Dating While Unemployed: A Girl’s Guide for Still Getting Out There

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Becoming unemployed makes you want to rank dating on the lower end of your priority list. Yet don’t fret. With the right approach, meeting and mingling with potential mates can still happen while you're job hunting. Here are tips from relationship/dating coaches for keeping both your search for work and love in stride.


Image: Kevin Dooley via Flickr

Remember That You're Far More Than a Paycheck

Don’t define yourself by what you do (or did) for a living. New York author and dating expert Andrea Syrtash suggests a different project: take inventory of what is working for you in your life and what you are grateful for. “Consider what you offer in a prospective mate,” she says. Not sure? Ask a good friend for help “so you’re reminded of the qualities that make you a good person to be in a relationship with.” Pursue interests or hobbies you really enjoy and maybe you can share with someone new, says Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Be Up Front, But Don’t Make Your Status Central

Syrtash thinks it’s important to be honest about what is happening with your current situation without making it the focal point of your date. Try this approach: explain that your last job was “this” but you’re currently between jobs and looking to do “this.” “Don’t get too defensive or emotional,” advises Syrtash. “If you don’t make it a big issue, your date may not think it’s a big issue either.” Schwartz adds that how you give your explanation is equally, if not more, important. “Do you say it with a positive attitude or a ‘Woe is me’ [one]?” And don’t have your story end there. “Focus on what you’re going to do, and what you’re doing now to get there,” suggests Nick Savoy, author of “It’s Your Move.”

Remember: Appearances "Count"

Upon the first meeting, share the “upside” of your situation. Come across as someone making positive changes and excited about your future. “A man will likely feel drawn to these qualities,” says online dating expert Joshua Pompey. It also gives your date a sense of what type of person you are when faced with challenges, explains Jeremi McManus, a dating coach in the San Francisco Bay area, and “how you are going to deal with that within the context of your relationship.” If he’s is set on judging you by your current status, then Pompey says to focus on the upside: then this guy "is probably not the type of person a woman should want to be with anyway.”

Pursue Affordable Outings

Dates don’t necessarily have to stick to dinner or drinks. Cost-effective dating “is a piece of cake if you just put a lot of thought into it,” says Schwartz. Check out public offerings like festivals and parades or free admission days at museums. “Plan dates where you can talk to each other and get to know each other,” advises McManus, like going for a walk or a hike or hitting the beach. Act like a tourist in your home destination, says Syrtash. Explore places or neighborhoods you don’t see often.

Be Sympathetic

We’re not the only ones feeling the economic impact. Don’t be too quick to weed out guys (or even other women) going through tough times as well. If he shows he has ambition and goals and is working towards finding a job, then “give a guy who is down on his luck a chance if he fits the bill on all of your other criteria,” says Pompey.

What are some of your tips for dating while unemployed? Have you done so? Are you for or against it?

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