How Hard Is It To Date When You’re An Unemployed Bachelor?

How Hard Is It To Date When You're An Unemployed Bachelor

We’re all facing some tough financial times these days, but it can be especially tough for single men who have lost their jobs. According to msnbc, not only are men losing jobs at a faster rate than women, they also believes it seriously impedes their dating life.

“Men have been hit much harder than women by this recession. Close to 80 percent of the job losses since December 2007 were jobs held by men, according to economics expert Mark J. Perry, who analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data. April unemployment was a seasonally adjusted 10 percent for men and 7.6 percent for women.”

“For some guys, unemployment is the last thing they want to reveal to a potential date. Even if men aren’t expected to pay for a date, they feel pressure from women who are looking for someone who is financially stable.”

So what do you think? For the women, would you date a guy who has lost his job during the recession? And men, would you wait to tell your date that your unemployed, or would you tell them up front?

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  1. 1

    Being temporarily without a job in this economy isn’t necessarily a reflection on the person. When it IS a reflection on the person, it’s obvious in other ways that it’s someone you wouldn’t want to be involved with.

    What I wouldn’t date is someone with roommates. Seriously, after age 25 that’s just lame.

    Honey´s last blog post…Away We Go

  2. 2

    @ Honey

    LOL–I feel the same way about roommates, especially female ones for male daters. In addition to being lame, I always think if you hang around the barber shop long enough, you’re gonna get a haircut.

    I’m likely to lose my job this year due to a hostile takeover of the company where I work. I’m not on any sites currently, but when I was, I put it in my profile under the career section. I also added that it was a good time to make a career change and had a plan in place to weather the transition. This disclosure didn’t seem to bother men in the least, judging from the number of emails I continued to receive. To be frank though, I think if you’re unattractive AND unemployed, it might hurt your chances more.

    I would hesitate to date someone who remained unemployed for a long time. Do something, even if it’s not what you were trained to do or as prestigious as your last job. Men who go years without employment remind me of unmarried men who go years without a single real relationship: picky, picky, picky.

  3. 3

    My experience is that many men don’t want to date when they’re unemployed. Having the means to take a woman out is important to most men. Their pride is affected if they can’t do that.

    1. 3.1

      Ava, it’s not just pride that plays into why men generally prefer not to (or are embarrassed to) date when unemployed. It’s a double standard that has been imposed on men by society in general. Society and media fervently talk about how double standards are sexist and how women are mostly at the receiving end. Well, welcome to the other end of the sexist double standard spectrum. Men are expected to be financially stable by a certain point in their lives or else there’s something wrong with them. If they’re not financially settled or unemployed, society deems them to be second class or, worse, unsuitable for dating.
      Pride is a product of expectations from oneself, society, family, religion, and a multitude of other things. Just as women are expected to be or not be a certain way.

      1. 3.1.1

        Well said HP.


  4. 4

    Sharing living expenses with a roommate is one of the easiest ways to save money each month when you are single, regardless of age. I’d be cautious of dating someone who had a problem with that, and I’d suspect that person would not be as responsible with their money as they could be. If they can’t see and respect the practicality in saving hundreds of dollars per month with a roommate, they are probably the kind of person who is living beyond their means and getting into trouble financially. No thanks!

  5. 5
    Racer x

    I first would like to say that i do take offense to the women who are saying that a man having a roommate is wrong or lame!! I am 45, gainfully employed and divorced for 3 years. What they don’t relaize is that most of the time in a divorce the man gets stuck with all the bills, and NO it’s not for the fact that he cheated. He is usually the main bread winner so the bulk of the load goes to him.

    As in my case i have a roommate because i can live cheap, pay off my bills and then be relatively debt free when it comes time to buy my own place. In the meantime i’d rather use the money i do have DOING things instead of BUYING things!!!! It’s very narrow minded to lump everyone into a single catatgory. For anyone that has been reading Evan’s blogs, isn’t that what he preaches????

  6. 6
    Karl R

    I’ve dated before while unemployed, so it’s clearly not impossible. (I’ve also dated a couple women who were unemployed.) The better financial shape you’re in, the easier it is. I was still able to pay for dates on a regular basis, so that wasn’t a cause for discomfort.

    But unemployment is a major confidence killer. And if you don’t feel as confident, it’s harder to act as confident. That is probably the toughest aspect about dating.

    Unemployment also adds stress to a relationship. It’s easy to suggest that the other person could be “doing more” in their job search. It’s probably also true. But that’s almost guaranteed to make the unemployed person upset and defensive.

  7. 7

    Being unemployed is a disadvantage for sure, but you can work around it. I dated successfully three summers ago while only working as a freelancer, which, at the time, was virtually being unemployed. It’s far more difficult to build a relationship when you’re laid off.

    Honey, that’s bullshit on the roommates line. I agree with several of the other commenters above, having roommates is an effective and fiscally responsible strategy. In fact, I think it’s IRRESPONSIBLE to not have roommate(s) when you’re single at any age. Consider the cost savings, the shared use of resources and energy, carpooling opportunities, and the lowered impact on the environment.
    BTW, you and your the BF are roommates right now.

    Also wanted to concur with Racer X in his comment. I have a friend, age 50, who just got a divorce, and he had no choice but to move in with a roommate because of the financial hit. This is a guy who works for Motorola and makes 100K+ per year. He’s also successfully dating off Match and the women don’t give a shit that he’s got a roommate.

    Lance´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  8. 8

    @ Cilla – I agree about LONG term unemployment as well. I’d rather date someone who took a part-time job to weather the storm than someone who said that they just couldn’t find anything, because it’s not really believable.

    @ Blue and RacerX, that’s an interesting response, because when I see someone with roommates, one of the assumptions I make is that it’s because they’ve made terrible financial decisions and can’t afford to live on their own. So I avoid them out of self-protection.

    I mean, it doesn’t really cost any more to live on your own – it just means you can’t live in a huge place. When I moved out of a roommate situation (when I was around 25, actually) my rent only went up $50/mo. – totally worth the privacy and self-growth that occurred with only myself for company.

    I lived alone until I moved in with the BF and thought I’d save a bunch of money – nope! Rent only went down about $50 and all utilities increased. So I don’t buy that it NECESSARILY saves money, though it CAN. Really how it reads to me is that:

    1. the guy isn’t independent enough or doesn’t like himself enough to be alone with his own company (not a good start to a relationship),

    2. the guy is too snobby and materialistic to be willing to make sacrifices for the long-term good (my place when I lived alone was super tiny and didn’t have central heat or air),

    3. the guy has made extremely poor financial decisions that lead to him being unable to finance his own existence, which is something I want to avoid at all costs.

    Plus I just think that if you’re going to date, being able to be alone with that person is extremely important (it’s the only way you get to know who they really are), and I can only assume that if a guy deliberately hasn’t created a space where that can happen, then he’s not really in a place where he should be dating.

    Other people might have different opinions, but I think my own interpretations are pretty valid, based on my experience at least.

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  9. 9

    Lance – haha, we posted at the same time. In any case, as I point out, when I started living alone I only spent like $50 more per month and when I moved in with the BF my monthly bills went up. So it’s just not true about roommates.

    Also when I lived alone I either walked or biked everywhere, so I had way less environmental impact than now (though it’s more a function of where I live than whether or not I had roommates).

    I’m happy that others have been able to date with roommates. I just wouldn’t do it because of the conclusions I’ve drawn about such folks from my own dating experience. And before you say that we both had roommates when we dated, I was 23 then! So it fits with the student lifestyle I was living at the time.

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  10. 10

    Remember the character George Costanza from the TV series Seinfeld? There was an episode where Costanza, a serious loser, decides to do the opposite of whatever his instincts tell him to do. I think this quote I am going to paraphrase comes from that episode. I think it sums up how most men feel about trying to date while unemployed:

    I’m fat, bald, unemployed and I live with my parents

  11. 11

    @Honey, post #10

    I had housemates until my early thirties so I could completely pay off my debts. My rent related expenses went up a lot more than $50 or the inflation adjusted equivalent when I got my own place.

  12. 12

    @ Steve, I’m guessing you didn’t get rid of a bunch of your stuff and move into a studio, then, which is basically what I did. 🙂

    I just think that roommates give people an unrealistic standard of living because they’re letting other people subsidize their life instead of being responsible for themselves. PLUS I’ve had so many deadbeat roommates that couldn’t cover their own share of things that I would never put myself in a situation where I was responsible for someone’s expenses and we weren’t in a serious romantic relationship leading to marriage. Before the BF, I never lived with a significant other, either.

    The BF and I moved in together after 2 years of dating, which I think is about as fast as it’s okay to move – and after less than a year I made him move to a smaller place. Now we are finally saving money, but it’s because I made us move to a place that is half the size of our previous place and we either sold or gave away more than a room’s worth of furniture and belongings.

    I could never marry or get serious about someone who hadn’t lived completely alone for at least a year, because I just don’t think that you’re ready to commit to someone else unless you know yourself that well. That’s exactly how the BF felt – the first two years that we dated were the only two that he ever lived alone, and he says that he doesn’t think that he’d have been ready to think about marriage without it. I agree.

    If I ever became single again, I would get rid of as much stuff as necessary and live in a 500 sq foot studio walking distance from work before I would have a roommate.

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  13. 13

    You have to admit though, having roommates is better than living at home with your parents. 🙂

  14. 14

    I don’t disagree that having roommates can save you money. But I’d still rather date a guy who lives alone in a tiny place than one who shares a bigger place with one or more people. I realize sometimes you’re stuck with a big place until you can sell it or run out the lease, but I’m just not going to date you.

    As Honey said, dating as an adult means spending time alone together. When I’ve dated people with roommates, they either wanted to spend ALL their time at my house, because their roommates were omnipresent (a strain on the relationship and my refrigerator) or they wanted to spend time at home and were oblivious to the ubiquitous presence of their roommates (or worse yet, wanted to include their roommates in too many activities).

    I got sick of having to sit three on the sofa in front of the TV (very romantic), never being able to cook a meal or order food without someone wanting in on it, never having a place to park my car in the driveway, always having to be fully dressed anywhere in the house, always having to be quiet or discreet about having sex… Yuck, it was like a combination of living at home with my parents and living in a fraternity house. I’m just too old to compromise in that direction any more.

  15. 15

    @ Cilla – yes. Yes. Yes. Does having roommates make you a bad person? No. Can it save you money/reduce your carbon footprint? Possibly, though it is hardly a guarantee (and while I know tons of folks who say they have roommates to save money, I don’t know of a single one who actually calculated the approximate difference between single life and roommate life and funneled the difference directly into savings via direct deposit, which if you’re doing it to “save money” seems like the way to be responsible about it).

    I would go for a guy in a studio apartment over a guy in a nice 3 br. house with roommates any day.

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  16. 16
    Mikko Kemppe

    Yes, losing a job can be a confidence killer, especially to men. Our self-esteem is tied primarily to the work that we do and feeling competent about our achievements.

    To answer Evan’s question, I would not have trouble telling someone that I don’t currently have a job as long as I would be feeling confident about my plans to find work or to make money.

    But if I did not feel confident about being able to provide and to make money, I probably would take a break from dating until I did.

    Mikko Kemppe´s last blog post…Do Men Just Want Sex? Should My Decision Be To Wait Or Not To Wait?

  17. 17

    Haha, Mr_Right! No parents after age 18. Ever. That’s my other rule 🙂

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  18. 18

    It is challenging to date while unemployed. Especially in Dallas, the capital of Gold Diggers. It takes a being creative, which Lance pointed out. Our night life paper promotes happy hour special, dinner specials and activities.

    @honey Having roommates isn’t a bad thing or housemates in my case. There’s no way you can logically say that it only costs $50 more per month to live with a roomie. Honey you have a bf which is way different from having a roommate. In my case, my housemate is only home 4 nights a month and still pays his share. It’s cheaper for him to rent from me than to get his own place. And it saves me alot on my expenses. There are alot of factors when considering the roommate concept.

    1. 18.1

      I think it is more than challenging to date when you live in a large city and you are competing against a lot of successful professionals, surrounded by the trappings of wealth.  I’ve been unemployed for almost two months after 18 solid years of professional work experience in Atlanta, specifically in Buckhead, very similar to Manhattan, Georgetown, Beverly Hills, South Beach, Las Calinas, etc.  I’ve shutdown all my social activities until I’m back in the game, just because surviving and maximizing finances is more important than going out socially or dating.  There’s no way I can compete with a (insert high paying job) that has a killer pad and Ferrari/Aston-Martin/AMG/McLaren/Porsche in the garage
      I think if you live in any of the top 10 cities and you’re an unemployed guy, you’re screwed because the every woman is well off and is looking for a guy who can only increase her financial stability.  Just a fact.  
      If you live in a small town somewhere out in the country where the job market and socio-economic factors don’t care the same weight, well, then its a different market.  You’re not going to find a lot of professional women with graduate degrees in senior management or director-level jobs in every bar you go into.  Of course there are going to be exceptions to the rule (and naive naysayers), but by and large, that’s what you’re dealing with if you’re in a city with any money.

    2. 18.2
      nene w

      So, my cousin from Dallas who married a doctor is a gold digger? Women expect you to be able to provide for yourselves, because they are wisely looking to a future where children could be involved. if you can’t provide for yourself, how will you provide for a family? That is not ‘gold digging’. It is called being financially intelligent. A woman can stay poor as a single mother by herself. And btw: My cousin paid for him while he went through medical school.

      1. 18.2.1

        ..maybe, your cousin is a gold digger, so?….nothing wrong with digging for gold, so, I have been told…

  19. 19

    Honey, you’re just flatout wrong about the roommates thing. Which is wild, considering you’re such a proponent of renting…I see the two as going 100% hand-in-hand.

    I think the image you have is of a small UCF-style apartment with 2-3 dudes sitting around on 1 couch with pizza boxes and beer cans everywhere. Back in college, that was a reality and yeah it sucked to bring date around. That’s just not the case now. Adults who room together have nice, spacious places where there’s ample room to bring a date and plenty of privacy. The house I’m renting has two large living rooms, a dining room, a patio, and is walking distance to downtown Orlando. My split of the rent is $550. If I had a studio down here it would cost me $800, at least. My ex-girlfriend, who owns a 1/1 condo downtown, pays $1000 mortgage payment and another $100 for the COA.

    When I bring a girl around, there’s no privacy issue. The best part is, since all the roommates are adults and have busy lifestyles, there’s rarely more than 1 person home at a time. And you know what…any date who isn’t down with a roommate can kiss my ass!!

    Okay, calming down. If you look at any study of urban development, you’ll see that density is a major factor in controlling energy usage and reducing impact on the environment. It’s simply socially irresponsible to NOT share space if you’re not married.

    Lance´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  20. 20

    @Honey post #13

    Not true. I never had a lot of stuff ( and still don’t ). I have a frugal bent like you do. In my area rents are so expensive that they rival mortgages. Renting a room in a house or an apartment is much cheaper than even renting a studio.

  21. 21

    Part of the whole issue is where you are in life and what you are looking for. I am dating a man who is self employed and has been hit hard by the recession. He has been very creative in planning dates to places that are low cost or free. That is something I admire, his ability to spend fun time with me, not where we go or what we do. I am fortunate not to need a man to support me, I’m not looking for money, just love like most people. Everything else is just stuff.

  22. 22

    @ Steve – I was lucky – I lived in both a 2 br. apartment with a HUGE private backyard and a 1 br. apartment walking distance from EVERYTHING for about $460/mo. It was worth not having a/c or a washer/dryer to me to develop the independence and self-awareness that could have been achieved no other way. As for you, well – if you live in the Bay area then I could get how it’s always going to be roommates unless you’ve won the lotto recently 🙂 I’m sure there are other areas where your experience is also the norm – which is probably part of the reason that I’ve never lived in those places!

    @ Eathan – I went from having a roommate to living on my own to living with the BF, and both having a roommate and living with a boyfriend were unequivocally more expensive. I don’t know how you can possibly call “logic” on me. It may have been cheaper for you to have a roommate – not for me.

    Everyone does what works for them, in the end, and every choice disqualifies some potential mate. You just have to decide which ones you’re okay disqualifying. I found someone who felt precisely how I did, and it worked out great!

    Honey´s last blog post…Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!?

  23. 23

    Lance – I appreciate your perspective, am glad you found something that works for you, and appreciate that the area in which you live has a LOT to do with what is financially feasible for you.

    However, if I am ever single again, I will not have a roommate. But I don’t anticipate that will happen, fortunately for me 🙂

    Honey´s last blog post…Get Fit and Improve Your Dating Prospects

  24. 24

    I think in this economy everyone needs to be a little more open-minded. My brother is 44, has always lived with a roommate and has his own business. He also has a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment. He has tons of friends and women seem to like him too. So I don’t think his having a roommate has impeded his social life. I’ve met plenty of employed men in NYC who live alone in beautiful apartments and are extremely dysfunctional, so I don’t think we can judge a book by its cover.
    As far as being judgmental re: someone’s unemployment status, I’ve been out of work for 9 months. I would hate to think people are looking at my status now and thinking I’m just too picky. I live in NYC and the job market is extremely competitive. I know plenty of other women in my building who are also unemployed right now. I could never pass judgment on a guy who was unemployed (talk about hypocritical) but I think when it comes to dating, we can all be a little more creative when trying to get to know someone as many of the posts above have stated. I’m hoping to be gainfully employed soon, and I would hope that if I was dating an unemployed guy, he too would be ambitious.

  25. 25

    I find it amusing that being “disqualified” by some potential mates, as Honey put it, is seen as discrimination by so many people here when they are on the receiving end of it. Of course, when they practice being discerning themselves, it’s just seeking compatibility.

    Sure, some wonderful guys might get weeded out by disqualifying men with roommates, but I’m certain there are some wonderful women who have 5 kids or who live 1,000 miles away or who are under 4’10” or over 200 lbs, etc. that get weeded out when men set their criteria to exclude those groups.

    Maybe we should just call it discrimination. Dating is not an equal opportunity venture. If that were the case, everyone would go out with the first slob who winked at them at a bar.

    To quote Honey again, “everyone does what works for them.”

  26. 26

    I’ve known several men in the last few years ages 30’s to 50’s who had roommate situations. Some of them were divorced dad’s renting out a room in their homes because child support took a big chunk of their income. Or they had a business that was faltering. Or they chose the situation so they could live near the ocean – wouldn’t have been able to afford it on their own.

    A roommate situation (like having to move back in with parents) is sometimes a transitional aspect of “starting over” after a romantic (living together) relationship ends badly with negative financial repercussions. Often I think choosing a roommate situation is with the expectation it will be temporary–perhaps until the person finds a partner. And I think there are some people who choose the lifestyle because they feel lonely living by themselves.

    The whole “lack of privacy” issue is valid, but it might be better in a roommate situation than one in which the person has children living at home full or part-time.

  27. 27
    Curly Girl

    In my view unemployment in and of itself isn’t a problem. Depends on what kind of work you do. For instance, contract workers or term employees in cyclical industries expect times of unemployment and build provisions for that into their financial/career plans. That’s a smart person.

    What’s a problem is poor management of one’s finances or chronic aimlessness in one’s career. If unemployment indicates that either one of these things is in operation–well, not good.

    In constrast to some other posters: Personally, I have found buying a home to be one of the best things I have ever done. I did it before I went to grad school, at a time when I knew I was going to be leaving the 9 to 5 world, perhaps forever. Meaning, last chance to get a mortgage. During my grad school days I worked in the same industry as a contractor by day, school at night, and I took out school loans with the agreement to myself that I would pay off my mortgage by the time I finished school. Didn’t quite make that, but I could write the check tomorrow, the amount left on the mortgage is so small.

    My home gives me the foundation on which everything else rests–if I stopped working it wouldn’t be that big a deal to me. But it might be to a guy who doesn’t know the particulars of my financial life. I absolutely love my home, and I love having that commitment. And I love the work that made it possible; that work is ongoing whether I am “employed” or not.

    Summation: If someone is pursuing life with purpose and is responsible, the hows and whys of that life aren’t too important. Whether or not you can get behind that purpose–more to the point.

  28. 28

    Well thank the lord I haven’t been unemployed in 20 years but that doesn’t mean the economy isn’t affecting my income or my dating budget. The business I’m in is down almost 20% YTD from the last 5 years. I’m single and have no kids and live within my means so I can survive and break even most months.Does that mean I can spend as much on dating as I did during the last 5-7 years? No !! Women don’t really know it but dating can sometimes tack on another 4 or $500.00 a month (or alot more)depending on where the couple is in the dating time frame. Some women are very attuned and very cool about it and some aren’t. One woman I talked to on the phone before I met her from Yahoo said to me (as we had been talking about the economy in general) “so would you say your income is directly affected by the current economic climate?” I said “of course it is” then she basically got off the phone quickly. (She was a teacher by the way.)What she and some women don’t understand is I (and some other men)don’t live paycheck to paycheck,I’m debt free and despite my porfolio taking a beating in the past year I have a positive 6 figure net worth. I won’t make the 75 LARGE I’ve made over the last 5 years but I’ll be fine until things pick up again.Some women think because a guy “makes BIG $$$” he has money to burn or a positive net worth. When in fact he could OWE 6 figures and be paying child support to 2 ex-wives yadda,yadda,yadda….. But hey, he makes “6 figures”…..LOL

    The flip side is if a guy has NO job and NO money maybe dating shouldn’t be a top priority but obviously there’s alot of variables like age,knowledege,experience and education as well as what they do. Do they “look” for work or just “listen” for it ….LOL 😉

  29. 29

    Is this post about room mates or men who are unemployed? Seems a bit off the tangent here. I am presently unemployed but, a woman. No one who I have met seems to care. I know it is my problem and I would not make it their problem. All the men I have met still seem to have great jobs and are making great money. I still think a man who is unemployed probably is not on online dating. He has worse things to worry about.

  30. 30
    Curly Girl

    sjz: Yeah. Last two posts have veered off into housing discussions. Mea culpa! But I find it kinda interesting, too. You find out what’s going on in different parts of the country. Where I live you can’t rent anything for under $1400 without a roommate or buy for under $400K. So that’s why I know so many women with high salaries and independent lifestyles–employers have to pay a lot where I live, and the people who get those jobs have to be on the ball. Very competitive and very exhilirating. These factors do affect the dating decisions. If I lived in a small town in Wisconsin or in Switzerland I would have a much different view of men/dating/relationships because I would almost be forced into an encoupled situation by the social dynamics in those places. (I picked those two b/c I know something about them.) Where I live now–tons and tons of singles doing things you can’t really do anywhere else with the same degree of achievement. Different housing. Different employment. Different worlds. Different dating.

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