Would You Date an Unemployed Man?

When hearing that I had been requested to write about relationships for Marvin, a friend of mine eagerly responded saying that he would be very interested in reading what I had to say. One of the reasons for this is that I have had what you could describe as an interesting relationship life. Not interesting in the way of red roses and pixie dust however.

I consider myself to be a very caring person, so when I am in a relationship you could say that I am all in. I see this trait as being both a positive and a negative thing. Firstly because it allows me to make another person feel very loves, but on the flip side people like to take advantage of those with a caring nature. And they could see this as a weakness.

Let’s take for example a past relationship I was in: there was a guy I dated, my first year out of the parental nest, out on my own. Firstly, let it be noted that this was a ‘rebound’ relationship granted I should not have gone on with it as long as I did. A mistake most of us make along the way.

When I got involved with this gentleman I believed that he was gainfully employed, I stress on gainfully. He didn’t have a mode of transport, something I decided not to hold against him, and he lived with his cousins. Now as time went on this individual started spending more and more time at my place, at first it was cute and endearing but as time went on, and it being the first time I had ever lived alone, the allure of my own private space began feeling like a claustrophobic nightmare. He would just not leave. To the extent that he would purposefully leave after me so that I could leave the house key, to which he duly made himself a copy.

That should’ve been the first sign that there was a huge problem. Looking back now, I knew something was just not right especially since my feelings for him where not as strong as his were purported to be.

Mind you he was no miser; he showered me with gifts and attention. And there are things that I learnt from him, that I have found invaluable to this day. My only problem was that I simply did not love him. And I didn’t want to fail at another relationship, I mean we all want stability and sometimes we don’t mind the form it comes in.

As time went on, we began to drift apart, well mostly I did. Here I was basically supporting a man who did not contribute to the gross domestic product of the household. This supposedly gainfully employed individual was now staying fulltime at my place, rent free, grocery free and expecting to play house.

I would describe myself as a female who stands by her own convictions, but when it comes to the realm of relationships you could swear I was drugged or simply an idiot. The premise of all this, is that at our core we all want to be love and be loved.

So it comes at a great difficulty when you realise that in your pursuit of this, there are many bad decisions that you make. Going back to the story, as relations began to breakdown, through infidelities and the like, it became apparent that things had to end.

However, the thought of being alone and unloved crippled me from making the right decision – to leave. How many of us have been crippled by the fear of being alone? It happens to so many people, and we end up in unhappy situations of our own making. Constantly in conflict with our need for happiness and the nonsense we choose to settle with.

I am opposed to settling, simply because it means that we are lowering our levels of happiness for the hope of receiving a glimpse of what we wanted. Listen, I am all for having a list of needs and wants, and being uncompromising in that. As long as they are complimentary and holistic view of the life you want. We should also remember compromise is a healthy thing, as long as it does not dumb you down and erode your sense of self worth.

Relationships are general hits and misses, but at some point we all hope that we will be able to find a person who makes us happy in ways we had never dreamed. I do not believe that we should compromise ourselves for a situation that only drags you down and does not build you in anyway. A healthy relationship is a two way street, that ensures that both people are groining together. It makes no sense to have a metropolis with gravel roads, now does it?

Writer: Lusanda D Ntuli         Photographer: Jeff Rikhotso