I have met and dated quite a few interesting men in my lifetime. Some were highly educated, some were not. Some had great careers and salaries, while others did not. Some I initially met online, while I have crossed paths with others in my daily interactions. I have never been caught up on the degrees behind someone’s name, even though I have a few letters behind my own. We all know that a degree never guaranteed a good income, and the lack of a degree does not hinder success. However, we need to discuss broke guys for a brief moment.
Throughout my years of dating, I can look back and laugh at how many guys accused me of being a gold digger when I simply asked “What is it that you do [for a living]?” I was never sure why that question struck a nerve with some guys. If two people are getting to know one another, that is a question that should come up at some point, right? However, you would have thought I had asked for their bank information or debit card pin. I work! Don’t you? If so, why can’t I know where you work? What do you have to hide? I have four jobs and will gladly itemize the job titles, duties, and work hours for your pleasure, if you ask nicely. Broke or not, maybe these men had been treated poorly in the past by a woman looking to benefit from their hard work. Or maybe his child’s mother is fleecing him for all his discretionary income and he is sensitive about the two coins
he has left to rub together after bills are paid. My point is, why are you angry with me for asking an innocent question? I will not ask of any man more than what I am also bringing to the table. I am not unreasonable nor am I rigid with my dating standards. I can actually work with a man who is not where he wants to be financially, especially if he is in school or obtaining additional training to reach his professional goals. Or…if I suspect his sex game may be on point. Every woman who is “in the know” about such things has at least heard–if not experienced firsthand—that broke guys have the best peen. I mean, if you cannot afford to take me on a decent date, and you have no other discernable talents such as being a gourmet cook (I want you barefoot and in the kitchen), being handy with tools (build a house for me), or being able to maintain employment consistently (if I have a job, so should you), the least you can do is make sure you can break headboards. But, I digress.
Coming from a destitute background where sometimes all someone had was their love and time to give, I understand the importance of judging a man by his character, how he treats me—and not by his wallet. In recent years, as I have matured in both age and financial stability, my minimal expectations have evolved from “He should treat me well, make me laugh, be honest and loyal, and able to hold a decent conversation” to having a “he must be gainfully employed” addendum. No, a man doesn’t have to be rich, or make a certain salary to grab my attention. All the great personality traits I preferred in the past still are required, but, after having to adjust my desires, habits, and preference to accommodate the fragile egos and even more fragile bank accounts of some guys, I am just over it! I have interacted with too many guys with limited (or no) funds establishing expectations and requirements for women that only guys who can at least afford to take a lady to IHOP could have. (Side note: I love me some IHOP). It seemed women should always accept them where they are in life and understand their situation—but let a woman be lacking of one of his hardly attainable and strangely specific dating criterion, then she was somehow unworthy of his presence. I would point out the hypocrisy and was often told I was being “difficult”. Ummm…I guess.
I know what you are going to say: there are plenty of “broke” folks who fell in love and are (or were) happy together. Certainly! I would not be alive if that were not the case. That struggle love a.k.a. “we both have very little at the moment, and we can both build and grow together” is fine in your twenties, but after you hit thirty, give or take a couple of years, loving someone [you just met] through the struggle is less appealing. Besides, love does not pay the bills–especially not these student loans.
I do understand that there are levels to broke-ness; all broke men are not created equally. There are some guys who are genuinely good men who simply do not make a lot of money (this is understandable). There are a few who may have taken a detour in life—jail, a bad marriage/relationship, or took a little longer to begin “adulting”—and are working to attain stability (still, on a case-by-case basis, understandable). And there are others who have coasted through life, not having been held accountable for anything and do not intend to pay for anything, even their own gas money (this is totally unacceptable and the group with which I take the most issue). Yes, I have met a few men in that last group. And, if I’m being honest, I blame women for those men’s attitudes. The mamas, sisters, aunts, ex-girlfriends, and ex-wives who have coddled 30-something year old men their entire lives into thinking his charisma and penis entitle him to hot food, regular sex, a place to sleep, and a life with little expectation to work, take care of themselves and their children, and be providers. We try so hard to protect our sons from the evils of the world, that we do them a disservice by not providing them with the tools to stand on their own as adults. I may be over-generalizing here, but I’m sure you get my point.
The real issue I have with guys who are broke who still feel like the world owes them something, is fundamentally this: You cannot act like a dependent, but expect to be treated like a King. Sir, that math just doesn’t add up. However, if you slide me your SSN, I can determine whether or not I can claim you on my taxes.
Ladies, I warn you: having sex with a broke dude is all fun and games….until someone gets pregnant.