As many of you know, the majority of my posts are written from a female perspective in regards to female issues. With the exception my throwback Let’s Talk About Sex post, I have never actually taken the time to write specifically to your species. Some things have been wearing on my heart this week and I wanted to take a rare moment to put aside my thoughts on women’s issues and talk to you about something I hear many of you have been going through in the dating world.
I don’t know what has been in the air but as of late, it seems like everywhere I turn on social media there is some conversation struck up about men, money and how it relates their relationships with women. Many of you are familiar with the $200 date debate as well as the question of if it’s appropriate for a man to use a coupon on a date and I just wanted to give my proverbial two cents on how I feel about money, dating and the female perception of men as providers.
Once upon a time there was a wealthy man who had trouble finding a mate who was not sniffing at his pockets. After dating for years and years and only being able to find opportunistic gold diggers, he decided he would invest into his dating life in a way he had never done before. He took some cash (cash he had plenty of), rented a shitty one bedroom apartment, furnished it with shitty second-hand furniture and bought a shitty Honda Civic.
Instead of picking up women in his BMW, Mercedes, Range Rover or whatever luxury car he owned, taking them to 5 star restaurants, to eat 5 course meals and wash them down $500 bottles of wine, he opted for the more humble approach of courting a woman. Yes, he would have to work with his shitty Honda Civic and his shitty apartment to maneuver his way into a woman’s heart.
Upon this transformation, he became exposed to a different caliber of woman. He was able to not only be himself but realized that who he was, was more than enough to give as he had several admirable traits. He was charming, he was smart, he had good manners and knew how to make a woman laugh, a real Casanova, a broke Casanova but still a Casanova nonetheless. Eventually, he found a woman who wanted him for him and they lived happily ever after.
Okay, that story was bullshit. I mean, I’ve heard it before but I think that’s it’s maybe an urban legend or some strange twist on Coming To America BUT that does not make it any less profound!
Listen, I know that our culture has set you all up to believe that you should be provider and for the most part that is true. As a man, you should be able to provide for yourself as well as any people you bring into the world. But in 2013, where men and women are both aggressively in the workforce, running their own households, paying their own bills and the like you are NOT responsible for providing for a grown woman who is 100% capable of providing for herself and has been doing so before you came into her life… ESPECIALLY if she is not even your wife and in some cases not even your girlfriend!
Any woman who is impressed by you paying $200 on a first date is easily impressionable, should want more for herself and is in a way saying that she can be bought by you. Any woman who is too self-important to accept a meal that she is not even paying for because it was purchased with a coupon lacks humility and has a sense of entitlement that needs to be knocked down– you didn’t have to take her ass anywhere. You could’ve just invited her to the crib to watch a movie and cut to the chase. A woman who requires you pay for her time is not worth yours.
Unfortunately, there are women who are going to measure you based on what is in your pockets. They will judge you if your job is menial. They will talk shit about you to their homegirls if you pick them up and you only have a quarter tank of gas in the car. They will have the stankest of all attitudes if you have the audacity to take them on a date to Applebee’s. It’s true. Absolutely.
These are not the women who are going to be there when you lose your job. These are the women that are going to put you down when you’re facing inevitable life obstacles. These are the women that are going to continuously bust your balls even when they see you are trying so hard to make it.
THESE ARE NOT THE WOMEN FOR YOU.
They hold underdeveloped views of men (I already touched on some of you who have underdeveloped views of us). They have absolutely no concept of what qualities make a man worth being with, they disregard his many facets. The idea of you being a provider as your key role in their lives has overshadowed whatever else you are bringing to the table. Your pockets are primary, everything else you have to offer is secondary. And while many women can eventually outgrow this way of thinking, it’s safer to steer clear than try to turn someone who is obviously Miss Wrong into a Mrs. Right.
Coming from a woman who has been through so many ups and downs with men, I am telling you that there are some of us interested in much more than that. And that when some of us demand more from you, it’s not going to be a cash out, it’s going to be things that may be even more challenging to provide, things that require growth, patience and discipline. Communication, conflict resolution skills, attentiveness and compromising just to name a few.
I once had a boyfriend who was hellbent on being a provider. At the age of 18, he lost his retail store job and his father told him that I (17 at the time) would leave him if he didn’t have a job. So unbeknownst to me, he sold weed to buy me hundreds of dollars worth of Valentine’s Day gifts. Eventually he got a stable job again but the idea that I would leave him if he did not provide became something he obsessed over so much that the other aspects of our relationship were neglected.
He was haunted by a sense of inadequacy as my partner that eventually birthed other insecurities I couldn’t deal with. The saddest thing is that I would’ve accepted him broke, there were a lot of great things about him but his concentration on the wrong things forced me to end our 2-year union and never look back. And like any situation where a broke man tricking off goes wrong, he became extremely bitter that he spent so much money on me over the years (money I never asked him to spend) and has hated me for years since.
Since his providing for me was the focal point of our relationship, I was not able to see him for all of who he was, I couldn’t appreciate him as an entire man, his M.O. was to be a provider and that was mainly who I saw him as. I didn’t walk away from the relationship feeling a sense of emotional loss, the biggest loss I felt was financial security, why? Because he equated money with love, his self-worth and thought it was the most valuable thing he could give me. Luckily the relationship ended in the beginning of my young adulthood and it taught me the importance of being independent and waiting for a man who has more to offer me than money.
Now, I don’t want you to take any of this out of context and think that I’m saying it’s okay for you to be broke and stay broke. Being broke is only okay if you’re working towards not being broke. No you don’t have to be rich but you should at least display that you are responsible, can provide for yourself at minimum and most importantly that you won’t be putting a dent in our damn pockets because you made the mistake of messing your money up. Nobody has time for that.
And while I can understand the frustration of women who date men who are notoriously cheap (not frugal, just cheap), there are worse traits to put up with in a man, make a pros and cons list if it’s that serious to you. The bottom line is that nobody should demand from you what they don’t have themselves, this goes for both men and women
Some of the best dates I’ve been on, little to no money was spent. The most memorable relationship I was in was with someone who had zero dividends. Just because the status quo tells you that what women want is money does not mean that you have to bend to this or that it holds true for all women. Why minimize yourself to some green paper if you know there is more within you that should be acknowledged and appreciated? I refuse to settle for men who see me as an object so you all should definitely refuse to settle for women who make it their business to gnaw at your wallets.
Since so many of you are after the same thing, it’s almost impossible for you to stand out by having more money. Men (especially Black men) and money is a never-ending competition in which nobody wins because everyone is 1-upping and out doing each other. The only way you can truly stand out from other men is to just BE the better man and BE yourself, that’s something money will never be able to buy you and in a world full of shitty ass men, you’ll get plenty of shine this way. Just be aware that you will come across women who are blind to your internal qualities, we all come across people who overlook the good in us at least once in our lives but instead of reverting to the norm and trying to impress her with things, cut your losses and realize that you deserve more because you ARE more.