For Love, No Money

My grandma grew up during the Great Depression– they literally had no money. Instead of dates, on weekends she and her friends gathered at someone’s place, cleared out the furniture, turned on the radio and danced.

“If you liked a boy, you made sure he was invited,” she recalled fondly.

At first, I considered this an adorable tale from a bygone era but, in this economy, can’t help but wonder if the days of moving a couch to bust a move are far off.

And, while everyone’s feeling the wallet pinch, the guys I know are taking a slap to their ego as well.

“Forget a share in a summer beach house, I can’t even super size my lunch.” my buddy, Mark, lamented this week.

Trying to impress a woman with limited resources is a challenge but might it ultimately be good for the dating game? Consider this…

Dates May Get More Interesting

The most romantic thing I ever did was in college. When I discovered that the woman I was seeing had a terrible high school prom, I threw her one in my dorm room.  Sporting a bow tie, I prepared dinner in a hot pot, made a sign declaring her prom queen and programmed an evening of romantic songs that we danced,  and did other things, to…

Compare that with the effort I made planning a date last month: Google concert tickets, type in credit card number and hit “confirm.”  So if I know the charms of a sweet, thoughtful date, why would I opt for the quickie, grandiose one?  Because guys fear the woman we’re trying to impress will label us cheap (or worse).  But now, with less cash to throw around, men just may have to take time to consider the woman and get a little creative.

He May Get More Interesting

My buddy, Brian, is a banker (a nice one, I swear) with a girlfriend who’s rather easy on the eyes.  For years, he was the envy of our friends as he lived the life— sweet apartment, dining out nightly, awesome vacations… then he got laid off. Suddenly having to watch his spending rattled him completely.

“I had a harsh realization,” he confided to me. “I hid behind money.”

He felt especially unnerved when it came to his girl: “I started wondering if I was good enough for her.”

Never one to sit back, Brian got to work. He learned how to cook, started working out regularly and put more effort into a little game called “conversation”.  Since he dropped the Daddy Warbucks facade, he claims to feel more like himself and even conceded “I like me better.”  And according to reports the lady friend agrees.

He’ll Be More Honest

Part of feeling like a man is having the ability to pay for things. So when my ex Claudia and I were going out every night, I beamed as I dropped plastic to cover the check.  Secretly, I was going under.  Maxing credit cards, transferring balances, I was spending more than I had but ignored that reality as I attempted to keep the woman I loved happy.  My silence, however, cost me plenty. While trying to build something real, I was being dishonest about who I really was– an issue that weighed on us until the end.

By my next relationship, I’m proud to say I learned my lesson and was up front with the fact that money’s been tight.  The result?  I felt more relaxed and, lo and behold, she stuck around.  Guess there’s more to me after all.

And the Funnest Stuff is Still Free…

When a thin wallet compromises a man’s manhood he looks for other ways to assert himself and often that’s in the bedroom.  And when the chips are down, chances are he’ll double down on his effort.  So next time you feel gypped by another DVD-on-the-couch date, take it to the bedroom and make him pay.

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3 Responses to “For Love, No Money”

  1. ---- Says:

    If someone is feeling “gypped” by a DVD date because their boyfriend is having money problems, they are kind of an asshole.

  2. stoppingpuncheswithmyface Says:

    Great Post Michael.

  3. Donna Ballard Buettner Says:

    I personally love to snuggle on a couch or bed and watch a good movie. Nights outside under the stars, just a stroll holding hands and being together beats a noisy club/bar any day. BTW love the prom at college!! as always your article made me smile. thank you

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