Dear Dating Coach,
I have always wanted to become a teacher. I come from a long line of educators and teaching brings me great joy. I went to school and pursued this passion with intent and now I am being penalized for it. Shadchanim have told me that girls will not go out with me because my chosen career is notorious for receiving a low salary. These girls only want to date guys in professions that make a lot more money than I do. I am really frustrated by this feedback and I’m not sure what I am supposed to do to change their minds. I am a mentch, smart, hardworking, and generous – things that I thought mattered to girls. Please tell me how to convince them to date a teacher!
My toddler loves puzzles. She loves putting them together, taking them apart, and watching the picture portrayed come alive. She refuses however, to consult the box when putting the pieces together. Instead of matching the pieces to the box cover, she simply clusters the pieces by color and shape and hopes that her method forms cohesive attachments. This is toddler logic at its best. Surprisingly, this unorthodox puzzle style is often met with success. There are times however, that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot get the “two purples” to seamlessly connect. Forcing the pieces together only leads her down a dark path of mismatched pieces and puzzlement. The pieces have to align; this is puzzle fact. I am available to answer more of your burning puzzle questions. You’re welcome.
Congratulations on pursuing a career that you love so much. Devoted teachers like yourself are a real gift to the schools that employ them, even though they are often not the recipients of large salaries. You wanted to become a teacher and you did – and now you feel like girls don’t want to date you for something that you care about so deeply. You are well aware of the salary limitations you may face, but are bolstered by the ability to make a difference in a child’s life. You like the schedule that teaching offers, the chance to grow in your own learning, and the connections you build with your students that can last a lifetime. This takes precedence over a glamorous lifestyle and the newest and shiniest items available to those who make more than you do. You wonder how to convince girls that you are in fact a good bet, without the promise of a glitzy future.
Let’s be real. Money matters. We need it to pay for things. Until we live in a world where tuition, food, housing, and clothes are delivered free of charge, we are compelled to worry about money. However, lifestyle choices, simpler tastes, and a willingness to do with less can certainly allow for a beautiful future. You may need to live in a less expensive neighborhood with a more modest home. You will likely need to sacrifice in order to cover your expenses and this will have to be done knowingly – as this is the career that you hope to stay in for the long haul. This is a clear decision that you are making and this is your right.
Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that money is in G-d’s hands and having it today does not guarantee that our wallets will be full tomorrow. At the same time, with a commitment to a higher earning profession one is stating an intent to do their best to attain a more affluent lifestyle. A lifestyle that may include “better and more” in materialism and things. This too is a right. To convince a girl who dreams of a different future to date you and to accept “less” is a detriment to her and to you. Instead look for a girl who shares your vision of a “happy home,” and won’t feel like she is sacrificing to be with you. Working to make two pieces that have different goals fit when they don’t, only leads to resentment and a lack of respect. There are many fabulous girls looking for someone like you, you just need to find that perfect fit.