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3 Huge Reasons I'd Rather Be With My Working-Class Boyfriend Than a Rich Guy

I'm a lawyer. Society (and my mom) tells me I should be desperately trying to snag another well-off, white-collar professional. But there are plenty of reasons I don't want to.
 
 
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If I were inclined to listen to conventional wisdom, I would be forced to conclude that I’m doing terribly in the mating market. Apparently, women universally and immutably prefer to “marry up.” We want men who are more educated and earn more money, and this is the single most important trait we seek in a man.

Accordingly, I’m a real loser in the game of love. My boyfriend of four years—even though he is undeniably gorgeous, kind, and honest—falls much farther down the ladder of social prestige than me. I’m an attorney. I earned six figures my first year of practice and work in a firm whose letterhead is populated with Ivy League graduates. He gets paid by the hour to work a physically demanding job that doesn’t require a college degree. In other words, he’s working-class.

Which means, according to the evolutionary psychologists, that I should find him roughly as attractive as a serial killer. Either that or I must be so hopelessly undesirable myself that I’m forced to scrape the bottom of the relationship barrel.

The problem is, in my own immodest opinion, I’m a solid competitor in the mating game. I’ve always had an easy rapport with men and have never had any particular trouble attracting or holding their interest. And I’ve received plenty of offers for dates from eligible men with the educational pedigree and earning power I’m supposed to swoon over. But I’ve no interest in trading up.

This perplexes many people, including my own mother. I’ve been offered a variety of theories to explain my behavior. One is that I’m a contrarian who enjoys going against the grain for the immature thrill of being defiant. One is that I’m a sex fiend and my man is more boy-toy than boyfriend. Another is that deep down I have low self-esteem and don’t think I deserve better. And I was once quiet memorably informed by some colleagues that the explanation was that “you’re not really a woman, you’re a dude in a woman’s body.”

All of these people believe that my relationship is a passing fancy and that eventually, when I’m done playing games, I’ll take the mature route and settle down with a man deemed socioeconomically appropriate. What they can’t seem to wrap their heads around is the fact that my guy’s working-class job is not some detriment or novelty that I’m temporarily willing to indulge.

To the contrary, it’s a distinct benefit, and one of the key reasons our relationship works so well. There are enduring, rational reasons why my guy’s blue-collar job makes him desirable. Here are three of the big ones.

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1. He’s fun.

The nature of my boyfriend’s work gives him the freedom to let loose and be himself in a way that that many professionals just can’t afford to do, and that makes him far better company.

Because success in a white-collar office is essentially a matter of public relations, professional life has an unfortunate tendency to whitewash one’s personality and homogenize one’s lifestyle. In my office, if an ambitious professional hopes to rise up the ranks, he must set about grooming his image to appeal to his superiors and clients. He must partake of appropriate hobbies, espouse acceptable political positions, and generally refrain from conduct that might mark him in any way as unconventional.

And this applies even outside the office. As associates, we are explicitly instructed to cultivate the “right” type of hobbies—those that will allow us to bump elbows with and impress rich potential clients. So bowling is out, and golf is almost a requisite. And it’s also expected that every time we’re in public, we’ll portray an image that’s flattering to the firm. So no running to the grocery store on the weekend in your sweats, since you never know who you’ll run into.

 
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