Is Your Job Keeping You Single?
Recently, I was having a conversation with a male friend who asked me “Do you think that being a relationship expert makes it harder for you to date?” Beyond my own relationship status, his question made me wonder if there are in fact certain careers or jobs that are more likely to create difficulty in dating and relating. (And for the record the answer is that dating can be challenging even for the “experts”).
It’s true that 69% of Blacks are unmarried (U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey: 2005-2007). It’s also true that not everyone is hankering to jump the broom. Even if nabbing a spouse isn’t on your radar, human beings are social creatures who are hard wired to mate.
There are some jobs that seem to have relationship drama built into them. Actors, professional athletes, and musicians are legendarily known for their relationship difficulties. This isn’t just because they live in the glare of the media spotlight. It’s also due in part that they tend to be more narcissistic than non-celebs. Outside of entertainment and sports, it’s also been proven that certain professions or work environments are toxic for relationships as well.
In 2009, researchers at Radford College did a study to determine if law enforcement officers had higher rates of divorce than others. During the course of the study they discovered that while police officer’s divorce rates weren’t elevated, certain occupations were indeed hazardous to marital health. The occupations with the highest divorce rates included dancers, bartenders, massage therapists and home health aides, while those with low divorce rates included optometrists, farmers, clergy and actuaries. If one’s occupation puts one at greater risk for divorce, it stands to reason that one’s job can also create issues in getting a partner as well.
Some of the reasons why some jobs are more toxic are obvious, such as the lack of accessibility or proximity of potential partners for those working in isolated environments. And others, because of values inherent to the field itself, clash loudly with the spiritual and emotional values needed to truly create healthy relationships. I mean seriously. How many happy basketball wives do you know? Before you decide to ditch your law degree and buy a pig farm in Indiana, consider this. It’s challenging to meet quality, compatible potential partners, even for pig farmers.
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