When a man loses his job, does he have to lose his woman too?
As a general rule of thumb, I don't advise women to start out dating a man who is unemployed. Now this may seem cold and heartless but if you've ever been unemployed then you would know how stressful this situation can be on a relationship, particularly a new one. New relationships need time, patience, and a little nurturing in order for them to develop successfully. If you're constantly worried about where your next meal is going to come from, then you're not in a position to give it the tender loving care it needs to survive.
In general, men associate their job and financial status with their identity. Women, on the other hand, associate their family and social status with their identity. Both sexes derive their survival from the income they earn from their jobs but men gain a whole lot more from it and therefore, lose a whole lot more from it when the job doesn't exist for them anymore. I believe most men want to be able to take care of their spouse or significant other and that includes being able to provide for her financially. Sure, women can take care of themselves these days but I think most men still want to feel like they are the breadwinners, even when it's not true, and of course most women still like to be courted by a man, at least in the beginning. It becomes devastating to men when they aren't able to do this for those that they love. As one male client I had puts it, "being unemployed makes me feel less of a man."
So what's a woman to do when she is already dating a guy who is unemployed? Well, again, I never recommend dating a guy who is unemployed in the beginning. However, with that being said, if you are in an existing relationship and you're significant other suddenly becomes unemployed, you have a few things to consider. I have listed a few questions below to ask yourself when dating a guy who becomes unemployed:
1. What is his plan of action for getting a new job? A man with a plan always gets the job. Observe his daily routines to determine if he is actively seeking employment. Have you seen him sending out resumes and making calls to prospective employers? Or has he given up hope in his job search? Being laid off is already a tough situation but it can be made even worse when the person who is unemployed isn't even attempting to get back into the work force. Symbolically, when you’re dating someone, this is something you need to watch because if the person can give up this easily in a job search, then they may just as easily give up on you in marriage. On the other hand, if they have the will and the desire to get out there and get another job despite the obstacles, you'll know you have a winner in marriage as well.
2. What is his previous employment history? Being laid off from a job is one thing but being chronically laid off from jobs is quite another. This may indicate someone who doesn’t have a great track record of being employed. In other words, he may be incapable of maintaining employment. This may impact your relationship when you're ready to have a family or buy a house together and your partner doesn't have stable finances or even good credit. You'll need to decide if you can deal with his lack of stability or whether you need to cut your losses.
3. How does he occupy his time while he is unemployed? What does he do with his free time when he isn’t looking for employment? Is he volunteering at a local shelter or helping out at the neighborhood church? He has to be able to channel his energy into doing something positive to prevent boredom and even depression. Perhaps he is helping you around the house to make your life easier. If he can channel his energy into hobbies or helping other people, it may ease a little tension in the situation and highlight some of his other qualities that you may not have seen in him previously.
4. What preparations have you made to pick up the tab for dates or buy more groceries for meals at home? Losing a job not only creates a strain on the person involved but also on the relationship as well. You’ll need to be financially prepared to take on this challenge. If you’re used to him paying for the date, then you'll need to get used to paying for the dates yourself from now on or regularly spending extra money on more groceries for the two of you. Either way, you'll have to budget wisely for the two of you to enjoy an evening together.
5. What is his attitude in this situation? Interestingly enough, it's not the actual unemployment that could break up the relationship, it's the person's attitude in the situation. Unfortunately, the stress of not having employment can weigh heavily on a person's attitude towards life which also affects how they relate to other people. If he's constantly complaining, you'll be ready to end it immediately. If you can get him to see the brighter side of life, you may be able avoid the pain of a break-up. If not, don't feel guilty about ending the relationship. It may be something that needs to happen in order for the person to find the motivation they need to get back on track.
6. For long term unemployment, what preparations have you made to support and take care of this person during their unemployment? Long-term unemployment is brutal. This person would be completely dependent on you for everything. Remember, they don't have any (or very limited) sources of income so even paying for gas in the car to go anywhere is a struggle. This creates an enormous strain on the relationship as you'll be the main breadwinner. This relationship requires a lot of love and patience and if you're not up for the challenge, then I suggest you get out of it as soon as possible.
Being laid off or terminated can be a challenging situation for a person. And when it comes to dating, it places a huge amount of stress on both partners. Relationships need time to grow and it can only happen when both individuals have the time and patience to nurture and guide the relationship successfully. If it is an existing relationship where it has had time to grow, there may be hope. If the unemployed person is actively seeking employment rather than passively waiting for the phone to ring, then you have someone who has the will and desire to make it happen. However, if you check the person’s previous employment and find he has a history of being terminated or laid off from a series of jobs, you may have cause for concern.
Dating a man who is unemployed takes love, patience and a lot of support to help the person get back on their feet. The person may be struggling financially, depressed at times and even suicidal. If you choose to stay with your partner during those times, the benefits could be enormous including a stronger relationship. On the other hand, if you decide the relationship is not for you, you have that option too as you're still in the dating phase of the relationship determining whether he could be a good fit. Either way, you will have made an informed decision for your life and helped the other person make one as well. Good Luck! For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or inquire about my date coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.
More dating coach advice from YourTango:
This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.