There was a time when all you had to worry about when making a decision about marriage was where you were going to live and if their parents like you. Well, all that has changed, as now there are other factors to consider, and class difference could be a major one.
Look of disappointment
For some, it does not seem like much, as we are told that love conquers all. But try telling that to an affluent couple; the father a neurosurgeon and mother a college professor. Both are pillars of their communities who sit on several boards and are respected in their chosen field. And here you come with the audacity to, not only fall in love but have the balls to bring home a man who never finished high school and work when he feels like it. The look of disappointment and disapproval on their faces is the stuff that MasterCard commercials are made of, as it is priceless but not in a good way.
Whichever way you slice it, someone will potentially get hurt. Either the parents because they had lofty hopes and dreams for you, or your partner since they feel that they do not measure up, and that can be a serious blow to their self-esteem.
When blue-collar meets white collar, there can be some issues that arise, starting with there being different ways of doing things that may seem cute or insignificant in private but can cause embarrassment out in high society. For instance, dining etiquette is not a big deal when you want to come over to Netflix and chill. But if your partner tucks his napkin into the neck of his shirt; if the waitress asks him for his drink of choice at a wine and cheese event and he responds with a “well cold Supligen”; or if washes his fingers in the water glass at the formal dining table, you will begin to not only feel the stares aimed at him but can just about interpret what people are thinking to themselves.
Another challenge that may arise is that sometimes the blue-collar spouse, after settling into the relationship, gets resentful of the other’s childhood and life of privilege. They try to justify some bad behaviour and habits by saying: “Oh, you don’t understand I had a hard life” or “you never knew what hunger was so don’t judge me”. They do not think you can relate to them on both a socio-economic level, and if not addressed, it can lead to resentment that can ruin a decent relationship.
So, while having the same background won’t guarantee success, marrying up or down comes with its own set of issues. So the next time your girlfriend slaps her chest heavily with baby powder and throws her rag over her shoulder to head out with you to a soiree at your friend’s house, try to as diplomatically as possible tell her that only babies need talcum powder…and lose the rag.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.