Ask Andrew – I’ve finally found a great guy but he’s unemployed
I have read The Single Trap and found it very helpful. I did what you said and met someone through doing a hobby. Now I’m very fond of this man and we’ve been seeing each other for about 2 or 3 months. But I have a nagging worry about him.
He’s not working at the moment. He was employed in the media for a couple of years until about 5 months ago, but the job was very stressful and he quit. I do understand all that, but the thing is that when I ask him about his previous working life, it all sounds like a lot of short-term jobs that he didn’t stick at. He is in his late thirties (I am similar) and I am concerned this is someone who is irresponsible regarding work. He is living off dwindling savings at the moment.
I have let him know my concerns and that I would like to set up a stable home with a partner ideally in the medium to long term. I’ve told him that I worry that he is not stable in that way. At the moment he seems to have what sound like quite unrealistic ideas about making it in showbiz. I say that if he’s going to try to make it in acting or whatever then he needs a stable job to keep the wolf from the door. He looks vague about what kind of stable job he could go for.
So although I’d like to think about commitment with him, and he is very loving towards me, I am concerned that I have found someone who is unrealistic about matters of everyday survival. He does know that I’m worried about all this, so I’ve decided to wait a few months longer and see what he does. I’m also trying to resist the temptation to loan him money (I really don’t have any myself), or to get too involved in his job search.
Do you think I am handling this situation well? How will I know if he’s someone too unreliable to be trusted?
It’s great that you’ve found special – and I’m glad the Single Trap helped – but a real downer that he’s not got a job.
All in all, I think you’re handling the situation really well. Don’t loan him money or pay a vastly disproportionate amount of your going-out bills and stand back from his job search (or you’ll start to come across as his mother!). On the subject of parents, I worked for many years in the media (and I suppose publishing is still a branch of it) and it’s always been made up of short-term contracts and hand to mouth – that’s the nature of the beast. My parents have never understood and would worry if they knew just how precarious it can be.
How will you know if he’s too unreliable to be trusted? Give him time and space. You’ve only been together two or three months, at this point you’ve just officially called each other boyfriend and girlfriend. Big questions like ‘do we have a future together’ belong to one year to eighteen months into the relationship.
Finally, I would look at ‘Help your partner say yes’ as it sounds like you approach things differently, you stress common sense and he is concerned about feelings and emotions. This could make an ideal combination – if you value what each other bring to the table – but you can equally polarise and drive each other up the wall. My book will explain how to deal with your differences.