Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Resume Dating

She was on the verge of tears for the second time in one night. He'd done it again and she couldn't understand why he treated her as though she didn't matter.
"Why do you still want him?" I asked.
"I don't know," she answered between sobs. "He's a really good guy, and I know that I'm not going to find someone that has all his qualities."
"Ummm, what's so great about him?"
"Well, he's college educated, got a good job, his own place, no kids. Plus he's really good looking, goal oriented and all that stuff."
And there it was. Like so many women before her, including me, she had mistaken qualifications for qualities.

Everyone has standards. Whether they write it on stationary and tuck it under their pillow at night, or keep it stored in a corner of their mind, everyone has a list of everything they want in a mate. Honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, musical, artistic, educated, driven, spiritual, logical, sane, and the list goes on and on. And as much as people are loathe to admit it, the packaging those qualities come in is pretty darn important as well. Personally, I prefer honest, kind, loyal, smart, funny, etc. to come in a very tall, very cute, gainfully employed package.

It seems the older and more accomplished my friends and I become, the more emphasis we put on the packaging rather than the contents. Whenever we brag about the men in our lives (they brag, I listen) it usually sounds like, "He's 2_, an engineer, has his own house, and is working on his masters degree." Then we all agree that our friend really has found a wonderful man. Fast forward two weeks when he's stood her up for the fourth time in five dates and won't return her calls and we're calling him the scum of the Earth. But the worst part of it all, is that no matter who this happens to, we still want to hang on to him, cause we're sure that he really is a great guy. I mean, he's an engineer with his own house whose working on his masters degree. That says it all.

In the last few months, I've learned a valuable lesson from Chesty LaRue. Since the turn of the century, Chesty has had the misfortune of dating several successful men (in addition to the Broke Ass Niggas she also attracts.) She's dated a Wall Street trader, an engineer, and something else that I can't remember right now. All of them were supposedly a good catch, except for the fact that they lied, cheated, and basically treated her like shit. After the last "great guy" acted a damn fool, Chesty decided she was taking a break from men. And the moment she stopped looking, someone found her. She met a man who is attentive, kind, funny, and best of all adores the ground she walks on. And she got all these things in an unemployed, ex-con, multiple babies' daddy who's an aspiring rapper. He's by no means a perfect man, as he does have a tendency to stupid shit on occassion. However, he makes her happy which is more than I can say for the others.

Dating is a lot like job searching. You present your qualifications, go on a few interviews, hope for a call back, go on some more interviews, and hope someone picks you for the job. I think a lot of women wind up falling for a guy's resume before he ever has an interview. But it's important to remember that just because a guy looks good on paper, it doesn't mean he's a good guy.


Cece said...

First!! But only cuz I'm a stalker.

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of a line from "Can I Get A": How we gon' get around on your bus pass?

I don't agree that I'm a resume dater, but I do know that God has more for me than a young, broke, uneducated nucca. Sorry.

Unknown said...

I found myself doing exactly that the other day. I kept describing this guy I'm interested in in terms of what he did. Definitely caused me to take a step back.

Anonymous said...

to take your job searching dating analogy further... the good job wants you after you've quit looking.

glad to see you back on the scene!

Åsa said...

I’m more the way of when someone is trying to get me on a date with a guy and promote him with things like “he’s successful in his job, has an awesome apartment etc”, I’m always thinking “he must be ugly and boring than since he’s single”. Oh wait! That’s me too: I’m successful in my job and have a nice apartment. Hmmm… something aint right here. Maybe I should go on a date with one of those men after all.

But you are so right in that it’s easier to advertise qualifications rather than qualities. How else could boring guys get married anyway?! The questions to ask is if you really want to get old with a guy you have nothing in common with – even if he has a good job. If you need money: get a good job yourself and then you’re free to choose a guy on his qualities rather than his qualifications.

Anonymous said...

Piggy backing on ASAs last statement, honestly how many women would date a man who doesn’t have that almost equally “good” job – or at least the qualifications to obtain one?

There isn’t a perfect man, simple. You aren’t going to have tier one qualifications and qualities. Its just not going to happen. You have to ask whats most important to you, realize it, and go from there. I applaud Jailbait, cause she knows what she cant live without, and a “young, broke, uneducated nucca” aint it.

And what ASA pointed out in the first paragraph is just another example of our simple minded hesitations. Another unnecessary border in this horrible joke called dating/life/love. I too am guilty of it, and since I am that single brother, no kids, career, and nice housing….im sure ive been the victim of it as well.

Jodi said...

I was just saying to a headhunter yesterday (who was younger than me mind you) telling me how to "act" at an interview, that I'm great at interviews, they're like first dates...it's the dates that follow that count. Nice to see you again.~Jodi

Anonymous said...

Since I've found myself AGAIN to be the butt (or, rather, ASS) of Liz's blog, I guess I must respond.

Liz, I'm going to kill you!!!

I guess for me, as cliché as it sounds, I had to see a guy for what he had to offer from within than what he brought to the table. I'm not thrilled with Liz's description of my man because it's as though his circumstances make him who he is. Yes, he's financially challenged, has children, and has a less than a squeaky clean background, but he's hard-working (he DOES have a job), humble, affectionate, God-fearing, and SEXY as hell. I'm not gonna front like I don't wish he was college educated or was "well off" at times; but when I think of the men I've dated who've had those qualifications but not his qualities, I quickly get it out of my mind. What's for me is not for everyone, and I'm not trying to convince or encourage anyone to "settle"; but, if you can look beyond the superficial things while still preserving what God has in store for you, you might get more than you expect.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are back.

Have to say that I kind of disagree on this one. I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to this subject, as you know. I tend to be more practical. To each her own and very good luck to Ms. La Rue--she deserves the best.

Anonymous said...

first off, glad ur back, finally.

very interesting point of view u present. i almost agree with you on some levels. i know, shocker, huh? i think that women are a lot more guilty of this so called resume dating than men. i dont know if its a good thing or not, but men are typically less likely to catergorize women...based on resume(i'm not naive.)
i do realize that its difficult not to expect the same qualifications that u urself proudly carry with u everywhere u go. but, do u possess the qualities that u so desperately desire as well. i guess only u can answer that question, (or mr. right whoever the hell that poor guy is.) not saying you dont...just food for thought. let that digest for awhile, then we'll talk about desert.


missbhavens said...

THERE you are!


(welcome back...and nice post, lady)

Pop Culture Casualty said...

Keen observation! I completely agree. My friend Carpe always tells me about the men she is dating with a list of assets. "He has a boat. He has a house in the Hampton's. He went to Harvard."

What is most disturbing to me about this, is it's about trivial and superficial qualities that relate what the person will do for her. "He will take care of me. He will take me sailing. He will bring me to the Hampton's."

All this emphasis on what the guy is going to do for you, makes me think the resulting relationship will also be all about you.

And as we all know, these sorts of arrangements rarely work out.

Guess you have to set the model for proper behavior and uphold it amongst your friends by resisting the temptation. Good luck with that!