Men and Money

Men and Money

Money is a dilemma faced by smart, successful women in the dating world. Do you need a man to earn more than you? Will he feel insecure and emasculated around you? What’s the best way to handle money as a couple? Evan’s got all your answers on the next Love U Podcast.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Hazel

    Brilliant! I really needed to hear this. My BF is finishing study and I am starting a business (no income yet). I am supporting him though it wasn’t clear this was going to happen when we got together. I have to admit – even though he is studying which is good and noble and I am proud of him – this podcast made me hold up the mirror. I realised at times I do not respect him because he does not make money and it annoys me that I have to support him from my savings. He reminds me it is just a passage of time, and he will earn again. I have to have more faith in him and respect him for what he is doing – he has made a lot of sacrifices to finish his PhD.

    1. 1.1
      Renée

      Don’t be a dummy. Support your husband not some random

      1. 1.1.1
        Hazel

        I’m wondering from my comment how you determined he was a random. Perhaps it was the BF acronym – it is a very broad term to mean some random, as you say, or someone you have been with for several years and are talking marriage with. Who would know?

        1. CaliforniaGirl

          Are you legally married? Because if not, why would you support someone who can just leave you anytime without any consequences? I mean unless you just want to give that money away..

  2. 2
    Stacy2

    This advice is as dangerous as it is well-intended. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sure, as a woman of means you don’t NEED a man with money. What you need even less is the guy who will take your money away. Make no mistake, a marriage to a guy who makes substantially less than you could be the most disastrous financial decision in ones’ life and cannot be taken lightly.

    I think every woman making serious money should remember, that marriage is first and foremost a legal mechanism of wealth transfer from the higher earning spouse to the other one. Once you sign that piece of paper called marriage certificate, the state and your spouse have you on the hook.

    My state of New York has invented a “wonderful” formula which can be seen here: https://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/calculator.pdf. The courts are said to be following this formula pretty closely. If you put in 250K for one spouse and 75K for another, the guidelines for maintenance is $2,000 per month. That’s right, a healthy employed spouse making 75K will get $2,000 in alimony on top of it, just because you make more.

    So here you go ladies, put your numbers in and decide whether this otherwise guy is potentially worth x% of your after-tax income for the foreseeable future.

    It is also wrong to claim that men don’t consider income when they marry. They may not consider a woman’s income, but they do consider how to protect theirs. The ones who don’t are fools and are routinely separated from their money in divorce courts (btw the courts are open to public and they don’t charge admission for the high drama, spending 4 hours in one is a good remedy against marital itch). Men invented prenups. Now that women are growing their earnings potential, it is time we get as good at this game as men have been.

    The problem with prenups, of course, is that it is much easier to protect an existing asset than it is to protect future earnings. In fact, the latter is almost impossible to protect (just ask your lawyer). Which is of high concern to women in their early 30ies who have invested time and money into their careers and are just about to begin earning real money when they marry and boom! Suddenly their earnings are “marital property”. Where was this lower earning spouse when the woman was going through a grad school living on ramen, pulling all-nighters etc? Was he working 9-5 and playing beer-pong with coeds? Why is her earnings now HIS property too, when he literally wasn’t even in the picture when this earnings power was created? The law doesn’t give a s%^t. So take note.  And, to add insult to injury, your student loans remain yours alone. In other words, say you borrowed $100K to get yourself through a law school. You marry after graduation. Your high salary is now marital property and will be split, but your student loans are only yours to keep. Still want that ring?

    He may be WONDERFUL in all other respects, bring you coffee in bed and draw you a bubble bath at night and all that, but do you REALLY want to risk crippling yourself financially for all that?

    I am just saying. I was married to a wealthy guy who attempted to cry poverty in a divorce court only to be screamed at by the judge. Had he actually been as “poor” as he claimed, I would have had ½ less income to live on today. I was never into lower income guys to begin with, but that was my wakeup call which kind of validated and solidified my position on this matter. Ladies, wise up. Is any man really worth it? Or, as they say, why buy a whole pig just for a little sausage? A man is not going to be pregnant, give birth, breastfeed or lets face it be a “mom”. So, in such marriage you would be both a man and a woman, forced to play both roles and exactly what does this man contribute? A sperm cell? You can get that cheaper and genetic mutation free.

    And, for the record, I think that this system is ridiculous and unfair to both men and women alike. I think that nobody has to ever be required to support another healthy adult, no matter what “lifestyle” they became “accustomed to”.

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Change the genders and you have a pretty good idea why so many men are MGOTWs. Sigh.

      1. 2.1.1
        Stacy2

        I hear you but lets not forget that its the men who invented and upheld this antiquated system. In fact the NY alimony formula was introduced just 3 years ago or so by predominantly male legislature. Go figure.

        I get the argument about having a good relationship and not having to worry about money etc. Its all good and sound nice in theory. In practice, at least for me, it would be hard to not feel taken advantage of. I am busting my chops in the office while trying to be a good mother and a wonderful guy is sitting at home watching TV at 5pm like someone below said – i would resent him tremendously. I personally value hard work, ambition. This is how i was brought up. A guy who is ok being average is not my guy. YMMV.

        1. MikeTO

          The reason was the best interest of women.  Look at the early 1900’s and you will see that about 20% women were aboneded by men.  Some had children some did not.  It was best interest of women and children.

           

          Also only recently several states in USA want to get rid of alimony or at least reduce the number of years a person can collect alimony.

           

          Your chances of getting taken advantage of us slim.  Only 3% of men collect alimony.  Most have too much pride to take women’s money.  You have  just a good chance of getting in an auto accident.

      2. 2.1.2
        KK

        Hi Evan,

        What happened to your comments? They used to be highlighted in blue.

      3. 2.1.3
        Kate

        Thanks Evan for addressing this under discussed topic!  Here are my two cents regarding marriage, divorce and alimony:  If a couple is thinking of marriage, they could consider skipping the marriage license and going straight to the wedding. Signing a marriage license is the same as entering into an unwritten contract where, in the event of  divorce or separation, a judge fills in the blanks, and the higher earner pays often pays dearly.  I’m pretty sure that the only state that has a law against getting married without a license is Arkansas. Of course you also have to worry about common law marriage states but luckily those are decreasing in numbers. IMO, no adult should be legally forced to support another adult who they are no longer married to. (Child support is another matter and there is a legal obligation to financially support your child whether you are married to the other parent or not.)  What I am leading up to is the idea that if lower earning men and women knew that they couldn’t “cash out” from a “marriage license union” with a high earner, couples might be a lot less focused on potentially losing or gaining money from each other. Hope this helps someone out there.

        1. AMarie

          Look up the difference between “putative marriage” and “common law marriage.”  In most states, if you have an actual ceremony and then hold yourselves out as a married couple, but don’t complete licenses or some other formality, it is regarded as a full legal marriage if either “spouse” wanted to enforce it as such in court.

          “Common law marriage” is some combination of living together and holding yourselves out as married, but no ceremony.

          Bottom line- Do NOT do that if you’re trying to protect assets…

           

      4. 2.1.4
        McLovin

        You are my hero for saying that, Evan. I’m reading one of Stacy2’s trademark screeds and thinking to myself…”hmmmm, you do realize, Stacy2, that this has been the deal for men since the beginning of legal marriage, correct?”

         

        Good lord the sole focus on self is strong with her.

        1. AMarie

          Almost.  Men still need women to have their own biological children, and regardless of who has the higher income, the physical burden is still on the woman, which has only recently stopped being a life-threatening contribution.  Typically the emotional “burden,” and related domestic chores as well, but obviously there are terrible mothers.

          Sooooo… “Hey, I’ll put up my income forever, you put up your actual life (dead is forever, obviously) and let’s make a family, deal?” hasn’t historically been an egregiously bad deal for men…

        2. A

          dear mclovin,

          When men start getting pregnant and breastfeeding then you come back and talk.

    2. 2.2
      Joe

      Hypocrisy abounds.

    3. 2.3
      SQ

      Stacy2,

      “marriage is first and foremost a legal mechanism of wealth transfer from the higher earning spouse to the other one. ”

      Therein lies the problem.

      the state gets involved in marriage for one reason: to make marriage the primary vehicle for provisioning and support, for children in particular, lest that responsibility fall entirely on them.

      The reason alimony laws persist is not because the state hates men, it’s because the state is trying to mitigate the financial risk to itself from women and children who fall into poverty after a divorce, which btw happens far more to women than to men despite what the manosphere claims. What happens through is greedy divorce lawyers use the laws to get alimony for women who really don’t need it (which is the vast majority women) and in the process make a nice commission for themselves.

      You are wrong though about prenups. They were not created to protect men but to protect wealthy women from marrying men who were trying to get their hands on her money, as prior the the Marriage Property Act in the mid 1800s, all property a woman owned was transferred to her husband upon marriage.

      1. 2.3.1
        KK

        Agreed, SQ.

      2. 2.3.2
        jeremy

        I enjoyed your post, SQ, but disagree with one aspect.  The reason that alimony persists is not the state trying to protect itself from expenditures.  That is the reason that politicians and lawyers give, but it rings false.  After all, the state readily supports all sorts of individuals who can’t support themselves, including drug addicts, alcoholics, women who have children for no other reason than to obtain state money, etc.  Many of these people have family members who could help them financially, but the state does not obligate family members to mitigate its losses.  It is only in the case of alimony that the state deems it fair to obligate one person to work indefinitely (involuntarily) to support another capable adult.

         

        The reason alimony persists is because of one thing – chivalry.  The notion that men (and society) must protect women whom they view as helpless.  The notion that a man who once consented to sharing his finances with a woman is no longer able to withdraw his consent.

         

        The laws will change – not because politicians will stop being chivalrous, but rather because as more women start paying alimony, more women will start complaining about it.

        1. SQ

           

          Jeremy OK that makes sense. But I do think in the ideal world, the state does not want more people to care for and wants to provide solutions so that people never become dependent at all. Key word is ideal.

          “The notion that a man who once consented to sharing his finances with a woman is no longer able to withdraw his consent.”

          That appears to come from the most traditional chauvinistic view of marriage. Once a man marries his daughter off, he essentially says to the husband, she’s your responsibility now, and should you not want to be with her anymore or she doesn’t want to be with you, she’s still your responsibility because she’s not coming back to this house…

          Of course that was when an unmarried adult daughter was a burden on parents because there were few well paying jobs she could get that allowed her to make a significant contribution to the family.

          So those posting here that their states have formulas to calculate alimony, is it applied equally to women if they are the higher earner? Whether or not they have primary custody? How does that factor in?

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          Do I think lifetime alimony should be handed out?  Hell no!  But I find some of your arguments to ring false.

          First of all, the average time people are on welfare 1-2 years.  Many states have time limits.  Also getting on disability (I’m assuming that’s what you mean about alcoholics being subsidized) is difficult.  I have a family member with two disabling autoimmune diseases who was denied twice.  Only 35% of initial claims are approved and only 10% of reconsiderations are approved.  Chances are better if the disabled person goes before an administrative law judge, but they handle a minority of cases and you usually have to retain a lawyer to get there.  There are many more people disabled people who do wind up dependent upon relatives (in my relative’s case, her husband and adult kids) that on SSI-disability, even though they paid in to the system.

          In my state, a prenup was thrown out (and legal precedent was changed) when a physician divorced his mail-order Polish wife after 12 years of marriage.  Due to a prenup, he got custody of the 3 young kids and she wound up in a studio apartment, without a car (we are a car dependent state), and $12,000 in the bank–$1,000 for every year of marriage.

          Ours is a conservative state that usually honors written contracts as long as both people understood what was in it.  The ex-wife never claimed she misunderstood–she believed her husband when he said he would never divorce her.  In this case, the prenup was thrown out because it directly led to the ex-Mrs. with poor language skills, limited education, and no work experience to wind up on AFDC and medicaid.  The state supreme court said a prenup did not have to equally divide property, nor even be considered fair, but it cannot leave an ex spouse in such a state that they land on public assistance.

          Whether it’s welfare, disability, or alimony, the state doesn’t care about chivalry.  It cares about taxpayers not footing the bill, and governments work hard to make that a reality.  In the case of a divorce where one spouse spent a large chunk of time out of the workforce, and thus has poor employment prospects that will earn them a living wage, the state is saying that taxpayers aren’t footing that bill.  Two people made the situation, and two people will have to deal with the logical fall out of it.

          I do know two high earning women who are paying alimony, and three others who walked away from marriages with little or none of the marital assets–they just wanted to be done with it.  None of them have complained nearly as much as some of the divorced men that I know.  The most vociferous complainers:  Men who before divorce had long term SAHWs and always said how happy they were that their wives were “traditional” and who disparaged any woman who wasn’t.

          Men, individually and as a group, decide what women get married.  If “I don’t want to get screwed in divorce court” is a man’s biggest fear when it comes to marriage, but he still wants to get married, then he should get a wife who earns as much or more than he does.  And/or the couple should negotiate a fair prenup starting well before the wedding date.

          SQ,

          In my state, child support is determined by a formula.  Property and assets are divided equally. When it comes to the family home, the majority of divorced couples sell the home and divide the equity if there is any.  I only know of two divorced people (both men) who kept the family home.  They both had to get new mortgages on their own credit and had to pay off the ex-spouse’s equity interest.

          Alimony is not given a majority of the time.  When it is, it is usually for a period of 2, 4, or 5 years and depends upon how much time it is expected that the receiving spouse will need to achieve an employment status where they are self-supporting.  I know of one man who is paying lifetime alimony to his ex.  He was in a hurry to marry his new honey, so he voluntarily agreed to all of his ex’s initial demands.  That was 30 years ago.  When he complains about it, even other men tell him it’s his own fault.

        3. SQ

          Gowiththeflow, excellent post.

          “Men who before divorce had long term SAHWs and always said how happy they were that their wives were “traditional” and who disparaged any woman who wasn’t.”

          I notice this too.

           

        4. jeremy

          @GoWithTheFlow

           

          We obviously live in different places.  Where I live, lifetime alimony is common and readily handed out.  Welfare is common, and readily handed out.  And many patients that I’ve treated have been on social assistance for their entire lives, as were their mothers before them.  The government is quite free with the taxpayers’ money when it comes to assisting those in need.  Only in cases of alimony is it deemed to be the responsibility of one person to support another adult.

           

          Regarding your comment that governments do not care about chivalry, please remember that governments are made up of elected politicians.  They are elected based on their “friendliness” – especially to women (because both men and women will vote to female-friendly politicians).  It is not the job of politicians to save money – they spend it like water on so many things.  It is their job to get elected.  That is why alimony laws have not changed in Canada, in spite of their obvious obsolescence.  They will change only when the majority of voters want them to be.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I understand you are in Canada.  I am in the U.S.  Politicians here run and win on promises to cut welfare.  A lot of conservative states refused to expand medicaid (indigent medical coverage) even when the federal government would pay 90-100% of the costs, and those states’ taxpayers are paying into it.  Cutting government spending or “the size” of government is also a very popular position with many voters.

          The U.S. also has multigenerational families that perpetually exist on government aid programs.  I think this is an issue for most advanced western nations, and it’s going to take such a huge investment in time and resources to solve it that there just isn’t the political will to do it here.

          I think there is more to the alimony issue than simple consent to support.  Both spouses also consent when one spouse cuts back on work or leaves the workforce to take care of kids and manage the house. If this goes on for a number of years, the under/unemployed spouse’s ability to suddenly get a job that pays a decent wage (or at all) has been degraded due to the years off.  In these situations alimony for the time it takes for the receiving spouse to catch up job-wise is a reasonable solution to state governments and courts.  The majority of people receiving alimony are women because women are, by far, the spouses that wind up staying home with kids.  (And that’s another debate I’m not going to touch!)

          You are correct in saying that the laws won’t change until the public pressures governments to change.  That’s what first wave feminism was all about, organizing and pressuring government for the right to vote, own property, and have jobs.  Men can organize as a group just as easily as women can, but it involves overcoming their own inertia and committing time and energy to do it.  Can’t win the battle if you don’t show up.

        6. jeremy

          I agree with much of your comment, GoWithTheFlow, but organizing for men’s rights re: alimony requires more than just men showing up. Both men and women are hard-wired to prioritize the needs of women over those of men.  Men doing so is called patriarchy; women doing so is called feminism.    Both men and women support the idea of protecting women via alimony, whether they need protection or not.  Neither men nor women are inclined to support men who complain, because both view men as advantaged (whether they are or not).

           

          In order to resolve the problem, it will take WOMEN complaining about the issue – as they have begun to do when it affects them (see Stacy2’s comments).  Both men and women are more inclined to listen and rectify complaints by women rather than complaints by men.

        7. SQ

          Gowiththeflow, fair enough but (and this is probably going to sound harsher than I mean it to) I have a problem with the belief that alimony is fair because the moral universe owes one compensation for a choice they willingly made that didn’t work out in the end.

          I’m not saying the stay at home spouse should be tossed out on the street,  but the reality is that working spouses, including some who earn very good incomes, are getting alimony. And if the spouse stayed home for 5 years, does it really take 10+ years of alimony payments to get back on their feet? I mean wow, people who were laid off from jobs through no fault of their own only get 26 weeks before they’re cut off from unemployment.

          Unless there is some special circumstance like a disabilityor caring for a special needs child, there really is no justifable reason for alimony beyond the short term. Just MO.

        8. SQ

          Jeremy, trust me — there are plenty of women (myself included) who do not “prioritize the needs of women over those of men” and do not “support the idea of protecting women via alimony.” There are plenty of women (myself included) who believe we should share the load financially and that men should not be forced to support us indefinitely should our marriages end.

          Unfortunately, when this topic comes up, the men who do most of the complaining about this topic are real quick to throw a lot of hatred our way and dismiss us selfish cold-hearted emascualting feminazi “career women.” Right? 

        9. jeremy

          @SQ, you wrote “Unfortunately, when this topic comes up, the men who do most of the complaining about this topic are real quick to throw a lot of hatred our way and dismiss us selfish cold-hearted emascualting feminazi “career women.” Right?”

           

          I certainly hope not.  I agree with your last few comments 100%.  While there are certainly misogynists on the web (and elsewhere) who would denigrate career women, I think the reason most high-income men don’t focus on a woman’s career is because we envision a different home-life for our children.  I know that one of the reasons I worked so hard in school to become a high-earner was to be able to support a wife who could focus more on our children than I could.  Not to be a SAHW – to have her own career – but to have fewer hours and more flexibility, and to have the ability to work part-time while our children are young.  Not because I denigrate job-focused women, but simply because I envisioned a different home life than I would have with one.

        10. SQ

          Jeremy, unfortunately it’s very common to get that reaction.

        11. GoWiththeFlow

          Hey SQ,

           

          “I have a problem with the belief that alimony is fair because the moral universe owes one compensation for a choice they willingly made that didn’t work out in the end.”

           

          It is the choice to get married didn’t work out in the end.  The choice the two spouses made to divide up financial and care taking responsibilities (instead of equally sharing them) and the logical consequences of that division of labor, is what’s at issue.  And it is the two spouses making this decision, not just the stay-at-home spouse deciding it all on their own.  In your statement you imply that it’s all on the non-working spouse.  The working spouse was part of that decision too.

           

          The spouse who becomes the sole breadwinner gives up time and energy for themselves and their family, and gains additional stress to make the money while, in general, they are released from many life chores and care taking duties that now fall on the non-working spouse.  The non-working spouse who takes on the life chores and care taking duties gives up professional advancement, earnings, the credibility that continuous employment brings (the longer you are unemployed, the more risky you become as a potential hire to an employer), and in the U.S., “investing” in their retirement by not paying as an individual into the social security system or a job-based retirement fund.

           

          A previously non-working spouse literally gets dumped into an employment market where they aren’t competitive candidates for good paying jobs.  Many need to get an education or job training, or need time to be promoted from an entry level position before they can be self-supporting.

           

          And unlike in Hollywood, a long term SAHM doesn’t get to march into an employer’s office and say “I have successfully managed a household budget, while multitasking chores, children, volunteer activities at church, and leadership duties in the PTA!” and be taken seriously.  And get hired over people with recent employment history and up to date job skills.

           

          Unfortunately, our society is great at paying lip service to the sacrifices SAHMs make–we give them cards and a dinner out on Mother’s Day–but then turns around and deny that they made any sacrifice at all when a marriage ends.  She was at home eating bon bons all day!

           

          In my 25 years of working in a field full of high earning, conservative, alpha men, it’s amazing how quickly they can do a 180 on the worth of a SAHM.  While married, they say they’re so happy their wives take care of everything.  They could never be married to a wife who works.  They brag about never having to change a diaper, buy the Santa presents for Christmas, or deal with the HVAC repair guy.  Then, as soon as the marital separation occurs and they find out they will have to pay alimony, they turn the wheel and peal into the 180.  I can’t believe I have to pay her!  All she did was shop and spend my money!  She needs to get off her lazy ass and get a job!  Enjoy the benefits, deny the sacrifice when it serves you.

          Alimony serves a government and societal function in ensuring that the long-term SAH spouse doesn’t wind up on government aid or living in poverty.  Ever hear the saying that a woman is one man away from the poor house?  That was the reality for many women in previous generations.

          Does this mean that a high earning spouse should wind up receiving alimony?  Or that alimony should last beyond the point where the receiving spouse is financially stable? Oh heck no!  In the end, the people are divorced and they should be free of each other.  For most people, 4-5 years should be the longest alimony would be needed.  And alimony should not be increased or reinstated past the original period.  That’s where laws and social expectations should be changed:  Make sure the income disadvantaged spouse gets to the point where they can support themselves.  Property and money shouldn’t be used to punish or reward either spouse.

          But let’s not deny that many long-term SAH spouses would be left in a financially precarious situation without alimony for a period of time, because they sacrificed individual career and financial prospects to maintain a household and care for kids.  And let’s not pretend that being a full time parent and housekeeper is the equivalent of a vacation, or that the working spouse had no input into how the work of life is divided up.

        12. SQ

           

          Hi GWTF,

          I was not implying it’s one-way choice (although I question how many husbands go along with it reluctantly). Yes it’s a choice they both made, but it’s still a choice. We should all be aware that when you voluntarily cut off your or your spouse’s source of income, you are taking certain risks.

          I will use myself as an example to address your points, as I was a SAHM for 18 months.

          “A previously non-working spouse literally gets dumped into an employment market where they aren’t competitive candidates for good paying jobs. Many need to get an education or job training, or need time to be promoted from an entry level position before they can be self-supporting.”  

          Unless the SAH spouse plans on never returning to work for the rest of their lives, then that has to be considered.  I kept up my professional network because 1) I knew one day I’d be returing to work and 2) god forbid my husband got laid off or became ill, I might have to go back to work sooner that I wanted. Once my son settled into his routine and I was able to sleep through the night, I started contacting friends and people in my professional network and taking on whatever small freelance jobs I could squeeze in around caring for my son and my home. Some of them paid chump change and weren’t the most glamorous projects, but it allowed me to stay in contact with people who could and did help me down the road, have some work experience and references, and keep my skill set current.

          “get hired over people with recent employment history and up to date job skills.”

          When I went back to work, I did have to take a step back but then I never assumed when I left the workforce that I’d come back to the same job and pay. But even with the pay cut I took, I would still have been able to support myself easily. I mean, how many million Americans manage to live on minimum wage?

          “But let’s not deny that many long-term SAH spouses would be left in a financially precarious situation without alimony for a period of time.”

          And I’m not objecting to that. I’m objecting to the idea that SAHS deserve to be “compensated” for the years they didn’t work or deserve to get alimony simply because an income disparity exists.

           

      3. 2.3.3
        Stacy2

        @ Jeremy:

        I know that one of the reasons I worked so hard in school to become a high-earner was to be able to support a wife who could focus more on our children than I could.  Not to be a SAHW – to have her own career – but to have fewer hours and more flexibility, and to have the ability to work part-time while our children are young

        And this is what’s called “having your cake and eating it too”. Women who “slow down” as you described pay the price in terms of greatly reduced long-term earnings. So, they’re making a financial sacrifice and would have to be properly compensated, no? If you don’t want to pay alimony, than how can you ask a woman to make such a sacrifice?

        Personally I think both should work to their full potential, abolish alimony, and daycare is a wonderful option that promotes early socialization.

        1. jeremy

          To reply to your post, Stacy2, very few women slow down at work due to “requests” from their spouses.  The overwhelming majority of them, at least in more affluent circles, do so because it is exactly what they WANT to do.  It is why they married breadwinning husbands in the first place.  It is far less a sacrifice, and far more a PRIVILEGE.
          They are not making sacrifices – they are making choices, like the adults they are.  And their spouses are making sacrifices to support them – though, again, they are more choices than sacrifices.

           

          I don’t believe any person, man or woman, should give up his/her career – and if they do, they better have a good nuptual agreement, guaranteeing support (otherwise the decision is just plain stupid).  But having the privilege of spending time with one’s children while being supported by someone else is something that most people only dream of.  And should a marriage dissolve, the breadwinning spouse does not ask to be compensated for the years that he/she supported the other spouse – because that was his/her choice too.

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “They are not making sacrifices – they are making choices, like the adults they are.  And their spouses are making sacrifices to support them – though, again, they are more choices than sacrifices.”

          Why is it so hard to believe that a spouse who cuts back on work or leaves the workforce to take care of kids and mange household chores is making a sacrifice?

          I have been, and always will be a woman who is employed full time.  And when I have to pay someone to do what a stay-at-home-spouse does it costs  boatload of money!  Not only is a SAH spouse performing work that the family would pay a lot for if she/he wasn’t at home, but their outside earnings potential gets degraded as time goes by.

          Yes surveys show that a significant amount of women want to cut back on work or stay at home with their kids while they’re small.  But there’s a lot more going on that just a perceived desire to drop out of life.  Childcare is expensive!  And the minute you become a mom, your motives for taking a day off, or the quality of your work, or your commitment to the company are always suspect.  Now add in the guilt and shame that are heaped upon women who work when they have young kids at home and that’s a lot of reasons to fell that way.

        3. jeremy

          GWTF,

          You wrote: “Why is it so hard to believe that a spouse who cuts back on work or leaves the workforce to take care of kids and mange household chores is making a sacrifice?”

           

          All choices involve an element of sacrifice.  If we chose the path on the right, we “sacrifice” what might have been on the path on the left.  If I choose to be a doctor, I “sacrifice” what might have been had I chosen to be a lawyer.  In the same way, a person (male or female) who CHOOSES to cut back on work to care for family members is making a choice that others don’t have the privilege to make.

           

          The low-income single mom CAN’T work part-time and spend time with her kids – she needs to work to make a living.  Yes, daycare is expensive (as you wrote), but not working isn’t the way to compensate for that unless you have another stream of income.  Not working is a privilege, based on the income of another person.

           

          The spouse of the part-time caregiver can’t cut back on his work, because he needs to work to support his kids and wife.  If anything, HE is the one making a sacrifice and she is the privileged one….yet his “sacrifice” is also simply a choice, and he deserves no compensation in the event of divorce.  She should not have to pay him back for all the years he supported her, because doing so was his choice.

           

          For the woman who cuts back from work, I take issue with the description that she “wants to cut back from life.”  Quite the opposite, in fact!  To such women, the “life” they envision revolves far more around their children than their corner office.  Their work takes them AWAY from the “life” they want.

           

          Both members of a couple make sacrifices.  My wife cut back on her career (though she still has one), and made the choice to exchange earning power for time with her kids.  I made the choice to pursue earnings at the expense of time with my kids that I will never have (and regret not having).  It is not that I can’t believe that she did not make sacrifices, but rather that her sacrifices are not greater than mine.  We each chose our path, and we live with the consequences of our choices….like adults.

        4. CaliforniaGirl

          This was exactly my situation, my ex-husband didn’t want me to travel for work, work late or be tired when he got home, so I was very passive in my career. We were in the same field but he made three times more money and after we divorced I had to survive while he had a lavish life. And his lawyer said that I make more than an average household in America and shouldn’t be getting alimony. What about all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking care of the house I did for 10 years?    Three years later my income has doubled but it is still nowhere I could have made if I had the same conditions he had.

          My advise for women, never make his career a priority and never rely on anyone. I know so many women who’s husbands left them for younger mistresses and don’t even want the kids and pay nothing for child support because they have businesses and they can put whatever income they want on the child support paper.

    4. 2.4
      Nissa

      It’s all about consent and equality. If you don’t want that for yourself, don’t. Simple. No one is twisting your arm. But it’s fair no matter who the higher earner is. The reason the state is involved is because marriage is a literal contract, a codification of the social contract inherent in marriage. If a person has not been responsible or accountable or cared enough to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to say differently, then they have no one to blame but themselves.

      And if a woman friend of mine making over $200K a year refused to pay for a $40 meal for her new friend, I would consider her not only cheap but judgmental for not considering what the person ‘brings to the table’ in other ways.

      Evan has a valid point about recognizing middle ground. But each of us is responsible for deciding what we can or cannot accept. If you can’t accept it, don’t. Give what you want to give. Don’t give what you don’t want to give. Blame no one. To make someone else responsible for your happiness, well being (financial or otherwise) is ineffective, lacking in personal accountability and just plain unattractive.

    5. 2.5
      MikeTO

      Men are far less likely to collect alimony. The exception is child support due to the obvious reason. Only about 3% of men in the USA collect alimony. Although it is likely to rise still it will probably less than women collecting alimony although that will change since more and more women are making more.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-divorce-alimony-men-idUSBRE9BN0AW20131224

      1. 2.5.1
        McLovin

        I expect this comment to be responded to with crickets. It interferes with the strong, successful, victim narrative that the more vocal female posters like to run with.

      2. 2.5.2
        GoWiththeFlow

        MikeTO,

        A few weeks ago, to post a reply on another of Evan’s posts, I looked up some statistics from the Federal Dept. Of Labor.  The percentage of married couple-families where wives outearned husbands was around 35%.  That’s a lot of women who could be potentially on the hook for alimony should a divorce occur.

        Interestingly, in my state, most divorces don’t involve any alimony at all.  Probably because the earning potential of both spouses is equivalent.

    6. 2.6
      Benjamin Cardozo

      “. . . say you borrowed $100K to get yourself through a law school. You marry after graduation. Your high salary is now marital property and will be split, but your student loans are only yours to keep. Still want that ring?

       

       

      If you have to borrow money for law school, you probably shouldn’t go. Big Law only recruits from Harvard, Yale, or Stanford and unless you are top 10% you will never get a bid during OCI.

       

      Grad school is a worse investment than law school. Look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics–most masters programs have no net positive gain over the course of a career.

       

      Back to lawyers–“your high salary” lawyers do not have high salaries. Neither do doctors, bankers, or anyone else that has to work for a living. Look at the BLS–the median wage of an attorney is only $120k a year during mid-career. The ABA says that 65% of law school graduates are not practicing law after 4 years.

       

      Grad and law schools are places where the wealthy send their kids (by wealthy I mean people that do not have to work for a living–and neither will at least a few of the future generations of their family.) Sure, a few poors go to law school. They usually end up working as public defenders or doing doc review or in house council: for less money than a teacher–all because they do not understand opportunity hoarding and how incestuous the practice of law–and all other noble professions are.

       

      I would go through and pick apart the rest of your argument, but it is pretty much without merit and conclusory.

       

      I believe that you are probably a young girl–from the wrong side of society–who was duped into financing education above your station in life. You probably have a masters (or God forbid a JD) and cannot find the type of employment that you believe you were entitled to because of your education. It is simple–you don’t have the family connections to get you where you want to go!

       

      I understand that you are angry. Just know that it is not your fault. The deck was stacked against you from the beginning and you were always destined to fail.

       

      It looks like that your choices in men are about like your choices in career and life. You believe that you are entitled to a good man–but you are of low value and therefore good men do not want you. You are not satisfied with the men that do want you–just as you are not satisfied with your station in life.

       

      You really should just resign yourself to be who you are. There is nothing wrong with being common.

      1. 2.6.1
        Meh

        Wow, what a jerk.

        -Harvard grad student

  3. 3
    Christine

    Well, I’m not sure if I “need” a man to make more money than me per se.  Me and my guy made equivalent salaries when we first started dating.  Then a few months in, he got promoted at work, so now makes more than me.  Of course, I was happy for him (basically happy that he was happy).  However, his extra money didn’t somehow make me love him more either.  I loved him just as much when he had relatively less.  As long as we have enough money to provide for our basic needs and not have to worry about it, I’m good whether he has less, as much or more than me.  I have pretty modest indulgences (organic beauty products from Etsy) so don’t exactly need a millionnaire.

    I think what’s more important, than the precise dollar amount of his salary, is whether he has the same financial “style” as you.  If one person is a frugal saver and the other is an extravagant spender (as was the case with my guy and his ex), I think that can really wreak havoc. Our relationship is better, in part, because we’re more similar in that regard, in both being “savers”.

    Not to mention, financial responsibility is also important, not just how much he makes.  For instance, I would seriously prefer someone who makes less money, but has no debts and is responsible with how he spends it–over someone who has more money, but is reckless and racks up a ton of debt.  Money can be an important factor, but there’s more to it than just the salary itself.

    1. 3.1
      SMC

      @ Christine:

      “I think what’s more important, than the precise dollar amount of his salary, is whether he has the same financial “style” as you.”

      I couldn’t agree more.  The only debt my guy and I have, respectively, is our mortgages.  Everything else is paid for, so the fact that he earns significantly less than I do just isn’t a big deal with me.  (Men and money – few subjects make my blood boil more than this one.)  🙂

      1. 3.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        SMC & Christine,

        So true!  A guy who makes $1,000,000 a year but spends $1,000,001 is a bigger financial risk than a guy who makes $40k but lives within his means.  There’s also an element of maturity that is needed to manage finances well.

        1. Christine

          It’s so true that responsibility is also very important!  I know a couple with a combined income of $600K a year.  Yet they’re constantly in debt, because they spend their money faster than they earn it.  It’s ridiculous how quickly money slips through their fingers!

          Me and my guy have both dated people like that before.  We agree that we both dodged some bullets there and are lucky to be with each other!  We don’t make quite as much as some of those people, yet are more sensible about how we spend our money–so our money goes a lot further.

  4. 4
    Naomi

    Hi Evan, how many of your high earning female clients hope to have children and has this factored into why they are looking for a man with an equal earning power? Some workplaces seem to actively discriminate against women taking time off work for childbirth and childcare whilst valuing the ‘facetime’ of their male counterparts in the workplace regardless of quality of work.  I wonder if some high earning women are factoring in whether the man can support the standard of lifestyle she has become accustomed to which may be effected by motherhood and interrupted worklife. I know of women who have left private sector jobs for public sector due to the lack of support from their employers once they had children.

  5. 5
    ES

    this is a really complex topic…I agree with much of what you said, Evan, however, if you are in “mid life” – 50’s, and one has college education on the table, and eldercare for parents, etc., the formula really doesn’t work so well.  I think if one is starting with a clean slate, sure, but later in life, there is a lack of fairness, in that many of us worked harder or at jobs we didn’t love so we would have the security for college tuition, etc.

    The other factor that is paramount, is “effort”….I’d rather be with a $50k school teacher who is passionate about their work, (if I’m earning 6 figures) than someone who is ambivalent about their employment and therefore subject to a lot of fluctuations in income.  So, if both parties are sweet and giving, etc., but one wants to turn on the TV at 5 while the other is busting themselves to get out of the office, pick the kids up, etc., it’s hard to feel justified in supporting them to a greater percentage than they do you….

    1. 5.1
      ES

      and I should add – when it comes to caring for elderly parents, a far higher percentage of women take on that role which often causes them huge financial hardship in having to leave jobs, take unpaid time off, etc…

  6. 6
    jeremy

    There’s something important that you are forgetting, Evan.  According to the Pew 2013 study, the vast majority of married women with children prefer to work part-time or not at all.  Only a very small percentage of married women with children prefer to work full-time, if given their choice.
    The reason women seek high-income husbands is to give them the ability to strike a work-life balance.  After all, while feminism gave women the choice to work, it is MONEY that gives women the choice to not work.  If a woman must rely on her own income to support her lifestyle, she has no choice in work-life balance (as men have had none since time immemorial).

     

    So, before a woman decides to date a man who makes significantly less than her, she would be wise to consider whether or not she hopes to take time off work when she has children.  Men don’t consider this, because most men don’t want to take time off (nor would most women tolerate if they did, since that would impinge on the woman’s choice to do so).  If she does want time off, she needs a man with high income.  Simple as that.

    1. 6.2
      Shaukat

      An interesting point Jeremy, but I would argue that what you’re saying is highly context dependent and has very little to do with any natural propensities men and women may have when it comes to work or work/life balance.

      In other words, it’s true in the United States which has close to zero maternity leave benefits, but it’s not the case in the Scandinavian countries with very generous parental leave rights, or even in Canada where maternity leave is less generous than in the latter countries but still much better than in the US. In such national contexts both men and women make the decision to take time off work to care for children (with little or no stigma) and income tends to play a far less important role in mate selection.

      1. 6.2.1
        jeremy

        I live in Canada, Shaukat, and I can tell you that the maternity benefits (which are far better than in the States) make absolutely no difference in the preferences of women for breadwinners.  I’m not commenting whether it is biological or societal – probably both.

         

        The Pew study did not just look at women with infants.  It looked at women with children age 18 and under (for whom maternity leave benefits are largely irrelevant).  These women, largely, preferred not to have to work full-time.  To facilitate that choice, they need a breadwinning spouse.

         

        And, interestingly, in Scandinavian countries where gender equality and government benefits are unparalleled, women STILL prefer to work part-time when they have children.

        1. Shaukat

          Hmm, I live in Canada as well Jeremy, and in my experience I haven’t met too many women (or men) who look at income as a criteria for mate selection. Granted, it could just be that I tend to move in different circles and avoid people who prioritize earning potential when dating. Nothing wrong with that per se, it just doesn’t jive with my values. I’ve also known several couples here who rotate when it comes to parental leave precisely because of the benefits.

          I don’t doubt that most women prefer that type of work/life balance, my point was simply that I think more men would prefer it as well if given the choice, though I haven’t seen any data or studies on this issue outside of the US. I’m also not commenting on whether any of this is societal or biological.

        2. jeremy

          Hmm, would men prefer to take parental leave, all else being equal?  I think it depends on the opinion of the woman, to be honest.  The Pew study I cited found that almost 80% of men with children preferred to work full-time.  But is that because they *actually* preferred to work, or because they knew that if they didn’t, they would end up divorced?  I know what Chris Rock would say on the subject 🙂

           

          I do think that most men would prefer a better work-life balance, similar to what women have achieved (at men’s expense).  But the main difference is that men expect to work to support women, while the reverse is not true.  The only way that women would be ok with men taking parental leave is if it did not impinge on their own ability to do so, or on their lifestyle (or that of the children).  And the monthly EI allowance paid for maternity leave in Canada just does not replace the income of a working spouse.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Shaukat & Jeremy,

          I think there are generational differences that affect this too.  The younger the men are, the more likely they are to say they want to spend time with their kids–even be SAHDs, and the more concerned they are with work-life balance.

          I’m in the medical field, and a lot of old timers complain that the younger male docs are lazy or don’t want to work as much.  Not really.  The younger guys simply don’t see where spending 80-100 hours a week at work is worth the stress and the toll it takes on their family life and relationships.  Many of these you men had dads who weren’t around a lot due to work and they don’t want to repeat that pattern with their kids.  They gladly exchange less money for more of a life.

        4. jeremy

          Shaukat and I got into a conversation about maternity/parental leave, but that isn’t really the point here.  After all, even in Canada, maternity leave does not last longer than one year.  It’s what happens AFTER that year that we should be talking about when it comes to couples and money.

           

          The problem comes from poor affective forecasting – thinking that we know what we will want in the future, and being WRONG about it.  I highly recommend the book “Stumbling on Happiness” which discusses this problem (a life-changing book for me).  The author discusses why humans are so bad at predicting what we will want in our future, and at the end he offers a bit of advice:  Rather than trying to predict what we will want in the future, find a group of people who have done what we plan to do, and ask them what they would do differently with the benefit of hindsight.

           

          I know many women in their forties who took to heart the messages of society that they should not care about a man’s income, and married men who made significantly less.  The majority of them ultimately became unhappy because, like most of the women in the Pew study, they wish they did not have to work full-time.  They wish they could have spent more time with their kids during their formative years.  But the only way they could have done so is by having husbands who could support them.  Most of these women came to resent their husbands (as statistics show they were likely to do).  The reverse is not true of the men who earned more than their wives (in my experience) – again, as expected by statistics.

           

          So my advice to any man or woman thinking of marriage is not to put too much stock in your own ability to predict what you THINK you will want.  You think that your future self will want what your present self does – and that may not be true.  Find people who are similar to you but 20 years older and ask for their honest opinion.

           

           

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          It’s interesting to look back at what I thought I wanted when I was young (and what I thought I would get) and where I actually wound up.  Some things in my life are completely different than they were, and how I thought they would be, from just 1-2 years ago.  The only thing that is certain is change.

          I do think there is a matter of choice in how people handle change emotionally and psychologically.  Kinda like the old is the glass half empty or half full.  Or making lemonade when life hands you lemons.

          I wonder if the difference between the 40-something women you know who are resentful about not having been SAHMs, and their sisters who are content with their families’ decision for them to be the main breadwinner when the kids were young is a conscious/subconscious tendency to look at the glass as half empty or not see the possibility of turning lemons into lemonade.  After all, these women did achieve the goal of getting married.  And they did experience growing a child in their womb, giving birth, and watching them grow.  Many women don’t ever get to do that.

          I can’t remember where I heard it from, but I believe it’s referred to as practicing mindful gratitude.  That is, instead of focusing on the negative of the situation (I don’t get to spend as much time with my kids as my spouse does) to focus some time every day on being grateful for the positive side of things (I have healthy children to love and a spouse who I can trust to take care of them).

          If you consciously choose to see the good and be grateful for it, your whole attitude about your situation in life will change.  And often, it leads the person to make positive change.  For instance, when my work day is scheduled to end at five, I will be walking out the door and on my way home to my family at five.

          For me this brings to mind the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus.  (Just totally dated myself, LOL!)  Despairing about compromises you made in life, and reacting with resentment to unexpected setbacks and surprises, versus being hopeful, accepting, and happy for what you do have.

      2. 6.2.2
        Morris

        Last I heard Scandinavian countries  had to introduce(and recently increase) FORCED or take-it or lose-it paternity leave for men because men were not taking it and continuing the gender inequality the laws were designed to help address.

         

        Another byproduct of these laws are high taxes which ultimately require two income families. I know of a couple that lived in one of them, not sure which, for a few of years.(Work transfer.) The concept of stay at home mom isn’t prevalent like it is here in the US. She couldn’t image growing up without the option to be a stay at home mom. Different countries. Different priorities. Doesn’t matter for the men though. In both systems they have to work. Yay!

        1. SQ

          Morris, the scandinavians pay way higher taxes bit is overrated. When I lived in Switzerland (I’m American born and raised) I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker from Denmark. Now at one time personal taxes in Demark were out of control, with many people paying upwards of 50 or 60% but that was not very long lived. She told me that her income was taxed at a rate of 35%. For that the Danish people get free health care, free day care, free post secondary education, generous vacation and maternity leave along with a host of worker protections, and more.

          i assume you are American? If not ignore this next paragraph. If so, what rate is your income taxed at? The average for Americans i believe is 25-28%. that’s just federal income tax, that doesn’t include state, county and municipal taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and so forth. Think for a second about what you get in return for that tax rate.

          To your point about paternity leave being forced, paternity leave offered by American companies isn’t well utilized either. Maybe it’s not so much that men feel they can’t take it because they have to be the provider (after all it’s only a few weeks and in some cases is paid for by earned leave) but that new dads quickly  recognize that it’s far easier to go to work than it is to deal with a crying, fussing, pooping newborn all day long.

        2. Stacy2

          SQ: love your comment. I had a coworker who wasn’t a morning person and would always show up at 11am or so (we each write our own hours). That was until the day his wife had a baby. Suddenly he was there at 7:30am sharp. I guess, the office beats the crying baby! Lol.

          on a more serious note, I read a stude that said men don’t take advantage of paternity leaves because they feel stigmatized by other men (for doing an unmanly task I suppose).

        3. SQ

          Stacy there is probably a lot of truth to that. That’s why it can be frustrating to read comments from men angry with feminists and women in general for the unfair and unattainable expectations placed on them when they don’t acknowledge that fact that men often hold each other  to the same unfair standards.

        4. Morris

          SQ – I did say ‘higher’ but not ‘way higher’. 🙂 But on that note. It’s also more of a flat tax, and most people pay taxes. In the US about 50% of the population don’t even pay taxes.

           

          I’m sure if everyone did pay taxes we could have more in this country as well. Although we also have a very inefficient government. Just looking at how much we spend on education and healthcare as it is.(More than Scandinavian countries and we get much much less.) I’m not sure how much we would need to be taxes to have all that. It’s a good conversation though.

           

          I take issue with your second point though. I’m sure there are men like that. But the vast majority of men I know or have spoken to have taken extra hours/shifts or a second job for extra income when a baby arrives. Giving the mom more time to stay home. Not to get away from them.

        5. SQ

          Morris

          ” Although we also have a very inefficient government. Just looking at how much we spend on education and healthcare as it is.” Yes but I think governmnet by nature is inherently inefficient because there is no self regulating mechanism as exists in the private sector. If people hate your product, if you piss your customers off, if you suck at what you do, you cease to exist. So I don’t think it’s unique to us. 

          As to my second point, I just meant that being at home with a baby is harder than a lot of people anticipate. That’s all.

           

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Morris,

          “In the US about 50% of the population don’t even pay taxes.”

          Totally false!

          There is a percentage of the population that does not pay federal income tax (43% in 2009).  Of that 43% two thirds paid social security and medicare taxes (28.9% of the population in 2009).  Of the people who didn’t pay either federal income tax or social security taxes, most are the elderly (9.7% of the population) who are receiving social security and medicare.  3.7% of the population that didn’t pay either federal income tax or SSI taxes were non elderly people with income of less than $20,000/yr.  “Others” who didn’t pay federal income tax or SSI taxes in 2009 made up 1.3% of the population.  http://www.businessinsider.com/43-of-americans-dont-pay-federal-income-tax-2013-9  I don’t have any info on exactly who all of these “others” are, but I do know that soldiers deployed in a war zone don’t pay federal taxes on income earned while in combat.  Which, IMO is poor compensation for risking their lives.

          Additionally, people who don’t pay federal income taxes and/or social security taxes still pay state and local taxes;  property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, vehicle license taxes, user fees, state income taxes, etc.  Many low income people who don’t pay federal income taxes see a bigger percentage of their income go towards taxes than wealthier people who do pay federal income taxes.  You have to make enough money to be able to tax shelter it.

        7. Caroline

          Go with the flow-thanks for the stats aimed at the claim more than 50% of Americans don’t work that Morris was referring to.  That article was pretty inaccurate. If you read on it took into fact that it was aimed at the entire population. So the brilliant person who wrote it then claimed if you took out infants to 16 year olds it would be 34% of Americans don’t work.  It never even considered retired persons, the disabled… You really gotta look further into things. You did a great job of breaking it all down:)

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          Caroline,

          The article had the most easily accessible statistics, so I mostly looked at those and didn’t get to much into the author’s analysis.  It’s a conservative media outlet and the author seemed to be trying to include as many people as possible in the not-paying-taxes-but-should-be category.

        9. Morris

          GoWiththeFlow – I guess I should have clarified I was talking about federal taxes. I assumed the discussion was based on a simplified tax burden looking at the federal income tax. After all we’re talking about federal level benefits. I can point at the comment I was replying to and say EU countries pay VAT, local taxes etc too.

        10. Morris

          And I’m not sure how that would change the fact that Scandinavian countries have a flat(er) tax system. Where rich and poor pay a large share of their income in taxes. And we don’t.

    2. 6.3
      Josie

      Agreed with the above. Money and employment status is inextricable from family decisions.  I’d rather not have kids than have them in an untenable situation.

      I’m dating a man right now who has expressed his desire to have kids.  Well, maybe one given our ages.  We have been together for almost six months now.  But I have not yet determined if he is the type of guy who would willingly act as Mr. Mom.  It would be feasible , technically, since he is self employed with a flexible business.  I have a solid public sector job with excellent benefits, which I would not give up.  He is more of an entrepreneur and while he has been pretty successful with his business it does not confer the kind of benefits I have.  He would need to be the hands on parent during the day.   There are a lot of marital and relationship challenges associated with having kids to begin with.  The money and employment issue has to be fully discussed and understood before we proceed further.

      1. 6.3.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Josie,

        Many of the married nurses and trained therapists I know basically work to provide their families with benefits, since private insurance is still expensive and the quality of benefits has trended downward in other jobs faster than it has for healthcare workers.

  7. 7
    JLA

    This post resonates with me. I am at a crossroad. I am in my early 30s and make 150K. I have preferred to date men who make at least 100K or more. Most of the men I’ve dated were very ambitious (which I love and prefer) but are workaholics and fully invested into their jobs. Currently, I am dating a man (2 years younger) with a bachelors degree and his income is 69K. It’s still too new but he has a great work ethic and ambitious to an extent. He is a doting man and makes me happy. He intends to make more money but the fact is he doesn’t now. I’m scared. I’ve heard and seen so many horror stories as it relates to relationships and money.

    1. 7.1
      SMC

      JLA, don’t believe that only horror stories come from dating someone with a smaller paycheck than yours.  Those horror stories can go both ways.  I’ve been there, TWICE, as I shared in my comment below.  And with all due respect, since when is $69K considered peanuts?  That’s a good, decent salary (well, unless you’re in NY or CA) and easy to live on, plus he’s making that much at that young age, has a great work ethic, and he dotes on you.  Win/win is what your situation looks like.

      1. 7.1.1
        Stacy2

        A marriage to a wealthy man gone wrong could wreck your life in ways you couldn’t even imagine. A marriage to a guy who under-earns you by a wide margin gone wrong is guaranteed to wreck your life (albeit in a much more predictable way). The problem isn’t the money, the problem is marriage itself.

        1. Joe

          Guaranteed, huh?

      2. 7.1.2
        JLA

        We are in NYC, lol, BUT we are both interested in moving. You’re right. It’s a mental thing. As someone mentioned above, I want to go part time once I have kids and I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m struggling. Growing up, my mother became the sole breadwinner and I saw how it affected her and our family.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          JLA,

          Later in my parent’s marriage, my mom became the spouse who earned the most.  Sure there were compromises but the improved family finances meant less stress on the family so overall there was less tension.  It’s really about how you choose to view it (I have another post on this thread about practicing mindful gratitude).

          Look at it this way:   If things progress to the point of choosing marriage with this man, would you rather experience marriage and children, but have to be away at times to work while the only other person on earth who loves them as much as you watches them, your husband, their dad?  Or would you rather dump him, hold out for a high income earner (who may not come along) and risk never being married or having kids at all?

          Even though I just posited an either or situation, within a relationship, there are usually several options.  Both spouses working part-time; one part-time one full-time;  one works from home and is available the majority of the day;  grandparents willing to babysit; and seriously, daycare won’t kill your kids.

          Despite the “common wisdom” that the kids of divorced parents, working moms, and single moms are destroying society, the huge majority of kids grow up, deal with their childhood hurts, and become functional adults.

    2. 7.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      JLA,

      My all time one-who-got-away man is a social worker that is employed by a government agency.  I am a physician in a high paying specialty.  My ex-boyfriend is not well paid to say the least, but what he does is important (suicide prevention) and he makes a difference in people’s lives that few ever will.  He was communicative, intelligent, funny, honest, in great physical shape, and was the best sex I ever had.  That was many years ago and I m still in touch with him on social media.  If he was ever single again I would be on it like black on coal.

      What are you afraid of?  If people you know got screwed by someone who made less money than them, it wasn’t the money’s fault, it was because they were involved with a user.  And the two years younger thing?  My mom was four years older than my dad and that was a happy to-death-do-us-part marriage.  There are mature 25 year old men and immature 45 year old men, it’s the maturity that matters.

      Be happy that you making good money allows you the option to marry who you want.  You can dump this guy, marry a man who makes twice what you do, then he could lose his job or business and you could both be real broke real fast.  You say your boyfriend has an education, a great work ethic, oh, and he makes you happy!  Sounds like a dream come true candidate to me.

      Consider this a slap upside the head from an older woman who’s seen a lot.  DO NOT walk away from him for this reason.  You will regret it.

      1. 7.2.1
        ScottH

        @GoWithTheFlow

        I love this line:  “If people you know got screwed by someone who made less money than them, it wasn’t the money’s fault, it was because they were involved with a user”  and I love your insight.

        Also this line:  “You say your boyfriend has an education, a great work ethic, oh, and he makes you happy!  Sounds like a dream come true candidate to me.”   It reminds me of the high earning woman who dumped me so she can find her high earning partner, even though she repeatedly told me how happy I made her and she often told me that she told her family how happy I made her.  

        I enjoy reading your comments.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Thanks ScottH,

          You have to know what money can do for you and what it can’t.  It sucks to be poor, but past a certain comfort/security level increasing income doesn’t equal increased happiness.  Plus things can change!  Fortunes are lost every day.

          I’ve dated some very alpha high earning guys and they are very demanding!  I don’t like confrontation or arguing, and try diffuse situations rather than argue my position, so a lot of the time I would get completely bull-dozed by them.  My SW ex-boyfriend could debate, be firm on his point when he felt he needed to be, while respecting my viewpoint.  He wasn’t a total beta dude (he has leadership positions on state panels) he just wasn’t so far on the alpha extreme.

  8. 8
    SMC

    I confess I haven’t yet listened to the podcast, which I will do when I get home tonight, but I have VERY strong feelings about money and men considering that I’ve had two husbands put me on the brink of bankruptcy because they were so comfortable with my ability to earn a steady, good living.  Two.  One was a lawyer, one owned a trucking business.  Thank God he insisted on a prenup on my house and assets, otherwise, gee, the IRS would have had their hooks in them when they came looking for him.  The man I’m dating now makes less than I do, a lot less, and I’m just happy as a clam with it.  He’s as masculine as they come and has plenty for his bills, plus plenty for dating me.  Not that it takes a lot, heavens no, but he still after a year insists on paying for most of everything though he’s letting me pay for a little more than he used to.  Does a man need to make more than I do?  Heck no, he just needs to not get so comfortable as to let it ALL be up to me.  This is partly why marriage isn’t on the table for me.  Long term and committed, yes, but marriage?  Nope.  I just couldn’t bear coming home after a hard day at the office to see my man sitting in front of the tv.  Again.

    It wasn’t so bad the first time, I was younger with a higher-paying job and pulled myself up out of the hole pretty quickly and easily.  It’s a bit harder now that I’m in my 50’s.  I quit work at his insistence, and after a couple of years, he managed to wipe out my large (to me) savings account in about a year.  Starting from scratch at my age has been a real eye-opener.

    If a man balks at a prenup, think VERY carefully about signing that marriage license.  Maybe not very romantic, but neither is job hunting at 55.  (I was lucky, I’m back to earning a nice living, though not as nice as before.)

    1. 8.1
      Stacy2

      @SMC: Heck no, he just needs to not get so comfortable as to let it ALL be up to me.  This is partly why marriage isn’t on the table for me.  Long term and committed, yes, but marriage?  Nope.  I just couldn’t bear coming home after a hard day at the office to see my man sitting in front of the tv.  Again.

      Amen to that! This exactly, exactly how I feel as well!

      When I tally up how much money my most recent marriage (to a millionaire no less) cost me, I want to scream. And the IRS thing, oh don’t even get me started on the IRS thing, that is so dangerous, marrying some “business owner” with murky accounting and filing joint returns with them. I have been there too. Never ever would I do it again. There’s just no good reason to sign that legal contract that is marriage.

      1. 8.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I think you and McLovin should start a club for people who are against marriage. I do wonder what you’re doing on a site where most people’s goal is to get married. I guess it’s just nice to have a place to rant and be “right”.

        1. Stacy2

          I read an interview with Kaley Cuoco, after she paid $165,000 in “maintenance” to her ex husband (who himself was a millionaire and they had a prenup, go figure.. ) where she said that her divorce has changed her view on marriage, but not on love. I feel the same way and I still want to find love in life. But another husband? Not so much. I think you write a wonderful blog and i enjoy reading it tremendously.

          But the issue of men & money does hit close to home and I think any advise on this subject should take into account the actual, real-life non-romantic monetary issues in addition to the lovey-dovey stuff consideration. That’s all.

        2. SMC

          I myself am not against marriage, Evan.  I’m an optimist and believe in it wholeheartedly, which is why I took the plunge more than once.  I’m pretty close to the conclusion that it just isn’t for me, but a long-term, (read: lifetime) loving commitment IS, and your blog fills the need for the information women need for that kind of relationship.  And honestly, if one were to follow your teachings, then one won’t make the next guy pay for the last guy’s mistake.  I’m still a wee bit bitter about the whole financial thing as I pull myself up out of the hole the second time, but that’s just because it’s still a little fresh in my mind and bank account, but I’m still an optimist and am still looking for the lifetime partner.  It’ll just be on much more careful ground finance-wise.  But against marriage? No, I’m not.

        3. McLovin

          As much as I think Stacy and I probably could not bear to be in the same room together, her and I have shockingly congruent views on marriage.

          The only way I would ever get married is if my wife made more money than me….a lot more.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Which is why you and Stacy will not get married, nor would you make great partners. You’re way too afraid of being “taken” and way too focused on what you’re “giving” instead of receiving. Marriage isn’t about keeping score and you both seem to have your eyes on the scoreboard.

        5. Chance

          The entire existence of the institution of marriage in North America is dependent on men sticking their heads in the sand and not keeping score.  The only reason for Stacy2’s anti-marriage stance (which is very rare for a woman) is because her prior experience with marriage was very similar to a man’s experience (which is similarly rare for a woman).

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          Chance, your anti-marriage stance is getting tiresome on this pro-marriage site. Happily married people are the happiest of all – according to every study, everywhere. I’m fine if you stay single; stop insulting me and the people who believe in marriage.

        7. Chance

          I think there’s a misunderstanding because I’ve never insulted you or anyone else for believing in marriage.  I don’t blame women at all for wanting to get married.  If I were a woman, I’d want to get married, too.

        8. Evan Marc Katz

          “The entire existence of the institution of marriage in North America is dependent on men sticking their heads in the sand and not keeping score.”

          I am a man. I do not have my head in the sand. There are tens of millions of other men in the U.S. who also voluntarily got married. We don’t need your pity.

          Your statement would be as if, as an atheist, I went to a Christian blog and said “The entire existence of religion is dependent on people sticking their heads in the sand.” Would those religious people have the right to feel insulted? I think they would.

        9. Chance

          EMK, I now understand the point you’re trying to make.  I did not intend to insult men so I’m sorry if you took offense.  I was trying to point out the one-sided nature of the institution given various legal aspects coupled with current social customs.  It never occurred to me that I would be insulting men because they generally don’t have strong beliefs regarding marriage in the way that Christians do about their religion.  Most men I know got married either because they were blinded by hormones, or their girlfriends wanted it and they eventually just gave in.

           

          If I went to a Christian blog and said such a thing, or to a blog where men discussed and shared their strong desire for marriage, that would absolutely be insulting.

      2. 8.1.2
        KK

        @Stacy2,

        Out of curiosity, are the millionaire and the guy who sat around on the couch (without a job) for a few years, the same ex-husband?

        1. Stacy2

          yes, he is (and since he was a millionaire before he married me, naturally I got none of his money but he got 1/2 of mine)

        2. KK

          Hmmm… Interesting that “marrying up” didn’t work out too hot for you but that’s still your non-negotiable.

        3. Adrian

          Hi Stacy2,

           

          I would like to add a second part to KK great point.

           

          If you don’t ever plan on remarrying, than why does it matter if the guy makes a certain amount? There is no need to move in together.

           

          In another post you stated that you are in the 1% of earners, so you don’t need a guy’s money and since marriage isn’t your end goal, what is wrong with “just” focusing on a guy who wants to treat you great regardless of his income?

           

          Also, you said that your ex was a great catch in the beginning of your courtship and marriage; so how will skipping over a teacher that treats you right for a CEO guarantee that your next guy won’t morph from jekyll to Hyde on you?

  9. 9
    SQ

    As the saying goes, life is what happens to you when you make other plans.

    Life expectancy today is what, late 70s? Most people still marry for the first time in their late 20s or 30s. That means when you marry today — if you truly meant it when you said until death do us part — you could be looking 4 or 5 decades or more spent with this one person.

    To believe that we will be the same people over 50 years that we are today and that nothing significant could change us or how we view the world and our relationship is ridiculously naive.

    Because I marry a man I outearn now does not mean I will always outearn him.

    Because a man marries a woman who loves her career now doesn’t mean she always will. (I was that woman who swore up and down I’d never be a SAHM until I brought that little bundle of joy home and couldn’t image being away from him for even one second).

    Because I marry a man who makes millions working on Wall Street doesn’t mean that the stock market won’t crash and wipe out his job and our fortune.

    This is why marrying for love or money is only part of the equation. The other (and IMO most important) part is marrying for values and character. Do you share similar fundamental values and is this a person with whom  you can see weathering whatever life throws at you because they listen, compromise, and don’t run away when things get tough.

    I’d rather marry someone who doesn’t have money now but has ambition, or someone who has a job they love but more importantly is a grounded person who can commit to resolving problems when they arise.

    1. 9.1
      Stacy2

      SQ:

      I’d rather marry someone who doesn’t have money now but has ambition, or someone who has a job they love but more importantly is a grounded person who can commit to resolving problems when they arise.

      In your 20-ies you marry “potential” (ie ambition, plans etc.). After that you pretty much marry what is. I would also add that marrying someone hoping that they would change from what is based on anything, including their ambition, is a really bad idea, you’re setting yourself up for a disappointment.

      1. 9.1.1
        SQ

         

        I think my point Stacy is that people will change. This is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.

        Men believe they never change and are angry that women do because “she’s not who I married.”

        Women believe men SHOULD change but specifically change into who they want them to be.

        Of course I am speaking in generalizations here. I know not everyone is like this.

        That fact is our partner, male or female, is going to change and it’s a near guarantee that a few of those changes we aren’t going to like.

        Go in with your eyes open, be willing to accept the change is part of life and commitment, and know what changes are deal-breakers for you.

        it’s not all about money either.

  10. 10
    ES

    Great podcast Evan! I however, ended up marrying a man when I was 30 who made less money than I did, who owned his own business, and had three condos, but he was only interested in me because I earned a good salary. I didn’t realize that until after marriage and a year later he took all the savings from our account and put into another bank with only his name on the account. Then started ranting that he should be in control of all the money. He’s a narcissist and abuser and we got a divorce which he didn’t want to give me squat, but I did get a little money out of him in the end, but I lost a lot, ended up homeless, and had to start over at 36. Thankfully, we didn’t have children. I have friends who have let me stay with them as I continue to work and save up money during this past year and I will finally get a place of my own in two weeks. I’ve learned an important lesson and won’t let a man take me to the cleaners again. I never had a problem with a man earning less as long as he wasn’t a lazy bum, but my ex-husband had the insecurity and wasn’t honest when we were dating/getting engaged that he resented me making more and felt entitled that he should take everything.

    Anyway, great podcast and I do agree with a lot of what you said.

  11. 11
    AL

    I bring in around $100,000/year from a career I love and that is totally aligned with core reasons I was put on this earth. For the past year, I’ve been dating a man who makes $10/hour and has several tens of thousands in debt from his first marriage and some bad choices.

    This feels different than the examples you gave in the podcast episode.

    He treats me really well, we share similar spiritual practices, have excellent communication, are both similarly commited to personal growth. I’m 43 and have never had such a stable  relationship as this one. I don’t get butterflies in my stomach; rather it feels like we have a solid friendship and like to do the same things. He’s more passionate about me than I am about him, but he’s an attentive lover and so I’m more sexually satisfied than from any other relationship.

    I travel a lot for work and for friends/family. I would pay his way to join me at times, but he can’t because he can’t get off from work. He is stuck in a cycle of poverty that’s difficult to shake. He’s educated and curious about the world but just has never figured out how to be successful at making money. He finds other ways to ‘support’ me – mostly domestic, which he’s much better at than I am. We both long for a kind of relationship where he is supporting me, but it’s kind of a joke that he’d ever be able to actually support me at the lifestyle I’m used to – which is not extravagant but also not hyper thrifty.

  12. 12
    Mary

    I have a couple of problems with this.

    1. If you’ve studied hard and work in a stressful job to have a certain lifestyle, and then are out of work for 10 years to look after 3 kids, your lifestyle will be determined by your partner’s income. Why should you have a bad lifestyle after all your hard work in your career because your partner wasn’t as motivated as you to get a good life for himself? Or why should you be made to work to supplement your partner’s income because he doesn’t earn enough?

    2. This encourages people to be lazy. I’d have a much happier life working in a retail job for 40k and living a 100k lifestyle because my partner earns that much, than working late nights and also looking after the house and kids to make 110k so my partner can relax in his part time job earning 30k and not working as hard.

    If you want to stay home with your kids for several years, and want to afford nice clothes and a holiday here and there, then a liot of women want a man who’s made something of himself.

    1. 12.1
      SQ

      Interesting points Mary. But remember you are still making a choice to have 3 kids and not work. Maybe if your lifestyle is more important to you, have fewer kids, don’t have them at all, or just keep working and put them in daycare. (Oh no I said the dreaded D word!) Millions upon millions well adjusted, successful and happy people went to day care while their parents worked and turned out just fine.

      1. 12.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        When I was younger, kids who’s mom’s worked were called latch-key-kids.  Ph.D.s  wrote books and armchair social critics said our selfish parents were going to destroy society by not giving us 24/7 supervision.  Funny thing we all learned how to feed ourselves, do laundry, and get our homework and chores done independently.

        Now I watch my oldest son’s friends, who had helicopter parents, struggle to make basic decisions and be independent adults.

        1. KK

          GWTF,

          “When I was younger, kids who’s mom’s worked were called latch-key-kids”.

          Same here. And despite your positive examples, which I know of as well, there are just as many if not more bad ones. A lot of those kids ended up in a lot of trouble, getting involved in some pretty bad things. One can only wonder if they had had a little more supervision, guidance, and discipline if the outcome would have been better.

          “Now I watch my oldest son’s friends, who had helicopter parents, struggle to make basic decisions and be independent adults”.

          It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. I think most parents, good parents, try to strike a balance between appropriate guidance / supervision and no rules, no discipline, no supervision.

           

        2. SQ

          GWTF, you can already see it in the workplace.

          KK, helicopter parents can be the working kind or the stay at home kind. There are plenty of working helicopter parents in my neighborhood. They’re always calling or coming down to the school or the day care to complain and demand special treatment for their kids. They’re always on the sidelines at sporting events questioning the coaches. They’re always standing over their kids at play dates like a hawk watching their every move and every other kid (cause God forbid the child be put in the awful position of having to decide what toy they want to play with without mom’s input). Thats what I believe most people mean when they talk about helicopter parents.

        3. KK

          SQ,

          “KK, helicopter parents can be the working kind or the stay at home kind”.

          What did I say to the contrary? I was responding to GWTF, who seemed to ensenuate one or the other.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          KK,

          “And despite your positive examples, which I know of as well, there are just as many if not more bad ones. A lot of those kids ended up in a lot of trouble, getting involved in some pretty bad things”

           

          What a load of BS.

           

          Crime has been trending down the last several years, the same years that the numbers of working moms have increased exponentially.   Most kids will have moms that work outside of the home for a good portion of their childhood, and the huge majority of them grow up, don’t wind up in jail, get jobs, get married, and have kids of their own.

           

          If humans were such weak beings, we would have never survived and thrived as a species that now numbers over 7 billion.  Fathers died in wars and accidents, moms died in childbirth, and infectious diseases killed indiscriminately.  Being left with one parent, or being completely orphaned has been a common occurrence throughout human history and kids survived.  These days an 11 year old is in his own home for two hours before mom or dad gets home from work and society gets a collective case of the vapors.

           

          The point I was making with helicopter parents is that kids need to be given unsupervised time and space to make decisions that are their own.  They learn from mistakes even more from their successes.  Nowadays kids aren’t allowed to walk around the block to their friend’s house (nosy neighbors will call the cops) much less given time alone during the day when they have to learn to take care of themselves and others.  The amount of social pressure on parents to never let their kids out of sight is tremendous.  To learn how to do life, you actually have to be allowed to do it.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2015/10/16/former-stanford-dean-explains-why-helicopter-parenting-is-ruining-a-generation-of-children/

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/05/26/what-exactly-is-this-whole-free-range-kid-thing/

        5. KK

          GWTF, A load of BS? Really? If what you said was true, there would be ZERO stay at home moms. Heck, according to your logic, why not toss our newborns out in the woods for a few years and see if they survive.

          You can be in the pro daycare camp or the pro latchkey kid camp all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that the BEST way to raise children is with one parent at home. You can justify your own decisions however you want and everyone knows that the ideal isn’t always possible and it isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. It still doesn’t change the ideal.

    2. 12.2
      Joe

      That’s why you don’t marry a man who won’t shoulder his share of the load, no matter what your respective incomes…

      1. 12.2.1
        SQ

        But aren’t you essentially saying that it’s OK that women carrying their share of the load is optional, but men carrying their share of the load is required? Unless by share you meant more than just income?

        1. Joe

          Nope.  My advice to a man would be the same: don’t marry a woman who won’t shoulder her share of the load, no matter what your respective incomes…

  13. 13
    consuela mendoaza

    i’m  pretty much pitching in for is what it is. except ypoung people under 40. if he selfish about his ambitions and wants at 40. he will be at fifty. If he’s not sure he wants to be married at 50, he wont be sure at 60 either.

     

  14. 14
    Jess

    I’m new to commenting here but I think people are missing a big point. We can argue a woman should find a man who makes 3 or four times what she makes until we’re blue in the face, but the reality is ONLY 5% of men earn $150,000 + a year. Not sure if this is 5% total, or 5% of all single men, but if it’s the former, the percentage goes down even more when you take away all the men who are already married.  So you’re effectively eliminating 95% of men (possibly more) when you’re holding out for those top earners. That’s a large number. Not to mention when you live in a big city such as NYC or LA, there are higher earners sure, but a lot more competition for them in the dating pool and everyone else is holding out for the top 1-5%. Which means you may stay single a lot longer if you don’t adjust your standards a bit. It’s as simple as that.

    1. 14.1
      MilkyMae

      I keep reading stats that 15% of men in the US don’t even have a job.   Even more don’t have a full time job.

    2. 14.2
      Stacy2

      Why on earth would this matter? The percentage of high earning women is even smaller than that of high earning men, so this is not a problem. Yes this is a small pool or a very exclusive club if you will but hardly a reason to “lower your standards”. You should never lower her standards.

      A woman’s value in the dating market is not tied to her income. Let’s get real: it is tied to her looks. If you are a high earning woman, you will naturally be surrounded by similarly situated peers in your social circle. May be I am missing something, but I am not exactly seeing female executives socializing in blue collar irish pubs and such. So there won’t be a shortage of eligible men of similar caliber, or at least there shouldn’t be. All you need to do is attract one of them – and that is done by looks since men are highly visual and personality. And affluent men are not exactly looking to marry down these days. Affluent couple up with affluent as studies show (and as was discussed on this blog before..)

      1. 14.2.1
        D_M

        Stacy2,

        It matters, because you are now competing against a much larger pool of perfect 10s. We are just like women. With all else being equal, we will choose the partner that has more time for us. As a high powered executive, you are busy with meetings and travel. The other perfect 10 that made a different career choice, has more openings on her calendar. I think we all would agree that spending time together strengthens relationship bonds.  There is plenty of intelligent and stimulating conversation to be had in the absence of a powersuit. Like Evan has highlighted so many times, how successful you are, isn’t necessarily weighted very highly on the male scale.

        1. Stacy2

          This is simply a convenient stereotype not rooted in reality. Like I said, studies show that people tend to couple up with partners of similar income, so this theory that affluent men go for “poor but nurturing” types does not hold water.

          A successful woman who is not attracting equally successful men has one problem and one problem only: she is not good looking enough, period, full stop. This would be the single most significant factor explaining her romantic failures. A man meeting a gorgeous and successful woman and going “hmm… I wonder if she would be too busy to strengthen our bond… I better find someone who works part time” has happened ZERO times. And that is the cause of other romantic failures – such as accepting men who would only keep you around for sex because they look so great on paper, etc., etc…

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          What you’re missing in your defense of millionaires dating millionaires is that most male millionaires do NOT need or want to date female millionaires. That’s a woman thing, dare I say.

          So do educated people partner up, in general? Yes.
          Do male millionaires hold out for female millionaires? No. Most are fine dating schoolteachers or independent film producers or tech project managers. The male 1% can date ANYONE.
          The issue is that the 1% of women only holds out for the 1% of men – creating three distinct problems:

          1. A tiny dating pool
          2. The realization that a lot of successful men don’t want to date the female version of themselves and often prefer women who are less busy, more available and more nurturing.
          3. The realization that when you put two millionaires, their egos, drive, opinions and schedules tend to produce weaker partnerships. See: every Hollywood relationship ever.

          So you can defend your choice to date “up”. I don’t know of any men who insist on doing the same; perhaps that’s why we find it easier to date and fall in love.

        3. SQ

          Fair enough Evan but I sense a tone of superiority in your comments. Men are not better people because they date down financially while women want to date up financially. I could just as easily say women are better people because they don’t prioritize looks while men by far do.

          “The issue is that the 1% of women only holds out for the 1% of men.”

          Which I guess would be of concern mainly to 1% of women — which I would bet isn’t more than…well…1% of readers on this blog…probably less.

          In the real world where virtually none of us are millionaires or celebrities, this doesn’t seem to be a particularly useful factoid, if I may say so.

        4. SQ

          Actually I should say none of us are multi-millionaires/ billionaires, given that there are now 5 million millionaires in the US.

        5. Stacy2

          @ Evan: What you’re missing in your defense of millionaires dating millionaires is that most male millionaires do NOT need or want to date female millionaires. 

          I am not talking about millionaires, jet-setting crowd (though i do have plenty of insight into their dating habits). I am talking about merely affluent, upper middle class people. These are two completely different worlds and these people have completely different calculus in mind when it comes to relationships.

          And even if you look at the ultra-rich crowd, they will largely marry educated, successful women. Sure a few will marry strippers especially as second wives. But that is simply not the norm (see: Gorge Clooney, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates – all married to career women)

          Look, warm and nurturing are not going to be the words to describe me, and yet I had no shortage of wealthy and successful men wanting to date me. In fact, all of my serious relationships and current prospects have been “up”. I am just not seeing this dynamic to play out in real life, nor do i see the mechanism for that. People tend to run in their circles and meet their dates in their circles, and it is within those circles that they will go for the absolute best person they can get, and this is why you don’t see any significant amount of “income intermarriages” despite the fact that all of your points are valid – yes the 1% COULD marry anyone and may be it would be better, but they just don’t do it en mass  and that’s that.

        6. Karmic Equation

          Stacy2 and SQ,

          You ladies are being way too literal.

          You both understand Evan’s points and are deliberately misunderstanding him.

          Women want to marry up. Men don’t want or need to marry “up”.

          Men don’t even need to marry “at or near” what they make.

          And men who make $100k, are they really looking to marry women who ALSO make $100k? No. If they HAPPEN to find an attractive, feminine woman who makes that much he’s not kicking her out to the curb unless she’s a royal bitch or drama queen.

          The point is that many women SPECIFICALLY look for men who make as much or more than she does, EVEN THOUGH her own income could easily provide for the both of them, which is most of Evan’s clientele can do.

          Attractive men who are high earners can date anyone, so they do. Attractive women who are high earners can date anyone BUT they DON’T. That is the point.

          If finding love is a numbers game, which gender’s dating pool is larger and thus have better odds for finding someone to love them?

          Not rocket science.

        7. SQ

          Karmic equation, actually I think you misunderstood me.

          Evan’s point was not lost on me.

          If you’re rich and you want to date rich men you have a very small pool.

          If you’re not rich and you want to date rich men you still have a small pool — because they’re are only so many rich men out there.

          And, I am well aware after 4 decades on this planet as a straight woman that men in general do not care about having a partner with money the way women in general do.

          My point about the 1% is that some people who are going to hold out for the holy grail are going to do it regardless. A lot of people here seem hell bent on changing Stacy’s mind and while I don’t know her, I don’t get the sense she’s throwing in the towel for a truck driver anytime soon.

          But you know what? She has that right, and she lives with the consequences of her decisions, as we all do. So why keep beating the same horse over and over?

          But then, you know, I’m no rocket scientist….

        8. Karmic Equation

          “But you know what? She has that right, and she lives with the consequences of her decisions, as we all do. So why keep beating the same horse over and over?”

          Of course Stacy2 is entitled to want whatever she wants. However, no one is asking her to date a truck driver either.

          If she’s a millionaire, she can date a guy making $100k and be happy, if he’s a quality guy.

          She needs to find a QUALITY guy first. THEN figure out if she can accept his “limited” means.

          Trying to find a RICH quality guy is like looking for needle in a haystack. Whereas trying to find a QUALITY guy is like looking for hay in a haystack. She can find one quicker, AND she can discard them just as quickly if she decides his quality treatment of her is not enough to offset his lack of as-much-money-as-she. But at least then she can make a comparative judgment.

          Her first husband was rich. But he was not a quality guy.

          Sounds like she has access to a lot of rich men, but for whatever reason, either they don’t want a relationship with her or aren’t quality individuals, so she’s dumping them.

          She needs to change something if she wants quicker results. But if time is of no importance, then you’re right, we shouldn’t bother trying to get her to think logically.

           

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          D_M, Stacy2, & EMK,

          I think there are two different processes a work.

          The AMA collects data on physicians and found that 70% of women physicians who marry, wind up with another physician.  Assortive mating at work.

          However, women physicians are less likely to get married than women in general 75-8% to 90-95%.  Educated career women have a harder time attracting a mate or are attracted to men who are not attracted to them.

          Just from personal observation:

          Women physicians tend to choose specialties that have shorter training times and less demanding hours.  Pediatrics versus cardiothoracic surgery.  (Seriously pediatricians are the kindergarten teachers of medicine)

          When two physicians are married, the wives are almost always the ones who work less hours or in a less demanding practice setting and do a majority of the child and house care.  And they have money for housekeepers and nannies.

          Women in the more stressful, time consuming specialties are more likely to remain single.

          Women physicians who exhibit more masculine characteristics;  assertiveness, taking charge, criticizing, etc. don’t get along as well with hospital and clinic staff as women physicians who use more feminine characteristics to get the job done; team building, supportiveness, collaboration, waiting for people to look to you instead of charging ahead.

          In prime marriage years, late 20s and early 30s, most physicians are in residency and males and females run into each other all day long.  For a male physician to meet an elementary school teacher, they would have to be set up on a date or meet during social events.  Something resident physicians don’t have a lot of time or energy for.

          So maybe if women are willing and able to integrate feminine behaviors and characteristics into traditional careers, then assortive mating will take place.

        10. Adrian

          OMG! I swear I was just thinking of writing this same issue/topic in to Evan before I even read this but did not know how to articulate it without coming off as… well, a guy.

           

          Stacy2 said,

          A successful woman who is not attracting equally successful men has one problem and one problem only: she is not good looking enough, period, full stop. This would be the single most significant factor explaining her romantic failures.

           

          Look, warm and nurturing are not going to be the words to describe me, and yet I had no shortage of wealthy and successful men wanting to date me.

           

          GoWithTheFlow said,

          Women physicians who exhibit more masculine characteristics;  assertiveness, taking charge, criticizing, etc. don’t get along as well with hospital and clinic staff as women physicians who use more feminine characteristics to get the job done; team building, supportiveness, collaboration, waiting for people to look to you instead of charging ahead.

           

          She was talking about female doctors, but I have found similar problems with “many” not all women who are in higher income positions (with many men as well but I’m not trying to date them).

           

          They are not mean or rude; and they are not overtly arrogant. It’s more of a masculine alpha vibe, and I don’t mean because they can do push-ups.

           

          The few high ranking women I have tried to date have all been very beautiful and wealthy, but all lacked a softness and a willingness to make a guy feel like he is a priority to them. I don’t know how else to describe it without sounding like a woman hater. Because of their looks, they never had a shortage of guys chasing them, so they never saw themselves as the problem.

           

          Each of these women did charity work of some kind, yet they all seemed so arrogant and self important, so unbending and uncompromising on even little things. Their looks were definitely not the reason I stopped dating them.

          …   …   …

          As a side note: I’m talking to a great girl who is an attractive up and coming actress, but we met a few weeks before I moved to a new city, and long distance isn’t something I really want.

           

        11. SQ

          Adrian, Perhaps I have lived my whole life in some type of weird alternate universe, but I’ve never really found men to be as threatened as a rule by women who have some combination of intelligence/success/assertiveness/strength etc., as some here seem to be convinced (not suggesting you think this).

          In high school, I remember the jocks dating other (female) jocks, not the cheerleaders. In college I remember the outgoing fun girls getting all the attention and they weren’t always the best looking girls in the room. Among men I work with and am friends with, there seems to be no distinct pattern in terms of “well high earning men married women like this, and high earning women married men like this, blah, blah.” Men I’ve dated before and certainly my husband have said they think I’m an ideal combination of femininity and fire, and they definitely like the fire part 🙂

          Is it possible these rules we preach aren’t quite as rigid as we want to believe? Is it possible the two women you dated who were high earning were abrasive because that’s just who they are? I mean, there are plenty of poor and average earning women who are abrasive and rude — just turn on any reality TV show for an example.

        12. Karmic Equation

          SQ wrote:

          “If you’re not rich and you want to date rich men you still have a small pool — because they’re are only so many rich men out there.”

          Yes and no. A woman making $25k a year is going to think a guy making $100k a year is “rich”; whereas Stacy2 would consider that same guy beneath her and not worth her time.

          Now if the woman making 25k is holding out for a Bill Gates-like rich guy, then unless she is beauty queen, she has not chance in hell in the current world. And yes, I know Bill married a non-beauty queen woman. But they met in 1986 when he was 30 and she was 22. No internet dating yet. You dated people at work or home neighborhood. And yes he was already a billionaire. So yeah, Melinda did have a chance in hell, but she was a product manager at Microsoft, probably making about $70k, not a waitress making less than $25k.

          Anyway “rich” is relative to the people involved.

          Most $25k women are NOT looking to date millionaires. Probably not even 100,000-aires. They’re happy with someone making $60k a year. That’s “rich” to her. And if she’s beautiful, warm, and nurturing, she could date or marry even richer, if she were to run in the same social circles as the rich men Stacy2 wants.

           

        13. Adrian

          Hello SQ,

           

          I agree with your post, which is why I said not all. Also, this is only the pattern that I have noticed, so it is not universal. I am usually the first person to say don’t confuse the actions of a few with an entire gender.

           

          Nevertheless, from what I have noticed about men and women with great wealth and high paying status positions, the views of Stacy2 are more common than people give her credit for; many of the things she says about afluent vs wealthy people and how they date are true.

          …   …   …

           

          SQ said,

          I’ve never really found men to be as threatened as a rule by women who have some combination of intelligence/success/assertiveness/strength etc.”

           

          Again, as a rule I agree. Actually, until I came to this site, I never knew this bothered men at all.

           

          SQ have you noticed that many men and women come to this site and scream foul all day about many of Evan’s teachings, but when asked, “why are you on a site dedicated to people whose main goals with dating is marrage?” They don’t understand why he asked?

           

          There are many paths in dating, but only so many you can take that ends with marriage. So in my opinion even if Evan doesn’t agree with something, it that is one of the paths/rules to marriage, that is why he teaches. The people who don’t want to get married should go to a different type of dating site.

           

          It is the same for the women I speak of. My goal is a long-term happy relationship, these women (not all successful women) see dating, marriage and love as an auxiliary, their main focus is on themselves and their careers.

           

          I can’t speak for all men, but for myself, it is not that I am threatened by women who have some combination of inintelligence, success, assertiveness, and strength; it is just that the women whom I have observed in these positions, like men, believe that beauty and statues trumps character.

           

          To women like this, a man is weak for wanting a woman to make them feel desired and a women is weak for lowering herself to make a man feel this way.

        14. SQ

          Thank you Adrian, well said.

          I’m not in (on?) the market but I know I come to this site because the discussions are lively and substantive, unlike most blog comments sections.

        15. GoWiththeFlow

          Adrian,

          I think most women respond just as positively as most men do to women in authority/power positions who can integrate traditional feminine characteristics into their persona as long as competence is established.  We are all exposed to the same socialization atmosphere after all!

          While we’re all breathing the same air however, we are swimming in different class/social strata pools, and jumping into a pool that is several pools downward from your own is discouraged by family and peers.  Thus, while women with more masculine personas may not be as sought after as women with more feminine personalities within the same social strata, the men aren’t going to go way out of their social sphere to find a more feminine woman.  i.e. the multimillionaire businessman rarely marries a high-school drop out waitress at the corner diner.  He may keep searching within his own pool or go to a pool next door or close to his own, but not the pool all the way across town.

          Since most women wind up finding a mate, it’s probably because the stereotypical ball-busting, masculine career woman isn’t super common, and the huge majority women have enough of the feminine to attract a man in her social pool or one nearby.

          And SQ is right:  The better looking a woman is, the more personality “flaws” a man will overlook!

          Also, some (rare) people get off on the constant drama of an alpha-alpha relationship.  I know one married couple like that who work together (both surgeons) and I won’t work with them!  The tension in the room isn’t worth the money.  They go through office staff like crazy.  Together, their dynamic is just too much for most people.

        16. SQ

          GWTF, it’s funny that you say that. One of my best friends runs a law firm with his wife who is also a lawyer. I’ve stopped hanging out with them because their constant disagreements over everything and competition with each other just makes me uncomfortable. i maybe wrong but I think spending so much time together in those roles it spills over into their personal lives.

          Ive said this before, I don’t know that I believe the notion that no one wants to date so called masculine women (if you define masculine as merely she makes a lot of money, is assertive, is physically strong, etc). Most female heads of state, CEOs, athletes and other women in traditionally masculine roles do actually date and get married. There’s a lid for every pot.

          Sometimes I think the problem we create for ourselves is not accepting that we just aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but that that is ok. Really, it’s OK 🙂

        17. jeremy

          SQ, I agree with your post.

           

          I find, though, that in order for a man to be attracted to a woman, he needs to feel like she admires him for the qualities he defines as “masculine” in himself.  Different men perceive different qualities as masculine – some men define it with their income/intelligence, others with their strength/physique, others with their creativity/craftsmanship, etc.

           

          As long as he feels that he provides something for her with his masculine qualities that she can admire him for (and that he has in greater measure than she), he will generally feel happy in the relationship.

           

          I totally agree – female CEOs often date and find husbands.  But if those women out-earn them, these men are usually men who invest their masculinity in qualities other than provisioning (or the woman is simply so attractive that he marries her in spite of a personality conflict).

           

          The problem comes when these women desire men with high income/education – those are usually the men who invest their masculinity into those qualities, and are looking for women with what they consider to be “feminine” qualities (again, as defined by each individual)….which must be different from the qualities they consider to be masculine.  Men who define their own masculinity by their providership will find these women to be masculine.  Men who define it otherwise will not find them unattractive….but may be found unattractive by them.

        18. SQ

          Sorry to whoever started this thread and is getting the reply emails, as I add the 400th reply…

          “I find, though, that in order for a man to be attracted to a woman, he needs to feel like she admires him for the qualities he defines as “masculine” in himself.”

          Excellent point Jeremy. You just crystallized for me the failure of a past relationship, where I figured since he was OK with me making more money than him that it meant that everything else — from opening jars to fixing things around the house to making decisions to sex — was fair game.

        19. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          I find, though, that in order for a man to be attracted to a woman, he needs to feel like she admires him for the qualities he defines as “masculine” in himself.  Different men perceive different qualities as masculine – some men define it with their income/intelligence, others with their strength/physique, others with their creativity/craftsmanship, etc.

          This brings to mind something my mom told me many years ago.  I’m short (5’2″) and when I was in high school, I noticed that I attracted very tall guys, even though height in a guy wasn’t a big thing for me.  My mom was even smaller than I am and my dad was over six feet.

          When I brought this up to her she told me the same thing, that tall guys used to chase her like crazy, even though height wasn’t  important to her either.  Her theory was that when some tall men are young (before they gain money, an educations, or other “masculine ” accomplishments) they initially define their masculinity by their height.  So when they are around a short girl, their sense of masculinity is reinforced.

          These days, I attract a variety of heights but I prefer someone who doesn’t tower over me 😉

        20. SQ

          GWTF, I’m 5 foot 1 and I notice the same thing. In college i briefly dated a guy who was 6’5″ and 260 lbs (a lineman on the football team) and honestly we looked comically ridiculous together. Short men should take heart in knowing that the only time short women care about height is when a guy is too tall. My husband is 5’9″ (well 5’8″ but he rounds up) and he still towers over me.

        21. jeremy

          @GWTF

           

          Interesting theory, re: height and masculinity – I find it entirely plausible, but I would look at it from a slightly different perspective.  I think that whatever most men/boys define as “masculine” is influenced in part by their upbringing (parental messages, society, etc), and in part by feedback from women as to what women find attractive in men (and in them, specifically).

           

          You are quite correct – most young men have no accomplishments or money, but if a young woman admires a man’s height and finds it attractive in him, he will consider it a masculine quality.  It is the admiration he craves, and so he may deliberately seek out women who he thinks are more likely to give him the most admiration for the quality he invests his sexuality into – shorter women (who should be more impressed by his height than taller women).  It might be misguided, but there is some logic in the thought patterning.

           

          I guess it depends on the experiences of the man, though.  I am 6’2″ – tall by most standards – but never had an experience of a woman finding me attractive for my height (as far as I know).  So I never gave much thought about being admired for my height, and instead invested my “masculinity” in a quagmire of “providership and protectorship” that was instilled in me by my upbringing and early experiences.

      2. 14.2.2
        Jess

        I said adjust your standards not lower. As he said, big difference between settling for a deadbeat and adjusting your standards to maybe give a hard working guy a chance who is not in the top 1-5%.

      3. 14.2.3
        Stacy

        *CLAPPING LOUDLY*

        1. Stacy

          Last comment was meant for Stacy2. Great points!

      4. 14.2.4
        SMC

        Adrian, my boss is female, tall,  beautiful (gorgeous, actually), mid-40’s, one of the founders of the company and very wealthy.  We were going to lunch one day and I asked her why she doesn’t date.  She comes from a large, close-knit  (Italian) family and said she neither has time for men (because of her family) nor the patience.  She then told me one of her closest friends has told her she’s more masculine than most of the men she (the friend) knew.  She definitely gives off that “masculine alpha vibe” you mentioned, though just looking at her I would think men would be falling all over themselves for her.  Not so.  There’s not an ounce of “warm and nurturing” in her.  I’ve often told her she could have the world by the tail, but she’s not interested (and oddly, she’s extremely insecure).  It didn’t really make sense to me until I discovered Evan’s blog and started reading about women like this.

        1. Adrian

          Hi SMC,

           

          If they makes sense to you then could you please explain them to me! (^_^)

           

          By the way, I’m not suggesting that all women in power or of wealth are like this (though I think most of the men are, but that is a story for later). Though I have said that the single high ranking women I have met personally in power giving off this vibe; many of the married women who are in very high raking postions are extremely kind, firm but kind as well.

           

          I would say that the older women I’ve delt with don’t feel they should have to make a man feel desired and the younger women I’ve delt with feel that they will start giving back when a man who meets their standards come along. I am still not sure yet, which category Stacy2 and Stacy fall into.

           

        2. SMC

          Adrian,

          I guess I shouldn’t have said it makes sense to me, because it doesn’t, but at least I’ve come to recognize women like this after reading Evan’s blog.  It was a long drive to our lunch, so I pressed her a little further on her “no time for men” stance.  She said that men are needy when they want to text every day, talk on the phone, etc. and that she just isn’t going to make time for “that stuff.”  She has an active social life, very active – it just doesn’t involve men other than friends, networking contacts, etc.  I’ve never once heard her say she wished she had a male companion.  She has plenty of brothers who escort her to places when she wants an escort.  And she’s happy, so I guess it’s working for her.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          SMC,

          I know it wasn’t the main point of your comment, but a side issue you brought up is important.  Family can be a huge time-suck for single women.  If grandma or auntie needs someone to go to an appointment with them, they assume the single granddaughter or niece has nothing better to do (she doesn’t have babies at home) so they will ask her.  Also, a lot of single women spend friday nights and weekends bonding/entertaining nieces and nephews.

  15. 15
    MilkyMae

    How can you accurately determine someone’s salary?    I can’t imagine asking for someone’s salary unless we were in a committed relationship.   Furthermore, someone with a high salary can easily have a negative net worth.  I don’t think there is anything wrong wanting a man with money especially if you want to start a family but people don’t come with dun & bradstreet ratings.

    1. 15.1
      KK

      That’s true, MilkyMae. Truly wealthy men that want to weed out these types of women are pretty skilled at doing so. If I was a man, I sure would.

  16. 16
    Karl S

    The simplest way to avoid people who care about money is to simply have none. Works for me. 🙂

  17. 17
    Britt

    Totally agree Milky Mae.

    I am a high-earning 30-something female who has dated across the salary board – everybody from a guy who owned his own hedge fund (he has been profiled in Forbes) to a marketing guy making around 60K per year.  Know what they all have in common?

    They have ALL borrowed money from me, or asked to borrow money.  Some paid it back, some didn’t.  Some of these men earned more than me, nearly ALL lived a far more lavish lifestyle, fancy cars, etc.  Little by little, I found myself paying way more than my half of dates, outings, vacations – again even where I made less.

    I don’t know what to do about this.  Sometimes I spent a year or more with these men before the financial irresponsibility came through.

    1. 17.1
      KK

      Britt,

      Just say no. You aren’t under any obligation to lend money to your boyfriends.

      1. 17.1.1
        SQ

        Lol KK I was gonna say the same thing to Britt. Just stop being so generous!

    2. 17.2
      Stacy

      Stop being a doormat Britt.

  18. 18
    KK

    I predict things won’t go as well as planned for anyone who says they won’t consider a relationship with anyone who makes under X amount… You will get what you deserve and I don’t mean anything good.

  19. 19
    D_M

    SQ,

    I am not following the point that you are trying to make. Anecdotally, the financial security issue scales. For the most part, women of all stripes that are thinking about starting a family, would like to have the stay at home option while maintaining a certain preconceived life style. I don’t think that the men that regular post are trying to get women to change their standards. They are simply underscoring how the various wants, increases or decreases the pool of men that you have to choose from. If marriage or a long term relationship really isn’t the goal, then the majority of the concessionary advice on this blog doesn’t apply.

    As you have pointed out, both sexes have a propensity to place a higher value on an attribute that does not necessarily equate to a successful relationship. The beauty argument is tough because of how subjective it is. I am having a tough time comparing beauty with financial means. Maybe it’s the male mental block, but I have seen others respond to, “he that shall not be named” that was complaining about attention from homely women with similar advice. Hold out for want you want, but don’t yell and scream about the opposite sex being severely lacking in companionship material. Especially, when you have actively decreased the pool you have to chose from, while at the same time increasing your competition. Everybody should have standards, but you generally have to give up something. In most cases, it’s precious time that none of us ever get back.

    1. 19.1
      SQ

      D-M, I’d like to respond, but I am not sure which of my comments you’re replying to. 🙂

      1. 19.1.1
        D_M

        SQ,

        Your response to Karmic Equation cleared it up for me. You appear to see certain responses as browbeating, where I see them as not letting the ardent dissenters dominate. In the end, we both essential wished the fervent standard-bearers well on their respective journeys.

  20. 20
    Stacy2

    I really don’t understand this small pool argument. Exactly how large a pool do people need to find a mate? There’re 8 million people in my city. Top 3% earners equates to 240,000 people. Even assuming that 50% of them are women (but in reality its probably more like 20%), that leaves us with 120,000 eligible 3%-ers men. Even assuming that 90% of them are either married or otherwise unsuitable due to age/other, that is still 24,000 eligible men in my city alone. Come on people!! A lifetime isn’t enough to go on first dates with of them. Surely a good looking successful woman can nail one of those guys. The whole thing is moot.

    1. 20.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      Stacy,

      I recently moved back home to a large metropolitan area from a small city.  The pool of eligible high earning men was practically nonexistent in my former city that has been labelled, “A great place to raise a family.”  Seriously, if you’re single and you hear that, do not relocate to that city!

    2. 20.2
      Theo

      “Surely a good looking successful woman can nail one of those guys.” I agree, Stacy2, provided that she does it when she is still young and fertile for several more years. However, her chances decline quickly when she’s over 40, unless she can accept (love?) a 60-year-old rich man.

      1. 20.2.1
        Stacy2

        I disagree. A good looking 40 year old will have a lot of success, obviously most likely  not with 35 year old men lookimg to marry and start a family, but with 45-50+ crowd looking to have a good time together, travel, etc. – absolutely. There’s a whole large group of men who want just a woman like that.

        but yeah, if a woman wants 2.1 kids and 1.5 dog life than she should get to it before 40, for sure.

        1. KK

          Stacy2, How does someone who regularly works 16-18 hours a day have time to travel much less date and have fun? I swear I’m not trying to pick on you, but some of your comments seem contradictory.

        2. KK

          Also, your comments on other posts claimed you want someone who can afford a home in an affluent area and private schools. I think most of us took that to mean you’re looking for marriage and children, but on this post you said you’d never remarry. Just trying to clarify.

        3. Karmic Equation

           

          I think 24,000 is high because you’re assuming all eligible men are looking for someone like YOU for a RELATIONSHIP (they might bang you cuz you’re beautiful, but will they commit? I’m assuming you’re looking for a committed relationship, not a casual one).

          You’ve described yourself as NOT warm or nurturing, but physically attractive.

          How many of those 24,000 men do you think are looking to have an LTR with an attractive, but cold, ambitious woman?

          I’m thinking Zero, but for the sake of argument, let’s say 3% are ok with that — that is 720 men. (I’m thinking that those 3% have issues, because most men, even the worst of men, want a warm nurturing woman to have a relationship with. Again, he won’t care about warm or nurturing for a roll or 3 in the hay or have you as a side piece, but he’s not committing to you).

          Of those 720 men, and let’s apply OKCupid’s stat that women only find 20% of men attractive, so 720 x 20% = 144 men that YOU would find attractive.

          Not sure how long you’ve been divorced. Let’s say it’s been 5 years and you have had 2-3 dates per month during that time. A different guy every date.

          You’re not in an LTR and you’ve met all the eligible men who fit your criteria and have been interested in you.

          So now what are you going to do?

        4. Stacy2

          @ KE:

          I think 24,000 is high because you’re assuming all eligible men are looking for someone like YOU for a RELATIONSHIP

          No, it is not what i am assuming. Read it again. I eliminate 90% of those men first – as the ones who are unsuitable due to all sorts of criteria from being old and gay to morbidly obese, and after that i am left with 24,000. However you want to slice it, this number is in the thousands. And they rotate too, new ones enter the pool (divorced, moved) others exit. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.

          How many of those 24,000 men do you think are looking to have an LTR with an attractive, but cold, ambitious woman?I’m thinking Zero.

          Well you’re thinking wrong and me being married in the past and in LTRs should go to prove it, no?
          You’re not in an LTR and you’ve met all the eligible men who fit your criteria and have been interested in you.
          So now what are you going to do?
          Like i said this has not happen nor it will – mathematically impossible.

          I think that this narrative that “oh, there’s no good men so you have to settle for this and that and adjust your expectations” is so damaging and wrong.
          Yes it may be a small percentage, but it’s of a huge base. There’s plenty of men out there. There’s no need to be going out of your usual social circle to find dates.

    3. 20.3
      D_M

      Stacy2,

      We all should have some level of swagger, so that’s not a bad thing. Confindence goes a long way to create the life that we want for ourselves. As Karmic has pointed out, the number of men that are left, don’t only see women in your associative group. I am guessing that men view all women over the age of 24 as having potential regardless of their income. I think what’s happening, is our different beliefs on how this group of men behaves in the mating game. I believe you have referenced a statistic in the past that shows people tend to gravitate towards similar education levels. I don’t know if that study also showed the income level of the coupling. I think you are overweighting some of the socioeconomic factors.

      Men are readily aware of how high financial security ranks on most women’s list. This knowledge expands the pool of women, which increases the competition for women in the top 3%. I’ll use myself as an example. I have just as much swagger as the next guy, but if I am truly being honesty with myself, I can’t compete with the younger me. Even though the salary might have been lower, the youth and vitality of a younger me, swam in a larger pool. Stacy2, you are essential competing against younger versions of yourselve that are at various stages throughout her career. Think about it, there is potentially a younger version of ourselves at every social gathering.

      This guy has to have amenable views on marriage, kids, religion, politics, spending habits, temperament, host of other issues, and essentially believe that the older Stacy2 is a better choice than the younger Stacy2.  Not only that, but you have to be at the right place, at the right time, and do the right thing to draw his attention. If we believe in statistics, does it not stand to reason that selecting from a larger pool increases our chances.

      1. 20.3.1
        Stacy2

        Swagger has nothing to do with it. Every one of us will be physically able to meet some finite number of potential partners, Just because some high-earning guy may be desirable by every single woman in the city – doesn’t mean that he will be able to meet every woman in the city. In fact, he will be much more exposed to women of similar status, through work and through his lifestyle. So this “competition” is strictly theoretical. Sure, an elementary school teacher may want to date a corporate executive, but she is not the one sitting next to him in a first class lounge at an airport, not skiing with him  in Aspen, and not bumping into him at expensive restaurants while waiting for a client dinner. Am i competing with her? Theoretically, yes. Practically, the access and the looks is 90% of the success. In fact, many good looking women chose professions which would allow them just such access (think art dealers and cocktail waitresses). The shortage of men and the competition is greatly overstated, that’s all.

         

        1. D_M

          Stacy2,

          E-darling, I love you, bad, bad LOL!!!!. This back and forth is a microcosm of what happens when two sufficiently stubborn people believe that their view on a particular issue is more relevant. That’s why Evan and others strongly recommend seeking out our respective complements. The verbal jousting is titillating at first, but then it slowly wears off, and just becomes run of the mill arguing. Ding, ding, ding, I’m checking in for another round. Your last statement, ” In fact, many good looking women chose professions which would allow them just such access (think art dealers and cocktail waitresses)” is all I was trying to get you to acknowledge. Your competition is also outside of the theoretical top 3%. On that note, I will plead uncle.

           

    4. 20.4
      Joe

      Holy bad math, Batman!

      8M people in your city (I assume that’s NYC) includes children and retirees and other people who don’t earn a living (leaving aside arguments on whether or not 1%ers actually earn a living!).

      Only 1.1M of those 8M are in their forties.  Less than 550K are male.  If you only count the top 3% of those, you’re at 16.5K.  About half are married.  Now you’re at 8K.

      1. 20.4.1
        McLovin

        No kidding. She keeps ragging on everybody for being theoretical, but let’s look at the scoreboard.

        How is your strategy working out, Stacy2?

        1. Stacy2

          Its working out just fine. I have always dated in the top 3pc even before I myself made it there. I never had a shortage of suitors from this group (currently 2), in which I naturally rotate and see no reason to change my “strategy”. I don’t really have much of a strategy. I mean people organically. Which is why the rationale presented here makes so little sense to me.

      2. 20.4.2
        KK

        Yes, Joe, and your numbers are still quite generous considering there are more women in NY than men. Not to mention other factors such as race and religion. Even if Stacy2 is open to differences, not all men are. Those numbers keep getting lower and lower the more variables you add to the mix. And then, of course, what many have already said, which is how many will actually be interested in HER, especially if these guys are the cream of the crop and can have their pick from the best available women out there.

      3. 20.4.3
        GoWiththeFlow

        Don’t forget that some of those men will be gay. . .

        1. Joe

          Good point!

      4. 20.4.4
        MilkyMae

        I agree that the math is bad.   However, people want what they want.  Plus, our culture does not insist that people get married or have children. There’s very little social, economic, or religious impetus for people to commit.  Bad math doesn’t change peoples minds(or adult libido).  If you need evidence of this, (please forgive the money analogy) consider how many people have high interest credit card debt or how many people used negatively amortized mortgages to buy large homes a few years ago.

    5. 20.5
      KK

      Starting with 120,000 and eliminating 90% leaves you with 12,000 not 24,000. Just FYI.

      I’m taking that from: “that leaves us with 120,000 eligible 3%-ers men. Even assuming that 90% of them are either married or otherwise unsuitable due to age/other, that is still 24,000 eligible men in my city alone”.

      1. 20.5.1
        Stacy2

        Oh jeez, good catch. That of course makes all the difference, now it is only going to take me 15 years to meet all of them rather than 33, so I suppose the math is “bad” and stacked against women. Rolling my eyes. People really don’t understand big numbers. There’s no other way to explain the belief that there are no men and buying 10 lottery tickets to “maximize” ones chances…

        1. KK

          Gosh Stacy2,

          I just thought you’d appreciate my math correction since you pointed out someone else’s on another post. Guess not. Hmmm…

  21. 21
    Caroline

    From my point of view, some of the ladies are missing the bigger point/greater picture. I frankly feel they’re wasting precious time worrying about the wrong things in life. Money isn’t a guarantee of happiness. I’ve been rather poor  at one time and yes it sucks. But I’d hate to waste my life fishing in a fish bowl when a vast ocean lies ahead.  Nobody is  advising you to marry a deadbeat. When will it ever be enough for you? What is truly important in a partner?

    “Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing”.  Eric Hoffer

     

    1. 21.1
      Caroline

      Being in a mutually loving relationship is the “good stuff” in life.

  22. 22
    CaliforniaGirl

    I was dating two guys recently and both made a good living, I don’t know how much exactly but I could make a guess based on their job titles and companies they worked for. Both never married and no children, so no expensive divorce or child support to pay. Both paid for few first and not expensive dates (happy hour drinks). After that I offered my credit card and they both quickly took it and told the waiter to split the check. Every time my portion was considerably less, I don’t eat or drink much, so let’s say my portion was $20 and their $60  but I paid half of the bill plus tax and tip on the bigger amount. It happened every time we went out and I just started to feel resentful and kinda used. If we alternated bills, I would be paying more as well, so there was no win win situation for me and I broke up with both of them because I just stopped feeling attracted to them.

    1. 22.1
      McLovin

      Welcome to being a man! Come for the ‘privilege,’ stay for the disposability.

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