Our economy has been in—or hovering just above—the toilet for some time now, and both presidential candidates have talked about unemployment until they're blue in the face. But it appears Americans have been missing the real problem with people not having jobs: it's not that they can't pay their bills, it's that they can't get dates. Well, actually, it's really only than unemployed men can't get dates, according to a new study. Ladies are still in demand whether they have steady income or not. Mwaha?
This research was conducted by It's Just Lunch, a dating service for professionals (aka people who are really into jobs and having them). They surveyed 925 people and found that a huge percentage of women said they wouldn't date a guy who was unemployed. When the situation was reversed, only one-third of men said they would not date an unemployed woman. Damn, why are women so much less tolerant of having a partner that's not bringing home any bacon?
Well, the numbers are a little more complex if you break them down. A total of 75 percent of women said it would be unlikely that they'd date a guy with no job. But within that, 33 percent of women said straight up no they wouldn't date an unemployed guy, but 42 percent of those women said they'd maybe date an unemployed man, but that they wouldn't want to spend much time in the relationship if he didn't have a plan for getting employed in place. Only 21 percent of the women surveyed said they'd be fine with dating an unemployed guy, no stipulations attached.
If you're feeling mean-spirited, it's tempting to read this information as women are just a bunch of money-grubbing gold-diggers. But, in fact, we are not. (Shocker!) It turns out, according to the survey responses, that our desire for a man with employment didn't have much to do with money; rather it was that the women were interested in being with a man who was "engaged in an activity," and the women thought working was about as good an activity as there is to keep you busy. So what does this reveal about us ladies? Well, Irene LaCota is a spokesperson for It's Just Lunch and says:
Not having a job will definitely make it harder for men to date someone they don't already know. This is the rare area, compared to other topics we've done surveys on, where women's old-fashioned beliefs about sex roles seem to apply.
Interesting. Though, honestly, I'm not sure it's so much about the traditional belief that men should be the financial providers so much as it is about believing that a man who doesn't have job and doesn't have a solid plan to get one probably isn't as desirable as a mate because he lacks ambition or intelligence or some other mysterious quality that we perceive as being necessary in our boyfriends. After all, a big percentage of us don't care so much about whether he has a job right this second—because, hey, shit happens—but it's more about whether he's the type of guy who's proactive enough to find himself a new job and be able to support himself in the long run.
Apparently, men aren't concerned with finding women who have plans and are keeping themselves busy. Basically two-thirds of guys said they didn't have a problem going out with a woman who was unemployed—19 percent of guys said they'd have "no reservations" and 46 percent said they were positive they'd go out with a woman who didn't have a job. Well, look who comes off looking a lot more open-minded and compassionate on this topic—kind of, unless these guys are the kind who don't care if a woman has a job because they secretly believe women shouldn't have jobs? Commence hand-wringing.
So what does this news mean for the future if we're going to have a stalled economy for a while? Well, it means this might be a Mancession on a number of different levels. Though probably it means nothing. Sure, it's easy to speak in abstract terms and say categorically, "I would never date a man who was unemployed," but it gets a lot more complicated when you're confronted with meeting an actual man who's funny and charming and just happens to be between jobs. So maybe this isn't as bleak as it all sounds—perhaps there is hope for love in the tough economic times after all.
75 Percent of Women Say They Won't Date Unemployed Men [LiveScience]
Image via karen roach/Shutterstock.