What It Means
To Date Well
by C. Mimes
It all began at 3 in the morning. The party was over, but there were still a number of us sitting around talking. There were at least eleven women in the room who were engrossed deeply in the topic of conversation. We had just finished celebrating the wedding engagement of one of our homegirls, and we were especially pleased that she was marrying a brother who was not only fine but a successful businessman as well.
The topic was “dating well” which we derived from the well-known phrase-marrying well. I sat amused at myself and the others as we all espoused our dating standards as it related to a guy having to be financially attractive to be considered. Three of the women were married and had married well. The rest of us were single, and I believe it’s fair to say that all of us collectively had great aspirations as far as dating well was concerned, but few of us had attained our goals.
As I listened intently to the discussion, I realized that like most of my friends in the room, thus far, I had not really been successful in dating well. Sure, I dated one guy who had his own boat and lucrative law practice, but he turned out to be a jerk who tried to rape me on the second date. I dated another guy who was a doctor. All of my friends were ecstatic when I began dating him because he was not only handsome, but he had great earning potential for a prospective groom. However, it didn’t work out, because the chemistry died for me at the end of the second month when he popped gum in my ear while whispering sweet nothings.
As I sat pondering my romantic future and wondering what type of man I’d end up marrying, I thought about our collective “requirements” and how realistic they were. One friend in the group had always refused to date guys who were not in a certain income bracket. She was a self-confessed snob who took up golf because she believed that only men of means played golf. She viewed the golf course as a “happy hunting ground.”
Another friend turned her nose up at any guy who was over 35 and still renting an apartment. She made it clear that anyone she spent time with had to be financially savvy. However, like me, the rest of the women in the room had high standards, yet, they were not necessarily etched in stone.
For me, what a man brought to the table often had a lot to do with how lonely I was when I met him, or how interesting he was at the time. I prefer a guy who’s well-educated, accomplished, good-looking, and very smart. I also want a man who has his own condo, with a luxury car sitting out front. However, last year alone, I dated two guys who didn’t even own cars. I convinced myself that they were both artistic, intelligent, attractive men who shouldn’t be defined by materialistic objects. I rationalized picking them up for a date, as an important facet of being a liberated woman. However, that position was tossed when one of my male cousins made the statement that I was “dumbing down” to be with a man.
Among the eight single women in the room, one was a doctor, two owned very successful businesses, two were lawyers, one was a government official, and the remaining two were corporate executives. Ironically, they all had the same lament. It was becoming more and more difficult to find a mate who was equal. In my broad circle of friends, I knew two women who are very accomplished and leading prosperous lives who have allowed the men in their lives to move in and contribute nothing to their lifestyle. In other words, they are unemployed.
I have also learned that this is not an uncommon occurrence in today’s world. Many women want more but are accepting less for the sake of a little company on a Friday night. When someone raised the question of how much does a man has to have to be considered an equal, most of us stated the necessity of him having financial resources that were at least comparable to what we had. But did we mean it? Ideally…yes.