I was talking with a sorority sister of mine this afternoon and when discussing her current relationship woes, the topic of time versus money came up. Her assertion? When dealing with a man, if he has lots of leisurely time to spend with you, he’s not making much money (because he’s not working hard enough to advance his career) and if he has any kind of money, he doesn’t have much time to spend with you (because he has a strong work ethic that is motivated by career advancement). She believes we all have to choose… you can’t have both because it takes nearly all of your time to advance in your career and earn good money. As for herself, she preferred dealing with a man who had time over the money, because as she put it, “I plan on making my own money.”
As soon as she explained that outlook it triggered my mind to conversations Shelby and I have had time and time again. Over the years, she and I have spent countless hours dissecting our romantic relationships. A reoccurring theme in majority of mine is the struggle I face in being attracted to hard-working men who don’t have time to spend on romantic relationships …especially with me.
Why is that?
I’m blessed to be able to say that my father was never absent from my life. He always made sure he had a presence and was accessible to me. On the other hand, he was also a VERY hard worker. Growing up, he would rise before my siblings and I, prepare breakfast, iron our school clothes and get our baths/showers running before we had even opened our eyes. After seeing us off to school, I might not see him again that day. He would come home from work well past my bedtime and do it all over again the next day. Monday through Friday that was the routine (occasionally he might come home early and I might get to see/talk to him then-it was such a treat). Saturdays I might see him in the mornings before he raced off to the golf course and Sundays were family days. I missed him…a lot.
Fast-forward to my life with men now that I’m in my mid-20s.
The men I’m attracted to don’t have time to spend on a relationship because they are driven mainly by their daily grind to “get money,” and advance in their careers….all in an effort to feel secure. While they are aware of this restriction, they also have a “superman” complex where they pile more on their plate than they can chew, my relationship with them being part of that.
From here, the daily battle ensues. I spend the duration of the relationship regulating an arbitrary schedule of our quality time that I have drilled into his head. I refuse to allow him to miss scheduled phone calls, dates, events, etc. To keep my mind off of his lack of time, I myself find tasks/passions/goals/commitments to occupy my time (because even though I’m in my mid-20’s I still have no clue what I want to spend my life doing other than knowing writing had better be a part of my job description). We both wind up working ourselves to the bone, motivated by different reasons.
At times it can be exhausting, but always worth it to me, because I understand the choice that I have made…money over time. Sometimes I wish it weren’t this way; I wish that I would be satisfied with time over money but unfortunately I see it as such a male weakness…*insert Daddy issues here.* While mentally I know it’s not a weakness, spending all those years watching my father complete his daily routine has now got me jaded.
In the meantime I am holding out hope that God will present to me a man who is able to offer time AND money. While it is rare, it is certainly not impossible.
What about you? When it comes down to it are you settling down with a partner who is offering a plethora of free time to dedicate to the development of the relationship OR a strong work ethic that is chiefly motivated by career advancement with the promise of money?