Dear Very Smart Brother
I need advice quick fast and in a hurry. I am a 24 year old nuclear engineer and I am currently seeing a very good man. He’s attractive, he cares about me, he loves his children and he is honest. The bad part is that he comes with ALOT of baggage. he has two kids (two baby mamas), he has a dead end, low paying job, he’s staying with a friend and he has no car or cell phone. Most (if not all) of his money goes to child support and bills, so its a struggle for him to save. Also he has Crohn’s Disease, which is managed by medication and a proper diet, neither of which he has the funds to obtain. I truly empathize with his situation. I know first hand how it feels to struggle; I’ve been car-less, I’ve been jobless, and I’ve been homeless which is why I try to see the MAN that he is rather than what he does or does not have. I cook healthy meals for him, I loan him money and my car (to go to work), I try to encourage him and motivate him. I feel as if he has the potential to be this great man if he could just get his financial situation together. I know its hard in this recession, but when it comes to job hunting I feel as if he is only giving about 80%. When I’m at work lately I find myself spending more time than I should on the internet job hunting for him. He has a degree in Animal Science and Agriculture, so I don’t understand why he’s not using it. I feel that he should be giving 150% to better his life and his situation, I did so I know he can do it, but he’s 29 and his life has been in this limbo for years now. I want a family and a home and a stable, loving environment for my future children (I currently don’t have any) and I really think I can do that with him, but only if he takes more initiative. I don’t want to nag him, and I don’t want to give up on him either, but I can’t do this forever. He’s a good man and good men are so hard to find. I don’t want to throw mine away because he’s having a hard time.
Don’t Want To Give Up
Dear Don’t Want To Give Up,
If there’s any letter that’s proof of how royally effed up the recession has been, it’s this one. Nuclear scientists who’ve been homeless? Bachelor Degreed cats with serious digestive issues who can’t even afford a cell phone? It’s like the Black Enterprise version of Oliver Twist.
Anyway, it sounds like your man is going through some serious depression. Just be happy that we’re lucky enough to live in a country where people with limited resources can still afford the medical care they need. (Damn, my bad. Disregard that last sentence. I occasionally forget that we’re not Canadian.)
I commend you for being such a supportive and helpful woman, but there comes a time when it’s probably better to jump ship instead of trying to steer it to safety. While he might be a good guy, it doesn’t seem like he’s in a place where he needs to be dating anyone right now, and you shouldn’t volunteer to be a guinea pig in his “how messed up can a man’s life be and still have women supporting him” experiment.
Continue to be his friend, but curtail the romance and any thoughts of any future together (read: please date other people!!!) until he makes some concrete moves to better himself. Being a support beam is ok for a while, but too much pressure will eventually knock you down too.
Damon Young (aka The Champ)
Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com. Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com
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