Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Girl Whisperer

as published by

the Sunday Guardian of Sept 23

When Love Can’t Pay The Rent

“Boy, nothing in life is free, that’s why I’m asking you, what can you do for me? I’ve got responsibilities, so I’m looking for a man who’s got some money in his hands... no romance without finance”. The lyrics of a hit song a few years back. Men tend to look at women who demand their men have a certain level of comfort, in a judgemental way, regarding this type of woman as overly material, but the truth is, the giddiest romance will die in the face of continuous battering by financial adversity. There are few love stories that can withstand the assault of having little or no money, of having to scratch and scrounge to live from day to day; year in, year out.

This is not a one-way thing. The reality of the times demands that even women must pull their financial weight in relationships too. Women cannot seek equality in the work place, in politics and social recognition but balk at equality in sharing the financial burdens that face couples. Some females are selective in the issues they want equality in, stepping back from all things monetary. Even though it has been the norm for men to be the hunter-gatherers, the world is rapidly evolving and those who will not bear responsibility, no matter which gender, are quickly left behind. Two are better than one, is what the good book says, and a relationship in which the woman participates, is one that is financially secure.

The idealist might ask, “Isn’t this being too clinical about relationships? Where’s the zing? The head rush? The palpitations of the heart? The cold sweats and tremors that wake you up at night? Where’s the romance that we all live for?” I am afraid that even though those things are important in a relationship, it will not sustain a union.
It’s simple really, one person might make enough for both to scrape along on, but two will make double that.

This isn’t about women (or men) seeking out and marrying millionaires, far from it, but you should only hook up with a guy (or girl) who has potential or the partnership becomes a wasted enterprise. If you have ever gone to bed hungry for whatever reason, without access to food until the next day, you will know the feeling. Now imagine this as a way of life, not sure where the next mortgage payment will come from, or the next car instalment, or the school fees for the kids. Yeah, life can be hard.

The alleys of life are littered with many broken dreams and aspirations that were suffocated at birth, mostly because of having a partner, deliberately or otherwise, plucking the feathers of the other, and preventing the aspiring one from flying. It does not matter what kind of background you’re from, you have a right to decide what kind of future you want. It is legitimate to want to be successful, to want to be comfortable, and if your partner does not see eye to eye with you in that regard, you will have serious issues to deal with. Many people will tell you, they just want to be “okay”, whatever that means. In matters like this, seek clarification so you do not end up with a weight around your neck. As Bill Clinton first said of Monica Lewinsky, “I did not have intercourse with that woman”. It was technically not a lie, because Big Bill’s definition of intercourse apparently did not include whatever he and Monica got up to.

Being “okay” in the financial sense for some might involve a couple of good cars, a comfortable house with their names on the title deeds and a bank account/financial portfolio that make them smile no matter how grey the clouds are. I agree with this. If I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m working my way towards it and my partner had better be too, or one day, I’ll be a grizzled old man, wondering in a daze, “what happened?” as young Turks zip past me.

There are very important aspects to a relationship including emotional security, but we should learn never to forget that finances are important to, and your partner should be one that motivates you in that area as well. Money is not the root of all evil, it is the unbridled lust for, and the desire to obtain it by any means necessary, that can be evil. Instead, look to the term, “money is a defence”. It is.


Mimi said...

first of all awwwwwwwwwwww re: your p.s below

then, i totally agree with you on this 'girl whisperer', Money is essential in life, in can't eat love, you need food for urself, ur spouse, ur kids, you need a roof over your head, you need clothes on your body, a lot of couples argue because of financial problems. a lot of couples seperate because of that...

love isn't blind, ignorance makes you blind (copyrighted by ~Mimi~ lol)

how r u Groupie?

LG said...

'No romance without finance!' I can't argue with that. However I do wish that more men would realise that as we women are stepping up to the financial plate and easing the burden on them being sole bread winners they could step up and do their bit to help in the home. 2 is better than 1 right?

Uzo said...

Oh my!

Last Friday, my boss and i were on our way to a meeting and this song came one - this same one about no romance without finance. And we started talking about it. Exactly what you have here. About it not being a one sided thing...and how the definition of finance differed on levels...

Oh my....

laspapi said...

~mimi~ I'm doing well. How are you, ~idol~? "you can't eat love", I'm never going to forget that.

@littlegirllost- What you're suggesting is a fair proposition. When women pull their weight in the world of finances, men should do their bit at home too.

@ uzo- I know exactly where I was that Friday. I was parking my car when the song came on and I stayed in that dark car-park till the very end. I'd written the article and submitted it to the paper four days before the song played. It was surreal too for me to hear it on the radio after such a long while.

Ms. Catwalq said...

this is what I have learned from this post:

1. You cannot eat your cake and have it.

2. Equality is in all matters.I pull my weight with the finances, he pulls his weight in the domestic arena, sexual arena, emotional arena...any-other-catwalq-required-arena...

3. Setting a standard does not mean I am shallow, it just means that I have standards

4. Man cannot live by bread alone and most definitely cannot live without it.

5. I was late to getting to this post.

6. I am going to go and do my homework cos if I stay on this blogville any longer tonight I will be in serious trouble

Sherri said...

money is essential to life, but should not be a pre-requisite in a love relationship!
all the money in the world can't buy "love"
i hope u realize u're helping to set women back in time by perpetuating this debauchery?
any woman in this day and age should strive to be able to provide for her own needs without depending on a man,(what biz does she have with a lazy man if she's not?)when the only way to better a woman's lot is thru marriage then, we will continue to have a slave and master relationship.

let's dispel this myth about men being the ones to provide and face the facts it is a joint venture, has always been.

it's really saddening to hear my male colleagues recount how some girls ask about the value of their portfolio on the first date and how the same girls who won't give them any time of day in their undergrad days are now all over them now that they drive nice cars and have cushy jobs. one of them swear a girl had an orgasm just sitting in his car..
on the flip side i have personally experienced being interviewed for domestic duties on the first date!
can u cook? can u cook real naija food? cos i don't eat all this medemede o (what nonsense is that?)

i have personally witnessed smart gorgeous girls lose their minds among other things in the presence of a man with money
see wetin u start?

laspapi said...

('Seun sent this in via e-mail)


Absolutely love ur column "The Girl Whisperer" in Life
Magazine of The Sunday Guardian. It's witty, educational and interesting with just the right pinch of irony.
Brillant piece on Men loving in Multiples and Love not paying the rent. U had me shouting Preach
it pastor!

Keep it coming.

laspapi said...

u dis catwalq!

1.You only pull your weight with the finances, and you expect a 3-fold return?

2. No one can ever call you shallow.

3. "Man cannot live by bread alone and most definitely cannot live without it". Amen to that.

@ sherri- don't misunderstand me o! I'm not saying girls should check bank accounts before saying hello. My thrust is if you meet a guy (or girl se'f) who wants to mooch off you for the rest of his/her life, climb the nearest wall and continue running.
Glad you touched on the flip side: Some men who consider themselves as being able to "bargain" from a position of power, take it to extremes.