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The casual “So, what do you do?” question may appear to be an off-handed question about your job, but when it comes to the dating scene, your answer may be more important than you think.

A recent study by ForbesWoman and YourTango found that 75 percent of women polled would not marry a man who was unemployed. (And 65 percent said they wouldn’t want to get married if they themselves were unemployed.)

That’s sobering news for singles living in a country with a 9. 2 percent unemployment rate.

One author offered this perspective on Forbes.com:

“This viewpoint stems in part from the conventional (albeit old-fashioned) notion that many women expect to be supported — at least in part — by their husbands, [but] that expectation is shifting, as many households today require two incomes to keep afloat.

As for whether it’s selfish for women to not want to marry an unemployed man – well, selfish isn’t the word. I think it’s more of a pragmatic point of view, especially if the plan is to have children. But again, I believe in the concept of a two-way street,” says Hilary Black, author of The Secret Currency of Love.

Threads with titles like “Prayers for a full-time job” or “Seeking prayers for an interview” populate the St. Joseph Room – Jobs forum on CatholicMatch. As many single Catholics know, unemployment is more than lack of work or failure to find a job – it’s a trying time that can test anyone financially, emotionally and spiritually.

Ladies, are you surprised by this high statistic or would you, too, opt not to marry a man until he found a job? Men, do you feel the same way when it comes to unemployed women?

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15 Comments

  1. Mary-487190 August 12, 2011

    To answer your question, no, I would not marry someone who is unemployed nor would I think of marrying if I was unemployed. Marriage has many stressors already and many break-up due to financial strain so, I would not start my marriage off with this sort of strain.

  2. Rob-362135 August 13, 2011

    Of course women say they wouldn’t marry an unemployed man, and I totally agree with that decision. I am unemployed right now, and have been for over a year… and that doesn’t change my opinion.

    My question is if these women were dating someone who lost their job and he couldn’t find a good job over a significant amount of time (6 months or more), would you wait for him and help him through this difficult period?

    • Mary-487190 August 14, 2011

      To answer your question Rob, yes I would wait and help him through it.

  3. Jim-397948 August 14, 2011

    I would marry an unemployed woman…Just as long as I am employed…or if the need to be work two jobs to help her out

    • Maria-689654 August 14, 2011

      Jim, you are very chivalrous and a gentleman. The right mate will appreciate all your efforts.

  4. Maria-689654 August 14, 2011

    Mostly for practical reasons. My ex-husband was a superachiever when we were dating for eight years. After our daughter was born attitudes changed; it spiraled into perpetual joblessness. It afffects the marriage; changes the family dynamics. I became the sole income earner; I had to choose whether to buy bath soap or an egg for my child. I encouraged him to work but it was in vain.

  5. Thomas-664901 August 15, 2011

    I understand the sentiment and logic behind the decision not to marry a man who was unemployed. I have always believed that a man can not be a proper suitor unless he can provide for yourself, let alone a bride. I don’t know … that just the way that I was brought up.

    I was downsized in 2008 and spent the next year and a half working part time and temporary jobs to stay afloat. I did not consider dating or actively looking for a potential spouse even though I often could have used the mental and emotional support that a spouse or girlfriend could provide. It was very difficult at time not to have someone to reassure me that things will be alright and that after literally thousands of rejection letters, there would be some company that would hire me in a full time position again. I have had several engineer friends laid off in this economy as well and was somewhat envied of the support and strength they got from their spouse. It is not the same, trust me … it is not the same when your parents or siblings or even friends try to reassure you as it is when the person who means more than life itself speaks these words to you.

    I have taken a full time position again, it provides a decent income, but is not what I want to do for the next 25 years until I retire. However, at least now I would consider myself a potential suitor again. I could provide a proper home for a wife and family and that is why I have joined CM. Although, I think I missed out the support / strength a spouse or girlfriend could have provided, I believe my choice not too even look was the right choice. I also understand why 75% of the women in the study responded the way they did.

  6. Janie-756175 August 15, 2011

    I would not marry a man who was unemployed. It can put a strain on the relationship, financially. I’m of the opinion that any job is better than no job. Even if delivering pizzas was all he could find, that would be OK.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t expect a man to go delivering pizzas the day he lost his job. I had a close friend who has lost two jobs in 4 years. He made it his job to find a new job. He worked 8 hours a day trying to gain employment. It took him, at one time, 6 months to find a job. It isn’t his ideal job, but it has a paycheck. To me, that shows his commitment to his family.

    If a man was unemployed and not seriously trying to find employment, I would see a big red flag!

  7. Jesse-463958 August 16, 2011

    LOL when did this become news?

  8. Benjamin-148488 August 16, 2011

    It’s certainly logical to see why many women would be of this opinion, and it also should be, as part of the same line of thinking that a woman should be expected to keep herself in as good as physical shape, in order to both bear children and keep her physical attractiveness as high as possible. I find both points, ultimately, in and of themselves, to be superficial, and not really guaranteeing any real success. Men and women are made for so much more than that. How successful a man is and how attractive a woman is are only a very small part of the picture. As they say, amor vincit omnia. Love conquers all. Society, in my opinion, has got its priorities wrong.

    • Brad-15506 August 18, 2011

      Amen. Just as women don’t want to be looked at as sexual objects, men don’t want to be seen a meal tickets. We ARE both so much more than that. The better question would be why are you even dating a jobless boyfriend and what does a man’s success really mean to you?

  9. NOREEN-104377 August 17, 2011

    While I can understand the logic behind such a decision and depending on one’s situation, I cannot say for sure that it would be a deciding factor for me, I would like to think that I would be open minded enough to give that person the benefit of the doubt. As long as I had known this person for a while and knew that they weren’t taking advantage of me and were prepared to do anything they could to keep themselves occupied that would be fine with me.
    I have known a share of people in the past couple of years who were unemployed, some just gave up and did nothing while taking advantage of those around them, and others did anything they could such as driving a cab, waiting on tables, odd jobs etc. This looks better on a resume than someone who has nothing to show for a year or two. I have much more respect for the person who will at least try and persevere at living life even if it is not what they had planned. I believe that if a strong relationship exists, then that person deserves your loyalty and support and shouldn’t be tossed to the side because they are going through a rough patch.

  10. Kyle W. September 10, 2011

    Rename the sign, “Will work for hot wife with perfect body” and you’re approaching more equity. Dollars for curves, otherwise, why not step back and view a person as a whole being? It’s much more spiritually mature and equality minded.

  11. Patrick-620223 September 11, 2011

    I wholly agree with Benjamin. If a man’s present earning capacity plays a significant role in determining if he is an acceptable husband then I think the relationship is on shaky ground. This would appear to go a long way towards explaining my situation. I don’t care how much money someone makes as long as I enjoy their company. Where does one’s character rate?

    Next time I go on a date I’ll bring with my portfolio if she agrees to bring hers. :-) Maybe guys should start expecting a dowry again too.

  12. Jason-475494 November 9, 2011

    love has no boundries i think you are not allowing god to work. sometimes we think we know what is best but god knows what is best. the man who has has nothing and lives in poverty is wealthier than the man who has everything.

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