Does your date’s status matter?
In theory, it should be the case that what’s inside a person is the only thing that matters. But everyone judges other people on what’s outside to some extent. You might not mean to, you might not be judging on their appearance, but you will be judging them in some way.
After appearance, one of the main ways we tend to evaluate others is on their status. This can be done in several ways:
• Past issues: “I went out with a doctor once, it didn’t go well.”
• Salary: “Shop assistants don’t earn much.”
• Acceptance: “How can I tell my family I’m dating a bin man?”
• Motivation: “If she’s still a bar maid she can’t have much ambition in life.”
There are probably two things you’re thinking here: a) ‘I’ve expressed at least one of those thoughts at some point’ and b)’those aren’t very nice thoughts to have’. You know deep down that not every doctor is the same, just as you know that any bar maid you meet may well be saving money to retrain in a different vocation. Overall though, none of these things have any bearing on how your relationship with this person could work out.
The question now becomes, how can you train yourself not to think these things when you’re evaluating whether someone would make a great date? We have some ideas:
Work out your priorities
Most people are able to reel off a list of qualities they’re looking for in their ideal partner. Unfortunately these often end up sounding like shopping lists where the end result would be the world’s most perfect human being (who, as we all know, doesn’t exist).
Now is the ideal time to work out your REAL list; the qualities and characteristics your potential partner must have, beyond them being ‘tall’, or ‘rich’ or ‘gorgeous’. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone with a great job, but if a person came along who had a prestigious job and a ton of money but made you unhappy, would that really be what you were looking for? Our priorities change as we mature, work out how yours have changed.
Next time you meet someone new suspend your judgement
Next time you meet someone new, monitor your own reactions when you hear what they do for a living. As soon as you feel yourself starting to have negative thoughts, force yourself to hear them out. Perhaps they’re working the job they do because it allows them to pursue their creative ambitions. Or maybe they’re saving up enough money to put themselves through university. Or perhaps they simply enjoy their job, and it frees them up to focus on other things in life. The equation is simple: the more you open up to people, the more chances you have of meeting someone special to you.
Exercise the power of three
Maybe you genuinely think you could never be interested in a relationship with people with certain professions. But, you can’t knock it till you’ve tried it. If you meet someone who you like, but whose status puts you off, commit to going on three dates with them. That way, if you do eventually dismiss them you’ll have a real reason for doing so and won’t simply end up telling your friends, ‘Well she was a nail technician, so I knew she’d have nothing between her ears.’ You might just learn something about yourself, even if that is that your own prejudices don’t hold true.
There’s nothing wrong with having standards about the person you date. We’re not saying you should pop down to your nearest park and pick up the local weirdo. But ultimately your choice in partner should be based on how happy they make you on an everyday basis, not whether you’ll be able to afford gold plated bathroom fittings in your dream home together.
Plus, there’s nothing wrong with challenging your own prejudices every now and then – it could open you up to a whole new world you never knew existed.
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