Dating Down..you really can’t “fix” him.

My good friend once said to me, “A man should be able to match what you bring to the table.”  I did not want to hear the advice because it was directed towards my situation.  It was the summer of 2005 and I was living in DC.  There was a band showcase in town and I attended.  Boom, like a lightening bold from the sky I was knock on my booty by one of the hottest me I had ever seen.  A lead singer, no less…and the lust bug instantly blinded me.  Fast forward two months later… my sexy Rocker Boy turned out to be an unemployed living and living with his Mama.  At age twenty-eight, he was still a sophomore at the local community college.  Sad to say…he put his community college tuition on a credit card!  I kid you not.  Debit up to his eyeballs and this is after he had previously filed for bankruptcy. 

Rocker Boy’s status and place in life did not bother me at the time.  My prior relationship was with someone who was always trying to “fix” me so I think that I was paying that attitude forward.  I could “fix” Rocker Boy by helping him get a respectable job while being loving and supportive of his musical dreams.  In the beginning, Rocker Boy also respected my place in life.  I was young and successful living independently in a big city.  He found my life style glamorous and loved being a part of it.  We were infatuated with each other’s differences and that along with physical attraction fueled the relationship.

As you might expect the honeymoon phase did not last long.  After four month of dating, Rocker Boy started to talk marriage.  It was then that I asked myself, “What does he have to offer me?”  Sure, he was entertaining person but he did not have the means to build a life with me.  I pushed that idea out of my mind and deemed love the greater good; we continued our romance.  As life went on and our social circle intermingled, Rocker Boy started to feel out of place.  At a dinner party, he did not know which wine was the Cabernet…the red or the white.  He constantly felt embarrassed and I could not see that to understand why he was not having fun.  It angered me when he would pull me into aside and demand that we leave outings with my friends.  Rocker boy was hurt because he not have the capacity to keep up with the dinner conversation and I resented missing social situations I enjoyed.

On the other hand, Rocker Boy came to expect the finer things in life.  He wanted me to afford him the same occasional luxuries I would gift myself.  One night he craved a steak dinner.  We were going out with another couple, one a teacher and one a student who simply could not afford the $50 a plate establishment he recommended.  They suggested Italian much to his distain.  Rocker Boy literally refused to order and eventually stomped out of the establishment.  This toddler-like episode was one of many.  The irony is that I was the one who would foot the bill for dinner that night, so who was he to demand expensive fare?  Situations like this made me resentful and I deemed him ungrateful.  He thought that I lorded the money over him and used it to control his nights out.  In the end, it drove a wedge between us.

I hate to admit it but my friend was right…your significant other has to be your equal in many ways.  If one person carries the other financially from the start of the relationship the resentment is only going to build.  Maybe you don’t need the same level of education, but the intelligence level should match for conversation sake.  A pretty face is only going to intrigue in the short term and as much as you may connect on a superficial level, you will never make a good team.  Find someone on your level and do not settle.  Take it from me and Rocker Boy…you cannot afford it.

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