Psychology

Title

College, career, commitment, oh my: how emerging adult women balance romantic relationships, career plans, and financial stability

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In a highly gendered society where both relational expectations and career aspirations are socialized goals, emerging adult women are uniquely positioned when considering their futures. Choices regarding education, career, and romantic relationships are linked to social pressures, leading young women to be conflicted about what goals to prioritize. This study analyzes interviews exploring how women in committed relationships currently in college, or recently graduated, are balancing these life domains at the intersection of gender in the United States. Findings indicate that emerging adult women struggle with their own desires for romantic commitment in the face of societal presumptions, logistical battles, and feelings of instability anxiety. Yet, commitment, communication, and faith in serendipity emerged as protective relationship factors. Although continuing a romantic relationship is not impossible during such instability, relationships for young women today may not exist without notable individual compromise and hold more significance concerning young women’s perceived autonomy.

Publication Title

Emerging Adulthood

Publication Date

2022

Volume

10

Issue

3

First Page

804

Last Page

814

ISSN

2167-6968

DOI

10.1177/21676968211054612

COinS