Mom Hates Boyfriend Because He Has No College Degree


It's no secret that opposites attract. It can be very hot and sexy and steamy to date someone who is totally different than you in thought and background and attitude. Still, there always has to be a base, right? You don't want to date someone whose background is so different or whose values are so opposite that it causes a problem, right?

For one woman who wrote into the Washington Post, dating a blue collar worker who doesn't have a college level education is too much for her mom. Her mother has been downright mean to her daughter and told her that being around them disgusts her. She even made her poor boyfriend cry. In her letter to the Post, the daughter says:

I love Tom and could see us getting engaged in a year or two. However, I’m actually thinking about breaking up with him over this, although I know evil shouldn’t triumph.

She's right. And she's wrong.

There is no doubt that this mom sounds like a nightmare. And personally, if I were the daughter, I would stop speaking to a mom who treated me with such disrespect. However, the mom's actions and cruelty aside, the actual structure of what she is saying isn't without merit.

The fact is, education and career path matter.

Of course there are "blue collar" workers who value education and who just didn't finish college because they really loved what they were doing. Or there are those who value education and who are 24 (like the people in the letter) who plan to go back to school later when they have more money. But even that represents a major difference in values. For many, a 4-year college after high school is simply a given. They don't live in a world where there are other options.

For many, it would have been hard to imagine dating a man without a graduate level education, let alone a Bachelor's. It isn't to say people with more education are "better," but as far as raising children is concerned, for some, education is as important to me as religion is to many. For them, marrying a man who thinks it's OK to not go to school would be akin to being a devout Christian married to an Orthodox Jew. It wouldn't work.

This mother may be going about it all wrong, but she is right about one thing. Marrying someone whose education is lower and whose prospects are limited could be a major mistake. And the fact is, the daughter herself has her mother's values, too. At the end of the letter, she says:

But I feel like he’s on one side, and on the other side is my relationship with my mom AND my parents’ relationship AND the potential to have it all if I meet a college-educated suitor. (I feel like a horrible person saying this.)

Clearly, she will always be wondering if she could have done better. And that is the kiss of death in any relationship.

Do you think people can overcome differences in education?


Image via besighyawn/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Cobi

Absolutely. Personally the way I see things, college is not for everyone. Some people can go straight out of high school, into the workforce and succeed, and sometimes better than someone with a college degree. I think the mother is totally acting selfishly. Yes I understand wanting the best for her daughter, but being a mother as well, as long as the guy is respectful to her, is loving and frankly is earning enough to support the two of them, why the hell should anything else matter? Same goes for religion, who cares what religion their partner is? Are we still so naive to still have that mentality of marry your own kind? Plus at the end of the day, who's marrying the guy, the mom or daughter? Mom needs to grow a pair and see the bigger picture instead on focusing on her stupid expectations. Her daughter is happy

Katt709 Katt709

Yes, they most certaintly can! I have a B.S. in Business and a J.D. I went to college directly out of high school and then law school directly after college. My husband went to college for a semester and dropped out. And truthfully, he has always made more money than I did when I worked. He's a freelance programmer. He makes his own schedule and works where he wants. He picks and chooses his clients and turns people away regularly because he's too busy. I'm now a SAHM. We're still paying my loans off. I personally think he did the better thing! No school for him was the right answer. For me, it would have been wrong, as my family placed great importance on education. But I wish I had never gone to law school. My parents have never said a thing about his lack of education - at least not around me.

cmari... cmarie452

Wow, so not having a college education means you don't care about education? You don't care if your child goes to school or not? This is an extremely rude post. The mother sounds pretty horrendous but you don't sound much better. I'd rather date a wonderful, kind, loving person who makes me happy and happens to work at a blue collar job than a jerk with a college degree because in the end what matters is how I feel about the person I'm dating.

nonmember avatar stephanie

i cant agree with this at all. my bf went to colleage and instead of doing what he got for his diploma hes now a blue collar worker and makes about 100,000 a year. his grandfather is a multimillionar with his own constuction company and he started out at the bottom. the fact is not the level of education. if she loves him her mom has to accept that fact. and if she is going to leave him and marry a guy because of education and not love what does that say about her and her mother does not have her best intrest at heart. they aree still young and who knows what the future holds but they are not going to be in the poor house just cause he didnt go to university or collage. and coming form parents and being one myself, having a university degree does not make you a better parent!!!!

Nancy Wilhelm

It can work if the 2 people in the relationship are committed. I dated a guy all through college that went straight into a trade job after high school. after 4 years of school, he's probably making more than I do. So I don't knock anyone for not going.
School isn't for everyone.

PonyC... PonyChaser

You know, if you replaced "has no college degree" with "is black", you'd be singing a completely different tune, wouldn't you? You'd be accusing that mother of being bigoted, hateful, racist, intolerant, etc. But because this guy knows what he wants, and it happens to be "work with his hands without a college degree", it's ok to discriminate and say that his "prospects are limited"?

I know a guy who has a Master's Degree, and yet he cannot support his family because he simply isn't motivated to find and keep a decent job. And I know a bunch of "blue collar" guys who have no education beyond their high school diploma (from a small-town school at that) who are doing just fine, own their own businesses, and are well able to support their wives and children.

Troys... TroysMommy1220

I thought a relationship was about love, trust, caring and loyalty....not how many degrees your partner has managed to rack up.

nonmember avatar Jenna

I have 2 college degrees. My boyfriend left school after 2 semesters. I love him with all of my heart and he has one of the strongest work ethics of anyone I know. Just because you didn't go to school doesn't mean you are a bad person. Everyone has their own life experiences and fits into their own mold.

redhe... redhead-bedhead

I would rather someone to find a job that they love doing than to go to college and get a fancy degree and let the degree either go to waste or get stuck using it and hating that job.

Having a college education is great for those who want one but those who don't have one shouldn't be looked down on.

1-9 of 9 comments