I’m In Love With A Starving Artist With Low Libido – What Should I Do?

I’m In Love With A Starving Artist With Low Libido - What Should I Do?Hello Evan! I am an attractive, fit 49 year old mom of three girls (14, 17, 20). I was married for 19 years, now single for 4 years. For the past three years I have been in a long-term committed relationship with a 54 year old man. He is attractive, intelligent (college degree), funny, fit, has never been married, no kids but numerous very long term relationships. He is a sane, patient, caring person who puts a high priority on trust and honesty. He looks out for my well-being, is romantic with e-cards, sweet emails, etc. He is affectionate, well dressed, and generous with gifts to me and kind deeds. He’s also attentive to my kids & their lives, although by my choice, they have very little interaction. We live about 30 miles away from each other and take turns staying at each other’s homes on my kid-free weeks most nights that I am free.

My areas of concern are:
1) His financial situation: I’m a self-sufficient homeowner who doesn’t need financial support. He quit his career in business about 7 years ago to pursue being a full time artist. In that time he has depleted all of his savings, his 401k, and is maxing out his credit cards. He has hinted about needing to move into a studio apartment at my house. He may end up filing for bankruptcy – but views it as “suffering for his art”. He seems reluctant to take other jobs that take away from his art career… but I am worried we are headed for a crisis. I help him out with marketing, PR, etc. for his art but it’s a tough way to make a living! He still tries to split our entertainment/travel expenses 50/50 and has never asked for money.

Some people recognize that sex is the icing on the cake and not the cake itself, and this allows them to have happy relationships with average sex lives (as opposed to the more common awful relationship with great sex).

2) Decline in passion – not surprisingly with his financial issues looming, I’m sure he is stressed and our sex life has over time dwindled to a quickie here and there, mostly to cater to my higher level of “need”… we are compatible and enjoy each other, but my libido far surpasses his…. can I live with this? It may be situational, but he may just have lower libido than mine. He’s not really a passionate kisser – except during sex – and I miss this!

I broke things off about 18 months ago for the reasons of lack of passion, concerns that he would never want to get married, etc. but after dating others for a bit, decided that he was a much better fit and started dating him again. I’m much more settled as a single mom, don’t want to cohabitate/marry while my kids are still at home, and truly love this man. What should I do?



Thank you for being the latest exhibit in Women Who Answer Their Own Questions While Asking Them.

So let’s get this straight:

You have a 14-year-old daughter.

You write, “I don’t want to cohabitate/marry while my kids are still at home.” Sounds to me like you’re not getting married to anyone, much less your starving artist boyfriend. I may or may not agree with your black and white thinking but it’s not my job to tell you that. You don’t want to get married while the kids are at home? Great. Don’t get married.

Thus, your question isn’t really about marriage. It’s about the fact that you’ve been dating the same man for three years and you’re ambivalent about your commitment to him, given his two main flaws.

But, once again, this isn’t a question that anyone else can answer. All I can do is ask you more questions.

Have you ever talked with your boyfriend about his libido? I mean, you’ve been together for 3 years – has this subject ever been breached before? Were you hot and heavy at the beginning and then things cooled off? Does he admit to being a low-libido guy in general or is this circumstantial? Do you find yourself resenting him? Do you have sex at least once every week/weekend you spend with each other? Finally, is this something that you can live with?

Some people recognize that sex is the icing on the cake and not the cake itself, and this allows them to have happy relationships with average sex lives (as opposed to the more common awful relationship with great sex). But if his libido really gets you down, then it’s on you to address this issue together as a team – or get out and start fresh. It won’t be hard to find a guy who wants to have sex more. It may be hard to find a guy who is, in your words, an “attractive, intelligent, funny, fit, sane, patient, caring, affectionate, well dressed, and generous person who puts a high priority on trust and honesty. “

Which brings us to the point about the portrait you’re painting of the artist as a middle-aged man.

I’ve been a starving artist. It was called my 20’s. It was a noble experiment, but I was fundamentally miserable, because any second that I wasn’t writing, I was unhappy. Money was scarce. Freedom was nonexistent. Travel was impossible. My default emotions were fear and failure.

There are many women whose husbands support them, but generally they’re raising kids, which is a colossally more important undertaking than oil painting.

Now if I had a sugar mama like you to support me, would I feel better about not making a living? Maybe a little. But probably not much. At the end of the day, it’s not just the act of creativity that matters but the ability to get others to pay money for your art. Without money, art is just a very time consuming hobby.

You didn’t say what kind of art your boyfriend makes or whether you believe in him. That may or may not matter. Let’s assume that he NEVER makes a dollar at his career. Are you okay supporting a fourth child when the nest is finally empty? Because that’s what it’s gonna look like when all is said and done.

Maybe I shouldn’t be that harsh. There are many women whose husbands support them, but generally they’re raising kids, which is a colossally more important undertaking than oil painting. As far as the men who support wives who make art, or do charity, or shop, or workout obsessively, I’m guessing that they’re valuing these qualities “attractive, intelligent, funny, fit, sane, patient, caring, affectionate, well dressed, and generous.” over their wives’ ability to make a buck.

You can do the same, Julie. Just don’t expect him to change.

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  1. 61

    Totally agree with Chance in #54. My experience is that most women don’t put their feminism where their wallet is.
    My solution to the confusion would be to set the record straight on who pays up front. A man’s preference for splitting would undoubtedly impact his dating prospects far more than a woman’s expression of the same preference.

  2. 62

    No problem, and thank you for your response.  I plan to provide a more detailed response to your points when I have some time.  I appreciate the constructive conversation/debate 🙂
    Sparkling Emerald:
    For someone who feels so sorry that one poster is being “badly badgered” by another poster (which, by the way, I have no idea what in the hell you are talking about), you sure seem to have no problem badgering people yourself.  You have willfully misinterpreted my posts.  Please go back and read what I am saying carefully, and then actually respond to, you know, what I said.  I’ll be happy to refute your points then.

  3. 63

    @ Karmic Equation, #45, 50,
    With all due respect, you’re living in a fantasy land if you believe it’s the poor who are the real financial drain on the majority of the American citizenry, and such a myth was likely cultivated by the Reagan administration, and accepted by most of the US population, through the ridiculous notion of the “Welfare Queen,” which entered popular consciousness just at a time when most social welfare programs were being gutted and retrenched.
    You write, “The poor rely on welfare and the rich rely on themselves.” Oh, really? Even if you leave aside the more blatant and perverse examples of wealth redistribution, such as the bailouts and liquidity injections into the economy which cost trillions, corporations and the wealthy rely on regular government interventions, in the form of subsidies and massive R&D grants and government contracts and purchases, as an incentive for innovation and to simply continue making profits. All of that comes “out of your pocket,” yet the American citizenry don’t share in the profits made possible largely through the help of such publicly financed subsidies to business.
    Finally, even if you were to take the most blatant and atrocious example of lower class welfare fraud that still wouldn’t compare to the tax havens and loopholes, such as the carried interest tax, that allow people like Mitt Romney to pay 15-20% in taxes while the working and middle class pay 30-35%. One of the greatest accomplishments of the American right wing  in the 1980s was to convince the middle and upper-middles classes that all their problems and woes were the fault of the most vulnerable members of the underclass.  

  4. 64
    Sparkling Emerald

    Chance at 62 – I have not “willfully” misinterpreted anything.  Perhaps I have misunderstood.  Perhaps you could CLEARLY tell me EXACTLY what I said that you believe is being “misinterpreted” and tell me what you REALLY mean with all your complaints about women who want equality and also want the man to pay for “everything”.  Perhaps you could explain what you mean by “everything”.
    And if you have no idea “what in the hell you are talking about” (you, meaning me)   your exact words that I copied and pasted from your post, why are so     defensive ?  I didn’t mention your name, so it must be your guilty conscience at work, when I comment to Goldie about being badgered.   And why is it OK for you use “hell” in your response to me, but so wrong when Goldie responds with the word “hell” in her post, after you have accused her of having an affair with a married man.  (Don’t tell me you didn’t accuse her.  You framed your accusation as a question ) 
    Even one of the men on this blog thought you were being ridiculous.

  5. 65

    have we addresses the low libido issue?

  6. 66
    Karmic Equation


    I don’t have a problem with the rich getting richer. At least they’re doing work to get richer. I feel that if I work harder, I too will get richer. Never as rich as Mitt Romney, but I don’t resent him for having had the wherewithal, gumption, ambition, etc., to get rich. He has a work ethic.

    I have a problem with people using my tax dollars to buy cigarettes and junk food. I have a problem with people NOT WORKING for the money they take out of my pocket. I have problem with people getting pay raises by having more children. I have problems with people who can ill afford children having them (can we say Octo-mom?). These people have NO work ethic. They have an entitlement complex.

    If a person works and can’t make ends meet then they need to shorten their ends until they do. No more eating out. Only eat ramen if they have to. No more Nike shoes, wear Walmart brand. No more smartphones, get dumb ones. Get roommates. Move back in with mom & dad (but help them with the rent for god’s sake.)

    The problem with the “poor” that I have problems with is that they’re often UNWILLING to do anything to better themselves. They want everything the “rich” have without WORKING for it. So would I, but I don’t resent the rich. I studied hard in high school to go to college, I went to college (studiedless hard, I don’t have a degree) — but I found a job I was good at and WORKED HARD at the job to advance my career. I worked to get where I am and I expect others to work just as hard.

    How many “welfare queens” are too good to scrub toilets at McDonald’s? All of them. Why do that when doing NOTHING will get you the same, if not more, money by simply having children? OUr welfare system is wacked.

    No doubt there’s corporate corruption, but those people WORK HARD to get that corrupt money. It’s not easy to cook books. It’s not easy to run a ponzi scheme. Sure it’s wrong, but they had to work hard to do that wrong. The welfare folks I have problems with just get handed their money without ANY work, right or wrong.

  7. 67
    Karmic Equation

    marymary, You kill me with your one liners. lmao
    It’s a medical fact that most men’s testosterone levels drop when they reach their 40’s. Perhaps this man needs to see an endocrinologist to see if his lack of libido is due to testosterone-loss.
    But wait, he probably doesn’t have healthcare. Oh, wait, maybe he tried to sign up for Obamacare on the webiste but couldn’t. If the government can’t even get a WEBSITE to work properly, how the f* are they going to get HEALTHCARE to run properly???? Who voted him in? Not me. Not the first time and certainly not the 2nd time. Not because of race. He got great rhetoric but no idea how to run a country. Let me stop there before I get audited.

  8. 68
    Sparkling Emerald

    Scott @7 This question is not about their romantic relationship.  Julie seems to like their current arrangement just fine.  She has a FWB at her call to scrath her itch (just barely).
    Are you reading the same post ???  She said she truly loves this man.  Doesn’t sound like FWB.  He is not doing much scratching lately.  She has tried to help him with his art by providing PR and marketing help.  Who does that for a FWB ?  She said lots of good things about him, and her main concerns are the lack of passion and the financial path he has gone down. Sounds like they split things fairly even right now.  Instead of moving in with her, why doesn’t he get a room mate ?  Unless he is expecting free rent ?
    One poster alluded to this being all about him not having a “Big” 401K.  Heck he has NO 401K, he blew through it and refuses to even work part time on the side while he tries to make a living at his hobby.  This isn’t about a woman rejecting a man because he’s not RICH enough, this about a woman, rightfully concerned that this man could eventually be a serious drain on her and her children’s resources.
    He might want to be a starving artist, but it is clear that the OP, doesn’t want her and her kids to starve along side of him.  That’s not unreasonable.   I would feel the same if a guy was in the same situation with a GF who has been blowing through her savings to try and make a living, singing, acting, writing or some other “difficult to make a living at” career.  I would be thinking, he should NOT let her move in !!!!!
    I LOVE to act, and I actually have a part time “paying” gig and have made the occasional paid education film here and there.  But I would never DREAM of quitting my day job unless I won the lottery BIG TIME, inherited a huge some of money or had some other means of supporting myself while I tried to hit the big time.  I would never ask to move in with a BF so I could continue to spend money I don’t have, (maxing out my credit cards) or dipping into retirement funds. 
    My “paying” gig is probably about a dollar an hour once you subtract unpaid rehearsal time, and my make up & costume costs (which I buy at Goodwill).  I do this as a hobby because I LOVE it.  I am glad to be breaking even.  I don’t resent that I have to work a day job and another PT evening job to pay my bills and continue paying into my 401K.   I don’t expect to mooch off a man or the tax payers so I can “suffer” for my art. 

  9. 69

    Sparkling Emerald:
    “And why is it OK for you use “hell” in your response to me, but so wrong when Goldie responds with the word “hell” in her post, after you have accused her of having an affair with a married man.  (Don’t tell me you didn’t accuse her.  You framed your accusation as a question ) 
    Even one of the men on this blog thought you were being ridiculous.”
    What in the holy hell are you talking about?  I think you may have your people mixed up.  Please copy/paste what your talking about.  I accept your apologies in advance.

  10. 70

    I just want to point a couple things out, A) one cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. b) the vast majority of people on welfare are children or working adults in the country. Why not use facts for our arguments rather than tired stereotypes from the early 80s?

  11. 71

    @Chance #54
    >> With all due respect, these are straw-man arguments because you know the man is expected to always “lovingly offer”, and that very few men have any interest in “keeping” women.
    Once again, I beg to differ.  If men have no interest in “keeping” women, why do they do it?  We’re talking in the context of LTRs and marriages, not first dates.  I hope you’re not suggesting that the price of having a relationship is paying for your woman.  In my experience, men pay for women because they want to.  I’m lucky enough to be married to such a man.  I would never take advantage of his generosity for more than a year or two, especially as we don’t intend to have children.  I have offered him the same option if he ever gets tired of the corporate world and wants a break but that is really beside the point.  He *wants* to support me…where’s the problem?  As I understand it, you’re saying that I should want to support him too and if I don’t, it’s unfair.
    >>  Also, if you expect men to adhere to traditional male gender roles, that is fair as long as you adhere to traditional female gender roles.  I, for one, have not met any woman who’s willing to do that.
    Personally, I don’t expect men to adhere to traditional gender roles at all.   However, if I did, I would agree that the same could be expected of me.  What are the women who stay home and raise children (or not in some cases) doing if not exactly that?

  12. 72
    Karmic Equation

    They can be bought with EBT – or EBTs can get real cash from ATMs and then the real cash used to purchase cigarettes.
    Do you REALLY think the children are given the money? The money dispensed is INTENDED for the children and CALCULATED for the child/# children, but do you REALLY  think their parents give the money to them.
    That’s the POLITICAL line that folks in politics tow. It ain’t reality.
    And don’t get me started on the Federal Employees being EXEMPT from income taxes. Why do you think politicians would rather raise income taxes than sales taxes? They actually would HAVE to pay sales taxes, but obviously NOT income taxes.

  13. 73

    @karmic equation
    Sorry but yours is flawed, SNAP EBT can only be used at point of sale for food sales. Now there is a separate ATM that folks receiving unemployment, veteran’s benefits and the very few receiving cash benefits can use to access if they don’t have a checking account, but I digress. I am sort of an expert on this policy, maybe not an expert but certainly more educated on the nuances of these policies than I am sure you are because of what I do for a living.
    Secondly, Federal Employees are exempt from SOCIAL SECURITY not Federal Income taxes, they are not allowed to collect SSI btw which is why they are exempt. Further, the federal government DOES NOT have a sales tax. Some states and municipalities do. So you know, get your facts straight.

  14. 74

    @ Karmic Equation
    Julia, #70 above, is correct. Your generalizations about most people on welfare seem to derive from anecdotal pieces of evidence or daytime tabloid talk shows as opposed to actual empirical trends. If you have real statistical evidence that most, or even a third, of the people receiving welfare in the United States are on it illegitimately or view it as a lifestyle choice then please alert me to your source. Welfare has been drastically scaled back and retrenched in the United States, a process that began mainly under Reagan but continued right into the Clinton Presidency, who replaced it with “workfare” and raised the eligibility requirements in terms of who could qualify while also reducing the time period that people would be eligible to remain on the program.
    The United States ranks last among other industrialized democracies when it comes to providing social welfare services to citizens, and this difference has real negative consequences. There’s a reason why the US has one of the highest incarcerated populations in the industrialized world while the Netherlands actually closed prisons because of a lack of crime-and it’s not because Americans have different genes.
    Your statement that “I feel that if I work harder, I too will get richer,” is a point right out of the neocon playbook. Certainly people who work hard have gotten wealthy, but others have simply gotten lucky, or inherited wealth, or amassed fortunes through stock asset speculation. And it’s equally true that people who work very hard for the majority of their lives not only don’t get rich but actually see the little net worth they do have decline due to factors beyond their control, such as capital flight, financial crises, Central Bank policies that control inflation by fostering unemployment, etc. Scholars like Barbara Ehrenreich have shown that the common belief that there are jobs available in the service economy that would allow all adults to survive off a wage to be another myth-often people have to work more than one service job and often that isn’t even enough, to say nothing about the precariousness of such positions.   

  15. 75

    KE #66
    <<No doubt there’s corporate corruption, but those people WORK HARD to get that corrupt money. It’s not easy to cook books. It’s not easy to run a ponzi scheme. Sure it’s wrong, but they had to work hard to do that wrong.>>
    You almost sound as if you  admire those scammers. It makes it a lot easier when you can hire a team of other corrupt individuals to help you out. It’s also ILLEGAL. Those “ponzi schemes” you refer to end up costing hard-working people their life savings, not to mention billions in cost to the federal government. Welfare programs like Aid to Families and Dependent Children and Food Stamps make up something like 1% of the Federal Budget. Welfare fraud is a drop in the bucket compared to corporate fraud. Not to mention the fact that lots of people on welfare actually do work.
    But what paying on dates and welfare have to do with the OP’s question is beyond me. Way, way off topic here.

  16. 76

    Chance 54,
    I’ll reiterate, since you seem to have trouble reading my posts.
    I have clearly said, more than once, that once we are in a relationship, I contribute generously.  The guy paying on the first few dates has nothing to do with “expecting them to pay for everything”, and everything to do with manners and effort.  I truly don’t need a man to pick up the check for my $5 cup of coffee, but find it lovely if he does in an effort to be chivalrous.  I feel truly sad that you don’t seem to know this pleasure, and how good it can feel to experience the thankful delight of a feminine woman. But I fear I’m wasting my time with this one.
    Obviously I can’t speak to dating in the US. But in South Africa, the majority of men are raised to value women and be chivalrous, it is a point of honour. The majority of women are raised to take a certain pleasure in this and honour men in return. I , and the men I date, take pleasure in the guy paying for the first few dates.  And I take pleasure in providing feminine support and affirmation, and later on, contributing cooking and gifts.  You may call it unequal (it isn’t), I call it manners.
    You said “women expect to be treated equally, and they do not expect to be constrained by traditional gender roles in any way.  I don’t know one woman who thinks otherwise”
    I really have to wonder what makes you such an expert on what women think.
    I don’t want to engage with you any more on this. If all you can take away from my posts is that “men are expected to pay for everything”, you’re not reading my posts anyway.

  17. 77
    Sparkling Emerald

    OK Chance, I can’t find the badgering posts to Goldie, so I don’t know if that was YOU badgering her or not.  If you hadn’t have been a butinski and got your knickers all up in a twist at my comment TO Goldie, I wouldn’t have thought your were being so defensive.  So if wasn’t you, that badgered Goldie and accused her of having an affair with a married man, then I apologise.  But if you didn’t write or read the badgering posts to Goldie, why do you fell the need to comment on them.  She WAS being badgered over a benign comment about couples working together as a team.
    If you are going to belly ache about women taking advantage of men financially on a public blog and don’t want to hear another POV, go start your own “Chance support  board” and make it a rule that everyone has to agree with every word you say.

  18. 78
    Sparkling Emerald

    KE  – And don’t get me started on the Federal Employees being EXEMPT from income taxes.
    Both my parents are fed workers, they pay fed, state & local taxes.  Who told you fed employees don’t pay fed taxes ?

  19. 79

    Welfare??  Now we’re arguing about welfare?  Seriously what happened here.
    Karmic, I did start to agree with you about how the OP’s bf should be more financially responsible and no one should be suprised if the OP feels leery of involving hereself more in his living situation and then you started commenting how poor people are freeloaders and the welfare state (“I don’t have a problem with the rich getting richer. At least they’re doing work to get richer…) I am not someone in government who can comment with as much experience or statistics as Julia or Shaukat but I can say that based on my experience providing medical care for the poor, that many of them work harder than ever with 2-3 jobs a day.  Forget the American dream, they are just trying to survive.  A lot of them lost their jobs in the economic downturn and are availing themselves of the foodstamps and foodbanks which they thought they would never use because they have to keep their kids fed and clothed somehow.  These are average Americans.  Yes, there are a few bad apples but by and large I have not seen it to the extreme that you say and I have worked with a lot of poor people.  I don’t know where you are getting your facts from or if you have ever worked with poverty but I’d like to set the records straight and say the reality on the ground is not as black-and-white as you are portraying.

  20. 80
    Sparkling Emerald

    I think this whole debate about women how women should pay 50/50 for all dates from the get go because we have achieved equality in the work force and are allowed to vote is silly.  (OK, I am being a tad hyperbolic on the voting thing)
    I think that as far as civil rights go, that is a completely different sphere than dating etiquette.  And as far as what a couple does when they go from dating to relating, that is really up to EACH INDIVIDUAL couple to decide.
    Women are told that we have to take off our “career hat” and be in our feminine energy on a date or relationship.  Some bitter male posters here seem to think that because gender based discrimination is prohibited by law, that we women should start coughing up 50/50 from day 1.  Never mind that once a relationship starts, finances, division of labor are usually worked out by the couple, and I have NEVER seen a relationship where the woman never contributed a dime over the long haul.
    Men seem to want to pay for first dates anyway.  I have tried offering to leave the tip (not well rec’d).  I also reciprocate by cooking, bringing dishes to pot luck events, I get  comp tickets to theater and I get movie passes and gift cards at work etc.  Once in a relationship, I contribute a reasonable amount of my income, and usually more in housework and cooking.
    I enjoy cooking, and I try very hard to eat healthy, so it only makes sense that I take on the primary duties of shopping and meal preparation.  I don’t mind in the least.  In fact, I get VERY annoyed with females that I know who act like if a woman cooks for her man she is setting back women’s rights to the stone age.  I find that attitude very silly.  About as silly as men bellyaching about paying for the first few dates early on in courtship.  Really silly, because he can control the cost by picking an inexpensive date.  And just as silly for women to complain about cooking because they determine how fancy or not of a meal to make.  Most men that I know are THRILLED, if you make them a cold sandwich and a bowl of soup from a can.  (But I’ll make soup from scratch and men think that makes me a Goddess 🙂  go figure) 
    I never really sat down and decided that I was going to do this that and the other by weather or not it fit some ancient gender role from the past.  Men offer to pay for my first date,  bring me flowers, open doors for me.  Not really expected but always appreciated.  They seem to enjoy my cooking, so why not ?  My 2nd hubby ASKED me to stay at home with our baby, I was reluctant at first, but I mostly stayed at home and worked part time on the side.  I am paying a slight financial penalty now, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.
    So some trad roles “work” for me.  (a few free glasses of wine, appetizers, gelatos) Some trad roles cost me a bit, but had their rewards (staying home with my son) 
    Working outside of the home, is no longer considered revolutionary for women.  For most of my married life, I worked outside of the home, paid most of my income towards our future (my retirement, our son’s college) or household bills.   I also did a greater share of the household labor.  That worked for BOTH of us.  TOGETHER, we were able to build a lifestyle that neither one of us could afford alone.
    Now that hubby decided he doesn’t want this life anymore, I had to be my own second income.  So I took other jobs, & got a room mate.  Not the best situation if I go back to dating again, but I do what I have to do.
    It’s not really about deciding to go along with EVERY gender role, or deciding to go AGAINST every gender role. (who the heck even knows what the current gender roles are ? )  It’s about deciding on the best course of action for whatever point I am at in my life, and considering the wants, needs and abilities of all involved.
    For every hypothetical woman who wants the trad roles when they suit her, there are  men who expect a woman to pay 50/50 and cook and clean up behind him.  (I was engaged to a guy like that, dodged a bullet by breaking up with him)

  21. 81


    “So if what you say is true for most men, then what do you suggest women practically do on early dates (most everyone I know splits after a month or so)?”

    I would make it clear that you would like to pay, that you’re not just offering to be polite, and that it doesn’t mean that you are not interested.  He’ll be hard to convince that you’re not just offering while really expecting him to pay.  You’re right that a lot of couples begin to split after a while, but many don’t.

    “You say men have to continually offer because they are afraid of not getting second dates.  In that case, they are getting something out of it, as you say, and there are strings attached.  It’s like an initial bid at an auction and the woman is accepting the bid for now until another better bid comes along.  In that case, why get mad at the woman for accepting your bid when you clearly wanted her to owe you?  What I’m trying to say is men utilize the social construct for their own gain just as much as anyone else. “

    Respectfully, but strongly, disagree there.  As I said previously, only a small minority of men pay for dates because it makes them feel like they are owed something.  I think there are two reasons they continue to pay.  First, I think their desire for sex blinds their judgment.  It isn’t that they think they are owed sex, but rather they’ll do just about anything for it.  Obviously, that’s their own fault.  I think the second reason is that there is the fear of being perceived as a jerk, even though in the back of their mind, they know something just isn’t right with the way the rules are set up.

    “Men are responsible for at least 50% of this problem (if it is a problem); they should not take out their resentment entirely on women but also on others of their own gender and themselves. “

    While I’m not sure that men are at least 50% of the problem, you are absolutely correct in that men have only themselves to blame!  They need to stand up for themselves when they see something that isn’t fair.  That is what I do, and have done in the past.   However, it doesn’t excuse the behavior of women that insist on keeping things the way they are. 


    “My solution to the confusion would be to set the record straight on who pays up front. A man’s preference for splitting would undoubtedly impact his dating prospects far more than a woman’s expression of the same preference.”

    Spot on there.

  22. 82


    ” I hope you’re not suggesting that the price of having a relationship is paying for your woman.  In my experience, men pay for women because they want to. “

    See Frimmel’s comment.

     “As I understand it, you’re saying that I should want to support him too and if I don’t, it’s unfair.”

    No, that isn’t what I’m saying.  Back to my original post, I was pointing out that, while many are quick to point out that a man is a freeloader if he doesn’t contribute financially (I happen to agree in a lot of cases), I know of many women that don’t contribute financially, or around the house, and it’s accepted.  You and your husband have an arrangement worked out, and that’s great.


    “I’ll reiterate, since you seem to have trouble reading my posts.

    I’ll reiterate, since you seem to have trouble reading my posts.

    I was simply trying to provide some background on where I was coming from.

    “I don’t want to engage with you any more on this.”

    I second that.  I don’t want to engage with anyone else about this for that matter. 

    It’s pointless.

    1. 82.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I know you’re my readers and all, but this should probably come to a stop. For everyone’s sake, just let this entire thread drop, okay?

  23. 83

    Evan, that’s an excellent response.  I’m not a stranger to black and white thinking, or asking and answering my own questions, so your reaction was super clear.  We women are odd sometimes, the way we know we care deeply for someone, but then are able to stand back and critically assess their future potential regardless, deciding that what isn’t then perfect enough.  Where that comes from is a mystery – perhaps it’s our childhood fairytales or other nonsense fantasy notion we creatures set up for ourselves.  In the end, work out what we want, work out what we feel for the other and decide on the reality.   

  24. 84

    Think of these questions:
    If you were sick, incapable, broke, facing job loss.  Would he be there for you, if so how?
    If his art becomes famous, what does his ego become, is he leaving you for fame or staying for love?
    If he gets his mojo back, is he having sex with you more often, or is he cruising?
    You see these are things you’ve already proven you will do for him.  
    He knows you’re there for him, he knows you sacrifice, acquiescence, provide.
    He’s sitting in security and freedom.  
    He’s living the security you seek.  He’s looking out for number one and you’re looking out for him.
    This is the present reality.
    So ask the harder questions, ask him, ask him often.  Then allow your intuition to judge.
    Remembering that the best prediction of future action is past action.
    Ask the harder questions.  Ask and you shall receive or maybe not.  

  25. 85
    Mrs Happy

    Your financial habits are not aligned.
    You are providing for a family of 4, and need to do so for the next 10 years, given your youngest is 14. You then need to provide for yourself through retirement. You seem the type who considers future financial requirements.
    He doesn’t.
    He lives for the moment. Doesn’t plan for his financial future. Doesn’t have any dependants he needs to consider. Doesn’t think of you as a future dependant or someone he might need to provide for (in fact, the opposite). He spends now to enjoy now, come what may. At 54 he has limited time to make up for the debt he is getting into, and for his lack of retirement savings, and in any case he would likely be limited in gaining many types of well-renumerated employment, given his age and 7 years out of the paid workforce.
    Therefore he is likely to spend the next 30-odd years in financial distress, unless he is given money by someone (e.g. you, the government, family inheritance, gambling win, etc). Even if these occurred, his financial habits won’t change – he’ll spend it all, without thought of the future. It’s what he does.
    Personally this would infuriate me. There is no way I’d enter a marriage or combine living arrangements with this man. If I only wanted a boyfriend, I’d keep him as a boyfriend, each of us living separately, and not pay any of his living expenses. But even that boyfriend arrangement might pall when he (soon) becomes financially destitute, as there will then be a neediness in him, and resentment (on both sides), and the constricted life restrictions that occur with poverty.
    Similar financial habits are really important in marriage; running a household is a small business and I wouldn’t like my business partner to be so different to me in this domain as it would lead to too many arguments.
    The sex difference – big but common problem. There is a sexual desire mismatch in 10 out of every 11 marriages, though usually in the other direction (in heterosexual couples, male usually wants sex more often). But that added to the financial woes are two huge problems. This man will only be able to offer you some out of your list of wants/must-haves, and only you can decide how far up the list financial and sexual similarities should be.

  26. 86

    OP Postscript – I have been very appreciative for the insightful and varied feedback on my original post!   3 -1/2 years later, I am most pleased to report that I ended my relationship with the “starving artist” – he has since moved out of state. About 6 months later, I met a wonderful man through a dating app. I must first say that in my early days of dating, I might have rejected the opportunity to date this man – he lives a little further than my “ideal” dating distance away and he has a few differing views than I do.  Yet I was thrilled to discover he is everything that i also enjoyed about the SA – good looking, fit, honest, devoted, caring, smart, fun to be around.  In stark contrast to SA, he is financially self-sufficient, LOVES my kids, all of my friends adore him, he enjoys taking care of me, being chivalrous at all times, and even throws a playful snarky edge into our interactions – which is all great – he’s the proverbial nice guy with an edge (a good edge!).  And our libidos are extraordinarily well matched (most happy to report)!.  In 3 years of dating him, I have never felt “deprived”, less than adored, or insecure. Being with him is like being HOME, and I am extraordinarily content knowing that our future together will play out in time and for now, commuter dating him is a dream come true – miss him immensely during the week – we’re always chatting, texting, and learning and growing together.  Sounds sappy, but true.  I’m very happy and very grateful that I didn’t “settle” for SA who was seemingly so much nicer than my ex-husband.  Instead, I have found a fantastic, loving, amazing life partner – well worth the wait and life couldn’t be better.  Thanks everyone!  🙂 <3

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