I could date a broke man.
In these days and times of women who are out there doing it for themselves, climbing the corporate ladder and pocketing fat paycheques, that’s not a phrase you hear every day. Or any day, really. These days, women need to be with men who are educated and professional and earning cheques even fatter than their own. They don’t just want that, they need it. And I just don’t get that at all.
What a man does for a living or how much money he earns has never been of much interest to me. I do like to extrapolate things about his personality from his occupation, but other than that….it just doesn’t matter to me. As a matter of fact, for the first four years or so of my 11-year dalliance with should-be right dude, I had no clue what he did from 9 to 5; and the only reason I was even interested was that he refused to tell me.
The way I see it – the way I’ve always seen it – is that I don’t want anything I can’t get for myself. I don’t like hook-ups, I don’t want you to give me a ride anywhere, and no I don’t want to borrow that from you. I only feel comfortable accepting generosity from people I really trust; people to whom I am also generous, other than that, I prefer to get it done on my own steam. In relationships, I’m even worse. I don’t want a man to pay for my dinner, get me a drink, or buy me a gift (although I will allow a man to do all that stuff for me because refusing it is bad for business, but that’s another post for another day). Even if you’re Mr. Max, I still don’t want you passing me something to tide me over til payday, grabbing that for me on my way home, and hell no I don’t want to go half on a house for you. I’m good – I’ll get it myself. And if I can’t, I’ll do what I have to do to get it or I won’t. Either way, I don’t want a man to give me anything, because that which is given can also be taken away.
You can blame my upbringing on this, I guess. Without divulging all my parents’ business, let me say that I grew up in a house where it was very clear that he who made the money made the rules. And while I was never particularly ambitious as a kid (that didn’t kick in til I was well into my twenties) one thing I knew was that when I grew up I was going to make my own money so that I could do what the fuck I want with it and no one can ever tell me no. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m not a millionaire, but I do very well, considering. And I take pride in that. When I look around my home, filled with things that I chose because they suit me and paid for with my own money, it makes everything worthwhile. Because it’s mine.
I guess this is why it baffles me to hear women speak so adamantly about the degrees their men should have, the amount of zeros his paycheque should include, the size of the house he must be able to buy and the contributions he makes to his RRSP’s (that’s 401K’s for my American peeps). Everywhere I go I hear women unilaterally ruling out men who make anything below such-and-such amount because of what they think that says about the man, without ever considering what it says about them that this kind of arbitrary shit is so fucking important to them.
I’ll concede the point that if you are making a good money as a single woman you can have a good lifestyle. And if you marry a man who is making equally good money you can have a great lifestyle. Whereas if you marry a man who only makes decent money, your life’s potential is a bit more limited. But I guess I just don’t get why that matters so much. If you marry a man who makes less money but has more time to spend with you and your family, isn’t that worth knocking 1,000 square feet off your dream house?
So yeah I can date a broke dude, because I don’t need things from a man. Nor do I want them. What I need from Mr. Max is support and encouragement. Humour and delight. Illumination about the subtleties of books and hip hop and basketball. Encouragement. A kick in the ass when I’m fucking up and a hush mama when I’m being dramatic. Dirty talk, sex and…more sex. Lots more sex. And you can get that shit just as easily from a broke dude as you can from a rich dude.
But what about you, dear readers? How important are finances to you in potential partners? Have you dated someone broke? Would you? Could you? Speak on it in the comments.