I recently hung out with a group of girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I’d like to say that it’s because we’re all busy, but I suspect the main reason we don’t see each other often anymore is because I’m a married mother of a 19-month-old, and they are single and childless. Time is a luxury for me these days, so I was grateful to get the opportunity to catch up with my girls.
As usual, those ladies that were single lamented about their nonexistent relationship status. “Where were all the good guys?” “Why do they all live with their mama or have multiple baby mamas?” “How come they don’t have great jobs or make a lot of money?” I quietly sat there listening, not missing any of my single days. However, the more I listened, the more questions formulated in my head. “What constitutes as a great job?” “What is ‘a lot’ of money?” After all, those things are pretty relative, so I was curious to learn what types of guys they were attracting and why they felt these men weren’t good enough.
One friend said, “The doorman in my building asked me out on a date. Can you believe it? Like I’d date ‘the help’.” Suddenly, I began to understand why some of these women were still single.
“What’s wrong with the doorman?” I asked.
“Uh, he’s a doorman,” she responded, as if the answer was obvious.
I followed up by asking if it was just doormen she was against, or any man who was in a service/customer service type of job. After all, “the help” is not limited to doormen, maids, butlers, janitors or any other job that reminds her of “slavery” (her words, not mine). Service industries also include positions within sectors such as hospitality, sales, public health and any other position where your responsibility is to service or be of service to other people. But because those were still considered service industry jobs in a sense, were they too deemed not respectable? “Would she not date a man in any of those fields?” I thought to myself.
My friend told me that I wouldn’t understand because my husband works in radio–a glamorous gig in her opinion. However, I reminded her that he is also a truck driver and still drives trucks during the week when he’s not blessing the mic on the weekends. She seemed stunned, but I couldn’t tell if it was because she was surprised he was a truck driver or because I married him. In her mind, a corporate manager working in television has no business dating, let alone marrying, a man who gets dirty and drives trucks for a living. So, the question is: Does a man’s job really matter when determining if he’s Mr. Right or not?
I understand that some occupations can give you a glimpse into what type of characteristics a person has. For example, nurses can automatically be perceived as nurturing while teachers or nannies certainly must love children. And one would think that a person who works in a service industry likes dealing with and helping people. But for others, a job is just a job–a means to a paycheck and nothing more. I once dated a high school teacher who despised teenagers. I also dated a doctor who had no bedside manner and a cold personality. Sure, he could definitely heal you, but he was also a jerk. My best friend’s husband can be described as a ferocious, cut-throat attorney, but he’s a teddy bear at home with his family.
But don’t get me wrong, I realize that if a woman is interested in a man who is ambitious, responsible and has the ability to provide for himself or a family, his job might indicate to her if he has any of the attributes she’s looking for. Even still, his nine-to-five might only be a small indication of what type of person he is. That is, if you don’t do some investigating. Yes, he may be a doctor or a lawyer, but he might also be mired in debt because he doesn’t manage money well or has thousands of dollars in student loans. And some of the most well-off men that I’ve dated in the past were also super stingy. Just because a man has money doesn’t mean he wants to spend it on you or will even offer to.
On the flip side, however, I’ve dated men who made very modest salaries but would give you their last dollar and the shirt off their back if you needed it. Men who hold powerful positions and make a lot of money may be impressive, but their titles and bank accounts won’t tell you if they’d ever cheat on you or be nice to your mother. Certain jobs can’t inform you on whether or not he’d be a good husband or father–only going on an actual date where you can ask questions and get to know him can do that. If you’re the type of woman who dismisses a man because he delivers your packages, then you might be missing out on a great guy.
As my girlfriends wrapped up their dating rant, I reminded them that the type of man they want to date or marry may not come wrapped up in an Armani suit and carry a briefcase. He might get dirty, work for a non-profit, deliver packages for FedEx or even open doors for a living. At the end of the day, I think we all would love to come home to a man that loves his line of work and finds fulfillment in it–one who knows and is serving his purpose in life. A person’s job may not tell you anything really meaningful when it comes to talking about love and life, so next time you exchange smiles with ‘the help’, accept his offer for a date. You might surprise yourself.
What’s your opinion? Does the man’s job matter to you?