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He’s sexy, charming, intelligent and supportive as hell. He knows things about things you’ve yet to discover. Dude is a gem. The only problem is he’s broke. Not the I-can-never-take-you-out-on-a-date kind but I-can-rarely-take-you-out-because-I’m-just-catching-up-from-a-few-years-of-being-out-of-work. But I’m super ambitious so it’s just a matter of time before I’m back on track.

Is dating a broke man something you can work with?

It’s a question that has left some men standing alone on a street corner before finishing the sentence. We’ve all heard songs like ‘Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent’ or Bills Bills Bills. Can You Pay My Telephone Bills?’ You can’t even be caught on the passenger side of your best friend’s ride without getting called a ‘Scrub.’ So what’s a man with a lean bank account to do? Lay low until things start looking up?

For some women being with a broke man means sitting on the couch eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Tell them that a broke man can have value you and they’ll laugh in your face. But the truth is, some women know different. They’ll tell you that a man who is broke can most certainly bring value to the relationship. Don’t believe it? Read on…

When Leah met him ten years ago the last thing she wanted to hear was, ‘I’m an actor.’ “I wanted a man with a steady income. Someone who could have my back.” But it wasn’t long before she realized that what he lacked in his wallet he more than made up for in vision and ambition. So they got married, and though there have been times when bills have mounted and threatened to destroy them like a fire-breathing dragon, there have also been triumphant times when everything has come together like magic. In those moments she knows that they did it together. “There’s a bond that’s created when you build with a person from the ground up.”

So it makes sense when a rapper like Kendrick Lamar gets engaged to his high school sweetheart after being together for ten years. “She’s my best friend,” says the Compton native of his bride-to-be. As an artist coming up in the rap game you can only imagine that life wasn’t always filled with red carpets. They probably slayed a lot of dragons.

K, a professional in the blogging field who has dated broke men in the past and would again, feels that there’s a distinction between being broken and mismanaged and being broke because you have many things on your plate that you’re trying to make happen for yourself. For instance, the guy she’s dating now doesn’t have a lot of extra money because he’s constantly re-investing into his business ventures. But it’s something that she understands. “You just have to get creative. We buy groceries and cook in a lot, but you learn to love better that way.” She says she’s dated men with money who were never around because they were always working, so the relationship never matured. “Plus,” she adds, “Men with money have everything at their disposal so you’re easily replaceable.”

It’s a sentiment that Lee, a professional who lives in LA and makes six figures, can attest to. “Men with money have tons of women at their disposal so they’re going to be real picky. And that dude that’s spending all that money has it to spend so it’s not even a real indication of how he feels about you.” In women’s defense, however, he adds that a lot didn’t grow up seeing good men as role models so they don’t know what qualities to look for. In the end, they wind up looking for big pockets and someone who can fulfill that Cinderella fairytale.

Vanessa, a single mom with a teenage son, says that she’s not going to write a guy off for being broke. In fact, the last man she dated she describes as ‘cinders broke.’ However, she does need to see that he’s working towards something and that he’s not manipulating people along the way. “It’s what’s in a guy’s heart, his morals, and the connection that count. Not what’s in his wallet.”

It’s unfortunate when you think about how women are always saying, ‘There aren’t enough good men out there.’ The truth is, there are. But they don’t all come making six figures. Some are blue collar, in-between gigs, others have bad credit. But the flip side is some are damn good cooks, super creative and uber ambitious. With the right woman who knows where they’ll be tomorrow. And think about it this way, pre-nups are based on people who refuse to give the other person anything they didn’t walk into the relationship with. If you think that you’re going to walk into the sunset with a self-made-man, good luck. It may happen but…

Like insurance, some benefits take time and have to be worked for, but in the end, it’s so worth it.

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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