I am a chef. I built my business and my brand over the course of 10+ years. I worked hard and sacrificed a lot. I did a lot of free work. For many years, I hustled, budgeted money and denied some of life’s pleasures so I could get where I wanted to be. I was a workaholic, but it paid off. I paid my dues, and now my logo and my name are recognized in the queer people of color community.
But here’s the problem, no one wants to date me.
Over the years, I have dated my fair share of highly educated women. They didn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that I only had an associate’s degree and three other career diplomas.
But, whenever I have been interested in women with maybe a high school education, they tell me I am out of their league. Or they say they wouldn’t feel comfortable dating me because I went to college. I don’t get it.
Don’t Get it Twisted
I’m not the type of person to judge a potential date by a piece of paper from a fancy school. I will date a blue-collar worker and a doctor. I am not biased in the least. But, often some studs feel intimidated by my little bit of education and my social status as a chef.
I had a really good relationship with a woman who was about seven years younger than me. One evening, after dating for about five months, we went out to an event I was hosting, and she worked as my assistant. Everything was fine, and she had a great time and watched me work my magic. She said she was proud of me.
She Felt Disrespected by My Networking
But then a few weeks later while out to dinner, we encountered a few “fans.” A couple of women stopped by our table and made small talk and asked about any future events I was doing. My girlfriend got furious. She said she felt disrespected and that she wants a night where I am not in chef mode.
She couldn’t understand that anyone I encounter is a potential client and people are going to recognize me from my years and years of doing chef work and hosting events in the LGBTQ community.
The final straw for her came a month later when we were out, and yet another woman pulled me aside. We were discussing me attending the French Pastry School in Chicago to officially pursue my pastry degree.
My Girlfriend Dumped Me
She worked for the school and when she saw me, took the opportunity to introduce herself and offered to be my mentor. My girlfriend dumped me.
Her reasons were that I was too educated for her, too recognizable and never had enough time for her. She felt that I was going in a direction that she wasn’t. She worried that I would leave her in the dust and find another woman closer to my education and career status.
She was very insecure, and when we argued, she would bring up that I went to college and she didn’t. She would ask why I was dating a high school dropout with no money and no goals.
I Wanted to Support Her and Help Build Her Career
Well, in hindsight, I question myself now too. At the time, I didn’t see any of that as a hindrance. I wanted to support her in getting her GED, going to college, building her career and enjoying her life with me. As a team. But she was so jaded for whatever reason and just flat out decided she couldn’t be with me because I made something of myself.
It turns out this was not just a one-off experience. I am currently (finally) finishing up my bachelor’s degree, and dating has been hard. Once again, I hear the excuse that I am too educated, or too career minded. Women are asking me why I would date someone who makes less than me etc.
I Have No Problem Being Proud of Me
Yes, I can hold my own in conversations. Yes, I like to be on the up-and-up on politics. Yes, I make good money. Yes, I serve my community and give back to charity. I earned all of this, and I see no problem in being proud of me.
Why can’t I find a partner that wants to build with me instead of bringing me down to their level?
Maybe I should look in another dating pool. Maybe I should just not date altogether. I don’t know the answer. But, my question remains, why can’t I be educated and successful and not be shunned for it?