If you let the rap girlies tell it, male romantic partners should be paying for everything from exotic trips to tuition. Cardi said “Broke boys don’t deserve no p–y!” Meg has people’s daddy’s running through malls buying her whatever she wants. It appears that the City Girls are up. But in real life, the City Girls don’t even live their lyrics. In an interview with Angie Martinez, JT revealed that in the future she wants to “be her man’s 50-50.”

That’s more in line with how many people live. Still, there is certainly some allure behind being a kept woman. 

Recently, a man told 21Ninety about one woman’s desire to receive money from a guy she was dating. The story raised the question, “did she go about it the right way?” To explore the issue more, 21Ninety talked to a relationship experts about the scenario to hear their perspective. 

But first the story…

James and Ava (names changed to protect the innocent) first met and started dating five months ago. After two months, James decided to make it official. Right around their three-month anniversary, James invited Ava to an event at which he was performing. She agreed but a couple of days later, she text James to say that she would no longer be able to attend because her hair and nails weren’t done. Ava doesn’t like leaving the house without her hair and nails on point. James witnessed this in their early dating days. It was one of the things he liked about her. 

Still, he wanted to see her. So he suggested they meet somewhere else. She declined. Then he asked if he could come over to her place. She refused. Recognizing what Ava was really hinting at, James asked Ava how much it typically costs to do her hair and nails. She told him $200. 

James tried to find a compromise.

James wasn’t thrilled about having to offer up his own money. Plus, he felt $200 was a little steep. In an effort to make both of them happy, he told Ava that he could give her $100 to put toward her hair and nails. She was offended. Not only did she reject the compromise, she became distant. After a couple of days of silence, James asked Ava to explain why she had been so quiet. 

She explained that she was perturbed about the $200. In fact, she told him that she didn’t believe he didn’t have the money, just that he didn’t want to give it to her. James asked her why she didn’t believe him. Ava told him that she had seen him spend $200 or more dollars on their dates. So she figured he was being stingy. James couldn’t convince her otherwise and the relationship slowly fizzled. 

What the experts have to say.

21Ninety spoke to Houston dating coach Juanita Brown and psychologist Dr. Vivian Ogunyemi about the situation to get their opinions on how both James and Ava handled the situation. 

Brown says that in today’s time people have set expectations of what people should do for them. Still, she feels Ava’s actions were a little premature.

“Only being exclusive for three months, I don’t think that warrants someone to automatically pay for something,” Brown said. 

Furthermore, the dating coach believes if having her hair and nails done was Ava’s expectation she should have been mature enough to say it outright. 

As for James, Brown appreciated the fact that he offered various solutions. She says his initiative was a green flag. 

But ultimately, Brown believes James and Ava simply weren’t compatible. 

“Anyone who’s genuinely interested in somebody, it won’t matter if your hair and nails are done,” Brown said. “It won’t matter if they can’t give you the full amount. They’ll give you something. You’re not going to turn down spending time with that person if you’re genuinely into them. So it doesn’t sound like their relationship is even something that was going to last long anyway…Anybody who has to test you like that, they’re not for you.” 

Provision & priorities.

Dr. Ogunyemi believes that women want a man that can be a provider for them. And that Ava was likely trying to determine if James could be that person for her. But like Brown, she thinks it all happened too quickly. 

“If you’re in a committed relationship, I’m all for it,” Dr. Ogunyemi said. “But at two/ three months in, you owe no one anything.”

Dr. Ogunyemi said if Ava wanted to determine if James would be a good provider, she could have done so differently. 

“If you’ve been in a relationship for a while with some skin in the game, you can tell if someone is going to be a provider in different ways. How do they take care of their bills? How do they take care of themselves?”

Dr. Ogunyemi thought James handled himself pretty well in this situation. But could have saved himself some time and energy if he’d had a conversation with Ava earlier about her expectations of him. If she was honest, he could have told her this was not for him. 

“A lot of times we avoid those conversations because we don’t want the fun to end,” Dr. Ogunyemi said. “But in order to avoid heartbreak, we’ve got to know early on if this person aligns.”

More than just an alignment of values Dr. Ogunyemi states that a woman being financially dependent on a male partner can be potentially dangerous. 

“If we jump into something expecting people to take care of us from the beginning, that’s going to be the remainder of your relationship. When you’re dependent on that person to provide for you that can, in some cases, lead to a cycle of abuse if we’re not able to provide for ourselves,” Dr. Ogunyemi said.

Emotional availability and money

More than trying to determine if a man can provide financial support, Dr. Ogunyemi says the biggest expectation women should have for their male partners is emotional availability. 

“Can you talk with this person? Do you feel respected?” she asked.  “Do you feel valued around this person? Do you feel like yourself? Or do you close off?”

Once those emotional and spiritual needs are established, then finances can come into the picture. But even when they do, Ogunyemi wants women to be empowered to take care of themselves. 

“We are more than sufficient,” she said “We can expect our man to provide but we have to be independent enough to take care of ourself. A lot of abuse happens when we become dependent on someone. When we become dependent on them financially, we become dependent on them emotionally, mentally, intimately and it takes away our power and our ability to decide for ourselves.”