DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently met a man who sparked my interest, but he does not have a job. I do not want to be shallow and just use this factor for a reason not to date him. However, I also want to be smart and realistic. Should I be supportive of him in his situation and wait for him get himself together, or should I view this as a red flag? How long should I wait this out? -- Questionable Dating Material
DEAR QUESTIONABLE DATING MATERIAL: Here’s a perfect opportunity to take it slow. If you like this man, why not take the time to become friends with him first? You can talk to him on the phone, occasionally grab a coffee or do some other affordable activity. You don’t have to say anything to him about his joblessness being an impediment. Instead, encourage him to keep looking when he brings it up. If he doesn’t, stay out of that lane. You don’t want to become an enabler.
In terms of how you should view this man as it relates to your life, make a list of priorities for what you want in a partner. One may be financial stability, but I bet there are plenty of other factors. List them all, and make a second column with turnoffs. Be specific on both sides. Then compare your list to this man. Let your assessment tell you whether he is a potential partner down the line. Most important: Don’t feel you have to make a decision right this minute. You can pay attention and see how things unfold.