Is Dating While Broke A Good Idea?
Should people date while broke? It depends on where your expectations and focus lies. Although I personally lean more towards the “get your money together first” group I also believe, telling people they shouldn’t date while broke is a bold statement. At least that’s what I’ve learned from observing couples who didn’t have their finances in order before making things official.
First this question is flawed. When people say “broke” what exactly do they mean? Broke looks different to different people. Some people hear dating while broke and they think you are referring to anyone who isn’t millionaire status. You can’t tell someone what they should and shouldn’t do when their level of comfort is different from your own.
My definition of being broke is living paycheck to paycheck or unemployment. After I graduated college I had no job, was losing my mind trying an endless amount of ways to get a job/make money, and couch surfing. During that time I thought about having a significant another less than I ever had since I started liking boys. I was not comfortable with my life.
There were a few days I wished I had someone to take me out on a date to be a happy distraction from the fact that my post graduate plans had been derailed. But 98% of the time my mind was focused on what side hustle I could start to save money to get on my feet. I was obsessed with getting my life out of the rut I was in.
I realized that different stages in life calls for different sides of yourself. I didn’t need to be the girlfriend at this stage I needed to be the focused go- getter. I knew that if I were dating in the mindset I was in I’d be neglectful as I had many days where I was too worried about my future to make being in frequent contact with someone a priority. I also noted that being in a relationship isn’t all about being a happy distraction. No matter how great the guy may have been there would be arguments and expectations that I could not deliver.
Besides that, the type of men I find attractive have something going for themselves and I refused to come to someone’s table when I barely anything. I remember when I interviewed a guy for my previous blog that I had a huge crush on. He was a few years older and was more established in life and here I was a 22 years old, not only was I was broke but also I had yet to learn adulting skills like paying bills and with my my family footing the bill they had a lot so over my life even at 22 which I knew would make dating awkward as hell. I didn’t even bother to shoot my shot. Staying away from relationships during this period was the best option for myself and to spare the feelings of whoever I would have ended up with.
Another thing to consider before dating while broke is your relationship expectations as it pertains to finances. So often do we talk about relationships goals such as baecations, dope weddings, nice houses and even having kids and forget that all of those things COST. Can you believe that daycare is hella expensive? This is when you have a choice to make about what works best for you. Some people meet the right person and don’t care if their plans to have a wedding change or they have to downsize their home for the time being. It’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t control when love will come into your life and so if you’re willing to make changes that’s fine.
It’s also nothing wrong with you deciding to take another route. I’ve heard stories of couples who are happily married but admit they didn’t get to fully enjoy special moments in their relationships due to financial woes they faced early in the married. That’s not something I want for myself if I can help it. My grandparents were both unemployed when they first married have truly come a long away financially, but they’ve always advised me against following in their footsteps. “Make sure you are in a position to take care of yourself and don’t marry anyone who doesn’t have nothing and don’t want nothing.” Money isn’t everything, but it is one of the tops reasons couples split. I don’t want to say “I do” and all the while severely stressed about pass due bills and horrible credit before we get to enjoy the honeymoon phase. I also believe that no matter if you have no money or tons of money saved up you will have to change your vision some for your relationship but there a certain things like a peaceful and safe living environment and being able to not have to call on our parents every few months for money that I refuse to bend on.
What’s most important when asking yourself this question is to know yourself. Even in my singleness I prefer paying bills in advanced because it gives me peace of mind. It’s what works best for me. If you know financial stability is highly important to you don’t try to force yourself to go along with a relationship that doesn’t provide that. You don’t want to end up being resentful towards your partner for not being able to provide.
You also have to do what works for you because either ways people are going to talk; especially if you are a woman. If you date a broke man people call you stupid and blinded by love. If you say you want a financially stable man people run out with their 'oh you want a millionaire that’s probably going to dog you out” when in reality financially stability isn’t synonymous with being a millionaire nor mean your other standards like having good character go out the door. I tell myself I don’t care what people say about my choice as long and I’m comfortable living with it. Remember, at the end of the day it’s going to be you paying the bills no matter which route you choose.