Dr. Pam Thompson

Dr. Pam Thompson

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I'm Tired of Being Alone. Do I "Settle" for a Blue Collar Guy?

Wow! What a provocative question! Some of you have probably had a strong reaction already. I can just hear the sisters saying, “I tried that and it didn’t work out; I need someone who is my equal…I can do bad by myself.” OR they may say, “I don’t care if he collects trash as long as he’s good to me.” I can hear the brothers saying, “It’s plenty of good men out here, but sisters are turning their noses up at them, thinking they’re too good…they’re just too demanding!” Personally, I think there are 3 things that trip up the relationship between two people unequally yoked in educational and professional status, particularly when the woman is more advanced. 

The first is not about educational/professional differences at all, but rather about incompatible interests. It is usually par for the course that people with college degrees and beyond spend more time reading, participating in cultural activities, watching documentaries, traveling to far-reaching places, and eating diverse foods, and playing golf and tennis. Oftentimes these interests are incompatible with someone who is less educated or perhaps less exposed to such. Does this mean one lifestyle is BETTER than the other. Absolutely not! It’s simply different, and those incompatible interests may be the deal breaker rather than the socio-economic levels per se. If the interests are in sync along with the ability to articulate ideas and dreams, and the time spent together with friends, family, and each other is comfortable and enjoyable, the educational differences probably matter very little.

Secondly, a less educated/exposed guy with a woman he perceives is beyond him eventually seems to start feeling inadequate, even if the woman NEVER communicates such. Since men are hard-wired by God to be providers and to walk in headship, when they aren’t able to do that or feel that they can’t for various reasons (namely money or lack of knowledge/experience in certain areas), they may take it out on their women in passive-aggressive ways (e.g., not celebrating or minimizing her accomplishments, falling awfully silent when others are praising her, demonstrating irrational anger that is unprovoked, not showing up to support her moments of glory). Does this mean he shouldn’t be with her? Maybe. It definitely means he’s behaving with immaturity. It also means he needs to grow and challenge himself (not in competition with her but in competition with himself). If not, the game of “hateration” will get really old for her, and he will become really uninteresting to her. It’s very sexy to see a man operating with VISION for his growth—spiritual, occupational, and financial. Unfortunately, a woman often tries to jump in and help develop that vision, and that just makes it worse for him, It becomes evidence of a lack of confidence in him (which may be justified), and his resentment may grow. 

Thirdly, women get caught up in the idea of changing a man (i.e., falling in love with his potential). Ooh, famous last words. Women have to realize that the man you fell for, the one you chose from all the rest, who wasn’t as articulate or polished as you were, is not likely to become someone he wasn’t designed to become or doesn’t DESIRE to be. She may have actually fallen for him because he was comfortable in his own skin AS HE WAS. So if a woman wants a man who sits in the board room and has an impressive title (nothing wrong with that by the way if he’s loving, faithful, and kind), make sure that’s who he was when the relationship began. If he wasn’t already WALKING in that lifestyle from the outset or DEMONSTRABLY pursuing it, then what one sees TODAY may be all one gets. Women have to decide if that’s a good thing or not, but by all means they need to understand the need to proceed with caution when falling in love with potential. It usually puts debilitating pressure on the man and woman in the relationship because she attaches herself to his future (which only GOD can predict), while he’s attached to how he’s living and breathing in the present. AND by the way, men usually get very content or complacent, shall we say, AFTER marriage when the chase or need to impress is over.

Just as an aside, for those of you who may be thinking, “Well look at Barak Obama…he was making less than Michelle, and he was only ‘a potential’ when she met him”—just chew on this: He had a LAW DEGREE from HARVARD where he was already known as a trailblazer. That was not potential; that was FACT! 

What are your thoughts?

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