The conversation about whether or not one would date a quote-unquote “broke” dude is always a controversial one, to say the least. If you’ve ever taken the time to actually listen to the lyrics in “No Scrubs” x TLC (as I recently did, instead of just singing along to the chorus), you will probably hurl at the pure savagery of the entire song. The general notion that the group wanted to convey is that they had no interest whatsoever in being pursued by a “deadbeat” or “scrub” who didn’t have anything to offer them financially. More explicitly:
But… would it be absolutely terrible of me to say that I highkey agree with them?
And before all the saints and “pick me’s” come to drag me… give me a little bit of your time to get into this. The year is 2019 and you’re sitting on your couch in a cosy house robe after a long day of work, a glass of wine in your hand. The bills and rent for your apartment are paid, and you’re looking at accommodations for the trip you’ve been saving up for to Zanzibar. You get a text from this one guy. “Wud?”
I’m sure every girl knows this one guy – he literally rolls in the passengers’ seat of his friends’ cars and still has enough confidence to cat call you through the window. He isn’t in school and isn’t really working so you don’t know how he actually gets any money; but still makes it out to every event, shooting his shot at every girl there. Yeah, I’m sure you get the picture now. Are you about to entertain his text?
Or better yet, you’ve been in a relationship with the same guy for 5 years now, and he just can’t seem to get his ducks in order. Bouncing from job to job, with no actual plan or vision for his life (cue Lawrence from HBO’s Insecure). You know you’re not getting any younger, but you continue to hold on to the relationship for fear of being alone and the judgement of leaving your man behind because he was broke….
I’m one of few women who will openly admit that I refuse to be with someone who has nothing to his name and nothing to offer our relationship, financially. Now this has nothing to do with me wanting to be in my man’s bag, nor do I plan to be completely dependent on him for my sustenance. In fact, I never expect a man to give anything to me that I cannot afford to give myself first, and quite frankly, I have in place my own financial vision for the future, and please believe me when I say I will build a name for myself in whatever industry I pursue.
But I do feel that I owe it to myself to seek a partner who aligns with this vision, and this involves setting a standard for who I decide to engage in a serious relationship with. Having some sort of financial stability and literacy is therefore, definitely at the top of my criteria.
The problem here is that there is a strong double standard when it comes to the way men and women date. When a man seeks out a certain type of woman for himself, no matter the criterion he sets (must be able to cook, hygenic, independent, and self-driven… but also soft and submissive), he is praised for “knowing what he wants” and not “settling” for less than he deserves. I’ve literally heard mothers saying of their sons, “Haaa, uyu? Anoziva zvaanoda. Arikumirira mukadzi chaiye” (My son knows exactly what he wants. He’s determined to wait for a proper woman).
And yet, when a woman is decisive about what she wants in a man, she is labelled “picky” at best and a gold-digger at worst. Read that again. Not to mention the cycle of threats from family members of never being able to find someone to marry her if she continues to be assertive in this way. I might even poke the bear and say that the taunt “gold-digger” is one of the main deterrents responsible for many women being afraid to freely declare that they don’t want no scrubs.
Ha! Well dear friends, I’ll let you in on a secret for free – I have observed this system and I’ve observed it well. The effectual system wherein men are able to enter into relationships which materialistically benefit themselves without any judgement or retribution; but women who do the same are savagely dragged on social media for “selling their bodies in exchange for an iPhone 11 Pro Max”. I have witnessed with my own two eyes, the boys in varsity who would upgrade from sleeping on a bare mattress on the floor of their empty apartment to living in their wealthy girlfriend’s room, with 6 different types of cushions they can’t even pronounce on her queen bed; even driving around town in her Range Rover. Imi ka!
Tell me – how is this any different from the ladies who have been involved with Uncle Roland? For those of you who don’t know, Uncle Roland is the not-so-attractive but handsomely affluent, aged Zim bachelor who has repeatedly been seen featuring in South Africa with solely GORGEOUS, curvaceous young women. While I don’t condone every aspect of these young womens’ decisions, I do want to bring some balance to the narrative and show that there is a significant disparity between how we view women who assert their financial needs when seeking a partner/ dating, versus men who do the same.
A thread on Twitter really caught my eye and struck a nerve when one gent said:
I may as well end this post right here. It seems to be just us women who have been conditioned to die on the “Marry for love… support his grind and focus on his potential…” hill. But what about the fact that marriage isn’t just about two people loving each other but more about building a lasting legacy as a team? The idea of romance being the pinnacle of a relationship has truly lead people astray from understanding that the union between two people has to be built on a greater foundation than just roses and romantic dinners… it’s about creating a new generation and (God willing) acquiring generational wealth to sustain them.
Love does not pay the bills, wangu. It’s time we stop teaching our sisters and daughters to “ride or die” and time we start teaching them to reason in their season and aim for partners with whom they can build a strong fort with (I will speak more about the seasons of your life and how they affect your idea of financial stability in a future blog). Marry up, not just financially, but intellectually and socially! You are deserving and have every right to hold the person you are with to a high standard if that is what you want. Don’t ever let other people dictate your quality of life; if you don’t want no scrubs (and aren’t a scrub yourself, key message lol), then maintain that energy and say it confidently with your chest honey. You deserve greatness.
As usual, thanks for reading loves; any comments and feedback are always welcome! Don’t forget to follow my IG (@african_sunflower) and catch up with my latest post here.