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The Women Hold Me Down, Man (Part 2)

Well, that took a little longer than I expected.

Last Monday, I started a new gig. I am the Senior Editor of Music and Culture for Russell Simmons’ website, Having been out of work since July 1, 2009 I can’t begin to explain what a relief this is. To put it in some context, the day before I got the call about getting the job, I received a letter from the state saying the extension for my unemployment was granted, but in 18 weeks, I had to figure something out.

So yeah, that whole, “He may not come when you call, but He’s always on time” thing? Proven true again.

Of course, with the new gig, I have had to adjust to a new schedule and routine, but I’m also feeling a tad bit reflective about my time spent as a man out of work. As someone once told me, back when I had a gig, nothing tests a man’s mettle more than when he’s either fired, laid off, or out of work. And as true as that was for me, I came to another startling revelation but not about me. It was about the women.

When I found myself out of a job last summer, one of the many questions I had was how I would continue to date. The first thing I thought about was money, and how even when I had a gig, dating was sometimes a luxury I couldn’t afford. The second thing I wondered was what woman would want to date a man with no job. I couldn’t imagine many if there were any at all, even in the midst of record high unemployment numbers.

Boy was I wrong.

This is not to brag or boast about how even when I didn’t have a job, I could still get girls. Clearly I could and I did, but that’s not what this is about at all.

What this is about is being proven wrong, and being shown the difference between perception and reality.

The perception is women want a man with a good job, and to a degree, this is probably correct. But what my reality proved to me when I didn’t have a job is it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are, and if a woman is drawn to you, it’s not because you work at a place like Vibe or you make six figures as some high powered attorney.

What it really is about — what it’s always been about — is can we come correct, can we stay correct, and can we find someone who can do the same? Well, I found quite a few of those women.

To the women who dated me between last Monday, May 10, 2010 and July 1, 2009, you all held me down, man. Thank you.

Thank you for proving me wrong and proving wrong any other man who has ever felt like before they could open their mouths and talk to you, they had to have a job. I didn’t have a job for almost a year, and not once did any of you hold it against me. Not once did any of you ask me when I was going to get a job. All any of you ever did was tell me it was going to be okay.

When I was fretting over emails that got no replies, you all told me to be patient. When I was getting ready for a big interview, you all gave my outfit a once over and a kiss for good luck. When going out to the movies or dinner proved to be a bit out of my budget, you all offered to pay for half, and even sometimes, the whole thing.

You all held me down, not unlike my best friends and my family.

Some of you all, aren’t around anymore, but none of you all left me because you were tired of dating a guy who was living off of unemployment and measly, inconsistent freelance checks. Thank you for finding less obvious reasons to move on.

You all were patient with me, tolerant almost to a fault. When my Internet wasn’t working right, you let me use yours. When I checked my Blackberry right after we had sex, you never really complained because you understood that every time I was checking my email, it was in hopes of finding a message that would reverse my difficult circumstances.

Ladies, I was wrong about you all. Sure, there may be some women who still care about how much a man makes and what kind of work he does for a living, but I can safely say, those women are few and far between.

The women who are plenty and close, are the ones I met between last Monday and July 1, 2009. And as much as I would to continue to write out all the ways I appreciate what you did for me, I can’t because I’m running late for work. But before I go, let me just say it again: Thank you all, for holding me down.

READ: The Women Hold Me Down, man (Part 1)

Categories: dating, guys, unemployment, women, Work Tags:
  • **inquiring mind**


  • Noemi

    Kudos on the job and the genuine post!

  • Miss. Riss

    Congratulations on the job! My ex was out of a job for a huge portion of our relationship, so I know what that can do to a man. With that experience I commend you for ( what it seems ) not letting that get in the way of your confidence, and your hustle professionally and socially/romantically. And also with that experience, I commend those women for holding you down. Its hard, real hard…and I’m sure its harder to hold someone down that you’re just dating than holding down the man you’re with.

    Congrats again! BTW I liked your piece on Solange on Global Grind, musically, and lyrically, she’s so much better than Beyonce.

  • Love Is Dope

    Congrats on the new gig! That’s wonderful!

  • Theryl

    Yay Jozen! You are a great asset to Global Grind! U passed the test of faithfulness, and now u reap ur reward!!!!

  • Danielle D.

    Congrats!! Hope it continues to go well!

  • sunkissed404

    Congratulations Jozen!! My ex was out of work when I met him, having just graduated from college, and moving back to Atlanta. That was definitely a test of faith for me. But, he was such a hardworking and driven man, I was more tolerant and willing to stick around until things got better.

    Now that you have a job, I’m sure you’ll have Puh-Lenty more short stories to Ladies Love Working Men –> LLWM, Hallelujah! lol

  • Dontchasethem

    Women continue to hold men down even when they are too stuck in their ways to see it. Congrats on the job.remember we also need men to hold us down at times.

  • Raena

    Congrats! Great positive, eloquent post.

  • 05girl

    I’ve read that they have turned off their auto-scraping habit and have/will enforce better policies to ensure articles are credited to the correct people. I hope that you continue to up the integrity and honesty of the company. Good luck.

  • goalawal

    Congrats on the job and Does it come with a RUSH card?

  • @NyceBryce

    Something very similar happened to me. I JUST started seriously dating my girl about a week before I lost my job so when we separated I was sure she’d move on to the next one.
    I was so shocked when she surprised me that night took me to dinner and assured me it was going to be ok.
    Black Women > anything else.

  • Tee

    Yay! As someone who just in the past month got employment after not having a job since June 2009 I am elated for you. Employment rocks!

    And I’m happy to see those women show one of the assets women are known for…having a man’s back.

  • Alisha

    I knew you had a lot of GG posts for some reason! Congrats again. It’s a great fit for you. And yes, I agree with Tee, “Employment rocks!”

  • Brittany

    Though I’m a woman, you know I went through a similar stint of joblessness, and I know how tough it is. Just wanted to pop in quickly to say that, despite our quick quasi-convo the other day, I’m *very* proud of and happy for you.

  • udee

    Congratulations on your job, Jozen. Do big things!

  • samara

    Congrats on the job! You will still write for us, too? Right?!?!

  • Cheekie

    Oh, wow, what a terrific post. And of course, congrats on your new job, man!!

  • Violet

    Felicitaciones! Congratulations on landing a new job! May your increased sphere of influence yield liberty, light, and love.

  • Ru’a’Lu

    Congratulations Jozen! Please don’t leave us!

  • Scout

    Great post 🙂 Congrats on the job.

  • MadScientist7

    first congrats on the new job. do big things homie. next, this is a great post. not all women are gold diggers. there are women out there that actually care about the size of your heart not the size of your bank account. i’ve also been blessed to have women like that in my life. i’ve never had a “real” job and there are women out there who also see me for who i am and loved me for my merit.

  • amarie

    congrats!! i FINALLY started working full time again after being partially unemployed for over a year. it was little tricky when it came to dating. guys would ask me what i was doing with my life further stressing me out and making me feel like crap :-(. women are expected to have it all together too!

  • 2WO

    I’ve been reading this blog since last October and never once commented. I felt really compelled to give this blog a cosign, though, b/c I could relate to this one SO MUCH!

    From March 09-March of this year, I too was woefully unemployed. Being that I’m married, my circumstances were a bit different, but my wife was actually unbelievably supportive. I was working a great job and actually engaged when I got laid off, but my wife displayed many more reasons why she’s the strongest woman that I have ever met. We still, by the grace of God, and responsible decisions prior to my lay-off were able to have the same dream wedding that we had been planning up to that point, for the most part.

    Despite my (our) hardships, due to my unemployment, she always focused on motivating me to continue to hold my head and focus on getting that next opportunity out there for our family. Her quote that I still can’t get out of my head was “I just want you to get a job so you can stop complaining about it”. Hearing that was so critical for my attitude b/c it showed just how much she cared about who I had become in my depressive state due to lack of employment.

    I think that despite all of the things we as men can complain about, when we earn respect from our black women, it can be returned 10 fold and I am a living testament to that. I also applaud this post as an affirmation about how much of a blessing some women can be.

  • mimi

    Inspiring! Happy for you.
    I know what the plight it like. “You all held me down, not unlike my best friends and my family.”

    “According to my mother… if u wanna know if a girl love ya… all u gotta do is make her suffer. Stop winning… stop giving her the minks and linens. You gon see if she’ll be with u ’til the ending” I use this Mase line in reference to friends, family and acquaintences. Being unemployed was the worst and best thing that ever happened to me. I lost a lot of respect for friends, but I gained a lot of piece of mind.

    Congrats again.

  • Lo

    That’s what’s up!

  • Mia

    WOW! Congratulations on the job! On another note, I’m not too happy about that article you wrote about the R&B singers. Trey Songz, Lloyd, Drake, and The-Dream…DUDE, REALLY!!!!????!!!???!!!

  • Mia

    @Mia Or atleast written by one of the staff.

  • Darryl Frierson

    Dope post man I am feeling you a lot on this because of my own situation

  • Tasha


  • OC

    Congrats J. And @2wo. Wow! Congrats on what sounds like a really dope wife.

  • Dee

    Congrats on the job Jozen! Knock em dead! :))

  • Christina

    Congratulations Jozen! This is really exciting and I’m happy for you. You always have the coolest jobs! : )

  • Nicole

    Great News about the new Gig! Congratulations!

  • Juba

    Great post man–given our social conditioning, it messes with a lot of mens’ heads when they arent financially secure to some degree and are trying to meet people. I know every serious relationship I ever had, I had to feel good about my paper before I was comfortable making that commitment. I hear you 1000% where youre coming from.

  • Michelle

    Congrats! I truly understand 100%. I was also laid-off on July 1, 2009 (after 9.5 years with the government). I was devastated, but found courage to leave Memphis and relocate to Dallas. It was the best thing i’ve ever done. This situation is tough for women, too. But, thank God I made it. During my first few months in Dallas, I dated a guy who was also unemployed. We enjoyed the sights of the city, getting lost together (he was new here as well), cheap matinee movies & the 2 for $20 meals at Chili’s & TGIFriday’s. Jobs, degrees and status truly doesn’t matter. Intelligence & drive is what attracted me to him. He rebounded beautifully and has been working for a few months and we remain friends.

    P.S. I finally landed a great opportunity 2 weeks ago! Just 3 weeks shy of my unemployment ending. Keep us posted. I look forward to reading your work on global grind. Be blessed.

  • Bridget B

    So…is the “soup only” date restriction gonna get lifted? 😉

  • http://yahoo namia

    Congratulations on the new job!!! and thank you for letting the women hold you down…some men will just withdraw and stop dating altogether due to job loss..thank you for being the bigger person and not letting it get in the way of you social life and relationships.. All the best wit the new job.

  • Cyt_grl

    Congratulations, but don’t leave us hanging because you are employed now! Lol.

  • Nadine

    Congratulations Jozen!