Be Ye Not Unequally…Educated?

Education concept

Have you ever dated a guy who was not on your level in the education department?  He had the looks, the charm, the swag and everything else going for him, but no papers–or at least not as many papers as you have.  Is this a reason NOT to date him?  Are the two of you doomed for disaster due to your difference in degrees?  I doubt it, but let’s explore this further.

I have experienced this first hand–TWICE!

The first experience was not so great.  This particular young man was handsome, sweet, loved God, and treated me with respect.  He got an A+ in the character department.  The one thing he lacked–a high school diploma.  You read it correctly.  No diploma. No GED.  No NOTHING!  I really don’t know what I was thinking.  Well, actually I do.  I was thinking that his educational background didn’t matter as long as we liked each other and as long as he had a strong relationship with God (homeboy could pray up something, ya hear?).  I was also thinking that I wanted a significant other in my life so badly that I was willing to overlook this one thing.  But soon (in a matter of a couple of weeks) my thinking began to change. What would things be like when I took him around my friends?  Would he be able to keep up with the conversation?  If we did marry one day and have children, what type of example would that set for them?  And most importantly, how in the heck would he take care of me financially when he didn’t have enough education to get a real job?  Immediately, I was delivered from naiveness.  There was no way that would work for me.  Sure, everything was hunky dory now, but down the line things would get too complicated. So I moved on.

The second experience was a success.  This guy was also very handsome, sweet, kind, loved God, and treated me with respect.  He also had an A+ in the character department.  However, he had one up on the first guy because at least he did have a high school diploma.  Okay so no college degree. At the time I was working on my Master’s degree, so that put me two levels above him educationally.  Deal breaker?  Nah, because I married him.

Now I was still concerned about the same things as before, but I have been reassured.  When my husband and I spend time with my friends, he can hold his own in a conversation.  Shoot, he knows more about a lot of things than I do.  I don’t have to worry about him setting a bad example for our children because he is currently in college and doing quite well.  And although he makes less money than me now, he still takes care of me financially because that bacon comes home to me.  AND by the time he finishes this degree, he’ll be earning more than enough to provide for our household by means of a real job.

So what am I saying?  It really comes down to personal preference and the fact that no two men, even with the same educational standing, are the same.  Some want more for themselves and some don’t.  Some are willing to pursue an education and some just aren’t.  Some just want something different–to chart a different path so to speak.  And that’s cool, as long as he’s headed in the right direction.  Sometimes it boils down to the reason why he hasn’t gotten that degree.  Maybe he lacked the financial resources to go.  Maybe a few poor grades in high school made acceptance difficult.  Maybe he knows that there are jobs and business opportunities out there now that don’t require a degree and pay more money.  (It’s true you know.)  Maybe he’s smart, but just too lazy to apply himself.  The reason in and of itself could make the difference in whether it’s a good idea to date him.  And face it.  College isn’t for everybody.  So, I think it should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Consider this…according to the National Center for Education Statistics, “The 6-year graduation rate was 56 percent for males and 61 percent for females; it was higher for females than for males at both public (60 vs. 54 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (68 vs. 63 percent).”  Either way you look at it, female college graduates outnumber male college graduates.  That means, more than likely, a few somebodies will be unequally educated when they marry.

At the end of the day, who you date is up to you.  Your parents and friends who may give you a hard time about this issue only have your best interests in mind, but if all they care about is the socioeconomic status and educational standing of the person you date, there are other more important things they should be concerned with–like the way he treats you and his character. That is what truly makes the man, not the degree hanging or NOT hanging on the wall.

I hope this blesses somebody.  Again, I’m not judgin’.  I’m just sayin’.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic also.  Feel free to share your experiences and insights.  Does education matter in a dating/marriage relationship?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emily J
    Nov 04, 2014 @ 23:36:30

    I agree whole heartedly and thank you for your viewpoint on this subject and sharing your personal experience. The guy I’m talking to now, I actually met in undergrad. He quit after our sophomore year but now owns his own barbershop and also is a tattoo artist and he really makes me feel supported and he’s a good person. I know what my mom says but a degree doesn’t carry guarantees of happiness.Thanks


    • Young Woman in Action
      Nov 04, 2014 @ 23:47:28

      Thank you for helping me out too. What you just wrote leads me to ask, why did he quit school? The reason may be more important than the act itself and may shed some more light on things, even for your mother.


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