Why Broke Men shouldn’t Date.


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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.

And, really…

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:

Be honest.

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


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Alex Obed

Alex Obed is an inner-space explorer on a mission to open minds and hearts toward a new level of freedom in our relationships. He just dishes it out there—more like an amateur chef than an expert—breaking eggs along the way.

Playing the archetype of “the Fool” (he’s an April Fool’s Day kid, after all) to imperfection, he hopes to coax some of you to take the adventure with him: taking more risks, being more vulnerable, and making more messes.

He’s a student of psychology (M.A., humanistic and transpersonal psychology), Certified Life Coach (don’t hold it against him), published author, and lover of books. The depth psychologists have his heart: Carl Jung, Robert Johnson, Erich Neumann, and Marie-Louise von Franz.

Equal parts mystic and goofball, his wanderings—think “Caine” from Kung Fu—have taken him on a six-month road trip around the U.S., learning mysticism in Israel for two years, and, most recently, on a 20,000 nautical-mile adventure around the world by ship!

For his newest articles, his forthcoming eBook on soul-o-traveling, or to say “hey,” hit up his relationship blog.

Mels Gels & nail extentions Jul 31, 2018 8:01pm

Im just replying to all the angry men out there.

Mels Gels & nail extentions Jul 31, 2018 7:55pm

Lots of men like to use women and play them like a fool. A man that cannot provide for his family is worst then an infidel said the creator i dont care if you believe or not but all weve done in the milleneum is create losers and tossers and great excuses for men. Most men that dont have f all use women for what theyve got. Why should this be ok cause it seems to be. The term gold digger was created by men for women so that shes nothing but a body to lay down with whilst men get their rocks off.

John Coffey Mar 14, 2018 4:04pm

Men date broke women all the time and marry them, most women won't date a broke man. It doesn't take much research to find out that I am right.

Elizabeth Scott Jan 17, 2018 10:53pm

I think it's a case by case situation. I recently met someone who has been unemployed forever. I received some info about him from someone who knows him. Lives with mom, smokes pot daily, and every business deal seems to fall through for him. I'm pretty successful and ran for the hills because this guy was just looking for another mommy. His ex girlfriend was trashy too. He's almost 45 and not changing for anyone.

Sixties Milli Jan 10, 2018 9:36am

I was searching for loan to sort out my bills & debts, then I saw comments about Premier Lending Company. I doubted thus but decided to give it a try by contacting there email website https://tinyurl.com/ybbac5ly they responded with their loan terms and conditions on how it works. i'was assured that the loan $50, 000 instant will be credited into my account so I applied for a loan & paid the processing fee to obtain the loan. 72 hrs later, I was shock to see that my account has been credited} I got my mortgage and I paid for my husband surgery and my daughter fees and thank God today is good and he can walk now and is working and the burden is no longer so much on me more and we can feed well and my family is happy today, I said to myself that I will mourn aloud in the world of the wonders of God to me through Premier Lending Company I advise anyone in genuine and serious need of finance should contact the on there website https://tinyurl.com/ybbac5ly for more info on how to obtain a loan from them.

Kelly Carey Dec 26, 2017 9:12pm

Alex Obed I can totally agree with this. As someone who was raised within an idealistic, almost utopian faith community, I can totally identify with resisiting money, work, and this present physical world as somehow beneath me--too flawed to bother with. And as you point out, resisting this present world (for both women and men) is somehow related to insecurity--maybe we resist getting dirty and really striving partly to avoid risk of failure.

Alex Obed Dec 26, 2017 5:41pm

I would add (at least for myself) that on a deeper level it's detachment. It's not being fully committed to being a human being--as opposed to an eternal archetype. We don't want to commit to this world because this world is doomed, ultimately. I'm not agreeing with this, I'm just saying that many of "us" have trouble buying into this flawed world. The problem with that rationale is that this world, this life... is the only game in town. At least while we're still in the flesh. Thanks for your comment!

Kelly Carey Dec 26, 2017 1:35pm

You have something really valuable here! The key is that "broke" is really code for a man who avoids ~sustained concentration~on work. The man who avoids concentrated hard work, and the responsibility of making himself really comfortable in the world, is also avoiding other things. He is an avoider.

Leanne McGoolsby Dec 24, 2017 9:40pm

I have my own money so I've never been bothered whether the guy I'm dating is broke or ballin'. It's the emotional immaturity that puts me off "Peter Pan" types.

Daniel Padia Dec 24, 2017 4:20pm

Alex Obed It didn't show me the whole article last time. Now that I've read the full article, I retract my last statement and apologize for it to you. It's a well written piece that I learned something from. My comment does hit a point, though. A lot of these articles are fluffy"feelings" pieces that contribute nothing but the promotion of ignorance when it comes to the truth of spirituality. Granted, I'm atheist, and I have seen the proof of astrology and energy work and all that other garbage to all be false. Mindfulness and the effects of prayer and meditation are true and beneficial. That is why I come here. There's nuggets of truth like this article amongst the sea of drivel. That sea of drivel is why I won't ever pay for elephant journal. The nuggets of gold are why I selectively come back. Thank you for letting me stand on my soapbox, not that you had much of a choice. I'll be leaving now.

Alex Obed Dec 23, 2017 10:13pm

I hear that. For many people, that's a real experience. Thanks for commenting!

Alex Obed Dec 23, 2017 10:13pm

I think it's great that you're open like that. It's good to know that some women are. I agree that it's not always cut-n-dry, but there are probably broke guys trying to really do something about it (which I was), and broke guys who just want to leech. Good distinction. Thanks for your comment, Melissa! Good luck w/ the new biz, too!

Neal Doherty Dec 23, 2017 9:22pm

Once they find out your broke they dump you like trash.

Melissa Kirk Dec 23, 2017 5:27pm

Hmmm. I'm 47, lost my 75k/year job 2 years ago, couldn't get another comparable one after much searching (hello, age discrimination!) and now I'm starting my own business. I'm broke AF. I don't judge people by how much money they have, because I know that anything can happen and usually does. If a guy wants to make me a delicious meal, I'm all over that. And whatsmore, I support creatives as part of my business. So yes, broke guys, it's OK to date. If a woman judges you for that, date someone who doesn't.

Alex Obed Dec 23, 2017 5:09pm

Hey P. I agree with you about gender roles changing. I don't think they've totally changed yet, though, and maybe I'm speaking to a certain "Peter Pan" syndrome that some men have (including myself) that can wreak havoc in relationships. Might there be women like that, too? Sure. But I don't think there are as many due to social conditioning. I guess what I didn't really get into, which might have been helpful, is how much hiding went on (for me) around being broke. Perhaps being upfront, and letting a potential partner get to choose (maybe she wouldn't mind) would work a lot better. Thanks for your comment!

Alex Obed Dec 23, 2017 5:05pm

Yw. I agree. There is a lot of grey. I think this was more of a warning for women before getting involved w/ broke men and a way to get a sneak peek into a broke man's experience, the insecurities, etc., and how it was really difficult (and I might add unfair to my partner) for me to try to and make it work. I footed my side of the bills, but it was still a constant stressor. Thanks for your comment!

Alex Obed Dec 23, 2017 5:02pm

Thank you for your comment!

Preston Sowell Dec 23, 2017 3:50pm

Firstly, If someone's broke the context is everything. Secondly, this article ignores the gender roles that much of society is moving away from (why assume that every woman wants/needs to be taken care of? Do the same standards for self-reliance hold for women in relationships?). And, as a previous poster mentioned, if your financial status is the only deal-breaker, that's not a very solid relationship anyway and such a woman should only expect the same level of superficial commitment in return...

Jennifer Evangelista Dec 23, 2017 3:38pm

What an interesting and honest account of your experience. I do think that a male or female can create a dating experience that doesn't require spending a lot of money. I agree with your comments of enabling though. However, in my experience, you make some noise about it and see if the person changes and steps to the plate. I do think there is a workable grey area in your theories. I don't think you have to leave someone to see if he gets his shit together. I think you leave if there's absolutely nothing left, nothing to work on and you're not going to go back period. To me, anyone who would return to a prior relationship because the broke person is no longer broke is superficial and wasn't committed in the first place. That's not to say anyone should tolerate being taken advantage of, I've been there. And I've made a lot of noise about it. And it helped. It's not where it should be, but time will tell. Thank you for this article!

Daniel Padia Dec 23, 2017 2:39pm

Can I get my free read back? This was pointless trash.