I’m Divorced and Living with my Parents. Should I Wait to Date?

I’m Divorced and Living with my Parents. Should I Wait to Date

Hi, Evan

I love reading your blog. I am recently divorced and trying to navigate the dating world for the first time in over 20 years. Yikes! I just turned 40 and my previous marriage was very unhappy and unhealthy. My ex was an addict (drugs and alcohol), he was dishonest, a cheater, verbally abusive and frankly not a good person.

I’m so much happier now that I’m single. But it came with a price . . . the price of losing my home. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford my mortgage on my single income and I let it go into foreclosure. I am now living with my parents at the age of 40 in the hopes of saving for 6-12 months and getting a place of my own again.

Here is my struggle. I really want to get back in the dating world but feel inadequate because of my living situation. Part of me feels like I should put off dating until I’m in my own place again, the other part of me doesn’t want to.

So I’m wondering what you would advise someone like me? Should I hold off on dating for 6-12 months or should I date during this time period. I’d also like to know (if you suggest that I keep dating) how I should bring this topic up to the men I’m dating. When should it be brought up? How do I bring it up? What do I say?

Like I said earlier, I feel inadequate because of my living situation. I feel like if I don’t say something to the men I’m dating that I’m being deceitful. Yet if I bring it up too soon, I fear that they will run the other way (I would!)

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Christine

Dear Christine,

Congratulations for getting out of your bad twenty-year marriage. If that sounds like faint praise, consider the number of women who don’t have the courage to take control of their lives and attempt to get happy again. Women who stay out of inertia, fear, sunk costs, and money – and spend their entire lives suffering. It’s no small feat, as you know. And, as you also know, no good deed goes unpunished.

After my wife’s divorce, she went into credit card debt and was living in the guest house of an old lady. It certainly wasn’t glamorous. But since she didn’t want to move from LA to San Diego again, she sucked it up and made the best of it. That’s what I recommend you do, despite your circumstances.

You should be proud that you extricated yourself from that awful situation.

Is living with your parents ideal? No. Attractive? Hardly. But it’s practical and it’s a function of where you’re at during this transitional time of your life. There’s no reason to be ashamed. If anything, you should be proud that you extricated yourself from that awful situation. Living with your parents isn’t a reflection on you being emotionally unstable, unwilling to hold down a job, in need of babying. It just means you are working to get back on your feet and you’re not there yet.

Simple. Clean. End of story.

So repost that online dating profile, meet guys for drinks on Saturday night, kiss a few strangers, see how they follow up afterwards on Dates 2 and 3, and when a guy asks to go back to your place, tell him the truth: it’s not an option for you right now, but his place sounds awful nice.

You’d be surprised at how well he takes the news.

(By the way, you don’t have to “hide” your living status until Date 3. Just deal with it organically when it comes up instead of blurting out a confessional via text message because you’re embarrassed. The more YOU’RE okay with this, the more he won’t even think twice about it.)

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Theodora

    when a guy asks to go back to your place, tell him the truth: it’s not an option for you right now, but his place sounds awful nice.

    Maybe he lives with his parents too, after ending an awful marriage. I wonder how she will receive such news…

  2. 2
    sophia

    Christine, if I may share my very-similar-but-likely-more-challenging-experince:

    When I got divorced, I lived with my EX (same house) for a few months SOLEY to help ease the transition for my son- who was blindsided by the divorce, as it was low-level, no conflict.

    I dated right away. Every single guy – let me repeat, EVERY.SINGLE.GUY completely understood my situation and CONTINUED to date me after my disclosure. They would also add, while it was “fine” for a while, obviously, there would come a time (if we continued to date and grow closer) when it would grow old. And I completely understood that sentiment and agreed with it!

    When to tell? I told right away- I think, often, on the first date. I wanted to be honest and transparent and offer them the opportunity to decide whether they wished to continue to date me or not- and I “let the results go”, meaning I did not try to control the outcome.

    I’d say something like ” “So, I’d like to share something with you regarding my living situation because it’s a bit unusual…”

    Worked just fine and about 6 months later- I hauled ass out of there. 🙂

    Worked even better for my kid.

    Hope that helps.

    1. 2.1
      sophia

      *experience. (where’s spell check when you need it?!)

  3. 3
    Stacy

    The OP will be able to get away with this because she is a woman.Men dont care about this sort of thing if you are cute enough and employed (and sometimes, the employed part is optional if you’re hot enough).

    1. 3.1
      Mara

      Yeah they dont because when women go back at mommy it really is just a few months and have no mommy complex when i met my ex he was living «momentarily» with mommy for the past year and a half. It didnt bother me at the time. Now i know better.

  4. 4
    JB

    This is an easy one. Christine, unlike women men don’t care if you have your own place or live with your parents. We’re much more superficial than that. Most men assuming that they too don’t live with their parents (and yes I know a couple of divorced guys that were forced to go back after losing everything in the settlement) wouldn’t be bothered a bit because they know they’d always have “home bed” advantage and won’t have to play “road games”….LOL  Men love playing at home, we really don’t care for the road. So as long as you’re not hinting to any man that you’re looking to move in with them ASAP or anything of that nature go out and date, have a blast!

  5. 5
    KK

    I agree with Evan:

    “The more YOU’RE okay with this, the more he won’t even think twice about it”.

    That pretty much applies to almost everything. So, the next question is how can you be more okay with it?

    You said, “I am now living with my parents at the age of 40 in the hopes of saving for 6-12 months and getting a place of my own again”.

    Put a plan in place. What’s a realistic budget that will allow you to save enough to reach that goal? Having a well thought out, realistic plan will help YOU feel in control and get excited about your new life.

  6. 6
    John

    Christine

    Fortunately for you, it won’t bother most guys that you are at home with the folks after a divorce. It’s better than going into debt to try to impress people.

    Other things most guys don’t care about:

    the type of job you have

    advanced degrees

    how much money you make

     

     

     

    1. 6.1
      Jess

      As a female, can confirm.

  7. 7
    Emily, the original

    Christine,

    It’s fine that you are living with your parents to get back on your feet. I think red flags would only arise for your dates if you had: been living with your parents for years for no apparent reason (financial or medical) or had never left your parents’ home and had lived with them all your life. (I work with at least four men who have never left their parental home. Three are in their 40s; one is in his 50s.) That’s not a good sign, but one can be overly tethered to his/her family of origin and not live at home, too.

  8. 8
    Yet Another Guy

    Christine:

    No mentally/emotionally healthy man is going to fault you for living with your parents while getting back on your feet. We are not wired that way. We are wired to provide and protect.

  9. 9
    Stacy2

    As other men on this thread have admitted – they’re the shallow gender. Whether your life is a complete trainwreck and you can’t support yourself or you’re a CEO of your own company who has her shit together and owns 5 homes- they don’t care one way or another so long as you are “hot” and “fun to be with”. Given your situation, you should take full advantage of this design flaw in male brain and go have fun! Assuming, of course, you have the looks to pull that off. Let the men entertain and done you, go to their place instead of yours (they prefer it anyway) and don’t rush out of the door. Loving with your parents after the divorce is a great way to save money and get back on your feet. Don’t leave unless absolutely have to (for example moving in with one of those guys, lol)

    1. 9.1
      Stacy2

      *living* with your parents!! Damn this autocorrect

      1. 9.1.1
        JB

        Oh Stacy……. you don’t have to be “hot” but you do have to be attractive to us and sure fun to be with doesn’t hurt. Very few women are “hot”.

    2. 9.2
      Theo

      “Design flaw” — funny but Science teaches us that the brain was not designed but is subject to evolution. Among many things evolution has hard wired the sex drive and mating instincts to make sure genes are spread as efficiently as possible. For instance, it is highly efficient for a man to have sex with healthy, young, fertile women but it does not make much biological sense for him to have sex with women over 50 simply because old women cannot get pregnant with his child. Hence, evolution has inplanted in the male a strong sexual attraction to beautiful fertile women and a very low attraction to old, infertile women. Optimally, a man, who actually wants children and a solid family life, prefers a woman who is young and beautiful as well as is caring, loving, faithful, intelligent and successful, etc., etc. He might want it all!

      1. 9.2.1
        Stacy2

        If your argument is for evolution, than it really is time that men evolved past this alleged attraction to “fertility”, no? (Which, accidentaly, i think they gave – judging by the fact that every single male I ever came across was petrified of accidentally knocking a girl up. A rather strange behavior for the gender allegedly driven by their desire to spread their genes)

        1. KK

          How does not caring about someone’s career make you shallow? Take the romantic aspect out of it for a minute. Do you care what your friends do for a living? If your best friend decides to quit her high paying job and become a dog walker will you quit being her friend? Will you judge her? I wouldn’t. Her career choice has zero bearing on our friendship. She’s the same person regardless of how she chooses to earn her money. If you would drop her as a friend, then you are the shallow one. Likewise, if a man cares more about WHO you are than he does about what you do, he isn’t shallow. Just the opposite.

      2. 9.2.2
        Stacy

        Yeah, and science was never wrong. “rolling my eyes” but I digress.

        The argument for the reason why men are attracted to women who are young and beautiful because of evolution and the drive for fertility is bs. There are tons of men who either don’t want children or who already have children and don’t want more. EVERYONE is attracted to beauty (however that is defined for them) and health (and both characteristics aren’t always synonymous with being under 26 years old).

         

        1. Theo

          Yeah, isn’t it paradoxical that your sex drive tells you to have sex but your mind objects to the biological “purpose” of sex namely to spread your genes. Guys may be turned on by the fantasy of having sex with an attractive woman but wouldn’t be thrilled by the scenario that she will be pregnant…

  10. 10
    Tom10

    I agree with the consensus here that temporarily moving home until one has restarted their life is a sensible move and shouldn’t turn off most male suitors.
     
    However…
     
    Discerning daters will still subtly try and establish how exactly Christine ended up in this situation so as to try gauge the probability of it happening again. I’m in my early 30s and have positioned myself financially so as never to be dependent on anyone else in life. I’m pretty sure that no matter what happens I’ll never end up in her predicament, therefore, if I was looking for a woman for a serious relationship (i.e. possibility of having kids) I’d still try assess what led her to being married to an addict and then homeless. I mean if it could happen once, what’s to say that it won’t happen again? Could, hypothetically, (my) kids be in danger in such a situation?
     
    Additionally, as JB pointed out, I’d be wary of her getting too comfortable staying over in my place in case it inhibits her motivation to getting a place of her own again.
     
    Once a guy sees some tangible evidence that it’s a temporary situation his concerns should be assuaged.
     
    @ John #6
    “Other things most guys don’t care about:
    the type of job you have
    advanced degrees”
     
    I know guys like to repeat this mantra on blogs ad nauseam but I just don’t buy it. There is clear evidence that men actively choose to assortatively mate. So guys without advanced degrees mightn’t care about what degrees women might have, but guys with advanced degrees do indeed, (statistically), seem to care. As much as blokes here like to claim that male doctors will date waitresses whereas female doctors won’t, the evidence indicates that this sentiment is incorrect; male doctors might date (have sex with) waitresses but he won’t marry them. He’ll usually marry a fellow doctor.
     
    “how much money you make”
     
    Again I just don’t think this is actually true. The evidence indicates that men these days marry women who have similar earning capacity to themselves. Admittedly, for strs guys won’t usually care (why would they), but for ltrs I believe we do.
     
    Frankly, a guy would be an idiot to entangle himself in a serious relationship with a woman and not care about how much she makes.

    1. 10.1
      KK

      I agree with what Tom10 said:

      “Discerning daters will still subtly try and establish how exactly Christine ended up in this situation so as to try gauge the probability of it happening again”. 

      This is what stood out to me in her letter:

      Unfortunately, I was unable to afford my mortgage on my single income and I let it go into foreclosure”.

      My immediate thought was that she should’ve known way before her divorce was ever final if she could or couldn’t afford the mortgage on her own. It would’ve been much much smarter for her to sell the house instead of missing payments and letting it go into foreclosure. In a sense, she’s committed financial suicide. If she let her house go, I’m wondering what else she’s let go. It wouldn’t surprise me if she has a lot of credit card debt she hasn’t paid either. Anyone can find themselves in a less than ideal situation, but how you deal with that is what’s important, at least to me.

      1. 10.1.1
        Christine

        Yes, it would have been smarter to sell the house. Except we lost a ton of equity when the market crashed. We owed more than it was worth. Selling wasn’t an option. Refinancing wasn’t an option. Taking over the existing mortgage wasn’t affordable on my single income. I did apply for a modification and was approved, but the mortgage company wouldn’t lower the interest rate or payment – why accept a modification that is unaffordable? That wouldn’t have been a smart financial decision either. To be frank, the mortgage was in my ex’s name only, so the foreclosure only impacted his credit. I didn’t make any decisions on impulse. I have a great job with decent income and no credit card debt. None of that matters really to be honest. The point of the question was that I feel inadequate because of my living situation, but really do want to date . . . I was curious to hear what EMK’s advice was on dating or waiting. I am not looking for a sugar daddy or anyone to pay my way. Nor am I looking to move in with any guy. In fact, even if he offered – I would say no!

        1. SparklingEmerald

          If you have a great job, decent income and no debt, why live with your parents.  I can understand not being able to handle an ” upside down” mortgage, but now that you are out from under that, why not move into an affordable apartment ?  Do you pay rent to your parents ?

           

    2. 10.2
      K

      “I know guys like to repeat this mantra on blogs ad nauseam but I just don’t buy it. There is clear evidence that men actively choose to assortatively mate. So guys without advanced degrees mightn’t care about what degrees women might have, but guys with advanced degrees do indeed, (statistically), seem to care. As much as blokes here like to claim that male doctors will date waitresses whereas female doctors won’t, the evidence indicates that this sentiment is incorrect; male doctors might date (have sex with) waitresses but he won’t marry them. He’ll usually marry a fellow doctor.”

      I agree with Tom’s assessment as well. My view may be skewed because I live in a big expensive city and men often do not have to choose between hot and successful as there are plenty of attractive women with advanced degrees/good jobs (usually to live here you need the means).  Anecdotally, when I went to grad school, my male friends used to joke about how tough it was for us gals that we only wanted to date/marry professional men whereas they didn’t care if a girl was a waitress or a doctor.  Based on this I assumed that 10 years later all the women would be with professional men (they are) and the men would have a wide variety of mates.  In fact all of the men are with professional women.  I of course don’t assume they went out dating with advanced degree/professional white collar jobs as a requirement or if this actually made a woman more attractive in their eyes.  These guys had hobbies and interests such as NPR, watching shows like West Wing, following environmental causes, political fundraising, skiing, etc.  I’m not saying a hair dresser or waitress wouldn’t have those interests, but I think the women they married were more likely to have those interests and attend those events.  Most of the men met these women in their social groups of other like minded people.  I think this may differ if you are fishing in a smaller pool.

      1. 10.2.1
        KK

        Hi K,

        “I agree with Tom’s assessment as well. My view may be skewed because I live in a big expensive city and men often do not have to choose between hot and successful as there are plenty of attractive women with advanced degrees/good jobs (usually to live here you need the means)”.

        I have a family friend who’s a mergers and acquisitions attorney. He married a legal secretary. A group of us had gotten together some time ago after another mutual friend was going through a very high conflict divorce and this very subject came up. Someone asked if he was ever concerned with marrying someone that made so much less than he did when they first met. She makes decent money, but nowhere near the same ballpark as him. He had dated many very successful, professional women. He wanted to have a family. He wanted someone who would be okay with being a stay at home mom for at least 10 years, until the youngest was school age. He felt like in the event of a divorce, he would be no worse off financially whether he was married to a high earner or not. Where we live, community assets are split 50/50 after 10 years of marriage. Regardless of income disparity, the lesser earning spouse can receive temporary alimony. Child support is on a scale, but maxed out around the $100,000 mark, meaning that if you make $400k per year, your child support obligation will be the same as someone earning $100k per year. Taking all that into consideration, he didn’t see any real benefit in marrying his financial equal. They’ve been happily married almost 20 years now. She happily gave up her own career to raise her children and hasn’t worked outside the home since.

        1. KK

          She makes decent money, but nowhere near the same ballpark as him. 

          *made decent money (past tense)

        2. Stacy2

          Eh..

          He felt like in the event of a divorce, he would be no worse off financially whether he was married to a high earner or not.

          This makes no sense. In most states he would be ordered to pay long-term alimony in this scenario. Which again, in most states, is calculated based on the difference in incomes. If I was divorcing a long-term spouse who’d be making zero in my area (or neighboring states for that matter), I could be ordered to pay as much as 4-6K in alimony alone per month. This is after tax to the receiving spouse (and not tax-deductible to me) so it’s a very good chunk of cash – an equivalent of almost 140K in before-tax earnings, considering that the total tax rate is pushing 50%.

          Of course, since he wanted his wife to give up her career anyway, it wouldn’t have made any difference what kind of job she’d quit, if that’s what you meant.

        3. K

          I’m sure what you describe happens.  I’m just giving my anecdotal example of lots of guys I know who are the advanced degree/higher earner types (the M&A attorney caliber you mention).  Also, half in a lot of these couplings, the women do stay at home even though they could earn a lot and sometimes more.   My female friend was on the partnership track at a big firm and at the time outearned her spouse, but chose to stay home because that was important to both of them and she felt as a woman (at least in this day and age) it was an easier transition for her (lots of other moms and family to support her who had made the same choice).  My point wasn’t that your example couldn’t lead to happiness or doesn’t work.  I just have seen that a lot of what men told me when they were younger is different that what actually happened and I think that had a lot to do with their social outings, interests, life experiences.  If you are a legal secretary you are likely going to have more regular exposure to an attorney than say if you were a make up artist.

        4. ScottH

          alimony is pre-tax where I live.  the recipient pays tax on it.

          Child support is after tax.

    3. 10.3
      Malika

      I’m of the same school of thinking. As much as women would like to think it’s as easy as just being attractive and pleasant to be with, i have also noticed that guys with a higher level education almost exclusively end up in an LTR with a woman with an equivalent degree. It can be in a completely different field, and she doesn’t per se have to have the most high powered job, but they don’t often seem to be willing to tick the nice but not mandatory box on Okc when asked if they think it is important for their girlfriend to have attained higher education.

      As for how much she makes, i think it it is important for guys that she can stand on her own two feet, but that seems to be pretty much it. Of the high powered guys i know, they make by far the most dosh within the couple, but none of them are with women who make waitress level salaries.

    4. 10.4
      SparklingEmerald

      Thanks Tom for your honesty.  I really don’t believe all these guys who claim to not give a flying fig about a woman’s education or career.  I did have one guy I dated tell me he prefers women with a college education.  Typical small talk questions I receive from men include “What do you do” ( Sometimes I answer by telling them what I “do” for fun, hobbies, recreation, etc ).  Some of our male commenters act like if a woman asks “What do you do” it is proof positive that she is a good digger.  I think it’s just a standard small talk ice breaker myself, and these men are getting riled up about nothing.  If someone asks me how I am liking the weather, I don’t assume that they are a meteorologist.

      1. 10.4.1
        CaliforniaGirl

        Actually, more men asked me what do I do on a first date right away than me asking them. They also ask where do I live and if I live alone, so not sure who is a gold digger here. 🙂

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          SE & CG,

          Also with OLD, and even in most IRL settings where people meet, either occupations/career fields are already known or easily found out/offered up.

    5. 10.5
      Shaukat

      @KK, Thanks:)

      Tom, I don’t think the introduction of Tinder or any other app affects my argument at all. Yes, men will swipe right at any woman who passes their looks test, but once they meet, the criteria you listed are not, in my opinion, nearly as important as the criteria that go to character, i.e. generosity, an easy-going spirit, fun, worldly, warm, cool , etc. The other traits you allude to, such as job, assets, house, degrees and income might be icing on the cake, but they can’t compensate for the other qualities if those are lacking (of course, there are men who do look solely or mainly for financial success and degrees when selecting a mate, but we don’t have numbers). The most enticing, interesting, and intelligent woman I dated didn’t have  a university degree. I wouldn’t be interested in a woman who stated that her sole goal in life was to marry and raise kids (not my cup of tea) but other than that, the credentials mean nothing to me.

      Also, Tron brings up a good point regarding correlation vs causation. You have also stated in different threads that men can only choose from the pool of women who reciprocate their feelings. Not every man has the luxury of choosing between the low income earner who looks like Kate Moss and the average looking woman with the masters degree. Thus, men (like women) have to strategic and realistic choice at some point.

    6. 10.6
      John

      Tom10 said:

      Frankly, a guy would be an idiot to entangle himself in a serious relationship with a woman and not care about how much she makes.

      A guy is an idiot gets in a serious relationship and doesn’t care how much she makes? Why? You can take small sections of the male population like advanced degree holders and compare them, but that doesn’t reflect the majority of men. For example, I have many male friends who work in different industries and have different levels of education. Most of them don’t care about how much money a woman makes. You care about it, but most guys don’t.

      As a man who makes a very good income, I could care less what a woman makes. Why?  Quite simply, I don’t need the money. I’m looking for other things.  You like to use extreme examples like a doctor dating a waitress. Ridiculous. It sounds like your quoting a Cinderella story, not real life. How about a guy who makes 100k and a woman who makes 60k as a teacher? That’s more realistic. Most guys who know how to make a large income don’t need what they already have, so they overlook the income aspect of a woman. If a woman makes the same or more than me, that’s great; however, it is not necessary.

       

      1. 10.6.1
        Stacy2

        1) 100K and 60K income individuals are very closely matched, i would consider them in the same income cohort. Especially considering that the 60K teacher likely has near-free healthcare and pension, so her effective contribution to the household income is greater than simply $60K

        2) I think it should be obvious that a couple with $160K in income will do a whole lot better in any market than a couple with $100K. So yes, you do need her money. This extra 60K will put you in a better neighborhood, give you a better house, pay for your kids piano lessons and may even pay for a vacation slightly more luxurious than feeding mosquitoes at your local pond while living in a tent for a week. Get real, dude. Yes, you need that second income, that is if you want to live at a somewhat nice level.

         

        1. KK

          Stacy2,

          An income of $100k is a nice salary across most of America. I realize you live in NYC, so it might be hard to imagine what one can afford on a salary of $100k. You can easily afford a brand new home in a nice neighborhood in a great school district, two new cars, nice vacations, and all the extra curricular activities your children desire. You would still be able to contribute to and max out your 401K and save additional money for other investments / savings. That said, in order to have and do those things, you still have to budget and manage finances wisely. I know families that make that and much more who are struggling to make ends meet because they’ve bought homes they really couldn’t afford and rack up credit card debt because they want to appear they make 3X that much.

          All that just to say what John said is true. A second income of $60k can put you in a slightly nicer neighborhood and / or a slightly larger home or it could be the difference between having domestic vs foreign cars. It might mean the difference between saving 10% and 25%, but it won’t significantly alter their lifestyles. Also, most married school teachers have husbands who make significantly more than they do with jobs offering superior healthcare benefits, so that’s a non-issue. It’s only beneficial if the husband doesn’t have coverage for whatever reason or is a business owner that would opt to be included on his wife’s insurance because private insurance is so outrageously expensive.

        2. Stacy2

          P.S. And it doesn’t make you any less manly to admit to needing the 2nd income btw.

        3. Chance

          I would not consider $100k and $60k to be “very closely matched”.  Not in the relative sense, anyway.  For example, $40k is a small difference when it is $500k and $540k.  However, $40k is significant when it is $100k and $60k.  Not game-changing, but significant.  Day care for a couple of kids could take away >50% of take home pay for someone making $60k.

        4. Stacy2

          Chance:

          100k v. 60k are more closely matched than you think when you consider benefits (if the 60k person is a f/t teacher). Not needing to contribute to 401k and free medical will be worth close to 20k in pre-tax money. Daycare is only needed for a few years and preserving life-long earnings and benefits is well worth giving up 1/2 of one salary for it

        5. Stacy2

          @KK:

          Sadly those places where you can support a family on 100k are

          1) really not nice (too cold, too hot, too boring, too redneckish you name it). Any major metro area is expensive.

          2) don’t actually have a whole lot of jobs paying six figures. Agh there the catch. Lol.

        6. Chance

          Stacy2, fair points, but teachers don’t make $60k where I’m from (more like $35-$45k).  Also, I sincerely doubt that many $100k women would find a $60k man (teacher or not) to be “very closely matched” to them.

        7. KK

          Stacy2,

          My response wasn’t meant to be a sales pitch. Lol.

          I was simply giving you an idea what a salary of $100k could afford. And no, $60k and $100k are not in the same range. It’s the difference between eeking by and having disposable income.

          @Chance,

          Teacher salaries were $45k in my area and recently got bumped up to $60k for their starting salary. Might want to check your property taxes. Lol.

        8. Stacy2

          KK:

           And no, $60k and $100k are not in the same range. It’s the difference between eeking by and having disposable income.

          It is amazing how you can contradict yourself in one post and not even notice. So, let me get this straight. A 100K income buys decent lifestyle for 2 people, (i.e. 50K per person) but 60K means no disposable income for just one person?? Huh? Only one of those statements can be true. You can decide which one it is.

        9. Shaukat

          may even pay for a vacation slightly more luxurious than feeding mosquitoes at your local pond while living in a tent for a week.

          Stacy2, if you’re not being rhetorical and you honestly believe that this is the only type of vacation someone making 100k can afford, then you are completely out of touch with reality. And no, that guy who makes 100k doesn’t  need her money to “live at a somewhat nice level.” It may be nice to have if he meets someone who brings extra income to the table, but he definitely doesn’t need it.

        10. Stacy2

          Shaukat:

           if you’re not being rhetorical and you honestly believe that this is the only type of vacation someone making 100k can afford, then you are completely out of touch with reality.

          I think you’re the one who is  “out of touch”. A single person living on $100K can afford a decent vacation. Two people living on $100K – gets tougher. Add a third person (a child) onto that same $100K – and you’re sitting in a tent.

          Crunch your numbers. 100K for a married person after 6% in 401k and lets say $500 for family medical is just $5,700/month. Housing a family of 3 (think at least 2Br) will take up half of that, in any decent metro area with jobs (chicago, ny, DC/VA/MD etc.) So you tell me how you intend to feed, dress, pay for utilities, 2 cars ,some activities for the kid, for this family on the disposable income of $2,650/month ($30/day/person) and then take a cruise to Aruba.

          I know very well indeed what life looks like at various income levels. My first salary in the US was 27K/year.

        11. KK

          Stacy2,

          I’m starting to doubt your successful career in finance. Seriously, it’s not difficult.

          Where I live, a salary of $50k will take care of your necessities. $60k is better but you better be frugal. At least you can afford to save. Above and beyond that, the rest is disposable income. So, yes, $100k is a significantly different lifestyle than $60k.

          “A 100K income buys decent lifestyle for 2 people, (i.e. 50K per person) but 60K means no disposable income for just one person?? Huh? Only one of those statements can be true. You can decide which one it”

          Both statements are true. 60k could have some disposable income for one, but it would be very little. We’re talking about the baseline in order to survive. So comparing that to a higher income isn’t the same as comparing 150k to 300k. That would be different altogether. Either level, you would have disposable income, twice as much at $300k if you don’t upgrade to a mini mansion.

        12. Shaukat

          Two people living on $100K – gets tougher. Add a third person (a child) onto that same $100K – and you’re sitting in a tent.

          That would depend on where you’re living.

          Regardless, there is some binary thinking going on here. No male commentator has said that they would be fine dating a woman who doesn’t work at all and plans to leech off his income. In fact, that would say something about her character (unless she is  a stay at home mom of course). I myself have simply said that as long as she is intelligent, works, and enjoys what she does, I would put little stock in income level and educational credentials. So the choice isn’t between a high six figure or seven figure salary and nothing at all.

        13. KK

          Stacy2,

          “Crunch your numbers. 100K for a married person after 6% in 401k and lets say $500 for family medical is just $5,700/month. Housing a family of 3 (think at least 2Br) will take up half of that, in any decent metro area with jobs (chicago, ny, DC/VA/MD etc.) So you tell me how you intend to feed, dress, pay for utilities, 2 cars ,some activities for the kid, for this family on the disposable income of $2,650/month ($30/day/person) and then take a cruise to Aruba”.

          The northeast is only one section of the country. Not to mention, not everyone wants to live in a major city, regardless of cost of living. Many people choose to commute. Surely you know people that live outside of Manhattan and commute there for work. Why would anyone want to do that??? Well, let’s see… If they have your same income, they can actually afford a home, maybe 3 or 4 bedroom, 2,500 sq feet and a yard. Some people prefer that over living in a 700 sq ft apartment with a door man, stacked on top of each other. To each his own. Some people prefer to visit the city for entertainment. Others want to live there. Different strokes and all that.

          Anyhow, here’s an article showing the affordability of areas not limited to the northeast.

          Top 10 Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Live In

        14. Stacy2

          @KK:

          Many people choose to commute. Surely you know people that live outside of Manhattan and commute there for work. 

          Really? Many people live outside of Manhattan and commute? Who would have thought!! [sarcasm off]

          You live in a fantasy. A 2br in Manhattan will set you back $6,000, not $2,500. The housing price I assumed was for remote commuter location. If you want to check out the real cost of living go to zillow.com and see what it costs to rent a 2br in some decent commutable suburbs.

          NJ:

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Westfield-NJ/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/5g2tRg_bldg/27896_rid/2-_beds/0-791106_price/0-3000_mp/40.709206,-74.291182,40.597466,-74.401045_rect/12_zm/

          MD:

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Bethesda-MD/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/37192744_zpid/37406_rid/2-_beds/0-791106_price/0-3000_mp/39.038719,-77.063685,38.924227,-77.173548_rect/12_zm/

          Denver:

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Denver-CO/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/2104864625_zpid/11093_rid/2-_beds/501034-791106_price/1900-3000_mp/39.776682,-104.951621,39.663394,-105.061484_rect/12_zm/

          Buffalo Grove (Chicago Suburb):

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Buffalo-Grove-IL/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/4892386_zpid/15007_rid/2-_beds/501034-791106_price/1900-3000_mp/42.224259,-87.897406,42.115096,-88.007269_rect/12_zm/

          Key Biscany (suburb of Miami)

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Key-Biscayne-FL/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/2096576457_zpid/5415_rid/2-_beds/501034-791106_price/1900-3000_mp/25.729897,-80.135093,25.663538,-80.190025_rect/13_zm/

          Austin, TX:

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Austin-TX/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/2126271740_zpid/10221_rid/2-_beds/501034-659255_price/1900-2500_mp/30.422181,-97.657642,30.167837,-97.877369_rect/11_zm/

          Scottsdale, AZ:

          http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/house,condo,apartment_duplex,mobile_type/7973448_zpid/2-_beds/501034-659255_price/1900-2500_mp/33.937379,-111.673622,33.447198,-112.113075_rect/10_zm/

          ..and don’t even get me started on the housing prices on the West Coast, which blows even NY out of the window.

          And all these “most affordable” lists are pretty useless. Most people live where they can find job. Jobs are concentrated near major metropolitan centers. No place is “affordable” when you’re unemployed.

           

           

           

           

           

        15. KK

          Stacy2,

          “You live in a fantasy. A 2br in Manhattan will set you back $6,000, not $2,500.”

          I think you misread what I wrote. I mentioned 2,500 sq ft. (outside of Manhattan) I never mentioned cost.

        16. KK

          Stacy2,

          “And all these “most affordable” lists are pretty useless. Most people live where they can find job. Jobs are concentrated near major metropolitan centers. No place is “affordable” when you’re unemployed.”

          Maybe you should contact the author and let him know that he’s wrong and everyone in those areas are unemployed. LOL

        17. Stacy2

          @KK:

          Maybe you should contact the author and let him know that he’s wrong and everyone in those areas are unemployed. 

          Why? It should be pretty obvious from the median incomes listed for those places in your article that the job markets there are not exactly booming. The range of $29K-40K is exactly why they’re so cheap. You’re arguing this point with the persistence of a person who’s unable to grasp simple concepts about the correlation of the cost of living with general desirability and the job market.

          If something looks too good to be true, it most likely is. These places are cheap precisely because there are no (or not enough) high-paying jobs there! So what is the value of this list? Yeah, if I could make my NYC income while living in Memphis, TN, I could afford a stay at home husband. Or ten. LOL. The problem is – this is a fantasy. Keep living in it.

          BTW, have you figured out whether 50K per person is plenty or 60K per person means “no disposable income”? I am super curious to learn which one it is.

           

        18. KK

          Stacy2,

          “If something looks too good to be true, it most likely is.”

          I’m glad you feel that way. That means the high paying jobs will remain available to people already here.

          There’s really no other way to say it. You’re just wrong on this. There are lots of areas outside of NYC or the northeast where you can enjoy a high paying job and a desirable lifestyle.

          “BTW, have you figured out whether 50K per person is plenty or 60K per person means “no disposable income”? I am super curious to learn which one it is”

          I already answered this. In my particular area, $50k is enough to take care of your basic needs. $60k is slightly better, obviously, but will not give you the amount of disposable income necessary to build significant savings or do much with. This ‘Per person’ idea doesn’t make sense. If two people are living together, the mortgage (or rent) is the same. The utilities and other bills will be close to the same. Food, clothing, and medical increases costs per person, but not by double, triple, etc!!! Your biggest monthly expense is your housing. By saying you need to make a minimum of $50k to survive and then throwing in this ‘Per person’ nonsense doesn’t make sense. Anything above and beyond  $50- $60k will be disposable income, regardless if you’re referring to a single person, a couple, or a family. Granted $50k for one, might be the equivalent of $60k for two. $50k for one is NOT the equivalent of $100k for two. Therefore, $100k is a decent salary.

          This goes back to your mentality that unless a man makes as much or more than you, he will be a financial liability. Several of us tried explaining that more is more, regardless of how much more. Your mind is made up regardless of how much common sense is shared with you. That’s fine really. I’m over it. Really I am. Lol.

        19. Stacy2

          @KK:

          I’m glad you feel that way. That means the high paying jobs will remain available to people already here.

          I don’t need to “feel” that way for it to be the case. The area with $29K in median income speaks for itself. Miracles don’t happen. These are low income areas which are not any more “affordable” for their low-income residents than Manhattan is for people like me. If those were booming job markets, median wages would be higher  and growing demand would’ve driven the cost of living higher. Economics 101, sort of.

          This ‘Per person’ idea doesn’t make sense. If two people are living together, the mortgage (or rent) is the same. The utilities and other bills will be close to the same.

          This is categorically, absolutely false. In what universe are two people living together spend the same as one? They need more housing space, so no rent or mortgage is not the same (one person can live in a studio, 2 need at least a 1Br or more), they need 2 of most of everything: cars, cell phones etc. They both eat. They both go to movies and pay per person. They both ride public transit and need separate passes or what not. They don’t wear each other’s clothes. They consume 2x as much household toiletries and other items (does your b/f brush his teeth?). And so on and so forth. Sure, there are some economies of scale here – a 1br may be slightly cheaper than 2 studios but they may be ~30% at best, so their expenses will be like 1.7x rather than a double. But they will be higher. Having lived alone, together with someone, and alone again I know this math really well. You don’t seem to.

        20. KK

          I think you’re confused by what median income actually means, since you said:

          “The area with $29K in median income speaks for itself. Miracles don’t happen. These are low income areas which are not any more “affordable” for their low-income residents than Manhattan is for people like me. If those were booming job markets, median wages would be higher  and growing demand would’ve driven the cost of living higher. Economics 101, sort of”.

          According to census data from 2015, the median income for NYC was $53k.

        21. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          The Maryland reference that you provided was for Montgomery County.  Montgomery County is the most expensive county in which to live in Maryland.  Bethesda is one of the most expensive cities in which to live in Montgomery County.  School teachers earn $100K in Montgomery County.

        22. Stacy2

          I think you’re confused by what median income actually means, since you said:

          I am not confused by anything, thanks for your concern. There’re more people living in NYC than in all 10 “most affordable” places combined. Given that you should be looking at NYC by borough (Manhattan median income $67K) or even by zip code (in my zip code median income is $112K). Lumping it together with majority minority zip codes with public housing does not give you any comparable picture. But yes, housing prices in those areas are much, much cheaper. In some cases 1/2 of the prices of desirable zip codes… The bottomline is… a place is cheap when there’re not enough people with $$ to bid up prices there. No other reason.

        23. KK

          “Lumping it together with majority minority zip codes with public housing does not give you any comparable picture.”

          That’s exactly my point. It doesn’t give you an accurate picture. Therefore, you should apply that same standard to other cities.

        24. Stacy2

          @KK

          That’s exactly my point. It doesn’t give you an accurate picture. Therefore, you should apply that same standard to other cities.

          That’s not what i do and those are hardly “cities”. Like i said, your top ten has fewer people than NYC. I am merely breaking NYC down to comparable levels.

          Are there high paying jobs in Birminghton, Alabama? Sure. I am positive that the street on which the CEO of Alabama Electric lives is super nice and populated with other executives of the 5 companies that are based in that area LOL. Does that equate to a thriving job market – as in hundreds of 6 figure jobs for engineers, programmers, financiers, accountants, lawyers, scientists etc. like what we have in NY or CA? NO. This is why the place is cheap. Why can’t you get this through your head?

          But you know, for the sake of ending this dumb discussion against logic, let me agree with you. Buffalo, NY and Memphis, TN are wonderful, hidden in plain sight gems with miraculously cheap real estate, hundreds on unfilled six figure jobs; they are not plagued by heroine epidemic, not buried under the snow for 6 months and not stymied by humid 120F heat in the summer. It’s just that the millenials are too stupid to find them, or else they would all abandon their high paying jobs and tiny apartments in large cities and flock to these paradises on earth. That’s the reason. Amen.

      2. 10.6.2
        Tom10

        @ John #10.6
        “A guy is an idiot gets in a serious relationship and doesn’t care how much she makes? Why?”
         
        Because finances are the leading cause of stress in relationships:
         
        http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html
         
        And because financial disagreements are stronger predictors of divorce relative to other common marital disagreements:
         
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00715.x/abstract
         
        Now, I know one could argue that one’s financial values, in general, are what matter rather than one’s specific earnings per se; however, I would argue that not caring how much a woman makes is synonymous with not caring about her financial values.
         
        “You can take small sections of the male population like advanced degree holders and compare them, but that doesn’t reflect the majority of men.”
         
        But it was you who stated that guys don’t care about advanced degrees.
         
        I believe this to be incorrect; I think men who don’t have advanced degrees discriminate negatively against women who do (pre-emptively assuming that those women would automatically disqualify him so he disqualifies her first) and men who do have advanced degrees discriminate negatively against women who don’t (for a variety of reasons, some of which would include him wanting his equal, wanting his kids to be raised with the same educational values etc.).
         
        Therefore, I believe that the majority of men do, in reality, discriminate women either positively or negatively based on her degrees relative to his. Thus, we care about their degrees.
         
        “For example, I have many male friends who work in different industries and have different levels of education. Most of them don’t care about how much money a woman makes. You care about it, but most guys don’t”
         
        Well if John has lots of friends who don’t care about how much money a woman makes I must be incorrect so.
         
        Except that the evidence says otherwise:
         
        “Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating affects household income inequality. In particular, if matching in 2005 between husbands and wives had been random, instead of the pattern observed in the data, then the Gini coefficient would have fallen from the observed 0.43 to 0.34, so that income inequality would be smaller. Thus, assortative mating is important for income inequality”
         
        http://www.nber.org/papers/w19829
         
        “As a man who makes a very good income, I could care less what a woman makes. Why?  Quite simply, I don’t need the money.”
         
        But what if you’re temporarily (or God forbid, permanently) incapacitated and can’t make a very good income anymore, how will you pay for your house/medical treatment/children’s education?
         
        I dunno, ignoring your potential spouse’s income seems naïve in the extreme, to the point of being absurd.
         
        “You like to use extreme examples like a doctor dating a waitress. Ridiculous.”
         
        Admittedly I borrowed that example from one of the most popular threads on this blog:
         
        http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/dating-tips-advice/why-are-women-expected-to-date-men-with-a-lower-educational-level/
         
        However, the point still stands: if, as you claim, guys couldn’t care less about a woman’s education or income, *why* would it be ridiculous for a doctor to date a waitress? 

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Tom10,

          I have two sons and advised the older one repeatedly (and will do so for my little one) that he should pay attention to the education level and earning potential (and work ethic) of any woman he considers for marriage.  Are those the most important things?  No, they are not more important than kindness, maturity, and honesty.  But it would sure be beneficial, and as you mentioned, reduce the overall family stress, if his wife’s job can pay the mortgage if he should get laid off.  Not to mention it could give him more flexibility in life to do things like open a business, change careers, retire early, or spend more time at home with the kids.

          I’m also noticing a generation gap in what responses you are getting from the male commenters.  Also below, KK gave the example of an attorney who married a legal secretary–over 2o years ago.  In general, I think younger men,  under 35, grew up with moms who worked and they live a different economic reality than their grandparents did.  For most families it takes two incomes to make ends meet.  They expect to have a partnership where breadwinning and child raising are shared amongst spouses and not sharply divided on gender lines.

        2. KK

          GWTF,

          “Also below, KK gave the example of an attorney who married a legal secretary–over 2o years ago”.

          True. I’m 42 and the friend I mentioned is in his mid 50’s. I’m guessing you’re close to my age. I’m not sure why this couldn’t be a realistic scenario still today.

        3. D_M

          Tom10,

          I took a look at the study that you posted. It doesn’t appear to address how the couples got together. The focus appears to be on what impact that coupling causes. K mentioned it and social circles has been one of Stacy2’s stalwarts. How do you get people that might find each other interesting to cross paths in a social setting?  There are tons of activities that are free, but a number of other activities require resources. A person’s vocation, which generally stems from some aspect of their education, has an impact on how one approaches extra curricular activities.

          I understand your point about education, but being able to have a rational conversation with a potential life mate about the minutia of forming a life together is extremely important. Your rational fears about going through this life together should be on the table. In order to address those fears, one might have to make certain life choices. You can’t plan your life around every single life catastrophe, but you can do your best to try and hedge against them.

          The interesting thing about this thread topic, is a lot of LTRs would probably be less susceptible to financial issues if we culturally didn’t attach a certain stigma to living at home. Think about it, if folks lived at home with the goal of saving for their future life, a financial cushion for weathering storms would inherently be in place. Childcare, job loss, health insurance, college cost, vacations, elderly care and a host of other issues that exert pressures on LTRs would me minimized.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          I’m 49 and in my life I have drawn men who are late baby boomers to GenXers.  There are very real differences across the generations that are in the dating and marriage markets today.  It amazes me when I think about the rapid social changes that have occurred while I’ve been alive.

          When I was a young child, traditional gender roles were the norm:  Full time working dad and stay at home mom.  Then somewhere in the late s70s and 80s, all the moms went back to work.  And it wasn’t necessarily for fun and fulfillment.  It was because wages and household incomes stagnated or dropped.  There has been much written about how the middle class is shrinking and there is growing economic disparity.  Wives who have a certain level of earning potential help keep families on the right side of the economic divide or boost the family unit into a higher socio-economic bracket.

          While older generations of men may still practice elements of traditional gender role dynamics, millennials don’t have that mindset for normal.  The default setting for much of our younger people is a family where both spouses work and both take active roles in child rearing.

          The young men doctors I see coming into the field in their late 20s and early 30s almost all marry professional women.  When babies are born, both spouses adjust work schedules so they are home more.  These young men also aren’t willing to live at the hospital and kill themselves in pursuit of more money.  They are very focused on work-life balance, even the unmarried ones.  Interestingly, the people who gripe the most about this attitude and priority change in the younger cohort are male docs in their late 50s and older.

          I think Tom10 is right that what a woman brings to the table economically is important to men, especially younger men.  But I think it operates on a subconscious or semi-conscious level.  I wonder if when men say they “don’t care” what their wife does for a living what they really mean if they don’t care if she’s an accountant, a teacher, an attorney, or a police officer.  As long as she earns within a certain minimum range they’re good with it.

        5. KK

          Hi GWTF,

          Understood.

          Men I’m interested in (42 – 52) don’t seem to care what their wives or girlfriends do for a living. What you’ve noticed among the younger male doctors may or may not translate to different occupations. Having teenagers (one boy, one girl), I’m interested in knowing what the current thoughts are among younger people. Even so, personal choice still comes into play, in my opinion. I would never tell my daughter that being a stay at home mom someday is out of the question. I want her to get her education and be able to support herself before she gets married, but if being a stay at home mom is a dream of hers, I hope she marries someone who would be supportive of that. I wouldn’t advise my son to seek out a high earning woman to make his life easier. I hope he finds someone he’s truly happy with and if she happens to be a high earner, that’s a bonus, not a necessity, in my opinion.

          “I wonder if when men say they “don’t care” what their wife does for a living what they really mean if they don’t care if she’s an accountant, a teacher, an attorney, or a police officer.  As long as she earns within a certain minimum range they’re good with it.”

          I think that’s what they mean. That said, if my boyfriend were to tell me if I worked at Starbucks, he wouldn’t love me any more or any less, I wouldn’t be offended. I’d take it as the compliment it was meant to be; he loves me for ME, not for what I do.

      3. 10.6.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        Stacy2,

        Teachers DO NOT get free medical.  At the school district where my son works, a parent with two kids will have $840 deducted from their monthly for their medical insurance, and there is no dental insurance.  And that’s for a plan with a $5,000 deductible, $50 specialist office visit copays, 20% coinsurance for major medical expenses, and a $250 up front fee to be treated in an ER.

        1. lydisy

          In California where the state is one of the largest if not the largest employer – they have a lot of clout. Gray Davis in 2000 since he was having some trouble getting re-elected, to give full pay at retirement to teachers that worked 30 years and were at least 50 years old when they retired. This means their last pay scale, not an average or median. Full benefits and full pay A great pension that no one who still has a pension has.  Also firefighters and police officers also fit in this category and overtime, hazaard pay was included in this scenario. Others may have been covered by being in the same union, like prison guards and California HIghway Patrol  The rationale was that it was difficult to hire in the big internet boom (think Yahoo being a great stock era)  because all these folks could work in the booming high tech industry so they would not become teachers police or firefighters I don’t think that is the case.

          The point being that this will vary around the country. The extreme case in California has not really helped the schools. What helps the schools is that the wealthy communities agree to add-on school bonds since Prop 13 limits taxation. Those that were pre-1978 homeowners that have not moved may pay $1000 a year in property tax and live in a 1.5 million house. However they may have school bonds but it is nothing compared to having that grandfathered provision. Things changed a bit but still lower property taxes than places like New York, New Jersey and many of the blue states.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          In our state teachers don’t have a defined pension.  They have 401ks.

      4. 10.6.4
        Stacy2

        @KK
        “A 100K income buys decent lifestyle for 2 people, (i.e. 50K per person) but 60K means no disposable income for just one person?? Huh? Only one of those statements can be true. You can decide which one it”
        Both statements are true. 60k could have some disposable income for one, but it would be very little. We’re talking about the baseline in order to survive.
        No, they can no both be true. This whole discussion started with the premise that a guy who makes $100K does not need his wife’s income (as in at all) to live comfortable lifestyle. Well, if you have 2 people living on one 100K income, this is $50K per person. According to you – this is just barely takes care of the basic needs. So then how can anybody argue that he doesn’t need the 2nd income for the family? Of course he does.

        1. KK

          Facepalm.

    7. 10.7
      CaliforniaGirl

      I totally agree with you, all men that I know have a minimum income requirement for a woman as well and when they did date low income women, they would complain that these women expected to be taken care of and ask to help them with rent and bills pretty much after first time they had sex. My current bf told me that when he saw where I live and what I do for a living, he was very relieved, because most women he dated before never ever offered to pick up a check because he is a doctor and they assumed he has to pay for everything.

      1. 10.7.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        CG,

        In a way the “I don’t care what a woman does for a living” line of thought can conflict with the “I don’t want to be seen only as a wallet” when it comes to an LTR or marriage.  Couples have expenses.  Starting with meals out and entertainment, then if the relationship becomes serious rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and the expense of children. Just because a man may be capable of paying for it all because he has a high earning job (and for the majority of men, that’s not the case) doesn’t mean he wouldn’t like that burden to be shared.

        1. Chance

          Hi GWTF, those two statements could conflict as it relates to some couples, depending on the circumstances.  However, I would argue that as long as a man’s provisioning was not initially expected by the woman solely due to his gender and that his sacrifices are appreciated, he will not feel like he is being seen only as a wallet.

  11. 11
    Nat

    I do know guys who certainly care about the education or job of the woman they’re dating. Maybe especially in places with higher costs of living, like where I live. A high earning guy may be willing to “date down”, and doesn’t need to date a fellow doctor or lawyer, but that doesn’t mean he sees no difference between dating an interior designer or a physicist instead of dating, say, a waitress or cashier.

     

    The OP’s living situation is unlikely to scare off most guys though. It actually shows a practicality and frugalness that may be attractive to ppl age dates.

    1. 11.1
      Nat

      typo: attractive to ppl she* dates

  12. 12
    ScottH

    I guess my opinion is different from most of the other guys.  I’ve grown leery of dating people who are in a major transitional phase of their life.  They tend to be focused on the new place, new job, new whatever and don’t have the ability to give the relationship the focus it needs and then when they get situated, they become different people and tend to move on.  Not saying it can’t work or that everything has to be perfect.  It’s just higher risk than I’d be interested in.    Maybe it’s ok for a casual fling if that’s what you’re looking for.  I’d be more interested in someone who’s in a more stable place in their life and has her feet firmly on the ground, recognizing that life is inherently fluid.

    And yes, the double standard does piss me off.  Most women would run from any guy who lives with his parents.

    “design flaw in the male brain”  that’s funny as hell

    1. 12.1
      Just Saying

      ….double standard does piss me off…..

      The only reason for any double standard is because you have no standard.

      Don’t blame women for not bringing anything to the table if men are willing to accept nothing from women. Just like women cannot blame men for their poor behaviour if women on the whole are willing to accept it.

       

      1. 12.1.1
        Theodora

        The only reason for any double standard is because you have no standard.
        Don’t blame women for not bringing anything to the table if men are willing to accept nothing from women. Just like women cannot blame men for their poor behaviour if women on the whole are willing to accept it. 

        Exactly. If more men refused to date 40 yo divorced women living with their parents, women who accuse their ex-husbands of all the sins in the world (addicts, abusive, etc.), but who go broke and cannot afford a place to live once these awful husbands are not there anymore, women who live with their parents but who innocently declare that they would run they other way if they meet a man in a similar situation… then, voila!, the double standards would disappear.

        But considering how many men here say they wouldn’t care about all these huge red flags, they deserve the double standards…

      2. 12.1.2
        ScottH

        A middle aged man living with his parents would be laughed right out of the dating pool but apparently it’s ok for a woman to do so.

        No, if a guy doesn’t have a (nice) house, flashy car, and doesn’t provide “nice things,” he’s not a gentleman.  In the last thread, I made a comment about not wanting to spend $30 on a first date with a stranger and got all kinds of blowback.  No, a gentleman is expected to show a stranger a nice time.  We’re supposed to make the effort and you’re supposed to observe and show appreciation for it,,,,, until you don’t.

        Not saying it’s right.  Just saying that’s our reality.

        1. K

          I agree with you Scott that a man has a tougher go of it if he lives at home or doesn’t have nice things.  My male friends often are okay dating women who live at home as long as she is very attractive.  Both sexes though face challenges, in just different ways.  For example, a man although dinged for not having those things, they get bumped up if they DO.  A guy’s dating value can go up for some women if he has a nice job, a nice house, and a high status job (a 5 can go up a few levels).  As a woman there is no bump (and in some cases a ding, a 5 can’t go up a level for those things).  I used to drive a very nice car, live in a nice high rise, and I have a job some see as high status.  I downplayed or hid these things in the beginning because it didn’t give me any boost. One guy kept calling my place “luxury” or “fancy” and not in a good way even though I worked really hard for those things without any help from anyone.   It’s never the same for the sexes.

        2. Stacy2

          @K

          One guy kept calling my place “luxury” or “fancy” and not in a good way even though I worked really hard for those things without any help from anyone.   It’s never the same for the sexes.

          Why do you downplay those things? This makes no sense. Do you actually want to date guys like this???

          I am the exact opposite and never make secret of my  expensive tastes (and also generous with my own money and will splash on extravagant gifts for my b/f). It’s a really good screen to filter out the undesirables like the one you described.

  13. 13
    FG

    All statistics show there is very limited discrepancy between most partners in terms of education level, income level, and other similar criteria. One of the seldom mentioned reasons is evident: dissimilar people just don’t cross paths!

    Should the waitress in the example (#10) be spectacular, the MD may want to have a fling, but only in very special circumstances does that woman become his “one”. Not impossible. Just highly improbable, as Tom10 points out.

    As to Stacy2’s take on men being the shallow gender, on what basis?
    Certainly not on the pursuit of attractive members of the opposite gender, as women are just as bad, and likely by now even worse than men.
    Certainly not on bling and apparel, because men don’t have any hope of ever matching women in those categories.
    On cosmetics? Or plastic surgery? Women win those with flying colors.
    On very many other topics, such as voting for the cutest candidate, or voting for a woman simply because she’s also a woman, sounds shallow to me.
    I rarely stop to consider the full implication of the accumulating writings representative of anybody else’s opinions, or perhaps, as an undercurrent, indicative of who and/or what they are. And what I’m about to write can easily be misconstrued as a personal attack. It’s not meant to be, but rather takes aim at a legitimate question: if we take the totality of your posts (here and under different topics on this blog), printed them out, and handed them over to a prospective partner of yours, would he continue dating you?? I’m quite perplexed as to whether or not they might want to pursue anything with you.

    As to the ACTUAL topic, to the OP, not an issue. But perhaps defining of your current finances, income, and the like. Also depends WHERE you live in the US. If you say Northern CA or NYC, I would deem that solution most reasonable. If TX, or Louisiana, where rent is nowhere near as challenging, I might ask if you actually have a job.

    1. 13.1
      Stacy2

      @FG:

      On what basis? On the basis of what was said here above. To wit:
      Other things most guys don’t care about:
      the type of job you have
      advanced degrees
      how much money you make
      In other words: most guys don’t care about educational and financial choices you made in life, the judgement you’ve displayed through the years  or whether or not you have been financially responsible. Being that we’re all sums of the choices we’ve made in life, this is the same as not really caring about the actual personality and character of the woman involved. If they don’t care about those things, what’s left? Looks and ego stroking fluff. Meaning – shallow and deserve to be taken advantage of.

      Kudos to Tom10 and guys like him who express much healthier attitude in this respect.

      1. 13.1.1
        KK

        Stacy2,

        I disagree. Men of substance and high character want a woman of substance and high character as well. How financially successful someone is says little about either. It’s a separate category altogether. A school teacher making $60k or less who is a high quality person and lives within their means is a better bet financially (and otherwise) than a professional earning a high 6 figure income that lives at or beyond their means.

        1. Stacy2

           school teacher making $60k or less who is a high quality person and lives within their means is a better bet financially (and otherwise) than a professional earning a high 6 figure income that lives at or beyond their means

          And why, again, are these the only two options on the table? How about a school teacher with 60K vs. say a lawyer with 200K, and both equally financially responsible and living within their means?

        2. KK

          Stacy2,

          “And why, again, are these the only two options on the table? How about a school teacher with 60K vs. say a lawyer with 200K, and both equally financially responsible and living within their means?”

          They aren’t. It’s perfectly reasonable to find both. It was just an example of how one option could be better than another.

          But if you throw in another common factor, which could be that a man wants a family AND a stay at home wife, he’s much more likely to find that with someone less financially successful. Some (a lot of, actually) high earning women aren’t willing to take a substantial amount of time away from their careers. They’ve invested too much to come back 10 years later and essentially have to start over.

      2. 13.1.2
        Shaukat

        On what basis? On the basis of what was said here above. To wit:
        Other things most guys don’t care about:
        the type of job you have
        advanced degrees
        how much money you make

        I don’t see how this can possible be construed as superficial. If a man looks primarily for a woman who is fun to be around, who he finds attractive, who is warm and caring, and doesn’t put too much stock in how much she makes, where she went to school, the kind of job she has, etc…well, to me that’s the opposite of superficial. On the other hand, if you actually care about whether someone makes seven figures, owns a five bedroom house, can afford a diamond engagement ring that costs as much as that house, then that to me is the epitome of shallowness.

        I would also quibble a bit with some of the points Tom10 made. He is observing something that’s very real, namely that men and women both tend to pair off with equals when it comes to education and income, but, as FG pointed out, that has more to do with the fact such individuals simply run in the same social circles. I don’t think such things are deal-breakers for most men (in fact, I don’t necessarily think they’re deal breakers for most grounded intelligent women either). They’re certainly not for me, and I hold advanced degrees.

        1. Stacy2

          to me that’s the opposite of superficial.

          We can agree to disagree here. To me this is the definition of superficial. This is guy looking for a “feel good” relationship without giving any thought to the actual underlying character (as manifested by real world actions, like, you know, getting a degree or a job or something). FYI such men are super easy preys for narcissistic women who know very well how to make them “feel good” in the short term. I always say they – have it coming.

        2. KK

          Wow, Shaukat, I agree with everything you just said. Here’s my (cheap) applause! LOL

        3. Tom10

          @ Shaukat #13.1.2
          “He is observing something that’s very real, namely that men and women both tend to pair off with equals when it comes to education and income, but, as FG pointed out, that has more to do with the fact such individuals simply run in the same social circles. I don’t think such things are deal-breakers for most men”
           
          So you’re saying that guys who spend years – decades even! – studying, making enormous sacrifices, competing, learning how to think outside the box all in an effort to attain their advanced degrees suddenly make the most important decision of their lives (selecting a spouse) simply as they happen to run in the same social circles? This rationale just seems a bit simplistic to me.
           
          I believe that the truth is guys weigh-up a vast panoply of criteria when considering a prospective mate: her looks, smarts, education, income, religious values etc. I.e. the whole package.
           
          Besides, if the main reason guys find their wives is simply due to running in the same circles why do we have a need for Tinder/internet dating/clubs/match making events etc? Is the point of these not to provide dating arenas for those who don’t/can’t meet through their social circles?
           
          I wonder if we could do a study where we compared the degrees and incomes of couples who met in the same social circles with those who met outside of their social circles what see difference would we get? I would wager that there’d be difference at all. 
           
          Actually, if I was a conspiracy theorist I’d go even further and claim that many guys get off on repeating the tired trope of how they don’t care about women’s education and income as it implicitly denigrates her achievements whilst simultaneously exaggerates the importance of his. But that’s for another day.

        4. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          I wonder if we could do a study where we compared the degrees and incomes of couples who met in the same social circles with those who met outside of their social circles … I would wager that there’d be [no] difference at all.

          I agree. Assortative mating is subconscious on some level. We naturally gravitate to people who are like us. Similar education levels, levels of attractiveness, life goals, values, etc. We are all narcissistic by nature. It’s like we are dating ourselves.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat,

          “If a man looks primarily for a woman who is fun to be around, who he finds attractive, who is warm and caring, and doesn’t put too much stock in how much she makes, where she went to school, the kind of job she has, etc…well, to me that’s the opposite of superficial”

          It also completely nullifies the time, energy, sacrifice, commitment, and passion that a woman put into a big part of her life.

          Would you want a LT girlfriend or wife to totally not give a damn about the work, energy, commitment, and sacrifices you made to get your education and work in a field where you stand out or make a difference?  Not appreciate or respect that about you or be proud of you?  Because it seems that what many of the men on this blog are saying is that this is how they regard the women in their lives.

        6. Shaukat

          Would you want a LT girlfriend or wife to totally not give a damn about the work, energy, commitment, and sacrifices you made to get your education and work in a field where you stand out or make a difference?  Not appreciate or respect that about you or be proud of you?

          H GWTF,

          I think you’re conflating two different attitudes here. No where did I say that I wouldn’t respect, admire, and appreciate the hard work that a partner put into her education and career. And yes, I would expect her to reciprocate such sentiments. But I wouldn’t necessarily judge a person’s character, intelligence or capacity for empathy and generosity based on their financial success, level of education, or career. And no, I wouldn’t be interested in anyone who did strongly prioritize the latter. But maybe that’s just me.

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat,

          “And no, I wouldn’t be interested in anyone who did strongly prioritize the latter. {career) But maybe that’s just me.”

          Just like men, women often have to spend some intense years working to build up experience and credibility in their field of work.  The payoff is better opportunities and more control over work hours and venues in the future, including reduced and flexible work hours.

          One interesting fact about the marriage/education gap that Tom10 didn’t mention was that college educated women get married at a higher rate than their non-college educated peers do AND they are less likely to divorce.  A physician can work part time and make the same amount yearly that a waitress or hairdresser is dependent upon overtime to do.  So maybe the favorable amount earned per time unit spent working ratio, plus a greater ability to control or limit work hours are reasons why marriages happen more often and are more stable for college educated women.

          “I think you’re conflating two different attitudes here. No where did I say that I wouldn’t respect, admire, and appreciate the hard work that a partner put into her education and career.”

          I don’t think I conflated anything.  No one can read what is not written.  The picture that some male commenters paint of what they want in a woman is one dimensional:  Pretty and fun. No where in the comments has a man further explained his “I don’t care what education a woman has or what she does for a living” with “But I will admire and respect her for the whole person that she is, and that includes the effort and sacrifice she made to be a great/talented ______.”  These same male commenters vehemently object when women reduce men to occupations and wallets.  Why is there surprise when women object to being reduced to pretty faces and pleasing demeanors?

           

        8. Shaukat

          I don’t think I conflated anything.  No one can read what is not written.  The picture that some male commenters paint of what they want in a woman is one dimensional

          @GWTF,

          I speak only for myself, not every other male commenter. Now that I’ve clarified my position, it should be clear.

          P.S: I’ve always enjoyed your comments.

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          Tom10

          “Actually, if I was a conspiracy theorist I’d go even further and claim that many guys get off on repeating the tired trope of how they don’t care about women’s education and income as it implicitly denigrates her achievements whilst simultaneously exaggerates the importance of his.”

          For some men, yes, this is a way of putting women in their place.  This sentiment seems to be especially popular with Red Pill types who view the world in terms of power dynamics and see it as a zero sum game.  If I knock her down a few notches, it’s my gain.

        10. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat,

          “I’ve always enjoyed your comments.”

          And I enjoy yours.  Thank you for your astute contributions to the board!

    2. 13.2
      KK

      FG,

      “Also depends WHERE you live in the US. If you say Northern CA or NYC, I would deem that solution most reasonable. If TX, or Louisiana, where rent is nowhere near as challenging, I might ask if you actually have a job”.

      Maybe, but not necessarily. A friend of mine has several rental properties. She will not rent to anyone she deems high risk, regardless of circumstances. A foreclosure definitely falls into the high risk category. Christine may be able to afford rent but unable to find anyone willing to rent to her because of that.

  14. 14
    Tron Swanson

    “What do you do for a living?” and “What kind of degree do you have?” are questions that I never bother to ask. Women generally seem to find success attractive, but I never have.

    That said, I try to avoid women with drama in their lives…or with too much drama, anyway. (The guys I know are drama-free; the women I know all have some level of drama going on.) When I was younger, it didn’t bother me as much, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s become like fingernails on a chalkboard. So, yes, I don’t care if a woman is a Fortune 500 CEO or unemployed. As long as she’s attractive, fun, and doesn’t have too much drama.

    Also, I agree with ScottH, the double standard is ridiculous.

    1. 14.1
      Tom10

      @ Tron Swanson #14
      “What do you do for a living?” and “What kind of degree do you have?” are questions that I never bother to ask. Women generally seem to find success attractive, but I never have.
       
      “So, yes, I don’t care if a woman is a Fortune 500 CEO or unemployed. As long as she’s attractive, fun, and doesn’t have too much drama”.
       
      Yeah but you’re not looking for a relationship Tron; you just want nsa sex and a never-ending series of easy flings. Nothing wrong with that.
       
      But it makes your comment irrelevant. Women don’t care about the criteria that guys who don’t want relationships use to select women; they care about the criteria that guys who do want relationships use to select women! Lol.
       
      So my point still stands: male commenters are being disingenuous when they claim that they don’t care about degrees, living or income (when considering ltrs), as the evidence says that they do. With regards to strs, as I said previously, I agree that most guys won’t care.
       
      Your comment just reinforced my contention.

      1. 14.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear. What I said was also true back when I was looking for a relationship. I didn’t care about that stuff then, either.

        That said, correlation does not equal causation. Yes, men do tend to end up with women at their own economic level…but is that because they prioritize it, or because it’s simply the best they can do? I’m sure that most men would be happy with a high-earning supermodel like Kate Upton, but she’s unattainable, so they end up having to settle, instead. Younger, hotter, and poorer women are out of their league; hotter higher-earning women are also out of their league. So they end up with someone similar to themselves–stuck with them, in other words. Does that really translate to “Wow, your college degree is turning me on”?

        1. Emily, the original

          Tron Swanson,

          Is your name a take-off on the character Ron Swanson from the tv show “Parks and Rec”?

        2. Tron Swanson

          Yes, Emily, it is.

          To make this on-topic, I’ll add that divorce either makes women more appealing to me or less. Some women are liberated by their divorces, while others are ruined by the experience. (I’m sure that the same is true for men.) I prefer the divorcees that start hitting the gym, dressing sexily again, and are ready to be wild, because they became sick of being in a relationship.

        3. Emily, the original

          Tron Swanson,

          Ah … Ron Swanson, one of my favorite characters.

          I’ll add that divorce either makes women more appealing to me or less. Some women are liberated by their divorces, while others are ruined by the experience.

          I’m guessing that it depends on who initiated the divorce. Statistically, women are usually the ones who file. Men may have the advantage in dating a female divorcee because, chances are, she is the initiator and itching to get out and mingle.

        4. Tron Swanson

          Ron Swanson is awesome for many, many reasons.

          And, I agree with you, re: who initiated the divorce. I believe that, in seventy percent of divorces, it’s the woman who initiates. Though I may someday change my mind and try relationships again, I’d never get married, because it’s just too legally and financially risky for men.

          When you think about it, though, the modern set up is win-win for men, as long as we avoid legal commitment. I can hook up with all the amenable-to-hooking-up women I want…and if/when they want to commit, well, they can find some other guy to pay for that whole thing. Then, when women get bored with pretending to be Serious and Committed Adults, they’re right back in my territory, so to speak. Guys like me have sex with multiple women (though not as many as I’d like!); other guys are stuck paying for one woman: the wedding, the kids, the status-symbol houses and vehicles….

        5. Emily, the original

          Tron Swanson,

          Guys like me have sex with multiple women (though not as many as I’d like!); other guys are stuck paying for one woman: the wedding, the kids, the status-symbol houses and vehicles….

          Depends on the man. Some men want to be married and have a family. Some don’t. I personally don’t want to be financially/legally tethered to someone else. I don’t want the deciding factor in staying in relationship to be that I don’t have the money to get out or that I like my lifestyle too much. (I watched a friend go through this. Finally, she decided it was better to lose the money she’d put into their house than to stay in such an fulfilling marriage.) I don’t have a problem with people who casually hook up, provided both parties are totally honest about their intentions.

        6. Tron Swanson

          Depends on the man. Some men want to be married and have a family. Some don’t.

          Yes, and I’m very grateful to the ones that do, because their alimonies pay for the homes that my FWBs live in. Instead of wanting me to pay for things, they’re flush with cash from their exes, so that’s one less worry on my mind. Marriage-seeking guys also take more relationship-minded women off the market, making it easier for me to find non-relationship-minded women. (Well, they take them off the market temporarily, anyway, in most cases.)

          Let me tell you a funny story–well, it’s funny from my point of view, anyway. I used to be casually involved with an out-of-my-league woman who told me that she needed to stop sleeping with me, because she was dating a new guy and thought it might be serious. I felt lucky to have been in that situation at all, so I had no complaints. She ended up marrying him and having kids with him. She later gained some weight, and they ended up getting divorced. Well, after the divorce, she lost the weight, and he was stuck paying for the apartment, the kids, etc. We went back to being casually involved. So, he was with her during her least-attractive years, and he gave her all the commitment and money she wanted…while I had her at her hottest, and never gave her any of that. Pretty great deal on my end.

          I personally don’t want to be financially/legally tethered to someone else. I don’t want the deciding factor in staying in relationship to be that I don’t have the money to get out or that I like my lifestyle too much.

          I feel the exact same way. Out of curiosity, though, do kids factor into that? I mean, do you already have them, or want to have them, or have no interest in them? Kids have a way of legally tethering adults together, from what I’ve seen.

        7. Emily, the original

          Tron Swanson,

          …while I had her at her hottest, and never gave her any of that. Pretty great deal on my end.

          I do hope you realize there is more to a woman than her appearance.  🙂  IMO, a man can be very good-looking but not sexy. Those are two different qualities. For example, there was a very attractive young man in his 20s who briefly worked at my place of employment. He never looked up from his papers and files. I don’t think he’d notice if a woman sat on his lap. He caught the eye of many of the woman but none approached him because he gave off the vibe that he was all work. He was not sexy and he had no game, some of which is necessary to get things off the ground.

           

          Out of curiosity, though, do kids factor into that? Kids have a way of legally tethering adults together, from what I’ve seen.

          No, I don’t have kids and don’t want any. Yes, you’re right. Kids change the level of commitment needed. I would eventually like to be in a serious relationship but maintain my own apartment and finances.

        8. Tron Swanson

          I do realize that, Emily, but I also have no interest in it. Appearance is the only aspect that’s relevant, for me.

          Also, my serious relationships ended because I refused to get married and have kids. I wish that more women like you had been around when I was younger.

        9. Stacy2

          @Tron Swanson:

          I do realize that, Emily, but I also have no interest in it. Appearance is the only aspect that’s relevant, for me.

          Just out of curiosity, what do you bring to the table in those “casual” relationships? Are you like THAT good in bed that you can rock her world? I mean, if a guy is not offering commitment and real human intimacy he better be 6-6-6 or else what good is he?

        10. Tron Swanson

          Yes, Stacy2, sex is all that I bring to the table, though I suppose that I also bring attention and empathy. Luckily, most women go through periods when they only want sex, and I’ve become reasonably good at finding them during those times. Obviously, it’s been an uphill battle for me, as women have tons of options in this area. But I’m far better-suited for this than I would be for relationships.

        11. Emily, the original

          Tron Swanson,

          But I’m far better-suited for this than I would be for relationships.

          That’s fair enough. But let me ask you this … do you just get together for an hour once a week for sex or do you attempt to form some kind of friendship out of it and get together every now and then for “dates”? (I would take the former option; prevents me from thinking there’s more going on than there is.)

        12. Tron Swanson

          I’ve never seen the point in going out in public with women, but I try to get together with them as often as possible.

      2. 14.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Tron Swanson,

        You had me at Ron Swanson; you lost me at “appearance is the only aspect that’s relevant, for me.”

        Stacy2,

        Are you like THAT good in bed that you can rock her world?

        I was thinking the same thing. The only way a woman would put up with that kind of attitude is if she was getting the best sex of her life. Not good sex. Not really good sex. THE BEST SEX. So he’d have to be better than every other man she’d ever hooked up with.

         

  15. 15
    IceT

    This might be a side point, but having “recently” divorced (whatever that means) might not be the best time for dating. As a guy I tried it within the first month of being left for someone else. I think the fact that I was lonely and looking for confirmation shone through. Now that I’ve become more comfortable being alone, dating has become easier and rejection doesn’t bring me down. My own difficult living situation at the time also hung like a black cloud over every date. Your mileage might obviously differ.

  16. 16
    D_M

    Responses are influenced by a number of factors and how one rank orders their current relationship wants. Folks can’t say that some guys are being disingenuous. Everyone is responding based on their respective circumstances and what they currently find important in a LTR. As time starts to tick away, some of us realize the importantance of realigning our relationship wants with where we are in life. I could only assume that the rational among us would evaluate quality of life when picking a partner. The term quality of life, just like everything else, has different meanings for different people. Some folks believe that having one parent at home is best, others believe that paid childcare is fine. Quality of life changes as we progress through the different stages of life.

    Christine could easily be a selfless individual, where confounding life circumstances contributed to her current living situation. That’s why it’s so important to get the measure of the woman or man. You know, what have you learned from the previous life cards that you played. Yes, life has its double standards, but let’s not howl at the moon. A woman returning home isn’t viewed the same way as a man returning home, so her dating prospects aren’t significantly reduced because she’s at home.

  17. 17
    Stacy

    Oh please, I have a Masters in Finance and not ONCE did a man ask me about my education when I was dating…and while I am dating someone steadily now,  I dated a LOT in the two years prior before him.

    NOT ONE TIME was I asked…

    You know why? Because I look hot in a dress. Facts!

    Sorry, but for those who say men care about a woman’s education when he has a degree…for the most part, that is false. Obviously there will always be exceptions to the rule, but if you are cute enough and carry yourself well and ‘fun to be with’, men for the most part DO NOT CARE.

     

    1. 17.1
      Tom10

      @ Stacy #17
      “Oh please, I have a Masters in Finance and not ONCE did a man ask me about my education when I was dating…and while I am dating someone steadily now,  I dated a LOT in the two years prior before him. NOT ONE TIME was I asked…
       
      And how many times did a man ask you about your bra size when you were dating?
       
      My point?
       
      Just because a guy doesn’t ask you about something doesn’t mean he’s not consciously – or subconsciously – thinking about it. Trust me; all those guys you dated would have been aware of your education credentials and weighing them up in his mind when assessing you.
       
      “Sorry, but for those who say men care about a woman’s education when he has a degree…for the most part, that is false. Obviously there will always be exceptions to the rule, but if you are cute enough and carry yourself well and ‘fun to be with’, men for the most part DO NOT CARE.”
       
      And how many of all those guys you dated in those two years did you marry?
       
      Exactly.
       
      Men don’t care about your education when they’re looking for sex/short-term dating; however, I still maintain that they do care when considering long-term dating/marriage.
       
      Thanks for reinforcing my point.

      1. 17.1.1
        Shaukat

        Tom, I  really just think you’re wrong on this point (which is unfortunate, since you’re usually right on so many other points). Intelligence and education usually correlate (though not always) so your observation is not that surprising. However, that doesn’t change the main point: Men really don’t care that much about official academic credentials.

        1. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “I  really just think you’re wrong on this point (which is unfortunate, since you’re usually right on so many other points).”
           
          Thanks for that Shaukat; but sure it’s no harm to be wrong on the occasional topic is it? If even in the simple pursuit of critical thinking.
           
          However, I really really just think I’m right on this point. Lol.
           
          But I’m sure you’ll admit that stating that “you’re wrong, I’m right” is hardly the strongest argument to make for your case. So how about we both state some valid reasons and evidence to support our case – leaving aside personal anecdotes and “many male friends” as evidence – and leave it to the good people of our audience to decide who wins?
           
          “However, that doesn’t change the main point: Men really don’t care that much about official academic credentials”.
           
          Now, I’ll admit that so far I haven’t got much (any) support from other guys on this topic and I don’t imagine that will change. But that could be due to either:
           
          1. you’re all wrong and I’m right, or
          2. you (male contributors plural) have a subconscious agenda to re-iterate this idea on a dating blog (for women) as part of an implicit agenda to put women in their place, or
          3. you (again, male contributors plural) simply haven’t made any effort to critically explain the discrepancies between their instinctual beliefs and the empirical data, or
          4. All of the above.
           
          Maybe after we both state our case I might convince a male hand or two to back me up!
           
          So, I’ll go first.
           
          Reasons why I believe that men care about official academic credentials when considering a mate as a potential spouse:
           
          Health
          There is much scientific evidence to prove that people with higher education live longer and healthier lives:
           
          “Mortality attributable to low education is comparable in magnitude to mortality attributable to individuals being current rather than former smokers”
           
          http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0131809#ack
           
          Thus, when a guy is considering a potential spouse, her academic credentials minimize the risk of ill-health to both parties: therefore it’s in his interest to care about her academic credentials.
           
          Children
          I believe that most men want their children educated to an equal or higher level than themselves. The evidence seems to indicate that educated people are more likely to have educated children. Should anything happen to the man, his children will be more likely to succeed academically should his wife be highly educated:
           
          “Research indicates that family socioeconomic characteristics such as income and parental education are important variables for measuring college attrition (Ishitani, 2003). First-generation college students are 51% less likely to graduate in 4 years (Ishitani, 2006). These students are more likely to be from low SES families and less likely to have the academic preparation and resources available to higher SES students. (Cho, Lee, Hudley, Barry, & Kelly, 2008; Ellis, 2001).”
           
          http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/indicator/2009/04/adjustment.aspx
           
          Thus, when a guy is considering a potential spouse, her academic credentials lead to better outcomes for his children: therefore it’s in his interest to care about her academic credentials.
           
          Finance
          Research indicates that there is a direct correction between one’s higher education level and the prospective income:
           
          “To summarize the findings, in 2012, there is a significant and positive relationship between higher education level and income (i.e., higher education qualifications lead to higher income).”
           
          http://www.slideshare.net/eugeneyan/what-is-the-relationship-between-education-and-income
           
          Thus, when a guy is considering a potential spouse, her academic credentials reduce the financial burden on him and increases the resource potential of the couple as a whole; therefore it’s in his interest to care about her academic credentials.
           
          Divorce
          There is significant evidence to indicate that college educated women are less likely to divorce than non-college educated women:
           
          “Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics estimate that 78% of college-educated women who married for the first time between 2006 and 2010 could expect their marriages to last at least 20 years. But among women who have a high school education or less, the share is only 40%.”
           
          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/04/education-and-marriage/
           
          Thus, when a guy is considering a potential spouse, her academic credentials minimize the risk of divorce to him: therefore it’s in his interest to care about her academic credentials.
           
          Status
          In our society, rightly or wrongly, we afford higher social status to those with higher education:
           
          “Generally, a person’s esteem throughout the society can depend on his own deeds or talents. However, except for exceptional cases, the specific merits of each individual are hard to verify. Schooling and education are easily recognized signals for individual accomplishments.”
           
          “Sociologists have established that the social status of an occupation depends mainly on the average schooling and average wages of its members…of the two occupational characteristics, education appears to be the more important determinant of social status”
           
          http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1054.pdf
           
          Now, I know many guys will claim that they don’t care about status; however, I struggle to believe them. Why else do so many guys like to buy Mercs and BMWs? So, regarding his spouse, I’ll admit that men will achieve recognition/status from other men based mainly on his wife’s looks, but he’ll achieve recognition/status from other women based on his wife’s education (and her job/looks to be fair).
           
           
          So when a guy is considering a potential spouse, he attains elevated status in the eyes of his peers/family/society from his wife’s education: therefore it’s in his interest to care about her academic credentials.
           
          ————————–
           
          For all the reasons I have outlined above I believe that the empirically observed trend towards assortative mating is proof that men consciously or subconsciously evaluate a woman’s academic credentials when seeking a spouse.
           
          I rest my case m’lord. 😉
           
          So, over to you Shaukat…

        2. KK

          Hi Tom10,

          In your response to Shaukat, you gave some compelling reasons as to why a man should care, but no evidence to support that they actually do care. I tried to find stats on assortative mating. Instead, what I found were several articles claiming assortative mating is on the rise. One claimed a rise of 45%. Another at 50%. Maybe I’m Google challenged, but no actual statistics. 😊

      2. 17.1.2
        Stacy

        We all marry one person (at a time) so the fact that I didn’t marry any of the guys I went out with is irrelevant. If that is the case, then none of our dating experiences are valid (apart from the experiences we have with the person we actually marry).  So the fact that I did not marry any of them (even though I was married once before) does not make my points less accurate. What I will say is that, even when I was online dating, I have always made it clear in my profile of what I am looking for which is a serious commitment. As a result, men who responded to me appeared to be looking for the same thing and at least 90% of men I went out with either wanted a relationship sooner or later or wanted me to at least stop dating other people so I can say with confidence that it wasn’t for the short term goal of a booty call. Of course there is that 5% who had high hopes of this but it is as easy to spot as an elephant in the room so they didn’t last long. Additionally, I don’t sleep with men I am not exclusive with. And although it rarely happens, I have been asked about my bra size and I have gotten the occasional penis shot when first corresponding but those are the ones who never make it to the actual first date.

        I also think you missed another point. I am not saying men don’t value an education. I am just telling you that for MOST men, the level of FORMAL education for a woman is not normally a truly salient and required field for them. Of course, MOST of the population would not choose a less educated person if he had the choice, but it is hardly ever a deal breaker for a woman IF she is hot enough and intelligent enough (and I hope you know that intelligence has nothing to do with formal education – I was just as intelligent before my degrees).  How do I know? Well, you assume that it is weighing on their minds even though they don’t bring it up. Although I don’t know how you can possibly know this and since I am the one (along with other women in this forum who agreed) who date men, I am telling you that men bring up what is important to them – whether they beat around the bush eventually or are just pretty straightforward about it…At least 70% of men I have dated have brought up what is important to them on the first 3 dates (usually it’s my physical attributes that they like, or how ‘fun’ and easygoing they perceive me to be, etc.). If formal education was soooo important, trust and believe, they would find a way to sneak it in there.

        So listen to Shaukat. In this, you are indeed wrong.

         

        1. Tom10

          “We all marry one person (at a time) so the fact that I didn’t marry any of the guys I went out with is irrelevant. If that is the case, then none of our dating experiences are valid”
           
          Well if my point is that men will ignore a woman’s education for short-term dating but not for long-term dating then yes, mentioning men you dated short-term as proof of your argument just invalidates your entire point!! Lol.
           
          You also mentioned that you were married previously – that would have been a valid example to use to prove your point.
           
          So let me guess Stacy; do you and you ex-husband have a similar level in education?
           
          “So listen to Shaukat. In this, you are indeed wrong”
           
          Well I’m still waiting for his response outlining the reasons he believes men choose to marry women with similar academic achievements are incidental rather than intentional.
           
          Once I see some (any!) valid arguments against my position (other than anecdote or simply saying; “you are indeed wrong”) I’ll reconsider my stance and accept that you are right.
           
          I’ve probably beaten my point to death now so I’ll leave it at that.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Stacy,

          “I am telling you that men bring up what is important to them – whether they beat around the bush eventually or are just pretty straightforward about it. . . If formal education was soooo important, trust and believe, they would find a way to sneak it in there.”

          Men don’t need to do mental gymnastics to find out what your education level and occupation are.  It’s demographic info that’s on your OLD profile or it’s easily found out or offered up soon after meeting.  The last person I went out with that I met IRL I met at work.  We both knew each other’s occupation before we even spoke.

          I don’t believe that the great majority of men who state that they don’t care what a woman’s education level and occupation are lying.  I believe they aren’t aware of their sub-conscious motivations and drives.

          Our overall biological and evolutionary imperative is to do what it takes to get a survival advantage, and to pass that survival advantage on to our offspring.  The more social and financial status a partner has, the greater survival advantage they bring to their partner and their future children.  This has been true throughout human history. Look at the dowry system.  A woman would not be considered a desirable bride if she had a small or no dowry.  A marriage/family is a legal economic unit.  It’s not just about feelings.

          Another reason many people may believe that men don’t care about a partner’s education level and occupation/financial status is because there are differing assumptions on what is considered equivalent educational and financial levels.  Upstream in the comments, John thought that a woman teacher making $60k a year was not the socio-economic peer of a doctor making $100k a year.  Stacy2 stated that they were on the same level.  In essence, the assumption many have is that a $100k/yr doctor is marrying down when he partners with a $60k/yr teacher.  This isn’t true.  Demographically this couple goes into the dual bachelor’s degree column in census bureau statistics.  Not only do they both have bachelors degrees (and the teacher is highly likely to have a master’s as well) they are both licensed professionals and both make above the mean in salary.  The doctor did not marry down and the teacher did not marry up.  They both married within their socio-economic class level.

          In the same comment thread mentioned above, a doctor-waitress pairing was deemed “ridiculous”.  Just like with a welfare recipient, if men truly did not care what a woman’s education/financial/SE status was, as long as these women were attractive, honest, and fun to be with then we would see these pairings much more than actually happens in real life.

          I used the welfare-food stamp recipient in my example deliberately.  To show that people make moral and character assumptions about how people obtain the means to live.  A person who lives on public assistance or who is a high school dropout with a part-time minimum wage job is considered lazy and stupid.   Whereas a person with a Ph.D. is considered to be industrious and smart.  So while a man may say that he wouldn’t date a welfare recipient because of character issues or because they don’t have anything in common.  The basis of that argument is economic/financial/educational and thus he does care about a woman’s educational level and occupation.

        3. Tom10

          @ GoWiththeFlow
           
          I have a feeling that if we ever met we’d get along just swell 😉

        4. KK

          GWTF,

          I’m reading good responses to each side of the argument.

          But then you said, “I don’t believe that the great majority of men who state that they don’t care what a woman’s education level and occupation are lying.  I believe they aren’t aware of their sub-conscious motivations and drives”.

          I think we should be VERY CAREFUL when we claim to know anyone else’s subconscious motivations and drives; especially an entire gender. There’s no way you or anyone else can claim to know that, even if it may appear that way in some circumstances. There could be any number of reasons for a particular assertion and the corresponding or opposite action. The best conclusion you can come to is still speculation. I think it’s much wiser to speculate about certain possibilities than to claim you have any idea what someone’s subconscious desires are.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          When it comes to the question of whether men consider a woman’s education/occupation/financial stays when marrying, there is a disconnect between what men say and empirical data on what they do.

          I don’t believe that the huge majority of men are being dishonest when they say they don’t consider a woman’s socioeconomic status when choosing a spouse.  Therefore it’s reasonable to conclude that the don’t consciously recognize the behavior that they do engage in.

          I don’t believe that saying behavior is subconsciously based means said behavior is nefarious.  It just means that people don’t always consider or recognize (or really care) about the deeper meaning behind why they do things when the behavior isn’t harmful or maladaptive.

          A woman may be extremely attracted to red-haired men.  She may not care to put the effort into understanding why that is (early imprinting???) if she has a kind, honest, loving redheaded husband who makes her laugh.

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Tom10,

          When I travel to Ireland (it’s a bucket list entry) I would love to meet up with you and your girlfriend to discuss the meaning of life.  The meal and bar tab are on me 😉

      3. 17.1.3
        Shaukat

        Hi Tom10,

        Sorry for the delay in my response. In responding to your post now, I hope I can clarify my own position as well, since I think there might be a misunderstanding.

        First, thanks for posting those studies. However, while certainly interesting, I don’t believe they provide direct (or even indirect) corroboration for the general point you were making. It is not at all surprising that a good formal education correlates with a higher standard of living, or better life expectancy, good health, or any of the other indicators you mentioned. What you need to be able to show is that men, on a conscious or sub-conscious level, are actually evaluating that criteria when selecting a long-term mate. You haven’t shown that. In fact, although you have accused me of using anecdotes to prove my point, you haven’t supplied us with any direct evidence to support your own, aside from repeatedly pointing to correlations (not causation) by stating that assortative mating is increasing.

        In fact, the only kind of direct evidence that would be relevant here (in my opinion) would be valid survey data of men and women from a sample that could be used to draw inferences about the general male and female population when it comes to their attitudes and priorities in dating. As far as I know, such data doesn’t exist (and even f it did, it would still be dubious, because people lie in surveys sometimes). So on some level, all of us, even you, are simply relying on anecdotal evidence and real world observations in this area.

        Now, let me clarify my position. I am not stating that men will generally neglect education completely, since the latter correlates with all sorts of other attributes and qualities that men will find attractive in a long-term partner (such as intelligence, empathy, compassion, compatibility etc). Moreover, in our generation more and more people are acquiring some level of education, so basic probability theory would tell us that it is more and more likely that two educated people will eventually pair up.

        I am saying, however, that for men in general, the degree of attraction he  feels for a woman will not increase based on her level of formal education. In other words, all else being equal, a man’s attraction for a woman will not increase as she moves from a BA to an MA to a MBA or law degree of Ph.D etc, nor would that criteria make a difference to him when deciding to marry her. Note that this is different from saying that a man with a law degree would have no problem marrying an impoverished woman from an inner city.

        I think it’s different for many women, though not necessarily for the majority. Here’s an exercise you can try: think back to all the times you heard a woman say that ambition was attractive, and compare it to the number of times you heard that sentiment coming from a man. Or, better yet, browse some online profiles of women and check to see how many list ambition and intelligence as a turn on, and then do the same with male profiles.

        I’m not saying that there are no men who do employ criteria such as level of income or education when entering into a relationship. Chance has said he does. In sounds like you would as well in he context of a ltr. I’m simply saying it’s not the norm.

      4. 17.1.4
        Shaukat

         

        Hi Tom10,

         

        Sorry for the delay in my response. I hope I can now clarify my position while responding to your post.

         

        First, thanks for the studies. However, while certainly interesting, I don’t think they provide direct, or even indirect, corroboration for your argument. It is not surprising that formal education correlates with higher income, better health, a good general standard of living, etc. What you need to show is that men are consciously or sub-consciously employing that criteria when selecting a long-term mate. You haven’t done that; in fact, while accusing others of employing anecdotes, much of what you have said is speculation based on the observation of correlations.

         

        It is not surprising that educated men will end up with educated women simply because education often correlates with other qualities and attributes that men find attractive (compassion, empathy, intelligence, compatibility). Moreover, since an increasing number of people from our generation are acquiring an education, basic probability theory tells us that educated people will pair off.

         

        What I am saying, however, is that all else being equal, the attraction a man feels for a woman, and the degree to which he wants a relationship with her, will not increase based on her level of formal education or income. In other words, whether she has a BA vs an MA, or MBA, or Law Degree, or Ph.D will not make much  of a difference to him. Try this exercise: think back to all the times you heard a woman mention that she finds ambition attractive, and compare that to the number of times you heard the same sentiment coming from a man. Or scan some online dating profiles with the same exercise in mind. Note that this point is quite different from stating that  an educated man would have no problem dating an impoverished woman from an inner city.

         

        Let me state that the only non-anecdotal evidence here that would be relevant in my opinion is direct survey data from a valid sample of men and women that could be used to draw inferences about the attitudes and beliefs of each gender in the realm of dating. I haven’t seen such data. But until it is presented I believe all of us, including you Tom, are relaying to a certain degree on anecdotes, speculation, and real world generalizations.

         

        Finally, I am not saying that there are no men who actively use such criteria when dating long-term. Chance has said he does. It sounds like in the context of an ltr you would as well. That’s fine. I am simply saying that it isn’t the norm.

         

        1. Tom10

          Hi Shaukat
          “Sorry for the delay in my response.”
           
          That’s okay – your response was worth the wait. 🙂
           
          “What you need to be able to show is that men, on a conscious or sub-conscious level, are actually evaluating that criteria when selecting a long-term mate. You haven’t shown that…
          In fact, the only kind of direct evidence that would be relevant here (in my opinion) would be valid survey data of men and women from a sample that could be used to draw inferences about the general male and female population when it comes to their attitudes and priorities in dating. As far as I know, such data doesn’t exist “
           
          Okay fair point. So it seems it will be impossible for either of us to definitively prove what motivates people to make the decisions they do; we can only make inferences based on what we observe and then come to our own conclusions.
           
          Your conclusion is that men don’t evaluate a woman’s education and career when considering marriage; mine is that they do.
           
          “Moreover, in our generation more and more people are acquiring some level of education, so basic probability theory would tell us that it is more and more likely that two educated people will eventually pair up.”
           
          I actually thought of this point in your defence whilst researching some stats in response to KK’s query above: as the percentage of college educated women has dramatically increased in recent decades, statistically men will simply be more likely to marry educated women by default rather than by design.
           
          “I am saying, however, that for men in general, the degree of attraction he  feels for a woman will not increase based on her level of formal education.”
           
          I don’t dispute that one bit; instinctively my level of sexual attraction is based almost 100% on a woman’s looks, intelligence and femininity (i.e. proxies for the quality of her genes). In fact, a woman’s education is probably a turn-off to sexual attraction as, instinctively, I assume that it will raise the (provisioning) bar I have to hit in order to sleep with her: it’s much less hassle to pick a less-educated woman (i.e. fewer expectations?) but who is just as pretty.
           
          “Try this exercise: think back to all the times you heard a woman mention that she finds ambition attractive, and compare that to the number of times you heard the same sentiment coming from a man”
           
          Agreed. It seems that women have two instinctive mating drives: the first is to acquire the highest quality male genes she can and the second is to acquire his resources to raise the progeny. Male instincts don’t seem to include the requirement to obtain female resources. Therefore, logically, women will be attracted to men who can demonstrate the ability to provide resources (i.e. his academic credentials via proxy) whereas men won’t be attracted to women who do the same.
           
          But this doesn’t refute my point when it comes to marriage: if we assume that sexual attraction is just a male’s instinctive drive to impregnate a woman, can we then assume that marriage is his instinctive drive to provide resources for said woman? In such a scenario he will instinctively weigh up all the risks and benefits involved in making such a commitment. It is at this juncture that I think men instinctively consider her other attributes (as listed in my comment 17.1.1 above) than her genetic quality. This is where her education credentials act as a proxy for reducing risk to him when considering how best to invest his resources, as well as act as a proxy for increasing the odds of his progeny surviving should he die.
           
          That said, admittedly as you point out, many (probably most) men don’t seem to critically analyze their goals and motivations and adequately consider risk when deciding to get married (which is probably why they end up divorced and embittered 10 years later, lol.): they seem to marry for “love” without question what love actually *is*. Personally, I think marrying simply for love (and neglecting to forensically analyze someone’s character) is daft as the potential consequences can be so serious but hey, each to their own.
           
          “I’m not saying that there are no men who do employ criteria such as level of income or education when entering into a relationship. Chance has said he does. In sounds like you would as well in he context of a ltr. I’m simply saying it’s not the norm.”
           
          And I’m saying it’s more the norm than guys let on or realize: just because guy’s first instinctive drive is simply to impregnate the hottest women he possibly can doesn’t negate his second instinctive drive which is to judiciously invest his precious resources into the most deserving woman. 

        2. Tom10

          Apologies for the confusing typographical emphasis in my previous comment; I’m not sure how that happened!

        3. Chance

          Skaukat and Tom10, excellent points in the most recent post from each of you.  Nice work, gents.

           

          One point of clarification, the only reason I would care about a woman’s earning potential (if I were to get married) is because the laws allow a lower-earning spouse to financially devastate a high-earning spouse in the event of a divorce.  I can’t say that a woman’s education level impacts my level of attraction to her, though.  That said, I do find a hard work ethic and accountability to be attractive, and one possible manifestation of this could be the attainment of academic credentials.

    2. 17.2
      sophia

      I’ve not found that to be true, quite honestly. The divorced men I’ve dated have said they are looking for a woman with an established, fulfilling career AND their intellectual equal. They are tired of being seen as a checkbook and are in need of a friend and confidant in ADDITION to (of course) a lover. The guys I’ve dated (just my personal experience) have been mostly (not all) well educated and rather on the affluent side. Just sayin….and in their 50’s (like me)- maybe age matters, I don’t know.

      And for the record (to the guys who hate spending money on a first date or meet/greet)- I can appreciate this. I NEVER order a drink, only water (not even bottled), and really concentrate on keeping my end of the tab low, pricewise! I always offer to split the tab, as well. Fair’s fair.

      Although….the guy who did not even TRY to pay for my $2-something iced coffee became an instant “nope” in my mind. I’m not kidding. 🙂

       

      1. 17.2.1
        Stacy

        @sophia

        An established fulfilling career and an intellectual equal (which can mean all manner of values on a very wide spectrum) and formal education do not necessarily go together. You do not necessarily need a degree for either a career and it is not a measure of intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, some men value this highly (having a certain standard of formal education). I believe most men do not.  And many men I know who are making really GOOD money and who wants kids, have wanted his wife to stay at home when she starts popping babies out.  Many career women do not want to do this.

        What men care about is that you are gainfully employed to the point where you can SUPPORT yourself so that you won’t always be in his pockets.  I have found this to be more meaningful to them rather than whether or not you have your Masters or PHd.

        1. sophia

          @Stacy,

          I agree with your first sentence. Yet, as I stated above, I’m referring to “the men I’ve dated”. These guys had wives who stayed home to raise kids (and the men wanted them to), yet, apparently, when they kids grew up and out, these men found nothing in common anymore with their wives- who still stayed home. And it is apparently this last part that doesn’t go over so well in marriages (among other things).

          For the record, I had the best of both worlds- worked part-time (nirvana, really) and stayed home part-time, so I see the value in both and am not interested in getting into which is “better” (neither).  Just stating my own personal experience above, which is all anyone on this site can do UNLESS one has conducted formal studies on this very topic. And in my own personal experience (kindly note), the guys I’ve dated have wanted intelligent women and have voiced this to me. (it’s not about the degree, I concur there, but it is more than just being able to support oneself). Quite interesting….

    3. 17.3
      GoWiththeFlow

      Stacy,

      When a man chooses to be with you, he is with a hot financial professional, not a hot welfare and food stamp recipient.

      A high earning man, to use John’s example from 10.6, “won’t care” whether he’s with a school teacher who makes $60,000 a year or a woman who earns the same or more than he does.  The point here is he’s with a college educated teacher who makes a solid, above the mean salary (and if she lives in CA owns a unicorn that is a defined benefit retirement pension) and not a minimum wage cashier at a fast food restaurant.  Men “don’t care” within a framework.  That framework being that there is a set financial minimum expectation (and in general higher education levels mean higher earning levels) that the woman must meet to be considered seriously for an LTR or marriage.

      So in a sense, they DO care.

      1. 17.3.1
        Stacy

        @GoWiththeFlow,

        You went to the extreme on the spectrum when you talked about welfare and food stamp recipients.  There are a LOT of values between welfare recipient and rich.No one is purporting (at least I am not) that men have absolutely NO standards when it comes to education. Most (at least I would think) would not go out of their way to choose welfare recipients as ideal for mating (no offense to those on welfare but it just is true). And for most professionals, it’s just an entirely different social circle altogether. So of course there is a framework.  But I guarantee you that as long as she graduates high school and has a ‘good’ job, most men will work with this if she is hot enough, intelligent enough and doesn’t always need to ask him for money (although I have dated some men who seemed disappointed that I wasn’t this way as ironic as that sounds).

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Stacy,

          When a man says he “does not care” about a woman’s education or job, that he prizes attraction and “fun to be with” above all else, then a sweet beautiful welfare recipient would truly be in his wheelhouse.  “Does not care” means “does not care” not “does not care, but (add qualifiers here)”

          Tom10 is entirely correct.  The empirical evidence shows that people engage in assertive mating.  In fact, the trend has accelerated over the past few decades.  People strongly tend to marry people who are within a few years of their age, of the same educational and socioeconomic status.  That is scientific fact.

          Where this process falls between subconscious and deliberate behavior is the question.  So men who say they truly “don’t care” about a potential partner’s education or financial status are either completely unaware of their own subconscious motivations, or they are being disingenuous when they are stating “does not care.”

          As for the “running in the same social circles” argument, that winding up with someone of the same age and SE status is an accident of who you hang around with, the prevalence of OLD undermines that argument.  Surgeons, wall street traders, and attorneys interact with secretaries, cashiers, waitresses, etc., every day, and many of them are perfectly sweet, lovable, and attractive. Yet they marry from their “social circle” probably because they are choosing their social circle for some of the same conscious and subconscious reasons that they choose their spouse.

        2. KK

          Hi GWTF,

          Okay. Let’s say men DO care, whether they claim to or not. How high (in your opinion) is it on their list of priorities? You’re an MD, right? If equal education, financial status, etc are a top priority wouldn’t you have male MD’s falling all over themselves to make you their wife? I’m not trying to be rude or mean- spirited. I’m trying to figure out how you’ve come to your conclusions despite your own personal experience. Maybe I’m confusing you with someone else. Maybe you married a fellow MD right out of school or at some other point in time. Maybe you have scores of doctors proposing to you and they don’t meet your standards. Who knows.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          I addressed this in my comment to Stacy above, we must have both been typing simultaneously 😉

          First no offense taken at all.

          “I’m trying to figure out how you’ve come to your conclusions despite your own personal experience.”

          Not getting how you think my conclusions are DESPITE my own experiences.  Can you elaborate on this?

          It’s erroneous to believe that the only socio-economic equal of a doctor is another doctor.  (Although 50% of female doctors do marry male doctors) My personal experience is that I have dated other doctors, as well as attorneys, engineers, small business owners, accountants, medical sales reps, teachers, a manager for a restaurant group, a contractor, and men in middle management in various companies.

          A few were set ups, but the rest were men that approached me either through OLD or IRL.  Most had bachelor’s degrees.  The  few that didn’t had specialized knowledge and training.  We are all part of this thing called the middle class.  Some may be on the upper end of that category, but we all have to work for a living, live within a budget, and can’t buy everything we want.

          In a comment thread upstream it was implied that that a $100k/yr male doctor who married a $60k/yr teacher was “marrying down.”  This is so not true!  The reality is that he married a college educated professional woman who’s salary is above the mean.

          Maybe people are over focused on the $40k/yr pay gap and assuming that means a huge jump in socio-economic status categories.  While that extra money is great to have, it still leaves a person in the middle class.  They still have to get up in the morning and go to work.  They don’t get to retire to their yacht and manage their investment portfolios via their satellite internet hook up while ordering a Dolce & Gabbana ball gown for the charity event they are hosting at their estate on Lake Como.

          In that same comment stream a doctor-waitress pairing was deemed ridiculous, and on this thread, a man dating a woman on welfare was called “extreme.”  Why?  If men truly “do not care” about a woman’s educational/financial status, then as long as these women are beautiful and pleasant they should be considered great catches.  Maybe these are considered ridiculous and extreme pairings because the men would be crossing socioeconomic class lines.  As statistics show, people engage in assortive mating and rarely cross class lines.

          As I stated in my comment to Stacy, I believe this is largely subconscious and entirely consistent with our biological and evolutionary imperative to seek a survivability advantage over others.  The more social status and financial assets a family economic unit has, the greater their chances are of passing on a survivability edge to their children and grandchildren.

          So a man marries an R.N. instead of an M.D. and believes he did not consider education and occupation when making his choice.  Except he did, because he married an educated professional from within his own own socio-economic strata level:  The middle class.

          As far as attraction and a pleasant demeanor go, that is required up front (for both sexes) but once that level is cleared, there is a lot brewing under the surface that ultimately leads to whether or not they marry.

        4. Chance

          GWTF, as a man who does care what a woman makes, I wish what you are saying is true.  However, sadly, this has not proven to be the case in my experience.  Many of my co-workers and friends would not be with their current partners if they cared about their earnings potential.  Most of my co-workers are men, and many of them have SAH wives.  In a surprising number of these situations, there are no kids at home (or even kids at all).  Therefore, I don’t think that the men here are “trying to put women in their place” by stating that they don’t care about how much a woman makes.

           

          As it relates to “not caring within a framework”  (i.e., as long as the woman earns a certain minimum amount), it is possible that there is some this going on.  However, I don’t think these men are planning with prudence (depending on the income differential).  Since our anonymity is assumed through the use of our online handles, I’ll use myself as an example.  I am in the top 4% of income earners for people my age.  If I were married to, and had children with, someone who made a third of what I make (which would still be above the mean), I would actually prefer that she not work and instead spend her time cooking and keeping a home for me while I provided for the family.  Reason being:  if she works, I am still essentially doing most of the providing, but we would still have to divide all of the household tasks 50/50.  The supplemental income that she provides would not be worth what I would be receiving from her if she stayed at home (especially when one considers the additional daycare expenses and the fact that I would pretty much still have the same provisional burden if she were to remain employed).

        5. KK

          Hi GWTF,

          What I’m trying to get at, without coming across as rude or insensitive is as follows: You’re 49. You’re single, never married, but have expressed a desire to be married. (Again, if I’m confusing you with someone else, I apologize. For some reason. I get you and Emily mixed up sometimes).

          Anyhow, if those facts are true, what’s the problem? If men care so much about socioeconomic equality, wouldn’t you be a hot commodity for a fellow doctor? To be clear, I’m not implying other professionals wouldn’t be your equal. I just used doctor as an example since I would think you come in contact with plenty of male doctors on a regular basis. Not knowing where you work (hospital, private practice, etc), that might be an incorrect assumption. But surely in medical school, right? Why haven’t you snatched up an available doctor (or lawyer or accountant) yet?

        6. Stacy2

          @KK:

          What I’m trying to get at, without coming across as rude or insensitive is as follows:

          Don’t you just love it when people preface condescending statements by “i am not trying to be condescending?” LOL.

          I am sure GWT can answer for herself, but you should know that your comment reads exactly as it was intended to – snarky and petty. Not to mention, quite dumb (attempting to refute statistical and logical argument with an anecdote and a personal attack)? It actually also reveals more about you than you may even realize, namely that you’re hugely insecure about your own lack of professional accomplishment and need to join forces with certain men to knock down professional women and de-value the huge part of their personality which comes from their educational and professional efforts and challenges. Sad, really. 

        7. KK

          Stacy2,

          “Don’t you just love it when people preface condescending statements by “i am not trying to be condescending?” LOL.”

          Asking a very legitimate question, knowing it could be taken the wrong way and prefacing it in hopes it won’t be taken the wrong way isn’t condescending.

          “I am sure GWT can answer for herself, but you should know that your comment reads exactly as it was intended to – snarky and petty. Not to mention, quite dumb (attempting to refute statistical and logical argument with an anecdote and a personal attack)?”

          That wasn’t my intention at all. Nor dumb. In fact, oh wise one, (snark intended) you agree that most men don’t care about a woman’s occupation first and foremost. Furthermore, where was this personal attack you speak of? You’re projecting again, dear.

          “It actually also reveals more about you than you may even realize, namely that you’re hugely insecure about your own lack of professional accomplishment and need to join forces with certain men to knock down professional women and de-value the huge part of their personality which comes from their educational and professional efforts and challenges. Sad, really”

          You sure read a lot into things. My choices in life have been intentional. Starting over at 40 has been challenging, but even if I could go back in time and make different choices in terms of career, I wouldn’t. Living alone in NYC as a career woman was never a goal of mine.

          To use a similar analogy as yours in response to mgm351: If you’ve applied for the same job for 20 – 30 years and are still unemployed AND you claim you know the secret to getting hired, common sense would say hmmm, maybe you’re wrong about your secret. That’s what I was attempting to understand. Knowing the subject is sometimes a sensitive one for some people, I took that into consideration. It was in no way meant to be a personal attack. Project your nastiness on someone else.

        8. Stacy2

          @KK

          Furthermore, where was this personal attack you speak of? You’re projecting again, dear.

          Oh puhleeeaase. Your “if you’re so valuable how come you’ve never been married at 49” is a very thinly veiled personal attack. I don’t even know what you’re so hard trying to disguise it as, but whatever it is you’re not fooling anyone. Why somebody is or is not married doesn’t mean anything. The assortative mating is a statistical fact. Deal with it. I am in complete agreement with GWTF & co, the only question is to what degree this process is  conscious vs. innate/subconscious.

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          “Anyhow, if those facts are true, what’s the problem? If men care so much about socioeconomic equality, wouldn’t you be a hot commodity for a fellow doctor? “

          You are using the example of one individual to try and refute population based behavioral statistics.  Maybe because you don’t like what those statistics reveal?

          No I am not married, despite the fact that college educated women get married at a higher rate than  non-college educated women.  (They are also less likely to divorce and their kids are more likely to graduate college as well.)

          I also had a baby when I was an unmarried teenager.  That kid is now a college educated professional who is a wonderful father to two kids.  I went on to finish my education and have a very comfortable lifestyle.  Statistics tell us that having a baby when you are young and unmarried, more often than not, leads to bad outcomes.  Just because things turned out okay in my situation doesn’t mean those statics aren’t true.  Same for me being an unmarried female doctor.  Just because I’m single, doesn’t change the fact that educated women are more likely than their uneducated sisters to get and stay married. At my recent med school class 20 year reunion (and there was a majority of women in my graduating year) I was the only woman who had never married.  On the guy side, 4 of my male classmates never married, and no they’re not gay.

          Some people are going to be on the side of a statistical divide they don’t want to be on.  The reasons I’m not married are varied and many.  A mixture of some unfortunate choices, poor timing, and bad luck.  But, the upside is that I did make some good choices and had luck break my way a few times, and I didn’t marry someone where the marriage would be doomed from the outset out of loneliness, fear, or desperation.  There’s little upside in creating a bad marriage and a resultant hellish divorce.

        10. KK

          Stacy2,

          Your insistence that my comment was meant as a personal attack is wrong and pretty odd, quite frankly. You of all people who attack others without provocation seem to be trying really hard to ensenuate I’m doing the same. In your first comment, you accused me of personally attacking GWTF and then personally attacked me. Lol. Hypocritical much? I reserve my personal attacks for those who personally attack me first. Petty, I know. I’m a flawed creature.

          “The assortative mating is a statistical fact. Deal with it. I am in complete agreement with GWTF & co”

          Well, that’s a rather fast and fascinating 180 you did there since one of your earlier comments was: “Whether your life is a complete trainwreck and you can’t support yourself or you’re a CEO of your own company who has her shit together and owns 5 homes- they don’t care one way or another so long as you are “hot” and “fun to be with”. 

        11. KK

          Hi GWTF,

          “You are using the example of one individual to try and refute population based behavioral statistics.”

          Not exactly. I haven’t actually seen those statistics. I’ve read articles claiming that assortative mating has increased by 40- ish% since the 50’s. I find that very believable. But those stats don’t mean it’s happening in the majority of marriages. I’d love to see actual statistics; not an article on it.

          “Maybe because you don’t like what those statistics reveal?”

          Why would it affect me one way or the other? If I choose to remarry someday, whether I end up with my college educated, financial equal or someone with more education and financial success isn’t a big issue for me. Honestly, being college educated isn’t even a requirement, although intelligence is.

        12. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Chance,

          I think one thing that may be going on is that, overall, women as a group have much higher education/income standards for potential mates than men as a group have for women.  In comparison to the expectations of women, men’s are much lower, and it is little noticed.  Plus since there is such a negative connotation attached to women desiring highly educated, high earning men, that’s a powerful psychological incentive for men to dismiss the idea that they have a socioeconomic bar a woman must clear before she’s considered wife material.  They don’t want to be seen as being shallow.

          I completely understand when you say how the pros/cons evaluation changes about having a SAH spouse when one of the partners is at the high upper end of the earning scale.  I have a friend and colleague, two years behind me out of residency training, who’s husband became a SAHD when they moved to a new state for her to start her first job.  He is an engineer, and even though he made an above average income, it was a fraction of what her full time earning potential was.  They both said that in the face of that economic reality, any qualms or feelings about “should be” when it came to traditional gender roles went right out the window.

          Unlike my friend, my son is a teacher who makes ~$50K a year.  For him, getting married to another teacher would mean that, together, the have a yearly income of $100k.  That would let them afford a “step up” house, a yearly vacation, and the ability to save for retirement and kids’ college.  If he married a part-time cashier at Walmart with a GED who made $12,000/year (and Walmart intentionally keeps most employees on a part time status) that $62K a year isn’t going to let them see, as a couple, much as a bump up in financial status.

          For men in the big middle zone of income earners, economics provides a powerful incentive to marry a wife with an education/special skill training and the resultant higher earning potential.  The $70k my friend’s engineer hubby could contribute to the household income when she was bringing in $450k a year is way less impactful that when two teachers combine $50k each to their combined household.

          Since you are in the top 4% of earners, I assume that your co-workers have very high incomes as well (?)  I wonder what their now SAH wives were doing when they started dating. Did they meet in college or grad school?  Did they meet when they both worked in the same department at work?  I wonder because it’s been put out there by some commenters on this post that “career” women are less likely to do a stay at home mom stint (and it’s usually for a finite time period, not a lifetime) than women with lower earning jobs.  I don’t think this is necessarily true.  A higher earning woman who has a few years of work and savings under her belt may be in a better position to step out of the workforce for a few years to take care of the kids.

          Also, men don’t marry stay at home wives.  She becomes that at some point after they marry.  What was the wife doing from the point where she met her husband until the time they married and then they decided she would stay home?  Just because a man is currently married to a SAHW doesn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t concerned about her SES when they were dating.

          As always, Chance, your comments are thought provoking!

           

        13. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          For someone who says whether assortive mating is prevalent or not is relevant to you, you sure did go over the top with the negative in your question to me.  A simple, “You’re a doctor and single, how does that fit in with your contention that assortive mating is the norm and men do consider a woman’s education level and financial status when looking for a spouse?” would have been appropriate.  Your tone and word choice indicates there is something about the subject that is getting to you.

        14. KK

          GWTF,

          My opinion on the subject is just that. My opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. Just like yours. I don’t take issue with you having a different opinion. Asking questions or stating anecdotal experience is really the only thing anyone can offer because the evidence that you claim backs your opinion only shows a 40 – 45% increase in assortative mating since the 50s. What I took issue with is the illogical conclusions you came up with by claiming that you know the subconscious desires of men. You didn’t say maybe it’s this or maybe it’s that. So I asked you how you could possibly know that and you said that what they claim to want and what they end up getting don’t match up. Well, there’s a number of possibilities for that and you’re completely overlooking men whose actions do match their words, in this regard. That’s what had me baffled. We can draw conclusions or suggest any number of possibilities on any number of topics, but to claim you know anyone else’s subconscious thoughts or desires is over the top, in my opinion. It’s certainly a possibility; but only one of many. I can only imagine a male commenter claiming to know women’s subconscious desires on here and the reaction it would receive!!! Ha!!!

          Having said all that, it still was never my intention to offend you by my questions, but I see that I did and I apologize.

           

        15. Chance

          Hi GWTF,

           

          I agree that women likely have higher education and income standards than men.  However, I don’t think that I’ve experienced anything that would support your second point in your first paragraph.  I’m not saying that you’re wrong, though.  Also, I think that the desire to be paired with someone who is educated and earns a reasonable living is considered by society to be an appropriate and respectable desire, and definitely not shallow.  I think what is considered shallow (and hypocritical, in many cases) is the desire and expectation to be with someone who is more educated and earns more money, but the vast majority of men wouldn’t have that expectation so I don’t think the psychological incentive (to dismiss any notion of a minimum educational/income requirement) would be present.

           

          Agree with the rest of your  points all the way down to your questions.

           

          Had to think a bit about your questions, and I can’t really identify a trend as it relates to the men with SAHWs.  In short, some of the examples would support your theory and some of the examples would support mine.  There are situations where it was determined that the wife would stay at home from day one, and there are situations where the wife had a job (some more on the administrative side and some more “professional”).  There is even one situation where the wife actually made more, but unilaterally decided to quit her job and stay home when she got pregnant!

           

          With all that said, I do agree with you in that assortative mating exists.  I just don’t know if it is due to men preferring women with similar educational backgrounds and earnings potential.  My guess is that it has to do more with the fact that we tend to be surrounded by people of similar backgrounds during our upbringing, and this intensifies after high school graduation.  In addition, it could also be that educated and/or higher earning men can’t relate to the lifestyle and behavior in people who are from much less affluent backgrounds, and therefore, are less attracted to these women.  Furthermore, more educated/higher earning men can (generally) attract more attractive women, but people from poorer backgrounds (generally) are less attractive.  So, there may be a correlation between the income/education level of women and their attractiveness to men, but I can’t really see that the income/education level is the cause of that attraction or lack of.

           

          Finally, I have no anecdotes to draw from, but I would think (and certainly hope) that 50-something+ men would take a woman’s earnings potential and saving/investing habits into strong consideration when choosing mate.  The way I see it, it isn’t fair for someone in that age range who hasn’t saved properly to expect to be with someone who has saved and invested properly.  If someone at that age hasn’t accumulated anything in the past 30+ years, then he/she shouldn’t expect to be with anyone who has managed his/her money any better.  Therefore, I would think that you should have a distinct advantage as it relates to attracting a responsible and successful man 🙂

  18. 18
    John

    Stacy

    You are correct. Thanks for giving your testimonial. I am sure you will here from those on this blog that wished that men cared about that stuff. Giving guys what the want instead what they SHOULD want is the best strategy to snag a great guy.

  19. 19
    N

    My beau put it this way, the woman needs to be hot and likes sex, fun and easy going, with minimal drama.

    To which I bantered, what about my hot brains and education? 🙂 They are nice but not as important as hotness and sex drive, he quipped.

    He plans and pays for everything– meals, entertainment, trips, presents, gas in my car, weekly flowers, etcetera. He does this voluntarily. Perhaps for him this is part of his courtship process. I allow him to do all this right now and I’m enjoying every moment. He enjoys nice presents too!

    That said, I know going into long term relationship (we’ve been together 6 months and he has talked about future engagement.. moving in) it’s only fair that I contribute to the household and our lifestyle.

    Going back to the topic at hand, albeit, my beau has not talked about the importance of my job openly (I’m a C-level executive), I don’t think it is my income per se that’s significant but my ability to support myself and us (someday) in the event that something happens to him. Right now, he doesn’t put much weight on how much I make since I can support myself and he can support our lifestyle.

  20. 20
    Stacy

    @sophia,

    I think we’re saying the same thing actually and agree with one another (just from different angles).

  21. 21
    Wyatt Dick

    These forums have a tendency to become way to binary: Women aren’t as visual as men, so some men will say they aren’t visual at all. Other women will respond that women are just as visual as men. The truth lies in the middle, as it so often does.

    The same is true when it comes to men and a women’s income and education. Men clearly don’t (at the moment) care as much about these things as women. But that doesn’t mean that men don’t care at all. The truth lies in the middle–though it’s safe to say that in this case the difference is greater than is the case with physical appearance. Women care a lot more about physical appearance than men care about education and income. Nevertheless, it is a factor (to some extent) for many men.

    In the OP’s case, Evan is right. All things considered, she should date. That being said, I do think that there is nothing wrong with taking a dating pause to improve oneself, even though this goes against the grain of a lot of conventional dating advice. If the OP’s problem were that she had gained 50 pounds–something that men DO care about–I’d say she should lose the weight before dating if she honestly feels that she is the kind of person who could lose the weight. (I’d say the same thing to a man as women care a lot about a man’s weight too.) Similarly, if a man were in the OP’s position, I might suggest he get his stuff together before dating as well. Women do care about men’s income.

    The dating world is a mess right now. But it is what it is. We are all shallow and superficial (or at least the vast majority of us). And it’s getting worse every day. If you aren’t happy dating people who are considered your ‘match’ in today’s sexual market, then you honestly should take a beat and ‘fix’ yourself first.

  22. 22
    John

    It’s been interesting reading the comments.

    My original comment way back at the beginning of this thread set off a firestorm of opinions for and against the assertion that men don’t care what women do for a living, how much money they make and advanced degrees.

    I’ve never really thought about it too much why I feel this way. Upon analyzing my thinking, I see that I don’t look to a woman as a provider. It’s as simple as that. I know it’s not very politically correct, but that’s how I see it. And by the way, I’ve never dated a welfare recipient.

    Most women I’ve dated or  been in a relationship with have had more of an education and I do, but I earned a higher income than all of my better-educated ex-gfs.

    Most of my friends are blue or white color business owners; not highly educated professionals.

    I think this blog is full of highly -educated professionals. Therefore, your opinions and experiences will be different than mine.

    I’m more of a self-taught guy who became successful in an unorthodox way.  I also live in a more rural area of the United States and don’t have the big city expenses.

    You could say I have a Ph.D in the school of hard knocks.

    1. 22.1
      KK

      Hi John,

      I think your original comment was taken too literally judging by some of the responses. When you said you didn’t care how much a woman makes, I knew what you meant. I was pretty sure you weren’t implying you’d date an attractive, homeless woman. It’s similar to a woman saying that personality is important, not looks. I don’t interpret that as a willingness to date Shrek. Lol.

      1. 22.1.1
        Christine

        KK, even Shrek eventually found a woman willing to date and marry him, LOL!  (and a princess, at that!) Maybe there really is a lid for every pot!

        I know what you mean about black and white thinking.  People aren’t all or nothing, but have varying degrees of certain qualities.

         

  23. 23
    fromkin

    “I would think (and certainly hope) that 50-something+ men would take a woman’s earnings potential and saving/investing habits into strong consideration when choosing mate.  The way I see it, it isn’t fair …”

     

    Let’s see. A good chunk of the 50-year-old women online aren’t even trying: frowning into webcam vs. smiling, androgynous short hair, doing their best to look old. A good chunk are fat. Of the ones who are left, half say, most are holding out for the One. I like AAORK’s classification of the prince-seekers into the Fund Me, Rescue Me, and Token Accessory groups. That last group is particularly large; they just won’t make the time, and experience shows I cannot convince them to. These women eliminate themselves from consideration.

    So who is left, and do I care about her earning potential, or do I care how she looks in a dress? Trick question. As Stacy pointed out, I care how she looks, plus I do care about her personality. And I care about her interest in sex.

    So her investments? Not a consideration. Fair? I don’t understand.

     

     

     

  24. 24
    Robert

    My advice to the OP, regardless of where she lives, is to spend some time alone and take care of herself and resolve her own issues with regard to who she chose as a husband. I doubt he suddenly began acting out. Some people have this idea you can change people–you can’t. They are what they are. Even bad boys grow up on their own once they’ve had their fun–if they don’t, they have a problem upstairs.

    As it stands you’re not really in a place that affords an adult relationship. At 21 I would not have dated a girl who was living at home. Tried it once at 22-23 and it was a nightmare. Father’s are father’s and they can’t help themselves. Instead, take this time to get yourself together. Become finically stable and independent and then move out and then start dating. I think you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.

  25. 25
    Robert

    I’ve read through, as a means of taking my mind off work at times, an awful lot of comments on this board over a long period of time without ever responding to any of them. So, let me make some observations from someone who’s background is likely very very different from the rest of you.

    I come from more than ten generations of college educated people on father’s side. My mother was a receptionist raised in a catholic orphanage and worked for my grandfather. Both had movie star looks. Usually money married money but not always. Depends on the personalities of the people involved. My father did not care. He loved her for her wit and her looks.

    That being said, bit men and women who are wealthy care less about what their partner makes than middle class and social climbers care. When everyone you know has money–and I’m not speaking about a “good job”–I’m referring to real money, money ceases to matter much. What matters is who you are as a person–which includes etiquette or lack thereof. Education and intelligence are very important–as is wit at the dinner table. The rick do t become educated to get a job, they become educated to be interesting.

    I married two heiresses in my lifetime. Both were homecoming queens and cheerleaders. Both blue eyed blondes. Almost all the women I dated were, as they say “cut from the same cloth”. They stood apart from the other due to the wit and personal, electrical personalality of the one, and the simple grace and charm of the other. Both were intelligent. Liked the father of the one immensely and he I. The other, I disliked intensely. No need for prenups when everyone has a trust fund.

    Within the Middle lower classes I have noticed a tendency on one hand not to care about a woman’s education and earning potential. That’s very short sighted. And on the other hand, to place too much emphasis on it. I’d be more concerned with her intelligence first and foremost and looks a close second. No one wants to have stupid children that are unattractive. Let’s face it, life is a whole lot easier the better looking one is and the more intelligent you are the easier it is to navigate society.

    Like it or not, we are 80% nature and 20% nurture. You may not like that, but that is where modern science is now at. Anyone who tells you differently is living in the 70’s. And, by the way, the rich have always known this–hence the terms “well bred” , “good stock” and “from a good family”. Even the wealthy recognize problematic families in their midst.

  26. 26
    Robert

    One more for the road directed at Stacy and GWTF, more or less. Two or three things my lawyer/mentor said to me following my mother’s death.

    1) “you can fall in love with a rich girl just as easily as a poor one”

    2) you can marry more money in 10 minutes than you can earn in a lifetime.”

    3) “you’re a good looking young man with a good family name–don’t waste it.”

    A man’s decision of what matters all depends upon his background and acculturation. And yes, “Virginia”, there are men who can play the same games that women do. It’s rather fun place to be in life.

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