Posts Tagged ‘Recession’

Though a pick up game may win over the hearts of women on the big screen, in real life Gwen Guthrie said it best, “No romance without finance.”

Its the economy, stupid.  Sound familar?

Now unless you somehow managed to spend the last couple of years under a rock (no, make that a boulder) or in intensive care recovering from an unexpected urban Mortal Kombat-style uppercut (cause apparently it happens, you know), chances are you may have noticed that this great red, white, and blue ”home of the brave” of ours has been a tad bit more blue of late.

The reason?  Well, to put it more succinctly, our economy is in a recession and according to economic reports has been officially since late 2007.  And though most news outlets (except FOX NEWS, of course) indicate things have improved since our President and first lady became someone Will Smith and Zoe “I’ll play any black woman I want, dammit” Saldana might portray, we all know the old line, “When America has a cold, Black people have the flu” still rings true for many African-Americans.

But did you know when Black people have the flu our dating etiquette can contract pneumonia (and no, it is not covered under Obamacare)?

With wages flat lining and the current national unemployment rate for African-Americans mirroring that of a small third-world country, its no wonder a lot of singles are now opting to think more like a woman named Suze Orman than a man named Steve Harvey—90-day rule, meet the $30 dinner date regulation!  Take for instance, a story I read recently about a young woman in NYC.

Like a lot of us, she was up to her eyeballs in debt yet wanted to maintain some semblance of a life—and a dating one, at that.  So to tackle both, she decided she would up the number of dinner dates she went on each week.  Once up and running, in any given month she was going on about 20 dinner dates, or a date for each workday.  And after a few months, she had not only decreased her debt substantially, but saved $1200 in groceries.  Her secret?  She ate free on every date by making sure she never went on more than five consecutive dates with each guy.  Kinda pimpish, huh?

singles are now opting to think more like a woman named Suze Orman than a man named Steve Harvey

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone do this (mostly because its trifling), nor do I believe most women would even be up for sitting through the endless, nightly series of penetrating “figure you out” questions, rounds of lip dodge ball, and awkward pauses this type of carrying on would require.  However, I did want to make the point that in some way we are all trying to have it both ways: take care of business and still carry on as regular, especially the fellas.

For men, coping with this new financial normal has led to a new and altered form of dating, that I call coupon-dating or dating on a dime. Let’s just say its the more modern, more secular, and certainly more bootleg version of when Jesus took two fish and five loaves of bread and fed thousands of people.  Just imagine thousands of guys trying to making shrimp scampi money feel like a 3-course lobster dinner experience. Yea, really.

But why do guys feel the need to through all this trouble?  Well, through personal experiences and the exponential household growth of BET over the years, a lot of men have unfortunately seen the movie SoulPlane several times and been convinced, to the point its debatable, that there’s “no romance without finance” and quite possibly “bands a make her dance” especially in Houstatlantavegas.  So for the many new inductees of Broke Phi Broke fraternity, Inc. the last few years have been a hard lesson in David Blaine-ism: magically excruciating.

So what is my advice for daters looking to overcome the financial dating crunch?

Well, in an ideal world, I would suggest:

1) Men buy smart cars.  These cars are not only affordable but give good gas mileage and are very easy to park in the city. (But sadly, I know probably only 2% of black woman will EVER be compelled to speak to you in this car unless you accidentally leave your trunk open, and those women probably have not even immigrated to the US yet lol!)

2) Cook more at home rather than eat out. This way you will save money and more than likely share more romantic moments in private.  (A picnic at the house, fellas, especially during the winter months can go faaaaarrrrrrr, trust).

3) Tour the Netherlands more.  I know the tradition is for a guy to pay for his date, but going Dutch can allow for both parties to feel like they are investing equally into any future possibilities so to avoid any resentment if things go sour.

And if you’re a guy who has not felt the pinch of the sluggish economy and feels more like a man when you are making it rain like Hurricane Sandy at the 5-star-whatever-of-your-choice, applying some wallet climate change couldn’t hurt you either.  Now, I’m not advocating that guys cheapen the overall date experience, but I do think going cheaper will help sustain our engagements in the interim till the economy gets better; and hopefully assist all of us in the long run with our bottom line.  And ladies, till things get better please know that channeling your inner-SWV “understanding” will be more than appreciated.  Besides, when gas cost $$$ and dinner is $$$$ + .20% of $$$$, what would you do?  Join Match.com?  Lord knows, a guy can’t date Suze.

Follow me @CurtisAThomas and @hesgot2haveit

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