My girlfriend and I had a conversation about men. I guess girls do that – gossip about men when there are no men around. My friend is single and dating. As you can imagine she had quite a few stories to share. I listened to her musings about the guys she met, and felt relieved that I am not playing the dating field anymore. It sounded … tiresome.
Dating when it is done right can be a lot of fun. It can also be hard work. Especially when it comes down to whom and how you are dating.
Ladies, this post as well as subsequent articles will be drawn from my own dating experiences. What I am going to say is based on a few examples of a few men my friends and I have encountered.
Gentlemen, if you are going to read this any further, you should realize one thing – I am not generalizing. I am not saying that all men have to fall into certain categories.
I believe that there are certain types of men that can trap you financially and emotionally. I met them myself, I dated some of them and now I want to write about them: The Poorhouse, The Great Pretender and The Penny-Pincher. I am planning to write a series of posts about each of these categories. Today I would like to discuss The Poorhouse.
Main characteristics of the Poorhouse: he is going through some financial difficulties and cannot afford a lot of things. He is broke because he either just lost his job (economy sucks) or he doesn’t have an emergency fund because while looking for a job he spent it all. Other circumstances are possible. He lives with his friends because he cannot afford his rent anymore or he lives in a trailer park because it is all he can afford.
Ladies, would you give him a chance?
Situation 1. I met my husband when both of us were broke. I was plowing my way through grad school, he was digging his way out of the student loans. He wanted to impress me, so on our first date he took me out to an expensive restaurant. There he spent his whole paycheck. Mind-blowing? Absolutely. Stupid? You bet!
But we made our relationship work. I overlooked the fact that he was broke (so was I!) and that he could not afford a lot of things. What I liked about him (besides other non financial stuff) was that he paid his bills on time and he was working hard at his job to get a promotion.
I evaluated all of this and the fact that I do not validate my self worth depending on how much money a guy spends on me. Do you?
We still managed to go out and do fun stuff. We had great dates that did not cost a lot. We cooked dinners at my place, watched movies at his, walked in a park, played board and card games, visited his and my friends, went on scenic rides. Somehow, we were in this together – struggling financially but building a better future.
Situation 2. One of my girlfriends met a guy who announced to her almost immediately that he was broke and could not afford a lot of things. He, in fact, told her that if she wanted to eat out, go clubbing and just go see movies, she would have to pay. He was unemployed at the time they met. I was surprised to hear that he had admitted to being unemployed because I always thought that unemployment was the last thing a guy would want to admit. But I am generalizing here…
She did it for a while (love is blind sometimes): paid for dinners, movies, drinks. She tried to find him a job. She was networking for him, she was pulling a lot of strings with no appreciation from him. I was puzzled. Why would a successful career woman be dating a guy who was smoothly moving from one job to another, did not want a stable life, and was living in a trailer park because it was cheaper than an apartment?
I do understand that love is blind but to what point?
My friend broke up with this guy after six months. Six months! It sounded like a lifetime. When I asked her why, she said “I am a very accepting person but I got to the point where there is only so much I can do. I needed help and he was not willing to provide that help.”
Isn’t it ironic that my successful friend needed help?
I believe that no relationship should be based on money. Unfortunately, money very often shapes our relationships.
UPDATE: This article was included in the 281st edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. Make sure to visit the Carnival and check out other great articles.