Question: I have worked for the same large company for over 20 years. A year and a half ago, I sustained a neck injury which prevented me from working. Fortunately, the company had a policy where longer term employees can be on fully paid medical leave for up to 2 years.
I am now fully recovered from my injury but due to the red tape between my company and the insurance company, it may be a couple of more months until I am actually working again.
During my recovery, I had no interest in dating but now that I am fine again, I am ready, willing and able to date. This will be the first time I will try online dating.
My question now becomes, will that story be a turn off to perspective women? Should I not mention this at all and just act like I am working? It would be quite easy to do and would solve my dilemma. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable about lying or misrepresenting myself.
The most conservative option is to just wait until I am at work again and this won’t even be an issue. Is it unreasonable to want to begin now? I see some ladies that I would like to contact and am afraid they wont be there when I am actually at work a few months from now. Your thoughts?
I have to say that I’m torn on this. I think your success depends on how you present the situation. You’re not out of work. You’re waiting for the green light to go back to work. So you have the desire to work. That’s what really matters.
I think what might get in your way is if you hide your situation in some way. Here’s an example of what I mean.
I once met a guy online who said he lived in Manhattan. His profile said that he had just moved here for work. When we were making plans to meet up, I asked him in what part of town he lived. That’s when the real story came to light. He was staying with a friend while he looked for a place. He had been there for almost 6 months. Now, here’s my thought process:
*Who comes to NYC to work without a place to live?
*Why hasn’t he been able to find a place to live in 6 months?
The conclusion I came up with was that he likely wasn’t working steadily and couldn’t afford to get a place yet. Or that he was here on a whim and likely might leave in the not too distant future. In any case, I decided not to meet up with him. Oddly, he was probably the fifth man I had met online in about a year who was couch surfing while he “looked for a place.”
There have been times when I’ve stopped dating while I worked various things out. I didn’t feel, for whatever reason, I was in a position to start dating anyone. I think it’s easier for a woman to do that, though, than it is for a man. Even in these times, women tend to expect men to be stable and secure. You are both. You’re not the problem. The problem for you is going to be how the women you meet perceive your situation.That’s why transparency is key.
Overall, I think people in some form of transition – out of work, in between apartments, bouncing back from an illness or injury – tend to be perceived as a liability in some way. We wonder if their current situation will eventually pose a problem and make things more difficult. For me, I hated the idea of always being the one expected to host the sleep overs. It put unnecessary pressure on me. I can handle the out of work thing. I can deal with the financially strapped thing. But the couch surfing thing is something I don’t want to deal with. Am I being unfair or maybe a little too rigid? I’m sure. If I’m to be honest, someone sleeping on someone’s couch doesn’t exactly say, “Looking for a relationship” to me, either. That would be my main concern: what are they really looking for?
My concern for you, John, is that if you mention your job in your profile and then reveal your current situation in person, women will assume you were being deceptive. They’ll feel they were led on under false pretenses. If you don’t mention your job and wait until the initial meeting to share that info, women might still feel deceived.
Sadly, I think a lot of people look for reasons to blow someone off. Women especially. With all the paranoia out there about scammers and serial killers, some guys don’t stand a chance unless they provide a credit report and a blood test by the end of the first date. I was reading a website yesterday that offered classes on how women could verify academic/work history and determine a man’s approximate salary and rent payments. No joke. If they see a gap on your LinkedIn profile, you’re suspect. It’s ridiculous. Here’s how you avoid being scammed: don’t give them any money and leave if they ask you for it. There. Simple. I think what women fear more than anything is feeling stupid for trusting someone who by all accounts presented themselves as too perfect. Here’s the mantra, folks: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Everybody lies. It’s just a fact of life. I know people who say that they’re “Ivy Educated” and it turns out they actually graduated from a state school but went to a one year graduate program at an Ivy college. People do this stuff all the time. The problem isn’t really the embellishment. It’s our expectations and immature ideas about relationships.
That’s why I think John needs to make a brief mention of his situation in his profile. Something like:
“I’m anxious to get back to my job as a glass blower after a few months off due to an injury.”
Then he’s at least being upfront and won’t be selling himself in a way that will be perceived as dishonest. Undoubtedly, some women will take that and run with it and ask him what happened. That’s when he could offer more information.
Could it affect your prospects, John? Maybe a little. But those women who wouldn’t reply aren’t women you’d want to meet anyway. In which case, being upfront might be a good way to weed out the wrong people.