Simultaneously having a successful career and a successful
relationship is about the best state of being I can imagine. What you may not
think of is how these two things may be related.
Let me give you a hint: Jennifer Aniston, our favorite Friend next door and growing ever-more-famous actress, was recently interviewed on Inside the Actor's Studio. From what I know about acting, that's basically one way to know you've really "arrived." Who did she bring with her to the taping for the show that will air in early July? Her 'getting serious' boyfriend, Justin Theroux, of course.
While he didn't have to do any talking and probably just chilled back stage, this story reminded me of just how important it is to have a socially-adept significant other. After all, just as in this situation, he or she will probably be accompanying you to social events relating to your career. However, unlike this situation, he or she will also be expected to speak and make small talk with coworkers or other individuals with whom you're trying to network. With that in mind, it's important for your S.O. to have a likable personality and the ability to make a good impression -- after all, anything positive they do reflects well on you.
I know from experience how appealing a guy who "only opens
up to you" can be; you know, the bad boy who's prickly on the outside and a
big softie on the inside. But one thing I've discovered is that if you're going
to be in any kind of field where there are events attended by coworkers and
requiring a plus-one, that bad boy just isn't practical.
The male version of the blond bimbo probably isn't your best choice either, as you'd ideally like to introduce someone with a little substance to your coworkers, this too, reflects well on you. After all, at my last company Christmas party, people remembered my thirty-something female coworker's cute and not-so-bright twenty-something date, however, I also got more than one comment on my great choice of a smart, funny, adorable platonic plus-one. It's all about how you want to be known and remembered.
Basically, just remember you need arm candy that's both sweet AND nutritious -- someone who's just as smart, friendly, and liable to be as liked as you are.