Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Theory & Essay

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

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, sh*t, 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.)

You can read more at Madame Noire

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • That’s How I feel

    I feel the same way now. I’m female and going through somethings and don’t feel right talking to a guy without my shit being more stable.

  • rooseveltdunn

    I think it’s partly due to expectations, a lot of women wouldn’t date a guy without a certain level of stability so a lot of guys (the decent ones anyway) strive to get their house in order before committing it does help in the dating game

    • GirlSixx


  • Melly

    I’m skeptical that it is a thoughtful decision to not commit before having financial stability or the proverbial “house in order”.

    In most cases those financially unstable men are also immature and irresponsible. Why would anyone think he/they would make a conscious decision to reframe from long term commitments because of financial instability? (Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?) One can not expect greatness from the mediocre. I think it’s just another excuse men are using to extend the “player card”. And I definitely wouldn’t date a man who was financially unstable; you’re just opening the door to other issues.

    And in response to this assertion “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. “…
    I don’t discount that this may have occurred, I just doubt it was the main reason men chose to marry. I think during that time marriage held more value; having a wife/family was an important aspect of life.

    • DC2380

      The Champ is 110% accurate in his assessment and you should not be skeptical because it is very true. Let’s keep it real, in every married situation that I know of, both parties finances are in order. The number one thing all of my married friends have told me is that your finances must be in order to have a successful marriage…Not perfect, but in order. Kids are expensive, taking vacations (which is necessary in a marriage) takes funds, and etc. As a man from the south, I was raised that men should be the leader of the househould and have a good foundation is apart of being an effective leader.
      Let’s be real, in my pursuit of a mate, I definitely can and will not deal with a chick/female who doesn’t have their finances together. Talking about buying a lexus living on a raman noodle budget….Naw, not going to mess up my perfect credit score lol

      On a serious note, just because men married earlier back in the day doesn’t mean they were perfect either. MLK had mistresses, my grandfather who lived in the south and married my grand mom earlier, had over 20 kids outside his married. So the dynamics of getting married earlier or later doesn’t change anything.

      I thik what women should take from this. If you meet a man that is striving for excellence, understand his place and allow yourself to stand by and support him. That’s one of the big flaws in our community. No one wants to support the other party that is struggling to make a better way for his/her family. I remember in grad. school getting shot down by women who said, dang u can’t take me here or there cause you are in school (a top 10 program)?? I was like wow, really though???

      So it’s a new day and age and having a strong financial foundation is key to a successful marriage.

      • SexyCool

        “20 kids outside his married [sic]”


  • Royale W. Cheese

    Men feel the need to get their economics in order so that they can have access to *many* “top quality” women. Indefinitely. #nocountryforromantics

    • Sahel

      Nothing wrong in wanting quality instead of quantity lol.

      • Royale W. Cheese

        I was talking about quality plus quantity, with quantity being the key word.

        • DC2380

          How so?? I prefer quality all day. I think this is not accurate for all men. You get to a point in life as a mature man where that adds no value to me.

          And if a brother who grinded to get his stuff together, what’s wrong with having fun? As long as it has been clearly stated, I see nothing wrong with dating mutiple women. That is the only way you will be successful in this dating game because there are women who run game or say one thing, but actually want something else….

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Exactly, Royale.

  • A Woman’s Eyes

    The last 5 lines of what you wrote on Madame Noire said it right!

    Let’s talk about this. Why do women not want to enjoy dating and friendships with men? Why do they wanna skip ahead to marriage? Being single is where she has options she doesn’t realize she has. For example, if dude isn’t that into her she can cut her losses and only be around dudes who want her time. The most real relationships I’ve seen began as platonic friendships. Too many women invest too much into the possibility of a relationship and less into platonic friendships with men (in general).

    • Sahel

      But dnt women friendzone men and that means that there is no chance for a relationship showing up ?

    • Negro Libre

      I was thinking close to the same thing, but for different reasons.

      The purpose of a relationship is to gain comfort with someone having a monopoly on your free time. In regular life, most single people spend the vast majority of their free time with their friends. When a person decides to be in a relationship, the person is basically assigning a monopoly of their friendship time to one particular person. That’s why in relationships, people are either referred to as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” The whole purpose of relationships is for a woman to figure out how to be friends with a guy that she’s attracted to.

      The thing is their is nothing romantic or sexy about learning how to be friends with a guy who you have extremely strong feelings for. However, there is a lot of romance and sexiness involved in the pursuit. So a lot of women, if not the vast majority, view relationships as a never ending courting process, as the lady in the example does. In fact, most of the advice women get in terms of relationships, is based off of the idea that relationships are a never ending courting process.

      However, this is why platonic relationships evolving into romantic relationships are rare and barely succeed, even though the parties involved might end up more happy. Platonic relationships don’t last because there is no pressure, and relationships come about and last because the people involved are able to deal with pressure. Platonic friendships that lead to relationships are pleasant, but they lack a strong foundation.

  • I agree with this settlement. I have a strong attraction to a man who says he doesnt want more because he has too much going on. But I felt like if he wanted me he would pursue me. But at least you know now, versus down the line when you are in love and have had a few kids with him but no intentions of marriage. lol

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