Do You Need a Man to Make More Money Than You? If So, Why?

Do You Need a Man to Make More Money Than You

My amazing intern forwarded me an article last week that she read on CNN with some not-so-surprising new statistics.

In 2007, 22% of couples showed the woman making more money than the man. That’s up from 4% in 1970.

In this recession, 4.7 million men lost their jobs, compared with 2 million women, thus leaving more women to be the primary breadwinners.

The article points out what I’ve observed previously: the issue these days isn’t so much that the male schoolteacher is “intimidated” by the high-paid female advertising executive (there are some, but you don’t want them anyway), but rather that the high-paid ad exec refuses to date the schoolteacher.

But why is this the case in 2010?

Isn’t the point of being independently wealthy so that you can do what you want, when you want?

Doesn’t the value of being self-sufficient come in not having to worry about someone supporting you?

If you’re a woman who is in the top 10% of earners – and you INSIST that your man out earn you – you’ve now eliminated 90% of the dating population.

For a self-sufficient, high-earning man, a woman’s earning potential carries very little weight. Why? Because we have always been taught that nobody is going to pay our way in life. This gives men the freedom to choose a partner based on what matters most – character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility – as opposed to mere earning potential. That’s the FREEDOM of making more money.

So why do women treat being high-earners like it’s a curse? “If I make $200,000, then he has to make AT LEAST $200,000.”

I’ve never heard a man say the same thing.

Face it: if you’re a woman who is in the top 10% of earners – and you INSIST that your man out earn you – you’ve now eliminated 90% of the dating population. And that’s before you’ve considered kindness, compatibility, attraction, values, height, weight, age, humor, children, etc. Doesn’t that sound like a self-defeating edict? I’ll say. Which is – in my estimation – one of the main reasons it’s easier for men to find love. We’re not looking at you to support us because we can support ourselves, so we’re free to choose whomever we want.

The question remains: if you can support yourself as well as any man can support himself, what DIFFERENCE does it make what he earns? Why is your boyfriend, the guitarist, “bad husband potential” when his girlfriend, the painter, is just “his girlfriend?” Haven’t we evolved enough to true equality that it doesn’t matter who makes more as long as the couple as a unit is doing okay? Or are women stuck on the old world order where men provided and women took care of the home – even though most $200,000 earning women don’t want to be homemakers? Do women want it both ways? Do you want the option of quitting work and maintaining your high lifestyle, when men don’t have this option? If so, is this the rare double-standard that works in favor of women?

Frankly, I think that successful women holding out for more successful men is as counterproductive as wealthy men doing the same thing – which, as you might have notice, they don’t.

I would love your thoughts on whether women should continue to hold out for men who make more – with these two caveats:

1) Please don’t accuse me of being sexist for making the observation that most women want a man to outearn them. It’s an observation, not a judgment.

2) Please don’t accuse me of encouraging women to date deadbeat slackers with no money, no ambition and tons of credit card debt. It’s not all or nothing. Just as I say you can compromise on chemistry – from a 10 to a 7 – I’m simply wondering aloud why a woman with her own money can’t date a man who makes $45K, the exact same way a man with his own money can date a woman who makes $45K.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Judith

    I find many men are uncomfortable when they find out that I make more money than they do.  It doesn’t bother me if they make less, so long as they can carrytheir own weight; ie, child support payments, car loan, an appropriate proportion of “our” expenses, etc.

    In the same vein,I’ve had men grow uncomfortable when they realize that I am a year or two older than they are. I’d think that at this  stage of life (late 50s) a year or two (or 10) hardly matters.

    1. 1.1
      Jason

      “It doesn’t bother me if they make less, so long as they can carrytheir own weight; ie, child support payments”

      You’ve got to be kidding me.  Already trying to figure out how much a man will pay you when you met him and learn what his earning are…. Fking women… 

      1. 1.1.1
        JD

        @Jason since she mentioned she was in her late 50’s I’m pretty sure she meant child support payments for children from PREVIOUS relationships. As in, she doesn’t want to be stuck paying for children that aren’t even hers.

  2. 2
    Robyn

    As a woman, holding out for a man who makes/has more money than you do is not the wisest of strategies. Just because a guy has lots of dough doesn’t mean that you will be getting any of it!
    “Rich” means diddle if he is “Rich and Selfish” (and – by the way – there are many people who became “rich” because they were selfish & didn’t share & kept all their pennies to themselves).

  3. 3
    Lynn

    Well, I don’t think salary really matters, except in the extreme circumstances.  There is nothing wrong with a woman who makes her own money dating a great guy who makes $45k.  However, if the woman was pulling in $200k, and the guy was only making $45k, I think it might end up being difficult for this man to court his woman in a way that is consistent with her lifestyle.
    The $200k-earning woman probably eats out several nights a week in nice restaurants, wears beautiful clothes, attends many concerts, and goes on weekend getaways where it would not be out of the ordinary to drop $500 or $600.  The $45k earning man could occasionally take his woman out for dinner in a nice restaurant, once a week at best.  Even if the woman were to feel generous and want to cover the expenses for her partner to join her in all the fun, the man might not feel good about relinquishing some of his “masculine power” by not only not paying for his woman, but having his woman pay for him.  This situation might work just fine for some couples, but certainly not for most.
    (Evan, I read “Getting to I Do” per your suggestion, and I have also been reading lots of David Deida, which has really led to me developing my views on issues like this.  I really recommend david Deida’s “The Way of the Superior Man”)

  4. 4
    angie

    I don’t think it’s as simple as you make it sound.  It’s similar in my mind to the way a the typical woman would prefer to be pursued, and the typical man would prefer to be the pursuer, or the typical woman wants her partner to be taller and the typical man wants to be taller than his partner.  Why?  Biology, evolution, whatever.  It doesn’t really matter. 

    So I don’t think it’s just that women want men who make more money.  It’s also that men WANT to be the one to make more money.  It goes both ways.  (There are exceptions to all the rules, of course…)

    Whey you buck the normal dynamic, things can get weird.  I think that men, who generally want to feel strong and protective and to be in a provider role, tend to feel somewhat inferior to a woman who makes more money, and would prefer not to be in that situation.

    Intellectually, I have no problem with a man making less money than me, but when I have been in that situation (early in my marriage, until I quit my job to stay home with young children) it did set up some awkward dynamics with my ex, as sexist or irrational as it may have been.

    1. 4.1
      Anais

      Having experienced what you described, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I see a lot of people saying it’s the 21st century  so women should be open to dating men who make less money or men who are struggling. But money and success was linked to the confidence of the lower earning men I dated. I  have been  attracted to men who aren’t in the best financial situation, yet at least knew where they want to be and I admired them for that. Money was never my first concern so I looked at other qualities first. I thought were good people, encouraged them,   and never shoved anything in their face, etc.  However they tend to think so little of themselves, due to their situations, that they felt something was “wrong” with me for liking them. They rather date women who would treat him like crap and take advantage of him. 
      So basically I don’t need a man to make more than me, but the men I attract feel that they should be the higher earner.   From now on, I’m only going to date guys who are  financially stable and make equal or more than me. I  make a decent living but nowhere near 100k so that won’t cut off 90% of men.  Of course his stability could go away at some point once we are together.  I feel that in that dynamic when there’s already a relationship, it would work out with the support from me.  But not when it starts out with him struggling because we haven’t bonded enough yet.

  5. 5
    JuJu

    It’s not necessarily rational, it’s a purely biological urge – just like wanting a man who is physically bigger and stronger.
     
     

    1. 5.1
      G.Eden

      I agree with Juju. As a woman the main thing I want in a relationship is to be able to feel as a woman. I find it important to be with a strong man epecially in regards to everything which I consider masculine. Making money is masculine for me. Men who make less money then others within their socioeconomic strata are weaker. Women are attractd to alpha males, meaning leader types. A feminine woman wants to be protected and provided for. The man needs to be more powerful so that she can surrender to him and this is what male female attraction is all about. Personally I’m afraid makin money I will no longer be able to find a man who makes more moeny than I do. Also man who make less money than their woman are 4 times more likely to cheat.

      1. 5.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        That study was done on 18-28 year olds. No one should get married at that age anyway.

      2. 5.1.2
        pffffffffb ssss

        wtf, that’s a load of bull crap. “Men who make less money then others within their socioeconomic strata are weaker.”

        yeah okay. Just forget that there are thousands of highly intelligent and creative men that make a lot less than those beady eyed “alpha males”, which by the way these creative/intelligent types are just as good “attraction material” as alpha males are. As humans progress with technology, the strengths of alpha males are less needed, where as scientists and creative people will have a high rise.

  6. 6
    NN

    Again.. we are from the different realities =).
    But I guess it is like a lot of my female friends say, I have a mentality of a man.. more than most men. But I guess I am a woman since I think Chemistry is _rare_, since most men could be eunuchs for all interest I have in them.
    If  I get no sexual spark from them at all, I don’t bother anymore.
     
    I don’t care a bit what an interesting man does for his job, nor how much he earns – He could be a slaughterer for all I care… I only care that I have working chemistry with him (- and sexual chemistry is an important part of it.) Simply put – most men are between 0-2, even if their looks are ok. In my world a 7 is  as less than 10% of entire male population (and most of them are already in a relationship).
    A 7 is fine..
    So where do I sign to meet those 7s that you talk so much about? I don’t see them online, I mostly see them only in relationships IRL, but as I don’t poach… =D

  7. 7
    kat3281

    My thoughts…
    1) You are not comparing apples to apples in regards to women and men. You state frequently that the most important aspect to men is physical appearance and it is just a fact. For women, financial stability is often the most important aspect in a man, also just a fact. To say that because men don’t care about how much women earn women should also not care is exactly the same as saying that because women are more likely to compromise on looks for security, men should also.
    2) You are talking about women who make $200,000, which I doubt most of us do. For the rest of us who make a decent middle income wage, we can afford to live a certain standard of living on our own, however, that does not mean we earn enough to provide the same for a man. I can save and go out to eat once in a while and on vacation once a year. But, I cannot also pay for a man’s meal and vacation on my income. If he makes significantly less than I do, it would mean abandoning these things altogether.
    I do date men who make less than I do, but there is a limit. I do not expect a man to support me or provide a lavish lifestyle, but I also do not want to go down on the poverty scale if we were to get married and combine finances.

  8. 8
    Evan Marc Katz

    @Kat – I DO think that men should compromise on looks and am consistently getting on clients to start dating the 7’s instead of the 10’s. Please don’t misrepresent my philosophy.

    @NN – Your out-of-whack standards for sexual chemistry are the cause of all of your woes. Imagine a bell curve where the top 30% of the population (a “7”) could be graded in the BOTTOM 20th percentile (0-2). That’s your world. I also predict that if men judged YOU the same way, it would be next to impossible to create a union. Which is exactly what you’re seeing.

    @Lynn – “Even if the woman were to feel generous…?” Am I feeling generous every single time I go out with my wife? It’s exactly that stance that I’m challenging here. The woman who makes $200K is a martyr for putting up with a $50K man. The man who makes $200K and pays for everything is just a man – and a cheap one if he questions paying for everything the way women are questioning paying for everything here.

    Is this biology? Or have women been socialized to want men to pay for everything, regardless of who has more money?

  9. 9
    IceQueen

    It is a biological thing – women are biologically programmed to seek security which a man can provide. Children are an important factor and they will need the man to provide for them (and for some time the woman as well while she’s nursing the baby).
    There are still gender stereotypes that the man has to take the upper hand.
    I do not care how much the man makes (as long as it’s legal and he can pay his part of the bills and can afford to travel once in a while). But it is still worrisome what he might think about the fact that I made more and how that would make him feel. And since I do have that freedom of not caring about his income, I also have the freedom to choose based on other criteria – looks and youth.

  10. 10
    hunter

    A single woman that earns $200,000 a year?…..there must be a very, very, small pool of them in existence…… 

  11. 11
    JerseyGirl

    But 7s are still attractive no? Is a 7 in female looks equal to a man that makes 45k?
    I agree with Kat. You might tell your clients to go for 7s, who are still pretty darn attractive! But you do tell the woman of this blog that men prize good looks and youth and that’s *natural*.
    The thing is that women aren’t beholden to a strict old standard of finding the man that makes the most money. We do pick men on other characterisitcs like character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility. All the points you said men had the freedom to choose a partner based on are exactly the same points women have the freedom to pick a mate from and do. But earning potential is sometimes as ingrained in women as looks are for men.
    With that said, I’ve personally dated stock brokers to guys that sold appliances. I don’t have an expectation of salary other then he can support himself. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel womanly and nice when a man can and does pay (provide) for things.

  12. 12
    Lynn

    EMK, regarding a “generous” woman, yes, I would consider a woman who paid for a $600 weekend getaway, or a dinner in a *nice* restaurant generous.  I would indeed consider a man who paid for either of those things generous as well.
    I don’t think a high-earning woman would be a martyr for dating a man who could not afford to treat her as often as she might be able to treat him.  However I do think that when men are “not able” to do the treating, that it is often really hard on their self-esteem and identification as the masculine leader in the relationship.
    Please believe that I am not in the gold-digging mode here.  It’s just about the scenario where the waiter drops off the check, the man grabs it first, the woman does the fake reach for her purse and offers, the man says he will happily cover it.

  13. 13
    Ellie

    If you can support yourself as well as any man can support himself, what DIFFERENCE does it make what he earns?
    It shouldn’t.
    Why is your boyfriend, the guitarist, “bad husband potential” when his girlfriend, the painter, is just “his girlfriend?
    Stereotyping? Less appreciation for a male in the Arts? Ingrained, old societal expectations?
    Haven’t we evolved enough to true equality that it doesn’t matter who makes more as long as the couple as a unit is doing okay?
    Maybe not as much as we think and/or maybe more so in some places rather than others. Old habits die hard. Yippee-ki-ay. lol.
    Or are women stuck on the old world order where men provided and women took care of the home – even though most $200,000 earning women don’t want to be homemakers?
    In some facets of society, maybe so. Or most (see above responses).
    Do women want it both ways?
    Thanks to mixed messages, quite possibly.
    Do you want the option of quitting work and maintaining your high lifestyle, when men don’t have this option?
    Not really. I like having my own money to spend without strings attached, so to speak. I like putting money into my savings, too. Plus, I like being busy and I like to work.
    If so, is this the rare double-standard that works in favor of women?
    Whether or not it works for women is debatable. All the guys I’ve dated have paid for meals/activities/etc. The guys I’ve dated have had mediocre to not really stable jobs  Have I offered to pay for my meal? Or cover the tip? Or go dutch? Yes, yes and yes. Does offering to help pay hurt the male ego? Quite possibly. Am I responsible for that? No. However, I’m a b*tch if I don’t care or I’m too “nice” if I do.
    I’ve heard guys complain about women not helping to pay and guys complain that a woman wants to help pay for things. So what’s a woman to do? lol. Perhaps not date idiots is one thing is a start. lol.
    If I want that fancy dress and I have enough money to buy it without going into debt, I’ll buy it. If my partner and I go out to dinner will I offer to help pay? Sure. Growing up and even today, my Dad would/does pay for most things but Mom would/does help with things like the tip. This is probably where I lose out on guys either being offended by my offer to help or taking advantage of my offer. I don’t expect anything in return (well, except maybe a thank you. :op)
    I’m not an ATM but I don’t mind chipping in.

  14. 14
    Ellie

    I do date men who make less than I do, but there is a limit. I do not expect a man to support me or provide a lavish lifestyle, but I also do not want to go down on the poverty scale if we were to get married and combine finances.

    Kat-
    Ditto.

  15. 15
    Joe

    @ kat3281: your second argument has a logical fallacy.  You assume that by combining your finances would bring you both to the income level of the less-earning partner.  Au contraire.  Unless one of you quits work entirely to take care of a child (a possibility), you will have a combined income of more than what each of you made before.  Say you make $70k and your man makes $30k.  You get married; you will now have a combined income of $100k.  Not only that, but by combining households, you will have lower expenses than each of you do singly.

  16. 16
    Lady J

    Men have been raised by the thought of being able to take of their family both financially and physically (protection). The thought has been engrained in them by their family and, most importantly, by fathers.

     A woman’s father may have raised her with this thought as well while the mother is in full agreement that the woman should find a man who can provide while she takes care of him and the family, while still maintaining a job; as a result, some women expect a man to make more based on her upbringing and what society has dictated as how the quintessential man should be: a provider and protector.
    I’m 27. When I was younger I would’ve preferred a man make more than me because I didn’t want it to be a cause of stress in the relationship with him possibly feeling insecure about me making more than him. Now I don’t care. I want a happy relationship that leads to marriage, and I just want him to be able to support himself.

  17. 17
    Ruby

    EMK, I’m wondering where you are getting the idea that high-earning women do not want to date women who earn less. Are you seeing this among your own clients? The CNN article doesn’t say this, it simply talks about the fact that increasing numbers of women are earning more than their partners, and that both sexes are okay with that. 
     
    I really don’t know any women who are earning 200k/year anyway, at least not in my own circles. My friends (male and female) are getting laid off, struggling to keep their businesses afloat, having to take pay cuts and unpaid furlough days. I think that’s the reality for most of us these days whether male or female so I’m finding it hard to relate to this post.

  18. 18
    Diana

    My interpretation of the CNN article wasn’t about how higher paid women won’t date men who earn less. I found the article to be informative and  supportive about how society is beginning to reassess and gradually change its view on this issue.
     
    During most of my married years, I earned more. At one point, nearly double. Neither of us were the least bit concerned who earned what. We soldiered and celebrated together through our financial ups and downs. Now that I am single and more independent, the opportunity presents itself to revisit this issue.
     
    In dating, provided that a man is a hard worker, and is capable of supporting himself, and seems financially responsible, it doesn’t concern me if he earns less, and he certainly doesn’t have to earn more. I like taking care of myself. If I were to marry again (exceedingly unlikely though), I would likely want the man to earn about the same as I do. I can assure you ~ it’s not $200K. ;) I would want to feel like we were equal contributors: he’s not dependent on me and I am not dependent on him, financially speaking. I would also be more selective about owning things together and merging funds.
     
    I feel that a high-earning man, or any man, is typically not concerned with a woman’s earning power because his first priority and what he’s holding out for is her physical attraction. Emotional attraction becomes his second priority, assuming he wants something more serious. And while it’s still in infancy, some men are quitting their jobs to stay at home to help raise their children because of their wife’s higher income.
     
    I will leave the answer to your question to those women who earn $200K.

  19. 19
    Ruby

    Oops, make that “women do not want to date MEN who earn less”

  20. 20
    kat3281

    Evan, I did not mean that your philosophy is that men shouldn’t compromise on looks, just that you tell us that most men are not doing that (stating the facts, not rationalizing them). Just like women should be less concerned with height, money, status, etc. You did not ask if women want men who make more money, but why. We are relating our own personal experiences and reasons for that. I am okay with dating a man who makes less as long as I do not have to support him and can maintain a reasonable middle income lifestyle that I have on my own (while being a single mother of three).
    I also have found that most of the men I meet that make significantly less than I do did not go to college or even trade school. While some men are able to make a good living without it, most I meet are barely scraping by and in their 30’s and 40’s with no plans to improve their career. In this economy especially, it is scary to date someone who is so easily replaceable in their job with no other skills to fall back on. I also seem to have less in common with them and a harder time with conversation than men who have gone to at least some college. I managed to finish my Bachelors as a single mother, it is hard to truly respect a 40-year-old who “mows lawns” in the summer and “takes odd jobs” in the winter (yes I recently went on a first date with this guy). It may make me a snob, but ambition/pride are important to me.

  21. 21
    JuJu

    1) Re: Lynn’s “even if the woman were to feel generous” – yes, that’s how it is. You often say about this or that aspect of men’s behavior, Evan, that this isn’t perhaps how it should be, but this is how it is. And this is how it is.
     
    2) I had the following thought on the whole paying for dates thing some time ago: as it is, the entire courtship ritual has been reduced to the very minimum. Even if paying somebody else’s way didn’t leave me broke (as it would in my current situation), I simply wouldn’t feel desirable if I had to do it.
     
    That’s how I feel at the moment. Perhaps I’ll develop a different philosophy as life goes on and I am truly on my feet.
     
     

  22. 22
    kat3281

    Robyn, I agree. A man who makes much more than I do does not necessarily want to spend it on a woman. Oddly, the men who make about the same as I do or less are often more generous. The men with a lot of money are so afraid of “gold-diggers” that it seems they are constantly testing and holding back for fear of being used.

    Also, are constantly reading that our job in the beginning of dating is to graciously receive and be thankful. How do we do that if we are paying for all the dates? I think the woman does end up then taking on the masculine role, something I am personally not comfortable doing.

  23. 23
    Christie Hartman, PhD

    A woman wanting a high-earning man (i.e. a man who earns more than she does) is analogous to a man wanting a beautiful woman. To answer your question above, Evan – yes, this is a result of good old biology. However, these are only human tendencies, and most people eventually learn to rise above these tendencies and look for LOVE. And, hey, some people learn this lesson the hard way when the rich guy turns out to be a prick or the hot chick turns out to be nuts!

  24. 24
    Jane

    Evan,
    You are right that one of the reasons both men and women are at a standstill when it comes to finding love is that they won’t compromise either on looks or income. It’s just that it feels so unfair that most men won’t compromise on age or looks, so therefore it boils down to women having to make the compromises.  I’m in my late 30’s and just went on a date with a man who made some off handed comment about how he was open to dating women of all ages, older, younger, but when it comes to settling down, then age will matter. The guy is almost 40.  He lives with his mother and earns less than I do.  He then asked me my age and was surprised when I told him because he thought I was younger. Then the whole vibe of the date changed and he seemed less interested.  He never did call post date. Anyways, the point is that I if I refuse to date him because he has low earning potential, then I’m shallow. If he refuses to date me because I am too old, then most people will think it’s just normal that a man should feel that way.

    1. 24.1
      shannon

      Jane, completely agree about it being an uncomfortable, unworkable situation for all of us, but especially unfair to women. Also, we weren’t in the workforce to the extent we are today, and so now we get it from all sides. I make more yearly income than 50% of the US population, and I work with men who are sometimes incredibly territorial and threatened by their female counterparts. Then in the dating world, I find men who are unhappy with their jobs or their financial standing, men who can’t define what makes them feel manly anymore, men that feel women have invaded their territory, men with undefined gender roles, men who need younger prettier mates to feel manly and look successful, men who are jealous of successful women etc. And there is nobody meaner than an insecure man. It’s a rock and a hard place for successful middle aged women. But what am I supposed to do– date women? It’s tempting…

  25. 25
    Kenley

    I just finished reading your advertorial for Why He Disappeared and I am  wondering how to reconcile your advice for women to be receptive and allow men to be giving with your advice for women to not insist on men who make more money than they do.  In our society, the way “giving” often manifests itself is through spending money — on dinner, plays, theatre, movies, etc.  If a woman makes a lot more than a guy, it’s unlikely that he will be able to spend on the things that she likes…which will make him feel bad and her frustrated.    So, if the guy can’t give in that traditional manner, what can he do to maintain what you call the masculine giving energy and what can she do to maintain the feminine receiving energy?
    I do think that women have been socialized to want men to pay for everything and I think a lot of men and women don’t challenge that norm very much.   I happen to be one of those women who makes a lot more than my boyfriend, and I basically pay for all of our recreational/entertainment activities.  When we go to dinner, the wait staff — male and female alike– always put the bill in front of him. People just expect that the he is going to pay for whatever we do.   One time a waiter even commented to him ” “Hey, aren’t you lucky to have the lovely lady pay for dinner.”  My boyfriend just grinned and said, “Indeed I am.”
    The interesting thing is that at first my boyfriend did feel uncomfortable with me paying for everything, but now he’s fine with it because he knows that I don’t think less of him as a man or make him feel inadequate.   While I don’t think less of him as a man, every now and then I do feel that if I were really hot, I would not have had to “settle” for a guy who is financially challenged.    At the same time, I really don’t feel comfortable when the guy pays for everything.

  26. 26
    JuJu

    Okay, seriously, I am curious now: who ARE these people who hold out for only 10’s on the attractiveness scale? How many men truly think that they have a chance with the Charlize Therons of the world? And I am sure that for women an analogous percentage would be even lower.
     
    From what I generally observe, MOST people are certainly much more realistic than that.

  27. 27
    A-L

    Part of it is cultural.  My dad always paid for everything, never letting my mom pay for anything.  It was a point of personal pride for him (and also part of his cultural background).  Most guys I’ve dated pay for everything.  A couple have let me pick up a tab here and there, but they’ve been in the minority.
     
    My fiance is a teacher, so you can see where I fall in the spectrum of women on this issue.  And it’s important to him that he pays for when we got out.  I think I’ve paid for things maybe 5x over the last year and a half.  The difference between dating a teacher and a very financially successful man is the type of restaurant we go to.  Instead of going to the city’s most exclusive restaurants on a very regular basis we go to more affordable neighborhood restaurants.  I think in one of the “who pays for the first date” threads the basic consensus was that the guy should pay, and the woman should be happy with what was provided for her.

  28. 28
    Ruby

    “For a self-sufficient, high-earning man, a woman’s earning potential carries very little weight. Why? Because we have always been taught that nobody is going to pay our way in life. This gives men the freedom to choose a partner based on what matters most – character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility – as opposed to mere earning potential. That’s the FREEDOM of making more money.”

    I also see that many men in this category feel that choosing a partner is NOT based on “character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility”, as much as it is on choosing a partner who is young and very attractive. That’s the FREEDOM of making more money. 

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m seeing a few responses that are getting frustrated at men (Ruby, Jane, Juju). I acknowledge your frustrations and think they’re very real and very fair. But as you know – and have pointed out – this blog isn’t about changing men; this blog is about looking at yourself and asking if there’s something that YOU could do differently. Not because men are flawless (they’re not), but because you can’t change them.

      So to counter my query with: “But MEN discriminate against women based on age and weight, therefore I SHOULD BE ALLOWED to discriminate against men based on money”…

      …misses the point.

      If you make six figures, you CAN pass up every man who makes less than you do, however I believe that this behavior is a) counterproductive, because the more you make, the fewer men are available. And b) somewhat anachronistic and hypocritical, for reasons I’ve already articulated.

      Instead of retorting with ways that men do you wrong, or reasons that men are uncomfortable with you making more (which are real, too), let’s focus on a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical:

      Evan makes $60,000 running E-Cyrano.com. His girlfriend is a Vice-President of a company and makes $200,000 a year. Evan is perfectly comfortable with the fact that he makes less. He wants to be generous and chivalrous, but it’s really difficult when his girlfriend likes 5-star hotels in Cabo and frequent dinners out, which are beyond his means. He does his best to carry his share and ends up alternating checks and paying for half of everything. Most women I’ve talked to seem to think this is a fair arrangement, because he’s a man, and that’s what men do.

      Let’s flip the script over. Evan makes $200,000 and his serious girlfriend makes $60,000. If he allows her to alternate checks to the point where she’s paying a disproportionate share of her income – he’s labeled a cheap and selfish bastard who should not let her lift a finger, given their income disparities.

      It seems to me that if we’re being fair and objective, people should pay according to their MEANS not their GENDER. How can presumed feminists who believe in full equality justify a man paying for you when you make significantly more?

      Understand, I’m not blaming you for finding men with money more attractive; I’m simply pointing out this dichotomy – and how it actually harms the women who buy into it.

  29. 29
    A-L

    Addendum to my #27: I will pay for things like opera and symphony tickets.  I’m usually the one who’s interested in these events and will find out about them, and he humors me by accompanying me.  I’d really feel badly if he to pay for it too!

  30. 30
    Kenley

    Juju,
     
    I have to agree with you.  I really don’t think most men hold out for 10’s and I don’t think most women hold out for millionaires.  Perhaps Evan’s clients do, but I just don’t know how representative they are of the average woman or man who doesn’t live in LA or New York.  If what I read on this blog were the reality, only beautiful, rich, and fit people are getting together.  i live in small town/small city America, and the reality that I see everyday is average men happily coupled with average women.  And average includes lots of men under 6 feet and lots of women size 12 and over and lots of normal looking people — they won’t turn your head, but they won’t make you gag either.
     

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