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. 31

    @ Selena

    Yeah, I agree having roommates sometimes starts out as something intended to be temporary (often the result of unemployment, which is I think why the discussion evolved here, sjz). Unfortunately, it often morphs into a more permanent situation.

    And then there the guys who have always had roommates, like, for 20 years. Sorry, but in addition to the other obstacles I mentioned previously, this says “I have no intention of living in a grown-up partnership with a woman.” If that’s his choice, that’s great, because it works for him. But a guy like that who says he’s looking for a traditional long-term relationship is kidding himself and his dates.

    I’ve also known guys who were doing just fine on their own financially, but had roommates, because they’re just, well, cheap. I have nothing against trying to save money for retirement, travel, hobbies, etc., but a lot of these guys nickel and dime everything in their lives. They’re wearing the same clothes they’ve had since the early 90’s. Their furniture looks like it came from the trash heap. They agonize over every purchase, making it painful to do anything together. I’m perfectly willing to split everything 50-50 with my dates and don’t expect the guy to pay, even on the first date. But when he starts saying things like, “We can’t go there–I don’t have a coupon,” or “I only go to matinee showings of movies,” I’m out.

  2. 32

    Lol Cilla. I see where you are coming from. I’ve lived alone, with family, with roommates and dated guys who’ve all done the same. Never really gave it any thought until reading your and Honey’s views. Then I found myself agreeing, “Oh yeah, I guy with his own place is more of a grownup.”

    Upon further reflection though, I realized with one exception, no matter what their living situation, the guys I dated always ended up hanging out at my place anyway. The exception was a fellow who had all the movie channels at a time when I had none. Hanging out at his place was a treat for me!

    I’ve never dated anyone who was in a roommate situation for 20 years. If I met one I might draw the same conclusions as you.

  3. 33

    @ Cilla You are right.. you can call it disqualify or discriminate, but it’s what works. Sometimes it makes sense.. and sometimes it makes no sense at all. But if she’s got 5 kids and lives 1000 miles away.. there’s no way I’ll have to worry about dating her if I’m ever unemployed. haha

    @ Lance You make a great point about being a long term renter. I thought of the same concept after I left my 1st comment, but didn’t come back to say it.

    At the end of the day.. if you’re happy with your decisions, ride it til the wheels fall off.

    Eathan´s last blog post…5 Father’s Day Activities

  4. 34

    I have dated mature women with a different kind of roommate at home, their children. Some mature women, live in the studio/duplex, behind their parents home.

  5. 35

    …..with their grown children coming and going, all the time.

  6. 36

    Mostly, their is little privacy, early in the morning there is, usually someone, knocking on the door.

  7. 37

    To Steve #32: You read my mind, as I have been thinking the exact same thing. 😉 Though the Asian salon hadn’t crossed my mind ~ funny.

  8. 38

    Maybe men would not be laid off at a higher rate if they did not earn much more than women do.

  9. 39

    Why is everyone talking about roomates? The topic is dating a bachelor who’s UNEMPLOYED. Btw 99% of the women I know have “roomates”. They’re called KIDS.

  10. 40

    This tangent got started because some see a difference between an unemployed person who is “managing” to get by living on his own, and someone unemployed or not who chooses a roommate situation to save on expenses.

    Unemployed men may be experiencing financial difficulties to the point they choose a roommate situation. The two things are not always unrelated.

  11. 41

    I have no problem dating a guy who’s unemployed. I’ve been there, and in this economy it’s not a stigma. What I have found, however, is that some guys put so much pressure on themselves about it that they end up being unsuitable dating partners. It’s like anything, if you’re not confident/ready to date, then don’t.

    Example: I dated a guy once who was in transition. We had an amazing connection and much in common. But the close we got, the more he pushed away and complained that he had nothing to offer me. I saw he was a bright, motivated guy and told him he was wrong but couldn’t convince him, he became more distant, which made me wonder how much this guy would be able to handle tough situations long term. Friends advised me to give him his space because the job thing is a big deal to guys, so I did. And once he found a job he told me he was too busy for a relationship. then he ended up dating someone else. So much for being the ‘nonjudemental girlfriend’.

    And I dated another guy who was just out of school and looking for a job, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing me. we dated for 3 years.

    And my friend met her husband while he was out of work, but saw his blossoming relationship w my friend as a great diversion that ended up giving him the confidence to start his own biz.

    Point is: it’s only a stigma if the guy allows it to be. Some women may be turned off, but that says more about her. And if the guy’s not ready to date, he should’t.

  12. 42

    Lance #21
    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.

    Honey, that struck me as contradictory too for the same reasons and additionally that you are into frugal living. I can see people passing judgments on people, similar to yours about roommates, on people who out of frugality live in modest apartments. “Gee, if they are this old and can’t do better for a home, what does that say about them?”.

    Also, the rents in my area, while draconian are typical and not the worst for a metropolitan area. You can’t assume other people’s situations are just like yours and not risk being wrong.


  13. 43

    @ Steve, Lance – If I lived in a different city I might be forced to take a different attitude. As it is, I’ve paid $465 for a two-bedroom with a private backyard where I lived alone. My monthly share of the two-bedroom where I live with the BF is $313, and Phoenix is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the US. So obviously my conclusions (as everyone else’s are) are informed by my own experience.

    Ultimately, I don’t care so much about being right or wrong on a particular issue as I do about finding the person who is right for me, including lifestyle preferences such as roommates. If I’m wrong about the general population it doesn’t bother me at all – you only need to find one person, after all – and I did. 🙂
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!? =-.

  14. 44

    And on the subjects of rents: when the choice of living by yourself means living in “Cracktown”, a roommate situation in a better part of town may be much more appealing to you.

  15. 45

    Selena – HAHAHAHA!!! That made me laugh because the week after I moved out of the two-bedroom place, they busted a meth lab on that street. Helicopters, SWAT, the whole shebang. I knew it wasn’t the *greatest* neighborhood but I never had any problems there. Though, in retrospect, the 10 cars in the front yard that didn’t run and the attack dogs in the backyard should have been a clue…

  16. 46

    Er, according to the US Census Bureau, the Phoenix area is the 12th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, whereas the DC area (where I believe Steve lives) is the 9th largest. I’ve never lived in an apartment, bu I can’t fathom a 1BR apartment in the DC area costing $313 monthly, unless it’s somewhere in Southeast.

  17. 47

    @Joe #46 I’m in the d.c. area as well and you are correct; not even in the most poverty stricken or crime ridden areas will you find a 1 bedroom for $313 (except perhaps with section 8 but i don’t know for sure).

  18. 48

    @ Honey #44

    Read #46 & #47. They live in the Washington D.C. Area like I do. Single bedroom apartments start about $1000 a month in any neighborhood that is not high crime or on the periphery of the DC Metro area. Rents are similar or more expensive in Philadelphia, Baltimore, NYC.

    Again, your situation is not everybody else’s situation.

    1. 48.1

      As someone who grew up in DC, you can’t find any single bedroom in the immediate surrounding counties for less than $1200.  7 of the top 10 wealthiest counties are in the DC area though and you can’t compare it to the rest of the US.  Same thing with NY, SF and Chicago.  Atlanta, not so much, since the cost of living is much cheaper here.  (Semi-cosmopolitan living at discount prices!)
      As a result, the dating scene is going to be different there than Phoenix, which is full of people who could no longer afford to live in the LA area and migrated out for a slower tempo of life with more golf in it or came some from tiny, hick town in the Midwest.  DC is full of people who were “the best of the best” wherever they came from (usually other large cities internationally) in terms of education, money, etc (and they came with an agenda!).  You’d better project an image of something pretty successful and know what you’re talking about in DC or you’re going to have a very small social circle.  That’s a fact. 

      1. 48.1.1


        ..It’s all about the law of attraction, anywhere you are…. 

  19. 49

    By largest I meant most populous, not by surface area.

    And my SHARE of the rent is $313.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Get Fit and Improve Your Dating Prospects =-.

  20. 50

    I also do not recall recommending anyone else adopt my philosophy. There is someone out there for everyone. All I am saying is that nothing anyone has said has changed my philosophy, though I agree it has given me a lot to think about. Which makes me happy. And grateful.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Good News Follows Good News: Or, LinkedIn Works!? =-.

  21. 51

    Honey is proof that women are TOTAL LIARS about them looking for “love”.

    Love is not about money, roomates, looks, and $#!+ like that.

    Women say that men are terrible, liars, only interested in physical beauty. Yes it’s mostly true. They conveniently not mention, however, that they are not 100% right 100% saintly.

    Women look for money, trophies, status enhancers… if not they always date bad boys, rock guitarists… but love???

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. The PROOF is they do NOT look for REAL LOVE.

    I’ve never seen a rich man alone. All the musicians I met had girlfriends. I’ve seen great guys being tricked or ignored by women ’cause they are not hot or in fashion. Yet women still paint themselves as the victims. BS.

    And if the ladies (who are about to go on the defensive since I questioned their unquestionable perfection and godliness) wonder… I’ve dated overweight women and I fell in love with a woman with 3 kids who would not consider me.

    I could very well be a Mr. Mom and take the place women previously had and I’m willing, but women still expect us to pay everything and do everything.
    I realized being alone is best. I haven’t found any really good women (includes the overweights, who actually still expect Brad Pitt to come into the door and take them). It’s always about them and them and gimme gimme gimme. Women feel like they are Gods and should never ever be questioned because they are always 100% right.

    I do not consider myself a loser. Loser is a man who wastes money, time, and feelings on a woman incapable of knowing what love is, and that’s most of them.

    Unemployed with two degrees and honors who believed all that crap about women seeking ” honesty’ and “sincerity”.

  22. 52

    George, you fall in love with someone based on their values, which are inherently reflected/demonstrated in all the actions they choose to take. Having roommates is one of those actions by which you can determine someone’s values (though, as this excellent discussion illuminates, you can’t make as many assumptions as you think you can).

    For me, responsibility, self-reliance, and a healthy skepticism about getting into a situation in which someone could take you for a financial ride are the values demonstrated by living alone. Others have different arguments – no less valid given their own experiences, but not something that is going to affect my interpretation.

    My boyfriend has $150K in student loan and consumer debt. We rent a tiny apartment because that’s all we can afford. I redirected my entire career for my relationship and put 15K miles on my car visiting him prior to moving in with him – spending significant amounts of time and money that he never reciprocated because he couldn’t afford to. If I were in it for money, I’d be in it with someone else. But instead, I don’t just stay, I’m blissfully happy, because we share the same values.

  23. 53

    I had a relationship with a man who had only been able to get part-time work for several years before I met him, and had just gotten out of a Masters program to change his career path.  I thought he was wonderful: smart, good values, good-looking and kind.  I have known many people with great jobs that didn’t have any of that, so I gladly dated him, keeping our activities free or low-cost so that it didn’t become an issue.

    During our several months together, he went on many interviews, but had no luck finding something.  While this didn’t bother me, he went from wanting a marriage-bound relationship with me to not breaking up over email, saying that he couldn’t commit his energy to a relationship, even though I was understanding and not pressuring him.

    I do think that over time, unemployment can become a serious issue that undermines whatever you might be building together. 

  24. 54

    #53 Steph

    Sounds like this was a good guy, trying to do the best  he could.  Interesting thing about men that you probably have already realized.  Their jobs/careers are often their  mission in life, their passion (not always, but usually).  Not to mention it indicates their ability to provide.  When this takes a hit, their masculinity takes a hit.  Obviously everyone is different and every situation is different, so I’m sure it affects men in different ways and some are able to ‘handle’ it better than others.

    Although I’m sure you were very disappointed and hurt, I think he did the mature/good character thing in letting you go (although a phone call would have been nice!).  You weren’t giving him ANY pressure and was very understanding, but bottom line, a relationship does take focus and energy.  I’m sure he wanted to do his best in that with you, and knew he couldn’t with this career change to work out.

    Finally, men generally can’t multitask like women can, especially when it’s big things like career.  They tend to have to devote their attention to one thing (and a big one at that, don’t want to minimize it) before they feel like they have that handled and can relax a little to devote a part of their resources (time, attention, energy) elsewhere.

    I agree with you that at the beginning of a relationship, when things are fragile already, unemployment can be a deal breaker.

    Sounds like you guys left the budding relationship on good terms (which is a good reason to leave relationships in a positive way as best as possible), who knows what the future holds?  🙂

  25. 55

    A lot of guys don’t like dating women who are unemployed in my experience. I have problems finding work and have told guys I only temp and they disappear. Also most guys that I date normally expect the bill to be split and if they do happen to pay they talk about how generous they are. So from my experience a guy does not feel proud when he pays for a women.

  26. 56

    I think it all depends on where the woman is in her life and what she is looking for in a man and the relationship.
    For example, I am a woman with my own decent place in a very nice location.  I make a very decent living.  I am also open minded so I dated a man who was much younger with his own place, dated a man my age with his own place and dating a man my age with a roommate.  I am finding that somehow the men with their own places exuded a sort of maturity, independence, and self-reliance.
    I think if women are actively seeking for a mate (not just by happenstance), they prefer a man who is already stable with a career and basically can afford his own place very comfortably especially if the woman is already at that stage herself.  I am sure for a certain number of men with roommates, they have wonderful qualities, and for me I am actually not opposed to dating them.  However, it has caused problems in my relationship where my partner feels insecure and less confident no matter how I try to compliment him due to our financial difference for which the roommate at a certain age can be a symptom. 
    If the man makes a decent living (enough or the same as the woman) and chooses to have a roommate then we would have to ask why he wants a roommate if he can comfortably afford one.  Is it that bromance factor?  If that’s okay for a woman, then that’s great, although for me, I look for a partner without a sidekick.  I love adventure and love a lot of sports and want my partner to have the same interests and be that partner for me.
    In all, the above life cases are stating that each situation is different and it really all depends on what the woman is looking for in her relationship and her mate and what stage she is in life.

  27. 57

    When I was semi-unemployed (no steady but temp and pay by day jobs) I almost divorced my wife because I felt bad for not being able to provide for her like I did at first. 
    And if I lost my job today(even if it was temporary) I would not even date.
    I know a job does not define character but I would just feel embarrassed to approach anyone for dating purposes because I have no stable means.

    Even if I gave her attention and affection and showed my interest why would she even be interested. Especially when it may be uncertain when I will get back on my feet.

    I mean what am I going to do, clean her home, wash her car, empty her trash, and take care of her grounds in exchange for her paying for dates?

    I know it sounds stupid but as open minded as I am that work ethic I was taught as a kid still is in effect.  I’d just feel so worthless even if the job loss was not my fault.

  28. 58

    As a 43 yr. old that left biotech to go into nursing…a second career, *I get it*. I’m poor too and only work part time, but I find value in what I do. There is no shame in being unemployed.
    I personally value a man for how he makes me feel, what we can enjoy together, what we can talk about and share. I could care less about restaurants, shiny baubles, trinkets? I now detest these things.
    Granted, my hobbies are science, medicine, reading, etc. But I could give a flip about a man being unemployed if he was interesting to me. Just saying. THERE ARE GOOD WOMEN OUT THERE. BY THE WAY I AM NOT FAT AND HIDEOUS LOOKING BUT I AM NOT 21 AND SHALLOW.
    If I cannot connect to a man intellectually or emotionally then I’d rather be alone, which I currently am.
    Christina from PA

  29. 59

    Wow I cannot believe the amount of women that will turn their nose up at a man that has roommates- they are single! These are the same kinds of women that will only date men that drive luxury debt traps. I’m sorry, but as a single person that will hopefully merge assets (marry),the less financial attachments, the better. Also, a person is not their job title.

    1. 59.1


      ..ask them out anyway….most women say all kinds of statements..

  30. 60
    Derek Cramer

    I have never had a job in my entire life and I am now 30, I have forever been alone as well, I was born with a disorder that cause me to just freak out and freez up when I try something to long or even try a little hard. I was even unable to get past 5 grade because even though I had a great teacher, I just didnt have the mental strength to do it. having a girlfriend is a fantasy of mine that sadly ill never have. Im like the family runt, least thats what im told by my own mother and father and whole family. I am always so jelous when I see people together in person, on tv, or on the radio. It depresses me and makes me feel like i am in a dark room with no one around. I live in the middle of nowhere with no knowlade on how to move do the paperwork, ive no car and always run out food during the month so i eat once every 2 days so i can try make food last longer. I have barely any close because the nearest store walmart is like 9 miles away. and i cant walk there because the cops stop me eveerytime saying its illegal to walk the highway. I dont believe in suicide but I just want my like to end, a heart attack or anything, this sounds bad and there usualy is always hope but ive no resources no cell phone and no one who even cares.

    1. 60.1

      Derek, your post was hard to read. I wish I could say more to help you but know that even when you think no one cares, someone does. Many people struggle with conditions that make social interaction and mentally tough tasks extremely difficult. You’re not alone. I know you said you live in an isolated area but maybe you can find supportive people online who are coping with the same things you are or can help find services closer to you. Don’t give up.

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