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.