Dating or Finances? Should you wait to date and miss out on the love of your life because your money wasn't right? Or date and wait, as a result, potentially ruining what could have been a great relationship because of your financial struggles? So many questions... but first, let me tell you a story of my own personal experience dating when I was broke.
Funny Story About Broke Dating
When I was younger, money was an issue when it came to doing anything outside of paying bills. That being said, I still wanted to date. What can I say… I was a hopeless romantic. So, I went out on a date with a beautiful woman introduced to me by a mutual friend. I thought to myself, “I’m the luckiest man alive!” I felt like I had stumbled upon a gleaming pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Obviously, there was no gold, or at least, someone stole it because they didn’t share it with me, because I was broke and never should have gone on that date. But I was a bit stubborn at the time, so no way would I turn this opportunity down.
Money Mistake #1
I ignore my conscience screaming incessantly, “Jay! don’t do it, reconsider…”
All things considered, I knew I didn’t have the money to take a woman out on a date. But, I accepted, and even planned the date.
Money Mistake #2
I knew I was already [budgeting] my money to pay bills and keep up this affinity for Top-Ramen Noodles I had grown so fond of.
What was I thinking? Regrettably, I went out on the date anyway, and that’s where the story of being broke when dating begins.
First, I have to say, that by normal standards you could consider me broke, but I wasn’t, “flat-broke.” I wasn’t out on a date, ready to stiff the waiter on the check or expect her to pay. I simply didn’t have the funds to keep up the dating process with a young woman I could potentially be courting. So for the men who are reading this, that means, taking her out, treating her, surprising her and spoiling her. Yes, you’re supposed to do that. That is, if you’re that kinda man. If you’re not, you should change that.
Back to the story
We’re out, having a memorable date until the check comes. That’s when you look at the bill like,
That’s when you remember you have about $30.00 in your account and the bill is $31.45.
I knew I shouldn’t have ordered that appetizer.
So while I’m waiting on the waitress to come back, I’m sitting there, hands balmy, eyes wide-open, looking around, trying to distract myself with random jokes, knowing this waitress might come back telling me my card is declined.
Don’t ever go out on a date when you don’t have the money to cover the unexpected.
That means, covering incidentals such as the woman ordering extra drinks. You do not want to cut her off if she’s having a good time do you? A woman shouldn’t have to worry about your budget. That’s something you should have seriously considered before going out on a date with her.
I constantly hear men saying…”I’m tired of paying.” “Dating is expensive.” Seriously? Since when? We have known that dating is expensive since dating came out. So don’t act like you didn’t know. Success favors the ready. So prepare yourself for dating and the expenses that are involved. But success also favors the bold. Which leads me into my next point.
If you’re bold and honest enough, tell her you’re broke before the date.
Above all, women respect honesty. That being said, if you’re bold enough, tell her, “I’m on a budget, [insert reasons].” There are a lot of women that understand. And either they will decline your invite, accept your invite and offer to pay for their own meal, or they’ll suggest a date that cost little to no money at all. So you’re not totally out of luck if you’re broke with no money to date.
Bills over Girls
First, you can’t pay bills without money. While I knew that I wanted to date, I actually paid all my bills beforehand. At least I was responsible in that department. I was just ignorant when it came to dating. I knew that when this date was over, I’d have zero disposable income.
Women respect a man who is frugal and financially responsible. A man who plans ahead and is always ready for most situations. She will understand if you are budgeting. That means you’re being responsible. Most of all, you are showing her that you are able to prioritize what’s most important. That is very important to a woman when it comes to her looking at you as a provider. Yes, women think way ahead when it comes to these things. So what you show her now, is directly reflective of what she can expect down the road. She’ll hold you to every-single-word and action you portray in the beginning. Better believe, if you don’t make the right decision, all of a sudden, she’ll be talking about you to her friends and forgetting to respond to your phone calls.
The End of My Story
So the waitress comes, and she looks at me, then looks at my date, and immediately my heart starts pounding like the Florida A&M drum section. Strangely enough, the transaction went through. Saved by technology on that night… and Overdraft Protection.
I actually told my date why I was acting so weird and she laughed. But it wasn’t a regular chuckle, it was a, cackle! So I stood there, with all my pride and became exasperated. The sheer gall of this woman. Laughing at my faux pas. How dare she! But then, I thought about it, this was my fault. I did this to myself. Live and Learn.
Needless to say, we never dated again. Good thing I didn’t lose out on the love of my life being irresponsible (at least I don’t think I did). And I learned a tough, hard lesson about dating with no money.
Reflections of Monetary Absenteeism
From here on, I’m going to talk specifically about the issues that arise when you try to date when you have no money to do so.
When dating a woman, she will have expectations that have been rooted in her since she was a little girl. Her mother, father, family, society, social media and television have influenced her at different points in her life. Some of those lessons are positive, negative and some are very unrealistic. As a man, you will constantly have to overcome those expectations. That’s the rule. There’s no getting around that.
That being said, you definitely want to make sure you have your proverbial, “ish” together financially, or wait until the timing is better. You don’t want to end up in a restaurant hesitant to hand the waiter your card when you realize she ordered too many drinks for your budget. You don’t want to choose between paying a bill or paying her way. Honestly? There’s no choice here. Save your money, be patient and wait until you are in a place to court a woman.
Don’t Let Her Carry You Under Any Circumstance
Women are born to nurture. They always want to be there for you and help you in situations where you need it most (that doesn’t mean you should always accept their offer). A woman will say, “you don’t have the money?” “I’ve got you.” “I’ve got us.” Selflessness is a great quality to find in any person. In some cases, all that nurturing and support can prevent progress or necessary growth when a man becomes too comfortable with a woman, “mothering him.”
However, if the financial situation has gone-on longer than anticipated and you’re unable to contribute, or you act out-of-character for whatever reason, the resentment will flow and you’ll be the one receiving the verbal gut-punch. If I were you? I’d pass on letting my woman help me for anything I can handle myself. Never let your woman carry you. Never let her provide for you. Have pride in yourself. That’s not her role (if you believe in gender roles). The man is the provider. And this doesn’t absolve her from financial responsibility, but it means she will be secure knowing she has a man she can depend on if needed. Not one that will leech off of her or become complacent because his finances aren’t in order.
Some Points to Remember
Lastly, dating when broke doesn’t prevent you from dating. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful dating experience with a great woman who understand your circumstances. It simply means:
- Always be as transparent as possible. Even if she likes you (and you can’t date because of your money situation), decline and get back to her when your finances are in order.
- Let the woman know your financial situation up front so she can make an informed decision whether to date you. If you’re uncomfortable with talking about that, then don’t date.
- Don’t let her carry or mother you. Be a grown-ass-man.
- If you do decide to date when broke, have a plan for her based on your finances. Just telling her, “your money is funny,” or, “you don’t have it,” is unacceptable.
- Be creative. Plan dates that are fun and cheap, but don’t break the bank. (IE: walks or picnics in the park or roller-skating)
- Have a plan to get out of your financial situation. Discuss it with her. She’ll respect you more because you’re planning and not depending.
- Know your limits and the cost to play. If you’re broke and dating, know how much it will cost you (ahead of time) to date in your city or town. Determine the cost, and see if you fall within that bracket. If not, don’t date, wait.