Social Stigma For Unemployed Men: 75% Of Women Are Unlikely To Date Them
26 Jun, 2012, 11:00 ET
SAN DIEGO, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As if being unemployed isn't bad enough for the recently announced 8.2% of the population without jobs, a new survey performed by specialty dating service It's Just Lunch may have just added to the woes of unemployed men: 75% of women say they are unlikely to date them. When the dating company asked 925 single women, "Would you go out on a date with someone whom you knew was unemployed?" 33% of women said "No." Another 42% answered "Maybe" with the stipulation that "I wouldn't want to throw a lot of time into it unless they had a game plan for getting back on track."
Only 4% of women answered with an unreserved "Of course" while another 21% responded with "Yes. But I'd be curious to see how they're keeping occupied in the meantime."
"Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don't already know," says Irene LaCota, spokesperson for It's Just Lunch. "This is the rare area, compared to other topics we've done surveys on, where women's old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply."
Many women fear that there will be a financial obligation if they date someone who is out of work. "While my heart goes out to people who are unemployed or under-employed in this economy," says Carole Bartholomeaux, president of Bartholomeaux PR in Phoenix, Arizona, "I will not have a relationship with someone whom I need to support."
Others are worried about having their activities constricted by an unemployed man's financial limitations. "I like to be able to do certain things and they will not be able to afford it," says Abbi Samuels, a software developer from Santa Cruz, California.
Women of all ages seem to feel the same way. And it's not just about money—according to life coach and filmmaker Patricia Weaver, it's also about being with a man who is engaged in some kind of activity. "Even at my age, 75, and dating if you can believe it," she says, "if a man is not employed, volunteering, involved in life it's a deal breaker."
Men seem to understand the phenomenon.
Ben Nettleton, a social media director for Global Healing Center of Houston, Texas, was unemployed for two out of five years in San Francisco. He and several other jobless buddies attended social events together. They noticed that when it came to women, "Basically every other dude in the room who [got] a bank injection every two weeks [had] the leg up. No 27 year old career-building woman has [an] interest in telling her parents about the guy she met who doesn't have a job."
But according to Vincent Turner, of San Francisco, women are subtle in how they reject you when they discover you are living off your savings. "No one's going to say, 'I'm not going to date you because you don't have a job.' You usually get the first date. But you don't get a lot of callbacks." But it's clear to him the issue is a steady paycheck. Though he's not technically unemployed, he's the unsalaried CEO of his own financial start-up, Planwise.com. "I've had it intimated to me that 'That's not what I signed up for.'"
Unemployment can even pave a rockier road for men who are considering marriage. That was a speed bump Brandon Garrett, of Draper, Utah, had to face last September. His jobless status was uncomfortable for his girlfriend – and also for him. "I had to ask her, 'Does this give you any qualms about my ability to provide for the family in the future?'"
They did wind up planning the wedding while he was unemployed, but he didn't officially propose until he got a job offer. "That's when I could afford a ring," he says. Garrett is now a marketing executive for The Ready Store.
Though joblessness is a social stigma for men, unemployed women have much better odds of meeting someone. Almost two out of every three men are open to dating a woman who is out of work. 19% say they have no reservations at all and 46% were positive, but interested in knowing how unemployed women spend their time.
Though romance may be a bit tougher if you're unemployed, LaCota says it's just like any other personal trait. "We're human, so we all have characteristics that certain people see as negatives," she says. "But you'll eventually find someone who doesn't have a problem with those issues at all."
It's Just Lunch is a personalized dating service for busy professionals. The company has coordinated over two million dates for clients since opening in 1991. IJL minimizes the stress and maximizes the efficiency of dating by sending people on casual, no-pressure dates over lunch, brunch or drinks after work. IJL's team of dating specialists, not a computer, perform the matchmaking. The company has over 150 locations in the US, Canada and internationally.
SOURCE It's Just Lunch
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