How to date when you're unemployed

Nov 2, 2010 at 1:21 p.m. ET

In years gone by, a relationship expert might have told you to put dating on hold when you are without a job -- but too many people are unemployed right now for everyone to stop dating. If you aren't working, you can still date. Just date smartly.

Hire Me

What do you do?

How not to be unemployed while dating

When you meet a man (or fill out an online dating profile), one of the first questions is, "What do you do?" You can't exactly say, "Nothing." Though it might seem worse for a man to be out of work than a woman, not many guys want to date a perpetually jobless woman (gold digger?) either.

In between jobs, earn some money, sharpen your skills and boost your self esteem by freelancing or doing temporary work. Then, when someone new asks, "Where do you work?" you can reply with confidence, "I'm an independent contractor." (You can also say "consultant" without exactly lying.)

Date cheaply

Show your smarts and intiative

If you are currently dating someone, don't stick him with the big check all the time just because you are unemployed. Instead, learn how to date cheaply. Skip the fancy restaurants and A-list clubs. A picnic at the park, a movie at home or a window-shopping trip are all fun (and cheap!) date activities.

Assure your partner that you are not lazy and that you are actively looking for work. Don't just sit on the couch browsing Internet job listings, either. Network with friends and family. Get out there and pound the pavement to find a job. Even if it's just a temporary position, you'll feel better about yourself and thus be a better partner.

More dating tips

Dating tips for the single mother
How to avoid first date dilemmas
Stop sabotaging your relationships