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To think this is horrifically snobby

(96 Posts)
Partyanimmal Mon 23-Jan-17 10:12:57

My best friend is a social worker. He's an approved mental health professional. He's met a guy who is a lecturer.

His boyfriend kept asking if he could meet his family so he brought me along as he said there would be a 'culture clash' between his family and his partner and his family. He says himself his family are 'straight off the set of shameless'.

I'm his best friend.

He lives in a rough area and will only
Make friends with professionals as he feels he is of a 'different culture' to those who are not in a profession. There's not many professionals there so he has a single friend in the area.

He will only date men with a professional job as he says he has nothing in common with those that don't and he once dated a refuse collector and he had nothing to say to him!!!

Now I know he's not a bad guy. But this seems so snooty to me. I mean, not many people want to be friends with a dysfunctional person but that can be any class of person.

He does have a few friends from childhood who aren't professionals but they're lovely so I think once he's met someone he's fine. He s just very wary of being fri nds with anyone who isn't a professional. He's had some awful experiences in his past so that could be why.

He'd never date someone who wasn't a professional though.

It's snobby isn't it? Or am I being unreasonable?

Hoppinggreen Mon 23-Jan-17 10:16:13

He chooses to spend time with people that he feels he has more in common with, although if his family are a bit rough then he's probably fooling himself
It sounds like he has reinvented himself and doesn't want to keep in touch with his past by mixing with people who remind him of it. If he feels he's "escaped " then that's understandable.
He could be missing out on some lovely relationships due to the decisions he's made but it's his choice and none of your business
As long as he's happy it doesn't matter

Bluntness100 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:17:33

I'm not sure why it matters to you so much who he dates?

Lots of people wish to date someone of a similar standing to themselves, be it financially, professionally or even in terms of looks.

Either way, it's his romantic life. If he doesn't want to date bin men he doesn't need to date bin men, 🙄

user1477282676 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:17:57

I was going to say it's probably because he had some awful times at a rough school as a gay kid.

I had similar and for a time, I sought out only those people who I knew had different backgrounds to me. Middle class and up. Now I'm more mature though.

user1484317265 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:21:56

No, its not snobby. If he wants to go out with people who he thinks are like he is now, and not like he thinks he used to be, what business is it of yours or anyone elses?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 23-Jan-17 10:22:14

I dunno. I think there's a lot to be said for commonality in relationships.

It's sad that he feels ashamed of his family. Maybe it actually runs deeper than that and he has distanced himself for good reasons and he finds it easier to say he's ashamed of their lower social class (or whatever he says) than the real reasons? I can understand that.

If he has worked hard to reinvent himself then he may not want to be drawn back or connected to the life he has worked so hard to remove himself from.

ludothedog Mon 23-Jan-17 10:28:03

There was a thread on here a few weeks ago where the OP was questioning whether it was ok to date someone whom she felt was intellectually inferior to her. The general chat from the thread was that education level attained does not necessarily = intelligence but that it would be difficult to date someone where there were vast differences.

I wonder if this is what your friend is trying to say, albeit in a clumsy way. Also social work is a profession that is value led. If your friend equates professionals with liberal elite then this may be adding to his POV, which would be ironic!

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 23-Jan-17 10:28:06

Well, you say he's had some bad experiences, he's struggled with his family, and he has dated someone he didn't get on with. So, sure, he might be missing out, but it doesn't sound like the end of the world. Is he doing online dating/tinder, by any chance? I do think that sort of thing can make you sound a bit odd as you can search for people filling in a certain profile, in a way you wouldn't if you met someone more casually.

Why does it bother you? Do you feel as if he's being snobby about you or making a judgment?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 23-Jan-17 10:41:14

If the whole issue is that your friend prefers to date professional men, who he feels he has more in common with, then that is fine.

If he looks down on less educated, "rougher", people in general and makes snap judgements about people based on their income bracket or employment (or lack of) then he really shouldn't be a Social Worker.

GivenupSocialmediaNOTMN Mon 23-Jan-17 10:59:31

Professional doesn't mean they come from a middle class home does it?
They may have done well, like him.

If he likes men that are ambitious and educated then that's what he likes.

CaoNiMa Mon 23-Jan-17 11:01:16

Are there a lot of gay bin men?

GimmeeMoore Mon 23-Jan-17 11:02:35

People are drawn to,attracted by those they have an affinity with,and things in common
Your mate choosing to date professional people is not unusual,as they'll have commonalities
Given his background he's worked hard to qualify and be AMHP,he may not feel he fits with his upbringing anymore.thats ok

TeethDrama Mon 23-Jan-17 11:04:23

I don't think he's coming from a place of snobbiness. That might be the case if he was (or considered himself) middle class background and looked down on "rough" people.

But if he comes from a rougher background/area himself, then no I don't think he's snobby exactly. More that he has had experience of that, didn't like it and doesn't want to socialise in it.

I think as long as he's pleasant and polite to all, then no, he doesn't have to hang out with people that he doesn't want to just so he can consider himself "not snobby".

I have family members who grew up in very "rough" areas, bettered themselves and moved onwards and upwards. They would definitely be friends with "non-professionals" but they wouldn't go out of their way to make that their... tribe (for want of a better word?!) They have no desire to go back to those days or the kind of life they had then. They are definitely not snobby. They have just experience life at the sharp edge, found a nicer life and don't want to live in their old life/background/roots any more. Conversely, I know people who have rejected their upper class life and private school upbringing to live a life more closer to "Shameless" life. Each to their own.

BadKnee Mon 23-Jan-17 11:05:28

CaoNiMa - grin

user1477282676 Mon 23-Jan-17 11:06:36

Cao I'm sure there are some. I know a gay brickie and a gay joiner.

They're not effeminate at all. Just gay. It's a bit hmm to assume gay men wilt at the sight of a bit of physical work you know.

2014newme Mon 23-Jan-17 11:07:22

Not snobby in my book. Sounds fine

GimmeeMoore Mon 23-Jan-17 11:07:47

What's your actual concern here regard whom he dates?

Dawndonnaagain Mon 23-Jan-17 11:09:42

My mother was a headteacher. Well educated, from a terribly good background. She is one of the most abusive bitches I have ever known and I am grateful that other than by accident of birth and my siblings, we have nothing in common. Point being, as you said, being dysfunctional has fuck all to do with social strata, degree of education etc.
He's trying to escape a past that will forever catch up with him. Hopefully he'll accept it in time, it's far easier to move on that way. As for being snobby, intellectually so, perhaps, but a bit of growing up may change that.

MorrisZapp Mon 23-Jan-17 11:11:38

Sensible if you ask me. If I had my time again I'd take similar steps. Opposites often attract, but it's the years afterwards that make for painful negotiations.

Trollspoopglitter Mon 23-Jan-17 11:18:55

Nope, sounds like he wants to be surrounded by people he shares a common interest with. Don't we all?

Snobby would be meeting someone, getting along really great with them, find you have loads of common interests and hobbies, and drop them because of their job or education level.

TheSmurfsAreHere Mon 23-Jan-17 11:19:01

In my experience, most people start saying that the job/class/whatever doesn't matter. What metteurs is the person themselves.
In reality, most people settle and have close friends with people who are from the same class/job level etc...

The 'I didn't have anything to talk about with him' is a very common thing to say. As well as 'we were clashing too much' (read in the way we were doing things, our beliefs and so on).

Gowgirl Mon 23-Jan-17 11:21:54

Our family was an utter shambles in my teens, not only do I take a lot of pride in my children growing up in a nice home where there is no dv or alcohol abuse I would you out of my way to avoid them seeing similar in someone else's home. So yes I do tend to avoid people who have a whiff of shameless about them, as does my entire family, living like that till a well overdue divorce was enough to make us all wary/snobby (delete according to point of view grin)

cookiefiend Mon 23-Jan-17 11:24:20

I too agree it is not snobby- as long as he is not being rude about people from his old background.

I am a professional from a poorer background and I dont think I could date someone who wasn't similarly intellectual and hard working. (The two don't always go hand in hand).

I have friends who aren't professionals and it can sometimes create a bit of a gulf- this is fine in friendship, but I think I would find it frustrating in a partner.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Mon 23-Jan-17 11:26:24

I don't think it's necessarily snobby to want a partner on roughly the same educational level, and enjoying the same sort of things as you do.

For example, it would probably be very hard for a certain kind of person to form anything but a short term, largely physical relationship with someone who never reads a book, and probably never will.

For anyone thinking long or medium term, it's probably a sensible approach, IMO.

TheFirstMrsDV Mon 23-Jan-17 11:27:13

It is 'snobby' but I tend to agree with those who think it might be related to his sexuality.
He possibly feels safer mixing with people he thinks are less likely to express their homophobia.

Aside from that aspect I think its pretty sad and he will be exhausted by keeping up the pretence. My DM is like this and it makes her anxious. What if someone finds out that she isn't who she says she is? What if one of us let her down and say the wrong thing? She never feels at ease in company. If the other people are middle class she has to keep the front up and if they are more like her family she is almost looking over her shoulder to make sure no one sees her.
I wouldn't want to live my life like that. I pity people who are ashamed of their backgrounds. They might call it aspirational, I call it sad.

Its different if you are trying to distance yourself from antisocial behaviour, violence and dodgy political views but those things are not automatically connected to the working classes. If you are trying to distance yourself because of accent, housing conditions, educational attainment you are a snob.

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