Jobless and Afraid
Q: I am 32 years old and haven't dated for a while, but I would love to start searching again. Currently, I've been on a "dating freeze" because I am afraid to tell anyone what I do, which is that I'm a college student. A few months ago I was laid off from my "real job." One thing I learned in this country is that women, especially attractive, educated, sophisticated ones, like men with successful careers, especially at my age or younger. In other words, they want somebody who is stable, which I don't provide right now. I never held a relationship longer that 7 months, but in the past I was afraid of getting involved with somebody, but not now. Right now I am about to graduate from college, but since the job market isn't promising, I am sure to land a minimum wage job like retail, but I can't really bear to think about that. Any helpful advice? -- Juan, 32
Dr. Susan: We're all hoping the economy picks up soon, and earning a college degree can only help you in the long run. You're probably correct, though, that women generally tend to prefer stable men with good financial prospects. However, any intelligent woman is aware that the economy is floundering, and if you have other terrific aspects to your personality and character, and your future prospects are good, someone worthwhile is likely to see beyond your immediate situation. It's not as if you're not trying or that you're lazy and unmotivated. A lot of young men must be in the same boat. Try to have a sense of humor about the kind of job you may have to settle for in the interim, but also think about furthering your education and researching other ways to build a viable career in the future. Don't neglect the dating world for fear of what you don't have to offer, but rather focus on what you do have to offer. Having a partner to share the burden of getting through these rough economic times is a lot more pleasant than going it alone. I wish you luck in locating one or more women who are smart enough to see beyond the surface.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.