To be completely honest, I must admit that prior to being laid off, unemployment was an mark in the con column of my dating pro con lists. Even if it wasn’t an instant deal breaker, it didn’t bode well for the potential romantic interest. If someone didn’t have a big boy job or any job for that matter (or was at least in school working toward a degree that would garner him this grown up position), he obviously lacked the drive and ambition I find attractive. Now that I find myself on the other side of this unfortunate situation, I see it a little bit differently—and am slightly ashamed of my former stance.
In my quest to find a new position, I’ve found that most unemployed individuals lack work through no fault of their own—especially in today’s economy (sorry, I had to take my swing at that dead horse). Although some out-of-work individuals are simply slackers, as a general rule, unemployment shouldn’t really be indicative of their character if they actually possess the skills and the desire to be employed.
Even though my perspective has changed, I know there are plenty of other women who closely correlate level of employment with level of eligibility, so dating for the unemployed man can be a struggle.
Despite the fact that my dating life was not exactly thriving prior to the layoff, I’ve wondered how being unemployed will affect the few possibilities I do have. Am I less desirable because I lack a job?
As is the case with most things romantic, I imagine a double standard prevails here—at least I hope so for my sake. Let’s be honest, no matter how hard we fight it, many women look at men as potential bread winners for future nuclear families. It seems to be ingrained in our psyche and though some appear to have risen above it I’ve talked to many who embrace it. I suppose ultimately it’s a matter of personal opinion rather than some political statement on their part. I, myself, would love to stay at home with any offspring my future holds, but have always relished my ability to provide for myself in the mean time. Still, if it came down to two girls equal in most respects, but one has a job and one is desperately seeking work, the gainfully employed individual might be slightly more appealing.
I decided that my underemployment will be exactly what I make of it in many regards including romantically. If I decide to let it damage my ego and define who I am as a person, then any potential romantic interests will have no choice but to see me as only an unemployed screw up. However, if I take the opportunity to become a more interesting person, pursue a new direction and search for a job I will ultimately love, I will be perceived as a girl who embraces challenges and makes the most of regrettable situations—at least that’s how the right guy will perceive it, I hope.