Fathers & Families Supporter Quoted in National Associated Press Story

A couple weeks ago I posted a “Media Opportunity” on our website/E-Newsletter looking for a “Dad who is single, has suffered a significant drop in income during the recession, and is dating.”

Longtime Fathers & Families supporter Sean Hamilton responded, and now finds himself at the top of a national Associated Press story which is running in hundreds of newspapers.

The story doesn’t directly pertain to Fathers & Families’ issues, but is interesting and speaks volumes about male-female relations. From Unemployed men struggle in dating game (Associated Press, 6/4/09):

Sean Hamilton considered stopping his search for that special someone when he lost his job in January.

With 90 percent less income and no unemployment coming in, the 34-year-old IT professional couldn’t really pay for a dinner date. And how would he explain his financial situation without coming across as a slacker?

“To speak plainly, chicks don’t dig a broke guy,” said the Dallas resident, now a part-time consultant. So he came up with a strategy: “I don’t bring it up.”

Men have been hit much harder than women by this recession. Close to 80 percent of the job losses since December 2007 were jobs held by men, according to economics expert Mark J. Perry, who analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data. April unemployment was a seasonally adjusted 10 percent for men and 7.6 percent for women.

For some guys, unemployment is the last thing they want to reveal to a potential date. Even if men aren’t expected to pay for a date, they feel pressure from women who are looking for someone who is financially stable.

I thought there was an interesting bit of entitlement evident in this quote:

Melissa Braverman, who blogs about dating, said she knows someone who was asked out on a walking date and considered it a turnoff. And in the last six months, she’s noticed that men don’t suggest meals. When they meet for drinks, they limit it to one hour. She believes it’s so she won’t order a second drink.

“The recession is almost becoming an excuse,” said Braverman, 35, of New York City. “Men don’t want to take the initiative, suggesting something fun that is inexpensive. It’s more well, ‘I can’t afford to take you out for a meal, let’s keep it brief.’ Unfortunately, a lot of times chemistry needs time to develop.”

I guess Braverman feels she’s entitled to male dating prospects always¬†taking the initiative and buying her dinner and drinks–if they don’t, they’re making “excuses.” No, initiative/dinner/drinks isn’t asking for the world, but it can become a tiresome burden for single men, particularly ones struggling to make money and pay post-marital financial obligations.

Another lady quoted seems to feel similarly entitled:

Being too cheap can be a turnoff for women like Virginia Wall, 40, who works in retail sales in Philadelphia. She doesn’t believe in coffee or drinks as a first date and expects the man to pay.

If he can’t afford to take her to lunch — nothing fancy, just a casual place to sit and get to know each other over a sandwich — then he probably shouldn’t be dating, she said.

“He shouldn’t bring someone in his life if he can barely take care of himself,” she said.

We do have to give major props to Angela Sowers:

Sit out of the dating game, though, and you may miss out on the love of your life.

Christopher Floyd, 39, a photographer and video producer in Albuquerque, N.M., almost stopped communicating with a woman he met on eHarmony late last year because of his financial situation. His business has decreased 65 percent and he is trying to do a short sale on his home.

But his potential love match, Angela Sowers, 31, who works in human resources in Sacramento, Calif., persuaded him to give the relationship a shot. She flew out with friends to meet him and the two hit it off.

Floyd is moving to Sacramento next week and will live with her parents, so the two can date locally.

Sowers, who has had to foot the bill for a few plane tickets, said she isn’t too worried about his lack of income. She’s hoping he can get his business going in Sacramento.

“The relationship isn’t based on how much money he makes,” she said. “It’s who he is and what’s in his heart that matters to me.”

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