Beware the Struggle Hypothetical

Written by Nicole

Ladies, would you date an unemployed high school drop-out whose current address is the couch of whichever friend is letting him crash there this week? Oh, and his breath smells like sewage, his teeth are a lovely shade of butter, he audibly chews with his mouth open, can’t spell, and he’s got 5 kids by 4 baby mamas. AND he’s got a criminal record and sports a lovely ankle bracelet in a fashionable shade of slate gray! And when you gave his social media accounts a glance, he routinely refers to women as “females”.

I certainly hope not.


If you’ve been on any social media platform for more than fifteen minutes, I guarantee you will have seen what I am calling the “Struggle Hypothetical”. The example I presented above is extreme (although at the rate we’re going, it’s not unheard of), but represents an exaggeration of these questions that like to pop up.


And what exactly is this Struggle Hypothetical?


Well, a Struggle Hypothetical is a stupid question, often posed by an equally stupid bum, aiming to see how low the bar for access to a woman and the gifts she provides can be dropped to. At present, the bar is being used as Satan’s suppository in the pits of Hell. Whenever you think the bar can’t get any lower, the valley sinks to even further subterranean depths.


Here are just a few examples I’ve collected in the last two weeks.

Would you accept a ring made of an old keyring and 27 grains of sand compacted together? Everybody else is bragging about how big a diamond they got their fiancé, meanwhile we have questions like this hoping to make a RingPop proposal acceptable.


A basement hovel with unknown stains on the floor, sheets with a thread count of five, and walls reminiscent of prison. How romantic.


If you check out the comment section, you will see black women jump at the chance to give the bum featured in the Struggle Hypothetical the benefit of the doubt.

Sometimes they will offer their own anecdotes about their own struggle happy ending. Others will say they will sacrifice their comfort for mediocrity.

And others still will admonish, insult, or attack the women who decline the hypothesis presented.

Is not wanting to slum it in a basement considered millionaire status? Huh.

The bar isn’t on the ground. It’s disintegrated entirely.

fEmAlEs. All that needs to be said.

If your standards are that low, good luck girl. Better you than me. Just prepare yourself for the Choose Better Chorus Sing Along Choir and Band if things go south.


And what purpose do these Struggle Hypotheticals serve? Well:


  • Aims to shame you for having high standards

    Whenever these hypotheses make their appearance, many times the original poster will reply to women who will not accept the struggle put forward to chastise them. “What, you think you can do better?” they might ask, angry that the Struggle Hypothetical would not be accepted. The posters of these incendiary posts are on a fact-finding mission, and any woman who declines this set up is viewed as a personal affront to his very core. The solution here is to move in stealth and keep your preferences private.

  • Ego boost from desperate women hoping to lure fellow black women into a similar bad situation

    “My man had nothing, was sleeping at the bus stop, has toenail fungus the color of asphalt, and he is chronically unemployable! But we are so happy!” another woman might chime in. The like reacts on such comments will be numerous, cosigned by other bums who need the Struggle Hypothetical to meet their target audience, as well as black women in a similar struggle-lationship, seeking to have other black women who could avoid that pit, fall into it. This is similar to the folks who believe a piece of a man is better than the peace of being single.

  • Keeps the bar low

    If women are cosigning such atrocious arrangements, who benefits? Definitely not the women. So when a post like any of the above go viral, and has thousands of women seeing nothing wrong with the proposed scenario, and even giving their own anecdotal evidence, other women may see that and wonder if requiring a job that offers a 401K and stock options and a minimum Bachelor’s degree for entry is asking for too much. Just in case you doubted it, your standards can, and SHOULD, be high. The days of being shamed for our preferences are long gone. That’s why you keep them private, you see.

  • Perpetuates the belief that struggle is your birthright

    A fairly frequent rebuttal I’ll see males post when women disagree with the posted hypothetical, is that you want to “opt out of the struggle”.

    Allow me to ask one simple question: Who in their right mind WANTS to struggle in the first place?! Most marriages break down due to money, and by accepting a mediocre financial situation in the beginning of a relationship, the foundation is rickety. I don’t mean scraping by while you’re both upwardly mobile college students. I mean a minimum wage job, with no desire to change that. Am I saying that minimum wage earners are not deserving of love and happiness? Not in the slightest. I just am saying that depending on what you want out of life, partnering with someone in that tax bracket may come with some difficult struggles. And yes, all relationships take work. But I would rather work on the relationship while being financially comfortable.

    It doesn’t matter how much you love each other or the way his ass looks in a suit, or how awesome his stroke game is. Love and a dick-down does not pay the bills. Living paycheck to paycheck is a recipe for stress and resentment. If limiting your pool to men who make over a certain income, that may in fact remove you from one particularly difficult struggle. And of course, always have your own stash of cash too. Have preferences, but don’t let yourself get beguiled, either.

  • Is only allowed for the men

Very rarely are there Struggle Hypotheticals posted by women for the men. Men make no bones about sticking to their preference, as is their right. So, while women are expected to hang around and play Bobette the Builder to her broke boyfriend, men can, will, and do make their objections to the Struggle Hypothetical well known.

While I don’t think the target audience of the blog is one to be swayed by these foolish social media narratives, the fact that they are so common and frankly, rather pervasive, is enough impetus to call out this propaganda tactic. These questions may seem innocuous on the surface, but seek to make sure that even the lowest bum with nothing offer but strife and sorrows can still somehow be granted access to a woman. And if that relationship develops and progresses, and turns sour, the blame will fall squarely on the woman for choosing poorly, not the man for being the poor choice. Don’t fall for the okey-doke, ladies. Keep your preferences as high as you want, unapologetically, and don’t let some nonsense on social media sway you.


Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.

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