I was asked the other day, probably because I wrote a book on relationships, if a man should date when flat broke. It is an interesting concept. After all we would like to believe something as serious as love would be free - like the wind in your face or the air that you breathe. But is it really? It is expensive to go to dinner, movies, weekends away and the normal dating things you do when you have money.
Love is not complicated. Not to me anyway. You either fall madly in love or you don't. And if not, there is nothing in this world which will force you to really love someone. Strangely enough, having experienced soul mate love with my late wife, money plays no role. Nor does skin color or nationality influence your decision to be one in body and soul. All that matters is your other half. And believe you me, you will know when your soul arrives, there is nothing in love quite like it. Every time, and I mean every time, you see her, you fall in love with her all over again. It is beyond words to describe.
When I first read about soul mate love I privately believed, not thought, I was utterly convinced the poets were either drunk or stoned when they wrote love poems. How is such love possible? Without outside influences like money, your college degrees, your standing in the community, a fancy car, a nice house and the financial ability to take care of her. So it brings me back to my question. Should a man as broke as is humanely possible be dating? Does he even have the moral right to do so?
We find many of them in South Africa (and I have no doubt other places too) where a white man is discriminated against by law. It is the only place in the world where affirmative action is used against a minority. Usually, it is the other way around; the minority is the protected one. Here the minority is the abused group and let me tell you it won't stop. Not in our lifetime or ten generations down the line. This means he cannot find a decent job or any other job and you would have thought, if idealistic in nature, that his brothers, the Afrikaner, would then help each other. Most certainly not...to keep their contracts with government or big business, they have sold their own out and did so with remarkable aplomb. I can understand that. It is just business when a law firm says to an Afrikaner attorney that they are sorry, they must appoint the black man or rather black woman in his place. They look at the bigger picture to survive and why not. It is the way the game is played and where the appointment is on merit, who cares? Of course, you will never be able to show me a single country in the world where affirmative action has had the desired effect. Not one, it does not exist because it is against the rules of natural justice. It creates an uneven field to play on which means it slows the whole game down. Only a long haired liberal would support such nonsense but you cannot escape it, so it is no use complaining either. Get used to it and do your own thing is my advice.
Affirmative action doesn't bother me. I get the reason why it is done and I know what RDP really means beyond the fancy liberal ideas. What bothers me is when a man is judged by a woman solely according to his private wealth. Here we need to look at two scenarios. Both are bad and before anyone gets liberal with me - when I say woman I also mean man. It is a social crime committed by both sexes but obviously, since I am a man that is my perspective, from the male side of things.
The first scenario is where a man is married or in a relationship to his sweetheart and he loses his job or business or income. And then she divorces him or left him to fend for himself. We see that often in the legal profession. It is not hard to read between the lines what happened - no money = no love. Such people are shallow beyond belief and my own view, good riddance. Go out mate, and find your soul who will never do this to you. At the same time, don't be the hero and hide your financial troubles from your wife. Read my book Your Worst Enemy and ring-fence yourself against banksters. Stay away from debt. Driving a new car on which you owe money makes you a foolish fellow when it comes to financial security. Save and buy with cash if at all possible. Do not allow the banksters anywhere near you and let them continue to beg you to take an overdraft - it is highly entertaining to see them beg as they do with every single add you read or see or hear. We know that if a bankster doesn't lend money out, he will be gone in six months. Their whole business concept is based on compounded interest repayments. Without finding slaves to repay them they cannot survive long. It is that simple.
The second scenario is where the man is already broke, struggling and alone for whatever reason. He needs someone special because he was not born to be alone. But he has a problem. He cannot afford to impress her with his private wealth for he has none - he lost all he had already. An idealist and romantic soul will tell you this is the best time ever to date. When all is said and done, you know she is not after your money since she knows you are flat broke. I suppose, as long as you are honest and upfront, this may be correct in theory. Miracles do happen and tomorrow you may be rich again.
In real life? Nah, I have never heard of a woman who will date a poor man. No matter if he is good looking (dismissed as a gigolo then), or well educated (dismissed as a nerd who could not make it), or divorced (dismissed on why the other one divorced him - he must be guilty of something). And then they add the old adage of him needing a place to stay and someone to take care of him. And that my dear reader is the biggest problem when dating when flat broke. He will have an enormously difficult time to convince anyone his motives are pure. In today's cynical world that is simply not believed and he will be dismissed with contempt he does not deserve. Of course, I am wrong, many women have good hearts. They really don't care about wealth but men don't know that you see. They firmly believe what I wrote above and that is why women say to me "K, where are the good men?"
I can tell you where they are not Madam. You won't find them in a pub because they have no money to spend on drinks. Nor in the night clubs for they cannot afford that either. But look around you, the guy who drives an old but clean car. The one who opens the door for you, and is grateful to have you in his presence. The one who prepares food for you at home because he cannot afford the ridiculous 400% overcharging we see at restaurants. The one who is there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. The one who gives your enemies the evil eye and puts his arm around you in public. The one you look down on.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.