Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Should I Wait For Him To Get His Money Right?

February 20, 2013  |  
Hey Damon

Recently, a few of my friends have come across the sentiment that men don’t want to even date seriously if they’re not in a certain place financially. Can you explain whether this is really a thing or an excuse to avoid commitment? And if it is a thing what types of markers do men need before they can feel comfortable progressing in a relationship?

Curious About Men And Cash


Dear Curious,
As anyone with a TV and internet access is aware of, there’s a well-publicized epidemic of singledom plaguing the Black community. In comparison to 50, Shyte, even 20 years ago, less of us are getting married, and the people who are getting married are waiting longer and longer to do it. And, it’s not like the want to be coupled up isn’t still there. If this was true—if people just didn’t want to be together anymore—How to Spell Like You’re Always Writing From a Flip Phone would the only book Tyrese would be able to publish.
(Personally, I don’t think this—less and less people getting married—is a completely bad thing. Marriage/parenthood isn’t for everyone, and the more people ill-equipped for marriage and parenthood that realize this, the better.)
But, while everything from men wanting to extend the player card as long as possible to the feminist movement are cited when people ask why contemporary men may seem more reluctant to commit, from my experience the most common thing stopping men from being commitment-minded is the tenuousness of many of our job situations/finances. Basically, (most) men don’t want to entertain the idea of starting something serious unless the rest of their life is in order.
One of the reasons why men 40 and 50 years ago were ready to settle earlier was because you could just graduate from high school and walk into a job at a plant or a steel mill and make a pretty decent salary. Those types of jobs don’t exist anymore, and despite whatever changes there may have been in gender roles and relationship dynamics, (most) men still want to be able to provide for their loved ones, and won’t enter something serious unless they feel they’re at a place where they’re settled enough to reasonably feel that they can hold things down if they want to. Also, “settled” doesn’t just mean financially secure. Basically, if a guy is making a decent salary at a bank, but is thinking about going back to school to be an engineer (or rapper), he’s not settled yet.
Unfortunately—well, unfortunately for women—this process usually takes longer for men than women. So, while the typical woman might be settled in that regard in her mid 20’s, the typical man may take a little longer. This imbalance of settled women trying to date unsettled men seems to be the cause of much of the dating angst women experience.
Also—and this may seem to contradict what I just said, but hear me out—this also can be an excuse to avoid commitment. While it is true that (most) men aren’t going to be serious until they’re settled financially, it’s not like they’re just going to sit home by themselves all day, either. What often happens is that “unsettled” men get into situationships with settled women, and once those men become settled—and once they realize “being financially settled” means “I have more options now“—-they take advantage of their new status.
At the same time, if a guy wants a woman bad enough, he’ll do what he has to do to keep her, Shytety finances or not. All that stuff about not being able to afford to be in a serious relationship changes if he comes across someone he can’t afford to lose. Basically, if a man tells you he’s not ready for anything serious because he’s not straight financially yet, he’s either saying it because it’s true, or saying it because he wants to “upgrade” eventually. Either way, it likely means he’s just not all that into you.
Damon Young

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  • Ajavee

    Great article.

  • Coco black

    Damon…I adore you but that was one lonnnnnng reply 🙂 if a man wants you he wants you…if he doesn’t the excuses start coming!! If he’s not financially ready for a serious relationship, and you are ready then he’s clearly not a match.
    Women and I’ve been guilty of it myself like to over-think things!

    If a man said that to do me, and I was seeking long term commitment from him, I’d say “I appreciate your honestly, have a good life”.

    So back to original question…it’s an excuse!

    Give swirling a go … keep your options open! Lol

    • Well honestly most men won’t tell you that he isn’t going to commit because he’s waiting to pull a better class of women when he gets his money right. He’s never going to tell you that. So he strings you along never fully commits and offers no plans of you in his future.

      I know too many women who make this mistake. “but I was there for him when he had nothing.” “but I let him stay with me for 2 years.” “but I got 2 of his kids.” why he do me that way? Cause you were the chick he was doing while he was working on pulling the class of women who know their worth and know there are men with good credit, a career, and maturity who want to be with her and she demands it.

  • heartonmysleeve

    That God i fall into the former…my man is in a rough place, but didn’t want to lose me…and I’m glad he didn’t give up!

    • heartonmysleeve


  • Nope

    The original question also said “date seriously”, nothing about marriage. So this would actually be like two levels before actual marriage. I just think a lot of women try to jump rank such as this and get too far ahead of themselves. Playing the movie out that’s in your head and the man doesn’t even have the script.

  • Nope

    Men will marry a woman when/if they find the one they want to actually marry. It’s really just as simple as that.

  • Vandellish

    In my experience I’ve heard guys say that they wouldn’t consider getting MARRIED unless their money is right (I guess marriage is like war lol) but I’ve never heard of strictly casually dating until their money gets right. I’m sure it happens but I’d have to say I agree with Smart Brotha in saying that if a guy really wants a woman then he won’t stop until he gets her. Financial stability or not. Usually this kind of talk falls by the wayside when what he thinks is the right honey comes along.

    Sounds like ‘said lady’ needs to find someone who wants her bad enough that he’ll endure the struggle or move quickly into ‘said tax bracket.’

    • A man who respects you and does love you wants to provide for you in the manner that he thinks you deserve. So it seems likely that even if he loves you and sees you as his future he might not want to move towards marriage and babies until he’s sure he’s able to do right by you. Now the question becomes do you want to wait around in the hopes he gets there?

    • 305MovesLikeDagger

      I am 23, graduated college with a pretty good degree but I am trying to get settled with a full time career. Dating and being broke is sorta ridiculous. Women expect you to pony up when you go out and it drains the pocket. So I can see why putting off dating is reasonable. If I can get a quick easy smash in yeah but if I have to go out every weekend, blah blah, I just would not be able to afford that at the moment so I refrain from chasing.

      • Listen ladies and heed what he is saying. Thinking you’re going to love his broke azz enough to make him commit isn’t happening. He wants to settle down with the type of women who demands he have something to bring to the table out the gate.

        • Drew Smith

          SMH. You didn’t have to call my man “broke azz,” though! LOL. Truthiness abound at any rate within your message.

          • LOL. I wasn’t tryna diss homie. Even though a couple of men have co-signed my sentiments there are STILL women arguing with me telling me ALL men aren’t that way. I’m just trying to impart some knowledge. Year after year they remain single going from situationship to situationship wondering why the men their dealing with won’t commit when they are ‘good’ women. Wisen up and only deal with a man who knows who he is and how he makes his living.

            • Drew Smith


            • hollyw

              The fact is, some men aren’t that way. You simply aren’t factoring in environmental factors/norms. I come from the Midwest (with, along w/ the South, is the largest region in the U.S.), where almost every dude was looking for wifey straight out of college, and women were willing. Here, in NYC, both men and women wait longer, for their careers to catch up, and also for higher standards.

              Here, I’d wait to get serious w/ a guy, or just date older men. There, I’d get serious when I’m ready, b/c the men just simply have a different mindset. Spoken frm experience.

              • Okay if you think I’m wrong then do what works for you. I won’t convince someone who has it all figured out that I’m right. I just know what I know based off of observation and what has worked for me. If you are hell bent on working with a fixer upper and that’s your steelio than more power to ya.

                • hollyw

                  …mmkay, the difference between your perspective and mine is that you’re speaking for men in gen’l, and I clearly said “some men aren’t that way”. I obviously have this perspective b/c it does work for me, and others I’ve observed. No one is “hell bent” on anything, sir lol…more power to you, as well.

      • Drew Smith

        I hear you, dude. I remember being 23 and not making much money. You’re kidding yourself if you think it’s wise to spend your money on a chick when you’re just trying to get by. Don’t even entertain it. Keep your head down, focus on your career and increasing your earning potential. You’ll look up one day, and the mere confidence that comes with knowing you earn good money, and can afford to go to a decent, non-chain restaurant will ensure you find a stone-cold number for yourself. Godspeed.

  • Kahekili

    Why should you when there are men who don’t have that mindset?

  • Yep. This is the truth. That’s why I don’t believe in women trying to fix men up or upgrade them. No sir, because men think “dang if I got HER when I ain’t had ish, who can I pull now that I have something to offer?” So ladies be that woman that he has to come correct out the gate in order to get with or you will simply be his something to do until he can move on to greener pastures.

    • Vandellish

      As a regular guy I have to say that I fully endorse this message.

    • 305MovesLikeDagger

      or “dang if I got HER when I ain’t had ish, so I will stay with her because the next chick may just be looking for a come up?” not every guy thinks the way you say.

      • Take a look at Hollywood or hell any pro league. How many of them stayed with the girl/wife they started with? VERY, VERY, VERY few. There’s a reason for that. You can try to give the old argument that not ALL people are like x.y, and z while true, does not override the overwhelming examples that present my words as truth.

      • Drew Smith

        Not EVERY guy, but the vast majority of dudes. It’s kinda the way it goes. I consider myself a decent dude (I have 4 awesome older sisters and 2 parents who taught me a fair amount in the way of behaving); yet, regardless of how beautiful or caring or motherly a woman may be, I’m simply not interested in a long-term situation. It’s a simple fact that the more money you have, the easier it is to engage the upper echelon of women. I’m not saying you can’t get a cold one while in earlier stages of your journey, but your chances of consistently dating the baddest out there increase proportionally to the amount of money you earn.

        • hollyw

          Hm. Well, to that I say…good luck settling w/ that “upper echelon”! Four children and not interested in long-term..? Perhaps we don’t have the same definitions of the upper half lol…

          • Drew Smith

            Yeah… definitely 4 older sisters. Poor thing. Good luck in life…

            • hollyw

              …right. 4 older sisters. I have plenty of luck, and more of God’s blessings, thanks 🙂 Still don’t understand how age and money along affords one the finest w/o having a long-term prospect. All of the successful women I know (myself, included) def gravitate towards men who are more established career-wise *as well as* emotionally stable and commitment-capable. So you may have access, but I’m sure the pool you’re wading in for the kind of woman who’d want the same as you is a subset of the upper echelon, not the echelon itself.

              • Drew Smith

                Thanks for your response. I think I’ve misled you with my earlier comment by negating to add in “… interested in a long-term opportunity RIGHT NOW.” Those are, indeed, operative words. I certainly didn’t mean to come off as some fellow who’s going to merely make a ton of cash while constantly checking for the next baddest thing I see. What I meant to convey is that working towards the financial and personal goals I have will — undoubtedly — change my scenery; thus, changing the ilk of female with whom I come in contact. That’s the way it goes. And, I don’t even think this is one-sided. Let’s be real: The same dude who approached you 5 years ago making $20/HR and wasn’t viable, suddenly becomes VERY viable when he becomes an emerging leader at GEICO making $125K. It’s the way it works.

                • hollyw

                  Ok…I agree with everything you just said, so I will just leave it at that lol.

                • Yet I say the EXACT same thing in three different ways and she hits me with the “well not ALL men are that way” . . . . figures.

          • Girl he ain’t said nothing about him having four kids.

    • Kenedy

      This! & lets be honest, divorce is very expensive, especially on a man’s part….so they had better make sure they are financially stable before getting married. I wish alot of women would do this too, wait until they are financially stable to get married, but i personally know alot of women that get married in order to get their money up. In this day & age marriage is definitely a business transaction.

      • Ajavee

        I agree. I believe marriage is a business.

    • bluekissess

      Reading the truth stings a little but I’d rather hear that than a lie. I just feel like women never seem to win it’s always an accuse. Some women just want love. I totally agree with you.

      • We do when we deal with the truth rather than believe the lie. There are men who are worthy of your love. Their are men capable of loving you the way you deserve, problem is most women want to waste their time thinking they can care for and love someone into treating them right. That won’t happen. We really have most of the power in a relationship yet we rarely use it.