-By Jontae Grace
One little-known fact is that most people aren’t ready for success. We talk about it, rap about it, even pray about it, but still we haven’t mentally prepared for a life of means, and it shows in the way we change once we taste some of the milk and honey. We all think that if we just had a little more paper, our current issues would magically disappear. But each successive level of financial health brings unique responsibilities, challenges and difficulties, not to mention a change in psychology of the person moving up the ladder. In this piece I will describe a typical characterization of how money changes people as individuals and mates, as well as the proper way to view success, through the lens of a larger life objective.
Men become more promiscuous with success, and harder to get into a committed relationship. He has spent his entire upbringing under the notion that he must pursue women. Since he has little or no material resource to catch a woman’s eye, he must use his wits and charm to persuade women to give him the time of day. But once he becomes financially successful, his stability becomes attractive in itself, aside from his personality and physical attributes. He becomes eligible for an entire class of women that were previously locked to him. He is no longer the hunter, he becomes the hunted. Jamie Foxx called it “The Mist,” other rappers have called it “The Vapors”. It is the power that material affluence has to change one person’s perception of another, to turn a no into a yes. Once a man begins making money, he notices that he has more and more luck with women.
So he begins to indulge in the newfound action being offered to him, all the while conscious that these women are not with him for him, it’s his stability that is most attractive. It is an interesting mindfuck in which every smile, phone number obtained and sexual conquest is a bittersweet reminder that he is not valued for his individual character, but rather his good fortune and material worth. As a result, he begins to develop a healthy distrust for women, particularly those who enter his life during the successful phase. To combat those trust issues, you must demonstrate a sense of loyalty to him and not his resources. You must make him feel as if you are down for him during times of plenty and times of want.
Successful women, on the other hand, are typically looking to complete the picture she has painted for herself. After straining and working to achieve her goals, she is searching for a man who can match her standard of living, or offer enough potential to make her wait for him to blossom. Do not mistake it; a woman’s basic expectation is to be protected and provided for, no matter what her professional position in life. She may be able to care for herself, but she will rarely enter into a relationship in which her resources are the primary means for survival.
In essence, success makes people not want to give themselves to another person entirely until they have found someone who can secure and ensure their material security. They become much more cautious and guarded about who they allow to access them, and they often establish unrealistic or outrageous eligibility requirements based on what they think they deserve. A successful man wants a woman who is finer than anyone else, but loyal to him and a good manager of his resources; a successful woman wants a man who can match or exceed her financial standing, and is intelligent enough to develop a plan for a secure future for both of them.
In both cases, their interests are viewed through the lens of material security, and every potential mate is categorized as either a threat or an enhancement to that security. But this perspective is rooted in deeply impoverished notions of success which uses financial stability as the main criteria. They never consider a person’s impact on the community, ability to run a household or just be a pleasant copilot in this life. There are so many other contributions that a good man or woman can make to your life that it is simply foolish to judge someone solely by their wealth, or ability to accumulate it.
More importantly, are you working as diligently to cultivate your humanity as you are your money? Its almost cliché how we hear about people who are financially healthy but spiritually malnourished. And somehow, everyone thinks that it won’t happen to them, that they somehow know what to do if and when they come into a substantial amount of money. But if success to you is the end goal, and not a means to a larger objective, then you will experience the same existential emptiness and moral bankruptcy as so many before you. Money doesn’t make you happy in itself; it is just another tool to get the job done. And if a person has to be at a specific financial level to merit your consideration, then you don’t deserve a good one anyway.
Man makes the money, money doesn’t make the man.
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Some things cannot be bought at any price.