It wouldn’t be very stressful to date poor men if they learnt to be candid about the holes in their pockets right from the start. But such an admission would hurt a man’s ego. And a man’s ego has got to remain intact even if that ego is all he’s got, right?
Oblivious to his financial situation, a poor man takes you to a nice restaurant. As soon as they bring out the menu, his pupils dilate. He starts pricing and calculating in his head. He prays that you won’t order for something out of his price range.
But he doesn’t trust that God will hear and answer him in time so he decides to do the damage control himself. He jokingly exclaims at the prices. And when a man exclaims at the prices (even as a joke), it puts you in a very awkward position. You don’t know the actual size of his pocket so you don’t know what to eat.
You obviously don’t want to order for those cheap foods because they are always so artless that they can easily be made at home. You really want to treat your palate to something unfamiliar, something pleasant.
But if you ask for something expensive, you might rob the poor man of his month’s rent. You decide to eat chips and chicken. You see his chest which had previously expanded with tension finally contract.
When the bill arrives, he pays and then he digs his forefinger and thumb into his wallet to count the balance. You start to think that maybe you should have ordered for plain chips or not eaten at all. You wonder if you should chip in. But how do you bring it up without hurting his ego? You keep quiet.
A week goes by and he asks you on a date again. You want to go but the stress of not knowing how much is too much for him is still hanging over your head. After much deliberation, you decide to go. You won’t eat. You will just drink a soda.
When you get there and say you only want to drink a soda, he is insistent on you eating something. You tell him that you are not hungry but he won’t take no for an answer. Eventually, you stop arguing and decide to order for food.
You conclude that since he pleaded with you to eat, he must have enough money to pay. Maybe he had enough money to pay even during the first date but you misread his body language and misunderstood his joke. So this time you order to give your palate what it was previously denied.
When the bill arrives and he looks at it, he lets out a silent gasp. He gets out his wallet and ‘suddenly’ realizes that he forgot to withdraw enough money. He asks you to chip in. He will refund you as soon as he goes to the ATM. By going to the ATM, he means borrowing money from his friend(s).
The next time he asks you out again, you don’t go. It’s not because he is poor. It’s because it is emotionally straining to deal with his poverty.