When it comes down to what I am looking for in an ideal mate, I think it has less to do with their socioeconomic background and more to do with the skills, morals, values, and overall life plan developed as adults. However, I do think that socioeconomic background can have an effect on some of the ideal characteristics that I am looking for.
Call me old fashioned, but I still believe that the man should be looked at as the “provider” in the relationship. I am not looking for a man who necessarily makes more money than me, or who has more degrees than me, but a man who is intelligent, school or self-educated, street smart, looking to obtain a career and not just a job, understands through family tradition how important his role will be to our family, and has strong and ambitious goals that consistently maintains or increases our families well-being and overall family goals.
Not only is it important for me to find these characteristics in my mate, but it is most important that we share similar ideals and are looking to go down a path that compliments both of our interest and goals. If my potential mate can meet the above, of course not ignoring other areas such as racial-ethnic-religious affiliation, attractiveness, and happiness, the different family backgrounds will not be of much concern.
The question is how much of an effect does ones socioeconomic background have on a person, the decisions they make, what they want out of life, and their views on this world? When you take a look at ones socioeconomic background you must consider their family history, socialization skills, education, family occupations, attitudes, and interest. How you are brought up has no choice but to be a large effect on who you become as a person. How much money you have, what opportunities you are exposed to, amount of education, and what you are taught to value becomes the building blocks for what you will want out of your life and for your kids.
Coming from an upper middle-class background there has been much emphasis put on education, career, community involvement, religion, being married with children, cultural awareness, diverse exposure of the world, and doing better than ones parents. While people in a lower socioeconomic class might also put an emphasis on these areas, it is a lot harder for someone of the lower class to push community involvement and diverse exposure of the world as a high priority when they don’t have the financial means to do so. Higher Education is another area that may not be highlighted as important for people in a lower class. A job is pushed way more than a career. People in the lower class may be taught to simply try and survive, instead of going after what are looked at as just “dreams”.
This is mainly why people of similar socioeconomic backgrounds get together, because they feel safe that they have both been exposed to similar experiences that have shaped similar views and goals. It is also safer to assume that people with similar backgrounds will have an easier time agreeing on how they want to bring up their own families. For me, this would be the most ideal situation. I too look for the security of having someone who completely understands the background that I have come from.
I also go a little further when looking for a mate, and consider how our families will get along, and how much my mate is comfortable in our situation. Family means a lot to me, and I have always grown up with both sides of my family always around each other. At no point would I want my mates family or my family to dread being around each other. Again, deep down inside I believe that finding a mate with a similar socioeconomic background may decrease the risk of them feeling uncomfortable around each other. I never want my mate to feel as if he doesn’t meet the expectations of my family, or that he has to constantly live up to me. I know how a mans ego works, and I want him to feel completely comfortable that he is the “man” in the relationship. I have found that people from two different socioeconomic backgrounds, where the man is of a lower one, has caused a lot of problems with the man feeling incapable of truly providing for his mate. Many women end up seeking men of a similar or higher socioeconomic status, because of the idea that men are the “providers” and how much easier it is for the man and woman to deal with the relationship.
If I had to come right out and say if a persons socioeconomic background is of importance to me, I would have to say yes after thoroughly considering everything I am looking for, and how ones background plays a role on who they have become. I do believe that there are exceptions. People may come from different backgrounds, but something in their lives can lead them to want to go down similar paths. For example everyone may not have gone to college, that doesn’t mean they haven’t found some way to create opportunity and education for themselves. I would love to be paired with someone who has a slightly different past, if somehow we have managed to reach a similar take on our future. So I guess I would have to conclude that maybe the socioeconomic status of their family might not matter to me as much as my potential mates current socioeconomic status or where they are headed. Many people will say “happiness” is all that matters in a relationship, but remember, finding someone who makes you happy in the beginning is very important, but finding someone who will highlight and balance you all the way to the end will determine how happy you stay.
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