Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So what does he do?

“Don't overlook an orchid while searching for a rose”- Unknown author

1. Meet a guy.

2. Exchange information.

3. Have a conversation.

4. Call your girls to discuss his application.

Guys don’t know it but they have an application process they must pass to be deemed datable. (Not necessarily the application I posted here but something pretty similar.) I can only speak from the perspective of a college educated woman, but no matter our age, it seems my circle of friends asks the same types of questions. This weekend a friend of mine proved my point (a point she didn’t know I was making,) when talking to another girlfriend about a guy she was seeing.

Some of these questions on this 20 plus application we ask, consider or jokingly inquire about when we talk about a guy we are seeing. Some of the questions on this application, we would never actually ask but would listen if answers were offered. Interestingly enough, none of the questions on this application require him explaining his dating history, how he treats his friends and family or what kind of future he sees with our friend. Instead, we infer the answer to those questions and so many more with this question: So what does he do?

If the answer is, well he just finished his Master’s and is working on his PhD in neurobiology , we automatically give him the green light and he moves on. If she says he is a Long shore-man who just secured a 1 year contract with benefits, he does not pass go and we send our friend to jail. Just the thought of our girl dating a guy who works with his hands makes us shy away from a possibly caring, compassionate, loving man. As women, we expect the man to be the provider and we can’t imagine a man who works with his hands being able to offer the future we desire.

As little girls we imagine growing up, meeting our prince charming, having an extravagant wedding, buying a house with a white-picket fence, raising two loving children with a dog in the backyard. Our dream doesn’t include a man who has to shower as soon a she gets home to remove the stench of fresh fish from his clothing while being cooped up in a small apartment and hoping our birth control doesn’t fail us because we are not ready for kids. We see the guy who works behind a desk in a corporate office as the key to completing our ideal picture. I’m not sure what time during our adolescence the white-collar guy became the destination on the road from dating to marriage, while the blue-collar guy is the fun detour for upwardly mobile women. It’s a fact that women outnumber men on college campuses, the work force and are now landing well-paid jobs once reserved for men. Statistically there is no way we will all be able to achieve this “dream.” Why is it that we don’t consider the alternative?

Why haven’t I?

I started to take a look at my own “requirements” for men, after a guy I had dated last year found my number in his phone and decided to give me a call. Shaggy was 6 ‘9, had smooth caramel skin and a great white smile to match. There is something about a great smile that just gets me. We talked on the phone consistently for a couple of weeks but never actually went out. I remember I enjoyed talking to him mainly because he kept me laughing during our conversations. Talking to him was something I looked forward to at the end of the day. I think the moment he told me he worked in a factory and had dropped out of college during his second year, my interest in him vanished. At some point we lost contact and I never thought twice about him since.

For me, my requirements were simple and if a guy didn’t have a college degree, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. I now realize why that has gotten me very far. The more different kinds of guys I allow myself to get involved with, the more likely I will find someone I have great chemistry with.

I recognize that dating someone from different educational level or career path will have its challenges. I had a girlfriend tell me that she sometimes felt like she had to dumb down her conversations. Another one told me he was uncomfortable with her professional and social network or sometimes when she wanted to discuss certain topics, he wasn’t well read on the subject and they couldn’t have a stimulating conversation.

On the other hand, dating a guy who has educational achievements doesn’t mean we will have great chemistry. I have dated numerous men who were great on paper, but who bored me to death because all they wanted to talk about was their accomplishments.

I think more and more women need to realize compatibility may have absolutely nothing to do with what a guy does for a living? The measure of a man (or woman for that point) should not be determined by their profession.

With all that said, I have decided to give Shaggy a chance; more so I’m giving myself a chance. Some things will always remain important for me besides his choice in career, like our chemistry and also our work ethic, family values, and shared experiences.

And isn’t that what makes a couple compatible?


Intreguing Lady said...

I completely agree. It is very difficult for women to date someone who they feel is "beneath" them educationally or financially. We were usually raised to provide for ourselves if there is no one there to do it for us and most of us embrace our independence. But that means that when a prince charming comes in a honda instead of a bmw, we are more hesitant to see the potential. I think it depends a lot on you. There are some men who are brilliant but have no aspirations to continue in school. Or they are very educated but they are arrogant, annoying, deceitful, etc. I think we need to focus more on effort and potential to provide rather than stats. For me, I look to see if the man i'm with has ambition. For example, even if he is not going the direction I am, do our careers and goals somewhat match? In 5 years, if we were married, could he provide for me or would I need to provide for him. The issue is not who makes more money but what is he bringing to the table. If he fits the qualities it takes to make a good husband and father, then it is much easier to look past a lack of education or credentials behind the name.

Silent Scorpion said...

Preach on InTREguing Lady!

I didn't realize how narrowminded I was until I took a step back and realized, all those things I said I needed in a man, had nothing to do with how he treats me and the way I feel when I'm with him.

I'm living and learning and growing.

Grow with me yall!

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you that having extensive experience dealing with blue collar job guys they really get more credit than they deserve. If you don't want to get with a guy that doesn't have the same educational background as you than more power to you sister. There are plenty of assholes that work the blue collar jobs. As I get older (hitting 37 tomorrow) it really boils down to the energy and chemistry that you two have. If you want a man that is college educated than go for it. He doesn't have to be black. I have seen plenty of GORGEOUS Asian and Indian men. You can widen your horizons that way.

btw - nice blog (second time posting).Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

::cowering in shame:: because I know you're talking about me!

But in my defense it wasn't about the lack of degree or the nontraditional job. Because he's smart and relatively successful... I just couldn't deal with what he does. Sure sure there's a lot of social pressure what will my friends say, what will my mom say, but I think I eventually would've gotten over it...

and then quickly moved to Nebraska with him to escape the glares (j/k)

But since I know you're not talking about me, you're talking about ALL women with these lists. I'd have to say that I concur. Great post! LOL

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