner to bring that power to the relationship. Incidentally, academics in the liberal arts also tend to disdain the constrains of capitalism, and so, while they could certainly make more money, they choose not. They have enough. Instead of looking at how I compare to all of my old friends and their relationships (and the inevitable confusion that comes with noticing how vastly different we have become), I’ve been looking at my new peers, my colleagues, and that has been a better model for me.

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