OT: Where’s my professional man!?!

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This blog post started off as a short, tongue in cheek rant about women who are only interested in a man with a white collar career… but it’s taken on a life of its own. The story starts a couple of weekends ago. A friend and I were having a conversation about relationships and how difficult it is to meet guys – especially in your 30s.

As we get older, the pickings can get slim because a lot of people are married, in relationships, going through divorces, tired of the dating scene or have unrealistic view of relationships. I know that men have their issues too, but I’m focusing on the women today based on the conversation I had.

Now, we all know there are a number of reasons why people are single. Some just haven’t met the right person and others are not interested in getting into a serious relationship at this point in their lives. There are some people, and we all know some, who are about the more material things in life. They try to make it sound more PC by saying they are looking for a professional man.

So, the conversation that my friend and I had went something like this:

Friend: “I don’t know where to meet men. I mean, really, I have no clue where to go.”

Me: “Well, what kind of guy are you looking for?”

Friend: “Definitely a professional man, making six figures—”

Me: “So, hold up. What about a blue collar man?”

Friend: “What do you mean, ‘blue collar’?”

Me: “You know: a plumber, electrician, bus driver—”

Friend: “Me? Are you kidding? I thought you knew me better than that.”

Me: “I am surprised and shocked! Why wouldn’t you date a blue collar man?”

Friend: “I like status. That’s not status.”

Me: “OK, so you’re telling me, if you met a plumber and he treated you like a princess—”

Friend: “What do you mean that he treats me like a princess? Who is this guy? Describe him.”

Me: “Ummm… he’s a great guy, he treats you well. He’s in his mid-30s, he owns his own home, has investments, makes $75,000 a year, he has a car—”

Friend: “What does he drive?”

Me: “A Mazda 6.”

Friend with face set up: “Uh uhn. He can’t drive a Mazda 6.”

Me: “What’s wrong with a Mazda 6?” The Hubby and I are considering a Mazda 6 — I think they’re pretty good cars…

Friend: “No man, he’s needs a better car than that. I told you, I’m about status. That’s not status. And is $75,000 good money?”

Me: “I think it’s pretty good money. You don’t?”

Friend: “I don’t know. I was thinking more like six figures.”

I’ve heard many a woman both live and online talk about only wanting professional men and I’m baffled. There is nothing wrong with a professional man, The Hubby is a professional man, but I can say with 99% certainty, when I met my husband and he told me he was a plumber, we still would have gotten married. Nothing between us would have changed because I didn’t marry him for what was on his business card. I married him because of the person he is.

I had to ask a couple of my other friends, because I was truly curious about why some women put such importance on the profession and less on the man himself. One friend explained it like this:

If I didn’t know a guy, would I consider dating him if he were blue-collar? Well frankly, he’d have to work harder to prove he was up to par. For me sophistication in thought is very important and I get “turned on” so to speak, with high intellect. A university education can give you that. Can a blue-collar worker have all that? Of course. But he’d be a rarer breed than one in professional circles. (Again not all professionals are intellectuals). He may be financially my equal, but I need a lot more than that for a lifetime together or I’d get bored with him.  Also, I’m a professional myself. I put a lot of work into my thinking abilities. I expect the same of my partner and that together we may impart the same to our children.

I get that , but I find for the most part women don’t verbalize it like that. They are all about how a professional man makes more money and will allow them to live in the lifestyle they’ve been made accustomed to. I would say 95% of the women I’ve heard say they want a professional man just want someone to show off, more than someone who values higher education.

Here’s what another friend said:

To be honest, I think many of us are caught up in the old school mentality that did not equate a productive future with anything less than a university degree. The thought was that university was the prize, college was good but the trades were a letdown. White collar was linked to status and education and thus financial security. Blue collar was a step downwards.

There was little true knowledge about the fact that many tradespeople and contractors are extremely well paid and many pursue entrepreneurial endeavors (a big plus to me). I wish I had been a plumber or an electrician because I’d be paid in full right about now!!

But seriously. The sisters got it wrong and in many cases they are just the products of old school ideas that are hard to get rid of.

I know that everyone has their preferences, but some women are really caught up with what a guy brings to the table. Now, by no means am I telling any woman to date or marry I-have-potential-but-I’m-not-doing-anything Man, but why is it OK to judge someone by their profession? We weren’t talking about a pimp, DJ or escort – we were talking about a gainfully employed person. This wasn’t a discussion of he has to be able to support me or keep up with me or even does he value education – this is, as my friend said a couple of times, about status.

The friend who inspired this post is a great woman: smart, opinionated, fun with a little crazy thrown in for good measure. She deserves a good man – as do all of my single girlfriends, but I think she’s putting a roadblock in front of herself by disregarding a good man because he doesn’t have a so-called high-status job… and that is not a good look. At the end of the day, you can’t snuggle with a degree. A degree won’t hold your hand when you get a bad test results from the doctor. A good man will — whatever colour his collar is.

What do you think?


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Very nice blog! Really liking this post. It’s interesting. Good for conversation.
    You know my outlook on this, and this is my own personal feeling on this, is that if a person is hard working and has goals in mind that he or she wants to achieve, then they deserve a chance. What if the man expecting all of that from you? If the tables were turned? It doesn’t always feel good. If you have a great job and want someone at your level then that’s alright too. But times are hard too, and it’s not always easy as that.
    Would someone rather choose to be alone then decline man after man who doesn’t have the right qualifications? What would we say about such a man if he did this? Time flies. I’m just saying that you have to trust in that life/God will guide you to the right one. Trust in that and leave your hands in that path.
    Is status what we want to teach our kids? I’d rather not personally. Mind you I love, love nice things, I really do, but I wouldn’t want to say no to someone based on money. Because you get what you married for.
    I strongly believe this and I will say it again: You get what you married for. You GET what you INTENDED for. So if you want that then how will that really give you happiness?
    Because someone can have money but it can be taken away at ANY TIME. There are no guarantees in this life. None. You can be down broke, going through money issues, like EVERYONE has, and then make it big. It can happen, you have to believe. But you always have to expect that their are ups and downs in life.
    Real marriage and real relationships last because of just that, surviving the ups and downs, and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Not being selfish, and communicating.

    My 2 cents 🙂

    1. urbansista says:

      I agree 100%. I don’t think anything is wrong with valuing education or wanting to be able to keep up your lifestyle, but I do think that many of us have it twisted when looking for a spouse. To me, a job is what you do, not necessarily who you are.

    2. Nik says:

      Your two cents were worth 2 million, honey. Good word!

  2. vonnie says:

    If people like material things, what’s wrong with that? They were created for people to enjoy, not everyone can be happy and singing kumbaya while broke and full of love. Most marriages/relationships that have problems site financial problems as a HUGE issue. Love don’t pay the rent and why does that have to be someone’s mindset just because YOU think it’s noble? Some are all about the love and squishy feelings, good for them. Some are about status and material things, ALSO good for them. Not everyone has to be into the same things in life. Sometimes you get both, love and wealth. Not like blue collar or (not putting them in the same catergory, i know blue collar workers can make good pay) poor men have the lock on the love and hold your hands when going to the doctor side of things. Why does someone always turn up their nose at wealth and start going on about how money won’t hold you when sick? You can be rich and still hold your wife while sick, lol. It’s not an either/or situation, and if you are poor and at work trying to scrape by, you have LESS opportunity to take me around to doctor’s appointments and cry with me or else you could be fired.

    Why aren’t blue collar dudes checking for blue collar women? That plumber can live happily with that blue collar bus driver woman, why is it okay for the woman to always get chastised for wanting a white collar guy but no one says anything about blue collar dudes who are dating these professional WOMEN and looking for a step up.

    The mindset that I want in a mate, who has shared life experiences with me (college, traveled the world, into culture/fine dining) is more likely NOT to be a blue collar guy. They just usually haven’t done jaunts in Europe or want to eat squid ink risotto. *shrugs*

    1. urbansista says:

      I’m not putting down anyone for their choices — as I always say, do you. I’m curious and I have an opinion. But, I have noticed that there are a lot of women who are looking for love with a professional and not finding it. So, if you want to meet someone, why are you ignoring a large group of men? Because they don’t eat squid ink risotto? Really?

      Who said anything about marrying or looking for a poor man? A trained tradesman is not a poor man. I’m talking about blue collar vs. white collar professions. The conversation I had with my girlfriend spoke about all things being equal in terms of finances and lifestyles — profession was the difference.

      There is nothing wrong with liking nice things — I’m not writing this response from a tenement apartment, but I do think there is something wrong when we put so much significance on what a man does and disregard who the man is. I never said to disregard professional men, I just want to know why women are so into professional men JUST BECAUSE they have a particular job — not necessarily because he is a great dude who happens to be a doctor.

      I married a professional man, yes, but when I first met him, I didn’t interrogate him about his job or his education or how much money he made. I married someone who I could build I life with. Like I said, I’m not telling anyone to marry/date/co-habit or whatever with whomever. I reiterate what Khadija said, you get what you intended to get. If you marry a man because he has a high-status job and you don’t put AS much emphasis on who he is as a person, who don’t know who the heck you’re going to get. We just went through a terrible recession and a lot of people had to reassess their finances because money wasn’t coming in like how it use to. So, when he’s laid off and you can’t eat at fancy restaurants, you better hope that he has more going for him that the jaunt he took in Europe.

  3. vonnie says:

    oh, and there’s the resentment factor. “you think you better than me” for earning more or knowing more if the woman earns more or is a professional. What happens when raises/promotions come up?

    it’s easy to SAY you’d marry a blue collar guy, but you didn’t. you married a professional dude.

    1. urbansista says:

      Don’t confuse blue collar with poor. They are not synonymous. In Toronto, where I live, there are bus drivers pulling in six figures, as crazy as that sounds.

      With your example, yes, that can be a problem. But that could also be a problem if a woman who is an IT professional is bringing home six figures and her husband who is a communications professional is no where near that. The problem is a man with low self-confidence and you can find them anywhere. Trust.

  4. Nik says:

    This is a wonderful post. Jesus was a carpenter so a blue collar job is alright with me, lol. I think women should look for a man with character, trustworthiness, and ambition. The man should also have a stable lifestyle and demonstrate an ability to be responsible enough to take care of a family. For me, it is not about how rich he is, neither his profession. If we are intellectually and spiritually compatible, that is a great start. If we have the same ideas about life and values, even better. These things should be considered core criteria for what is considered a good man.

  5. Pretty Polished says:

    Great blog topic!

    The wise saying “Live and Learn” applies to this scenario. When I was I quite young I had thoughts and perceptions about dating that weren’t based on fact or in reality I guess. But time and experience are great teachers. White collar men or blue collar men, it matters less about what they do, than who they are.

    Better to be financially comfortable and happy in your relationship than rich and unhappy. If you’re rich AND happy–then good for you! But I certainly wouldn’t pick money over happiness. And I guess that goes for all areas of my life.

    1. Well said. Love this! True!

  6. dalia says:

    Some of the responses have me huffing and puffing. I’ma try to keep my cool.

    1. Since when did “blue collar” become synonymous with “poor”? My ex was a miner. his STARTING salary was $140K. More money than I’ve yet to make as a so-called professional.

    2. I doubt many you have read “The Millionaire Next Door.” I suggest you all get a copy. Most of the people who have the dollas are the unsuspecting. The president of my company drives an Alero. Her husband? A Taurus. Their combined net worth? Millions. Believe it.

    3. I bet the ladies who are seeking a man with status are still single. Squid ink risotto is over-rated, and anyone can get away to Europe these days. That’s not status, it’s status quo. Travel and fine dining are not only for the “elite,” and I have a friend who’s an artist who could prolly sommelier his way around a bottle of ’69 Chateau-Neuf-de-Pape – but some women wouldn’t give him the time of day because he shops thrift, doesn’t wear labels, and prefers his scuffed loafers to a shiny new pair of Bruno Maglis. But you know what? He’s single. And can smell a status-hound a mile away.

    3a. Do the women seeking status have their own “status” to bring to the table? Are they also driving the Mercedes’, living in a tony neighbourhood or have a membership to the Spoke or Granite Clubs? No? Didn’t think so. Nothing wrong with wanting what you want, or liking what you like, but there is something to be said for being equally yoked.

    4. Appearances can be deceiving. I just learned that a friend who I always thought was rollin’ and doing well was up to his hairline in debt, trying to maintain the illusion of “a lifestyle”. Outwardly, he looks like he’s holding it down…An interesting article in Toronto Life a few years ago detailed how very many people were falling into ridiculous debt trying to keep up with the Joneses…

    5. If you’re only going to love a man because of what he
    APPEARS to be, then it makes you shallow. Period.

    5a. Not imperical research, just my findings, that most men with money (and “status”) often act like they’re beyond reproach and certain rules don’t apply to them. It’s been my experience that the ones with the biggest wallets are also the biggest players. No matter how smart, how pretty, how GOOD the wife(y) is, there’s always another, smarter, prettier, better, YOUNGER gal just waiting to be the replacement.

    on and on I could go, but my soapbox is crumbling and my head hurts…

    1. Nik says:

      Girl, stay on that soapbox and preach!! You are coming up squeaky clean, hear I tell you? And “not status, it’s status quo?”?!! PRICELESS! I love it!

      1. I hear you! I am listening too.

  7. SCC says:

    There’s nothing wrong w/dating a good guy in whatever form he may take. But there’s also nothing wrong w/having standards for a man brings to the table intellectually, culturally and financially.

    If a sista went to college, worked hard and developed through the white collar world…why then would ANYONE have an issue is she chooses a man who is COMPATIBLE with her? I didn’t say on her same level. I said compatible. Compatibility comes when people have similar experiences that result in common perspectives on life. That, IMHO, is the most important thing along w/money and status. What Black people need to stop doing is asking Black women to settle. If a sista meets a nice blue collar guy, fine. But if she chooses to only date professionals, that SHOULD BE fine too. It’s her life and only she can determine what’s best for her. Hell, she might decide to find a white guy and call it a day.

    1. urbansista says:

      I never told anyone to settle and I never told anyone NOT to date professional men. Why would I? I’ve dated and married a professional man. And why is having a spirited discussion telling Black women to settle? And why is dating a white man akin to settling? You are really going to tell me that dating an electrician — an educated man who happens to be a blue collar man — is settling?

      Please read my post again.

      What I am saying is that I don’t understand WHY women put such emphasis on profession, not that you shouldn’t date an engineer. The same amount of energy I put into scrutinizing my hair products I put into understanding why I think the way I do and why other people hold the beliefs they hold. I am opinionated, hence the reason I have a blog.

      What I do believe is that good men come in all packages and professions. Compatibility isn’t ONLY about profession — this is what some people fail to understand. Compatibility is based on common values, interests, character traits and the like — not just that we both have university degrees.

      As I’ve said, do you. Date whoever you like — no one’s telling you not to. To be honest, I don’t know you, so I’m certainly not invested in your dating choices. I’m saying that you may be putting unnecessary roadblocks to finding a suitable spouse in the long run by putting TOO much emphasis on profession. Like I wrote in the post, I didn’t tell anyone to pick up with the dude who isn’t doing anything with himself or the guy you have to support. That is foolishness.

      I’m saying put just as much emphasis on other parts of his character — his relationship with his family, his ambition, his intellect — as well as you do on his profession.

      1. curly-K says:

        Here’s what I think

        Some of the opinions in this discussion are making me appreciate my husband even more now. The emphasize that I am reading about professions and standards is appalling to me. And now that I’m turning 30 in a few weeks I’m grateful that I found my partner for life without all this nonsense about so called standards.

        I agree that we place too much emphasize on professions. I’m a university educated professional woman. I married a blue collared man. And guess what…he has 2 university degrees and makes 3 times as much as I do. He is loving and has wonderful values. And his salary has nothing to do with our relationship. I’m proud that he work hard at what he does.

        His job has nothing to do with what he eats or how he dresses. I bet looking at him you wouldn’t think that he has Armani suits in his closet and Prada shoes lined up on shelves. He speaks 4 languages and is well travelled.

        I come from a spoiled silver spoon background. My husband is from a 3rd world country. I grew up in a 5 bedroom house with a pool and my husband came from a small village in Africa. He came here as a teenager and worked hard to go to university. I didn’t even know what OSAP was when I was going to university. Our differences are what makes our relationship perfect. I appreciate those differences.

        I would never look at him and think that I settled. And if the roles were reversed and I made 3 times as much as he makes, I would still love him. At one time, I did have the higher salary. And every time I got a raise it was celebrated. Not one time did I look at him and resent him for making less than I did. He never looked at me with resentfulness. REAL LOVING relationships look beyond that.

        We pull each other up. We celebrate each others achievements. And nothing in our lives has to do with our professions! I love fine dining but I also enjoy my time with him sitting on the couch in our family room watching a pay-per-view movie and eating chicken wings!

        I can’t believe in the year 2011 anyone would think men are so insecure if you did make more than them! But that’s just my opinion. What do I know, I’m just happily married!

  8. jaybee says:

    I find it interesting that SCC says “decide to find a white guy and call it a day,” as if, somehow, that too, is some form of settling. I’d want to be with someone who makes me laugh, stimulates me intellectually and treats me like a princess – regardless of the colour of his skin OR his collar.


    and then they wonder why there are reports everywhere screaming that black women are sad and lonely.

  9. I would like to start off saying that the idea that some believe that “professional” or white collar is somehow a “step up” from blue collar is misguided. Step up in terms of what…money?? Well, not necessarily. Step up in terms of character? Well, of course not because the colour of your collar does not determine your character or inner wealth.

    The idea that a guy works in an office doing whatever and somehow has higher earning power, does not add up to me – he could easily be making let’s say – $50,000. The guy who owns his own company building custom homes is making way more than $50,000. So if it’s money that you’re after – let’s do a reality check. Sometimes white collar men make more sometimes blue collar dudes make more.

    There are lawyers believe it or not who do not make six figures or over….this is just a fact. Each case is unique. Don’t assume that people are ballin’ just because of their “professional status” and don’t assume that they are not because they’re blue collar.

    There is no problem with wanting “stuff” or material wealth – that’s a personal preference. The problem is in being superficial and not getting past misinformation that is restraining and keeping you from moving outside of the neat box that you have constructed.

    If you are looking really hard at a guy’s wallet, clothes, car, etc., you are probably (most definitely) missing some crucial information about who he is as a person – and this is fundamental to having a lasting, loving relationship.

    The idea that if you date a blue collar man you are somehow dating below you is a sad comment. There are a lot of white collar guys who are NOT well-read, well-travelled, well-mannered, well-cultured and of course there are many blue collar men who ARE deeply knowledgeable about politics, social issues, culture, etc. Why would someone assume that someone’s job is related to their intellect? That’s a HUGE assumption that can’t in any way be proven as a direct correlation.

    Do we really have such a narrow focus on life that leads us to believe that blue collar men are mindless neanderthals with no money? Do we really believe that men who drive to their office and sit behind their desks each day are somehow superior? Do we really believe that they are better providers? Do we really believe that they would make us happier? Are able to provide the “better things in life”???

    What a sad, sad, state of affairs….

  10. dina says:

    Your comments are all very well taken. However, for me, and I live in New York, blue collar men behave and come across in a very different manner than white collar men. They speak differently, they dress differently, they have different likes and interests. Typically, a blue collar guy is not a polished guy. They always seem to come across as rough around the edges. There are white collar guys that are also unpolished and rough around the edges, but then those are probably the ones that have very blue collar roots, lack a real education and a professional personal social network.

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