Dating an Unemployed Man

unemployed Dating an Unemployed Man

This question comes in from a girl dating an unemployed man. She wants to know why he plays games and does not commit to her the way she wants. If you would like to understand men better, first read what I wrote on how to understand men, then read my response to what she asked. Here is her question:

I dated this guy for about two months. He was honest about his past, but not so much about his present. I have been hurt before in my previous long term relationship so I will admit I have trust issues. I eventually got wind that he was keeping his options open and talking to other girls he previously meet and/or dated. As such I broke up with him over it.

We still spend time together though as friends. He reminds me that we are broken up, but then he gets jealous when I bring up the possibility of dating other men. I just don’t get it. He dated me, did not take our relationship seriously, points out that were broken up when we do spend time together, but then gets jealous when I talk about dating other guys.

So I asked him “whats your problem”. He told me that because he is a an unemployed man he feels he has nothing to offer me, that he needs to get his life in order before he can feel better about himself and can commit to a relationship. I told him that I am a grown woman who can take care of herself. I am not that kind of woman who needs a man to take care of her, and that if he wants to be with me he needs to take dating more seriously and treat me special, or I will just cut off all contact completely. After I said that he started telling me how much he loves me and does not want to lose me. I haven’t heard that sort of talk from him in months since we broke up officially.

So my question, is he just manipulating me by saying that he can not focus with me until he has a job? Or is he just going to waste my time again by convincing me to get back together with him (he says he loves me) again only to have him play around on the side and tell me “I told you already, I’m not ready for relationship”.

The answer to your question is NO, he is not trying to manipulate you. He is not trying to have his cake and eat it to in the sense of him being free to do what he wants while he still has you emotionally tied down, stinging you along to prevent you from dating anyone else so he can play the field and jump ship if he finds something better. I really enjoy your perspective because it reminds me of how many women just do not understand men. He really can not focus on a committed relationship with you. He may want to be in a relationship with you, he may really love you, but until he figures out his sense of self, does work that is meaningful to him, and makes a good income at it, being in a serious committed relationship with you is the last thing on his mind. As it should be. HE HAS NO BUSINESS being your boyfriend, or ANYONE’S boyfriend for that matter.

You can take care of yourself and that is wonderful, but it is not about you, it is about him. Men are taught as boys to make something of ourselves when we grow up, to be confident and a leader in some aspect of our lives. So when we walk into the room, their is no question we are a man. Being unemployed and taken care of by a woman is just not the ideal of manliness we were taught as a boy.It is an unacceptable situation for any real man, that must be resolved one way or another.

Since your dating an unemployed man, he is not wasting your time, your wasting your time with him. He made it crystal clear he can not focus with you until he has a job. This is true. You tag along with this man at your own risk. Either things will work out for him and you may have the relationship you want with him, or he will still struggle along. As a woman, if you like this man and believe in this man, then support him and be his cheerleader to a point. Support him in his goals emotionally. That is what you can do for him, as opposed to financial support. If he is lost, and does not know what he wants to do, then it might be best to back off and cut off contact while he figures things out for himself. He tells you he loves you because he does not want to lose you to another man, but is frustrated because in his heart of hearts he knows he can not be the man he wants to be for you.

Overall, this sounds a bit like a toxic relationship. You broke up with him because he was playing the field still. If the relationship was new at the time, that is one explanation for this behavior, the second explanation could also have been because of him being unemployed and not knowing what to do. Being lost in life is madness for anyone, and for a man it prevents him from focusing on the more enjoyable things about being alive. Like relationships with wonderful women who deserve better :). Understand this, men are linear in thinking. One thing at a time: “Until I figured this piece out, I can not move on to the next”. Take to heart what I said and try to make the best decision for yourself.  Instead of focusing on commitment with this man at this point in time, focus on supporting him emotionally, but only if he really truly someone you like and can see yourself with.

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  • emjo March 26, 2010 Reply

    Thank you for this article. My boyfriend was laid off work a few monthds ago and is struggling with this having worked all his life. He knows the job he wants -the same as he had before. He has other interests (hobbies) and is gone a lot these days with them. We are both very independent (I am financially as well) and have similar “space” needs and are committed to one snother.I have no concerns about his fidelity to us. Your articles have affirmed to me that this is not about us so much as it is about him and that the best I can do is support him emotionally. I do believe in him and know that he will get employment again. I also know that this is very hard on him.

    • David March 29, 2010 Reply

      Your loyalty is a fantastic way of showing him you love him. Love is loyalty for most guys. I sincerely hope everything works out for him. Let me know how it goes.


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