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"What's your job situation?"

(83 Posts)
NoMoreMrRight Wed 05-Aug-15 23:39:48

How would feel if someone you've just started messaging online dating asked you the above on their second ever message to you (and their first question about you)?.

I have 3DC which I've briefly mentioned on my profile. My profile is eloquent, smart book choices etc but admittedly no mention on my profession.

Trying to ascertain if I'm being too defensive/jaded (likely; been OLD for over two years and have mostly encountered vanishers/liars) and wrong in wanting someone who doesn't think that what I do for a living defines me and/or is primarily interested in how much I earn.

NoMoreMrRight Wed 05-Aug-15 23:43:00

Also. ..I don't like the fact that he's likely assuming that as a single mother of three I'm not working. It makes me see him as a bit of a it just me?

Joysmum Thu 06-Aug-15 00:00:22

Don't see the problem myself. What somebody does for a living is a conversation point and some jobs can give you some indicators or the type of person somebody is.

I think the responses you'll get in this thread will differ wildly depending on attitudes. You'll get people who will agree with you and others who don't.

Truth is, until you get to know somebody you can't know their intention and both of us could be right.

I do think you're better to go on your instinct and you can't be over cautious.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 06-Aug-15 00:02:29

Reply with a non-specific message such as 'My job situation is stable - how about yours?'

He could be a chancer looking for a single dms on benefits in the erroneous belief they'll be desperate for a fuck partner, or he may be looking for a woman who's self-supporting as he doesn't want to feel obliged to foot the entire bill for dates/outings,.

For the reasons you've given, I never reveal my profession to casual enquirers and I certainly wouldn't do so to randoms on the internet.

PoundingTheStreets Thu 06-Aug-15 00:12:25

I tend to avoid asking people what they do for a living for various reasons, the main being that I have people close to me who don't 'work' (in paid employment, at least) and they feel it devalues what they do. I don't think it does in the sense that if I were to ask "What do you do for a job" I would not think less of someone who says they didn't have a job, but as I'm not in that situation I feel I should defer to their perception - they know how they feel more than I do.

The point I'm making is that he's probably one of the million people out there for who the "What do you do?" question is just a lazy way of asking about you and trying to find out more. Probably because he hasn't experienced the invisibility or insignificance that comes with being a SAHM or a person with a 'job' rather than career because your DC have taken priority.

Far better to ask people: What do you like to do with your time? What sort of interests do you have? If money were no object, where would you like to travel and why? If you were to start your own charity, what sort of cause would it be? You get far more interesting answers that tell you something significant about the person.

But I can only say that because I've thought about it because I've been made to. For other people, career is very much defining, and I myself work in a career that is partly a lifestyle.

niceupthedance Thu 06-Aug-15 06:12:17

Hmmm. On one hand it sounds a bit clumsy, but on the other he may just be wondering if you have much free time?

I think when you've been OD for a while you get 'the vibe' about whether you'd get on in the first couple of messages. Sounds like this one isn't for you.

FolkGirl Thu 06-Aug-15 06:35:03

Surely it's just a standard 'getting to know you' question.

It might be what goddess said, or he might have worded it like that because he doesn't want to assume you do have a job (as you have 3 children) and thought "what do you do for a living?" might sound a little as though he expects you to have a job and you might take offence to that.

What sense of him do you get from his profile/first message?

FolkGirl Thu 06-Aug-15 06:42:20

Actually, I ask what people do for a living. It's a big part of how people spend their lives amd it can say quite a bit about a person. It's also quite interesting if they work in an interesting career.

I wouldn't necessarily see it as a bad thing.

I would just answer that question with, "I work full time. What about you?"

scatterthenuns Thu 06-Aug-15 06:47:17

I think he's just making conversation and you're over thinking.

'Whats your job situation' reads to me as more considerate of single parenthood than 'what do you do for a living/where do you work?' The former is open for all sorts of answers, whereas the latter would steer you towards having to say that your don't earn your living, if that were the case.

Nothing wrong with asking, 'so what do you do' at all in the dating sphere.

NewOrleansGirl Thu 06-Aug-15 06:48:44

I think you're over analysing a simple question. When I met my now DH he was not working. He mentioned it in conversation and I just moved on to the next question. DH told me afterwards that when he had told other single women this they had all ended conversations with him seeing this as some sort of serious flaw. He was shocked I did not care. My view was I had just met him and it did not matter. it turns out he had made lots of money and did not need to work at that time for two years having cleared his mortgage. Never judge a book by it's cover

NavyKnickers Thu 06-Aug-15 06:57:27

I think you're overthinking- it's the kind of thing i'd ask pretty quickly when meeting anyone, IRL or OD or anywhere really. As pp have said, it says a lot about a persons character and likes and dislikes.
I'm sure sometimes you have to defend your decision to be a SAHM but not everyone is judgey, maybe try not to be so automatically defensive. Hope it works out for you smile

NoMoreMrRight Thu 06-Aug-15 08:27:00

Thank you all for your responses, very interesting to see both sides.

I did respond last night with Goddess' non descript answer ("yes, my job situation is stable, how about yours? "). He's just messaged with just one sentence, prodding further about what I exactly do for a living, and promptly mentioning his high powered jobhmm

One again, my gut instinct's spot on. At best, someone with a poor notion of boundaries (I've only exchanged two messages with you, respect my decision not to share such personal information so early on); at worst, a judgemental arse who values people merely on how much they earn.

Incidentally, I do have an established and successful career in my field. Not that he's going to find out about it nowgrin

Ivegottogo Thu 06-Aug-15 08:35:03

i had a short relationship with a guy I met online who said on first meeting, all women want is my body or my money confused. Turned out he was tight and couldn't get it up.

NoMoreMrRight Thu 06-Aug-15 08:38:02


FolkGirl Thu 06-Aug-15 08:41:03

Well if you're not comfortable with it that's fine.

But I wouldn't consider someone asking what I do for a living to be crossing boundaries. But I suppose it depends what you do!

NoMoreMrRight Thu 06-Aug-15 08:45:28

Not even Folk when you clearly do not wish to answer the question at that point?

I've chatted about what I/men do often of course. It's his choice of words and subtle forceful manner that is putting me off I think. A more socially adept person would have let it rest and try to bring it up in conversation at a later stage ...

Only1scoop Thu 06-Aug-15 08:45:39

The fact you've got a 'one line' reply would put me off. I hadn't used to respond to less than a small paragraph wink

MysteryMan1 Thu 06-Aug-15 08:53:07

I don't see what the problem is. He asked what you do and you gave a vague answer which probably put him off. People, rightly or wrongly, do form an opinion of someone bases on what they do as it says a lot about them.

Also if someone is successful and spend a lot of time at work, it may not be compatible who sees work as a necessary evil to put food in their mouth.

Personally I love my job and spend a lot of time working. Some women may get that whilst others may not. So yes, I would be inclined to ask the same, though maybe not the second message!

FolkGirl Thu 06-Aug-15 08:54:28

I wouldn't generally have an issue telling anyone what I do. I wouldn't tell them where I did it though! It would be the different between saying "I'm a nurse" and "I'm a neonatal nurse at x hospital".

But if you don't feel comfortable with it that's fine. He might nit have realised your response was an indicator you didn't want to talk about it and so just asked further. He wasn't necessarily being a dick.

However, talking about his high powered job would be an immediate strike!

Oh and yes, if it were only one line. I missed that bit!

But of all the things you've mentioned, being asked what I so for a living would be the least offensive to me smile

Cabrinha Thu 06-Aug-15 08:58:43

I think it was weirdly phrased - job situation does sound like he's asking do you work, rather than what you do.

Maybe a bit unfair to be hmm at him telling you about his high powered job when you did return the question though!! Depends how he phrased though.

And I'm not sure it's pushy to ask again. People spend a lot of their life at work, you have him a non answer. Why wouldn't you tell him? I'd actually find your answer offputting tbh. I certainly wouldn't be replying "I'm on x desk for x company, here's my employee number and last appraisal" smile but I would give a ballpark answer. Otherwise you sound quite difficult and obstructive. So (this is made up!) if I were an accountant, I would say that or my firm or specialism, but I would say "I'm in the finance dept of a small firm, I love it - keeps you in touch with everyone and really close to the business".

Gut instinct is often right, but it can be hard to get a conversation started, and it's an easy opener. In real life at social things women (so no ulterior dating motive!) ask me what I do. It's a really normal question.

NoMoreMrRight Thu 06-Aug-15 08:58:44

I completely agree with you MysteryMan, you do need to be compatible in that respect and it's something I'm keen on finding out myself. But- I do like to find out whether I actually like that person first. It's him placing so much emphasis on what I do what's bothering me. He hasn't asked anything at all about me; just about what I do, twice in a row.

NoMoreMrRight Thu 06-Aug-15 09:05:38

Thank you all. I can see your point; maybe, just maybe I'm being too harsh on him Re the work thing.

He could have added a 'good morning' or added some other conversation starters but no, just a one liner asking again about what I do. He's annoyed me and he's not that hot anyway, so I'm throwing this one back in the pond.

Thank you all again, v interesting to see all the different points of view.

Cabrinha Thu 06-Aug-15 09:07:10

But he's asked twice in a row because he's curious and you didn't answer - but in a way that isn't obviously shutting down the conversation.

Talking about jobs opens up much more about someone when you go with it. My job means I've travelled a lot and lived abroad. When I reply to that question (I'm OLD too) it very quickly moves on to talking about things like that - because I put out more than "yes I have a job".

I'm curious what he said about his job! Because if he has a high powered job, is he supposed to be ashamed of it?

I'm on match and there's a section for work info. I noticed a lot of people put "job's a job" or "got to be done" or "pays the bills" type comments. I was always more attracted to people who put "lucky to really like my job" or "don't laugh, I'm a bean counter but I love it!"

It's not the job per se - but the attitude.

My current interest is positive about his job, and it's so much nicer than the last one who just whined about his but made no effort to change it.

I'll also forgive a little bit of boasting early on - after all, OLD is shopping, and he wants to be attractive!

I hear you about the stilted one line stuff, but it sounds like you didn't give him much to work with, either.

HPsauciness Thu 06-Aug-15 09:08:52

It does sound a bit 'listy'- checklist like.

I would say something very vague though, like 'I work in education'.

I think the message you sent is odd and sounds defensive.

But if you don't want to be grilled by this guy, of course better to move on.

Cabrinha Thu 06-Aug-15 09:09:38

Tbh, it's why I decided I needed a break from OLD.
I was finding my irritation levels rising, and like you, wanting people to just fuck off over pretty small things - like the lack of a good morning.
I have times when I actually think it's my attitude and tolerance levels that are the issue blush

That said, there are some idiots out there too, so I don't think it's always just us grin

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