Nia Long has been serving aging-like-fine-wine goals for women for over two decades as we watched the actress grace the big screen in some of our favorite movies.
But off-screen, her love life remained a mystery until she began dating Ime Udoka, a former assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Last year, the 44-year-old actress got engaged to Ime, while putting a stamp on the career-life balance most women desire.
This will be Nia’s first marriage, after being in no rush to walk down the aisle before. As a matter of fact, back in 2013 during the promo for The Best Man Holiday, the mother-of-two opened up about the pressures career women of a certain age have placed on themselves to get hitched, as well as the burden of guilt those same ladies often carry when wondering whether or not they chose career over family:
“I think that women who are extremely driven to success, ambitious, I think they get to a point in their lives where they’re like, ‘Uh oh. I am 30-something years old, and I don’t have a husband and I don’t have children yet and what does that mean?’ I think what it means is stay in your course because it’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen. “It doesn’t happen for everyone at the same time, so you can’t compare your life to someone else’s.”
And although Nia encouraged the act of “doing you” while your love life falls into place, the star also made sure to point out the importance of being aware of love, and not pushing a potentially good thing away either:
“You have to have an open heart to be vulnerable to accept it when it does come. I think the more success you have as a woman, you kinda go, ‘Well, I don’t really need a man ’cause look: I have everything I want,’ but the truth is you do need a partner because at some point in your life you’re not going to want to walk alone.”
That’s certainly a refreshing way to see things. Career women are often praised for their ability to run successful business or climb the career ladder, but are hardly praised for their ability to remain focused during the time it took to reach a certain level of success. Sometimes that focus might include sacrifices and placing a few things on hold (i.e: holding off on starting a family until later). Quite often when a 30-plus woman is accomplished yet still single, people will use the very thing they praised her for, against her- which was her drive to ensure success and a safety net for herself.
A top-ranking male CEO of a fortune-500 company in his 40’s might be regarded as one of the “youngest in his position,” plus no one says a word if he hasn’t married yet. But if it were a woman, although she’d get applauded on the work tip, she’d be pretty much written off as ancient for all else. We guess that’s where the perception of having a “biological clock” that’s ticking sets in.
Nia’s engagement and her optimism is definitely hope for the new modern, working woman who is here for the dollars and the diamond (ring, that is- aka love!)
Patience truly is a virtue!
Congrats to Nia!
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