Do Educated Women Dating Blue-Collar Workers = Recipe for Disaster?

Janelle Harris

Blue collarLove is the craziest, most unpredictable force there is. And I passionately believe if you really want to find it, you need to be open to getting it however it comes, so long as it comes.

Of course, you can scrawl a list of qualities that you want your boo to possess, but we single gals must be — what’s the key word? Say it with me — open enough not to be disappointed if he isn’t packaged in a make-your-girlfriends-jealous-over-his-rock-hard-abs frame. He might have a cuddly spare tire. He might be on the short side.  

Or he might not make as much money as you do. His job might require him to wear a Dickies jumpsuit instead of an Armani suit. He may be more content living like the Heffernans on King of Queens than the Ewings on Dallas. Could you, rising powerhouse executive in the making, date a blue collar man and be happy? Or could you, blue collar diva, find common ground with a briefcase-toting dude? 

Over here in Janelle-ville, all of my friends are college graduates. In fact, one of my besties just finished her PhD (go Vanatta!) and my BFF will walk across the stage with her masters in divinity next month (go Keisha!). The rest of the lot, about four or five of us, are either on the road to earning advanced degrees or putting plans in motion to get ‘er done. We’re all smart cookies, we are.

But we’re also all single. Super duper single. Because we’re Black women holding out for our tall, dark, and handsome Adonises, however, we might have to bend on a few of our prerequisites if we’re not going to be flexible on race, faith, or his uncanny resemblance to Idris Elba. Some of my homegirls will only date someone if he has a degree under his belt like they do. I say those professional standards should be the first to get the boot.

Unlike my feelings about marriage and my frustration when people claim that it’s “just a piece of paper,” I concur that a college degree is attainable to just about anybody willing to stick out a few years and shell out a couple dozen thousand dollars to get one. I mean, I know some card-carrying doofuses who’ve managed to get through an undergraduate program. College enhances intelligence but it sure as heck doesn’t create it. My last BF was smart as they come with not a degree to his name, self-taught because he read books on his own and knew a little bit about almost anything. So I would never limit myself to dating only guys with sheepskins because I’m somehow disillusioned that they’re my intellectual equals.

And I certainly wouldn’t ex out the possibility of hooking up with a guy who worked the subway station or an electrician who poaches those meters (because honestly, who can really challenge what they say?). Besides that, I must confess I find guys who work with their hands sexy. They ooze testosterone-fueled manliness. I’ve caught myself flirting with many a mechanic and UPS guy because, through the grease, oil, and hideous brown-bag colored short sets, they’re men’s men. Not that a guy in a Brooks Brothers sports jacket and freshly creased slacks can’t be. It’s just something about using your tools and brute strength all day long that makes me swoon. Just a little.

Disclaimer: The Boyfriend is an accountant, and they’re the exception to the rule because technically, they work with their hands too. (Nice save, huh?)

We girls say we want love. We watch romance flicks and bemoan the lack of activity in our own lives. But when it comes to finding it, we create so many obstacles, a Cirque du Soleil act couldn’t maneuver through them. What’s in a paycheck but a few lower (or higher) digits if a man is going to treat you like a queen? What difference does it make if he has an alma mater or if he’s an alum of the school of real life? Why should someone be mandatory peers professionally if they possess the other qualities that make up husband material? And heck, if he actually likes what he does, that makes it all the better, whether he’s a welder, a construction worker, or a practicing physician.

My parting words to a fellow single lady who won’t even think about dating a dude who doesn’t meet their career aspirations: you might as well get used to bridesmaid dresses and plus one RSVP cards.

If you're a white collar mover and shaker, would you date -- for example -- a bus driver? A mechanic? If you're a blue collar professional, would you date an executive or a CEO? 

Image via Saad.Akhtar/Flickr

Read More