Romance & Finance: Why Traditional Black Upper Class women are screwed

Posted: July 10, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasnt one

She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasn't one

So yesterday on twitter, had a great little back and forth with some of the homies and homettes about paying for dates. As one might expect, the discussion split among gender lines pretty quickly. The guys all said they appreciated when a woman actually pays for a date. Not the first date, mind you, but somewhere during the courtship, it was pretty much unanimously agreed upon that it’s a good look to “get this one”. at some point. The ladies were atually a little more fractured. You had the fundamentalist hardliners, who like Hamas, refuse to compromise and believe the male should always pay. They argue that by paying for a date, the woman is:

1. Emasculating the guy, since that’s traditionally his role

“@bsleet definitely not about you being less valuable, but it is about some gender roles that predate us all. no woman in her right mind pays”

“@FarajiFTW i think your bar is set pretty low. only men who fuck with lames expect to be paid for. ..”

“@cakemama cake should not be money. let cake be how you spoil a dude with care, not how you emasculate him by paying for shit”

2. That fly, educated, fine women shouldn’t have to pay because the man will want to take care of them:

“@farajiftw at the end of the day no man expects a fine/fly/smart woman to be paying for their dates. now if she’s not fine/smart/fly…”

“@farajiftw when you know what you’re bringing to the table, you don’t pay for a dude to stick around and find out. period. only a lame pays”

3. They bring value to the table not in terms of monetary contribution, but other shit:

“@farajiftw my value is my company and these dope assed titties you ain’t seen naked yet. hate to sound prostitutional but thats the way it b”

“@FarajiFTW you don’t know what i bring. i bring some shit too the table that niggas didn’t even think to ask abt.like damn she that AND that”

@farajiftw its not about abilites, she can pay for her own meal, but would u rather her cook or u? something to b said for…

RT @CharnikaMonique:im allabout traditionas well @adwoa14 i believein him playin hisrole and meplayin mine somewomen take indepdent thng2far

But then there was the more pragmatic side. We’l call them Fatah. They’re a little less traditional and more prone to being financially invested:

@farajiftw i’ll be crucified but…any guy that i have let pay for *everything* i didnt really feel too much

Icon_lock@farajiftw never tried it…we both just took turns taking each other out…a dutch hybrid. that worked well

@adwoa14 i’d assume that most men don’t date just to have another mouth to feed…if that was a case they could just have a child

me NEVER paying is like cooking while you’re at my house and only making enough for me…it’s just rude

@adwoa14 dates too…not the first few but eventually something has to give if y’all keep on going out

I think its an interesting conversation and speaks to how the shifting role of gender in the workplace, academia, and real life is impacting dating. As far as my take, it comes from experience. My relationships in which a woman has been willing to pay for a date have given me a certain comfort level that she’s not just there for free dinners or to leach me dry. They’ve been on the whole longer and more productive relationships, and they’ve also been the ones in which I ended up comiting to and putting a title on it. The relationships in which the woman has never paid or never offered to pay were typically ended up as jump-offs or casual side deals. I also typically ended up being much more willing to invest financially in a woman who showed a willingness to do the same. It may be just a byproduct of them being more involved relationships, but they got trips, gifts, and Morton’s. The ones that never paid typically topped out at oh, maybe say Mexican Cantina. Not saying that’s the final word or everyone’s experience but that’s mine. I think there are both men and women on both sides and I respect it both. If you like it, I love it.

That said, if you’re a “traditional” woman in terms of the finances of dating and you’re in the upper income stream, you’re gloriously fucked (Assuming you’re banking on dating a black man). Here’s why. The whole women’s lib and women’s rights movement has been predicated on the advancement of women toward equality with men in terms of education and career achievement. The idea is that there should be no income differential between men and women. For the black community, we actually may have overshot. Black women may be actually wealthier and have better paying jobs than black men when taken as an aggregate. A Brookings institute study in 2005 found that the individual income differential between white men and white women ages 30-39 was almost $20,000. For Black men and black women, the difference was less than $4,000. Since we’re talking about the upper middle to capitalist class here, those numbers are going to skew differently, but let’s take a look at the education statistics:

In 2005, only 28.6 percent of Black students enrolled in master’s degree programs were male, and Black males constituted only 3.1 percent of all master’s students in the United States

Read that shit slow so it sinks in. Only 28.6% of Black Master’s students are male. That means roughly a 3:1 ratio. I hate being the guy to harp on the “shortfall” as my female friends call it. I think it’ s unfortunate, but I see lots of women making it through that and finding a man all the time. I have tons of friends with advanced degrees or bachelor’s but make advanced degree money who are single. It ain’t like they don’t exist.

Theres a brother! Nope, Indian, theres one.. no, Greek, theres one..no, janitor

There's a brother! Nope, Indian, there's one.. no, Greek, there's one..no, janitor

But here’s where the screwage comes in: If you believe in the “traditional” method of “Man always pays”, you pretty much NEED to be with a man that makes more than you. It’s really that simple. Here’s why. If you make the same amount of money as the guy you’re dating (Women’s lib worked), by engaging the traditional “man pays” model, you effectively make him the poorer party in the relationship, simply because his expenses are higher. How much this actually eats into his wealth is a direct function of how much money he makes of course, and what his other expenditures are. But if you go out twice a week during the initial courtship stage, at an average of $60/event and go out 6 weeks before you make the go/no-go decision to be in a relationship, he’s in $720. Let’s assume since this is just the courtship stage, he’ll also see other women, using the same pricing model, but less often. If he goes out with two other traditional women, maybe once every two weeks, that’s another $360. That’s a total of $1,080. Let’s say for whatever reason, the decision at the end of that 6 week period is a no-go. You decide to not get into a relationship and so the cycle gets repeated. If he really has bad luck and runs through this cycle say five times a year, that comes to $5400. Let’s also say that you and this guy have similarly active social lives. I men, you actually have to go out to meet people since there are likely few eligible blacks at your workplace and you don’t shit where you eat.  You both go out to lounges, clubs, etc. As a man, his expenses are going to be higher as well. I’d guess unscientifically, a man spends twice what a woman would have to spend to have the same time. So let’s say you spend $200/month just going out to lounges, clubs, happy hours, etc. To have the same quality of time, he’d have to pay $400. He’ll have to pay covers where you don’t, buy drinks where you don’t, etc. Now this figure varies. I know guys who spend $200 the first 45 minutes they go out and I know guys that well, they don’t go out. But let’s say the $200 differential is accurate. You both make $100,000 a year, and pay 35% in taxes, so your take home is $65,000. You effectively make $7,800 more than he does. Having kept all that dating and meeting people money in your pocket. And let’s further assume, that like most of the midde class, he basically lives this lifestyle on credit. So he’s paying let’s say 9% interest on that figure, bringing the yearly outflow with financing costs to $8,502. This money’s gotta come from somewhere. It either means his savings and investing, his home, or his car are going to be at lower levels than yours. Further making him less attractive to you. So you NEED a man that makes more money than you! Which further limits the number of men in that category. And these men are also subject to the most competition. And you’re not just competing with other advance degreed women. He can date younger women, women with bachelors, etc, while you basically can only date up. His pool is virtually unlimited, while yours is very finite.

Now, you can argue that dating doesn’t have to be expensive and there are all kinds of sweet, thoughtdul things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money. That’s nice in principle, but hard to execute. Things that are nice by their nature typically cost more. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to justify their price tags. If an Aston wasn’t a better car than a Toyota, no one would pay the $120,000 premium to buy one. If a dinner at Morton’s wasn’t better than a dinner at Chevy’s, no one would pay the $150 premium. There’s only so many times a guy can do the whole picnic/museum/walk in the park thing without being called cheap. That’s just reality.

If it sounds like I’m putting blame on women for this situation, I’m not. I think women ave done the right thing, which is to achieve academically and pursue lucrative careers. The stats above indicate just how much many of us as black men have dropped the ball. I think it’s an utter embarrassment that we’re being so outdone by women especially in traditionally male dominated fields where we should have a natural advantage. It’s also an embarassment that we spend 32% more than white men on “visible consumption” (think clothes, shoes, cars, watches, bottle service). Even when we get to income parity, we end up keeping less because of our expense structure. I think those of us that do have some means really need to redouble our effort to try to get the next generation of black males on the right track. As a mentor to a high school kid, I take some responsibility there but I’m not doing nearly as much as I could.

If you were looking for a solution here at the end, I don’t have one. To some degree, I think the traditional gender roles of dating and the reality of black upper class demographics and economics are just too far apart. It’s essentially a crapshoot for a lot of women who are looking for this dynamic as to whether they’re able to get it. To some degree, given the above stated assumption, there’s much more of an incentive for a man to date “down” the economic spectrum than across, especially if he’s a traditional man and equates taking care of a woman financially with a man’s role in the relationship. So for a man to date “down” to the level where many professional degreed black women are simply requires earning power that very few men have, period, and then much less so in the black community.  Discuss.

Also, if you’re a traditional woman in a relationship or marriage with someone who makes less than you, I REALLY want to hear from you!

Comments
  1. Fly... says:

    Your reasoning is flawed…your reasoning suggests that my (as a Black woman) dating pool is limited to Black American men.
    They world is actually a traditional Black upper class woman’s oyster when she opens herself up to the unlimited possibilities.

    As far as paragraph that begins with “But here’s where the screwage comes in: If you believe in the “traditional” method of “Man always pays”…”, it worked for years before we were born, it could work now (and does for the women who expect and demand it and settle for nothing less). The men that always paid for dates when our grandmothers were young, pretty much dated one woman at a time. Finances dictated that. If you can only pay for one dinner a week, you went on that one damn date a week, with that one woman.
    I was taught to allow a man to spend his money on me, because if he’s not spending it on me then I can bet that he’s spending it on some other woman (or rims or jewelry or shoes or whatever the hell else that makes these men feel flashy). Call it what you like…

    I would never go to a restaurant and pay for a dinner I’ve had with a man. But I’m a really really good cook, and I’d purchase groceries for a full dinner (including salad, main course, dessert), wine, and will bake a cake or a pie or some cookies and send him home with some. That is the equivalent to (and often more) than that restaurant dinner in $$.

  2. Fly: I actually was referring to Black women who only wanted to date Blck men. When you’re talking about dating outside that sphere, I totally agree with you.

    As to your second point, one of the main reasons it worked so well for generations past were that the economics were different. From an economic perspective, the side effect of women having earning power is that they are now able to bid up prices for commodities. Thus, a single man in the middle class has real earnings (adjusted for inflation) that are actually below what someone doing the same job in the previous generation made. Whereas the top quartile is the only segment to actually see real income growth. The rich get richer. The idea that he’s spending all his money on rims and jewelry sounds like you date in the lower class. There’s an interesting article about the correlation between poverty and conspicuous consumption amongst black males.

    I cook all the time. That statement’s a little fishy to me. It never costs as much to eat at home as it would for the same meal in a restaurant, especially when you add in wine or liquor.

    Interesting comments, thanks for reading!

    • Fly... says:

      I agree with your second paragraph, well stated. As far as your statement about me dating in the lower class…ouch, a rather insulting. I come from a working class family and I am a working class woman. I date working or middle class men. I know about poverty and conspicuous consumption, I see it everyday, and I wish things were better. I know this discussion was about “traditional Black upper class women” so maybe I was out of line to respond, I just assumed it was ok since I am a traditional Black woman with aspirations…

      peace

      • LOL. Not out of line at all. I think your responses have been a great addition to the discussion. And that was kinda dickish of me, wasn’t it? My bad. That said, I mean the only guys I know that spend on rims and jewelry are, well…. But then, I know 4 or 5 guys with Rolexes, and there’s a lot of Armani and Canali going on the backs of my friends, so I guess its not that different

  3. ListenToLeon says:

    This was great! You made some interesting points, and definitely approached the topic from both sides of the coin. Very well done, my friend!

  4. There’s only so many times a guy can do the whole picnic/museum/walk in the park thing without being called cheap. That’s just reality.

    Any woman who feels that way only associates how much a man likes her with how much he’s spending. Some of the best dates I’ve had have cost little to no money.

    Dates are about the thought put in not the money it cost. Or they should be at least.

    As far as paying – this is an age thing more than anything. And not just limited to race – white upper class males in the 29 – 34 age range often bitch about white women who expect them to pay all the time as well.

    Men over 35 pay, Period. There’s not even a discussion to be had – if ya’ll go out he pays.

    Culturally African and Caribbean men pay as well – I’m not talking transplants here but those who were born and raised in their respective countries.

    I’ve paid for a date but never with a man I was actually interested in. I’ve paid for outings with a boyfriend or paid for dessert, generally as a way to say, “I really like you and all that you do so let me treat you this go ’round.”

    That generally plays well with the guys and is not something you have to do often.

    I’ve dated too many men who’ve paid for everything to really do anything less on a serious basis. To be honest I know I would never take seriously a man who couldn’t afford to or didn’t want to pay for dates…but then again pretty much everyone i date makes WAY more money then me.

    I’m a writer.

    They’re businessmen, doctors, lawyers and whatnot.

  5. Cephas says:

    WOW love this post. This is so tru. I do not have my master, but I am working on it. I have dated women with mba, jd’s etc since I left undergrad. I learned early on I didnt have the cash to keep up. I tried at first and just gave it up. So I just started taking them to my place to watch a flick or to the park to watch the sunset. I assume that my superior verbal skills didnt get me thrown into the “lame” category, but my peers in the same boat were. thanks for the post this needed to be said.

  6. @Brandon St. Randy

    LOL

    I’m not stupid.

    I write for a living.

    I can’t date a teacher or (another) artist and expect to live a “middle class” life. Let alone an upper middle class one.

    LOL.

    • DQ Gladstone says:

      This is funny because you think you’re making an argument but you keep supporting HIS argument.

      You expect “romance” to allow you to live above your means. You are the “lower income relationship” that he is talking about, where higher income men date lower income women.

      “Plays well with men”- that says it all right there.

      Good luck.

  7. Anna says:

    Very interesting take, BSR. There are good arguments from the lady tweeters on both sides of the fence. Really, though – aren’t most of decent compromisers on the issue? A man expecting a woman to pay within the first 3-5 dates = ridiculous cheapskate. A woman expecting a man to pay every.single.time for the duration of their relationship = ridiculous goldigger. I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle. If you’re courting me you’ll pay, and use your noodle to spend time with me without breaking the bank. Once we’re together we’re a team and our finances will be spent on our kid’s college fund or something, lol.

    • Fly... says:

      lol@ gold digger. A man would have to be wealthy in order for a woman to be a gold digger, right? And gold diggers are quite ruthless, using a man for his money, and once the money’s gone, she’s out of there. So a man paying for dates every single time makes a woman a gold digger? Wow.

      • Anna says:

        now, now – quote me correctly. You make a lot of assumptions in your reply:

        – A man’s wealth does not automatically make a woman a goldigger. Her pursuit of him for his wealth and general mentality about it are what make her a goldigger. And yes, middle class men also have goldiggers, they’re usually just not as good looking.

        – A man paying for dates every single time does not make the woman a goldigger. If he can afford it and wants to there’s no problem. A woman EXPECTING all men to pay for every single date makes her a goldigger. Because if that’s her stance it means that dating a man within a certain income bracket is more important than say – compatibility, manners or attraction. In other words, she values money more than the man. Also, no matter how long their relationship is she will never see herself as a partner, only as an asset to be payed for.

        And that, my dear, is a goldigger.

      • Fly –

        The only folk I know complaining about gold diggers are cats with no money. And even men i the low 6 figure range are pushing it when they start hollering about gold diggers.

        @Anna

        Can we stop pretending like money isn’t an issue.

        That all you need is a nice man who will rub your feet at night or some other such foolishness.

        Money and sex are the two main reasons why folk get divorced. They are also the two reasons everyone acts like isn’t that important when it comes to marriage.

        If you’re dating for fun – sure date the nice but financially challenged guy.

        If you’re dating for marriage then how muchhe makes matters and matters A LOT. Not to the exclusion of everything else – all the other still applies – but let’s not act like the nice garbage man is going to open the same doors and will provide the same quality of life as the Harvard educated lawyer.

      • New blog coming soon! What is a gold digger? It seems like men and women are miles apart when it comes to the definition of a gold digger. I wnt to explore this.

  8. JoeBmore says:

    I understand your premise. But let’s talk about reality. The overwhelming majority of Black women are NOT these upper middle class women.

    Why is the Black community so fixated on this finite number of Black women boggles my mind.

    Black men as a whole do need to go to college more, but if you said the entire Brookings Institute study. Black men still out earn Black women.

    We have to stop pumping out this image of super successful Black women and only thugs for Black men. Its not the case. It doesn’t help the Black community. If the majority of Black women are doing that great. Then shouldn’t the community be doing better by default?

    I know the “I’m going to get a white guy crew” will come in screaming. But they are never happy. lol

    Anyway. Interesting post.

    • Not sure about the rest of the world, but I pretty much write about them because for better or worse, that’s my demographic. That’s who I know and who knows me. I can’t write with any degree of authority on the dating issues of strippers or Starbucks Baristas

      • JoeBmore says:

        If that is the case then why:

        “how much many of us as black men have dropped the ball”

        What does it matter then?

        Have Black men dropped the ball to impress these few women or are these the only women that matter in the Black community?

      • @Joe Baltimore

        This particular situation doesn’t apply to women of a different socioeconomic classification. If you are asking the women who works at McDonald’s this question, she’s not going to have as much of a problem finding a man who earns the same or more than her or to be on her level regarding education.

        Clearly we can talk about the ills of the other socioeconomic classifications but this particular post isn’t about that.

      • JoeBmore says:

        @Management

        I completely agree. Its just that the other group of women never get talked about. Ever. So there is this image of all Black women being this elite group. Do you think when Oprah did the 70% of Black women are single show. She was talking about the other group. No.

        I just get tired of the mantra, and would like honest reality at some point. This has been going on for 5 years, and it never ends.

        I understand the elite group. I grew up in an Upper Middle Class household, and both my parents are Doctors. So this isn’t some poor boy griping.

      • @Joe Bmore

        Actually, yes, Oprah was talking about the whole group. That statistic wasn’t just about black women in higher socioeconomic levels it was about black women in general. It was about welfare moms and ceos. The problem with the black family is much bigger than this post and Oprah was trying to touch on that issue.

        Also, there is a lot of catering to your readers that goes on with blogs. I hate to stereotype, but I don’t think women in lower socioeconomic levels read and discuss these particular postings. I’m sure if more of them did, more topics would be targeted towards them.

        Just my thoughts.

      • JoeBmore says:

        @Management

        Well Said, and point taken.

  9. miko says:

    i mean, reading your posts make me feel like i’m too cheap for this life.

    $60 bucks a date?

    sheesh. that sure is steep. plus i hate restaurants. cost too much freaking money. why can’t dates be free or cheap anymore? jeez louise.

  10. TheSweetestThing says:

    Well, a couple of women said they didn’t think much of a man who paid all the time…I never thought about that. When a woman pays, she may be more interested in you, I think I agree.
    But I unfortunately agree with what you’re saying Randy, everyone wants a baller, but there’s just not enough for the entire class. I am hardly balling, but everything I have, I got myself. So I just got out of a relationship with a younger man you made less than me, and I’ve also dated the ones who make much more than me. For the record, none of them worked out, but that’s a different show. I pay for dates sometimes, and should he stay around long enough, I also cook, so there’s a certain amount of reciprocity. There’s decent regular guys out here. But if we get too hung up on finding the elusive baller, we may look around and find that we are old and these dope ass’d titties ain’t sitting high & pretty like they did in yesteryear. Then it’s too late, the baller has found a newer model.

  11. Stank-0 says:

    Co-sign, chuuuch @ miko regarding dating.

    It also gave me an epiphany for why I only had one date with this woman (a first, I used to could normally average 2 or more).

    I remember arriving before her, and I set myself up. She arrived later and started her drinkin. When it came time to ante up, I knocked my bill out. Without a second thought but not hers. Hmmm….

    • Did you ask her out?

      Did you say you were going Dutch?

      If you asked her out there is an expectation you would pay.

      If that wasn’t your intention you should have said so.

    • miko says:

      maybe im just the cheapest female on this wordpress.com situation but i can’t conceive of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth dates all costing as much as $60 if you are just trying to get to know someone.

      since when does it cost so much money just to get to know someone?

      i mean, as a female obviously im accustomed to not paying on the first date, but by the time we get to the part where im contributing, id rather just cook some good caribbean food for you than drag you to some restaurant to eat food that may or may not be as good as MINE.

      then again, most relationship experts say not to cook for a man too soon otherwise he’ll think you are a doormat.

      i don’t know…

      if the first date is expensive because you want to impress the lady that’s fine, but all subsequent dates being expensive too just seems a bit much. if we were just dating on the cheap like our broke ass parents did we probably wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

      …and as i posted @farajiftw et al on twitter, there are a LOT of women out there who will “agree to pay” just to make it look as though they’re not after you for your money when they actually are…

      • I don’t believe in spending a lot money on any dates – let alone the first few.

        One of my best dates EVER was when we took some wine and music to a nearby park – we had drinks and listened to the Isley brothers – good times.

        Dates should be about getting to know someone – NOT spending bank.

        Now if you’ve got it like that feel free – but regardless of where you are on the socio-economic ladder you should keep the dating fun thoughtful, romantic an cheap.

  12. I’m the product of a single mother who took care of everything for me and my two older brothers despite poverty and a barely there daddy. I believe this has had an impact on the way I view relationships because I have never cared about how much money a man makes in relation to what I make and whether or not said income is enough to pay for everything my heart desires. Quite the opposite in fact. Often, I mention to my friends that I plan on being financially stable just in case I get married and my husband acts a fool. I want to be able to support my whims and fancies regardless of what money you are offering in addition to what I have.

    That leaves me with an entirely new outlook and playing field. Although I believe my earning potential (once I complete law school) is potentially limitless, I’ve always been more attracted to drive than dollar signs. I want a man who wants to be something, create something, do something more than I want a boring man with bank. I’d rather date a writer than a doctor, a plumber than a lawyer, and a landscaper than a banker. I may be an odd ball but I never expect to be taken care of by a man and the concept of that seems foreign to me.

    This all boils down to a simple statement in regards to your post:

    I have paid for a date (never the first one though) and I will pay for dates in the future because its not about how much money you make to me, but more about us getting to know each other. If you paid for me the first date, I at least offer to pay the tip and if I ask you out, I always pull out my wallet when the check arrives. I won’t leave my house without enough money to at least go dutch and I never expect a man to do anything for me just because he asked me out. This doesn’t mean that I’m emasculating my date and it doesn’t mean that I’m not worth the extra effort. It just means that I know its hard out here and I appreciate you taking the time out to take me out.

    I know I’m the odd one out, but that’s the example I was raised with. I get it from my Momma.

    – Tha Management

    • I was also raised by a single mom and a barely there daddy,

      We were poor adn on welfare at one pint in my life and all that.

      With that said my other made it abundantly clear to me if a man wanted to be with you he would go over an beyond for you…and she was right.

      MOST men in my age range (late 20 -early 30) pay for dates with little issue. I expect you to pay if you ask me out – if I ask you out I will pay. Granted I only ask out men that I’m not that interested in and who’ve taken me out a couple of times but i still want to hang out.

      Men in the upper classes generally don’t let you pay and you may insult (some) them by bringing out the wallet. It suggests they are cheap bastards who don’t have any home training if you do so in the first few dates.

      Really wealth men (7 figure cats) you never pay for anything EVER. And culturally with (upper class) African and Caribbean men you don’t generally pay for anything.

      Example: A Jamaican friend of mine asked me to go to Miami with him (just friends/no sex) and he paid for the whole trip – from fast food restaurants en route to walking around money when we got there.

      No strings attached.

      My Nigerian boyfriend payed for Everything date related or not and another Nigerian friend is always trying to fly me somewhere (we’re just friends).

      I beleive in having enough money to pay for a date just in case someone acts a fool. And yes, women should be able to take care of themselves. Any number of high profile divorces shows us that…but i refuse to marry a man without a certain level of ambition and/or financial success.

      If I want to struggle I can do that on my own with my writers income. I can have a nice boyfriend for companionship without all the extra that comes with saying “I Do.”

      • We can agree to disagree. My mother’s influence was that I should be able to take care of myself. She makes more money than my Stepfather does but he takes care of her so well who cares! The money means nothing because he is the man of the house and takes care of the house. That may not translate directly into “did she pay for dinner” but if that was a criteria that he failed, my mother wouldn’t be happily married right now.

        I am Nigerian so the strong patriarchial society and cultural influences are not lost on me. I have friends who want to be taken care of. I’m just not that person. I may be in the minority and I completely okay with that. I also never said that there was anything wrong with wanting a man to take care of you, as I said before, I’m just not that person.

        You should, though, be ok with dating someone who you are equally yoked with. If you are a writer, you should be ok with dating a writer or someone else that has the same income as you. You may disagree with that point and that’s fine, but I don’t believe you should expect someone to bring more to the table than you are.

      • Also, quickly, to add … if a man offers to pay for everything and scoffs at the sight of my wallet, I won’t pay, but I will still offer on occasion because in the end, if we end up together, its not his money or my money that is being spent, it will be our money.

        I would hope it would be a reflection of the fact that I can understand this and I’d play my part in our relationship.

      • If you are a writer, you should be ok with dating a writer or someone else that has the same income as you. You may disagree with that point and that’s fine, but I don’t believe you should expect someone to bring more to the table than you are.

        Either money matters or it doesn’t.

        If it doesn’t then I shouldn’t be expected to only date men who are writers or make as much money as me. Writers are difficult folk – lord knows I don’t want to be married to one.

        Last i checked money isn’t the only thing one can bring to the table. I wouldn’t date a guy solely b/c he had money – if that were the case I would be married by now – but I’m not going to pretend like it’s not a factor.

        She makes more money than my Stepfather does but he takes care of her so well who cares! The money means nothing because he is the man of the house and takes care of the house.

        That’s oxymoron-ic to me. Being the “man of the house” usually meant being the primary breadwinner – last I checked – I don’t beleive you get the traditional role without the traditional responsibility.

        Like i said early I have an will pick up tabs here and there when we’re in a relationship.

        I take enough money with me in case a guy doesn’t pay – which has also happened.

        But I’m a firm believer in if you ask you pay and that goes for both genders.

      • The point of my equally yoked comment isn’t to say that you relegated to date only writers, its to say that you shouldn’t discount someone of the same socioeconomic level as you. Money matters, yes, as does, mindset, integrity, compatibility, etc. If you were to use money as a deciding factor then you would be nothing more than a “gold-digger” (for lack of a better term) to dismiss a man who is doing as well as you are. A women’s intention in dating/marrying should not be to get “upgraded” … upgrade yourself.

        There is nothing contradictory or oxymoronic in the statement:

        “She makes more money than my Stepfather does but he takes care of her so well who cares! The money means nothing because he is the man of the house and takes care of the house.” Being the man of the house isn’t as defined as “He makes the most money and pays all the bills.”

        As the man of the house, my mother never wants for anything and her every need is met. Her grass is cut every week and her car is always washed. He is the spiritual head of the house. He dictates when things are done and how they are done. Its his house. She contributes to it, yes, but He runs it. A man who pays for everything and does nothing would never be the head of my household.

      • Ladya says:

        Just wanted to highlight this quote by SBW

        “That’s oxymoron-ic to me. Being the “man of the house” usually meant being the primary breadwinner – last I checked – I don’t beleive you get the traditional role without the traditional responsibility.”

        I think this is absolutely key. I think we as BW and BM also need to decide whether we still want traditional gender roles or not. I laugh when men say women are having their cake and eating it too regarding going dutch and equal work for equal pay, yet besides paying for dates, they want everything else in the rlp to remain very traditional (woman = homemaker, maid, & cook). And we’re cherrypicking. Hello pot, meet kettle.

      • @management

        The point of my equally yoked comment isn’t to say that you relegated to date only writers, its to say that you shouldn’t discount someone of the same socioeconomic level as you.

        Sorry but being equally yoked does not solely apply to income. That definitely gives money a lot more weight for someone who says it shouldn’t matter.

        It’s not about being upgraded. I can take care of myself. I don’t beleive in living on two incomes (not that I won’t work) and I beleive men should be able to take care of their families on their income alone.

        Bottom line.

        If you want to claim head of the household – then you at least need to be able to do that – in my opinion.

        For me – not speaking for anyone else.

    • @Ladya – Please read my response to that comment. There are many ways for you to fulfill the traditional role of “Head of the Household” without making the most money in said household.

      • Ladya says:

        But *traditionally* the male role = provider and protector. Don’t we knock out 50% of that equation by neglecting the monetary aspect?

      • I have to apologize for something that I am assuming in the responses that I make on this board. I’m assuming that the women in question are making a substantial sum of money and their mate is making a decent amount of money.

        I refer a lot of things back to me and my dreams because that is the only path I know, let me explain.

        I want to be a lawyer and I expect that I will be compensated well for achieving this goal. If an accountant wanted to date me and he made less than I did, that would not hinder me from dating him. He should be able to provide for me despite the income difference and he could well be deemed head of my household despite the income difference.

        A man should be able to take care of his responsibilities. There is no excuse for failing in that regard.

  13. Achitude says:

    “I won’t leave my house without enough money to at least go dutch and I never expect a man to do anything for me just because he asked me out. This doesn’t mean that I’m emasculating my date and it doesn’t mean that I’m not worth the extra effort. It just means that I know its hard out here and I appreciate you taking the time out to take me out.”

    thank you Management, you captured my sentiments on this topic VERY well.

    @sbw “but let’s not act like the nice garbage man is going to open the same doors and will provide the same quality of life as the Harvard educated lawyer.”

    looking at a prospect for WHAT they can do for and how they will enhance your quality of life and upgrade you? – wow. at least ur honest and unapologetic about that

    • looking at a prospect for WHAT they can do for and how they will enhance your quality of life and upgrade you? – wow. at least ur honest and unapologetic about that

      I like how folk live in a fairytale.

      It’s not about upgrading me…it’s about living the type of life I want for me and my child and any future children I may have.

      Period.

      I have an advanced degree – I expect any man I marry to have at least the same. I expect any many i marry to be able to take care of a family on his income alone.

      I don’t beleive in putting children in daycare – my first child wasn’t no other child I have will be either. I expect them to have a top notch education, extracurricular activities, sleep away camp – the whole nine.

      My daughter (and my little sisters) will have access to opportunities I did not. I currently take care of that.

      Why on God’s green earth would I marry man who couldn’t or didn’t see the need to do those things that I already do for my child and my sisters?

      Why would I marry a man who’s only goal in life is to just be a garbage man/plumber or whatever?

      I’m ambitious, I like my men ambitious and I expect my child and sisters to be ambitious and successful as well.

      Everyone else can sing “all you need is love.” I know better. Love is only part of the equation.

      • You are entitled to want what you want. If you want a man who can do all these things then you should wait for him and find him. I think the point of the post was to point out that this will not be an easy task for a plethora of reasons. I don’t necessarily agree with that either.

        Also, I find this condesending:

        Why would I marry a man who’s only goal in life is to just be a garbage man/plumber or whatever?

        First because, do you know how much plumbers/garbage men make? That’s a fantastic income and nothing to be scoffed at. Also, being a plumber/mechanic takes training and skill, to me that’s the equivalent of an advanced degree in psychology, communications or journalism, and, you’d probably make more. And also, why is it that a plumber or a garbage man doesn’t have goals? I don’t just want a plumber, I want the plumber who has his own plumbing company and I want the head garbage man. Just because a person works in a blue collar profession doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have any ambition.

      • Achitude says:

        I expect any many i marry to be able to take care of a family on his income alone.

        I see this as a great attitude, particularly when the individual holding this view is already doing just that, and expects the mate to at the very minimum, match it.

    • Ladya says:

      Isn’t that what both men AND women are looking for in relationships? Someone to enhance their lives? How is this a stretch, furthermore, how is that indicative of g-digging?

      • Enhancing their lives solely by their monetary addition is gold digging.

        I want someone to enhance my life in other ways. If you add to my life financially, that’s wonderful, but there are many more things you need to do and more qualifying factors to be considered.

      • Ladya says:

        If you mean *solely money* then yes.

        But who said that’s the *only* thing she is expecting out the rlp? And why are some folks pretending like money is a negligible factor? This is not the world we live in. Sure you may want other factors, but do/can those things replace financial sustenance in your opinion?

        Biologically men and women are both supporting their gender roles- women by seeking men who can provide and protect, and men seeking women who are beautiful (and therefore most likely to be reproductively fit- as the things that comprise beauty tend to be indicators of reproductive capability).

        These are the hallmarks of evolution and survival of the fittest. Why are we pretending as though these roles are futile when they have sustained mankind for eons?

      • Laya

        I think this is absolutely key. I think we as BW and BM also need to decide whether we still want traditional gender roles or not. I laugh when men say women are having their cake and eating it too regarding going dutch and equal work for equal pay, yet besides paying for dates, they want everything else in the rlp to remain very traditional (woman = homemaker, maid, & cook). And we’re cherrypicking. Hello pot, meet kettle.

        Thank you, Thank You Thank You.

        Too many men I know what egalitarian when it comes to finances but still expect a maid a cook a babysitter and their momma.

        You don’t get both.

        Sorry.

        SIgh

        Has anyone on this board actually dated blue collar men – or are ya’ll just speculating on how they are?

        I didn’t say they didn’t have goals.

        I said if you JUST wanted to be a plumber or garbage man…and as I’ve said a gazillion times it’s not JUST about money. So yes plumbers may make “good” money, but the likelihood of us having a whole lot in common is slim.

      • No. I meant solely by their monetary additions. Meaning based completely on the money that they are adding to their lives.

        I agree about traditional gender roles. Believe me, I refuse to date a broke man (been there, done that, learned my lesson). I just won’t turn away a man who is doing well for himself because his income isn’t greater than or equal to mine.

        I will say this though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman wanting a man to be financially able to handle his responsibilities. A man is SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. I’m more saying that making more money than I do is not a requirement to date me.

      • Ladya says:

        Okay then- I do see your point.

  14. 05girl says:

    @JoeBmore I’m getting so off-topic here but I think you bring up an excellent point. “Upper middle class” my a$$. Can I please have a official definition ? At what salary do I become “upper middle class” (lol, seriously I’mma need to know)? Perhaps all of us “educated” folk (today’s vsb.com post very fresh on my mind) just like to make ourselves out to be “upper middle class”? Or we are all actively pursuing “upper middle class”-dom? BSR, what’s wrong with “middle class” women? How is it just the “UMC” that is your demographic? Why is our proclaimed “demographic” so obsessed to get into this box? Okay, so everyone wants to be their best in their career, amass wealth, etc, but it just seems we are so quick to proclaim “UMC” is what I am/who my people are…. why is it so important? You could just say… motivated professionals… young urban professionals… these would be more inclusive terms IMO.

    in case you all can’t figure it out, I ask a lot of questions 🙂

    • TheSweetestThing says:

      @ 05Girl
      “Why is our proclaimed “demographic” so obsessed to get into this box? Okay, so everyone wants to be their best in their career, amass wealth, etc, but it just seems we are so quick to proclaim “UMC” is what I am/who my people are…. why is it so important? ”

      Because, generally speaking, we are society of smoke and mirrors. You see people out on a Saturday night dressed to kill. Then on Monday they look like road kill. People portray themselves to be more than they are.
      Women are attracted to power, and men are attracted to sex. SO, women use sex (beauty, fancy clothes, etc) to get men with power & money and men use power to get sex. How else did Jay get Bey?

    • @05Girl It’s my demographic because that’s who I’m around. When I was in college, I associated with people who ended up as UMC. I don’t know that they’re obsessed to be in the box, I think that’s just how life happened for folks. To some degree, we ain’t that young anymore. Most of us would count as mid-career professionals. As far as when you hit UMC salary-wise, I would argue it depends on what city you live in. Wikipedia says for single earners above 25, the top 10% are at 75k a year, so I guess that’s an OK place to start. I would argue into the six figures before you really start getting problematic in terms of reduced potential partners since only 5% of single earners are over $100,000/yr.

  15. miko says:

    i feel like in 2009 people’s earnings fluctuate as time continues. one party may be the primary breadwinner in 2009 and the other party may be the baller in 2019. isn’t the whole purpose to grow together and love each other no matter what the money situation is?

    or am i just an idealistic fool?

  16. Anna says:

    Mmmm,mmm,mm. I leave for one meeting and I’m misquoted again. To the SBW: do me a favor and actually read my post, rather than put the words you’d like to disagree with in my mouth. Never did I say that money was not an issue. Never did I say that a man’s earning potential shouldn’t be considered and that foot rubs are all I need from a man. That’s just silly bird talk. I’m going to paste below what I wrote with some all-caps emphasis:

    “…if that’s her stance it means that dating a man within a certain income bracket is MORE important than say – compatibility, manners or attraction. In other words, she values money MORE than the man.” – that’s a direct quote, so take it for what it is, not what you want it to be.

    In general:

    This is the problem with some less enlightened women: their black and white minds don’t register gray, and that’s were a lot of good men are. There’s some man driving a garbage truck right now – who you wouldn’t give the time of day to – who may own the business. But, I contend that dating is a darwinian adventure, and your loss will be some quality woman’s gain.

    We as women are generally insulted when a man approaches us and talks directly to our breasts. Some of us do the same thing – except we’re talking to the man’s wallet, lol! And back to my original point: if money trumps all other factors that makes you a goldigger. Example: I’m sure McNair’s mistress had a lot of feelings about him, but the fact that he was seeing someone else (threat to “her” $) and financial troubles was what drove her to kill him and herself.

    • @Anna I can read an comprehend just fine.

      Maybe your writing is the problem.

      This is the problem with some less enlightened women: their black and white minds don’t register gray, and that’s were a lot of good men are. There’s some man driving a garbage truck right now – who you wouldn’t give the time of day to – who may own the business. But, I contend that dating is a darwinian adventure, and your loss will be some quality woman’s gain.

      Talk to me when you marry the garbage man.

      I’ve dated across socio-economic lines. So unlike folk who hypothesize, I know what I’m talking about.

      For whatever reason black folk like to pretend blue collar men/women are the pillars of society an we all should aspire to that.

      Sorry but NOT wanting to marry the garbage man does not mean I can’t see a “good man” it means he’s not my type of “good man.”

  17. I’m sure McNair’s mistress had a lot of feelings about him, but the fact that he was seeing someone else (threat to “her” $) and financial troubles was what drove her to kill him and herself.

    Now who’s less enlightened.

    By all accounts she was in love with dude and looking to marry him.

    It wasn’t a threat to her dollars, but like any woman she felt she was being cheated on – he sold her a bill of goods and that she was the one and he was divorcing his wife…that wasn’t the case.

    Compound that with financial stress – and you have a dead man.

  18. Anna says:

    To: The Single Black Woman

    Look, I’m not checking out this blog to disagree with you – but apparently I’m not the only one who does. It takes a lot of chutzpa to pepper your posts with misspelled words and deliberate misunderstanding, then insult someone with a $200K degree in creative writing. But trust me when I say – that was the loudest laugh I’ve had all week. God bless you, sweetheart, you’re gonna need it.

    • Oh yes…the old misspelled words argument.

      Classic blog poster throwback –

      – cause that determines how smart a person is –

      You really want to play the “degree’ game?

      Really?

      And no deliberate misunderstandings. I thought what you said was wrong and said as much.

      You got saucy with me first – don’t act all surprised that I got saucy back.

      Enjoy your chuckle.

      I had one of my own.

  19. Hugh Jazz says:

    Miko: ”isn’t the whole purpose to grow together and love each other no matter what the money situation is? or am i just an idealistic fool?”

    No you’re not a fool. After reading some of these comments, in a sick way, I can’t wait for this recession to turn into a full-blown depression. Maybe people will finally get back to focusing on what really matters in their relationships.

  20. […] Any time dating and marriage in the black community comes up there are women (and men) hollering how if black women just would look at these blue collar men then all of our dating woes would be over. That we’re too busy not looking at what’s important in life an don’t know a “good” man when we see one. […]

  21. Achitude says:

    @anna – its called dialogue agree,disagree,discuss,exchange

  22. 05girl says:

    This is quite a dialogue! I’m really surprises this led to such heated discussion. I guess I’m just a middle class earner with just my BA degree; I must skew a bit younger than some of the other commenters as well. A part of me feels like this talk is just a bit silly in the grander scheme of things. I think that BSR was right on in the reality of things if you want a really traditional partnership. But I don’t think he’s saying to discout those men that make less than you – just realize that your traditonal partnerships has an extra, niche challenge. To me a considerate person is going to offer to pay at some point or another; like someone else says, it shows appreciation among other values.

  23. ebwriter says:

    Very interesting article

  24. GREATEST BLOG ARTICLE I READ ALL YEAR says:

    This is the Greatest Blog Article I read all year. Period. So mad I did not read earlier. I will be reading daily now. You hit the nail on the head with a big ass hammer. I totally agree with this. Keep up the great work.

  25. Capt. No-Marriage says:

    You made some excellent points, especially about how the men have a large pool of subjects to pull from while the women don’t. All I would add is that in general, the women with the advanced degrees are generally the less attractive women. Yes, there’s exceptions, but that is the rule. There weren’t a lot of “hot” women in my MBA classes, mostly average or below average. Just like at my job, I know lots of women in my income bracket, but none that I would want to see naked.

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