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Ask Finesse: Should I Leave My Workaholic Man?

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Question: The guy I've been dating for a year has three jobs. In the beginning he would stop by my house just to hang out. Now he only comes by for sex. He does tell me he loves me and gets upset if he thinks I'm talking to another man. Should I leave him or just deal with coming in fourth to his jobs? -Deborah, 25 

Answer: I understand your dilemma, but I can never hate on a hardworking brotha. There are plenty of women out there with a jobless man or a manless visitors' log who would probably trade places with you in a second. And, ironically, if you were the one with three jobs, I doubt your man would be writing in to his favorite magazine complaining about the only reason you stop by.

If your guy's genuinely into you, then Mr. Luvah-Luvah shouldn't mind your meeting him on weekends for lunch at one of his jobs. Or your hanging out at his place every now and then to watch movies, play dominos or just have more sex. If he is open to suggestions that work with his schedule, then he is sincere. But if he just wants to keep treating your house like a drive-thru window at Mickey D's, ordering nothing but Happy Meals, then he's probably wasting your time.

Question: I just became involved with a man who has been legally separated from his wife for a year, but he won't be divorced until December. Is it wise to begin a relationship with someone so fresh out of a marriage? And is it foolish to believe he'll be open to a commitment after his divorce is final? -Claire, 55 

Answer: It depends on the man and how smoothly he handles the mental transition from simply separated to finally free. Even if you are an understanding girlfriend during his "situation," as soon as Judge Lynn Toler pounds her gavel, he might run to the nightclub to flap his rooster wings until some new hens notice-or security kicks him out. More important, if you put a demand on him to jump right back into another "marriagelike" relationship, he may turn on you and jump up like Djimon Hounsou in Amistad, yelling "Give us, us free!"

Regardless of readiness, it's wise to give him space (even if he doesn't ask for it). No need to overtalk what's next in the relationship. If he's ready to start a new chapter of his life with only you turning the pages, no matter what he says, his actions will definitely speak louder than his words. And your patience, friendship and good times will work better than any ultimatums.

Got a question for Finesse? Send it to us at "askfinesse@essence.com". And check out his book Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brother's Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) available online and in stores now.

Filed Under: Expert Advice
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