Dating below your social class
Often, these strategies are variations of going with the flow and taking things as they come. Isabelle, for example, is the daughter of a farmer and a bartender.
(All the survey participants have been given pseudonyms.) Her family did not know how much money each year’s crops or tips would bring in.
From fairy tales to adult films, we are exposed to a repeated idea: that love, or at least lust, crosses class lines.
In fiction, cross-class relationships either end in marriage and happily-ever-after, or else in dissolution and even death. Last year, I set out to answer this question by interviewing college-educated men and women who had married partners from different class backgrounds, for my book Most of the time, couples’ recognition of their different pasts was acknowledged in little more than a comment about their father’s job or a lavish family vacation.
People who grew up with parents who had more money, job security, and power grow up with more stable lives.
If you’re in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, figuring out the next step can be very difficult. Whatever decision you make, we can help you plan for your safety.
Vicki, a teacher, plotted how to become a superintendent.
John, a restaurant manager, kept his eyes open for opportunities but did not plot how to get from one job to another.
Few people I spoke to reported having parents who plotted against their children’s relationships, or felt they were subject to social stigma for their cross-class relationship.
In fact, it’s usually not until meeting their in-laws that the couples themselves tend to become aware of their differences: more privileged partners spoke of the shock of walking into a house with hundreds of crystal figurines or trying to eat spam with a smile.