"He works at Shoppers?" they asked.
I was sitting around one Sunday evening with my girlfriends and I was "checking in". Whenever we get together we check-in by sharing how our week has been and any new updates in the dating and relationship world. I decided to share some of my recent encounters from my online dating excursions!
I chatted with a guy through a site and we decided to exchange numbers. As we talked on the phone we exchanged the typical "get to know you" questions and I asked what he did for a living. Here's what I've noticed. The older I get, the more value this question holds. It doesn't mean what do you do to pay the bills, but I listen to the tone in which they speak of their job to see if its truly their passion. Do they follow up with a goal or desire to advance into a career, or higher position, entrepreneurship, or does it simply end with a job title?
He said he worked at Shoppers and worked there for several years but never mentioned the position in which he held. I am not going to lie, a sigh of frustration was released and I gave a mean side-eye to the Lord. I was left to assume that he could range from being a manager, a cashier, or simply a bagger at the end of the register. He did share that he was looking to go back to school and was planning to move out of his mother's house by the end of the year. Yet another sigh of frustration leaked out. He also shared that he enjoyed music and would love to be a producer or host a radio program one day. Goals, I can work with them.
I chatted with another gentleman from a site who shared that he worked as a bus cleaner and was looking to get his CDL license in order to drive the buses full time. Ok! Now, really Lord! Granted all of these jobs are needed and somebody has to do them, ummm, but do they really have to be interested and want to date me!?
Now ladies, again, as I grow older and desire marriage and a family, I look for a man that can provide security and stability. That means he must be secure and stable. But what does this really mean? What does that really look like? If I look back at my check list I made years ago, having a job at Shoppers or cleaning buses would not have cut it. Living with your mother and not having your own place would not have cut it. And I can almost estimate their current income, and that simply would not have cut it!
Security and stability was always defined through finance and material things for me, so that's what I've looked for. But as my grandmother would always say, time and life will teach you a few things. I've learned that finances definitely play a role in sustaining a relationship, but there must be more! There is nothing more attractive than a man who works toward his passion and pursues the destiny on his life. Money will come, but true contentment and happiness can never be bought with a price.
My friends questioned why I even entertained these gentleman and declared that I should not lower my standards. I should look to find a man who is economically, socially, and educationally on my same level, which is truly what I desire. But at what cost do I seek to find someone "on my level" and negate the blue collar worker with a lower income that lives with their mother. So many woman march around demanding and declaring what they require from a man, yet they continue to also march around SINGLE! I declare that I will not be the Old Mother Hubbard with cats as my companions! And I continue to declare that I am staying open, not settling, but I repeat, OPEN!
I am staying open to a man who may not fit my over the top "perfect man" list. And yes, I'm even being more open when it comes to the height difference, just a LITTLE bit. I'm ultimately looking for a man with a plan and focus. I am no longer at the place where I look to build a man from the bottom up. At this point he MUST come with something (goals, dreams, aspirations, etc.) and allow me to walk beside him, encourage him, cover him, and pray for him to achieve those goals. If a man can sell me a vision, I will run along side him to make sure it gets achieved. Key words, "run along side him," "walk beside him." He has to be moving toward his goals and not settling and making excuses of what he is unable to do while blaming everyone else for his stagnation and complacency.
At 30, it is expected that most persons have settled in their career and are making plans toward building a family and a future. But the times that we are living in now, women are progressing in the career and financial arena at a higher rate than men and therefore may not get the "same level" desired.
Listen, I've dated the men who made great salaries, owned their own homes and had thriving careers, and unfortunately they did not work out. I am in a season where I can relate to the brother that lives with his mother at the moment to help save money and reduce debt. I understand!! As long is there is an exit plan! I understand some start late in life finding and developing what they desire to do as a living. For many of us, our desires shift and change as we grow and we learn the difference between a job and a passion. Just like our spiritual walks vary in maturity and depth, our career paths and financial situations vary as well.
My ultimate desire is to simply be happy. So I will continue to be open and see what God has up his sleeves for me. He ultimately knows what I need better than my list could ever define! I do declare that 5 years from now my friends and I will be discussing our children and marital bliss, not dating sites and our singleness woes. Write the vision, make it plain! Won't he do it!