You Know Why You’re Undateable? Because You’re In PROFESSIONAL PURGATORY

I Just pray she's on her way to work - at a career she LOVES

To all those of you who could not attend Battle Of The Sexes this Sunday here in Toronto, you missed an AMAZING event. There were a lot of hilarious and honesty comments from the audience, but one of the main insightful comments I remember hearing came from a young woman who was stating the questions she initially asks a man she could be interested in when she first meets him: 1) “What do you do?” and (2) “More importantly, do you love what you do?” That woman deserves a medal for having an abundance of common sense, because she knows the one thing that far too many people seem to overlook: Someone who is locked in professional purgatory is possibly the most undateable person you can ever encounter.

Now, a lot of you are probably wondering what professional purgatory is, so let me explain: This occurs when you are locked in a job you thoroughly dislike, that is not your passion and doesn’t even provide you with an enjoyable work atmosphere, but you stay there because you NEED a job and even worse, you really DON’T know what you want to do or where you want to work. All you know is that you get an empty, hollow feeling every time you walk through your office doors, but you realize you’re caught between ‘a hard place’ of having to pay bills and ‘a rock’ of not knowing how or where you can ever even find a job/career that would bring you enjoyment and/or peace of mind. You are in PURGATORY right now, and whether you know it or not, it is NEGATIVELY affecting your relationship, and if you’re not in one, it’s negatively affecting your CHANCE to be in a healthy relationship.

One truism that I constantly believe about life is that EVERYONE in the workforce can EVENTUALLY work a career that brings out their passion and makes them happy. This does NOT mean everyone will ball til they fall and push AMG’s down the block, but it DOES mean that EVERYONE has the opportunity to one day NOT go to work feeling like they are one argument away from Bowling For Columbine in their office. And when you finally find that job, your disposition will change and your approach to your personal life will improve by leaps and bounds. But just in case you DIDN’T know, let me tell you a little about how your FROWSY-ASS works right NOW:

You TRY to go to sleep early [which pisses you off because you have to prepare for a long ass workweek at a place that drives you crazy], but end up staying up late just to wake up pissed off and questioning yourself like “Is this real life?” and contemplating all the possible scenarios that could happen to you if you just said “F*^K IT – I AIN’T GOIN’ IN TODAY!” Eventually you remember how many bills you have due and you drag your sorry ass out of bed. You clean up and start your day and as soon as you leave your house [especially realizing what the commute is ahead of you] this is usually the time your irritation metre is at it’s absolute HIGHEST. Your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife, whoever the hell just honked at you, can ALL get cussed out as far as YOU’RE concerned. You walk through the doors at work, eyeball your boss who is giving you side eye for walking through the doors 2 minutes late, and think “I wish this Mutha—a would start some sh*t today!” Then you slave for 8 hours, endure the second half of your hellish commute, get home and hit the couch hard as hell feeling exhausted and simultaneously unfulfilled by the days events.

Speaking from first hand knowledge, that is a life I was all too familiar with, and I KNOW a few of you know what I’m talking about as well. The older you get, with your professional happiness still being undefined, the higher the chance your negativity will eventually seep into your personal relationships and DESTROY any chance of being happy. If you’re in a relationship you will always be complaining OR worst, letting your disappointment with your unsure career path manifest physically and emotionally, which will DRAIN your significant other. If you are single and stuck in professional purgatory, it will be DAMN HARD to actualize the best YOU, you can be [as corny as that may sound] which means when people meet you for the first time, they are meeting a slightly more bitter and significantly less enjoyable YOU.

Go find the job you love - and stop being so damn FROWSY all the time

The reality is, what you do is INCREDIBLY important from a relationship standpoint, NOT just because of how much you make, but because you spend SO much time AT work, that your feelings about THAT job and THAT career shape the totality of your personality.

In dating, it IS important to make sure you know and like what your date does for work – but don’t forget to ask them if they LOVE what they do, because that will instantly determine which version of them you will have to put up with.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    06/26/2012 at 6:45 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Are You Currently [Or Have You Ever Been] In Professional Purgatory? How Did It Affect You Personally In Terms Of Dating & Relationships?

    Also, Have You Ever Dated Someone Who Fit The Description Of Being In Professional Purgatory? How Did It Affect Them On A Personal Level?

    • @jessicaw1981

      06/27/2012 at 1:28 AM

      You described my ex to a T! And then wanted to blame me for all of the unfullfillment. I suggested he run into traffic but I had his back EVERYTIME he started school, EVERYTIME he started a new business,etc. So… on point.

  2. Paul B.

    06/26/2012 at 10:24 AM

    Dude, you hit the nail on the head with this one. I've been there and it sucks.

  3. upIVdebate

    06/26/2012 at 11:15 AM

    Very insightful…you are telling my story, man. Now, I just have to figure out how to get off this miserable ride!

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 5:00 PM

      What's your passion?

  4. Neil

    06/26/2012 at 11:50 AM

    Great Post and Very True….However, I'm NOW weary of people (like the young lady mentioned)…why? Everyone don't necessarily say what they mean and mean what they say……What difference does it make, what he does for a living? She's meeting him for the first time, that's the first thing she asks him and that doesn't raise a red flag?…I haven't had KOOL AID in over 15 years…….Hmmmm, a better way to say it would be..#1….I believe we all have a purpose in life….I know mine….do you know yours? and #2..I'd like to know……Now THAT sounds less superficial……sometimes…… people tend to deflect the attention away from themselves…….Also, people often do what they have to…we do live in an unstable economy….right?.

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 5:02 PM

      I think by asking what he does she is being very practical right from the beginning. What you do should be a source of pride for you, so her asking should be a welcome question. If it's not, then that says a lot about you, and whether or not you would be a good relationship fit for her.

      • Neil

        06/28/2012 at 11:43 AM

        I hear what you're sayin'…but what I'm sayin is…….dude could love what he's doin….plus, he could be gettin paid…but who's to say, that she's asking that for the right reasons…she could say…oh he's boring, i.e. a professor (making $100K)…all I'm sayin is whether or not, he loves his job…..she STILL could see dollar signs…….

        Sorry for the slow reply..been a lil busy……

  5. Andrea

    06/26/2012 at 1:07 PM

    This is absolutely true!!! If you hate your job, it affects every aspect of your life. From your health to relationships it will have a negative effect. This is the life I am living and I see how it has effected not only my love life, but my friendships as well. I'm currently on the search to find the job that is line with makes me happy. I can't wait to have the feeling of freedom that it brings.

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 5:03 PM

      What is your passion that you are pursuing? Not to sound too nosey…

  6. soulamazingx

    06/26/2012 at 4:31 PM

    Honestly Linc, this is the most true to life article I've read in a minute..although I say this about ALL of your articles that I read, for the most part.
    I recently went though this stage where I could not STAND my job. I took it because I "needed" a job, & this one wasn't even in my field of Youth Work, it was an office job.
    I was pissed all the time even if I wasn't at work. Just thinking about work and having to go there the next day threw off my whole evening/weekend when I was supposed to be relaxing & having time to myself & spending quality time with my man.
    Having a ton of hate for my job, being employed at a workplace that I couldn't stand was taking a major toll on my relationship due to my moods, frustration & stress.
    Just yesterday, I quit because I figured I rather have my mental composure than be sitting at place doing some bullshit that I despise.
    Thankfully it was for the best & I've found a new job which will hopefully be more positive.
    I've learned that having PASSION for a job & mental sanity are two things far more important to me than a pay-cheque.
    Good post!

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 5:04 PM

      Congratulations soulamazingx!

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      06/27/2012 at 12:15 PM

      I've Left A Passionless Job, And The Feeling You Get Walking Out Of That Building Is The BEST Sensation Besides Sex

  7. Dyquen

    06/26/2012 at 4:39 PM

    Haha wow I'm still here and it sucks ass and it has cost me one relationship and put a cap on a few more possibilities before it ever became something real. Never occurred to me that this wretched J.O.B. I hate was affecting more than bank account…. sonofabitch… It all makes sense now. Well that settles it, I'm putting in my two week notice. Last straw has been pulled.

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 5:04 PM

      How did your job cost you your relationship? Your mood or your lack of time?

  8. HerCommonSense

    06/26/2012 at 5:00 PM

    You're no longer there are you?

    • Paul B.

      06/26/2012 at 7:09 PM

      Yep regrettably. I reached a point where I had let some dreams die for various reasons, the main one being money or lack of it, so I'm starting over I guess.

      • HerCommonSense

        06/26/2012 at 9:51 PM

        As long as your working towards something you love you will be great. *hugs*

  9. petersburgh

    06/26/2012 at 5:34 PM

    I think most people who ever had a job went through this at some point of time. I did but briefly because I can't stand it I got out quickly. In terms of dating, I guess I was lucky because that occurred at a time when I was single and didn't want any kind of relationship. May be it did offset my chances of finding someone as in my mood etc was pushing interested people away but I wouldn't know

    • HerCommonSense

      06/26/2012 at 9:50 PM

      Exactly my situation as well.

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