Today we are going to talk about equality. The strides we, as women, have made over the past couple of years have been outstanding. And as much as most of you don’t want to hear this, I want to give a shoutout to Donald Trump. Had he not been elected, the US would have remained status quo under the democrats — We wouldn’t have evolved as socially as we are today. Women would have not felt the need to rise up to the extent that we have with the #MeToo Movement and #TimesUp. Now, we, as a nation, care more about what is going on in the government and in the world, and are more compelled and empowered to change it. People watch live debates and vote more than ever before and believe their vote and voice actually matter. So even though we are going through growing pains, it has made us take more accountability in the world we live in.
The one thing that hasn’t evolved at the same speed is a woman’s self worth. I see women championing causes supporting other women and marginalized demographics, but not elevating themselves. I see this everyday with friends, expat group chatter and even celebrity tabloids — no one is immune. So, why are successful, attractive and intelligent women settling for less than? A man wouldn’t. Ladies, it’s time to level up.
One of my favorite books of all time was Mika Brezanski’s, “Know Your Value”. This book was life changing for me and helped me successfully navigate my way through and up the corporate ladder. Though it is geared towards your professional lifestyle, it really resets your mindset and behavior and is applicable to your personal life as well. The premise of the concept is so simple, but somewhere along the way we forgot how awesome we are and how much power we truly have.
I was recently in London with my best friend’s three year old daughter and her self-confidence knows no bounds — she is seriously going to be queen of the #ladybosses one day. Being around her made me think, “Were we all this way at one point? WTF changed?” One could argue that we weren’t woke until just recently, but I honestly believe that we were all like that at one point until life messed with us on several occasions. Instead of powering through it like the rockstars we are, we felt defeated and questioned our value.
It’s time that everyone start believing in themselves again and acknowledging the goddesses they truly are. Stop doing shit because you think a guy would like you better. I’ve heard cringeworthy things like some girls not using condoms because “he doesn’t like the way they feel” (ew. first of all f*ck that), putting up with a partner belittling them constantly, flirting with other women in front of them…you get the picture. It breaks my heart when expat women tell me that they feel less than the person they used to be in their home country because they want to integrate here. There is no need for that. Anyone who makes you change the person you truly are and compromises your core beliefs and values is not worthy of you or your time. Have some self respect. If you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?
Remember ladies, you are in the relationship YOU THINK you deserve to be in. So stop putting yourself down and raise yourself up like the queen that you are.
Pro-Tip: Anytime you doubt yourself, put your daughter, sister or even friend in your situation and think about the advice you would give them. We are better giving and taking advice when we remove ourselves from the picture.
I was having tea with my friend the other day and we were talking about dating in France. I was telling her that my main problem here is that everyone I meet is so lackadaisical and underaccomplished…they lacked the drive and the fire that I’m used to and I possess. I understand I came here for a life balance, at the same time that did not change the person I inherently am. I am still ambitious, intelligent and go after everything I desire and expect the same from a partner. The problem with dating here is that most men you meet are not like that.
I know I must sound like a privileged girl from NY, but you know what, I earned it. I work for everything I have and don’t rely on anyone else to support me. Most French people will never admit that France is a modern day caste system, but it is. So, it’s not their fault that they aren’t ambitious, it is the society they grew up in — a society that told them they could not be better than what they were born in to, a society where you are just content and don’t go for the promotion, a society where you accept something because “that’s the way it is”. Well, that is not my society, and if you are like me, it’s not yours either.
I want someone at my level and a true partnership and if you want the same, don’t settle for less. You are probably asking, “Well, what do I do? We are still in France.”
Number 1 — don’t settle. I know some women who were just tired of dating and accepted that they would compromise things they couldn’t have because he was good enough. Long story short, they never are.
Number 2 — date out of your normal comfort zone. The younger generation is more entrepreneurial and have the same fire and drive that may be sexy to most of the women reading this. And as my friend said, there is nothing wrong with dating younger, as long as they are at your level.
Don’t believe that dating at your level is important? Here’s a fun tidbit.
I wasted THOUSANDS of dollars dating a man in NY that was not on my level. I made all those excuses in my head that I’m sure you guys have done at one point — “I know he’s going to be successful one day”, “I really don’t care that we can’t go to the places I want to go to”, “But I’m so attracted to him”. Stop making excuses — If you have to make excuses for a man, the relationship is already past CPR. Going back to point number one — KNOW YOUR WORTH. If you don’t, not only are you devaluing yourself, but your bank account. We’ve come to a place where we are either as successful and making as much as they are, or more successful and exceeding their earning potential. If he can’t meet you on your other levels mentally, you shouldn’t be supporting him financially.
Pro-Tip: Just because the landscape has changed, you are still a lady and you should be courted. True gentleman exist (even in France), so never, ever, EVER let them tell you otherwise. And if he does not have money to take you out to dinner, there are other cost friendly ways to court a lady, like a picnic, for example.
OK, now that you have a base it’s time to ask yourself what you really want — What do you want in your life? What do you want out of a relationship? What don’t you want in your life?” and “What don’t you want in a relationship?” Write everything down. It is a very eye opening exercise and tool that will help you become more centered and grounded in what you are looking for in your life and in your relationships.
When you are done see if the columns on your lists align — they most likely should if you are focused. This list isn’t about your partner, it’s about you. No matter where you are in the dating or relationship cycle, you must always be true to yourself and your desires. What you value in your life goals are the similarities you should be looking at when you see a potential partner. If he can’t support the direction you are going in, it’s time to cut it loose without a second thought.
I keep this list out and look at it every morning to make sure I am on track to achieving everything I want out of life. I also look at it every time I leave for a date and come back from a date. This exercise has been extremely helpful in weeding out the type of relationships I don’t want in my life, and not just in the dating realm. It’s great for getting rid of toxic people. Remember, your most important relationship is with yourself. Treat yourself like the queen you are and staying true to you will attract the type of partner you deserve and desire.
Also remember, not every date will be a match, but every date is a learning experience. If something does not work out, think of it as a lesson and see what you liked and what you didn’t — this will help shape what qualities you are looking for. Regardless, you need to move on after it has ended even if you think he was the perfect. Most of the time, he’s not and you just think he is because we, as women, have been raised/bred to rely on men and be in a relationship. Don’t waste your time, by dwelling. I will bet you a million dollars that he hasn’t given it a second thought. There are better uses of your time. Imagine that book you could have written, that business you could have started, that stranger you could have met. Let that sink in and move forward.
Pro-Tip: We change constantly, so make sure to update list whenever you need to. Life is not a one and done!