DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a uni dropout, working a minimum wage job and at his early 20s is still living with his parents. So I’m not exactly the full package, barely any friends, not respected at all and why should I be, I’m a modern day peasant or serf.
Now I absolutely believe that I could get a slacker woman with no plans for the future (my dreams of being a writer are fanciful and will likely never happen) but I don’t want that, existing and barely subsisting while getting s
t on by the general public for a living.
What I hope for one day is a woman with dreams and ambitions that she has achieved and is in the process of achieving, not a useless being who’ll likely stay in her hometown her whole life (like I have, regrettably).
Where the hell do I find women who actually take interests in things and are actually good at something, because they sure aren’t in minimum wage. Incidentally, I am good at very little so there is likely going to be a prerequisite to being able to get into a relationship, hobbies, happiness , self confidence, that type of thing.
Hell, maybe I should travel the world…or at least more of my home country. I’ve been branching out more into things like organic coffee shops and independent burger bars and things like that, but I feel way too out of place there, like I’m some poser commoner who should slop his unworthy ass back to McDonald’s.
I mean s
t, minimum wage workers very rarely find love and if they do, it’d be with other minimum wage workers (I assume). I also feel a lot of shame when talking about my job, it reminds me of everything I’ve failed at, failing out of uni after so much work and taking a low-end position to make ends meet.
I guess I just don’t have much of a life right now and I’ll have to work harder at getting one, joining clubs, getting into a team sport, going to concerts, just like everyone else.
I’m quite far behind Doc, I need to catch up on building a better life, although some practice dating and asking people out in person would be ideal as online dating is not proving fruitful. I don’t quite believe that people actually ask each other out in person anymore but perhaps I can be proven wrong.
DEAR RETAIL DRONE: OK, RD, we need to untangle a few things.
First of all, you’re doing something a lot of folks do: assuming facts not in evidence. Starting with “minimum wage workers rarely find love”. I hate to break it to you chief, but if being lower-middle class were a prerequisite for love and marriage, the world’s population would’ve died out long before now. This is just you projecting your current feelings without a shred of evidence or experience to back it up. A quick wander around your local burger joint, Wal-Mart or most other retail jobs will net you a whole lotta folks with wedding rings on… and they ain’t wearing them to keep the ravening hordes of singles away.
Next, there’s the question of just where you spend your time, and with whom. You may have heard the term “assortative mating” before, especially if you’ve spent any amount of time in various dodgy dating advice forums or sub-reddits. Most folks will refer to this as proof that people only date within their social class or within their so-called “looksmatch” – people who theoretically are equally as attractive as them. In reality, it’s more that we tend to date or marry the people who are similar to us in our values in lifestyle, in our social circles and in proximity to one another. Part of the reason why, for example, Hollywood actors tend to only date other folks in the film industry is because of those qualities – those are the people they spend the most time around and who have lifestyles that are compatible enough to make things work. It can be hard to make a relationship work when, for example, your girlfriend or boyfriend has to be away on location for weeks or months at a time. Folks in the industry tend to be used to that and are better prepared to handle the unique difficulties that come from that lifestyle.
It’s also why ER nurses frequently date and marry cops or firefighters. Or why folks in the service industry or retail date one another as well.
If you’re not spending your time where the people you want to date spend their time, you’re gonna have a much harder time meeting them, nevermind dating them.
And that, of course, is assuming that your lifestyles and interests are compatible. After all, the stuffy, conservative banker may be attracted to the more freewheeling party girl, but the conflicts in personality, interests and lifestyle are going to get in the way.
But then there’s the fact that you’re not asking yourself a very important question: why would these women with dreams and ambitions and (presumably) a career want to date you? Now don’t take this the wrong way. This isn’t an idle question, nor is it “how dare you have dreams above your station, peasant,” it’s about what you bring to the table.
If you want someone to be interested in you, you need to bring something to the table. That may mean your ability to make them laugh. It may mean that you sing or dance or paint and they will fall in love with your talent. It may mean that you have passion and ambition yourself and they get swept away by your energy and drive. You may be charismatic and make them feel like the only woman in the world or you may be the solid and sturdy rock that they know they can rely on in times of trouble. But you need something.
You also need to be in decent emotional working order. Right now, you’re describing yourself in profoundly negative terms – poser, peasant, failure. That, more than anything else, is going to be your stumbling block in dating anyone. When you’re running yourself down like that, you’re cutting yourself off from… well, everything. Not just from other people – most folks aren’t going to be into somebody who presents themselves as “It’s ok that you’re not into me. I’m wouldn’t be into me either,” – but from your own potential. You’re defining yourself by your failures and by what you perceive as your limitations. And at the moment… that means you’re 100% correct. If you believe that you suck, that you can’t achieve any more and that you don’t deserve to do better, then you’re going to end up proving yourself right. Not because of any woo-woo-sending-vibes-out-into-the-universe crap but because you’ve already given up. You won’t be giving your all because why should you? You’re already a failure. You won’t be able to bounce back from setbacks because you’ve already decided that they’re permanent and unchanging.
If you want to start dating a better quality of person, then you need to start with yourself. Not trying to become somebody else’s idea of what a “high-value” woman wants, but the best version of you that you can be. That means that you need to stop treating yourself as destined for failure and squalor and start living like you give a damn. You failed out of university. Ok… so try again. You may be able to at least audit classes one at a time, even if you can’t be a full-time student. You live at home. OK, so start saving your money, find friends who you can live with and begin seeing about trying to find an apartment where you can split the rent. Build your social circle, build your own sense of self-worth and start finding and developing your own value.
The less you run yourself down, the more you’ll realize you’re capable of. Investing in yourself and digging your way out of your self-imposed pit – even if it takes months or years – will pay off in far greater dividends than just “dating someone better than a slacker.” You’ll start living a life where you’re happy and confident… and that’s a life more people will be interested in being part of.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org)