Can a Broke ‘Brotha’ Get Some Love?

Renee Rivon

Picture this…Two people on their first date. They meet at a restaurant and have a nice dinner.

The date is great.  There is attraction, laughter, great conversations, followed by going back to his place to genuinely get to know each other while his mother makes milk and cookies. Err? Wait, rewind that last part.

I know you’re asking: “what did she just say,” but yes I’m talking about adults living with parents. Can you be with a “brotha” who has some other woman tucking him in at night? His mother!

I’m not speaking of the men who moved back home to take care of his ill parents, nor am I talking about someone like Prince Charles waiting on his Princess Diana to come into his fairytale life.

I’m speaking of adults living with parents who use those famous phrases; I haven’t found a place yet, “I’m in between jobs,” or “I’m just staying with them until I get on my feet.”

If these comments are true and you get on your feet soon, GREAT, but if it’s going on year two and your feet haven’t landed on solid ground, can a woman really understand your situation?

            “I can’t because the issue is less about him being broke and more about all of the other things his broke status implies,” says Lisa, who is a writer. “Is he lacking in ambition? Is he resourceful? Is he educated? Is he lazy? Is he focused? I have to ask myself why I’m able to take care of myself as a grown woman living alone, but he can’t.”

These are legitimate questions and concerns. Today women are outworking men. This isn’t just talk, statistics show since 2008 11.4 percent of Black men are unemployed compared to 8.95 percent of Black women and the numbers are still increasing a lot more for men.  This would explain why some adults live with parents, but can their dates continue to date them?

“I understand that the economic shifts have created new pressures on men, but that doesn’t change a man’s role of protector and provider,” Lisa continues. “It can be uncomfortable and awkward to call a grown man to the mat, but it’s even more uncomfortable to explain why he’s living with his parents and not helping out with bills or explain why you’re having a baby with a man who can’t even chip in on diapers.”

            Jackie said while laughing, “Adults living with their parents, no! I tried to date a guy like this, we went out the first time and he only bought him something to eat and didn’t offer me anything. The second time, I paid for him and he ordered almost everything on the menu.”

I asked her what made her date a man living at home with his parents. She says “They tend to be smooth talkers, and they can talk a good game enough in the beginning to get a woman, but it won’t last for long, she’ll get tired of him.”

Do you hear that guys? No matter how smooth you are and good looking you tend to be, a woman wants more. She won’t care if you have a body like T.O. and a face like Denzel…hmmm, wait a minute, that may work. Just kidding!

Adults living with parents won’t sit well with some women, but other women have bigger issues when it comes to dealing with men. The fact that he is living at home is the least of their worries.

“My main concern is quality time,” says Keysa. “I can always make money, I don’t need his and women stay at home and men don’t mind, so we shouldn’t mine either. I want his time. I want him to make time for me in his life. That’s what’s important to me.”

On Martin Lawrence’s stand-up movie You So Crazy, he talked about a woman complaining about not getting quality time from her man, so she broke up with him. So is Keysa right, is that what women really want?

Another individual said, “I went out with a guy who lived at home with his parents. He planned the whole evening and it was an inexpensive date, but it was very romantic.  Most men forget about treating a woman special and doing the smaller things that count. He paid me a ton of attention, which I loved.”

However, their relationship didn’t last because although it was good in that moment, he didn’t have what she needed in a life partner. So she, like most women, needs a man to pay her attention and at the same time, pay the bills!

            Our grandparents’ generation use to say, “No romance without finance,” and they got it right.

It’s very hard to have a relationship without money. Grown women want to hear about what you are doing in your life, not how parents just don’t understand. Someone has to win the bread and if the man is not going to do it, then the woman has to be in agreement that she’s OK with being the breadwinner.

Can adults living with parents find love? Sure, but he has to find someone who loves and understands him, and they both have to give each other what the other needs. But if she needs a man to be on his own and you can’t provide that for her, she’s going to move on to an adult who can, even if you look like Denzel’s younger finer twin brother!

Rivon is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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