Is it Foolish to Date a Guy Based on His Potential?

Is it Foolish to Date a Guy Based on His Potential?

Hi Evan,

Is it ever okay to date a man for his potential? I met a nice, smart man, but let’s just say he’s going through a transition right now. He just recently switched careers and is starting from the bottom at his new career. He was successful in his last profession, but wasn’t happy with his job anymore and decided to leave. In the midst of switching careers in a tough economy and getting his second Masters degree, he has accrued some debt (and maybe a little chip on his shoulder, but that’s a different dating question!). He is very smart and I am sure he will get on his feet again, but is it wrong of me to not want to be with him until he does or unless he does? I’ve dated men before who were trying to change or trying to reach their potential, but they never did. I don’t want to get caught up in that again.

If I wait for him to become more stable professionally and financially before committing to a relationship, does that make me a bad person?

(Background so you can better assess the situation and have context:

This man is 40 and has never been married. I am 32 and a successful lawyer, so him not being financially secure right now is not really an issue for me. However, him constantly hinting that he does not have money is kind of off-putting, especially after only the third date. Mind you, I don’t expect extravagant dates and I have paid for half our dates.

We’ve been seeing each other at least two to three times a week for two months. He has asked to be exclusive. He is funny, smart, and attractive. I would not hesitate to get in a relationship with him if he was more stable.) –Jane

Dear Jane,

Once upon a time, I met a 31-year-old woman who we’ll call Donna.

Donna owned her own small business, traveled around the world, and made upwards of six figures. She was also divorced and really wanted to settle down, get married and have kids.

At the time, I was 30 and was a customer service representative at JDate. I was paying my way through film school, where I was getting an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, so that I could become a college professor and teach the one thing I knew how to do. My income at the time? $32,500 – and all of it went to pay for my cost of living, film school, and my regular dating habit.

My financial state was temporary. My character was permanent.

Donna and I had great chemistry. She was very feminine and playful, and would undoubtedly be a good wife and mother.

We went out maybe 5 times before she told me that she couldn’t continue to see me. She said that I was a great guy. She said I made her laugh. She acknowledged our great chemistry. She basically said what you’re saying about your new guy, Jane.

“I’m ready for the real deal. You’re in transition. I can’t wait.”

I understood her logic, but I also knew something that she didn’t:

My financial state was temporary. My character was permanent.

This is what I told her, in response:

“You can break up with me if you want, to find some safe, older, lawyer to live an upper middle class lifestyle. I respect that. Just know that one day, I’ll have money. But your lawyer won’t make you laugh like I do. And he won’t turn you on like I do. I hope I’m wrong, but I know I’ll be right.”

Am I suggesting that women everywhere should bank on their man’s unrealized potential? Absolutely not.

Was I lashing out a little? Sure. But I meant what I said. My situation was based on choosing a highly risky career in Hollywood in my 20’s; it wasn’t some sort of slacker/character defect. At 31, I might as well have been 21. I was starting over. But I was going to make it. Anyone who knows me for a short time knows that I’m a doer, not a talker.

Donna heard my speech, smiled, kissed me, and told me that she may have been making a mistake, but she was doing what she had to do.

I was hurt and used it as fuel to further my career. One year later, I wrote a book, dropped out of film school, and started e-Cyrano profile writing. Five years later, I was married to a woman who believed in me and saw my potential. And yes, we ran into Donna at a party once in Hollywood. She’s 41 and, while she’s now in a relationship, she’s not yet married with children, as was her intense desire ten years ago.

Does my story mirror yours? Maybe. Am I suggesting that women everywhere should bank on their man’s unrealized potential? Absolutely not. In fact, as a policy, it’s usually a bad bet to see a man for what he could become and it’s a much safer one to see who he currently is.

There is the 50-year-old dreamer who refuses to get a real job because he wants to be the next Channing Tatum.

There is the 40-year-old guy who stays in a safe low-end job because he has no real ambitions for his career.

There is the 30-year-old guy who is content playing video games and smoking pot and doesn’t take any initiative in getting an adult life on track.

And then there’s your guy.

“Successful in his last profession, but wasn’t happy with his job anymore and decided to leave. Switched careers in a tough economy and got his second Masters degree. Very smart and I am sure he will get on his feet again.”

There you have it, Jane.

Your guy is going places, whether you’re with him or not.

And unless you want to be the Donna in his life story, I’d get on board his train now.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Amelia2.0

    I think Jane would be correct in her doubts if the man in question weren’t working towards his goals, but existed as if opportunity would drop in his lap one day and expected her to carry him until then.  That’s usually someone you cut loose so they can figure things out on their own.  However, it seems to me like she has met a guy who knows what he is doing and is willing to risk a lot in order to feel more accomplished and to better himself.  This is a huge thing to overlook, even if he may not be at his most financially secure.  I also think it’s great of him to make Jane aware of this situation so that she isn’t blindsided by it if she does choose to get more involved.

    Also, let’s imagine a flipped scenario.  What if Jane met him while he was in a great career and was making decent bank, but then an illness or layoff or some other financial setback occurred for HER that was out of her control?  Could she hold it against him if he were to dump her because he wants to live a life without a financial burden, as great of a person as she may be?  That would be his prerogative, certainly, but giving that as the primary reason would not reflect very well on his character and I would probably say Jane would be better off without him.  Neither does the same kind of reason reflect any better on Jane’s character, in my opinion.

    I’m currently very happy with a man who had switched careers in his mid twenties, even though by now sticking with it would have been very lucrative for him.  Despite that, he gave it up because he realized that to do well in the industry he would have had to take clients who he felt needed different help than he was able to provide.  So, it was either quit or get comfortable with taking advantage of people, so he chose the former, despite nearly going broke as a result.  This was long before I met him, and he is much happier with what he does now, but I found that piece of his history to be very endearing, because it told me that he wasn’t the type who sells off his self-respect and that he has a healthy conscience that he listens to.  I admire him very, very much for those choices, not for his paycheck.  And when I think about it, I think it’s likely that’s the real issue here.  Jane is not OK with her boyfriend’s choices.  That’s fine – she doesn’t have to like his choices – but I think that cuts to the chase a lot better than pinning it on incompatible financial expectations.

    Sorry if I sound like I’m coming down hard, but I’m the camp that says the size of a paycheck is a painfully short-sighted if not disingenuous reason to base personal relationship decisions on.   

  2. 62
    Goldie

    @ Karmic Equation #62
     
    Oh I see now. Thank you for explaining. My ex and I, when we were married, used to split all family expenses down the middle, and I admit, it kills me that I cannot do so now. So in that light, I originally read your post as being about women expecting men to buy them stuff. I completely agree with what you say here.

  3. 63
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation said: (#56)
    “You should be willing to share YOUR wealth — in the same way you would have EXPECTED *HIM* to share his if the positions were reversed”
     
    A lot of women (including Goldie) don’t actually expect the man to pay for nice trips. If Goldie’s boyfriend wanted to go to Europe, I don’t think she’d expect that he was obliged to bring her along.
     
    But if a woman is willing to accept a wealthier boyfriend paying for a date/trip that’s too expensive her, she should also accept that she should be willing to pay for both when the situation is reversed.
     
    Karmic Equation said: (#56)
    “But who is the hunter, who is the prey…that goes back to our lizard brains and inner hamsters, and I think changing THAT is “social re-engineering” (thanks for the term starthrower68) that doesn’t necessarily produce good relationship results, because it goes against our intrinsic masculine and feminine instincts/behaviors.”
     
    Karmic,
    Name a species where the male is a predator and the female isn’t. (I won’t even limit you to lizards and hamsters.)
     
    Your belief that these behaviors are intrinsic to one sex or the other seems to rely completely on a misunderstanding of basic biology.
     

  4. 64
    marymary

    Karl
    Male lions are predators and females aren.t  Oh hang on ….
       The animal thing doesn’t work, I think it,s only humans where it,s the male who hunts *tries to think*. Birds. Male birds bring female birds gifts even though she can get her own prey. But that has more to do with provision than pursuit.
    fighting! Male animals fight for females. Walruses.
     

  5. 65
    Lia

    @ Dean #60
     
    You have a point.  I agree that, for me personally, a “low” salary is not a “red flag”.  I can understand why you feel that statement is offensive. 
     

  6. 66
    Liz

    I was in a similar situation: 
    When I was in my early 20′s I had dated guys who made less and didn’t have good character, and I felt like the “sugar momma”.  It was unpleasant. After that, I had a few nice long term relationships with men who made more money than me, they generally worked out better. 
    Now I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever had, we’re both 30 and there is a BIG income discrepancy: I make six figures, he’s a student (went back to school after the military) and works part time at a restaurant. It’s not always easy, for reasons stated in some of these comments. I’m used to a more expensive lifetyle, more traveling and taking vacations. This caused some static with a trip we were trying to plan, I was happy to pay but he felt that he didn’t want me “doing everything for him” . He also felt this pressure to keep up with the “lifestyle I’m used to”, as he said, while knowing he was at a different point in his life and that would be impossible. 
    Here’s how we made it work: I booked my big trip by myself, and we planned a weekend getaway on a different date for just the two of us. Since the place I wanted to stay was still out of budget for him, I suggested a creative solution: we would split the cost relative to the income we were earning. Not 50/50. This came to 20% for his share, 80% for me. 
    This made possible for both of us. He was happy to feel like he could contribute  and that I had respect for his feelings and his financial situation. My point is this: When it’s the right guy, you find a way to make it work. If I had eliminated him based on finances I wouldn’t have him in my life and that would be a shame. 
     
     

  7. 67
    Liz

    Evan: while I support the idea of women paying for everything if they make more, my personal experience is that most good men DO have a pride issue with this. 

  8. 68
    John

    Liz @67,
    I applaud your theory on making it work no matter what. There should be more women like you. But I am curious how big is “big” in your vacation. I mean you can take a cruise for 2 for a week and spend about 5 grand combined. Thats reasonable and I think many people would consider 5K for a vacation to be big. Are you splitting that 80/20?
    Or is your definition of a “big” vacation something that costs between 10 and 15 grand? Because if your definition is between 10 and 15 grand then you are probably a bit high maintenance. Of course if “big” is 5 grand then you are pretty cool about splitting it and not high maintenance at all. Just curious because the crux of your statement has such a vague and subjective definition.

  9. 69
    Goldie

    Liz, I really like the way you approached this!!
     
    I agree about the pride issue. Reading these past few comment threads, I keep remembering something a male friend told me once — he said that, if a woman offers to pay half on a first date with him, then, in his words, “there won’t be a second, because she’s sending me a message that this isn’t a date at all, that she doesn’t want to get romantically involved”. So, going back to John’s (I think) posts a few days earlier about who should pay on first dates — men’s opinions on this are all over the map, and on first dates, we cannot really tell what it is this specific man wants us to do. Maybe it’s a deal-breaker to him if I don’t pay half, but maybe he’s like my friend and it’s a deal-breaker if I do pay half. So what I did on my first dates was, I’d do a half-hearted reach and the guy would usually say “nah, I got it” or “okay, you can get the tip”. Maybe for men, it’d be best not to make this such a heated issue on first dates, because we’re not mind-readers and don’t know what you want us to do with this check.

  10. 70
    Karmic Equation

    @Karl R

    I’m really tired of your contextomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contextomy) and prooftexting my statements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prooftext), along with the additonal fallacies of:
    - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem-tu-quoque.html)
    - Strawman (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html)

    …to refute my positions–as if refuting my statements somehow makes you what? Righter, smarter, what? All it proves is you can’t argue a concept, only semantics; and you don’t have any imagination, only that you can dissect a sentence and argue semantics to death. Not impressive.

    I challenge you to state YOUR position, assuming you have one other than contrariness; without quoting anything out of context, which I have yet to see you do; and without strawman arguments, something else that you don’t seem to be able to do.

    @marymary and @karl R

    It’s common to refer to men as hunters in dating: http://maryelena.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Men-are-Hunters-in-Dating
    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22064/97743-won-t-commit-dating-hunter
    http://www.examiner.com/article/men-are-hunters-women-are-nesters-ah-so-what
     
    …and if men are hunters, then, what do you normally call what hunters hunt? Lionesses? I call them prey. Of course, a lioness could be prey to a hunter that hunts lionesses.

    Please don’t let Karl entice you into debating semantics.

    Both of you know what I’m talking about but are deliberately misstating me. Not appreciated.

  11. 71
    Lia

    Liz # 68
     
    I was wondering about that.  I would be worried about hurting a man’s pride.  (If I actually had a lot of money.)  You seem to be working with the differences.
     
    I am curious.  These questions are for the men on here:  
     
    1. If your girlfriend had a lot of money (let say 5X your income) but in other areas you are compatible how would you feel if she wanted to do and have things (vacations, a big home) that you couldn’t possibly afford?  
    2. How would you feel if she wanted to just pick up the tab all the time? 
    3. Do you let her?
    4. Would that be hard on your pride?
     
    I believe men bring many things to a relationship that have nothing to do with money.  I believe that women do too.  
     
    However, the money thing seems to be kind of a hot button.  I would find it uncomfortable dating someone who had a lifestyle and expectations far beyond my means. Being the one with less financial flow seems to be a vulnerable position.

  12. 72
    John

    Goldie @70,
     
    I am sure you have experienced this. But it seems like a lot of women trot out the “guy will be offended ” excuse. I can tell you for myself, my single guy friends and Evan himself- an offer to pay will not be offensive. and thats probably a fair representation of most guys.  Any guy who gets offended by that is in the  minority.  And if you really did run into the exception, you can alleviate his anxiety that you dont want to see him (when you really do) by saying quickly after the date you had such a good time and look forward to it again. Either way a group of guys is going to be turned off. Would you rather turn off the minority (by offering) or the majority (by not offering)? Common sense says women would please the majority. But women will use the minority point of view to justify your own reason for not wanting to open their purse.
     
     

  13. 73
    Karmic Equation

    @Goldie
     
    Read this: http://www.therulesrevisited.com/2012/01/who-pays-on-dates.html
     
    Key takeaways:
     
    1) always assume you are going to split the check, and offer to do so.
    2) If he refuses your offer to pay for yourself, don’t insist.
    3) Never offer to pay for the whole date (i.e. pay for him and yourself) until you’ve been out several times, or received some kind of commitment from him.
    4) If you are short on money and can’t afford to pay for yourself (e.g. for an expensive dinner), tell him this when he asks you out. Say something like “I’d really like to but I can’t afford to [whatever the date is] right now. Could we go [somewhere else] instead?” (the key is suggesting an alternative).
    5) If he pays, make a point to say thank you.
    6)  A date is nothing other than two people who are attracted to each other spending time together. Neither of you knows the other well enough to be sure that the investment of time and money will be worthwhile, so neither of you owes the other anything – let alone paying for the other.

  14. 74
    Liz

    John @69
    Thank you for the compliment! To satisfy your curiosity: the ‘big trip’ was a fitness retreat in the Carribean that he’d wanted to go to after hearing my experiences when I went last year.  It costs $1500 per person total for everything including room, food, classes, and transportation. So $3k for both of us, plus drinks. Alcohol not included, but usually not more than $100-$200 for the whole time  I was going to get our flights using my frequent flier miles,  I had enough miles for both of our tickets becuase of past trips, and a good miles-earning personal credit card. While he was initially excited about this trip, it turns out that it was out of his budget. Not just becuase of the cost (he could have done it for about $600) but it would also cost him 8 nights of income at the restaurant, and a week away from school.  This trip is important to me, so I booked it solo.
    The trip we planned for the two of us is one weekend (only two nights of missing work for him), and within driving distance.  The hotel is lovely, and I found a deal for $600 for the weekend. Depending on what we spend on food and drink it should come to $800-$1000 at most. So his share will be $160-$200.
    Goldie @70
    Thank you! I’m glad you appreciate it :-) I was thrilled that the idea of how to split the cost worked for him. I wasn’t sure if it would.
    It was an ackward process to get there, to be honest, I was dissappointed when he first said he couldn’t go on the “big trip”. And I wasn’t sure we were really listening to each other at first. But relationships are a lot of work. The important thing is to be WILLING to work it out, and open to the other peron.  
    Regarding offering to pay on dates, I usually did what you do: offer and reach for the purse. It’s funny, we still don’t split checks on dates even though we’ve been together for awhile….becuase it doesn’t feel romantic to me, it makes me feel like it’s a work dinner or ‘just friends’. So we just trade off who gets the check. When it’s his turn to pick where we go for date night, he pays. So he can choose a more modest place if money is tight. And if I want to go somewhere fancy, I get to do that when it’s my turn to choose.

  15. 75
    Liz

    This is the another reality of equality. If guy is making less, and the woman is cool with it but his pride is hurt…this may be harsh but “man up”!!!  Work together to find a solution, or get a higher paying job or stop dating high-income women! 
    This is a different situation from our outmoded cultural stereotypes. But BOTH genders need to adjust to the change, or be alone, or be limited by the “perfect person list” for the rest of their lives. 
    And it’s already been mentioned that in these tough economic times, the tables can turn at any moment. There was a study that men were hit harder than women by layoffs, so I understand the challenge in not being able to provide what they’re used to providing, but this is today’s economic reality. 

  16. 76
    Chance

    Lia said/asked in # 72
     
    I was wondering about that.  I would be worried about hurting a man’s pride.  (If I actually had a lot of money.)  You seem to be working with the differences.
     
    I am curious.  These questions are for the men on here:  
     
    1. If your girlfriend had a lot of money (let say 5X your income) but in other areas you are compatible how would you feel if she wanted to do and have things (vacations, a big home) that you couldn’t possibly afford?  
     
    I wouldn’t mind it if that is what she really wanted, and I’m confident that I speak for >95% of men in the post-baby boomer generations.

    2. How would you feel if she wanted to just pick up the tab all the time? 
     
    See first answer.

    3. Do you let her?
     
    Yes.
     
    4. Would that be hard on your pride?
     
     
    No.
     
    I believe men bring many things to a relationship that have nothing to do with money.  I believe that women do too.  
     
    However, the money thing seems to be kind of a hot button.  I would find it uncomfortable dating someone who had a lifestyle and expectations far beyond my means. Being the one with less financial flow seems to be a vulnerable position.
     
    If the money thing is ever a hot button issue, it’s usually with women.  My answers would be exactly the same if the roles were reversed in your questions btw.  Hope this provides insight into how most guys think :)

  17. 77
    Helen

    Karmic 61 wrote: “who is the hunter, who is the prey…that goes back to our lizard brains and inner hamsters, and I think changing THAT is “social re-engineering” (thanks for the term starthrower68) that doesn’t necessarily produce good relationship results, because it goes against our intrinsic masculine and feminine instincts/behaviors. In other words, hunter and prey are NOT gender neutral, but “provider” is and should be.”
     
    Karmic, I agree with part of this statement and disagree with part. I don’t think Karl R and marymary were deliberately trying to provoke you. They, like I, fundamentally disagree with the “biology” in your statement above. As Karl tends to phrase his points in questions, I’ll state it outright: There is no species in which only the males are the predators and females are not. Not to mention that it is technically incorrect to designate “predators” and “prey” as being members of the same species, as cannibalism is relatively rare.
     
    This isn’t just a matter of arguing semantics. What it boils down to is that we don’t have biological proof of one sex being more predatory than the other, except when it comes to mating, in which case FEMALE black widow spiders and FEMALE praying mantises are more predatory.
     
    I do agree with you that providing is gender-neutral. There are many different ways to provide, depending on our gifts, and we must find those with whom the right balance of provisions is achieved.

  18. 78
    Lia

    Chance # 77
     
    Thanks for answering the questions!

  19. 79
    Locutus

    I agree with Chance #77.  I would feel the same way.  I wouldn’t want someone else to pay all of the time though, because that is not fair.  The pay thing goes beyond dating.  If travelling somewhere with a friend or a family member, I would not want them paying 100% of the time for me.  My family is not rich, but apparently generous compared to what I have read here.  Usually everybody wants to pay and we even get into arguments over this.  I guess if you were brought up by cheapskates then maybe that is why some men and women turn out the way they do and view things the way they do.

  20. 80
    Karl R

    Karmic Equation, (#71)
    I’ll keep this simple. You’ve been “arguing your concept” by making up “facts” to support it. Complain all you want, but I’m not going to let you (or anyone else) make up facts unchallenged.
     
    There’s no evidence that there’s a biological basis that men should do the pursuing. There’s no “lizard brain” or “intrinsic instinct” driving us to do it. It’s a societal construct.
     
    And it’s not a universal societal construct. There were some Native American tribes where women were initiators. For huge portions of the population (India, China, etc.) parents arranged marriages for their children.
     
    You’re trying to claim there’s a biological basis for a relatively recent Western societal construct. And you can complain all you want about how I debate, but the facts are against you.

  21. 81
    A

    I think the issue of whether a man’s pride is hurt if his woman makes/pays for more depends on the man.
    I’ve dated 2 men who were in financial trouble:
     One would never ever let me pay for anything and was very sensitive to that.  It was a huge pride issue for him, so we never went out or spent money.  He wouldn’t even think outside the box and do free things with me, because he felt like he should be taking me out and spending money on me but couldn’t.  Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last.
    My current bf couldn’t care less.  He is working on getting back on his feet, but doesn’t let it effect his self-esteem like guy #1 did.  So, I think it really depends on the man.
    To the OP:  One thing I learned from both of these situations is that if a man is working on getting his life/finances in order you have to be okay with that.  Otherwise, constantly wanting more from him (more time, more attention, more going out) will only make him feel like he can’t give you what you need- compounding whatever stress he may already be under.  I’m not saying you can’t have your own needs- but if you need things he can’t give, it will cause big problems in the relationship- as it did in my previous relationship.  I’ve found it takes a great deal of patience to be with a man who is in an unstable place financially.  With my current bf, he’s totally worth it and is really clear about his feelings for me so I feel comfortable with taking a back seat to the obligation he has to himself to get things back on track.  With the former guy, I always felt unstable with him and didn’t have the patience to be #2 to his financial troubles.
    Just wanted to share my experience…

  22. 82
    Lia

    Locutus #80
     
    Thank you that is a good point.
     
    When my daughter was living with me money was always tight.  I worked while she was in school and would save money for her caregivers for when she was out of school on breaks.  My mother on the other hand was very comfortable financially.  She and my step-father could afford a nice place to live, vacations, and living in southern California three months a year during the winter.  Still when she tried to insist on paying every time we went out to lunch I wasn’t comfortable with that.  If she didn’t agree to let me pay on my turn I would refuse to go.  
     
    My family is like yours.  We all reach for the check.  I think that anyone (male or female) who feels entitled to have everything paid for sends a message that would be offensive to others.  Maybe it is not that men resent paying for dinner or drinks but that the women they date EXPECT it.  I don’t like to do things that I feel others expect me to do for them, because then it is not a gift, it is an obligation. If someone EXPECTED me to pay for them I would think to hell with them!!!
     
    @ Karmic Equation # 56
     
    Great post!  I enjoy reading your contributions!
     
    and #61
     
    ...“provider should be gender neutral”  WOW!!! I loved that!!  
     
    I get what you are saying about the lizard brain.  I get what point you were making about  the hunter (pursuer) and prey (pursued) I think the lizard thing and animal analogy got mixed up for some people.  But I agree that biologically men and women are wired differently and men are predisposed to pursue.  I really love that about them!!    
     
    #74
     
    Good points thanks for the link.

  23. 83
    marymary

    Helen
    True, I was not trying to be provocative but I do like animals and was having some fun with it. Re cannibalism, in the animal world that happens when they eat their young, or someone else’s young, or their nest/littermates.  I hope we wouldn’t take too much from animals!
    My point re male animals fighting was to back up karmic’s viewpoint actually.  Male animals make more effort for sex or it’s equal.  Off the top off my head, I can’t think of an animal where it’s the female who does the heavy lifting.

  24. 84
    Karl R

    Lia asked: (#72)
    1. If your girlfriend had a lot of money (let say 5X your income) but in other areas you are compatible how would you feel if she wanted to do and have things (vacations, a big home) that you couldn’t possibly afford?  
    2. How would you feel if she wanted to just pick up the tab all the time? 
    3. Do you let her?
    4. Would that be hard on your pride?”
     
    1. I never felt that my girlfriends could spend their time/money however they chose. Wealthier girlfriends generally owned their own homes. Since I had a small apartment, moving into my wife’s house seemed to be the logical course of action.
     
    I have more money than my wife, but she has more vacation time. That means she takes some vacations without me. (She can’t give me the time to join her.) I have no issue with that.
     
    If it came down to finances, a girlfriend could either choose to pay most of the expense of having me join her, or she could take the vacation by herself. I would enjoy the former option more, but either is acceptable.
     
    2. Even if she’s earning 5x what I am, there’s still room for me to pick up smaller tabs occasionally. For example, if she buys expensive tickets to a show, I’m still capable of buying drinks for two of us.
     
    3. I would certainly let her pick up most of the tabs, particularly the expensive ones. If she wanted to pick up all of the tabs (preventing me from making the occasional thoughtful gesture), I’d probably want to discuss it with her.
     
    4. Pride has not been a driving force in my adult life … particularly as it relates to wealth or status. But I’m atypical in that regard, so I might not be the best person to ask.
     
    Liz, (#68, 75 & 76)
    If the man has an issue with pride, that’s his issue. You can only control whether you have an issue with it. You can control the attitude you express toward him. Beyond that, as you said, it’s all on him.

  25. 85
    Frimmel

    Lia in #72
     
    1. If your girlfriend had a lot of money (let say 5X your income) but in other areas you are compatible how would you feel if she wanted to do and have things (vacations, a big home) that you couldn’t possibly afford?  
     
    That would depend on what she expected me to contribute to the cost of these things but if we were fighting over this we wouldn’t really be compatible. I’m okay with being ‘kept.’ I’m capable of graciously accepting generosity.

    2. How would you feel if she wanted to just pick up the tab all the time? 
     
    If any woman expects me to pick up the tab all the time after say the second date we would not be compatible. If she makes more, complains about the pay gap and expects me to pay all the time well I’m not sure how we’d be able to be in the same room.

    3. Do you let her?
     
    Of course. If she can afford to do so and wishes to do so I’d let her.
     

    4. Would that be hard on your pride?
     
    Possibly but women entirely paying comes up so rarely (ever? I recall one long distance affair where she picked up the whole hotel bill but I paid for all the meals) that I’m not really sure how my pride would take it. I don’t really envision my pride being hurt by living a lifestyle beyond what my own income could provide.
     
    The whole handling money and what is money for and how much should be spent on what sorts of things is key to compatibility for me.

  26. 86
    Frimmel

    Oy. Misread number two. I probably wouldn’t like her to pick it all up all the time. I’d at least expect to pay part or my half for chain restaurants and movie tickets type dates. I expect she would need some demonstration that I understand money doesn’t grow on trees and I wouldn’t plan things expecting her to pick up the entire tab.

  27. 87
    Karl R

    marymary said: (#84)
    “Male animals make more effort for sex or it’s equal.  Off the top off my head, I can’t think of an animal where it’s the female who does the heavy lifting.”
     
    Honeybees. Ants. Termites.
     
    In bonobos (one of the species most closely related to humans) it the effort seems to be equal.
     
    If you look at the species where males aggressively fight for females (sea lions, hippopotamus), you’ll have a “winner-take-all” where the dominant male gets the harem of females.
     
    It’s probably not the ideal situation for most human females.

  28. 88
    Locutus

    Lia #83,
    I agree with you 100%.  We obviously come from similar backgrounds. 

  29. 89
    Karmic Equation

    @Kar; R 81
     
    I’m not complaining, I’m stating (with facts)that you do not know how to argue the POINT BEING MADE, but instead argue the point YOU wish to argue. Stop it the with the strawman arguments. You did it yet again…and committed yet another fallacy…the No True Scotsman fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy#No_true_Scotsman
     
    Please if you can’t argue the point being made, don’t argue YOUR version of the point to point. That  method of doesn’t make the original point wrong, it just shows that you are incapable of arguing without committing a fallacy.
     
    @Lions, Lionesses, and Black Widow spiders
    I’m very sorry that I may have confused you with my hunter/prey references. For some reason, since I am posting on a DATING forum for HUMANS, I thought it was understood when I referred to hunters and prey that I’m talking about HUMANS in the context of DATING. I did not realize that species such as yourself read human dating blogs and needed me to clarify that I’m referring specifically to HUMANS. I didn’t realize lions, lionesses, and spiders would read dating threads meant for humans. It was a truly EGREGIOUS mistake on my part. What could I have been thinking? I will endeavor to be clearer in the future, so that you will not be thus confused again.

  30. 90
    Karmic Equation

    @marymary 84
     
    My apologies for my sarcasm towards you. I didn’t read your post first.
     
    In the animal world it’s usually the MALE that is more beautiful (e.g., peacocks, lions (manes), moose (horns)) — they attract the females visually. The most beautiful males get the babes :) A total flip-flop of the human world. I believe it’s because the females need to be less obvious to predators so that they can more safely rear their young.

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