This piece does not target all men. It is geared towards the demographic of Peter Pans among the male population who, regardless of age just refuse to grow up. They are the dudes who believe they are working towards a gig that will be extremely lucrative in the long run, but in the interim they are 30+ year-old living on sofas, in a basement, unemployed and broke playing video games day in and day out or producing something mediocre that more than likely will never take off.
They are the men who aspire to be “music producers,” “paid gamers,” “actors”, “rappers,” who have yet to make it in the business, but believe they are right on the brink of a huge break through. And who knows, one out of every couple million of these dudes, perhaps, will do something great. But many simply will not and they do not have a back-up plan to fall back on in the case of failure because they just know that they are going to be successful.
It is also dedicated to the women who, despite obvious signs that he is not ready to grow up and definitely not ready to settle down, enter into relationships with these men looking for marriage and children. Because you see, this guy would not necessarily be bad all on his own. But when he finds a woman who is willing to look past his obvious immaturity and believe that somehow, just somehow, he will magically morph into a sensitive, caring, partner or breadwinner, then we have a completely disastrous combination.
A good friend of mine recently excitedly told me that she was expecting. When I asked her if that meant her longtime boyfriend, who has been unemployed for a year and a half while on his latest quest to design a gaming app that will somehow make millions (despite the industry’s over-saturation), would finally go out and look for steady employment, she responded, “Well, he just needs some more time and then he can sell the game he’s been working on.”
Now, if there was any hint of validity to her claim, I would not be so hard on the chick. But I played a demo of the game and it is absolute crap. I’m not a huge gamer, but I know crap when I play it. The demo was just that.
I say this without any fear that my girlfriend will somehow be angered and end our friendship. Real friends tell the truth. And the truth is: her boyfriend definitely needs a Plan B, heck, he needs a damn new Plan A.
Not to mention, she is not the only one. Another one of my girlfriends just recently had a baby with a man who aspires to be a “millionaire hip-hop music producer.” When I asked him what his plans were for taking care of his newborn little boy, he responded, “I’m gunna be the next Kanye.”
Let me be clear about something: I am all for following your dreams. I tell everyone, regardless of age, to shoot for the stars, do something great; be inspired. However, when we decide to have relationships, and even more importantly, bring another life onto this planet, our life no longer revolves around just us. Priorities must be set and priority number one should be making sure that everyone in the equation can be emotionally and financially supported.
Perhaps this process is far too common for young adults and the transition, for my friends and their boyfriends, from confused mis-directed young people, to grounded adults who can maintain a healthy relationship or be stable parents will happen much more seamlessly than I anticipate. After all, the hippie generation had children, and they weren’t too messed up, right? But in these uncertain economic times, any little mistake can mean financial disaster and ruin. This is not made any better by modern couples’ increased inability to stay together when the going gets rough.
Considering the exploding trend of female-headed, single-parent households, the odds that many women in these kinds of relationships, like my friends, will become single parents if they decide to have kids with this kind of guy is incredibly high. And without the combined income of a two-parent household, the struggle becomes very real.
For that reason, men and women in this precarious dynamic should be particularly careful to be explicit about their intentions, goals and desires. I feel that a man has every right to endlessly follow his passion into life-long adolescent oblivion, if that is what, above all else, makes him happy. That passion should be supported and respected by his partner, if it is made clear from the beginning, that it is what he wants to pursue in this lifetime.
However, in the event that a man enters into a relationship, fully aware that he is making a commitment to a woman whose emotional needs and expectations align with societal definitions of “adulthood” (getting married, having children, building a family, etc.), he needs to know and accept when he just needs to grow up. A hint to some of those men: When there’s a baby on the way.