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7 Things the Overachiever in a Relationship Wishes You Understood

“A girl with goals,” responds every person after being asked what type of perfect girlfriend they want. They tend to leave out the fact they also want a girl who puts them first. In most cases, these two things don’t come together in a pretty little package. This idea of an ambitious, bad ass gal is better in theory than in reality for some people. If you want a girlfriend who’s serious about her pursuits in life and prides herself in productivity, you’ll have to have patience while she switches gears into relationship mode, one of the few things in her life that doesn’t come with a mission and deadline. This wonder woman, too, struggles with her dominating lone wolf nature when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship. “It takes two” isn’t usually her motto. Here’s some things the overachiever in a relationship wishes you understood:

1. She’s got stuff to do

You wanted a girl with goals? Well lucky for you, you got one. This girl has things to do, and you have to be willing to put your pride aside and sit in the passenger seat from time to time. She’s not going to text you 24/7. Don’t fight with her over it; the only person she’s cheating on you with is herself.

“My boyfriend would always start fights with me for not texting him for a few hours,” says Liz Torrisi, a junior at Pace University, “even though he knew I was busy. It was the most unattractive thing.” If you’re this type of person, just don’t even pursue a busy girl. You’re only making her more stressed.

“As an overachiever myself, I have lost some relationships because guys wanted me to make them my biggest priority, if not my only priority,” explains Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author. “It’s tough for a girl having to choose between spending time with a boyfriend or finishing up a project she’s passionate about.” She won’t be able to attend every event or family function with you, either, because she probably misses her own, too. “It is a blow to their ego when a girl prefers to cozy up with her books or run for class president, instead of hanging out with them,” continues Dr. Lieberman. “Guys like to show off their successful girlfriend to others, but they want her to be available for their every whim at the same time.” She isn’t an accessory or just something to show off, she’s something to brag about—even better!

Related: 5 Unrealistic Expectations You Shouldn’t Have For Your SO

2. She will just never be satisfied

Even after a major accomplishment, this girl hardly ever truly feels good about herself. The initial happiness fades when she starts to ponder what she could’ve done better. This is how she is. And often times, this is hard for her significant other to accept. Just because she may not appear ecstatic after every thoughtful gesture or gift, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate it. Understand that she isn’t ungrateful or unamused, she’s just unfamiliar with quickly expressing complete satisfaction. 

3. They do appreciate the little things—in fact, they need them

If you’re into the zodiac at all, you know that Capricorn women are frequently defined as the workaholic, detached type. Shortly following this description, though, is probably a tidbit about how they appreciate the simple things in life despite their complex minds. This applies to every hardworking girl; Caps are just commonly associated with the trait, and it’s always fun to explain behavioral patterns with astrology.

According to New York-based astrologist Mecca Woods, “Capricorns want to succeed at love, too. She’s the kind of gal who knows what she wants and doesn’t settle until she gets it (like that job promotion). And when she finds someone she wants to be with, her goal is to build an empire with that mate.” She is so used to taking things seriously, probably wearing a poker face during most of her daily discussions, so don’t feel pressured to have serious conversations during your downtime with her. Don’t get it twisted—she respects you because you can have meaningful conversations—but she would love to talk about what kind of wallpaper you would prefer in your dream home, and she does care about how especially good your Chick-fil-A meal was today. She’ll want you to help her wind down after her busy day.

Related: 5 Ways to Help Your SO Get Through a Tough Time

4. They need reassurance from you, too

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that men generally had lower self-esteem when their female partner excelled at something, but women’s self-esteem was unaffected when their male SO succeeded. Why? “Regardless of how modern a guy wants to believe he is, there are still some traditional values that are wired into us,” further elaborates Dr. Lieberman, “such as the expectation that the man will be the overachieving bread-winner, and the woman will settle for some work that doesn’t take up too much time.”

Please let this mindset become ancient. If you’re feeling like you’re the inferior one in the relationship who doesn’t do as much, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to provide your overachiever with reassurance that you appreciate and support her. Perhaps the worst thing you could do is become bitter. Don’t put her in the position to feel guilty. She already has a hard time loosening the firm grip she has on most aspects of her life, and probably struggles with her inability to control the fate of your relationship. So let her know it will all be okay, better yet that it will be great and most importantly, how proud you are of her. She may exude confidence but still needs to hear compliments

5. She thinks highly of you and wants the best for you

Overachievers don’t waste time—spending her time wisely has always been her strong suit. If she is even taking the time to date you to begin with, know that she thinks you’re worth it. And she’ll only want you to better yourself the way she does herself. It’s easy to be intimidated by your successful lover, but her intention is not to make you feel that way. Marcia Reynolds, author of Wander Woman, says that an overachiever’s “chronic need to rise above others can keep [her] from creating strong relationships.” She’s not trying to do that with you, though. She isn’t one to take on easy tasks, so you should be up for the challenge.

If you’re not up for the challenge, it is going to end. “I would consider myself an overachiever,” says Lola George, a junior at University of North Texas. “My ex-boyfriend was less ambitious than I was. He was content with playing video games and watching TV most of the time. I felt that he wasn’t a leader. I was continuously frustrated with him and eventually broke up with him because I wanted someone that I felt was more ambitious.” It’s just insulting to not even try.

6. When it comes down to it…

The overachiever’s relationship could likely end because their SO feels like “she doesn’t need him.” We get that you want to feel needed, because who doesn’t? If you want this self-sufficient, driven girl, though, you’re going to have to deal with the fact she isn’t relying on you for every little thing. When it comes down to it, you’re right—she doesn’t need you. She got herself where she is on her own, and she probably isn’t going to start depending on someone else now. She wants you, though. She wants you to be there with her through everything, she wants to have fun with you, she wants to be with you. Don’t expect her to beg you to stay. She won’t. But she’ll still cry if you go. (Before she reminds herself she’s a boss, that is.) 

7. She loves you

She isn’t some robotic workaholic incapable of love. It’s about time overachieving, ambitious women stop being labeled as heartless. She can be as fun-loving and goofy as she is serious. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently as a significant other, just with a tad bit more respect and understanding. If you aren’t willing to try a little harder to be the romantic counterpart to the overachiever you were lucky enough to land… maybe underachiever is your type.

Being an overachiever is something your girl has probably struggled with her whole life—but let’s be real, is it really even considered a struggle? She’s made it this far in her life and now she just needs you to be understanding and put up with her somewhat unconventional relationship habits. 

A graduate of Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where I majored in dance and a current student at Pace University. I'm now a Business Economics major, minoring in English and an artist at heart. I'm most likely somewhere in NYC sipping an iced coffee while silently correcting grammar. Follow me on instagram @angelalaurito and twitter @annngggg to get a closer look!
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