The way you make your dollar work is getting my panties all wet….
Fiscally responsible dating is sexy; being just plain cheap is not.
This post was inspired by this web series I’ve really gotten into, entitled “Brothers With No Game” , as well as the post by Lincoln Anthony Blades of This Is Your Conscience, entitled "Women Who Don't Believe in Recession Dating are NOT Wife Material."
In their words: Brothers With No Game is a lifestyle blog that aims to inform and entertain with their views on a range of topics including dating, sport, fashion, entertainment, society, and culture. Their appeal is that they cater to every man—the brother who knows how to play the fame and the brother who doesn’t—while at the same time give females an insight into the male psyche.
I like the series because it does mirror situations that the everyday man, particularly in the dating world has to deal with. Episode 4 (Recession Dating) definitely caught my attention (see below):
There are some women who definitely feel where Remy’s coming from, from the fact that Junior didn’t have a car to him having the gall to suggest they go to the chicken place rather than an upscale, restaurant environment. They even feel her rage when he wasn’t able to pay the bill, although he did make efforts to try to secure the money, and the rage even heightened when she ended up having to pay the bill herself.
However, I find myself really relating to Junior.
It is tough when you don’t have a job. Dating and being broke—it’s nearly impossible for those two to go hand in hand. It is tough, especially when you are used to steady money coming in, and next thing you know, it’s gone, and you don’t know when it’s coming back.
There were signs all through the episode where either side could have walked away without the embarrassment of what occurred:
1. When Junior let Remy know his method of transport to get there.
Okay, let’s be real. How many guys, if they didn't have a car or have means to borrow a car, would have shown up?
Some would have probably found some way to cancel the date. Yet he was on time (I give him props for that, plus that's the Virgo in me about the being on time thing), despite having to depend on public transportation (and PT isn’t always accurate). Plus, since he didn’t have enough money for a cab, it should have been a red flag as to how his ends were.
Remy kept looking for the car, like she was getting Punked.
When she saw no car, she had the option to end the date.
But she pressed on.
2. Once Junior suggested the chicken place instead of the restaurant.
That’s another indicator. If a man is really trying to impress a woman and has the means to do so, the restaurant would have been suggested first. If that restaurant was out of the means, then he could have suggested another restaurant on that same street. The fact that he didn't was another snapshot into his situation.
Remy could have ended the date there. She couldn’t have tried to get a taxi or told him to fork over some public transit money so she could make her way back.
Instead, in her indignation, she suggests they go to the fancy restaurant.
3. Junior going along with Remy’s suggestion.
See, this is where he messed up. Where he ROYALLY MESSED UP. This was the time to come clean and to make a stand. He could have said anything from,
“This place is way too expensive. I know a place with even better food down the street.”
“I don’t really care too much for seafood. Why don’t we opt for chicken, like the place I picked out?”
Or if he didn't want to make it all fancy, just be like:
“Look, I want to get to know you, and it shouldn't be just about the food. I like the chicken place and the chicken place is affordable. If it’s not your thing, then we can end the date here.”
Then, the ball would have been in her court.
But he allowed her to bully him into the more expensive location.
4. Taking shots at Remy’s profession.
Another mess up on Junior’s part. I know he didn't want to reveal his meager status, but knowing his situation, he didn't have to take jabs at her blogging, especially if she’s getting good income. That put her in an even nastier mood, after trying to get past getting there by public transportation and the suggestion that they go to a chicken place instead of an upscale restaurant.
5. Junior not coming clean, even after the card was coming up declined.
He should have said something after the first attempt went sour. Instead, he let it go on until she finally offered to pay, which definitely killed the date.
I know it seems like I’m hating on Remy, but I’m not. I feel Remy has a right to have a certain expectation when she is going on a date. A normal routine would probably consist of the guy picking her up on time in his own ride and going to some place a bit upscale for chatter, food, and drinks.
The problem I have is when signs pointed to her typical set up going sour.
She was probably trying to give Junior the benefit of the doubt, but she was so caught up on what Junior didn't have, she couldn't allow herself to relax and have a good time. I sensed an inkling of chemistry between them, but because of all the hiccups during the date, it never got a chance to shine.
Now Junior is getting painted out as a loser, and Remy feels like she has waited time and money on the date.
So let me bring this back full circle:
When I was in the dating game, I considered myself a Realistic Dater.
If I was in college, eating Ramen Noodles and drinking water, I wasn't expecting someone I was dating in college to be making six figures if he was going through the same thing I was going through.
Yet, on the same token, if I’m in the corporate world, making pretty good money; if I am in the dating world, and we run in some of the same circles, then I would come in expecting to go to a nice dining place, not someone thinking that McDonald’s is an actual restaurant.
I've been riding high (making good money) to riding low (absolutely no type of income) and now currently at “thank goodness I am working” (but not back to the top of the mountain).
As women, we have to understand that men go through it, too. Especially with how tough the economy is. The people who have been hit the roughest are men. Hispanic and African-American men, especially.
Plus, there’s typically an expectation placed on men to be the ones who pay for the date, no matter what the circumstances and to make a good first impression.
So unemployed but trying to look like you’re balling…well that is a hard thing to juggle.
There are some women who are like, “Man don’t even try. If you have little to no finance, you have no business trying to have romance.”
However, if a woman’s attitude is like that, what is going to happen when the shoe is on the other foot?
When the woman doesn't have a job?
How many men do you honestly know say, “Well, she doesn't have any money coming in; I’m not going to take her out”?
I’ll be honest. I haven’t found that guy yet. Not saying there isn't one out there, but he hasn't stumbled on to me.
My theory is—if a woman is beautiful, has a great personality, and can hold a good conversation, the last thing he is thinking about is her ability to pay for a meal or what type of car she is driving.
Yet, in more cases than not, you are finding some women don’t have that theory when it comes to men.
Non balling men and women need fun and love, too; here is how they should be going about it--getting their fiscally responsible sexy on....
1. Be honest about the financial status, even before going out on the first date. Have the talk. The first date may not even go down if the other person realizes it. You’re saving money right there.
Well if the other person is down:
2. Talk about how the expenses will be broken down. Will the two of you take turns paying? Is it half-and-half? Or does the guy always pay?
3. Be creative with the outings. It doesn't always have to cost a lot of money.
During the summer, some places have free concerts and plays to go to.
Your date likes art? Check out the museum.
Music or poetry? Spoken word venues, local places that feature music.
Are you an artist? Have your own little gallery and show off your skills. Maybe your date will volunteer to be a subject, and that can open up its' own little doors.
Do you both like the outdoors? Stroll on the beach, walk in the park, a picnic.
Like to work out? Some places offer free dance classes, yoga, or even free gym passes for the day.
Lovers of wine? There may be spots where you can do some free wine tasting.
Possibilities are endless. You just have to be open. So does the person you are dating.
Who knows? You may just have more fun being nontraditional than just doing stuff like just going out to eat, the club, or catching a movie.
Fiscally responsible dating is sexy; being just plain cheap is not.
Fiscally responsible is about taking care of your business. Making sure all of your bills are paid and you have some ends left over. Plus, not using those left over ends irresponsibly. So to be fiscally responsible when dating means you are realistic with what you have, know what you can afford, and find ways to convey that to the other party.
I think what Junior attempted to do fits in the category. He knew what type of ends he was playing with, calculated what he could afford in the beginning, but messed up in the full conveyance of the situation.
Being just plain cheap is having more than enough ends to treat someone special every once in a while, but purposely chooses not to do so.
Unfortunately, by the end, this is the category Remy threw Junior into and a nice brother she could be missing out on by putting too much emphasis on status rather than substance.