Too often the first question from my friends’ lips, when I mention a new man in my life, is ‘what does he do?’
“He makes me happy that’s what he does” is my answer.
I could say he’s a chef or a trustafarian or a banker or an entrepreneur or he works in television, washes dishes at the local diner, is a journalist, ski instructor, bar man, NASA astronaut, cleans toilets at the zoo, but I don’t.
Why? Because I know why my friends are asking.
It is the same reason those same friends first ask “show me your ring” when told by a friend about her recent engagement. You may as well ask can I see the routing and account number of his bank account etched into the diamond?
I can’t blame them though. It used to be a woman’s worth was decided by the size of her father’s dowry which had to be big enough to lure in a man of more financial value and not so big as to lure in the gold diggers. Either way the worth was determined by the male who rocked her cot or the man who shared her bed. But then women and their bodies were literally legally owned by the men in their life back in the day when raping your wife wasn’t a crime because, well, marriage.
Dating today, thank god, is about connection, it’s about matching with like minded values. No, no, silly me, it’s about internet connection and hooking up based on a two second image flashed on a smartphone screen – “if you wear cargo shorts I will swipe left but if you don’t then we are clearly in a swipe right situation. Unless you’re holding a fish in your Tinder photo, fish equals relationship death.”
Finding your person is hard enough without confusing the size of a pay packet, the postcode of a house, cup size and the roundness of a bottom for eligibility. Stepping up to the dating plate with a belief that you’re not rich enough or thin enough and a second belief that people care about whether you are or not, is akin to stepping into the boxing ring believing the propaganda of your opponent. You’re just setting yourself up for a knockout in round three.
Men that sell themselves as an end product, a wall of cash that can give you the life that Lotto promised but didn’t deliver, are missing the point and buying into a long held patriarchal belief that the man must provide, always. Truth is women can provide too and the double truth is that you have to be vulnerable to get true connection. No amount of money can purchase that.
Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to live in poverty by choice unless addiction has a hold but vulnerability takes courage and discomfort and so does building a worthwhile relationship.
Humans are attracted to positive confident people with purpose, humour and humility. We’re also attracted to douchebags, narcissists and those with or in power, if only to cement our own crumbling self beliefs.
It takes courage to say this is who I am to someone else and then reveal who you think you are, who you think others think you are, who you think you should be and all the other delusions we place upon ourselves when we live inside our heads. Then it takes more courage to accept that someone else loves us regardless of that or because of that and to step in, not run, and welcome that love.
So, what does he do? He lives in a lion’s heart, that’s what he does. There’s no job description for that but there is a lifelong bonus.