Warning: Adult language.
This post is for the guys—the broke guys.
(You know who you are.)
As a “creative” type who grew up believing that society should support me to support it, I was never very motivated by money.
“Give me time.”
“Give me freedom.”
Those were my mantras.
Well, that was cutesy when I was in my 20s and 30s, but as one of my close friends and mentors, Eric Saperston, once told me, “Once you hit 40, you can’t rely on being cute anymore. You have to actually do something.”
Crap. That was a problem.
Me. Over 40. Lots of time. Not a lot of money. And therein lies the cruel twist: are you really free if you don’t have the money to enjoy your time?
The answer was yes for my 20s and 30s, but decidedly no in my 40s.
Now, let’s add dating and relationships to the mix. My experience has been downright embarrassing.
For a while, I tried to hide the fact that I was broke. It was always a coffee date. And you can guess my biggest fear as we walked up to the counter: that she would order something with the words latte or mocha in it.
I developed a strategy to overcome this potential money-trap. By a stroke of luck, I had a coffee shop in my backyard that served french press coffee—for two.
Can you say, $4 date?!
I should have just named this post, “Coffee: the Poor Man’s Date.”
Anyway, here’s the real issue: it’s not just about the first date!
Guys. Yes, you can fake it for a date. Even people of means sometimes go on coffee dates. The real problem is what you do for date #2…and #3. At some point, you have to transcend coffee.
I’ve tried everything.
“Let me cook you dinner. I’ll bring all the ingredients.”
Now, this is a two-pronged strategy:
1) Save money by not going out (you can do a pretty nice, home-cooked dinner for only $10).
2) You’re already in her pad at the end of the night.
3) If you’ve done things right, you’ve dropped by your local Trader Joe’s to get a bottle of “two buck chuck” in advance.
Game. Set. Match.
But in all seriousness, being broke definitely caused major difficulties in my last relationship.
Honey, can you look on Groupon to see what deals are going on tonight?
If we really liked a place, we’d use my iPhone, skip a month, dye our hair, and then go back and use her iPhone the next time around.
You getting the picture?
This went on for two years.
She was frustrated, and I felt like shit.
Money was always a problem. Stress. Fights. Disappointment. By the way, borrowing money from your girlfriend is a recipe for disaster.
To the men: I know what you’re thinking. You are not defined by the size of your wallet or bank account; you are special (like a snowflake). Yes! You are special! And, no, you’re not defined by the size of your wad (or wand). But if you try to date them…judge you, they will!
Let me remind you of something. You’re dating a woman.
Someone who adds bountiful love and amazeballs to your life. She deserves to feel like a woman and not always have the pressure that comes with your broke ass always being broke!
Now, let’s be clear. This doesn’t mean you can’t get laid. You don’t need money to get laid. You also don’t need to fake interest in a relationship to get laid. All you gotta do to get laid is:
Novel concept. This doesn’t seem right, Alex! But trust me, young padawans, it’s true. There are many, many women who, for a variety of reasons, are not interested in a committed relationship. They are open to something physical, something playful.
If you bring bullshit tactics, however, your likelihood of getting laid will diminish quickly. It’s like trying to use a jedi mind-trick…on a jedi.
It doesn’t work.
Not only that, but you’ll never feel fully confident when you’re broke and dating; you’ll never feel like yourself.
Now, if you want more than just a hook up, leave and get your shit together. Then, come back stronger.
It’s like in “The Matrix”:
Neo (to Morpheus): Wait. Are you trying to tell me that I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m telling you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.
In other words, when you come back strong and self-sufficient, you won’t have to find a woman; she’ll find you.
To the women: Why do you allow this? You know in your gut of guts that you deserve better. Don’t you realize that you’re just enabling boy-men to remain boy-men? They will never change with you enabling them!
Yes, I know we can be attractive to you.
We bring excitement, passion, and novelty!
(Aka: The Peter-Pan Syndrome.)
So, here’s my suggestion: Fuck us, but don’t date us.
You’ll be much happier.
And maybe by not getting too emotionally invested in us, you’ll help some of us decide to get our shit together.
Author: Alex Obed
Image: Video still
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis