My mama would always say, “girl, it’s just as easy to love a rich man as it is a broke man!” and I must admit, I bought into each word — hook, line, and sinker. Hear I am (as are you), beauty and brains, making a comfortable salary after dutifully completing college or some type of higher education. You’ve had a taste of what more money can offer and want to live the high life. There’s only one problem – your man is broke. And I don’t mean just can’t pay his phone bill broke. I mean he can’t even afford to take you out to eat with a Groupon deal broke. Which means you’re covering the tab most (actually all) of the time. Sigh. Been there myself. But before you toss him to the curb for his broke-ass-ness, hear a sista out.
First things first – ask yourself why your man is broke. Is he broke for lack of employment, under-employment, or for just pure laziness? Need I remind you nearly everyone is facing hard times in today’s economic climate? Statistically, it’s always worse for black and brown folk when it comes to employment. And you know it’s even worse for men right? Recognize that our men by and large have to swim upstream to graduate college, find and hold-down a decent job, and generally be seen as a non-threatening productive member of society. So while they’re doing this and fighting to “head a household” we must remember as women to hold them down – mentally and emotionally.
I am so tired of hearing women say, “where are all the good men?” or “good men no longer exist.” So I ask you – what kind of shiny package does he have to be wrapped in to get your attention? Does it have to be a fly car? Name-brand gear? A near six-figure income? Ummm…can we keep it real for a moment?
My bet is that while that’s the man you want, you’ve probably dated men with less – which is okay. The average man makes far less than six-figures, so it’s more likely than not. But then some of you will proceed to try to keep up with the Jones by leasing the fly car and maxing out credit cards to maintain the lifestyle he (nor you) can afford. Stay with me – we’re being real right? If that’s your thing – do what you do Ms. Jones. Just don’t make your man feel uncomfortable for not being able to maintain that lifestyle with you. Make the $100 restaurant visits special occasions and not random Friday night outings. If you know his credit card is going to decline, don’t look at him expectantly to pay – or better yet, eat in and hit up the bar for a nightcap. Hell, sometimes us independent women need to just take one for the team and reach into our own pockets for dinner.
Now that’s not to say you should always be reaching to pay. I’m an independent woman, but if I’m going to foot the bill or ‘go dutch’ all the time, I should really be on this date by my damn self or out with the girls. However, I also recognize you don’t have to drop $100 for dinner each time. And that there are tons of ways you can have a broke-man friendly outing without rubbing his nose in it. By now my viewpoint should be clear. Ditching a dude just ‘cause he’s broke is not a good look. Now if that’s one of a few reasons … then by all means, adios. But if he’s a good man, and we’re quick to say that’s what we want, then stand by him.
Rather than cutting him out of your life for feeling like he’s not measuring up, lift him up. If he’s under-employed due to school, encourage and support him to finish so he can bring home that bacon (and maybe a Gucci handbag or two). If he just hasn’t been shown the way, but truly has potential (don’t men just hate that word!), help him find a better job to match his skill set. Don’t confuse this with ‘saving a man.’ We women have the ‘Savior complex’…bad. You cannot fix what’s broken or doesn’t want to be fixed. You cannot put up with his broke-ass ways indefinitely. Put together a game plan and either he will execute or you will exit. But know that you’re moving on not because he’s broke, but because he lacks ambition, drive, and the will to pursue greatness. As motivated and driven women, we’re fabulous and should expect nothing less from our men!