dating + love

Sorry Sweetie, You Can’t Afford Me

March 6, 2012

I got nothin….

I am no stranger to being called a “bougie black girl” or high maintenance. And when I take a serious assessment of who I am and what I like/want, these labels aren’t much of a stretch. Because the truth is, I enjoy having – and working towards attaining – the “finer things in life.” At times I can be picky, stubborn, and impatient when it comes to the desires of my heart. Hell, I like what I like and I want what I want, when and how I want it. I don’t often make concessions about what I’m dead set on having. If I want it bad enough, I go for it. If I don’t have the resources to get it or keep it, I either make a way or I let it pass. Because, as my mama always told me, nothing in this world is free – everything has a price.

Including me.

I used to think I was a simple gal with simple tastes. Easy to please, easy to manage. But I was only kidding myself. Nothing about me or my tastes are simple. Or easy. The more I mature, the more self aware I become, the clearer it is to me that I have great expectations (no Charles Dickens), in every aspect of my life. Even when it comes to relationships, I have high demands that can seem costly. And perhaps, unsurprisingly, I have trouble finding men who can afford me.

Over the years, I’ve met so many men who always seem to be so full of promise at the beginning, having all the basics on the “checklist” – good looks, good education, good credit, good job. It’s only a matter of time before I discover they can’t or won’t pay the price in the currency that I require. Time. I want a man’s time.

I never realized how much this was to ask for until I find myself constantly being neglected, ignored, and passed over. The countless expressions of adoration and affection for me can’t hide the lack of time spent together, getting to know each other. They want me and my time to be at their disposal, as their schedule permits. But when I want their time, they are often too busy, too tired, or too uninterested to oblige. I’m asked to support/attend their events/activities and lend a listening ear when they want to talk, yet often when I ask the same in return, I’m met with excuses, resistance, opposition, or not acknowledged at all. Even when plans are made to spend time together, it’s practically commonplace to either a) spend the majority of the time talking about him or b) be stood up or canceled on. It’s not at all unlikely that days and sometimes weeks will pass before I’m summoned to bask in their company.

Despite how different the men are that I attract, they share a common theme – they’re stingy with their time and/or inconsiderate when it comes to mine. And it infuriates me! I’m tired of being taken for granted. I’m tired of my worth not being recognized. I’m tired of being placed on the back burner. I’m tired of being made to seem like a nagging hag who wants the world simply because I voice my issues with the way I am treated. No ninja, I don’t want the world! I want your time.

How can you claim to be so into me when you don’t know anything about me? How can you get to know me if you won’t spend time with me, where we are both sharing and learning about each other?

I don’t want to just be some man’s stand in. I don’t want to just be some one to see or do, at the time and place of his choosing. As some one who is a doctoral student in the sciences, and highly involved in my campus, community and sorority activities (read: always has something going on), I recognized how precious free time is for people with a very full and busy life. But I also recognize that everybody makes time for the things they want to do. As some one mentioned on the twittuh, you’re not too busy, you’re just not interested. And really that’s all your decision to give of your time boils down to – your interests. You express your interest in something or some one by giving of your time.

I’ve spent too much time trying to convince men that I’m worth their time, worth genuinely getting to know. Maybe in some twisted way I figured the more I give, the more I’d receive, even though experience taught me otherwise. But now I’m at a point where I’m no longer willing to entertain some one who won’t freely give of their time, but only throws scraps as an afterthought. I don’t want or need all of a man’s time, and I value quality over quantity. But time must be paid. Being “too busy” isn’t a good enough excuse not to accommodate me. If you can’t afford to give me your time, or respect mine, you have nothing to offer me. I can no longer accept meager provisions, and I won’t make exceptions.

Without a doubt I’m worth the price that I’m asking for so temporally broke ninjas need not apply.

How important to you is time in a relationship? How easily/freely do you give of your time when first getting to know some one you’re attracted to? Are you understanding of a romantic interest who is “too busy” or “too tired” to spend time with you? What do you expect most from some one you want to date (be it time or something else)?

Not selling myself short,
Gem

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44 Comments

  • Reply madscientist7 March 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

    great post gem.

    i think this said it best:

    “But I also recognize that everybody makes time for the things they want to do.”

    this reminded me of a girl i once dated and the opposite occurred. i gave her all the time in the world. we hung out. we did things together (outside of the bedroom). but she was so caught up in the fact that i didn’t constantly reassure her with words. i guess that was her love language. it was then when i realized that all women aren’t the same at all. i assumed actions spoke louder than words and boy was i wrong.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

      its funny you mention love languages, because my primary love language is actually words of affirmation (with QT a close 2nd). but to me, i think time is absolutely necessary in any relationship – “quality” or not. the only way to get to know some one is to spend time with them. be that talking on the phone, skyping, going on dates, etc. if youre only spending time with some one to fulfill your own needs (you dont wanna go out alone, you want someone to listen to your thoughts/feelings, you want some nookie, etc) without taking into account theirs, then there is a disconnect.

      it cant be one sided.

      • Reply madscientist7 March 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        yea i definitely agree. i never got that “let me go out with this person because i’m lonely.” i’m not going to go out with someone i don’t like. i like my own company and will take myself out to eat or the movies in a heartbeat.

      • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

        absolutely.

        though id be lying if i said i never went out for the sake of just going out. be this one on one with a guy interested in me or with a group of friends.

        that said, its not something i do anymore. i LOVE my alone time.

  • Reply Adio_Heaux March 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Good post Gem.
    Felt like you were reading my diary and talking about common themes. Cuz Lord knows this is one of them… I used to be oh so understanding and accepting of excuses over and over again but one day it just hit me. I don’t have TIME. I don’t have the time to keep nonchalant romances going… I used to think love/relationships could play themselves out of the grey area but here lately… Either it is or it isn’t because my time is too precious to waste.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

      EXACTLY!!! we are >>here<<

      and what really makes me upset is when they try to make it seem like YOU are the one with the problem, like YOU arent understanding, and YOU dont get they have a life. negro please!

  • Reply simplysope March 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

    🙂 Great post Gem. I think we have different requirements and I think time isn’t something that is too much to ask for. Especially since you’re willing to listen and be available.

    “Are you understanding of a romantic interest who is “too busy” or “too tired” to spend time with you? What do you expect most from some one you want to date (be it time or something else)?”

    I can understand to a point. If its a busy time (school, big project at work, etc) its fine with me. I just want to be able to enjoy the time we do spend together. However, when someone becomes to busy for me, but its clear they have time for others, or other recreational things, (“I see you tweetin from Echofon, Ninja, but you can’t respond to a text?!?!”) like you said, they’ve made it clear that they’re not interested. At that point I can take my talents elsewhere. *shrug*

    You may be expensive Gem requiring time, good things tend to cost a little more right? I mean don’t these guys know you’re PhD-adjacent? They better act like they know!

    :p

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

      thanks for commenting 🙂

      I just want to be able to enjoy the time we do spend together. However, when someone becomes to busy for me, but its clear they have time for others, or other recreational things, (“I see you tweetin from Echofon, Ninja, but you can’t respond to a text?!?!”)

      YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!! oh youre “busy” alright – busy doing things that dont include me, but then you want to act all hurt when i dont want to cancel my plans to hang out with you because YOU feel like it. FOH.

      I mean don’t these guys know you’re PhD-adjacent? They better act like they know!

      LOL!! exactly. hehe

    • Reply NicknotNikki March 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      LMAO @ “I see you tweetin from Echofon!!” That was PERFECT!!!!

  • Reply miss t-lee March 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Time, is huge!!!! I think that’s the number 1 thing I find myself asking for. After a while if I have to keep asking, or I tell you “don’t worry about it” too many times that means adios.
    I’m understanding to a point of someone being busy, but the way I look at it, you’re not Barack Obama. If you can’t find yourself making time for someone that you care about, they’re clearly not a priority.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

      >>><<<

      LOL @ you'er not Barack Obama. hell, even Barry makes time for Chelley – and you know they be gettin it in (in more ways than one lol).

      no one is THAT damn busy that they cant make time for the things they want to do. so if its a strain to make time for me, than its a strain for me to keep you saved in my phone…

  • Reply P.O.C. d.k.a. Analyze This! March 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

    This was something I stated on my FB status about a month or so ago, however, not so eloquently. I can get every man to be attracted to me, but once they realize that time is something I require, that attraction quickly fades. I’m with you…I’M WORTH THAT TIME AND SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH MORE!

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      yes!! and we shouldnt ever feel guilty for wanting what we want – TIME!! *high five*

  • Reply Ivy St. March 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

    When I started reading this post, for some odd reason I thought this was going to be about materialistic things or having someone take you on a fancy date. I should and do know you better than that.

    It’s interesting that you write about time. A guy friend told me a while back that you know a man is serious about you or at least interested when he wants to spend time with you. I didn’t believe this until recently. This had to do with the fact that I spend time with people ALL the time that I have NO interest in. I hangout in places that bore me, just because. Hell, I’ve gone a quite a few dates with guys that I had no intentions of dating JUST because it was something to do. I’ve learned that men don’t operate this way. Thank God! They show their interest through time because they would rather be bored or playing video games than spending time with someone they aren’t interested in. This is a good thing because it gives us women something we can measure. While acts of service is still my number one love language, spending time has also become important to me. A man who goes out of his way to spend time with you and plans interesting ways to spend time with you is a man worth giving your time to. I won’t settle for less and I’m glad you are doing the same.
    XOXO!

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      When I started reading this post, for some odd reason I thought this was going to be about materialistic things or having someone take you on a fancy date.

      haha that was partly intentional. but i really do feel time is a costly price to pay for some. time is so precious, and i find my time constantly being wasted on men who dont deserve it.

      to your point tho – i think it goes both ways for men and women. while women may be more likely to give of their time just to see what a guy is about, shes not going to rearrange her schedule or put off time to herself or her friends for just some ninja shes not really feeling. no, if shes into him, shes going to accommodate him. even if she’s busy, shes going to find the time to see or talk to him.

      and i fear thats something ive lacked in most of my dating in the last few years. there hasnt been a guy who has made serious efforts to spend time with me, even in the midst of all he has going on. if its between his boys/sleep and me, im going to lose out EVERY time. until he wants something that is…

      thanks for commenting and sharing love 🙂

  • Reply www.max-logic.com March 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I sooo feel you on this.

  • Reply NicknotNikki March 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Gemmikins!!

    I love this post!!
    I’ve experienced a weird variation of this.. For me, time isn’t such an issue. I’ve broken up with dudes that wanted to spend too much time with me (weird, I know) but it’s what we do when we finally get together. I FINALLY see you (after much pent up longing) and we still do what you want to do? I go to the basketball court to be your personal cheerleader, then when I want to go to the movies, you’re too tired.. Chillin at my house can be done with or without you.. I’m not willing to put up with it anymore..

    I’ve reached that place where I’m not willing to compromise on the bare necessities.. Why wouldn’t you want to spend time with someone you claim you like? Doesn’t make any sense. Because human nature wants maximum results for minimum cost.. I love that we’re coming into a time when we know what we won’t and what we won’t accept.. I hate that it took so long for me to figure it out..

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      I’ve broken up with dudes that wanted to spend too much time with me

      trust me, i have too!!! i dont wanna be smothered, and i dont wanna do the smothering. i like my space. and i like time with my friends/family. if i wanted some one up under me all the time, id get a lap dog.

      go to the basketball court to be your personal cheerleader, then when I want to go to the movies, you’re too tired..

      substitute basketball for softball and this was my life. smdh. you CANT miss a night out with your boys but its a problem when i wont change plans with my girls to go out with you?? FOH.

      I love that we’re coming into a time when we know what we won’t and what we won’t accept.. I hate that it took so long for me to figure it out..

      i feel you on this completely. i guess thats what growing up is all about. better to have learned this lessons as “single” women than as married and miserable women. wishing for a do-over.

      thanks for commenting/sharing, babes!!

  • Reply LaLaBea March 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Great post EBBB!!! Time is very important in my book and in the beginning stages, I’m not to understanding of being “busy” because it translate (to me) that you aren’t interested. I think I give of my time rather freely, but the moment a guy does something like not show up, cancel last minute, etc…I pull back.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      thanks love! and we are of a like mind on this issue. i think time, esp in the beginning, is critical. its been my experience that if you start off being stingy with your time, you continue to be that way, even a year after dating. smh

  • Reply JMayfair March 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Wow, so far I haven’t read anything from you that I don’t agree completely. For so long I thought that I wasn’t “worth the time” that the problem was me … How else would I explain all these other women in “happy” relatioships? I guess their price was different, or they were lucky enough to find a man willing to pay the price.
    As they say in spanish “el que quiere, puede” if you really want something, you find a way to make time for that.
    <3
    J

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      you never know what some one else has given up or asked for in their relationships. but i do have plenty of friends who have mates who are considerate of their time, and make themselves available, even when they have a lot going on. and it gives me hope that i can find some one like that too.

      el que quiere, puede

      exactamente!

  • Reply The Suburban Thug March 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    You hit the nail on the head here. Most women I ever dated spoke of the necessity for quality time, and not of the “relations” variety. It took me quite a number of years to understand and grasp this fact. Once i did though, I figured out that providing a woman the time she wants (requires) can do one of two things. Either it will make her need more, or she will be more reciprocal with what I want and need from her. Usually, it was the latter.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      i dont think time is specific to women. i think both men and women alike show their interest in things by putting time into it – be it a hobby or a person. now the way in which that time is spent may very between genders, but all in all i think a person wants to be paid some attention to. you dont have to smother somebody to show them you’re interested. you just have to be willing to say, despite all thats going on, i want to take this time to see you, get to know you, talk to you, share with you, in one way or another.

  • Reply Stillwaters2013 March 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Speaking from the other side here.

    Every relationship/interaction I’ve entered since starting graduate school has ended because of this very same reason-lack of time/energy on my part.

    Yea I may find the time to tweet like no ones business, but it’s MY form of recreation. Paying her devotion is another, lesser, form of recreation. It takes active effort to close your data analysis software, put away the papers, gaze intently into her eyes and try to pay your best attention to her rambling. Rambling that goes on so long, by the time it’s done, your sleepy and goig to bed with another night wasted…or spent NOT doing what u needed to do. As a result you wake up resenting her, angry at urself for wasting time… It’s just a vicious cycle.

    So after recently having the “time argument” with yet another lover, I had to consider the fact that maybe I’m not in the point of my life where I can sustain a healthy relationship. Maybe even going to the point of finding another doctoral student to be with, wasn’t enough, she still somehow had enough free time to badger me about my lack of time for her.

    That, or another aspect of compatibility, being on the same tax bracket in terms f time/attention currency, should be considered.

    Typed with my thumbs

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Every relationship/interaction I’ve entered since starting graduate school has ended because of this very same reason-lack of time/energy on my part.

      my question to YOU is – why are you bothering with a relationship if you dont have the time to put into it? as you mention further down, you dont have desire to put in the time because you dont choose to.

      Paying her devotion is another, lesser, form of recreation.

      you dont have to “pay devotion” to some one to spend time with them or get to know them.

      it seems like you are dealing with a very specific type of person who you seem irritated with. and i can see why you wouldnt want to give that person your time. hence your lack of interest. maybe you just want somebody to warm your bed, and be out. and while thats your prerogative, you shouldnt call what you have a “relationship” when those require time, attention, and effort.

      thanks for sharing.

      • Reply 30thoughts March 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        I’m new here, but I had to comment on Stillwaters2013’s obvious annoyance with women asking for his time.

        “You don’t have to “pay devotion” to someone to spend time with them or get to know them”

        I agree. Case in point, the person I’m dating now is starting a business and I am in law school. We spend most weekends studying all day in a coffee shop together…the operative word is “together.” But, I truly believe it’s because he has a desire to spend time with me.

        It sounds like Stillwaters2013 is just bad at time management, and as he stated, this is not a good time to be dating or trying to maintain a relationship because MOST women are going to want to spend time, not a lot, but enough to make it worthwhile.

        As to the questions you asked at the end of your article, if a guy doesn’t want to spend time with me or make time for me, I assume he’s just not that into me, and move on. I am not at all needy, and I don’t require much time because I don’t have a lot of time. So, if he can’t fulfill my minimum time requirement, he’s FOS, and I won’t continue to waste time rearranging my schedule in order to fit into his.

      • Reply gemmieboo March 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

        30thoughts,

        *nodding head* we are >>>here<<<

        thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply phidelity15 March 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Gemmie!!! We are >>>>here<<<< with this post. My daddy's number one rule was that he didnt want any of his daughters to have to go to any man for anything. He either provided what we needed/ wanted or we worked to get it.

    Because of that mentality, I don't need a man to buy me anything, I don't need or want expensive jewelry to show me how much you care (I got my own zales card ok!!) and I have little to no patience when it comes to not receiving what I do want because all I want is to spend some time together and get to know each other better that and penis.
    And as you mentioned if dude can’t find time to spend to get to know me then he’s not interested and if that’s the case, since time is so valuable, I’d rather spend it elsewhere with people who care and are interested in me then worrying bout old boy.

    *cues Martin Lawrence starts at 6:30 http://youtu.be/vyf9H-_X0R8 *

    • Reply phidelity15 March 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      forgot part two: http://youtu.be/ZyMElBe2WS8

    • Reply gemmieboo March 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      girrrrrl yes yes and more YES!!!! my dad (and mom) were the same way with me. if i want nice THINGS, i will buy them for myself. if i want a fancy dinner, i can take myself or go with my girls. the only thing i NEED you to do for me is give me your time so i know youre interested. otherwise, why are we wasting our time? we both lose in the long run because we’re not going to get exactly what we want – although you will most certainly make out better than me since i actually give a damn and put forth both my time and effort but yeah…

      those martin clips are so on point! LOL thanks for posting those.

  • Reply Z March 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I’m agree 100% with this blog and I’ve been in this situation and I’m happy to see that I’m not the only person. I sometimes wonder if men are aware that they’re not putting in enough effort if you don’t make them aware of it. In that getting to know each other phase, I have very little patience these day. I guess since I’ve started dating more I’ve seen this scenario so often now: A man who only sends a few texts every now and then, one sided convos and checking in after weeks on end to replace actually getting to know each other. I nip it in the bud almost immediately now.

    Although to give some guys the benefit of a doubt, I think a lot of guys think dating and getting to know each other must involve money or taking you out on an actual date and some men aren’t always financially able. So maybe there’s also a lack of understanding that talking on the phone and just hanging out is valued just as much. Who knows…It could just be a misunderstanding as well.

    • Reply gemmieboo March 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

      So maybe there’s also a lack of understanding that talking on the phone and just hanging out is valued just as much. Who knows…It could just be a misunderstanding as well.

      while i do agree that men may not recognize the value in spending time that doesnt have to include spending money – i dont think spending time is a problem only men have. i think it works for both men and women. we spend time doing sh*t we are interested in doing.

      and in my experience, its not a misunderstanding. men and women alike know good and damn well what theyre doing when theyre making a conscious decision to NOT spend time with you. a dude telling me he went bar hopping for the 2nd wknd in a row on his only off day for the wk therefore rendering him “unable” to hang out with me is hardly a misunderstanding. a dude telling me he was too tired to remember he made dinner plans with me but never is too tired to make his plans with his friends is hardly a misunderstanding.

      if a guy cant commit his time to show me his interest – be it taking me out on a date or just calling me on the phone to have a convo – then he just doesnt deserve me time. i no longer feel the need to give him any benefit of any doubt.

  • Reply I Am Your People March 7, 2012 at 1:52 am

    *does the tootsee roll all over this post* Men underestimate how important face-to-face time is important. I always say it’s not like we have to spend money and go out all the time, but talking on the phone isn’t good enough. *makes it rain watches just cuz*

    • Reply gemmieboo March 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

      LOL IAYP you crazy.

      but again, i dont think its just men who have this problem. and i dont think its just face-to-face time. a phone call or a skype date is fine if we’re both engaged and sharing – not just one person talking about them, their thoughts and their problems, never asking about the other person.

  • Reply Muze March 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

    great post.

    quality time is definitely my number one requirement once i’m dating someone. i am a very firm believer that men and people in general, make time for the things and people they want to. period. no amount of being “too busy” will keep a man away if he wants to spend time with you. every man i’ve ever dated after college has had a very full life, as i’m attracted to men who are committed to community, family, professional goals, etc. and the ones who genuinely wanted to be around me, always always found time. and plenty of it, at that. so yes, never settle for a broke arse man. lol

    • Reply gemmieboo March 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

      i too am attracted to men with full lives, and have commitments to other ppl and causes other than themselves. yet i tend to attract the ones who just want me as the “sometimes piece”. *sigh* one day ill find some one who values me and my time. in the meantime, i guess im enjoying my own time lol

  • Reply fourpageletter March 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    the tag no country though?? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Reply kunwrapped April 30, 2012 at 11:47 am

    New reader here. *waves*

    “Over the years, I’ve met so many men who always seem to be so full of promise at the beginning, having all the basics on the “checklist” – good looks, good education, good credit, good job. It’s only a matter of time before I discover they can’t or won’t pay the price in the currency that I require. Time. I want a man’s time.”

    This is so me. For a long time I let that good on paper checklist stuff cloud my judgement and wasn’t noticing the lack of effort/time from some of the guys I’ve been interested in for weeks or months. After the last situation I was in it’s all so clear to me now. The best relationship I’ve had to date was with a guy who, from the very beginning and throughout our relationship, put forth time and effort in such a way that I knew he had good intentions from day 1…I never had to ask and was never unsure of his feelings for me or where I stood. That’s what I’m looking for now.

    -Kiesh

    • Reply gemmieboo May 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      hi kiesh!! thanks for reading!!! and commenting 🙂

      The best relationship I’ve had to date was with a guy who, from the very beginning and throughout our relationship, put forth time and effort in such a way that I knew he had good intentions from day 1…I never had to ask and was never unsure of his feelings for me or where I stood. That’s what I’m looking for now.

      yesssss!!! this is my ideal relationship – more than all other factors.

  • Reply Homesick Mindy June 7, 2012 at 8:40 am

    this was beautiful GEm , love reading this…..its not always about affording the finer things but taking the time out to give them and enjoy them and show love by doing it showing this person that they are so important to you making them feel loved all the time not just part time on your days off or when they are bored.

  • Reply The Wake Up Call « That's What GEM Said September 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

    […] demands to be met, I’m thinking of you is conveyed in some way. That which I greatly desire (time) is given to me, without fuss or request. I wake up to being highly considered and that is […]

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