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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