I’m Feeling Inferior to My Successful Girlfriend and Don’t Know What to Do.

I’ve been seeing this lady for the last 2 months. She’s funny, intelligent, educated and has money. She runs her own coffee place with her brother. Her family has had businesses in the past so I assume she’s relatively wealthy. She’s attractive, not beautiful. I’ve always been drawn to brunettes (she’s blonde) but I find her confidence and drive attractive. And even though I’ve dated more attractive women in the past, my main focus is whether there is: mutual respect and admiration; shared values; common interests; chemistry and passion and the way she makes you feel.

Things are going well. She likes me and I like her. She’s a really great kisser with plenty of sex appeal. We get along well and the conversation flows nicely. We’re both around the same age. I’m 47 and she’s 44. She married at 27 and divorced 3 years later. She has no kids. I have no kids either. She said her ex-husband was very money hungry and a very jealous person.

She likes eating out at nice restaurants, art and interior designing. She has a nice place and drives a nice Mercedes. She offers to pay on most of our dates and has probably paid the majority of them.

As for myself, I have my own place, have a job that pays okay and I’m happy. I’ve never been super ambitious. I like to travel and have fun. I work to live as they say. I come from a working class background and have never been concerned about being rich. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be poor either but I’m not obsessed by money.

My issue is that I feel inferior to her. She makes much more money than I do and her family is from a business background but mine are working class. I often feel she’d be more suited to a businessman.

Am I overthinking this? Does she sound like a good catch to you?

Should I tell her I feel inferior? (I don’t want to).

Because I’m asking you all these questions, does this mean I’m not sure and I should end it?

I want a woman to accept me for who I am. I don’t want anyone to change me. She hasn’t given me any indication that she wants me to change. A few weeks ago, she asked me about my aspirations regarding work and I told her I’m not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. There was no positive reaction nor a negative one.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a long-term relationship so maybe I’m coming up with excuses not to.

Thank you for any words of wisdom you care to share.
Matt

I appreciate your question, Matt, and I’m sure all the women here appreciate it as well.

You actually said so much in your question that there’s not all that much for me to answer.

For our regular readers, I would guess that Matt is a pretty fair approximation of what regular guys feel around successful women. Not overly intimidated. Not impossibly fearful.

What determines our success in life is how we rise to face it [fear].

Matt feels the normal insecurities that come from a society in which men are still expected to be wealthier and more ambitious, despite the fact that women are more educated on the whole.

Your issues, Matt, don’t stem from anything surrounding her.

They’re really all about you.

Essentially, I’m asking you to make a decision: are you happy with who you are?

If so, you’re not inferior to her.

She’s not with you for your money. She’s with you because you’re a good, happy, authentic guy who treats her well despite the fact that he’s not made of money. Period.

The only thing that can drive her away are your own insecurities.

Appreciate her for her intellect, drive and generosity, but don’t dwell on it.

Fear is a very powerful thing. We all have it. What determines our success in life is how we rise to face it. Are we courageous? Or do we let fear win and conquer us?

You have a tremendous opportunity here to be a working-class hero. Make her feel safe, heard and understood. Appreciate her for her intellect, drive and generosity, but don’t dwell on it.

You are a catch. You are good enough.

If you believe it, I can almost guarantee you, so will she.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    This is a tough question because we don’t know you or her, and many variables are involved.  Leaving aside the question of what this woman is looking for in a man (which you don’t really know), let’s focus on something that you CAN know.  What does “masculinity” mean to you?  When you think of what traits you want a woman to admire you for, what traits come to your mind?
    For some men, it is income and education.  For other men it is their physical body.  For others it is their creativity and craftsmanship.  For others it is their idealism or their spontaneity.  There are as many answers to this question as there are men, OP, so which is it for you?

     

    I ask because whatever you believe it is about you that makes you “masculine” is generally what you will want a woman to admire and appreciate you for.  And if, in your heart of hearts, you believe it is your income, you won’t ultimately be happy with a woman who makes more than you.  But if, in your heart of hearts it is not your income but rather something else, and particularly something that you believe this particular woman can genuinely admire you for (and not just accept in you), then this relationship has a good chance of working from your perspective.

  2. 2
    Yet Another Guy

    I can draw parallels from my own background.  I am also from a somewhat working class family.  I joined the United States Navy straight out of high school (the enlisted ranks and the officer corps are dominated by people who grew up in the lower middle class).  I was trained in software engineering by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a member of the Central Security Service (Naval Security Group) at a time when very few people had ever seen a computer.   I wound up working in a field that was dominated by college graduates, many of whom attended prestigious engineering universities such as Carnegie-Mellon, Caltech, and MIT.  I spent most of my early career playing catch up with respect to education, and it affected my self-worth.  One day, I woke up and something just clicked.  I realized that there was no shame in starting where I started.  I had beaten the odds.  I had managed earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in a difficult discipline while working full-time, becoming the first man in my family to graduate from college in the process. My children would know privilege that I only dreamed about as a child.

    I guess what I am attempting to say here is that you should never cut yourself short.   My father always used to say, “A man can only advance so far from where he started.”  For most people, that adage is absolutely true because where we born within a social hierarchy plays a huge role in what we are able to achieve as adults.  Privilege does in fact breed privilege because privilege opens doors that are closed to those from non-privileged backgrounds.  Just because you come from a working class background does not mean that you are not worthy of something better.  In my case, I was not willing to have doors shut in my face.  I was smarter than average bear and I absolutely knew it after holding my own in NSA’s R Group (their research and engineering wing).  A few very smart MS and Ph.D. holding senior scientists and engineers at NSA recognized my potential and groomed me (they referred to me as their diamond in the rough).  I had to overcome the fact that I did not have the support that most of my professional peers enjoyed when they were younger.  You have to overcome the fact that your background as a child does not have to dictate your future as an adult.  You need to learn to take what is rightfully yours without question when it is offered.  That is what privilege teaches a man.

    1. 2.1
      Yet Another Guy

      *where we are born

    2. 2.2
      J

      This is a really good reply. I enjoyed reading it. You are quite correct and so is your father with his adage!

  3. 3
    Christine

    This is more about Matt than her.  He said that her ex-husband was “very money hungry”.  From the fact that she divorced him three years later, that shows “money hungry” doesn’t work for her.  If anything, she might like that Matt isn’t “money hungry”–so she can avoid repeating that same mistake she made with her ex.

    The only way I see this as an issue is if she is unhappy and wanted him to change.  However, there is nothing indicating that she’s doing that.

    I know plenty of happily married couples where the lady makes a lot more than the man.  It’s never been a problem because they don’t make it one.  I think Matt should enjoy this relationship for what it is, and stop trying to create a problem that doesn’t exist.

     

  4. 4
    ScottH

    Boy, I was Matt once.  I met her online.  She was beautiful and smart and we got along fabulously.  She made 2 or 3 times what I made and when I commented to her about my little house, she told me that she didn’t want to hear talk like that.  I really liked her.  She made me feel like a $1M when we were together and she told me over and over how much she really liked me.  She even told me how she would tell her family about how much she liked me and how happy I made her.  I did pay a lot more for dates than she did and it started to bother me.  But it came to a sudden end.  I’m not sure because the breakup was very strange but I think one of the reasons she had was that she needed someone who made a significant amount of money.  Her business was a bit rocky and I think she was scared for her financial security, but like I said, it wasn’t clear.  And I was definitely a rebound guy and she had all kinds of other emotional issues.

    Matt- your lady might not have all the baggage that mine had and I would strongly suggest that you stop worrying about how much more she makes.  Just enjoy the ride and get to know her.  I’d be very careful to look for red flags but trust that if she’s with you, it’s because she wants to be.   the fact that she’s paying is a really good sign but I’d be sure to pay your fair share or more.   I was very careful not to be insecure with mine and I trusted that if she was with me, it was because she wanted to be.  That made me good enough for her.  Hell, I really was good enough for her regardless but that is how I felt comfortable around her.  Mine was a lot about money and status and I am not that way, even though I am from a pretty good pedigree, so we did have that disconnect.   See how it goes.  You might just have a real winner on your hands and it would be foolish to through it all away because of your insecurity.  One more thing- when she talks about other people, what does she say?  Does she talk about how much money they make and how big their houses are?  if so, that’s a big red flag to me.  Does she talk about nice things?  Does she say condescending things to you, like about your possessions?  if so, watch out.

    1. 4.1
      ScottH

      throw it all away.  not though.

  5. 5
    Bob

     

    This is a good post not just because it’s relevant now but because it will be increasingly so in years and decades ahead as women continue to outperform men academically, esp in college, and because career market forecasters expect the emerging higher-paying jobs to favor women over men…

    I’ve been seeing this lady for the last 2 months. She’s funny, intelligent, educated and has money. She runs her own coffee place with her brother. Her family has had businesses in the past so I assume she’s relatively wealthy. She’s attractive, not beautiful. I’ve always been drawn to brunettes (she’s blonde) but I find her confidence and drive attractive. And even though I’ve dated more attractive women in the past, my main focus is whether there is: mutual respect and admiration; shared values; common interests; chemistry and passion and the way she makes you feel.

    Sooooo……. do you two have sex?

    I get the impression that you two either aren’t there yet, won’t get there or that you’re too proper to mention it.

    Sex is a BIG part of a relationship because it tells you:

    if she’s attracted to you at all
    HOW attracted to you she is
    if she respects you
    if she trusts you

    Things are going well. She likes me and I like her. She’s a really great kisser with plenty of sex appeal. We get along well and the conversation flows nicely. We’re both around the same age. I’m 47 and she’s 44. She married at 27 and divorced 3 years later. She has no kids. I have no kids either. She said her ex-husband was very money hungry and a very jealous person.

    So kids aren’t a consideration, esp a ticking biological clock, which takes a lot of pressure off.

    If anything, it takes ANY pressure off because she doesn’t need a man in any way, shape or form.

    Thus, any relationship she forms with anyone is purely out of her desire to do so.

    She likes eating out at nice restaurants, art and interior designing. She has a nice place and drives a nice Mercedes. She offers to pay on most of our dates and has probably paid the majority of them.

    The last sentence is HUGE because it shows that she wants to do certain things in certain ways- she wants to eat out, and not at Denny’s, but at Chez Expensive- and of course she’d like for you to pay but if you can’t, then she’ll pay, the alternative being that she doesn’t eat at Chez Expensive with you at all, and she doesn’t want that alternative. She wants to eat at Chez Expensive with you.

    As for myself, I have my own place, have a job that pays okay and I’m happy. I’ve never been super ambitious. I like to travel and have fun. I work to live as they say. I come from a working class background and have never been concerned about being rich. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be poor either but I’m not obsessed by money.

    This means a lot.

    you’re self-supporting so she won’t have to take care of you. Women generally want a man who earns more but if they can’t get that, some women will take a man who, at the very least, she doesn’t have to support as she would a child.
    your lack of ambition- yes, I’m stating that plainly- has its upsides, which might include your agreeableness, your empathy, your humility, all of which a lot of ambitious men do not have, as she has found, because she has dated them, even married one, and didn’t like them

    My issue is that I feel inferior to her. She makes much more money than I do and her family is from a business background but mine are working class. I often feel she’d be more suited to a businessman.

    There’s the problem. YOU need to let HER decide what she’s suited to or not.

    Don’t just make that decision for her.

    Am I overthinking this?

    You’re not overthinking this. Men are still expected to earn more and to generally impress a woman.

    Does she sound like a good catch to you?

    Wrong terminology. She doesn’t have to be a good or a bad catch. Rather, she’s either a good match for you or she’s not.

    Should I tell her I feel inferior? (I don’t want to).

    Not flatly, but you can broach your concerns.

    My thought is to approach it something like this:

    “I enjoy spending time with you and the more I do so, the more I want to. I think that I might develop feelings for you and might want to be more than friends (OK, worded badly). My concern is that, if I develop feelings like that, if  you might as well or if our differences might be problematic. Could you be more than friends with a guy like me? Could you date me? Could you tell your friends and, later, your family that you’re dating me? Would you feel comfortable with that?”

    What you want is  to get this concern out of your head because you don’t seem to know if she shares this concern or is even aware that you might have it. Her mind might not be there at all.

    Thus, you’ll have to get it on her mind so she can decide one of the two things:

    she would be comfortable being known as your girlfriend and, someday, even your fiance and then wife
    she would not be comfortable being known as your girlfriend and, someday, even your fiancee and then wife

    Yep, big, serious, heavy, repulsive ideas.

    I think those are the ideas on your mind, though, whether you know it or not.

    Because I’m asking you all these questions, does this mean I’m not sure and I should end it?

    End what, exactly???? What do you have with her???

    I’m not sure what that is or isn’t.

    I want a woman to accept me for who I am. I don’t want anyone to change me. She hasn’t given me any indication that she wants me to change. A few weeks ago, she asked me about my aspirations regarding work and I told her I’m not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. There was no positive reaction nor a negative one.

    Interesting and relevant.

    Instead of overthinking this, though, you can probe her on this through conversation on the topic.

    Then you can try to get an idea of why she brought it up.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve had a long-term relationship so maybe I’m coming up with excuses not to.

    Thank you for any words of wisdom you care to share.
     
    Matt

    You’re welcome for my great wisdom, Matt. 😉
     

    1. 5.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Bob

      This is a good post not just because it’s relevant now but because it will be increasingly so in years and decades ahead as women continue to outperform men academically, esp in college, and because career market forecasters expect the emerging higher-paying jobs to favor women over men…

      I am curious as to how Millennial men feel about this subject.  I find the average Millennial man to be significantly more beta than his father.  I am seeing more and more househusbands in the Millennial generation.  This role reversal is going to have a major impact on divorce and family law in the years to come.  It will be interesting to see if the courts start awarding househusbands sole custody and spousal support.  Currently, divorce law is rigged in favor of women due to an outdated view of marriage.

      1. 5.1.1
        Bob

        Yeah, it’ll be interesting to watch this among other cultural changes

        My expectation is that there will simply be less marriage so fewer divorces

        And that more professional women simply won’t have children or they’ll been Choice Mothers

        I think the former may be similar to Kate Bollick- see her article “all the single ladies”- and the latter will decide that no man is worth the bother so she’ll simply go it alone

        As for “beta” millennial men, yes, I agree. They grow up being ruled by women and never really develop into the masculine men who women are not sexually attracted to

        Read Faranoosh Torabi on “when she makes more” which is partly about women who settle for lesser men and are therefore never really maritally satisfied

        1. Emily, the original

          Bob,

          I think the former may be similar to Kate Bollick- see her article “all the single ladies”- and the latter will decide that no man is worth the bother so she’ll simply go it alone

          Umm … She has an active dating life and has had several serious relationships. Nowhere in the article does she say men aren’t worth the bother.

        2. Bob

          Umm … She has an active dating life and has had several serious relationships. Nowhere in the article does she say men aren’t worth the bother.

          Who cares? None of her relationships were serious enough to have produced a marriage or children, so what does it matter how “serious” they were? What was the point of it all?

          She had men at her disposal and disposed of them, whereby she showed they weren’t worth the bother.

        3. Emily, the original

          Bob,

          Who cares? None of her relationships were serious enough to have produced a marriage or children, so what does it matter how “serious” they were? What was the point of it all?

          She had men at her disposal and disposed of them, whereby she showed they weren’t worth the bother.

          There is a huge demographic shift of late. There are more single people than ever before and more women choosing not to have kids. She is detailing how it is to be one of those people in that shift and how to create a fulfilling life if your life isn’t being filled with the more traditional elements of marriage and family? She’s detailing a new way to live. Her relationships weren’t failures because they didn’t lead to marriage. Maybe she’s not the marrying kind.

        4. Bob

          There is a huge demographic shift of late. There are more single people than ever before and more women choosing not to have kids. She is detailing how it is to be one of those people in that shift and how to create a fulfilling life if your life isn’t being filled with the more traditional elements of marriage and family? She’s detailing a new way to live. Her relationships weren’t failures because they didn’t lead to marriage. Maybe she’s not the marrying kind.

          Yeah,I understand all this, I just don’t see why you use such terms as “actively”dating and “serious” relationships….. Are they somehow to be regarded by others as more legitimate or respectable than “inactively” dating or “unserious” relationships?

        5. Emily, the original

          Bob,

          Yeah,I understand all this, I just don’t see why you use such terms as “actively”dating and “serious” relationships….. Are they somehow to be regarded by others as more legitimate or respectable than “inactively” dating or “unserious” relationships?

          No, but your original comment “I think the former may be similar to Kate Bollick- see her article “all the single ladies”- and the latter will decide that no man is worth the bother so she’ll simply go it alone” implied Bollick was done with men. She was questioning her previous relationships and wondering whether or not she could commit, but she was not eschewing dating all together. The article obviously hit a cultural nerve as it was one of the most commented-on Atlantic articles. So other women are obviously also wondering how will they will create their lives if they don’t go the traditional route.

    2. 5.2
      Marika

      Hi Bob,

      That’s thoughtful & comprehensive advice, but I don’t personally think the chat is a good idea. There’s nothing in the letter to suggest there actually is a problem here, other than his own insecurity. So it will seem like it’s coming out of nowhere & maybe even put doubt in her mind that wasn’t actually there. If you’re feeling insecure due to your own ‘stuff’, you need to work on that, not look for reassurance externally. If it were me I’d also be confused about your questions re would you date me..aren’t they dating? You also seem to expect her to know at 2 months if she wants to marry him, which is unrealistic.

      After a confusing chat like that with a man I was enjoying getting to know, I would feel less close to him personally.

    3. 5.3
      Emily, the original

      Bob,

      Sooooo……. do you two have sex?  I get the impression that you two either aren’t there yet, won’t get there or that you’re too proper to mention it.

      I get the feeling they haven’t, either, particularly in the way he describes her as a good kisser.

      Sex is a BIG part of a relationship because it tells you: if she’s attracted to you at all, HOW attracted to you she is, if she respects you, if she trusts you

      To an extent, yes but I think sometimes men assume a lot of things if women have sex with them. As Jeremy put it in another post about men, women aren’t a monolith. Sex means different things to different women.

      They’ve been dating two months and it seems (and we’re guessing here) they probably haven’t had sex. It could be because she enjoys his company but is still on the fence about him romantically. It could be because she thinks of the relationship as casual. It could be because she really likes him and is trying to see if the relationship develops. It could be that she’d be down to do something if the opportunity presented itself. Meaning that she likes him. She thinks it’d be fun, but that would be the extent of it. It’s hard to say.

      1. 5.3.1
        DeeGee

        Emily, the original said:

        “It could be because she enjoys his company”…
        “It could be because she thinks of the relationship as casual.”…
        “It could be because she really likes him”…
        “It could be that she’d be down to do something if”…

        You forgot the most plausible… It could be that she has friendzoned him.
        I tease…  😉

        1. Emily, the original

          DeeGee,

          You forgot the most plausible… It could be that she has friendzoned him.

          Actually that could be it. Two months of dating and no sex? That does seem a bit long to wait,  but we don’t know how many times they’ve dated in those 2 months and how much communication they have between dates.

      2. 5.3.2
        SparklingEmerald

        They’ve been dating two months and it seems (and we’re guessing here) they probably haven’t had sex. It could be because she enjoys his company but is still on the fence about him romantically. It could be because she thinks of the relationship as casual. It could be because she really likes him and is trying to see if the relationship develops. It could be that she’d be down to do something if the opportunity presented itself. Meaning that she likes him. She thinks it’d be fun, but that would be the extent of it. It’s hard to say.

         

        While everyone is focusing on the one comment about his “ambitions” (with no context), very few comments if any seem to focus on how much he emphazed that she’s attractive, but not THAT attractive, and that he has had better.  From his post

         

        “She’s attractive, not beautiful. I’ve always been drawn to brunettes (she’s blonde)  . . . I’ve dated more attractive women in the past . . .”

        Maybe she’s sensing that HJNITH.  Comments on this blog often discuss that if a man isn’t that good looking, if he has money, status, etc.  his wealth can offset his lack of looks.  Donald Trump is a classic example, the guy is as ugly as a mud fence, and yet all of his wives and mistresses, were drop dead gorgeous.  Personally, there isn’t enough money in the world to make me sleep with that ugly SOS, but for some women, money and power is a strong aphrodesiac.

        This could be a complete reversal of that.  This guy doesn’t find this woman particularly attractive, but she pays for most of the dates, and has the most power.  Maybe her money is compensating for her not being quite is “type”.  However, as much as men would like to “high five” each other that they have “flipped the script” and now have a woman playing the male role and “providing” for them, on some level, they feel emasculated.

        And most women, if they sense a man doesn’t find her BEAUTIFUL, the feel unfeminine, even if he finds her “attractive” in the sense of attractive enough but I could do better, and even if her lack of beauty in his eyes is offset by her other positive qualities (character, kindness, etc).  Add to the sense that she MAY feel that he really doesn’t find her beautiful, but if she senses that her OTHER compensating factor for her lack of beauty (in his eyes) is her money and the fact that she apparently the main provider in this relationship.  She might be feeling insecure about her femininity and that could be creating insecurity on her part as well.  (we haven’t heard from  her, so this is all conjecture)

        Dual insecurity on both of their parts, in respect to how masculine or feminine they feel COULD be why they may not have had sex yet.

        Of course, we don’t know if they “consummated” the relationship at the time he wrote the letter, and there is alot we don’t know, so this is all conjecture.

        But I do find it fun to think and analyze this sort of thing.

        JM2C, YMMV

        1. SparklingEmerald

          “but she pays for most of the dates, and has the most power”  s/b “has the most money“.

  6. 6
    John

    Matt

    The only thing that counts is how you feel about yourself. If you feel like you are not OK because you make less money, then that will become your reality. If you can focus on what makes you a man and other areas of your life than finance, you’ll be fine.

    For example, build a strong physical body.  Another way is to be very strong emotionally. Learn not to react to peoples insults or accusations.  Be her emotional rock.

    My last girlfriend made 3x my salary. The way I dealt  with that is I just focused on the qualities I had as a man and every other department  other than money. She was so grateful that I was strong and in every other area but money; She didn’t really care about my salary.

    Do not tell her you feel inferior. That would be a mistake. Keep your insecurities to yourself. She can’t help you with your insecurities, because they are all yours. If you must discuss your insecurities with anyone, let it be a male therapist or male friends that you trust.

     

  7. 7
    Nutbrownhare

    She probably wants someone who isn’t obsessed with business, is fun to be with, isn’t that bothered about money and will be there for her emotionally. Sounds like she’s happy with you just the way you are!

    What’s not to like?

  8. 8
    Chance

    To the LW,

     

    Of course, there’s no reason for you to feel inferior.  If I were  you, I would focus my efforts on determining whether she is the right person for you.  While we don’t have the full context, there was one part of  your letter that was potentially concerning:

     

    “She hasn’t given me any indication that she wants me to change. A few weeks ago, she asked me about my aspirations regarding work and I told her I’m not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. There was no positive reaction nor a negative one.”

     

    She could be trying to come to terms with the idea of being with someone on a long-term basis who doesn’t make as much as her.  Or not.  What is also interesting is her reaction to your answer.  Only the most brazen of women would openly react negatively to your answer considering that the two of you have only been dating for a couple of months, but the lack of a positive reaction is worth a mental note.  What would your reaction be if she told you that she was completely content with where she was in life?  How would you want the person whom you’re dating to react if you told her that you were completely content with where you are in your life?

     

    Don’t stress over it, but continue to keep your finger on the pulse.

    1. 8.1
      Marika

      I think this is a slight over reach, Chance. “I’m not looking to climb the corporate ladder” doesn’t necessarily mean the exact same thing as “I’m completely content with where I am in life”. I’m not looking to climb the corporate ladder is the kind of statement it’s understandable you’d have a neutral reaction to. Unless it was a problem, of course.

      Is she supposed to get up and dance around the table?

      This lady has been a great date. Funny, generous, nice, a good kisser, reasonable, confident, driven (he didn’t mention warm, but it’s implied 😉 ), and yet you’re saying to ‘keep your finger on the pulse’ because she asked him one question about work?

      This is the key part of Evan’s answer, in my view:

      Your issues, Matt, don’t stem from anything surrounding her.
      They’re really all about you.
      Which is fine, he’s allowed to have doubts, but if we look at the letter objectively & without any projection or paranoia, there’s nothing to ‘keep his finger on the pulse’ of, other than his own sense of self-worth.

  9. 9
    Helene

    Hi Matt

    I am a high-earning professional woman around your age and my husband of 3 years earns much much less. He has worked in agriculture all his life because that is his passion. he has never aspired to “climb the corporate ladder” but di dhave a bit of money put aside when we met which meand he was able to bring something to the relationship in economic terms. He is currently starting his own business so we largely live off my income. I have previously been married to higher earining university types.

    From the woman’s perspective, I have a few points:

    – although he earns less, my husband is very “masculine” (goes shooting, good at fixing things, very strong etc…) so that helps to counterbalance the income issue and gets away from any sense that I have become the “man” in the relationship just because I earn more. For me, that’s important. he has to be manly.

    – my husband has never been the slightest bit phased by my income or job (in contrast to others I had dated who seemed intimidated/put off ) This is important

    – high earning women quickly realise that they WILL likely end up with a man who earns less than they do, otherwise they are reducing their dating pool to almost zero! We have to make peace with it. The question is – can you?

    – You not paying on dates is a very bad move. She may appear happy to pay, but this creates all the wrong sort of dynamic. Courting is all about …well…courting – its nothing to do with who earns more money. Take the lead. Plan the dates. Choose places to take her that you like to go – maybe not as expensive as the places she normally goes but not real cheap places either – places you’d take other dates if you were the one paying and trying to build the relationship.

    – Your lack of money is probably not going to bother her ( or she’d likely have stopped dating you by now) but your lack of passion/ drive/ ambition of any sort might – this comes across in your letter. “I like to travel and have fun” well don’t we all, but its hardly a life’s work – makes you sound a bit teenage.

    – at the end of the day, both of you are going to haver to make adjustments if this is to be a success – she is going to have to accept that she will sometimes be going to the diner and that your friends will be looking for a barbeque and some beers when they come to your house,  not a butler-served banquet – you are going to have to take some interest in art and interior design and demonstrate some sort of purpose in life. It is not about ” her trying to change you” it is about whether you’d be interested in adapting, growing and changing YOURSELF to develop a successful relationship with someone rather different to you.

     

    1. 9.1
      Bob

      Uh…. Why should he court her? What does he have to gain from doing so? Is she going to give him children? Tend his home? In other words, be his wife? What about be his wife through old age, until death so then part.

      Courtship was a traditional practice for traditional times, when a woman had so much to give a man, and this is not a traditional time in history, not are they of the age to start a family, which is the age at which there is so much at stake.

      I vote that he simply stay the present course rather than suddenly start pretending he’s living in a different era.

  10. 10
    Jeremy

    Reading some of the comments on this thread, I think there is some misunderstanding around this issue.  There are 2 factors at play here – whether this woman is ok with a man who earns less, and whether this man is ok being with a woman who earns more.  Society tends to shame both parties – if the woman isn’t ok with it she is shallow, if the man isn’t ok with it he is insecure.  Neither is necessarily true.

     

    I’ve written before that a key component to whether a woman can be physically attracted to a man in the long-term is her ability to respect him.  And more than that, to respect him specifically for traits she most admires in herself, or wishes she had, or considers masculine.  This respect must arise from inside, not be imposed externally.  If a particular woman needs to see that a man has intelligence or income or ambition at least equal to her own in order to respect him, no amount of shaming will get her to respect him internally.  I’ve met many women who needed the education/income/ambition to respect a man, and I’ve met many that didn’t (and instead needed other things to respect).  But often times a particular woman will be unaware of what she needs to respect in a man, or she might be aware of what she needed in the past but be willing to try other things given lack of relationship success – and such women may or may not be successful in being able to respect a man for qualities other than what they have always needed in the past.  The fact that this woman is dating the OP is not necessarily an indication that she is ok with their relative financial status, and if she isn’t ok with it that doesn’t mean she is shallow.

     

    I’ve also written in the past that men, in general, derive emotional happiness from relationships where they feel admired by the woman they are with.  And admired specifically for the qualities they invest their sexuality into.  Those qualities are influenced heavily by each person’s upbringing and it is not at all easy for a man to change the qualities he considers “masculine.”  If this man considers income to be a masculine quality, his needing a woman to admire him for his income (ie. his “masculinity”) is not about insecurity.  Rather, it is about the way that healthy men maintain attraction and self-esteem in the context of a relationship.  Simply telling such a man to not be insecure will not be effective.  If he is to be happy in a relationship with a woman who earns more, he must be able to invest his sexuality into other qualities.  And the kicker is that being forced to do so might actually make him far more insecure.

     

    None of this may apply to the OP.  She might genuinely not care about a man’s income (and invest her respect into other qualities) and he might genuinely not invest his sexuality into his earnings (and invest in some other quality).  But if not, it isn’t necessarily about shallowness and it isn’t about insecurity.

    1. 10.1
      Chance

      “Society tends to shame both parties – if the woman isn’t ok with it she is shallow, if the man isn’t ok with it he is insecure.”

       

      I never saw it as the woman being shallow, but rather hypocritical.  When men take issue with women expecting a man to be the provider, it’s been my experience that it’s rooted in the fact that they perceive these women to be selectively adhering to certain gender roles based on whether or not it suits them.  YMMV.

       

      It’s generally considered chauvinistic to expect a woman to cook, clean, tend to the baby in the middle of the night (even if she isn’t working), etc.  Men these days have been conditioned to understand that these traditionally feminine gender roles should now be shared equally, and even if a man believed that it was a woman’s job to perform these takes, it’s likely that he wouldn’t possess the gall to express this expectation.

      1. 10.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        Yet, women do not consider it chauvinistic to require a man to be the higher earner.  I have lost count of the number of marriages I know that got into trouble when the husband was a victim of a downsizing.  I have never witnessed the same dynamic play out when the wife experiences the same employment challenge.  I have also witnessed marriages that got into trouble when the wife started to out earn her husband and began pressuring him to increase his earnings.  The number one  killer of men is stress, much of which is inflicted upon them by women.   Chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death.  The only equality that many women want in marriage is equality from which they benefit.

        1. MMR

          I know many successful couples where the woman is the higher earner.  I also agree that it is goes against feminism to expect a man to earn more.

          But you can’t place full responsibility for the failure of a marriage on a wife’s shoulders after her husband as loses his job.  This letter shows pretty clearly that a husband could become insecure (and eventually jealous, angry or resentful) after losing his job, regardless of his wife’s response – eventually ruining his marriage. Also, the loss of income alone (regardless of what caused it) could put an insane amount of financial stress on the marriage – the number one cause of divorce.

          You’ll also find plenty of studies that show married men live longer.  So apparently all the stress inflicted by women isn’t so deadly.

        2. Marika

          But the woman in question has shown no signs of being shallow or hypocritical, right? What exactly has she done to arouse suspicion or judgment?

          It’s funny, this woman seems to be the exact opposite of every entitled, whiny, clueless chick who gets complained about on this blog. So if her motives are being questioned and you’re not encouraging Matt to hold onto this lovely lady..why do you think that is..?

        3. Chance

          “But the woman in question has shown no signs of being shallow or hypocritical, right? What exactly has she done to arouse suspicion or judgment?”

           

          It’s not entirely clear.  It is strange that she would ask a 47 y/o man about his career aspirations.  No woman whom I was dating has ever asked me that.  There’s no way to know what her motives were, but there is a distinct possibility that she was assessing his willingness/ability to “step up game” within the context of an LTR or marriage.  Her reaction to his answer is also interesting… she isn’t likely going to openly react in a  negative manner given the short period of time that they’ve been dating, but one would have expected something along the lines of “that’s cool”.  The fact that she didn’t have a positive reaction, even if it was something along the lines of what I referenced above, tells me that she may not have liked his response.

        4. Chance

          @YAG – your experiences are similar to mine.

        5. Emily, the original

          As Helen pointed out in her above post …

          – Your lack of money is probably not going to bother her ( or she’d likely have stopped dating you by now) but your lack of passion/ drive/ ambition of any sort might – this comes across in your letter. “I like to travel and have fun” well don’t we all, but its hardly a life’s work –

          Ok, so he’s not ambitious with his job, but maybe she didn’t say anything after he told her he wasn’t interested in climbing the corporate ladder because she was trying to figure out what he is interested in/passionate about. Since he gave her nothing to work with in terms of his answer, her response was neutral.

        6. Marika

          Correction: the women in your social circle, YAG.

           

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @MMR

          I bet that that data only holds for men who are in good, happy marriages.  The majority of marriages are not good marriages.  They are in marriages in which the husband and wife remain together in order to avoid the pain of divorce.

          I know that my health improved by an order of magnitude after I separated from my ex.  The difference was stark enough that my doctor was amazed.  I was in the fast lane to an early death when I was married.  I was an endocrinological trainwreck.  My cortisol levels were so high that they were causing me to have low testosterone.  Low testosterone has health ramifications far beyond possible sexual dysfunction.  Stress results in elevated cortisol.  Chronic stress results in sustained elevated cortisol levels.  That is bad news for a men and woman.

           

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          Correction: the women in your social circle

          My circle is very large.  It spans several generations and a large part of the United States.

          I stand by what I wrote earlier.  The only equality that many women want in marriage is equality from which they benefit.  They want to cherry pick old and new values.  The old values are the ones from which their mothers benefited.  The new values are those that counter the downside of the deal that their mothers made to reap the benefits that they received.

          Let me give you an example.  Most of the women I date these days have wage parity with me.  Yet, they expect me to pay for dates.  ScottH’s comments on the cost of dating got thinking about how raw of a deal this arrangement is for a modern man.  The practice of men paying for dates is a carry over from the days when women did not work.  I reached the point recently where I said, “I am not paying for another date.”  I refuse to pay for dates when the women I date earn six figures.  Why should I absorb the full cost of dating?  I still have minor children for whom I have to write sizable child support check every month.  Most of the women near my age have children that are self-supporting adults.  If a woman is unwilling to split the cost of dating, then she is free to find another man (I wish her good luck with that task given the ratio of men who just want to hookup to those who want to actually date).   My company is worth something as well.  I am not the only man of my generation who is waking up to this reality.   The rules have changed, and we need to do so as well.

        9. ScottH

          Wow YAG- you went from calling me cheap to now being more diligent about paying for dates than I am.  I’ll never forget that experience sitting in that fancy bar with that woman I might never see again stuffing her face on my dime and she was not even willing to pay a token amount for ice cream.  I think about that experience every time I go on a date.

          I take it as a challenge to find interesting dates that are free or low cost, and they do exist.  However, I still find myself buying happy hour dinners and wine and cheese and seeing the impact on the bottom line of my credit card bills.

          I find your statement to be very profound:  “The only equality that many women want in marriage is equality from which they benefit.”  I would delete the word marriage from the quote though and emphasize that it applies to many.  I’m looking for an exception.

        10. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          You say women want equality in a marriage only when it benefits them.  Then as an example of this cite something that happens in the early stages of dating.  How does your example of some women expecting men to pay for initial dates support your statement that women want equality in a marriage only when it benefits them?

  11. 11
    Marika

    Agreed, Emily. Or maybe his answer came off as a bit defensive, or it totally shut the conversation down, so she let it go.

    Gentlemen, with respect, did you read Evan’s answer? The poster’s concerns are more about his issues than hers. If you want women to not care about how much you make, pay their way on dates and not expected to be looked after, then trust them when they do just that.

    1. 11.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      Gentlemen,  If you want women to not care about how much you make, pay their way on dates and not expected to be looked after, then trust them when they do just that.

      Agreed. She’s done everything right in making it clear she’s not after his money and doesn’t expect him to make more than she does (she should be the perfect woman!), and they STILL find reason to distrust her. It reflects trust issues on their part.

       

    2. 11.2
      Luka

      Ewww! I’m so glad I live in a culture where (most) women don’t expect men to pay their way. It’s just so gross. I guess having lived in European countries with high gender equality my entire life I’m just used to more ‘evolved’ attitudes to gender. Don’t you guys just feel like its kinda gross and demeaning to both parties? The guy is essentially purchasing female company. That can’t be a good place to start from.

      1. 11.2.1
        Clare

        Luka,

         

        In this case, the woman is paying for most of the dates. (Did you read the original letter?) How do you feel about that?

  12. 12
    Helene

    I think some folks are confusing two issues here – when I suggested he should plan and pay for dates, (assuming he is interested in pursuing the whole thing) I am not suggesting a return to the middle ages and traditional gender roles – what I am talking about is the mating game. Mating, pair-bonding, whatever you want to call it is not an intellectual thing, it is a primal/genetic/hormonal  thing that does not fundamentally change, even if the outward manifestations vary slightly from culture to culture and at different points in history. Men like to chase and conquer – women like to be chased and conquered. This is step one in the mating process. As endless nature programmes illustrate, the male puts on some sort of courting display to attract the female, showing himself to be more desirable than other males. He does this to impress and puts considerable effort into it. If successful, the female is attracted and the bond is formed. After that, sure, they both take turns fetching twigs and sitting on the nest! For men and women, this is also the case – in some form or another the male has to “chase” the female and put on an impressive display – once bonding has occurred then yes of course the two get on with everyday life in an equitable manner. But that can only happen once the bond is successfully formed – he needs to feel he has been successful and won his prize, she needs to feel she has been pursued and conquered.  As Evan frequently says to the women here- don’t pursue him, do anything, let him reveal himself by his actions. All I am suggesting to Matt is that if he wants this woman he would be well advised to start revealing this by his courtship actions, rather than taking a back seat because she has  money in her handbag, which is irrelevant at this stage.

    1. 12.1
      Bob

      I agree with all the above, in a strictly animalistic context.

      However, mating- really mating, not just becoming an “item”-  means offspring, as in- children. Or… wait… No. No children. Not in this case.

      So… we’re talking about mating in a non reproductive sense.

      So how long will they be non reproductively mated? How long does he have his prize? Does he ever really have it?

      What about when his prize decides to leave him? Then what?

    2. 12.2
      Malika

      I agree with you, Helene. In order to be happy, the man needs to feel that he has to make an effort and that his effort is being very much appreciated. We often equate this with throwing bank notes around, but it can be as simple as calling up the woman he likes and inviting her to the free opera concert in the park two blocks down the road. That she wants to wait a bit until becoming physically intimate and he therefore needs to be reasonably patient, but that she can’t wait for when the time is right. Just two examples of courting behaviour that doesn’t involve him having to have a way higher bank account than her.

       

    3. 12.3
      ScottH

      Helene-  I enjoy your comments.  Thank you.
      I do have issue with one thing you said:  “Mating, pair-bonding, whatever you want to call it is not an intellectual thing, it is a primal/genetic/hormonal  thing that does not fundamentally change…

      I agree that mating is a primal drive but birds don’t have the ability to reason and if we don’t apply our intellect, we very well might end up choosing unsuitable partners.  If we don’t balance the drives from our primitive brain with the reasoning of our modern brains, we end up in trouble, and in more aspects than just mating.

      Regarding Matt and his woman, they just need to figure out a balance that works for them.  I remember Evan talking about a woman he was dating who made a lot more than he did at the time accusing him of looking for a sugar momma because he expected or needed her to pay for something after he’d paid for many previous dates.  It’s a balance of many factors.

      1. 12.3.1
        helene

        Oh, I don’t disagree, we absolutely apply our intellect, but its all about getting things in the right order… We all know the term ” a good on paper ” guy – someone you OUGHT to want to go out with but who just doesn’t attract you when you actually meet.

        The final decision as to whether 2 people ultimately marry/form a LTR involves many factors and a reasoned assessment of everything from desire to have a family or not, where each person wants to live, religious/family considerations etc…etc..  All I’m saying is that if there isn’t a successful initial courtship phase then any potential attraction just fizzles and the whole thing is dead in the water even before you get to the intellectual “are we a good long term match” phase.

        1. Bob

          All I’m saying is that if there isn’t a successful initial courtship phase then any potential attraction just fizzles and the whole thing is dead in the water even before you get to the intellectual “are we a good long term match” phase.

          Interesting

          You present no proof of such but I have no counter proof, so we’re both speculating

          You may well be right, though, and if you are and men don’t court women, there will be fewer satisfied women and fewer relationships, let alone marriages

          I think all of that is reasonable to expect with the third wave feminist-induced androgynization of Western men and the low attractiveness they present we Western women, together with women’s not needing to have children and their option to be Choice Mothers

    4. 12.4
      Selena

      If the woman has paid for most of the dates the last 2 months, I’m guessing she has also been the one doing most of the inviting? Perhaps Matt’s feeling of inferiority isn’t entirely about her money, but also about being too much of a passenger in this dating situation.

      I believe some people are more tuned into the masculine/feminine energy dynamic than others.  Perhaps Matt senses an imbalance in the energy distribution but doesn’t recognize it for what it is.   If he really is interested in her, why not take turns doing the inviting/treating?  He might feel more of an equal in that way rather than always letting her lead.

  13. 13
    jeremy

    Sorry in advance for another long post, but I think it’s important.  It seems to be a common perception that women’s attraction to male ambition is benign, and preferable to attraction to income.  IMHO attraction to ambition is one of the least benign of all possible factors a woman might choose to respect (and be attracted to) in a man, albeit it is also one of the most common.

     

    Most men want to reach a point in their life where they don’t have to work too hard anymore.  Once they’ve achieved what they wanted, obtained what they needed, they don’t want to feel the proverbial crack of the whip anymore, or to feel pressured to achieve more to meet someone else’s goals.  If a man marries a woman who is attracted to intelligence, the man either has that intelligence or he does not.  Same with income.  Same with rugged masculinity.  But ambition….that is something he must always struggle to maintain because by its very nature ambition is a lack of satisfaction with present circumstances – a constant desire for more.  Once a man obtains his goals, can the woman who is attracted to ambition continue to respect him, or must he constantly strive to achieve more (ie. maintain ambition) to maintain her respect and attraction?  And if the woman does not need him to strive for more after he has achieved his goals, was it his ambition she was attracted to, or was it the end-goal of his ambition (ie. money) that she wanted?  And if one argues that it is neither the ambition nor the money that is the attractant but rather the happiness/satisfaction that ensues from achieving one’s goals (and women want happy men), then why would a woman need the ambition in a man who was happy to begin with?

     

    In this case, I agree with Chance.  Asking a 47 year old man about his career ambitions is a sign that this woman views this man’s situation as less than desirable.  At that age he’s doing what he wants to be doing – he isn’t 25, just starting in his career.  So which is it – is she a woman who needs a man who is never satisfied so she can be attracted to his ambition?  Or is she a woman who isn’t satisfied with his income so she needs at least some indication that he hopes for more?

     

    As a final aside, I once had a young female colleague complain to me about her fiancée, who apparently had no ambition.  He worked a mid-level job and made a mid-level income and had no desire for more.  “He has no ambition,” she complained, “he comes home from work at the end of the day and just has dinner and watches tv!  He’s not like you, Jeremy.”  “But that’s what I do when I come home too,” I replied.  “Yes, but you are a (insert my job title),” she said, “your ambition got you where you are.”  “So is it his lack of ambition that bothers you,” I asked, “or is it his job title and income?”  She thought about it for a very long time – and it was interesting to me that she hadn’t thought about it that way before.  The word “ambition” and the commonness of its use had obfuscated the truth for her.

    1. 13.1
      Malika

      Hi Jeremy:

      It kind of depends on what is meant by ‘ambition’, which can mean so many different things to so many people.

      I have been an EA to some of the most succesfull men in their line of business. High flying business owners or directors. While they have a lot of admirable traits, and some of them were really nice guys, i don’t know whether they per se make the greatest of life partners, judging from what i could see of their private lives (And as their EA i saw a sizeable amount of it). They are driven, laser focused and ambitious, but their career demands and eternal dissatisfaction with whatever they had achieved meant that there wasn’t a lot of emotional room for their partners. Also, they do EXACTLY what you talked about in your comment. They are so exhausted by the demands of their job that they often come home, crash on the sofa and can barely muster up the energy to eat a proper dinner, never mind design a more creative way of spending their evening. These are not the guys who accompany you to the PTA meeting or train with you for a triathlon at the weekends. More than one of them was left by their partner , because they were bored with playing second fiddle to his career, and felt like they were married to a spectre who wandered in and out of the house at random hours. Those who stay are extremely patient and accomodating and, very important, those traits are appreciated by their husband.

      I realized quite early on that i could not be the latter partner, so i decided to avoid that type of ambition in my dates. The type of ambition that i do appreciate is what could also be termed as ‘adventurous’ or ‘curious’. He’s willing (and has the time!) to try new things, has a love for literature or whatever else happens to float his boat, is outgoing and has a sense of initiative about his place in the world. That can be found in a far broader percentage of men and i think that it is unmissable in the type of relationship that I want. It’s not rooted in dissatisfaction, in a feeling of missing something, but in a willingness to live life to the full. That is deeply attractive and, i would like to think, fairly benign.

      1. 13.1.1
        Jeremy

        That’s fair, Malika.  But would you agree that what you describe is not ambition but rather adventure?  The two are quite different – and often contradictory.  And a woman who values a sense of adventure would not inquire of a 47 year old man (who has a job) what his future career aspirations were, though she might ask him what his life goals are.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          And a woman who values a sense of adventure would not inquire of a 47 year old man (who has a job) what his future career aspirations were, though she might ask him what his life goals are.

          Or maybe (and this ties in to a sense of adventure) she wanted to find out if he was the kind of man who’d be happy in the same job doing the same thing for years on end. Does he take risks or is he extremely regimented?

        2. Clare

          Jeremy,

           

          The question about his career aspirations could have been purely conversational or politeness, and hence perfectly benign. They are in the early stages of dating after all.

           

          I myself have asked guys this question on the first couple of dates and found that guys are only too happy to talk about their work. We women can’t win. If we don’t ask you about your jobs, we’re disinterested 😀

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          Or the LW’s lady friend asked about his career aspirations because she DOES NOT want a man who is aggressively trying to climb the corporate ladder.  At this point in my life I would prefer a man who doesn’t have to travel extensively or put in a lot of evenings and weekends.  I was also never a big fan of the corporate dinners-out-with-the-boss socializing that a high powered corporate career entails.

      2. 13.1.2
        Jeremy

        And BTW, your comment perfectly describes why ambition can be so toxic to relationships – I agree 100%, whereas attraction to adventure is not toxic (as long as both people share it).

        1. Malika

          I say tomahtoe (being kind of British), you say tomato (as an American, i assume) ; )! Seriously though, ambition is a very broad term. Life goals is a far more specific and preferable term, as asking after those provides you with a far more complete answer. Leading a full life, being fiscally responsible and providing to society with your own unique talents is the ultimate for me. If an attractive man came along with these traits i wouldn’t care a fig what his job would be.

          Career aspirations and life goals can be conjoined, but often they are not. If she is talking specifically about job aspirations as described in the OP, she is talking about career ambitions, and only she can tell what she thought of the answer. The letter writer might feel so unsure about this situation that he took a neutral reaction to be a lightly negative one. Or it really was negative, who knows. I would find it a pity if she thought his aspirations would fall short of her ideal. He would be able to bring other qualities to the table that wives of high level executives could only wish for.

          Ambition can definitely be toxic to relationships, but it doesn’t have to be. There are quite a few women who make it work. They run the house and bring up the children, and the luxurious lifestyle gives them room to pursue their interests without worrying about the electricity bill. Even if the husband is not always there, that does not mean the husband does not love and appreciate them. But you have to be a certain type of person for this setup, and it’s not for a lot of women.

          I felt sorry for a few of the men whose wives left them. I have seen their side of the story, and it could be very saddening to see. These ladies signed up to a marriage with a man whereby it was clear that the demands of his not 9- to not 5 meant that he would not be there in the regular way that a mid level manager would be able to. They were intoxicated by the idea of marrying a succesful man and the attendant lifestyle, but grew disillusioned with the reality. They leave a man behind who feels he held his end up of the deal, so why did they suddenly get estranged from their wife? They feel that the goal posts moved and that they got the short end of the deal. Pile on top of that a job that demands so much that there is not much room for self reflection and it’s a recipe for the mid life crisis that nearly all of them go through sooner or later. From the outside it is easy to be jealous of their life, but it throws up its own not inconsiderate challenges.

  14. 14
    KK

    I’m wondering how an innocent question is receiving so much negative speculation. We don’t even know exactly what she asked. He was very vague:  “A few weeks ago, she asked me about my aspirations regarding work and I told her I’m not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. There was no positive reaction nor a negative one.”

    Maybe she’s wondering if he plans on retiring in the next 20 years or whether or not he’ll be able to take time off to travel with her. I don’t think it’s odd to ask someone you’re dating about their career. Pretty common and completely innocent, in my opinion.

    1. 14.1
      Chance

      “Maybe she’s wondering if he plans on retiring in the next 20 years or whether or not he’ll be able to take time off to travel with her.”

       

      It would be rather strange to ask someone about their career aspirations if she was curious about when he planned to retire or if he wanted to travel with her.  If this were the case, it’s more likely that she would ask him directly if and when he planned to retire, or if he would be interested in traveling with her.

       

      Also, considering the context in which the LW mentioned her question, it seems to be fairly clear to him that she was asking about his aspirations for advancement within his career.

      1. 14.1.1
        KK

        “It would be rather strange to ask someone about their career aspirations if she was curious about when he planned to retire or if he wanted to travel with her.  If this were the case, it’s more likely that she would ask him directly if and when he planned to retire, or if he would be interested in traveling with her”.

        I disagree. “Career aspirations” is a pretty vague and all encompassing term.

    2. 14.2
      Jeremy

      Hi KK.  It is entirely possible that we men on this site are over-reacting to the question, but it is likely due to our shared experience that jobs/income are a big deal to the women we’ve been with, whether or not they admitted as much to themselves.  I would imagine women would have a similar suspicious reaction to a man who was on a date with a heavy woman, claimed not to care about weight, but then inquired casually about her fitness aspirations.  Might be totally innocent….but most women won’t believe that due to their shared experience.

      1. 14.2.1
        KK

        Hello Jeremy,

        The LW stated, “I want a woman to accept me for who I am. I don’t want anyone to change me. She hasn’t given me any indication that she wants me to change. A few weeks ago, she asked me about my aspirations regarding work and I told her I’m not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder. There was no positive reaction nor a negative one”.

        We don’t know the context of the conversation. He does, however, and if you’ll notice he specifically states:  “She hasn’t given me any indication that she wants me to change”. That is HIS conclusion. I’d rather take his word for it considering he knows the exact conversation and it’s context instead of making assumptions and questioning this woman’s intentions, when I don’t see any reason to do so.

        1. Jeremy

          You may very well be right, and I am all for giving her the benefit of the doubt.  Which is why, in my first comment here, I suggested that the OP focus on his own sense of what he needs to be admired for in a relationship, and whether it can work from his perspective.  If the woman in question was the letter writer looking for advice, I’d tell her the same – introspect about what you need to respect a man for, and determine whether the income disparity is a problem for you.

        2. Chance

          KK, LW asked for help regarding the fact that he feels inferior.  Women’s expectations of provisioning are often the catalyst for these feelings of inferiority so the issue relates to both how the LW views himself and the type of woman who he chooses to date.  I have acknowledged, on multiple occasions, that we don’t have the context of their entire conversation regarding his career aspirations.

           

          However, there was enough in his letter to indicate that she potentially isn’t satisfied with how much money he makes, and it’s possible that he didn’t connect the dots as it relates to her question.  As a result, it is perfectly reasonable to point this out so he can take a mental note of it (if he hasn’t done so already).  It would be negligent to not point this out, but as I’ve noted multiple times, there may be nothing to it.  There really isn’t a reason to be offended by my advice unless one is offended by the idea that many women expect to be financially supplemented by a man within a relationship.

        3. KK

          Chance,

          “There really isn’t a reason to be offended by my advice unless one is offended by the idea that many women expect to be financially supplemented by a man within a relationship”.

          I don’t see any evidence of anyone on here being offended by your advice. Disagreement does not equal offense, but I digress.

          I just find it fascinating that the LW made it very clear that his issue was his own inferiority, Evan gave him good advice, and yet the male commenters are adding something to the story which doesn’t exist. He’s a 47 year old divorcé, Chance. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that his age and experience trumps yours. Therefore, if he wasn’t concerned about that particular conversation and came to the conclusion that she isn’t trying to change him, I’m not sure why you think you have a better understanding of the situation than he does.

           

        4. KK

          Jeremy,

          “Which is why, in my first comment here, I suggested that the OP focus on his own sense of what he needs to be admired for in a relationship, and whether it can work from his perspective”.

          Yes, I’m completely in agreement with your other comments.

    3. 14.3
      Luka

      Try to see it from a man’s point of view though.

      In the same way women have to put up with guys getting overly sexual after a quick Tinder chat, some guys have to put up with being grilled about their ‘ambitions’ (ahem, bank balance) every time they speak to a woman.

      Most guys have no problem with women getting flirtatious and sexually forward very quickly. But we know women don’t like it so we modify our beahviour to make them comfortable and please them. So something ‘completely innocent’ to one sex isn’t so to the other. Of course being asked about your career is totally innocent to you, a woman, because you’ve never had to worry about being objectified in this way.

      But imagine you had. Use the instances where you have been worried about being objectified or exploited to empathise with somebody who has similar feelings, but in a different context.

      1. 14.3.1
        Marika

        That’s understandable, Luka, and if this woman had gone on to break up with him for having no ambition or yelled at him, or whatever, it would understandably cause all sorts of angry male comments.

        What I think we’re finding a bit much is that this woman is in all other respects, completely non-traditional and non princessy in her behaviour and expectations, which is largely being ignored, whereas you’re all honing in on one, potentially innocent or out of context statement.

        Can you see how the bulk of the male comments being so suspicious could be frustrating? Are we supposed to be completely perfect always? Pay our way enough, be easygoing, flexible, sexy, supportive, ask no questions ever that could potentially ever make you feel awkward?

        And where’s his responsibility in this?

        This reminds me of the conversation around intent. If she intended no harm (which her behaviour to date suggests), is any offence he felt her fault? Does she carry the weight of all his bad dating experience? Are y’all okay with women doing that?

        1. Luka

          Hi Marika,

          I don’t know about anybody else but I never expect anybody to be ‘completely perfect always’.

          I always try to imagine the inverse situation and empathise to the best of my abilities, and if it doesn’t fit because of gender differences I will at least rationalise an acceptable social facsimile.

          I’ll go with the same anology. Ok my tolerance for being questioned on my ‘ambition’ is 0%. It’s not even that I’m taking a stand against some perceived slight. My attraction for such a woman drops to 0%. I understand that some women find this a bit harsh, but here’s how I rationalise it: I would never expect a woman to tolerate a guy being overly sexual on a first date/email/call. Now, I want have sex with many women on the first date, but I don’t ask if I sense there’s any chance its not what she wants and would make her uncomfortable. I think I’m good at thinking abstractly from a womans perspective and therefore feel OK about expecting women to do similar for me.

          And you know having said all that perhaps this is all just impotent rage; there are aspects of the opposite sexes mating behaviour we can’t abide. I’m happy though in that I don’t believe we’re chimps and I think our behaviour is mostly socially constructed and therefore suspectiple to quick change.

           

           

           

  15. 15
    Ricky

    This article is bulshit. Everything here is bulshit. Women reject reject reject and reject every man who approaches them. You call them sadder then men? Horseshit. Women live in this fairy tail world that the right men will come to her that prince charming from those fairy tail stories. They want to be sad because they choose too not because they dont have a choice. We men are suffering to at least get in a relationship we are working hard to get in one but 90% of men cant get in one because of rejection. On social events or on a every day women get approached all the time but they reject guys like crazy. See women can choose to get in a relationship when they want AMD whenever they want they can choose to get laid anytime they want whenever they want all they have to do is go out and ask a man. Men we have to work hard to get in a relationship we have to go though all this trouble to at least get some pussy. The reason why we are used to being single is because we are used to being single we have no choice. Women are free. Men we have to break free

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Dear Ricky,

      In no particular order:

      -Get your facts straight. You can’t get in a relationship. 90% of guys can, and, in fact, do.
      -“Getting some pussy” is not your divine right, nor would most women want to be with a man who sees them as “pussy.”
      -Use spellcheck. Your arguments will still be erroneous, but you perhaps you’ll be taken more seriously from the outset.
      -It doesn’t sound like you know any women. Perhaps it would behoove you to befriend one on a platonic basis so as to not see women as a monolithic enemy.

    2. 15.2
      DeeGee

      Gosh, it sounds like Ricky has been bitten by the MGTOW bug…
      Dude, try doing less of the negative thinking, it is a real downer.
      If your only goal is to “get some pussy”, you need to find some good hobbies, I suggest macramé or quilting…

  16. 16
    Marika

    All agendas aside, Chance, is it really good advice to tell anyone, male or female, who’s feeling insecure and a bit paranoid to buy into their fears and be on alert?

    It will become apparent on its own if she cares about money and career aspirations. Him being fearful & monitoring what she says can only hurt a burgeoning relationship.

    1. 16.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      It will become apparent on its own if she cares about money and career aspirations.

      The OP and his girlfriend are past child bearing age and she has her own money, but I don’t understand why it’s so terrible for a woman who wants to start a family to care about a man’s income and career. If he wants a family, he should care about her income and career. Don’t they both need to have an idea if they could financially raise a family together, pay for childcare or make enough to have one of them stay home for a few years when the kids are small (could be the man or the woman), buy a home, put the kids through college? I don’t think it’s gold digging. It’s just being realistic. It’s no different than trying to determine if the other person is emotionally together enough to be a parent. Will he/she help out? Will he/she be supportive and involved?

      1. 16.1.1
        KK

        Hi Emily!

        “The OP and his girlfriend are past child bearing age and she has her own money, but I don’t understand why it’s so terrible for a woman who wants to start a family to care about a man’s income and career”.

        It isn’t terrible. It’s the norm. Since I started reading here, I’ve noticed A LOT of angry commentary (from a handful of unhappy male commenters) stating how unfair their plight is simply because women dare to have standards and expectations. Don’t buy into it. I know I don’t. 😉

        That said, I agree with Marika. “It will become apparent on its own if she cares about money and career aspirations”. At this point, I don’t believe that’s the case. But if it is, these two obviously won’t be a good match.

         

        1. Emily, the original

          KK,

          It isn’t terrible. It’s the norm. Since I started reading here, I’ve noticed A LOT of angry commentary (from a handful of unhappy male commenters) stating how unfair their plight is simply because women dare to have standards and expectations. Don’t buy into it. I know I don’t. 😉

          Years ago I had a friend who was dating a cop. He made about $50k and she was worried that wasn’t enough to have a family. I was in my late 20s and thought she was being absurd, but, looking back, I’m not so sure. Unless she was making a lot of money herself (and she wasn’t), how much they jointly made was a concern for her. The dynamic changes if you want a family. It has to. Of course, it’s an entirely different story if you don’t want kids, as it is with the OP.

        2. Jeremy

          KK and Emily, I agree with you 100%.  The problem is not that people value income – as you say, income is essential especially if a family is desired.  The problem is when people fail to predict how much they will value income in the future and make long-term choices failing to account for this.  I know I probably repeat this ad nauseam, but it’s all about affective forecasting, and the book “stumbling on happiness” really changed my life by helping me to understand this phenomenon.

           

          The basic thesis is this: We humans suck at predicting what we, ourselves, will want in the future – and further, that we don’t understand how much we suck at it and think we are the experts on what we will want.  We think that what we will want in the future is what we want today, or some minor variation thereof, and most of the time we are wrong.
          At the conclusion of the book the author gives advice on how to overcome this problem – find some older people who have lived the life you want and ask them how it turned out for them – what they liked and what they would change.  And doing so won’t always be instructive, but it has a far better predictive value than relying on our own predictions.

           

          This advice is excellent and has so many applications…

           

        3. KK

          Jeremy,

          I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of a major move in a couple of years. I can see how that book would be helpful. I’m going to pick it up this weekend. Thank you for the recommendation.

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          At the conclusion of the book the author gives advice on how to overcome this problem – find some older people who have lived the life you want and ask them how it turned out for them – what they liked and what they would change.

          Good advice.

  17. 17
    Luka

    She likes me and I like her. She’s a really great kisser with plenty of sex appeal.

    She offers to pay on most of our dates and has probably paid the majority of them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be poor either but I’m not obsessed by money.

    My issue is that I feel inferior to her.

    Because I’m asking you all these questions, does this mean I’m not sure and I should end it?

    **********************************************************************

    I’ve just re-read the OP and I’m having a hard time believing a man would write any of these sentences.

    ‘I feel inferior’ is the sort of thing a lot of the women who think their ‘success’ intimidates men (and causes their singleness) mistakenly believe is the mindset of men. And that ‘does me asking this mean I should just end it’ is just straight out of the letters page from my sisters teenage magazines, come on…

     

    1. 17.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If you’re suggesting this is a fake, you can feel free to take your conspiracy theories to another site. Honestly.

      1. 17.1.1
        Luka

        Somebody writing something that isn’t true on the internet is hardly a conspiracy.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Impugning my integrity on my site is highly discouraged by the management. Take note.

      2. 17.1.2
        Shaukat

        I see no reason to believe that this particular letter is fake, but the phenomenon Luka is referring to certainly exists. If you read Dan Savage’s columns, he sometimes devotes an entire segment to showcasing all the fake letters he receives. He even stated that occasionally fake letters get through, but if they end up helping others, he doesn’t mind. The internet is full of narcissists who get a thrill from blowing smoke at well intentioned people. It has nothing to do with  your integrity.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I see no reason to believe this particular letter is fake either. Which is why it’s silly and disrespectful to postulate that I knowingly or unknowingly posted something that was fake. I believe Luka didn’t intend to insult me; I also believe that I was insulted regardless of his intent.

      3. 17.1.3
        Luka

        Eh?!

        I thought this was written by a woman pretending to be a man. Not sure what thats got to do with your ‘integrity’?

        If you’re implying that I was implying you wrote it, I wasn’t. Given this weirdly aggressive reponse, I kinda do think that now though…

        Either way it doesn’t matter who wrote it if it allows for an interesting discussion.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          My integrity is impugned when you suggest that I’m posting fake emails from readers for content/discussion/clickbait purposes.

          I get 100+ questions a month. I answer 4 of them and they’re carefully vetted.

          Finally, consider this a second warning against disrespecting me in your comments.

          You sometimes have valuable things to say, but I’m fine losing those comments if it means not putting up with insults from you. The choice is yours.

        2. Luka

          Never implied (or even thought, actually) you were knowingly posting them.

          And believe it or not being scolded by another adult male for ‘insulting’ his integrity isn’t something I’m keen on doing with my free time, Jesus H Christ!

          Enjoyed reading lots of you ladies/guys comments over the last few weeks. Even (especially?) the more ‘combative’ of you are very interesting to me.

          Goodbye!

    2. 17.2
      Marika

      Luka,

      If a man didn’t write this and it doesn’t sound like something a man would be concerned about, why do pretty much all the male commenters (apart from one or two) empathise with him and express that they can relate to his fears & insecurities?

      Clearly we’ve hit a nerve here with you guys. I get it. Some of the posts have hit a nerve with me. It would be good if you could own it, as Chance would say.

      1. 17.2.1
        Luka

        Marika,

        I didn’t say it doesn’t sound like something a man wouldn’t be concerned about (if the *something* is men’s concern about being financially objectified/exploited). That issue definitely hits a nerve, I agree with you. IMO its probably analagous to the fear many women have of being sexually used. I don’t believe that some of the other stuff is sincere, specifically the ‘I feel inferior’ part.

        1. KK

          Luka,

          I don’t know if this will help or not, but this was your first comment:

          “Ewww! I’m so glad I live in a culture where (most) women don’t expect men to pay their way. It’s just so gross.”

          I don’t know any man that would start out a sentence with, “Ewww!”. Not one. Yet here you are. Although odd, I didn’t question your gender over it. Just a thought.

        2. Marika

          I’m going to let this go, because far be it to suggest men may overreact in dating or have any blindspots…I digress…but Luka this is the second time you’ve used this analogy and it’s a terrible analogy. There’s no suggestion she aggressively quizzed him about his job and prospects at all and certainly not on the first date (the analogy you gave above). We also don’t know the full context, and a guy being pushily and overtly sexual has a pretty clear interpretation and meaning, whereas this conversation is open to all sorts of interpretation. After 2 months you certainly would make sexual advances and that would be expected, so perhaps after 2 months’ worth of conversation, your career may come up in conversation. Who knows? I wasn’t there. It’s just interesting how pretty much every man sees this one conversation (where we don’t even know what she said) as some sort of red flag. Ignoring everything great she’s doing.

          Anyway, I came here to learn about men and dating, and I’ve definitely learned a lot from this post and comments, so for that I’m grateful.

    3. 17.3
      Selena

      Luka:“I’ve just re-read the OP and I’m having a hard time believing a man would write any of these sentences.”

      I kinda got that vibe also.

      It seems certainly written by someone who has read many of EMK’s  posts in any case.

       

    4. 17.4
      Matt

      Luka, This letter isn’t fake.  I wrote it.

      Hi Evan,

      Thanks for replying to my letter.

      All the best Matt

  18. 18
    Marika

    Emily, I hear what you’re saying, but it muddies the waters.

    He wants to be with someone who accepts him for who he is and isn’t looking to push him to work harder or earn more.

    That’s entirely fair.

    What isn’t fair is blowing up one comment into a bigger deal than it is, and taking it out of the broader context of her overall behaviour. The letter writer shows some insight that he is probably overreacting, and Evan gives some wise advice in this regard, but then a lot of the comments are actually encouraging him to buy into his insecurity because of how other women have treated them in the past.

    1. 18.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika

      He wants to be with someone who accepts him for who he is and isn’t looking to push him to work harder or earn more. That’s entirely fair.

      Yes, I agree.

      a lot of the comments are actually encouraging him to buy into his insecurity because of how other women have treated them in the past.

      It’s called projection.

  19. 19
    Mrs Happy

    Gosh I miss Stacey 2, whose pithy smashing down comment at this point would invariably make me smile. Can you imagine what she would say about the OP?

    And Luka, I didn’t think the letter sounded like it came from a male either.  Also, the last sentence in the 1st paragraph doesn’t flow naturally and seems contrived.

    But for this or similar situations, of course such a woman was sussing out his ambition, career, and future earning prospects. Has everyone who believes otherwise been living down a well? What successful woman in her 40’s isn’t going to be curious about these issues in a partner?

    1. 19.1
      Chance

      “But for this or similar situations, of course such a woman was sussing out his ambition, career, and future earning prospects. Has everyone who believes otherwise been living down a well? What successful woman in her 40’s isn’t going to be curious about these issues in a partner?”

       

      Agree.  I’ve tried to be diplomatic about this, but honestly, one would have to be as dense as a brick or be willfully sticking his/her head in the sand to not see what was going on.

      1. 19.1.1
        Selena

        The LW did not disclose any information about his work life other than  he has “a job that pays okay” and he’s “not really interested in climbing the corporate ladder”. 

        Asking a 47 yr. old about career aspirations does seem odd, but it may not have been if the man in question indicated his work was of the *for now* type rather than in a field he has worked for years.

        I know a number of people who retired in their 50’s. I also know people who changed jobs and fields in their late 40’s – 50’s.  Perhaps the LW talked about other things he would like to do and the woman was responding to that? Impossible to know without context.

        I don’t know, this letter just reads *off* to me.

    2. 19.2
      KK

      Mrs Happy,

      They’re sussing each other out… As they should! There’s just some disagreement as to the conclusion. That doesn’t mean the other female commenters are dense as a brick or willfully sticking our heads in the sand, as Chance (so diplomatically) stated.

    3. 19.3
      ScottH

      And likewise, he’s sussing her out to see if money, title, and status matter to her before he extends his heart to her only to have her shred it because he’s not good enough.  Sure, she’s paying for some dates (is she paying her share or his too?) and that might make it seem like she doesn’t mind, who knows?  But a little down the road, she might mind.  Maybe she’s seeing what it’s like to “date down.”  Maybe she won’t like it.  These are the questions that might be going through his mind which is why he wrote the letter to Evan.

      There are a ton of women who won’t date down regardless of how much she makes (funny you mention Stacy2) because he’s not a man if he doesn’t out-earn her and then she has to be the “man” in the relationship.  There are plenty of Evan’s blogs on that topic and there are scads of women who look down on men who don’t make a ton.  And I’ve experienced it directly and it infuriates me.  It also sickens me to see women talk about how they wouldn’t date a school teacher, like they are some kind of leper and can’t deliver them a life of luxury.

      Good Day.

  20. 20
    CMV

    She’s attractive, not beautiful. I’ve always been drawn to brunettes (she’s blonde) but I find her confidence and drive attractive. And even though I’ve dated more attractive women in the past,”

    Am I the only person that would be horrified to hear a guy I was dating say this about me?

     

    1. 20.1
      Malika

      In dating, there is a whole host of variables to focus on, but i would let this one go.

      If most men waited for another woman to beat the hottest woman they had ever dated, they would have no sex/love life whatsoever. Think of Brad Pitt as an extreme example. Looks wise, who is going to win over Angelina Jolie? Not even the Insta models of the moment are going to surmount that.

      I don’t how old you are, but i’m in my mid thirties and i’ve dated objectively more beautiful men in my past than i do now, for the most part. In my early twenties i was in a relationship with a runway model who worked for Armani among others. If I waited around for a man who could top him in the looks department, I wouldn’t have gone on one date for the past five years. When I was younger i made the mistake of only dating the good looking dudes. While some of them were lovely for many other reasons than their looks, I can honestly say that focusing on men who are still attractive but aren’t about to be hounded by a booking agency has made me way more happier. It is not an overstatement to say it feels like being freed of a prison sentence. There is far more choice to be had, and it’s still refreshing after all these years to go out with a man who isn’t defined by the genetic accident of looking the way he is. Men are the more visual gender but I should think this also applies in some way for them as well. See the famous ‘hot and crazy diagram’ scene from How I Met Your Mother.

      Men are also known for being obsessed by youth. I had a date earlier this week with an older man who showed me a video of his children playing on the beach. His ex was with them on that day and i had a momentary mortification when i realized she can’t be older than 25. He can obviously bag a woman who is way younger than me but that hasn’t stopped him from going out with me and being very enthusiastic about our upcoming second date. We shall see where this goes, but worrying about being compared to his past is not going to make things any easier.

      1. 20.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Malika,

        It’s so funny that you said, “If I waited around for a man who could top him in the looks department, I wouldn’t have gone on one date for the past five years.” because a friend of mine at work was just telling me that his current plain looking and ‘overweight’ girlfriend was asking about him who was prettier between her and his very hot ex-yes they are young (22).

        I agree with all the female commentors and Evan on this, the letter writer has the problem the girlfriend seems great!.

        …   …   …

        If you don’t mind me asking, why do you think people care about the appearance of ex’s?

        Whenever someone tells me the story of being insecure because of a hot ex I have a hard time empathizing because like you with your current guys ex, it doesn’t bother me who the person I am with dated. I wouldn’t care if she dated a model, or someone super rich so why do you think it bothers other people so much if the ex was better looking or was more successful?

        The only time I can see it being justified to feel insecure is if the ex was trying to come back into that person’s life and they looked sexier, but someone from the past that your current partner doesn’t even talk to… Why worry? (O_o)

        1. Malika

          There is no right answer to that question, is there? I hope your colleague survived the ordeal!

          I have at times felt intimidated about exes, especially if i perceived them to be more succesfull or prettier than I was. But that was the dark days before introspection and Evan’s blog gave me a healthier view on dating. I think you can be intimidated because they have achieved a higher standard of society’s standards of fitting in or being succesfull, or if you sense that he felt a lot for her and he wished their relationship had succeeded. It’s human to think about the competition, and it’s a reality that people sometimes do go back to their exes.

          But in reality i have never experienced this. Exes are an ex for a reason. As the relationship deepens, you find out why it didn’t work out, and there was always a good reason for that. There are also times when people talk about The One That Got Away. When they put the past on a pedestal, that can certainly be intimidating. But you just have to remind yourself that they are with you now, and if they are happy with that, the one that got away is just a harmless fantasy.

        2. Emily, the original

          Malika,

          Exes are an ex for a reason. As the relationship deepens, you find out why it didn’t work out, and there was always a good reason for that.  

          But doesn’t it depend on who broke up with whom? If he was dumped, he could still be pinning for the ex. It could be a whole different story if the break up was mutual or he was the initiator.

        3. Malika

          Hi Emily:

          Their pining for their ex usually comes out very quickly in the early stages of the dating relationship. My own personal experience is that i bail, as i am not anything special to them, as the ex still holds that place in their heart.

          In all other cases, even if she was the initiator I have found it doesn’t affect the relationship greatly. Even if they pined for them once upon a time, they have moved on and are focused on the new relationship.

      2. 20.1.2
        Christine

        Well, I can’t speak for anyone else but I think it comes down to fear.  Someone may think that if their partner couldn’t even make it with someone “better”–what chance is there of making it work with them?

        At least, this was behind my own momentary mortification about an ex who is more successful than me.  In hindsight, I realize it was irrational.  They weren’t even in contact with each other, and there was zero indication of them ever getting back together.  Yet I was still intimidated by her.  For a split second I thought, after being with someone like her, who could have given him a more lavish lifestyle–could he be happy with me?  Maybe that’s what this current girlfriend thinks too.  Can he be attracted to “plain” me, after being with “hotter” girls?

        I admit that was my own issue, and am glad I worked through it.  Over time, I also heard about how controlling and critical this ex was, so she couldn’t have been THAT great.  Not to mention, he made his choice pretty clear by choosing to marry me.

        In the end, I learned these comparison games are useless.  Don’t let the stale water under the bridge of the past spill over into the present.

         

    2. 20.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      Probably not, but you should be. Honesty is a virtue, reality your friend. There is nothing horrible about this whatsoever.

    3. 20.3
      Bob

      Am I the only person that would be horrified to hear a guy I was dating say this about me?

       

      In centuries past, a woman would be horrified by the prospect of being killed, battered, starved, enslaved, etc

      Now…. this

      This is what men have to deal with these days

      Now on the topic of sexual attraction, I don’t think it much matters what this guy’s type is but, instead, how good their sex actually is

      I say this from my experience of having had sex with women who I was REALLY attracted to, but the sex was soso and then I’ve had sex with women who were, objectively speaking, average at best, and the sex was REALLY GOOD. We devoured each other. As it should be.

      That’s why I think these two need have sex so they see how well they click in bed

      1. 20.3.1
        CMV

        I’m not sure what you mean by “this is what men have to deal with these days”

        That women don’t like feeling they  are being harshly judged whilst simultaneously being accused of judging harshly?

      2. 20.3.2
        GoWiththeFlow

        Bob,

        “In centuries past, a woman would be horrified by the prospect of being killed, battered, starved, enslaved, etc

        Now…. this”

        Really?  Women should be so grateful we’re not being “killed, battered, starved, enslaved” that we shouldn’t be concerned whether a man’s attraction level to us is enough to sustain a relationship?

        If you’ve ever encountered someone with a rigid “type” preference on the dating scene and he/she is dating you counter to their preferences, you soon learn that those entanglements fizzle out quickly.  There is no long term potential because the partner with the rigid type is soon missing what they’re not getting.

         

         

        1. ScottH

          GWTF:  “a specialist physician with a B.S., an M.D. and 4 years of formal post-graduate specialty training (residency) who grosses $300-400K a year, and her engineer husband with a B.A. and a salary of $120k/yr…She and her husband both fall into the category “educated professional”    AGREED

          “and they both have similar social capital.”  DISAGREED

          I would think social capital would be proportional to income, no?  Greater income enables so much more potential in society.

        2. Bob

          The idea being that women are horrified, no matter what, whether it’s someone trying to bludgeon their heads in or if a man doesn’t view them as the realization of his fantasies.

          I don’t think any woman has anything to worry about with respect to attractiveness; there will always be men who want to have sex with you and want to marry you. The problem contemporary women run into is that they don’t have mutual feelings about those very men but instead want to marry men who will have sex with them- or probably already have- but won’t marry them.

          That last sentence probably described every woman older than 35.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          ScottH,

          ““and they both have similar social capital.”  DISAGREED

          I would think social capital would be proportional to income, no?  Greater income enables so much more potential in society.”

          Let’s put it this way, the physician goes to visit mom and dad and says, “I have some news.  I met a great guy!  His name is XXX (indicates same race/cultural background), he is an engineer who works for YYY, and he’s even (same religion)!

          Parents:  “Oh honey that’s wonderful!  Are you talking wedding plans yet?”

          Now change that to physician says to parents:  “I have some news. I met a great guy!  His name is XXX (indicates same race/cultural background), he is a male barista at Starbucks, and he’s even (same religion)!

          Think the parents are going to have a less than enthusiastic reaction in the second scenario?  Chances are better than not that they will.  Because they consider the engineer to be in their daughter’s socio-economic lane, but the the Starbuck’s guy.

          Family, friends, church, work and cultural communities have a big role in ensuring class lines aren’t crossed in the mating game.  This contributes to assortive mating.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          Bob,

          “That last sentence probably described every woman older than 35.”

          If you look again at what I wrote, I never said women don’t suffer from having rigid criteria for men they will date.

          “I don’t think any woman has anything to worry about with respect to attractiveness; there will always be men who want to have sex with you and want to marry you. The problem contemporary women run into is that they don’t have mutual feelings about those very men but instead want to marry men who will have sex with them- or probably already have- but won’t marry them.”

          And many of the male commenters here have repeatedly shared their HORROR that not all the women they want to have sex and relationships with are return the interest.

    4. 20.4
      Henriette

      I’m not in the least bit horrified by this.   I’m in my mid-40s and I expect most men I go out with have, at some point in their lives, dated a woman who is smarter than I.  As well as a woman (probably a different one) who is sexier than I.  As well as another woman whose waist-to-hip ratio is more ideal than mine.  Etc. Etc.  I don’t need to be the best in any category for the guy I end up with, except the best overall match for him.  Isn’t that what you really care about?   Knowing your guy understands & appreciates that you two can build a better life together, than he could with anyone else?

      1. 20.4.1
        CMV

        “I don’t need to be the best in any category for the guy I end up with, except the best overall match for him. ”

        Yes – this is my belief exactly! 🙂

        I guess I’m just quite bemused by a guy concerned about being judged and then conceivably judging away.

        Maybe I’m in denial but I guess I’d prefer being spoken about in positive terms such as “She’s the best match I’ve had in a long time, I think she’s cute and pretty” instead of “Well I’ve had beautiful women and ehhhh…”

         

        1. Adrian

          Hi CMV,

          You stated “I guess I’m just quite bemused by a guy concerned about being judged and then conceivably judging away.

          I completely agree with this.

          Honestly it made me less empathetic to his plight. This woman sounds great and he says this about her… makes him sound like a jerk to me… even if it was just bravado to sound manly in front of Evan it still came off as rude.

          It reminds me of a story that the commentor KK spoke about in which she heard a guy she was dating call women “B’s” casually and how it made her lose respect and attraction for him. Many of the male commentors could not understand her reaction but I could and still can.

          Someone like the letter writer who insults a person for no reason loses respect from me… but maybe I am blowing this one little thing out of proportion… like how the letter writer blow her one question out of proportion.

        2. Bob

          Men have to sell themselves to women, aka courting, whereas women need only filter those men.

          That’s a double standard that works great for women.

          After a certain age or level of experience, though, a man understands this and develops the attitude that courting requires enough investment that a man should judge a woman ASAP to assess her investment worthiness to avoid poor investment.

          You are indeed in denial. Men generally don’t need for you to have the most beautiful face or body. Those are just the first things they see which are factors in investment worthiness assessment, which are exactly the same which a woman sees when she filters him.

          If you want to sidestep all this, you can grow a spine and take the initiative rather than waiting for fate to make you happy.

  21. 21
    Adrian

    Could someone help me understand something that is always said about dating…

    Helene said: “Mating, pair-bonding, whatever you want to call it is not an intellectual thing, it is a primal/genetic/hormonal  thing that does not fundamentally change, even if the outward manifestations vary slightly from culture to culture and at different points in history. Men like to chase and conquer – women like to be chased and conquered.

    Everyone: both non-academic professional dating experts and the everyday person giving advice says this but my question is why do they not only accept but encourage this part of the dating evolutionary theory but not the part about men needing to have sex with as many women as possible and men not staying with the mate after she gets pregnant or has the baby?

    If a man leaves after only getting sex from a woman, cheats on his girlfriends/wife, or leaves her for a younger better looking women then the man is a slimeball creep, but a man who does NOT want to chase and court is a weakling denying his primal instincts.

    But isn’t the same research that states that men like to chase is the same research that states that men like to have sex with various different women and not commit to just one???

    In all honest sincerity could someone show me what I am missing? Because to me it appears that people are only choosing the parts they like and willfully ignoring the parts they don’t; it’s like having a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich but only eating the parts that have the jelly.

    I always believe that men choose to court a women just as a man chooses to be faithful to her. I never saw it as a primal instinct for a man to court or be a player, or cheat.

    …   …   …

    By the way could someone show me the research that says that men like to chase WOMEN!!! Everything that I have read speaks about men loving to hunt and chase food not wives

    1. 21.1
      Jeremy

      You aren’t missing anything, Adrian.

       

      And regarding men liking to chase?  Some do.  Most don’t.  We do it because we have to.  You and I have discussed this before, but remember the porn analogy.  The women in porn, the one men fantasize about, are almost always the sexual initiators and are impossible to displease.  Men fantasize about not needing to chase and not being able to be rejected or to fail.

       

      But, and take note here, one of the most common fantasies of women is a rape fantasy – but that doesn’t mean that women would be happy to be raped.  Our fantasies don’t always play out well in real life, and often are best if left as fantasy.  In the same way, some men don’t appreciate what they have if it does not come with some pursuit or some risk of failure.  Often times, the things we are most proud of doing are the ones that were hardest for us to do.  So even though most men don’t love to hunt for wives, there might be something to be said for having to do some hunting nevertheless.

      1. 21.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        And regarding men liking to chase?  Some do.  Most don’t. 

        I agree with you on this. A male friend said you spend your life looking for it (women and sex) and when you get your hands on something regular, you want to hold on to it (get married). I think the chase starts to get old.

        But, and take note here, one of the most common fantasies of women is a rape fantasy – but that doesn’t mean that women would be happy to be raped. 

        The fantasy isn’t being raped but having a man you want be overwhelmed by desire for you.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          Now that you are a student again I can have you help me carry my books to class, you carry the heavy ones and I’ll carry the pencil (^_^).

          …   …   …

          Em you said “The fantasy isn’t being raped but having a man you want be overwhelmed by desire for you.

          I completely agree with this. I watched the movie the NoteBook to see what all the hype was about and to see if I could learn something about women.

          To me the movie wasn’t that great but I think it was the fact that the male character displayed overwhelming desire for her that sparked the love of the movie for women.

          You always speak about guys who don’t know how to take the hint that you are not into them for an answer or who think that women want a man to just try harder… but the keywords in your statement was that the woman has to in some way already want the attention from the guy.

          If I tried to show overwhelming desire for a women who thought I was ugly it wouldn’t work. I would just come off as a stalker or as desperate.

          …   …   …

          Which leads me to my question (you knew it was coming) (^_^)

          In your opinion what separates a man who doesn’t have a chance with a woman from a man who she just wants to court harder?

          I know you and chance spoke about this a few weeks ago and he was right in my (and his) opinion, most women are not blunt about their attraction for a guy, they don’t do as you said and give out direct cues-women are subtle.

          You and I also once spoke about what is written in my body language book. How women are very friendly and polite but women are also scientifically 10 times better at reading subtle body language cues, so when a woman is signalling a man that she is not interested in a romantic relationship, just a friendly one to her it is obvious but no so to the man.

          This is why so many men often mistake a woman being friendly for her flirting or for her desiring him.

          So professor Emily if you had a son how would you advise him to know the difference between a woman that wants him to work harder and a woman who wants him to go away… assuming that both are smiling and talking friendly with him.

        2. Emily, the original

          Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          Now that you are a student again I can have you help me carry my books to class, you carry the heavy ones and I’ll carry the pencil (^_^).

          I start in August … but you are more than welcome to carry my pencil.  🙂

          …   …   …

          I watched the movie the NoteBook to see what all the hype was about and to see if I could learn something about women. To me the movie wasn’t that great but I think it was the fact that the male character displayed overwhelming desire for her that sparked the love of the movie for women.

          I don’t think the movie’s that great, either, but the sex scene in the rain is a master class in seduction. It’s hot, it’s passionate and there’s no hesitation. Or watch Prince in Purple Rain when he sings “The Beautiful Ones.” Both are examples of passion/lust/love being directed at one very specific woman, and I think women want to feel that they’re being singled out.

          If I tried to show overwhelming desire for a women who thought I was ugly it wouldn’t work. I would just come off as a stalker or as desperate.

          There has to be some rapport between you two or else it would be creepy, yes.

          …   …   …

          Which leads me to my question (you knew it was coming)

          Of course I did!   🙂

          So professor Emily if you had a son how would you advise him to know the difference between a woman that wants him to work harder and a woman who wants him to go away… assuming that both are smiling and talking friendly with him.I have a male friend who met a woman at a bar and they hit if off. As she left, she gave him her phone number. I think of that as an extremely clear sign of interest. I think that’s what women do if they like a man, but I’ve written about this on another post on this site and some of the female commenters disagreed. In my experience, if I like someone and I can tell he’s putting out the feelers, I will help him out. The flip side of that is not helping him out. I remember a guy who approached me a few times to tell me he was going to a party we’d both been invited to. Each time, I said I wasn’t going and I never countered with another suggestion to meet up. If a man tells you where and when he’s going to be somewhere and wants to know if you will be there, too, and you say no, it seems pretty obvious you aren’t interested. 

        3. KK

          Yes, and it was directed at housewives.

          If temporary alimony didn’t exist, many women who have been out of the work force for 10+ years, would find themselves homeless in the midst of divorce.

          Women who have dedicated themselves to their families should be allowed 2 to 3 years at minimum in order to get additional education to be able to successfully re-enter the workforce. This doesn’t make them disgusting.

        4. Chance

          KK, nope, it wasn’t.  One doesn’t have to be a housewife to collect alimony.  Also, one can be a housewife, and go straight back to work after a divorce without collecting any alimony.  They have nothing to do with one another.  You’re reaching to conflate these two topics, and it’s not working.  Give it up.

        5. KK

          “Also, one can be a housewife, and go straight back to work after a divorce without collecting any alimony.  They have nothing to do with one another.  You’re reaching to conflate these two topics, and it’s not working.  Give it up”.

          Chance,

          Unless she was formerly a school teacher or a nurse who kept up with her licensing, she can’t simply go back to work. Employers want to hire people right out of school or people with years of experience. There are very few occupations that will allow you to take an extended hiatus and just pop back in 10+ years later.

          On the contrary, if someone can show a potential employer that (although they’ve been out of the work force for an extended period) they’ve taken the time to go back to school or acquire some type of specialized training, they improve their odds tremendously in finding gainful employment.

          Regardless of your lack of knowledge with regards to the harsh realities that many women face post divorce, I am very thankful that the law is on my side. I find your lack of compassion for women in general to be quite disturbing, but to be okay with tossing a woman out on the street is deplorable. And that would be the reality for many women if temporary alimony didn’t exist.

        6. Chance

          KK, I’m not going to get into a debate with you about the merits of alimony.  However, I’ll take your shift in topic as a concession from you acknowledging that I haven’t criticized housewives for being such.

        7. KK

          Chance,

          Whatever you’d like to tell yourself I suppose, but I haven’t shifted the topic. I’ve merely responded to your assertions. I just didn’t think it was very kind of you to insult SE’s mentality, especially since I could recall you saying the same things she recalled. I do find it quite odd that you very rarely answer direct questions such as the questions SE posed. I also find it odd that you repeatedly tell the women on here that they need to concede to whatever argument you’re making at the time. Yet when you disagree with a man, not only do you do so in a very respectful way, you’ve never insisted they concede to whatever point you’re attempting to make.

        8. Chance

          Awwww, KK, thanks for continuing to engage with me :).  Nah, I just feel compelled to respond to false accusations.  At any rate, if you or SE can find an example of where I criticized women for their choice to be housewives, please copy/paste and I’ll be happy to apologize.

      2. 21.1.2
        Adrian

        Hi Jeremy,

        I rarely get to pick your brain (^_^).

        I have never heard the porn analogy, I like it!

        Anything that helps me understand women and especially myself as a man and why I do what I do I LOVE! That’s what attracts me so much to Evan.

        …   …   …

        The letter writer feels inferior because his girlfriend makes more. Could you explain your hypothesis on men, women, money and beauty?

        Because many of the female commentors say that they don’t care how much a man makes or if he is rich just as long as he can support himself.

        But most things I read about mating say that women will go after a guy who makes more regardless of his looks over an average guy who is financially stable.

        Yet the female commentors on here (who I love and listen to) always say that women DO care about looks and DON’T care about wealth just stability. So the thing about being rich but ugly giving guys access to hot women is a myth?

        If so why do so many research papers (quoted in the relationship books that I read) say that women do seek wealth over looks; Jeremy what am I missing?

        Also…

        What is your opinion on women who try to use their financial or job status to increase their mating rating before guys?

        I always think it’s a great accomplishment for any person (man or women) to gain success in the field that they work but just because I acknowledge and applaud the achievements of a woman who has 3 masters degrees and who is in a high position at her job does NOT mean that it affects my attraction for her.

        I have noticed reading this blog over the years that many women are upset by this. Especially when a man will choose a hot waitress with only a high school diploma over an average looking Marketing VP that has been to 9 different countries.

        Jeremy do you think women honestly believe that we men value the same things for mating and attraction as they do: Success and status?

        Or are these women over compensating, or do these women just naturally have masculine energy, or do they just want equality in dating?

        What am I missing?

        1. jeremy

          It’s all about priorities, Adrian….

           

          I’ve written ad nauseam about women needing to respect the men they are with for certain qualities that the women find important.  But the qualities that a given woman finds important often change over the course of her lifetime as she enters different stages of her life.  The university student who values looks, social status and extroversion in a man may enter a stage in her life where she wants to have kids, and suddenly find that she values stability and dad potential.  And as the qualities she finds important change, so does the calculus of her attraction and the ratio of comfort:arousal that she desires.

           

          TL;DR – some women value looks over income, some don’t, some do but then change, some don’t and then change.  So get to know a woman as well as you can before committing to her :).

           

          As for your other question, no, men don’t generally value the same things women do for mating and attraction and the reason is simple – men want to BE admired and women want a man THEY can respect.  Men want a woman who makes them feel aroused and women want a man who is overwhelmingly aroused BY them, and whose arousal will make the woman aroused.  These are generalities, of course, but they hold true much of the time.  I remember the first time I realized this was when I approached my wife for sex and she told me that she wasn’t feeling sexy.  I was mystified.  What does feeling sexy have to do with it?  Nothing for men, everything for women…

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Adrian!

          So good to *see* you again 🙂

          One big thing you wrote that jumped out at me:

          “I always think it’s a great accomplishment for any person (man or women) to gain success in the field that they work but just because I acknowledge and applaud the achievements of a woman who has 3 masters degrees and who is in a high position at her job does NOT mean that it affects my attraction for her.

          I have noticed reading this blog over the years that many women are upset by this.”

          What women are upset about is not that their career/education/accomplishments is a non-factor in attracting men.  It’s that it’s considered unattractive or a huge negative by many men.

          Go to the (very popular) post “Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women?” and read some of the comments from men.  The stereotyping of women (ball busting, unfeminine) with higher education and/or careers, and resentment of them just jumps off of the computer screen at you.

          #1.2:  “You know what is truly disgusting from all these “successful, strong women” commenting? How absolutely sexiest they are toward woman who aren’t as “successful, ambitious, or strong.” So your degree and career make you women more deserving of love than lowly women? Men don’t want to date you because you are ugly on the inside. A teacher or secretary with a sunny disposition beats these career women any day. Check you arrogance. It makes you very off-putting and repulsive. Way to throw women with less ambition, less career success, less forwardness under the bus! But you’d rather be single than compromise … your dream came true! Because the hair dressers, teachers, secretaries, waitresses I know are happily married with loving families. But hey, you career and strong women have your toys and careers! Yay! You must be so happy!!”

          Then #7.7:  “Every other creature on this planet has gender roles and fills them as required, without question. Why are human females above all other creatures and nature?”

          And #10.12:  “Men are NOT attracted to strong and independent women. This is not a social pattern. You are free to adopt whatever stance that suits you. Men will simply avoid you. No one cares what you do really.”

          Lastly #782:  “You “smart strong successful” career women don’t get it.

          You want a career AND a family.  Problem is there’s not enough time in a day to tackle both.  You have a career & a degree, good for you!  (sarcastic clap) I really could care less.  Everyone nowadays has a degree & a job, so what else is new?  Most men could care about your stupid occupations.  Might as well have gotten a degree in clown school.  Get over yourselves.

          Anybody else here find it ironic how these “smart strong successful” women are too dumb & weak-minded to see the forest for the trees?   They want a high-paying career but also want a family, but due to their biological clocks & the fact there’s not enough time in a day to manage both shows career women are in a huge conflict of interest.

          Can’t have it both ways ladies.  Either you want a family or you want a career.”

          A few post topics back, in the comments section, on a related subject, myself and some of the other women commenters brought up an article that appeared in the last year or so in the New York Times titled, “Why Men Want to Marry Melanias and Raise Ivankas.”  Just the title says a lot, but if you have a chance it’s a good read.  It cites some numbers behind the apparently statistically significant desire of many men to NOT want to marry a woman with a career.

          Up above (this post) in #14.2, Jeremy mentions that the male commenters may be overreacting to the LW’s lady friend asking about his job aspirations because of men’s shared experience being judged by women for their academic credentials, careers, and paychecks.  Some of that is happening here as well.  Most women past a certain age, who have a job where they make anything past a subsistence wage have experienced this at least once in their dating life.

          Sometimes we just get plain ole’ hate, like in the comments I referenced above.  IMO though, this negativity some men feel about successful women gets expressed in a way similar to the LW’s.  “My issue is that I feel inferior to her. She makes much more money than I do and her family is from a business background but mine are working class. I often feel she’d be more suited to a businessman.”

          I’m glad that the LW is questioning the impulse he sometimes gets to break up with his lady friend and he reached out to Evan for advice.  I suspect a lot of men don’t and just break up with the woman before fully getting to know her.  In a way I think that this experience for a woman is similar to the hurt and anger men experience when they get judged by women as being not up to par in the job/education/finances department.

          I do think that there is a generational element to this, the LW is 47, right around my age.  My three 20-something year old nieces and friends’ daughters don’t seem to be encountering this as much as Baby Boomer and Gen-X women I know have.  There was a helluva lot of social changes in the 60s, 70s, & 80s, and as a society we’re still learning and adjusting to it.  I hope it will be a non-issue for my daughter and granddaughter.

          One last related item.  The language many of the male commenters use on this issue can be better.  Instead of saying, “men don’t care about a woman’s career or education” try “men prioritize warmth, kindness, and being accepted when looking for a special woman.”  Don’t/doesn’t care comes off as a negative not as a true neutral or non-factor.  If it’s a non-factor why mention it?  Mention what you DO want.  This would be like if I said to a man who earns less than me, “I don’t care that you don’t make good money.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if a man heard that and said “Ouch!”

           

        3. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          I do think that there is a generational element to this, the LW is 47, right around my age.  My three 20-something year old nieces and friends’ daughters don’t seem to be encountering this as much as Baby Boomer and Gen-X women I know have.

          There may be some truth to this. I also read Susan Walsh’s blog “Hooking Up Smart” and several of the male 20-something commenters wanted to marry a woman with an education and a career. It’s been written about before, but people tend to marry people who are like them in terms of education, career levels and levels of attractiveness, but that may be more common in the younger generations.

        4. Jeremy

          @Emily, I wonder if the phenomenon you described of younger people wanting to marry people who are like them is real, or if it is an error of affective forecasting.  Because the same research that shows that young people SAY they want egalitarian marriages also shows that as those same people settle into their marriages, they often fall into traditional gender roles.  Is it possible that young people believe they will continue to want what they currently want when they marry, only to find that what they want changes?  And not just changes, but changes somewhat predictably?  Like your comment above about income, and how the young person may not factor income into consideration, only to discover that it matters after all when considering a family…

        5. Chance

          GWTF,

           

          Young women may not be seeing this yet because they don’t prioritize income until around 30, generally speaking.  Some of the most supposedly “liberated” women I’ve come across have been the worst offenders as it relates to their expectation of a man’s provisioning.  Men’s aversion to high-income women has nothing to do with them being disgusted with successful women.  Rather, it has to do with insecurity on their part because they know how miserable most women are when they have to subsidize a man in the way that men often subsidize women.

           

          I think if you ever see more women become comfortable with the idea of supporting a man, you’ll see less of these insecure comments.  I happen to be very attracted to women who are successful, but trust me, I fully understand that it’s a non-starter for them if they happen to make more than me.  I’m not the one who has a problem with it, they are the ones who have a problem with it.

        6. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I wonder if the phenomenon you described of younger people wanting to marry people who are like them is real, or if it is an error of affective forecasting.

          Actually, I think it’s subconscious. People gravitate to similar people. Look at some couples. They even look alike. We are all narcissistic. But assortative mating, as it’s called, is creating a tremendous income disparity. Well-educated, medium- or high-earning people are marrying each other. Tons of articles have been written about it. Years ago, a CEO might marry his secretary, thus raising her socioeconomic status. It’s not happening as frequently anymore. Lower income, less educated people are having children but their marriage rate is going down.

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Hi Jeremy,

          It’s assortive mating, and it’s been increasing since the 1970s.  That combined with increased economic homogamy–spouses increasingly contributing similar amounts of money to total household earnings–has been extensively discussed as drivers of income inequality in the U.S. and other developed western economies. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/02/10/opposites-dont-attract-assortative-mating-and-social-mobility/

          As far as whether the newly married fall into traditional roles in the U.S., according to the BLS, women are now the greater wage earners in 38% of families.  And even in the cases where a married woman cuts back on or stops working outside of the home does that change the fact that when she and her husband met, dated, and decided to marry she was a combination of highly educated/high income earner?

          As far as whether these assortively mated couples are happy, it’s been well documented that people who have advanced educations and marry later in life have a much lower divorce rate than those who drop out of high school and get married young.  So for some–college educated who marry around age 30–assortive mating seems to be working out well for them and their children.  Evan’s subsequent post on the David Brooks piece about men in multigenerational impoverished communities forming unstable relationships and having children with women in the same socioeconomic situation, shows the downside of like marrying, or hooking up, with like.

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          Chance,

          “Men’s aversion to high-income women has nothing to do with them being disgusted with successful women.  Rather, it has to do with insecurity on their part because they know how miserable most women are when they have to subsidize a man in the way that men often subsidize women.”

          Well, I can answer that by saying that a reason women may want higher earning men is because they know a man will eventually feel emasculated and resent them for having a higher income.  And ’round and ’round we go!

          “I think if you ever see more women become comfortable with the idea of supporting a man, you’ll see less of these insecure comments.”

          Then concurrently men cannot pre-emptively rule out dating higher earning women based on negative stereotypes.  Nor can a man push a woman away in the early stages of a relationship because of an inner dialogue he is having with his insecurities.  Which is what the LW is struggling with.

           

        9. Jeremy

          Yes, I’ve read many articles about assortative mating, and I know Susan Walsh discusses it on her blog and brings a lot of research to support it.  It seems to show that people marry others who are similar to them – in terms of socioeconomic background, educational level, and attractiveness.  I don’t deny that it is the trend, but I find some of the research flawed because some of the equivalences are not equivalent.  The research assumes that a union of 2 people with similar upbringing who went to the same school for the same amount of time is assortative mating of equals.  But if one has a master’s in fine arts and the other has a master’s in engineering, the two are headed for VERY different lifestyles if they had to be self-sufficient.  And although they came from similar backgrounds, the backgrounds they could give their own children would be very different.  Regardless of their backgrounds, if their income potentials are very different, how equal are they in this society, and how assortative is their mating?

           

          I have observed (at least in my circles, which I acknowledge are small sample size and not necessarily representative) that men marry women with similar backgrounds, just as the research shows.  University educated men marry university educated women from similar SES backgrounds.  But practically speaking, men marry women with SMV+1 and women marry men with income potential+1, and those tend to be the stable unions.  When the income disparity is less (and especially when the man is less than equal), I have observed over and over resentment of the woman of not being able to work less when children arrive.  Because notwithstanding the fact that when you ask female university students whether they will want a man to support them almost all say no, the fact remains that when you ask older women with children whether they prefer to work full-time or not, almost none say yes…..and didn’t realize that the corollary of that is that they need a spouse to support them to realize that desire…

        10. Jeremy

          @GWTF, you asked a really good question IMHO – if a woman out-earns a man at the start of the relationship and then cuts back when she has kids, does that change the fact that when they married she had the better income?

           

          The answer to your rhetorical question is obviously no, but the better question (IMHO) is what are the implications of the fact that she was once a higher earner and is now not.  Tell me, if she was the higher earner and more educated, did she marry assortively?  And if not, what did she ultimately want from marriage and will what she wanted from marriage remain the same as she enters different stages of her life?

           

          Again, keeping in mind the research that shows that women with children under age 18 prefer, by and large, not to work full-time if given their choice, while the majority of men with children don’t seem to mind working full-time.  If the woman prefers not to work but has to take a huge financial hit because her husband earns less than she could, how happy will she be relying on his income?  And if she chooses to go back to work full-time and have him work part-time (as she would prefer to do), how happy with the relationship will she be?  Will the fact that her income potential is higher than her husband’s ultimately make her happier, or less happy given what she is statistically likely to want in the future?  And, most important of all, will she take into consideration the research that shows that most women with children don’t want to work full-time when she is young and planning a relationship, or will she believe that statistics don’t apply to her?

        11. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          University educated men marry university educated women from similar SES backgrounds.  But practically speaking, men marry women with SMV+1 and women marry men with income potential+1, and those tend to be the stable unions.

          This is exactly what assortative mating is. It’s not that you have two people who have the exact same earning potential but two people who have similar levels of education and backgrounds so they have similar values and want similar things out of life. Yes, one may be slightly better looking and one may earn more, like the example you gave that one has a master’s in fine arts and one a master’s in engineering. Of course, the engineer will earn more. Women, as a general rule, will earn less if they go into the more traditionally female fields  like nursing and education and men go into the more traditionally masculine fields like math and the sciences. If you pool their income, they are doing fairly well. Although I think a lot of women on this blog are high earners. It’s ironic when people don’t like who they attract because, in essence, you attract YOURSELF!

        12. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “The answer to your rhetorical question is obviously no, but the better question (IMHO) is what are the implications of the fact that she was once a higher earner and is now not.  Tell me, if she was the higher earner and more educated, did she marry assortively?”

          Quick answer:  Absolutely yes.

          The economic/education component of assortive mating is simply people marrying within their own SES strata level.  Class is the dirty little secret that we don’t talk about because it isn’t supposed to exist in modern advanced societies.  The income and education level gap between my friend, a specialist physician with a B.S., an M.D. and 4 years of formal post-graduate specialty training (residency) who grosses $300-400K a year, and her engineer husband with a B.A. and a salary of $120k/yr is nothing compared to what it would be if she married a high school drop out with a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant.  She and her husband both fall into the category “educated professional” and they both have similar social capital.

          “Again, keeping in mind the research that shows that women with children under age 18 prefer, by and large, not to work full-time if given their choice, while the majority of men with children don’t seem to mind working full-time.  If the woman prefers not to work but has to take a huge financial hit because her husband earns less than she could, how happy will she be relying on his income?  And if she chooses to go back to work full-time and have him work part-time (as she would prefer to do), how happy with the relationship will she be?  Will the fact that her income potential is higher than her husband’s ultimately make her happier, or less happy given what she is statistically likely to want in the future?  And, most important of all, will she take into consideration the research that shows that most women with children don’t want to work full-time when she is young and planning a relationship, or will she believe that statistics don’t apply to her?”

          Two big things are missing here.

          First, what happens in a marriage isn’t solely driven by female wants.  I’ve known quite a few men who were happier and less stressed when their wives cut back work hours when kids arrived.  They had to shoulder fewer household chores and had more free time.  (Getting to go to the gym after work instead of racing to pick up a child from daycare on time).  And as one male coworker said to me, he worried less about his kids during the day when his wife stayed home full time after baby #2 because “They’re being taken care of the only person in the world who loves them as much as I do.”

          Also, factors outside the family have a huge impact on what realistic choices are for them.  Safe, affordable childcare can be difficult to obtain.  For some families it’s simply cheaper to have a parent do the majority of the caregiving in lieu of working outside of the home.  For a couple who both have low paying service jobs, paying $360 per week for two kids in daycare (what I paid for two kids three years ago) could wipe out one of their paychecks.  Add in the cost of working–transportation, work attire–and it’s just economic sense to have one parent at home.

          Situations change.  Partners make deals with each other.  Sometimes one partner shoulders the financial burden for a period of time, and then it switches.  One couple I know, both nurses, have an arrangement where one works full time and the other part time for 18 months to 2 years and then they switch.  My best friend’s husband worked full time in IT so she could go from being a nurse to being a physician.  When she finished training and went into private practice, he quit his IT job and became a real estate agent.   That was sixteen years ago and she has made more money than him for all of those years.  What matters to them is that together over the years they were able to provide their kids with excellent educations and a stable home life,  they will be financially secure in a shared retirement, and they are both in jobs/careers where they truly enjoy what they do.

          The second factor that’s missing is that there will almost always be a gap between what an individual ideally wants and what is possible and what they end up with.  There is a lot about my life that is not anywhere close to what I thought it would be like 5 years ago, much less when I was 20.  When I was a young woman I very likely have told a researcher in a survey that I wanted to work less or not at all after having kids.  Yeah, that’s so not how things turned out!  I also wanted to be a pilot when I was 16, and I never became one.  But I’m content with where I am and I’m looking forward to and am excited about my future.  Many times people don’t get what they think they want, and they’re still happy and satisfied with their lives.

          Many times male commenters have said to pay attention to behavior and not words.  Women in surveys say they want to work less or not at all after having children.  Yet 38% of U.S. households headed by a married couple have a wife who is the higher earner.  The number of women with children under the age of 5 in the workforce grew exponentially in the 1970s and 80s to where a majority of mothers with young children are employed in the work force.

          Maybe for the majority of women the choice is marriage and motherhood combined with work, or work with no marriage and kids.  Working is not optional for most women.  The only option is whether to get married and have kids.  So in an ideal world women may want to stay home with their kids.  But  it’s mathematically impossible for 90% of women to, as you say, plan their relationship, by marrying a top 10% income earning man who can support them in their ideal.  For many women, no amount of life or relationship planning is going to get them their ideal.  The only thing to do then is adjust expectations.  And behavior would indicate that’s what women do.

        13. Chance

          Jeremy said:

          “I don’t deny that it is the trend, but I find some of the research flawed because some of the equivalences are not equivalent.  The research assumes that a union of 2 people with similar upbringing who went to the same school for the same amount of time is assortative mating of equals.  But if one has a master’s in fine arts and the other has a master’s in engineering, the two are headed for VERY different lifestyles if they had to be self-sufficient.  And although they came from similar backgrounds, the backgrounds they could give their own children would be very different.  Regardless of their backgrounds, if their income potentials are very different, how equal are they in this society, and how assortative is their mating?”

          Nailed it.  I was preparing to say the same thing, and you saved me the effort.  This is why I have never agreed that this research supports the notion that women no longer heavily consider income when choosing whom to marry.  Also, and this has just been my experience, but I’ve observed that a female teacher (as an example) will see a male doctor as her equal since they both went to college, but a female doctor will definitely not see a male teacher as her equal.  So, perspective plays a significant role as well.

          Emily said:

          “This is exactly what assortative mating is. It’s not that you have two people who have the exact same earning potential but two people who have similar levels of education and backgrounds so they have similar values and want similar things out of life.”

          Then why is it so often used by a few posters around these parts to support the idea that women no longer heavily consider income when choosing a mate?

        14. Evan Marc Katz

          As a coach for women, the VAST majority consider money when choosing a man. Online, they’ll look at his photo, his age, his height, his education, his job, his income, and his political beliefs – none of which measure for character, kindness, communication or commitment. That’s not an attack. That’s an observation from a man who has the privilege to witness how women go about searching for partners.

        15. Chance

          Hi GWTF,

           

          “Well, I can answer that by saying that a reason women may want higher earning men is because they know a man will eventually feel emasculated and resent them for having a higher income.  And ’round and ’round we go!”

           

          Yes, I’ve said here before that I think it’s a feedback loop.  Men run into many women who expect men to make more, which makes men scared to date women who make more than these men.  So, the higher-earning women who actually don’t mind dating a man who makes less find that these men are scared to be with them so they now don’t want to date men who make less, which further reinforces these men’s belief that higher-earning women don’t want to be with lesser-earning men.

        16. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          Assortative mating is exactly as GWTF described:

          The economic/education component of assortive mating is simply people marrying within their own SES strata level.  Class is the dirty little secret that we don’t talk about because it isn’t supposed to exist in modern advanced societies.  The income and education level gap between my friend, a specialist physician with a B.S., an M.D. and 4 years of formal post-graduate specialty training (residency) who grosses $300-400K a year, and her engineer husband with a B.A. and a salary of $120k/yr is nothing compared to what it would be if she married a high school drop out with a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant.  She and her husband both fall into the category “educated professional” and they both have similar social capital.

          Of course women consider a man’s income, particularly if they want a family. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the smart thing for both parties to do. How much money will we jointly earn? What kind of life will we have? Can we afford for one person not to work for a while and raise the children? Can we put them through college? You are merging you lives. Money is an important issue. If you think it’s terrible that some women filter out men who, in their estimation, don’t earn enough, it’s no more discriminatory then men who filter out women who are their own age or who they don’t think are attractive enough. Everybody wants what they want.

        17. Chance

          Emily, my point isn’t about women simply considering income.  Rather, it is about the fact that many women expect men to make more, while simultaneously acting like they don’t expect this.  I suspect the reason these women deny this fact is because that acknowledging it would clash against the fact that women don’t want to be restricted to any gender roles themselves.  I think that women understand, on some level of consciousness, that it’s hypocritical.  Solution:  deny that this phenomenon exists.

           

          Finally, I don’t have a problem with women expecting a man to subsidize them in, and of, itself.  Just quit trying to act like this isn’t going on.  If you want a man to provide, and he agrees to it, and you’re willing to perform traditional female roles, have at it.

        18. DeeGee

          Evan Marc Katz said: “As a coach for women, the VAST majority consider money when choosing a man. Online, they’ll look at his photo, his age, his height, his education, his job, his income, and his political beliefs – none of which measure for character, kindness, communication or commitment. That’s not an attack. That’s an observation from a man who has the privilege to witness how women go about searching for partners.

          Thank you Evan!
          That is exactly what I have been saying for years now about women on dating sites.
          It is the main reason why I have decided to discontinue my dating site subscriptions.  I figure I will have better luck at local adult mingling events or attending a local church, where I can mingle with women and then they can actually see my character and who I am before judging me fit or unfit to date.

        19. DeeGee

          GoWithTheFlow said: “Yet 38% of U.S. households headed by a married couple have a wife who is the higher earner.

          Where did you source your statistic?
          It is not correct.  If you used the Pew data you are not quoting it correctly.

          Only 15% of US married households have a wife as the higher earner.  This is the “Married mother / primary provider” group.

          Breadwinner Moms

        20. Evan Marc Katz

          DeeGee: It’s the most recent statistic I read and shared on this blog.

        21. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          Emily, my point isn’t about women simply considering income.  Rather, it is about the fact that many women expect men to make more, while simultaneously acting like they don’t expect this.  I suspect the reason these women deny this fact is because that acknowledging it would clash against the fact that women don’t want to be restricted to any gender roles themselves.

          I give up. The topics of money and women reinterpreting gender roles for their own purposes are things you bring up frequently and we’re just going around in circles. If you want to be sure a woman isn’t using you for money, don’t share a home with her, have children with her or pay for any dates. It’s that simple.

        22. ScottH

          Evan said, “the VAST majority consider money when choosing a man. Online, they’ll look at his photo, his age, his height, his education, his job, his income, and his political beliefs – ”

          Guys do the same kind of thing.  We look at their pictures and profile entries, etc to determine if we want to pursue a woman.  it’s the drawback to online dating but portraying character in your dating profile is next to impossible, especially considering that people are so inept when it comes to writing profiles.  So what else are we to do besides taking your best guess and seeing what happens.  And some people prioritize looks and money over character (not the smartest people).

        23. SparklingEmerald

          Chance said “If you want a man to provide, and he agrees to it, and you’re willing to perform traditional female roles, have at it.”

          Would you be willing to provide for a woman if she would happily take on the traditional housewife/mother role ?

          Reading your posts over the years, I haven’t been able to figure out if a traditional provider (male)/homemaker (female) is something you want or not.  In some of you posts you seem to be bitter that women aren’t doing this much any more, and in other posts you seem to disparage women who do this.

          Sorry for not being able to figure out where you stand on women in the traditional housewife role, but you have boasted on this blog that women are drawn to you because they can’t figure you out.

        24. Chance

          @SE – not sure what you’re referring to, but I’m pretty sure I have never criticized women for choosing to stay home or choosing to work.  Please copy/paste examples of what you are talking about.  Oh, and no paraphrasing, please, because I know your interpretations of other people’s posts often teeters on the brink of being hallucinatory.

           

          Also, I don’t claim that women are drawn to me because they can’t figure me out.  I provided an anecdote in one comment where I noted that some girls in college told me that.  While it was flattering at the time, it isn’t really anything to be proud of because it was driven by their self-constructed idea of who I was rather than who I actually was.  They likely wouldn’t have been attracted to me if they knew me.

        25. KK

          “@SE – not sure what you’re referring to, but I’m pretty sure I have never criticized women for choosing to stay home or choosing to work”.

          Actually, Chance, (in an exchange between yourself and Stacy2), you stated that any able bodied person who was subsidized by another was despicable. You were specifically speaking about stay at home moms and you and Stacy2 were in agreement. But I’m sure it’s much more likely that SE and I both had the same hallucination. Ha!

        26. Chance

          KK, we were talking about alimony, and Stacy2 was in agreement.  Try again.

        27. Adrianz

          Hi GoWithTheFlow and Emily,

          Emily has spoken about assortative mating very much so I googled a few videos on the subject months ago.

          The thing is, most of it dealt with looks not social status. So I kind of disagree with everyone when they say that we consciously seek people in our own social economic level… well women may but not men.

          The commentor Christine explained it best when she once told me that it has more to do with who you are around and interact with because of your social and economic level. Educated people do things and are mainly around other higher educated people and lower educated -and therefore lower income- people do things and are mostly around other lower income people.

          That’s why most couples where one partner is a college grad and the other is a high school grad, they usually met in high school.

          …   …   …

          This guy is a research professor and he did a video on assortative mating but I like this one better because of the pictures

    2. 21.2
      Helene

      Hi Adrian

      I agree that “the same research that states that men like to chase is the same research that states that men like to have sex with various different women and not commit to just one???”

      As with Evan’s advice, my comment that Matt should take the lead and chase was basically pragmatic advice. I’m not saying its good or bad, right or wrong that men and women are wired a certain way, I’m saying that if he wants to be successful with this woman (or any woman) he would be well advised to do this. As to whether men should avoid committing to just one woman and follow their primal instincts in that respect  – again, its all about being pragmatic. If you don’t want to commit to just one woman then don’t –  just keep doing what you’re doing for as long as you can find willing women to do it with – if you DO want a stable life and the benefits of a longterm partner then you would be well advised – from a pragmatic viewpoint –  to control your desire to inseminate every other woman who comes your way ! Also, that many children can get expensive….!

       

      1. 21.2.1
        Adrian

        Hi Helene,

        Don’t take me seriously (^_^).

        I just love to ask questions, the more data chunking I can do the better. (^_^).

        I agree that it is not about right or wrong but about what works

  22. 22
    Marika

    YAG

    It’s okay to admit you’re scared. We all are. Scared of being taken advantage of, scared of choosing another person like our ex, scared of getting hurt. You don’t have to hide under all this overly blokey bravado, or blame women for all your problems. We are not the enemy. Dating makes us crazy from time to time. We get it. We’re all in the same boat. It’s fine to be vulnerable, it’s actually really attractive.

    1. 22.1
      CMV

      Love this. Agree absolutely.

  23. 23
    ScottH

    Where the hell is Matt to tell us what happened?  How rude to ask the question and not pop in to let us blog followers know how things are going/went????  Hearing from the OP is the icing on the blog

    1. 23.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Matt is really Melinda, a woman I made up to ask a question that would spur this conversation. I thought that was obvious.

      1. 23.1.1
        ScottH

        Ah, like a blow up doll for the blog.  I see how it works around here….

      2. 23.1.2
        Selena

        If you made this letter up to spur conversation, why were you so incensed at Luka for ” impugning your integrity”?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          That was sarcasm. I was making fun of Luka for insinuating such a ridiculous thing.

          The fact that you’re still inclined to believe it even after my vociferous protests is mindbending.

      3. 23.1.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        Oh my. . . a male letter write shows he is introspective, self aware, tries to question rather than make assumptions based on fear, AND. . . Evan gets accused of either letting a fake letter written by a woman masquerading as a man get by him, or making the whole thing up.  Good grief!

    2. 23.2
      Malika

      Hi ScottH:

      Those are always the best moments when the letter writer comes back with feedback with the situation. They always bring an added nuance to the situation as they don’t have to write a short version as Evan understandably has to set a limit to the amount of words in the letter.

       

  24. 24
    Jeremy

    @GWTF,  I very much disagree with the assertion that the difference between a medical specialist making $300-$400K and an engineer making $120K is negligeable, whether or not you compare it to a high school dropout.  The notion that both the engineer and the doctor came from a similar SES background and spent a similar amount of time in school does not make up for the income disparity.  One partner can easily drop out of the workforce (full- or part-time) with minimal impact on the family lifestyle, the other can not.  If the partner who wishes she could drop out of the workforce is the one who makes $400K, she will find her wishes difficult to realize….whereas if she is the one who makes $120K she will not.  They are NOT equals, practically speaking, in spite of their similar backgrounds.  In such a marriage, spouses often have complementary roles, but those roles are not reversible.   I know this from very personal experience.

     

    I am not arguing with you for ideological reasons.  I would be very happy to live in a world where men and women could exchange roles at will without losing attraction to each other – a world where assortive mating truly existed.  But instead, I find myself in a world where women need to respect the men they are with in order to maintain attraction to them, and that respect is contingent on the man playing a role that the woman deems respectable at the time.  And that role, more often than not, depends heavily on his income – at least in child-rearing times.  And I find myself in a world where men need to feel admired for their masculine qualities by the women they are with in order to feel happy in the relationship, and their perception of which qualities are “masculine” more often than not is tied to providership.  This is the hole in the assortive mating theory.  It is why taking background SES and education without considering actual income potential is largely missing the point, IMO.

    1. 24.1
      KK

      Agreed, Jeremy. I was thinking the exact same thing. Unless this couple was living waaaay below their means from the get-go, there is absolutely no way the wife would be able to stop working for a few years, without a significant reduction in lifestyle.

  25. 25
    Marika

    Completely understand that men don’t want to be judged by their income, or treated like walking ATMs. Also get that there are women out there who do both those things.

    But the question here is, how do you treat women who buck the trend, have their own money, pay their way and don’t treat their date like a sugar daddy. With suspicion & caution because other women are like this? Analyzing their every word for signs of hypergamy? Is that a healthy and productive way to date?

    1. 25.1
      DeeGee

      Marika said: “Is that a healthy and productive way to date?

      No it isn’t.  Women do the exact same thing though.
      I have lost count of the number of women who project the way that previous boyfriends or husbands have treated them on to the next guy that they date (such as me).
      Women automatically assume that I am going to be rude, arrogant, verbally or physically abusive, assault her, or send her dick pics, or any number of other things that 40% of other men have done to her.
      So if 40% of women judge me by my income, you can bet that for self preservation I will not trust any new woman I just met and give her the benefit of the doubt, she has to earn that.
      Note: I just picked the 40% number out of the air, I have not looked at any studies on how many men send dick pics or how many women are hypergamous etc.  🙂

  26. 26
    Marika

    I’d appreciate anyone blaming the lady in this letter for how the LW feels to read the comments section of
    I’m Dating a Man Who Dated a Model and I’m Feeling Really Insecure
    ScottH, you may find your comment interesting. Also Robert. Pretty much everyone told the woman it was all about her insecurity, nothing to do with her date. Robert went so far as to say that women are all insecure with fragile egos.

    There was no long winded discussion about history and women’s experiences and how men generally prioritise looks…..

    1. 26.1
      ScottH

      Hi Marika- that was an interesting stroll down memory lane.  Thanks for the suggestion.   How did you remember that old column?  Evan says that men do what they want to do.  I think that’s partially true.  We ALL (should) do what we want to do, what is right for us.  That’s what healthy people do.  If she’s with him, it’s probably because she wants to be.  In the other column you mention, that’s an easier question to answer.  The guy probably wants a normal woman after dating models.  Just because the models are pretty, it doesn’t mean they are good partners.  In fact, it probably means they are not good partners (and I’m not suggesting that partner-worthiness is inversely proportional to looks).

      Regarding all the speculation about rich business-lady asking Matt about his ambitions, why are you speculating?  It seems entirely normal that she would ask such a question.  They’re dating.  She’s asking questions to get to know him.  That’s a good thing.  Only she knows what the right answer is (for her)?  Hopefully she’s been asking more questions like that which only shows that she wants to learn more about him.

      Now where the hell is Matt/Melinda to tell us what’s transpired since he wrote the letter.  Evan- can you ask him to update us?  I’m getting impatient.

      1. 26.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Most OPs don’t come back for status updates. Can’t say I blame ’em. 🙂

      2. 26.1.2
        Marika

        ScottH,

        My point was this, a woman writes a letter about her fears and insecurities and a man does the same. Both have some basis in reality (men have been known to discriminate based on looks, broadly, and historically, and the same may be said about women and income), but the stereotypes don’t really seem to apply in either specific case.

        The woman (rightly, IMO), gets told by pretty much everyone that her fears are in her head and to take a chill pill. Whereas a lot of you guys are completely buying into this man’s fears and empathizing with him, and yet again, we’re having another long drawn out discussion about hypergamy.

        Can you see the cognitive dissonance?

        I truly hope Matt hasn’t read these comments. I can imagine him doing a preemptive break up with a great lady based on some of these comments. Hopefully he goes with Evan’s non-fear based advice instead.

        (The Model blog comes up down below as ‘recommended for you’).

        1. ScottH

          Marika- well, I stand by my comment way up at the top- that he should take comfort that she wants to be with him because she is with him.  The comments certainly do run the gamut based on wild assumptions and projections.   Only she knows how much emphasis she places on money just like only the photographer knows how much emphasis he places on looks.  If Matt’s woman is wise, she’d place more emphasis on character but we have no idea how wise she is and maybe he doesn’t either at this point.  That’s why they are getting to know each other.

          Regarding the dissonance between the two posts, that could spark another long discussion but I might suggest that the importance of appearance tends to wane over time as you get to know the person.  The importance of money doesn’t wane over time- it’s more tangible and enduring than looks.  I don’t know that it necessarily follows that because she was insecure about her looks that Matt shouldn’t be insecure about his money (even though I think he should not be).

          I guess it would be fair to say that nobody should be insecure.

          Evan- if Matt/Melinda does read these comments, hopefully he realizes that they say more about us than they do about him.

  27. 27
    Suzanne

    I find this fascinating read. I am a smart, hardworking woman. I don’t make the six figures Evan’s clients make, but still. Dealing with insecure men is a real issue.

    I’ve dated men who worked in all sorts of careers. And I don’t make them feel badly for it. My concern is that they are good with money, not how much they make or what they do.

    Still, men tell me I’m too ambitious and too smart. I don’t purposely make them feel badly about it. That would be rude! I’m supportive. But should I play dumb and not be ambitious because it will make a man feel badly?

    And just from a practical perspective, much of the extra work I do pays my bills, and helps pay for the future of me and my daughter. If I don’t do these things, I fall behind. Do I fall behind for a man who “might” stick around?

    This is a real issue. I can’t be the only woman who deals with this.

    1. 27.1
      Marika

      I understand what you’re saying, Suzanne. I don’t make a lot of money, but I’m highly educated and my job title sounds very impressive (it’s in health, hence why the money isn’t great – also I spent most of my 20s studying, not making money). I do experience this issue when men on dates ask me about my work and/or, for instance on the weekend I had a date and the subject of investment properties came up. I mentioned I had one. I also mentioned that this is only because the city I live in is out of my price range and I wanted something to fall back on in retirement. He went all funny and started telling me I ‘depressed him’, as he is renting and is slightly older than me (I hastened to add, I am too!!). The whole date went downhill from there and I later got a tersely worded text that ‘clearly I didn’t want a second date’. I think the final nail in the coffin was that I contributed to the bill and I think he took that as a sign I didn’t want to see him again.

      Sometimes you just can’t win. Like the current letter shows. You can be an amazing date and mindful of not being braggy, contribute financially, etc. etc, but if the man is insecure, that’s not on you.

      That being said, I actually removed my job title from my dating sites and social media and have it as a bit more vague. Not because I want to act dumb or pretend to be someone I’m not, but because I want people to get to know the fun & relaxed me, not have unfounded expectations of who they think I am because of factors like education. And I probably wouldn’t mention the investment property thing again on a first date!

      1. 27.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Marika,

        He went all funny and started telling me I ‘depressed him’, as he is renting and is slightly older than me (I hastened to add, I am too!!).

        Yuck. I think you dodged a bullet. Would he project his own insecurities into every topic you ever discussed? Would everything always be about him?

      2. 27.1.2
        Malika

        The investment property comment was maybe very confronting for him. I notice that in my mid thirties the financial picture within my cohort is very different and often has little to do with their job title and prospects and more with the quality of their financial choices. It can be confronting to talk to other people and see that their financial set up is way better and insecurity can kick in and cloud the conversation. And that is in the relatively relaxed area of non romantic meetups never mind the charged romantic ones! It probably dominated his mood after that, but it’s not your fault, it’s most likely his own sadness and insecurity. For what it’s for I don’t think your financial choices sound braggy, they sound very sensible!

        And as for keeping job titles, vague: That also sounds very familiar. I am an EA, which basically translates to assistant for very succesful and sometimes demanding people. In the large scale of things, my job doesn’t mean much, but it does pay handsomely. And that has sometimes intimidated men, especially if they worked lower paying jobs such as high school teacher or bartender. That is why I always fudge and say ‘secretary’, because no dude has ever been intimidated by that job title.

        1. Marika

          Yes, you’re right about financial decisions, Malika. Normally I wouldn’t mention it at all, but we talked in great detail about it as his sister had recently bought one, and house prices are a very big topic of conversation here. So it would’ve been weird not to bring it up. The context is that we get massive tax breaks for investment properties. Also, most people own their own homes, so I don’t see it as a big deal that I have one property in a cheap state. He did, though, clearly!

          Certainly there’s a bigger issue at play, though, as my ex also hated that I was much better at saving & managing my money than him. Even though it benefitted him when we shared resources. Interpreting in the context of men needing to be admired for things they deem important (thanks Jeremy) makes sense, as he wanted to handle all of that (even though it came much more easily to me).

          I thank the comments here for learning so much. But I’m angry at myself too for letting some of the nasty comments get to me. Normally I’d let a guy pay for a first date (while still offering to pay but not insisting), but in this case I gave him money as soon as the bill (check) came because of that discussion I just mentioned, but also because of all the nasty comments about women using men financially on here. In this case it backfired big time! It’s a good reminder not to take these things on.

        2. Adrian

          Hi Marika and Malika,

          Marika said, “I’m angry at myself too for letting some of the nasty comments get to me.”

          I think we should start a EMK negative comments support group. (^_^)

          I think the only reason it gets to me so much is because I lack the experience in dealing with it. Men and women that I meet and interact with in the real world are NOTHING like what I read here when it comes to their feelings and views of the opposite sex, dating, and relationships.

          I have not built up tolerance for the brutality of the comments section.

          …   …   …

          Malika & Marika your current conversation I must admit saddens and disappoints me (-_-).

          To think that two such great women would have to even contemplating not speaking about their accomplishments because men would react negatively to it is disheartening to say the least and upsetting to be honest.

          I remember when I was younger and a poor college student I  felt insecure when various attractive and successful older women hit on me.

          I remember when I was younger, spaghetti noodle skinny and lacked any type of personal style when it came to dressing myself or haircuts I felt insecure when various women who could have easily  been considered models hit on me.

          In all those instances I felt insecure not because of anything the woman did but because I just keep thinking “why would someone so attractive or so wealthy want me?”  I was always afraid that I was just someone whom that woman wanted to have fun with but never commit to. Or after I had given them my heart they would wake up one day and say to themselves “why am I with him, I can do so much better because I am so much better than him.”

          The point that I am making (the point that Evan made that I feel that many guys are missing) is that it was never about the women but my own feelings of inferiority. You hear so many stories about women wanting money or models on the internet, tv, magazines, movies, etc.. that even if you never see women in real life only chasing those things you tune it out.

          …   …   …

          Now honestly I stand at a cross roads, I am all for Evan’s mantra of  “It’s not about fair or unfair, right or wrong… it’s about doing what works!”

          But I just can’t bare the thought of a world where a woman would have to downplay how great she is just to get a guy.

        3. Jeremy

          @Adrian: She shouldn’t ever have to downplay her accomplishments to get a guy.  She should get a guy who is excited for her accomplishments.  Such guys exist.  A guy for whom she has to downplay her accomplishments is a mismatch by definition.

        4. Malika

          Hi Adrian:

          My two cents and view on the tempestuous atmosphere in the comments:

          All of us have come here because at some point the state of our love life has at the very least baffled us or at the most infuriated us. We come here post break up or post divorce, when we are feeling insecure and down on our luck. Or we have bad communication problems with our SO, we have had a string of beige dates, or we like someone but their interest in us is rather lacking, or we get the nagging feeling that we are being used. That makes us a rather cheery lot, doesn’t it : )? The polarizing comments from both genders sometimes enrage me, but rationally I can see it all comes from a place of vulnerability. We are angry, sad, or baffled because it’s not working out when we have been sold the lie that love and sex should be easy breezy yet we seem to be the one person on the planet where these areas are anything but.

          People come on here to learn but also to let off steam, which is why it come accross as way more intense than real life. Sometimes when i am home on my own i can get some radically negative thoughts on life that normally dissipate when i am out and about. Fresh air and healthy interactions with other people always put everything in perspective. But those are not usually the moments either i or other people are typing comments on this blog.

          And as for the downplaying: Yes, i have mixed emotions about that too. And it’s not even as if I am a lawyer or a medical specialist like Marika. It baffles me that i have sometimes experienced negative reactions about my job, which is in some ways a very traditionally feminine job role, not fancy at all. The situation looks fancy (working for Fortune 500 directors), but in essence i am a secretary that books travel, puts out fires and organizes events. It’s a useful job but i am not curing cancer! It pays well, but i still buy my clothes at the thrift shop, go on holiday where Easyjet can take me and throw whatever money is left at my student debt. Neither my lifestyle or my job role means much in the grand scheme of things, certainly not as much as being a high school teacher (which was the profession of one of the intimidated dudes). Jeremy does have a point though. I am now dating a man who is not fazed by either my current job or future ambitions. It helps that he is happy with his job and feels satisfied within his intellectual endeavours. So if i talk about my uni subjects he is interested and he finds my anecdotes about my job (of which there are plenty!) hilarious. He is an example of a secure man who doesn’t need downplay his dates achievements.

          Last thought: You felt that way back you were not attractive because you didn’t wear fashionable clothes or your idea of a flattering haircut. But as I surmise from your previous blog posts you were probably rather handsome, so they probably saw through that. Plus you probably had lots of other aspects going for you such as a cute smile, winning personality or unique take on things. Women find all of these things highly desirable, which is something you should remember when you are wondering why they were interested in you in the olden days.

        5. Marika

          I’m astounded that you being an EA would bother any man, Malika! Not only is it a traditionally feminine role, as you say, but also quite sexy (I’d imagine EAs feature heavily in pornos 😀), and it means you know how to look after people & can organise shit in your sleep!!

          My ex was a corporate high flier with an EA so I know it pays well (certainly more than I make), but I wouldn’t have thought most people know that. Maybe they have that weird fear I know I used to have of pissing an EA off. Everyone knows if you do, you end up with the crappest office and the dodgy pens 😊

        6. Malika

          Hi Marika:

          The fear of the EA! I always find it hilarious, as i feel i am there to provide a service and always tried to treat people fairly. One of the biggest compliments i ever received from a boss is that he appreciated that i handled the intern with the same respect as the president of the company. I was very happy he noticed that, as i believe that while we always have different job roles and responsibility weight, everyone should feel equal within the company as human beings.

          On topic: I think most of the ladies who come on here are highly educated and have job titles that carry some weight and responsibility. What is therefore easy to forget is that most women (at least in my country) occupy the lower-tier jobs and very often don’t even work fulltime, kids or no kids. Most of the time, me who date will easily surpass the women in terms of earnings and career. The high school teacher i talked about was 41 but had never EVER dated a woman with a fulltime job before. He didn’t know how to deal with it, a woman who got up five days a week from 9 to 5, worked in an international and hectic enviroment, and had been exposed to many experiences and a version of independence that many women in my country aren’t even interested in attaining. Whenever i think of the cliche of women who ‘intimidate’ men i think of women with spectacular job titles that treat life like an endless debate match of gladiator proportions. I never thought that a woman with a secretarial role and a university degree would elicit the same cliche reaction but it has happened several times. ‘So you think you are so special’, ‘a woman doesn’t study for a career, it’s to pass the time’, ‘why bother working towards a career? As a woman you will only get the crap jobs’, ‘working women are hysterical, i don’t like working with them’. All these comments were very helpful in deciding to next them at the earliest opportunity.  At the same time, I don’t think they would be happy with women who had a different kind of job or who didn’t work at all. I suspect they are highly insecure men who want to stamp on the women they are dating in order to feel better about themselves. And fortunately they are not a very large percentage of men. I should think most men are happy that you have are happy in your career and that you will at times be able to pick up the check at the bar!

        7. Adrian

          Hi Malika and Marika,

          I have actually saved your response on your take about the tempestuous atmosphere in the comments.

          It was great! I think it will go a long way in helping me fend off “blog jadeness”

          The current post where now “some” of the men are attacking single mothers and their children is very trying… I may have to re-read your comment several times to make it through this one without taking a break from this site again (-_-).

          …   …   …

          Marika you were so right!

          I never knew most men would be intimidated by a secretary. Perhaps it’s because Malika refers to her title as Executive Assistant that scares men. It’s the executive part I am assuming that does it or maybe they are intimidated because they know she is around men who are usually considered 1%-ers everyday so they feel that she will compare them and see that he is not as rich, tall, handsome, worldly, etc as the men that (in their minds) Malika can easily get.

          I took a sociology class two semesters ago for fun and it turns out that most people (at least in America) mistake money and social status as being synonymous-They are not!

          Regardless of her pay I think it is her social status that scares these men. I would bet that something similar happens with the commentor GoWithTheFlow who is a doctor. A guy who makes around the same as she does will still feel insecure because of the status associated with her job title.

      3. 27.1.3
        Jeremy

        Years ago, I went on a date with a medical student with whom I connected online.  We had great rapport on the phone and by email, so my hopes were high for the date.  But the date itself was a disaster.  As it turned out, this particular woman was psychologically inclined to need admiration (not respect, but admiration) for her intelligence in order to feel happy/validated in a relationship.  And as we talked and the conversation steered toward matters of biology/health, she found my knowledge of the subject to be at least as great as hers…..and she was put off.  I respected her for her knowledge, but instead of being wowed I responded in kind.

         

        It wasn’t that she was insecure – that is the wrong word, and connotes the wrong understanding of the person.  It is that in order to feel happy/validated, she needed to be admired for her intelligence.  And in order to be admired, she needed someone whose intelligence (at least in certain spheres) was less than hers.  You can’t be admired for a quality by someone who exceeds you in that quality.  She ended up marrying a very nice teacher who worships the ground she walks on.

      4. 27.1.4
        ScotttH

        Hi Marika-  “I’m angry at myself too for letting some of the nasty comments get to me. Normally I’d let a guy pay for a first date …”

        I think this is at least partly directed at me and I regret your unpleasant experience but it sure seems like your date was doomed before the bill came, and if he was turned off by your offer to pay, I’d say that’s on him.

        For ME (and I emphasize that it’s my opinion), I appreciate it when the woman asks, “shall we split the bill” putting the decision on me.  It shows that she’s considerate and sensitive.  I usually decline unless the bill is large or more than I expected.  If I know I won’t see her again, I might accept her offer or if I’m going to end it after a date or two, I’ll pay.  I would never fight over the bill and I would never hold it against her if she insisted on paying half.  I just find it presumptuous when a woman I never met before expects me to foot the whole bill.  I do expect to pay for first and most subsequent dates so I’ve made peace with it as best I can but when it feels like I’m being treated like an ATM, I get really jaded.  Just like there are some women who will offer to split and there are some women who won’t, there are guys who will get offended by the offer and some who will get offended if there isn’t an offer.

        I regret if my comments come across as nasty.  Mid-life dating is really challenging and I’ve been at it over 5 years and I’m particularly sensitive to money so to experience so much rejection and craziness and then to be financially responsible for most of it, it’s just hard not to be jaded.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi ScottH,

          I regret if my comments come across as nasty.  Mid-life dating is really challenging and I’ve been at it over 5 years and I’m particularly sensitive to money so to experience so much rejection and craziness and then to be financially responsible for most of it, it’s just hard not to be jaded.

          I’m glad you explained it this way. I can see now why a man would get tired of being expected to foot the bill.

        2. Marika

          Thank you ScottH. Don’t get me wrong, it’s on me if I let something get to me, not the other person (particularly a stranger). I do appreciate your words, though 🙂

          I also in no way see you as a nasty commenter. I do, however, think that most of the guys on this post were off the mark and made some pretty unhelpful comments / gave some bad advice to the LW (from a woman’s perspective). Including guys such as yourself who typically give wise advice.

          In my view, as I said above, not managing emotions is one of the worst things you can do in dating. Advice that encourages Matt to buy into his fears: bad (IMO), advice (such as that you gave to the lady concerned about her boyfriend dating models) i.e., take a chill pill: good.

          I know you say that’s less of an issue to worry about, and not downplaying financial concerns for men, but believe me, physical beauty / appearance / aging is a massive concern to women in the dating world. But in either case, the only thing you can do is be calm, cool, collected & see how it plays out, not wary and on guard.

          For you, I would recommend trying to find fun, creative & low cost dates. I also was thinking this could work – a guy I’m dating right now does these little things to make me feel special & cared for, which have the same outcome as paying. Like giving me his coat when I’m cold, and sending me messages suggesting that I sleep in or take a day off to relax when we’ve had a late night. I don’t think paying is so much about the money as showing you care & making her feel special. (I know not all men are interested in this, but I think you are).

      5. 27.1.5
        ScottH

        Marika- I gave Matt the same advice I gave to the woman in the other blog- don’t be insecure.  I even said that nobody should be insecure.    I said that if she’s with him, that it’s probably because she wants to be with him.    Not sure why you’re saying that I had different positions on the two blogs.  They seem the same to me.

        1. Marika

          Re-read your first comment. You cautioned him to be very careful & on the lookout for ‘red flags’…

      6. 27.1.6
        ScottH

        Marika- this is copied and pasted from the comment you are referring to:  “I would strongly suggest that you stop worrying about how much more she makes.  Just enjoy the ride and get to know her.  I’d be very careful to look for red flags but trust that if she’s with you, it’s because she wants to be.”

        I would always suggest to be on the lookout for red flags in the early stages of dating because that is when we (myself in particular) are so prone to ignoring them.

        Methinks you are trying to pick the fly shit out of the pepper.

        1. Marika

          Absolutely not. You told him to look out for things that there’s no suggestion in the letter will be an issue. It was more about your experiences and fears than his. It couldn’t be more different to the brief and on point advice in the model comment. Because one arouses fear & insecurity in you and the other doesn’t.

          And your comment doesn’t exist in isolation. The whole flavour here is that women care about money, so watch your back.

          It’s a shame the guys can’t comment on how great this lady is! Given she seems to be doing all the right things.

        2. ScottH

          Evan, dear moderator, are you going to weigh in on this?

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          What’s “this” Scott? I don’t read all the comments.

        4. Marika

          Happy to drop it, ScottH, no need to call on Evan.

          I’m sure you meant no ill intent, it’s just frustrating to read all these suspicions comments about a lady who’s done absolutely nothing wrong. Unfair to her and, in my view, unhelpful to him.

        5. SparklingEmerald

          Honestly Marika – I don’t see one thing in your comment that  warrants Scott tattling to the moderator (Evan) over.

          You’ve said nothing that could be construed as a personal attack.  You simply disagree.

          I find it funny that someone would tell you that you are trying to “pick fly shit out of pepper“, then tattle to the moderator, about your post.  His “fly shit” remark was pretty rude, but I wouldn’t cry to the moderator over that.  If anyone is “picking fly shit” it’s the men who are seizing on her question with out knowing the context, and assuming or are suspicious of some sinister intent on her part.

           

          “And your comment doesn’t exist in isolation. The whole flavour here is that women care about money, so watch your back. ”

          EXACTLY !  And if we say we don’t care about salary, we are lying to avoid having to ever make a “sammich” for a guy, or we simply don’t understand that we are all just whores after a guy’s money, because as women, we don’t really know what we want.  ONLY men know what we want, better than we ourselves do,  and they are here to “mansplain” our own desires to us.

           

           

      7. 27.1.7
        ScottH

        Fine ladies, I’ll chalk your hysterics up to a nasty bout of PMS

        1. Tom10

          @ ScottH
           
          I actually didn’t see anything wrong with Marika’s comments either…certainly no “hysterics”.
           
          And resorting to a PMS jab is weak and a total defeat. Ouch!
           
          C’mon man, you can do better!

        2. ScottH

          Tom- this is all because I told Matt to stop being insecure and to proceed but to look out for red flags.  In another post, I told the woman who was insecure about her looks to stop being insecure.  I did not tell her to watch out for his red flags.

          She made a huge stink over the fact that I warned Matt to look out for red flags and not the insecure woman.  Warning or suggesting to look out for red flags in the early stages of dating is totally fair.

          That in my opinion is fly shit.

          you can disagree all you want.  IMO, the women were being hysterical.  Total defeat?  I don’t give a shit what you call it.

  28. 28
    KK

    Chance said,

    “Emily, my point isn’t about women simply considering income.  Rather, it is about the fact that many women expect men to make more, while simultaneously acting like they don’t expect this.  I suspect the reason these women deny this fact is because that acknowledging it would clash against the fact that women don’t want to be restricted to any gender roles themselves.  I think that women understand, on some level of consciousness, that it’s hypocritical.  Solution:  deny that this phenomenon exists”.

    It isn’t about expectations. It’s about preference and attraction. Surely, there are certain qualities that you prefer over others that cause you to be attracted to a particular woman. It’s the same for women. These preferences are both practical and emotional.

    Emily gave a good example of a practical choice her friend made by not marrying the cop she was dating because she didn’t believe he made enough money. Yet, he may very well be someone else’s dream guy. A lot of women are very attracted to men they view as heroes.

    Jeremy has explained in great detail how important it is for a woman to respect the man she is with. He’s right. Most women aren’t able to be attracted to men they don’t respect. Career / income is only one aspect of this. Not every woman on the planet needs a man to be more ambitious or more successful than her in order to respect him and be attracted to him as long as he possesses other qualities she admires. For other women, they need to be able to respect him for his career. This has absolutely nothing to do with gender roles in the traditional sense, that you’re referring to and everything to do with what Jeremy has been conveying.

    “If you want a man to provide, and he agrees to it, and you’re willing to perform traditional female roles, have at it”.

    Well, thank goodness you’re not the relationship police! Lol. You don’t get to decide how other couples live their lives. Whether a couple decides to follow very traditional gender roles or have a more egalitarian relationship is not anyone else’s business. And if a wealthier man wants a stay at home wife and mother and also wants to hire a full time nanny, full time housekeeper, and full time chef, that isn’t anyone else’s business either.

    1. 28.1
      Chance

      KK, your points are already understood by most of us, but are not relevant to the points I’ve been making.

      1. 28.1.1
        KK

        How is anything I said not relevant to the points you’re trying to make? You think you have the right to tell women that if they choose to be with a good provider, they better be willing to perform traditional female roles. I’m telling you that YOU don’t get to decide anything for anyone other than yourself. Please explain what it is you think I’m missing here.

        1. Chance

          Ummm, no, I don’t think I have the right to to decide anything for others.  However, I am saying that it’s hypocritical to expect a man to perform traditional roles while simultaneously expecting to not be restricted to traditional female gender roles.

        2. KK

          And I explained it doesn’t have anything to do with expectations.

          Chance, if I offer you ice cream and you accept it, was that an expectation on your part or did you simply receive what was offered to you? Would it make you a hypocrite if you didn’t return the favor at some point? You are under no obligation. But if we’re friends (lol) then it would certainly be a nice gesture for you to offer something in return at some point.

          In my opinion, there is absolutely zero hypocrisy for a woman to marry a more successful man regardless of however that particular couple decides to live their lives, or what particular roles they choose to take on. That is completely up to the two of them. She is under no obligation to take on any roles she doesn’t want to and hopefully, all these issues are discussed thoroughly before a marriage ever takes place.

        3. Chance

          KK, except many women do expect provisioning.  That’s been my experience anyways.  Therefore, it does have to do with expectations.

        4. KK

          “Many women do expect provisioning. That’s been my experience anyways”.

          No doubt that’s been your experience.

        5. Clare

          KK,

          I value and enjoy reading your posts. You very much echo my own thoughts. But I think you’re wasting your time with Chance.

          In reading this blog, I have noticed that he will seize on any to beat the drum of gold-digging women and how deeply unfair he finds this, whether it’s relevant to the post or not. When you are fixated on something, you see it everywhere.

        6. KK

          “In reading this blog, I have noticed that he will seize on any to beat the drum of gold-digging women and how deeply unfair he finds this, whether it’s relevant to the post or not”.

          Hi Clare. Yes, we’ve all noticed this. Have you also noticed how many times he’s said he’s no longer commenting here? Lol.

          Anyhow, thanks for the kind words.

  29. 29
    Marika

    This horse is dead. No need to keep flogging it.

    Or at the very least, flog it on a post where the woman in question does expect ‘provisioning’.

     

  30. 30
    Marika

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Adrian. If you start that support group, sign me up! Look I certainly don’t find arrogance in any way attractive, and the Tall Poppy syndrome is still alive and well here, so I get it😊

    But completely agree with everything you said. In my mind (learned this over time & extensive dating experience post-divorce), the kiss of death in dating is not managing your emotions, particularly on a first date.

    I’ve dated several men over the last few weeks who I would’ve been more than happy to see again, but I can’t because they couldn’t manage their emotions or impulses. From drinking too much and telling me all their problems, to acting like we were in a relationship after one date and calling/texting relentlessly, to being sexually aggressive – these are all attraction killers. So is showing way too much insecurity. And blaming your own insecurity on your date.

    Obviously women do this too, probably more than men, but I can’t comment on that, as I date men😊

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