At the moment I am attending free dating events and am planning to attend one paid dating event per month such as speed dating with an activity. The reason I am not online anymore is partly due to the fact that I feel I have only two options: 1) to be honest about my education and get flack from men and women re. my path in life; or 2) to leave off my education and not be entirely truthful.
I’d really like to find someone and settle down and have a family. I worry that I won’t be accepted by a partner due to my low income. I am trying to set up my own business (due to having problems gaining permanent work despite a good degree and having a masters in sciences). However, I worry about settling down and the business not getting off the ground.
I don’t want to have casual relationships; I want to have something long-term. Do I put dating on hold and only start dating when the business starts? (It’s slightly dodgy as I am 36 and might be too old to start a family by the time I find someone.) Sometimes I feel like it would be unfair to any potential child because only one party would be able to contribute money-wise towards it’s upbringing. Any thoughts? — Neurodiverse and Dating
While I commend your thinking about the future, I think you’re getting way too caught up on details and would be wise to focus more on taking one step at a time in the here and now while keeping a big picture in mind for the next five to ten years. Worrying about how a potential child might fare with only one parent financially contributing to the household when you haven’t even met your potential match yet and don’t know what your own career and financial status will be in the years to come, let alone what your partner’s story might be, is a waste of energy, and I would imagine it is distracting you from your goals.
You don’t need to put any of your goals on hold. You don’t have to stop dating until your business gets off the ground or becomes successful. You don’t have to have a certain income before you seek a match. You are enough just as you are right now. You’re a work in progress, like we all are, and there isn’t a threshold you have to reach before you qualify for love or a relationship. You, exactly how and who you are right this minute — with your level of education, your role as a temp, your dreams for your future, your neurodiversity, all of it — is worthy and deserving of love, and there is absolutely no reason you should not seek the love and relationship you desire right now if you feel ready for it.
But here’s the thing: The search for romantic love and a long-term, satisfying relationship isn’t always smooth. In fact, it usually isn’t. There are hurdles and roadblocks and dead ends for most of us, regardless of income or education or how our brain compares to others. If you want to avoid getting hurt or starting a relationship that will eventually end, then, yeah, you should probably avoid dating completely. But don’t avoid it because you think you’re different or because you can’t offer what you think most people are looking for; avoid it because you aren’t ready for the challenge yet of finding the person or people who are looking for what you have to offer. It’s very important to know and to understand the difference.
If you go into dating thinking that if you can’t be a match for more than like 50% of the people you meet (whether it be online of off), you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed. None of us is a match for more than 50% of the people we meet. We’re lucky if we connect with 10% and really match with like 2-3%. It’s all a numbers game, and online dating allows you to cast a slightly wider net and increase the number a little bit. And you don’t have to share your education or your job or your income potential in your bio! Do you lead with that when you meet someone in person? (I would hope not.) Share what some of your hobbies are, how you enjoy spending your time, a favorite place you like to visit or hang out. All a bio should do is provide some sense of a person’s interests and a hint of his or her personality so that, along with a photo, others can decide if they’re curious enough to learn more. If you get end up going on a date, you can share more about your education and what you do for a living and your goals for the future in the context of who you are, the big picture.
For some people, who you are won’t be what they’re looking for and that’s ok. Some people won’t be who you’re looking for either. That doesn’t make any of you less worthy of love or a relationship. You are worthy. Just how you are right now. Age, income, career progress, or any of that fairly superficial stuff will not make you more or less worthy of love, and while these parameters may change who you might match with and attract, what’s most important for connecting to another person will never change, and that’s the core of who you are: your soul, your spirit, that intangible thing that makes you you. So, if you’re ready, go for it! The worst that will happen is you get hurt or feel rejected. But the best that can happen far outweighs that, and it is worth the risk in my opinion.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.