We’re all aware of the holy grail of success and even Carrie Bradshaw famously touched on it. Great place to live, great job and a great relationship. It’s the modern world’s alleged formula for happiness and it’s almost impossible to have all 3 at the same time. Lacking any one of these can be a real knock to person’s confidence, but more interestingly, a person’s value in the dating market.
According to a survey on Forbes.com, DC is the 10th most expensive city to live in. No surprise there. However, if you couple this with the fact that we are coming out of a recession, there are more people who are either moving home with their parents or moving in with friends to cut costs. As a single woman, how high on your dating radar would you put a man who lived with his parents or obnoxious roommates? In order to judge whether this is a temporary situation or a lifestyle choice, find out if he has a 6-month, 1 year or 5 year plan about making the move. You may not mind him always being at your place at first, but you don’t want to end up with a guy practically living with you because he has no other options. You might want your private time or just not want things to move that fast. As a man, he should want to have a place to call his own or at least be working on it. There’s nothing wrong with a guy enjoying time with his family, but at the end of the day, you want a man with a realistic plan, not a boy with a curfew and parents scowling at you if you bring him home late.
We all know that the job market is still stabilizing and that not everyone was lucky enough to survive the cutbacks made in the last year and a half. More people have to relocate, re-train or take temporary jobs until companies begin hiring again. With all that being said, no woman wants to go out with a man when she’s constantly picking up the tab or having to spend Netflix nights on the couch because her guy can’t afford to take her anywhere. So what’s a girl to do? First, make sure that the guy is proactively trying to better his situation. Moneywatch from CBS gives plenty of useful tips on dusting the potato chip crumbs off and getting out there to get that next job. Our jobs take up so much of our daily lives and personas, that losing that identity can be a real blow to the ego and a person’s confidence. You are clearly meeting him at a difficult point in his life and you may have to let him sort himself out before jumping into a dating situation that will leave you broke and possibly resentful.
Finally, we come to the urban legend known as the great relationship. Any relationship can have the appearance of being great. How many times have your girlfriends been in great relationships only for them to fizzle out a week later? The key to a great relationship is to have realistic expectations and dealbreakers. Know what you want and how he measures up to your expectations. That way, you won’t spend your entire relationship trying to change him and bend him into the kind of man you wanted in the first place. Know what you’re willing to put up with and what you absolutely will not tolerate. Granted, these shouldn’t be trivial things, but if they are important enough that you cannot live with them, then add it to the list. This is easier said than done and even professional dating experts like Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger can get it wrong. In a recent interview with US Weekly, she confessed that she had to break off her recent engagement because she and her significant other did not share the same opinion about having kids. Why would she let something so fundamental become an issue at this late stage? We always find a way to justify what doesn’t fit instead of going with our gut instinct right from the start and this is what we get ourselves into.
The moral of this story is that your happiness is attainable as long as you remember to look for a guy who is proactive about his future, keep your expectations realistic with the changing economy and have a clear understanding of what your standards are. Don’t settle for a sub-par existence on the DC dating course.