“What do I do?!” I exclaimed to my friend as I stared down at my phone. Pulled up on the screen: a photo of a hot dude posing in a cute little red handkerchief around his neck right before running with the bulls in Spain. I just got the notification that he and I matched on Tinder, and I was looking for things to comment on in my initial message. You know? To gain those “I-actually-paid-attention-to-details-about-you” points.
“He’s so cute, but I’ve never traveled to Spain to run with the bulls! I’ve only run down the street to catch an ice cream truck! How can I go on a date with him if I don’t even have the money to buy him an ICE CUBE?!” came out of my mouth in rapid succession. I was already sizing up my superficial worth before I even began my conversation. Her response was, “Just be mysterious. He doesn’t have to know any of that.”
I began to seriously consider my options.
You see, I’m “in transition.” It’s the softer, politer way of saying “I’m a jobless, broke bitch.” I recently split from an organization I was working for, and I’m taking some much needed “me time” before I hit the job hunt grind. Just because I don’t have a job right now does not mean that I’m going to deny myself the opportunities of the company of handsome men, intimate connection, and great sex. FUCK THAT!
In the U.S., a little over 5% of people aged 20 and over are unemployed, and about a third of Americans 18-34 are living with their parents. Does that make them any less worthy of great love and awesome sex? HELL NO! There is a large pool of potential soul and bed mates who are momentarily monetarily challenged. I happen to be one of them, and so are a few of you, which is why I’m here to give you fellow jobless, broke bitches dating tips while you’re unemployed.
When my friend mentioned “being mysterious,” it crossed my mind in a momentary insecure haze…then I snapped the fuck out of it, because honesty and open communication are my core values for relationships.
Yes, a steady income and employment are attractive traits when considering a mate, but they’re not defining. When a potential asks what kind of job you have, tell them your story, whatever it may be. Being honest about your situation shows you respect yourself and your potentials.
It’s also a good way to weed out those with whom you might not be compatible. Your current financial value might not align with those who reject you, but that allows for you to meet people who can relate, thus leading to a healthier connection.
Invest In Your Ambitions
Funemployment has its benefits such as more free time to see friends, a sense of relief from work stress, and all the time in the world to find dates on OkCupid, but it also means more free time to actually achieve goals. Goals can not only help you get paid, but also help you get laid. (I swear I’m like the Shakespeare of dating advice columnists!)
Ambitious people are more attractive. Ambition shows that you’re resilient, that you fight adversity, and that you have your eye on a prize. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone who’s not letting their situation keep them down? Ambition proves that you’re seeking ways to better yourself instead of staying stagnant waiting for an unemployment check to tide you over.
Set some objectives for yourself. Not all people with jobs are aspiring or inspiring; sometimes they’re just content with being paid. Achieving goals adds to your self-worth, making you more likely to meet someone who values you too.
Grooming Is Key
Just because you’re jobless doesn’t mean you have to look hopeless. As you would dress up for a job interview, do so for your dates too, because it’s a type of interview as well. 55% of a person’s first impressions are based on appearance alone. DON’T let the opportunity go to waste.
Shower, brush/floss your teeth regularly, groom/shave off your body hair (depending on your relationship with it), clean and clip your finger and toenails, wear cologne or perfume, iron your clothes, and wear clean attractive underwear.
When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside, which totally boosts your confidence. Not all people in the job market are confident, so use that extra boost to your advantage in the love market.
Book A Gig
We live in the gig economy, making it easy for those without full-time work to find some form of income through freelancing or fulfilling tasks for others through apps and websites. If you find yourself without a job and needing money for a date, get on your smartphone to start browsing and booking.
The choices for temporary income are plentiful for those romancing on a budget. You can find odd jobs on Craigslist and Taskrabbit, or temp on Wonolo. Don’t want a temp job? Get in your car and ride-share. Just make sure to plan your dates two weeks ahead, as it generally takes a week before you get paid in the ride/task share job market.
Or you can always freelance as a sex and dating advice columnist. No…Wait. That’s my gig!
The time has come! You finally met someone who doesn’t mind that you’re unemployed. You two have flirted, chatted, texted, or Skyped, and now it’s time to make plans. You worked your butt off Lyfting drunkies home from the club, and how are you going to spend that hard earned cash on the possible new love of your week? You don’t. You save some of it for a rainy (or second) date, and follow these tips:
- Go out for coffee. Nothing beats great conversation over a $2.75 grande drip. Buy two of them and you’re only shelling out $6.00 including tip, but the memories of that first coffee date will be priceless.
- Go dutch. Considering I’m gay, it may be easier for two dudes to split the check halfsies than it may be for some of you opposite-sex dating folk.
- Buy cheap wine, and go to a free event. Stop off at TJ’s to pick up a bottle of two-buck Chuck, and browse your local independent rag for that week’s free events. You and your date then get to enjoy the cultured life at like zero the price.
- Stay home, order a pizza, and Redbox/Netflix it. Pick up a six-pack, order a pizza, and choose a cheesy flick for a perfect first movie date. Additionally, stop by the 99 Cents Only store, and pick up your favorite movie snacks for about $1.08 each item including tax. In total, your date comes to about $30.00 with private cuddle time included for free.
Be Like Pinocchio And Cut The Strings
If all of this sounds like too much work, keep it NSA–no strings attached. Let your potentials know you’re only looking to keep things light and physically fun without commitment while you’re in transition.
Results may vary depending on your approach, but as long as you’re truthful and show respect, you can enjoy a fruitful sex life without needing to worry about breaking your non-existent bank. Just be sure to have enough money put aside to keep your bed linens laundered.
Love Don't Cost A Thing
Sure, we may feel a little worthless sometimes while we’re in transition and looking for permanent work, but that doesn’t mean someone out there can’t see the pot of gold hiding in our hearts.
Up to this point, you’ve established honest communication with your partners, you’ve chased your ambitions, kept your nose clean, and spent quality time with someone who makes you smile all while managing a budget, but in the end you’ve taken the time to create a bond that money can’t buy. Even something NSA can result in invaluable pleasure.
I never ended up meeting the bull runner, but I have followed my own tips and heart while hanging with a great guy who’s been giving me plenty of “jobs,” if you know what I’m saying.
Just remember: great intimacy and romantic pleasure don’t cost a dime if there’s understanding, open communication, and a whole bank of chemistry between you two.