I suspect this post will be somewhat controversial, so I’m just going to jump in:
There’s something about my online dating profile lately that’s inspired a lot of guys to write me and tell me about the do-gooder work they do, often in some nonprofit field or with some higher purpose or mission. And I mean that’s their introductory pitch, as if it will somehow make them instantly appealing to me.
On one hand, I think this is really great; everyone should have a purpose and feel fulfilled by his or her work. I, for one, can find great satisfaction even in a corporate role because I believe that I can guide others through my leadership and communicate in ways that help improve understanding. In fact, helping others understand complex topics is something I’ve quite naturally done all my life.
On the other hand, I wonder how it is that I’m giving the impression that I’m more likely to want to be with someone who’s dedicated his life to the sort of work that provides higher “cause” rewards than financial ones. To be quite frank — and you may think me a pig because of it — I like a man who wants to provide well for his family, who finds earning well both fulfilling and great fun and who desires to spoil me. I want the guy who says, “My love, you’d look great in that Audi Q5 — how do you feel about taking a test drive?”
I have great respect for the folks who have devoted their lives to causes. However, with a parent working in social services and friends in other types of serving roles, I’ve heard repeatedly that when passions like these become jobs, the stress and bureaucracy often end up outweighing the satisfaction of making what feel like real accomplishments or progress. Many have recommended to me to take the financial rewards that I’ve achieved and contribute (as I already do) through volunteerism and nonprofit contributions. Giving is, in fact, central to my life and a value that I’m sharing with my children.
Maybe my beliefs are outdated, outmoded and behind the times; after all, nonprofits have made great strides in paying better since I’ve first had an eye on them.
So what is the real issue here? I think I’m simply more traditional in how I view roles: I want an ambitious, smart, hardworking guy who — as I wrote earlier — wants to earn a shit ton of money and provide an abundant lifestyle, so that I can focus on the role of guiding my family’s values, community involvement, volunteerism and giving. I do as best I can in the present, yet I can’t help but think removing the stress of being primary breadwinner would enhance my feeling of empowerment in this regard.
Keep in mind that I’ve supported my family for many years and found that a complete reversal of gender roles felt uncomfortable and unnatural to me. I felt it left little room for me to express my natural femininity or, at the very least, it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between the masculine energy I used at the office and the feminine I wished to express in my home. Meanwhile, I freely acknowledge that there are many masculine ways to contribute beyond the financial.
Ultimately I’ve been going out and meeting these fellows anyway; I certainly wouldn’t rule anyone out using this alone as a filter. At the same time, I’m not consciously trying to attract men with this particular career type. But hey, I try to stay open to the possibilities and if I fall in love, so be it.
Does this wish for a somewhat ambitious man make me a pig? Is it somehow misguided or focusing on the wrong things to wish for a man who gets a kick out of earning? I freely acknowledge that I may be way off base here — and I’d love to hear your perspective.