Shocker! Money Causes Problems in Relationships!

Shocker! Money Causes Problems in Relationships!

I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. But I share these links with you on Thursday because they’re worthy of reflection and discussion.

This week’s link is called 8 Eye Opening Findings About Money & Relationships. And frankly, it’s sadly predictable. Despite (or because of) the fact that money is so important in a relationship, men and women routinely lie to each other about money. The results? More fighting, mistrust, and cause for friction.

…men and women routinely lie to each other about money. The results? More fighting, mistrust, and cause for friction.

  1. Finances are the leading cause of relationship stress
    35% of people experiencing stress in their relationship said money was the cause of tension. Annoying habits came in second at 25%. (SunTrust Bank survey)
  2. Spending & saving is in the eye of the beholder
    34% of individuals that were part of a couple said they were the savers and their partner was the spender. Only 13% said the reverse. 47% of respondents said they and their partner had different spending habits. (SunTrust Bank survey)
  3. No need for consultation
    35% said they do not consult with their partner about large purchases. (SunTrust Bank survey)
  4. Hide money rather than argue about it
    One in five Americans say they have spent $500 or more and not told their partner. (CreditCard.com poll)
  5. Keeping secrets
    6% of Americans maintain secret accounts or credit cards. (CreditCard.com poll)
  6. Savers are sexy
    55% believe a strong budgeting and saving strategy was the most appealing money-related quality when considering a relationship partner. (Ally Bank survey)
  7. Birds of a feather flock together
    75% say it’s moderately to highly important to find a partner that has a similar approach to money and budgeting. (Ally Bank survey)
  8. Bad spending habits lead to fights
    One third of respondents said that their money related fights were because of spending, rather than saving habits. (Ally Bank survey)

I’m lucky that my wife is not a shopper or a brand name person. She’s a saver who likes to spend our disposable on experiences – concerts, plays, parties, trips. Thankfully, we’re on the same page and have never had a fight about money since we’ve been married.

Be 100% transparent about your income, savings and spending habits.

But since this is an advice page, here’s one tip you can take to the bank:

Be 100% transparent about your income, savings and spending habits. Either you and your partner will get on the same page or you won’t. But at least you won’t get married to a person who is fundamentally incompatible with your values.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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110 Comments

  1. No kidding money causes problems in relationships!  As I said before in other comments, I don’t think it’s just the amount of money someone makes that matters, but also what they do with it.  I personally prefer someone who makes less money, but is frugal with it–over someone who makes a ton of money, but stretches it beyond their means.
    For instance, I know a couple where both make $300K a year.  You’d think they’d be set.  However, they’re so extravagant with it (wanting the absolute best, most lavish of everything) that they’re perpetually drowning in credit card debt.  They’re always borrowing more money from family, friends, etc.
    On the other hand, me and my guy each make about $100K a year (which I don’t think is destitution, don’t get me wrong…but compared to that other couple, yes, we have relatively less).  However, since we don’t spend as much as they do, I’ll bet we’re in better financial shape, even with (relatively) less income.  We might bring less money in, but also have no debts, and significant savings. I really wouldn’t trade my relationship for theirs.  I really do prefer my not lavish, but comfortable life, over their extravagant debt trap.
     
     

  2. (>'-')> Adrian

    Hi Christine!
    You haven’t been commenting as much, but I am sure you are doing well. since you and I are the babies of our community here (older under 32), we’ve got to stick together (^_^).

    A much older friend of mine once chastised me for giving another much older friend and his wife a thousand dollars because they were struggling financially. I said they just needed a job that paid more, but he corrected me by explaining:
    “Whether they make $1 an hour or $100 an hour, a person bad with money will be bad with money.”
    My 24 year old self was too inexperienced to understand what he meant, but now that I am an old man (^_^), I understand. Like you I have seen people from family backgrounds that did not teach them about money, gain very high paying jobs-this people still found a way to live from paycheck to paycheck.

  3. Hi Adrian, doing well here, just been a bit busier lately at work…but finally have a little downtime!
    Your friend was very wise indeed.  It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you don’t know how to use it and save it.  After all, look at all those stories we hear about celebrities who made millions, yet still somehow ended up bankrupt.  It doesn’t matter how much you earn, if you spend it as soon as you get it!
     

  4. SparklingEmerald

    I basically agree with you about “It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you don’t know how to use it and save it. ” if someone is making at least a livable wage to begin with.
    But there are circumstances that can knock a very responsible, frugal worker into hard times.  Massive layoffs in the area, illness, etc.
    If someone had fallen on hard times due to a layoff, an expensive illness, etc.  I would help them out.  If it was someone who racked up big debts for luxuries never saved, wasn’t actively looking for work, then no.

  5. Nope a person in need is a person in need.  If your heart tells you to do it, do it, you’ve done a good deed, now if this person needs emergency help every week that is another issue, and help counseling may be needed for that person.  Give and it will be given unto you… you did the right thing…

  6. One disturbing trend I’ve seen among lrng-term, committed-for-life couples is “his and hers” finances instead of “theirs”. It’s fine for initial dating, but if you are married and contemplating kids, shouldn’t you stop putting the restaurant check on two credit cards?
    If the relationship does not come to a level of mutual financial trust over small sums – how will it handle children, illness,unemployment?
     

  7. @Jenny – I’m not sure why you would find this “disturbing” if it works for the couples in question or why you assume it shows a lack of “mutual financial trust”  any more than a joint account would necessarily indicate codependency.  My late parents always kept their finances separate and enjoyed a long, happy marriage.  My mother paid for certain things (eg. presents for the children’s birthdays, decorating and upkeep of the inside of the house), while my father was in charge of paying for others (eg. plane tickets for family vacations, upkeep of the outside of the house and garden) and then they could do as they wished with their remaining funds, no questions asked.  I imagine that such a set-up would work just as well for many other educated, responsible couples.  In fact, my first reaction when I hear that a couple pools all their money is to shake them both, but then I remind myself that different methods work for different couples.

  8. Henriette, it’s disturbing to the ladies who have the expectation that their husband will be making more than them ????

  9. They also cede control of the finances to their husbands, don’t they?
    Treating the money as “our” goes both ways: trust with spending and trust with control.

  10. @Jenny – hmmm, often times that’s not the case.  Women can often control the finances even if they aren’t the primary breadwinners.  It seems like with pre-baby boomer generations, it was more common for women to cede control of the finances, but it often appeared to be willingly as it was something that they didn’t want to hassle with or they were intimidated by it.

  11. ???? I always smile when I see you here, @Chance!

  12. Obviously you find sensible ways to split expenses, but you don’t police it ad absurdum, right? Mom will fill up the gas tank if it’s empty, even if dad usually pays for that. Dad may buy an extra gift if he wants. Neither will keep a ledger of debts if the other loses his or her job. Either will cede financial  control if necessary. That is the proper mentality.
    Calling in debts of $5, tracking who ate more food this week, arguing who paid for coffee last – that kind of petty score-keeping, which on the face of it can also be described as “splitting expenses”, but it indicates an adversarial relationship that will not survive in times of financial adversity.

  13. You bring up a valid point, @Jenny; I agree that “keeping score” ~ whether financially or in other areas of the marriage ~ is a recipe for unhappiness.  I don’t honestly know if it happens more or less often in couples who commingle their finances, though.  If my (hypothetical) husband wanted to splurge on many items I thought unnecessary, I might be less likely to be worried and comment (= nag) about it if the payment came out of his own, personal discretionary fund rather than from our pooled resources.

  14. (>'-')> Adrian

    I would be curious to hear some on the female commenters to b
    In popular media as well as in most scientific studies that are published money is stated as the top thing that attracts women to men.
    Yet  from reading thousands of comments on this site, most women quote #7 on the list.

  15. If we were to make a claim as money being a primary source of attractiveness, I think it would be more accurate to say that money erases your negative traits, rather than being a primary attractor. Like if a man is short, old, fat, stupid, bald, and poorly dressed, adding large stacks of money can cover up those faults. I think it was a Chris Rock bit, but I think it has some elements of truth. I think it might be harder to find a wealthy man that had all of those traits and then some walking around with any reasonable women. Sure there are actual gold diggers out there, but lets take them out of the equation for a moment. I envision it going something like this:
    .5 million – Poorly dressed? Nah, he just needs a good woman to help him out. He was too busy earning money to worry about that
    1 million – He’s not stupid. He’s eccentric. And  you don’t have to go to higher education to be smart. He has more common sense than most people
    1.5 million – It doesn’t matter that he is short. It just means that he doesn’t have to lean over that far to kiss me
    2 million – Old? I don’t see it that way. He’s distinguished
    Obviously I’m being facetious but I do think there is a bit of truth to it.

  16. This is one of the examples of situations in dating where I don’t know who to believe. Do I listen to the countless research on the subject, or do I listen to the countless women who comment on this blog as well as in my everyday life?
    Most scientific research says that money motivates women to choose a particular partner more than anything else! However, most women on this site say that it is more of #7 listed above. That they don’t care about how much a man makes, as long as he is gainfully employed.
    In popular media, for every one story of a successful women marring a man who is her financial equal, there are hundreds of stories about women marrying, ugly, or short, or old, or selfish, or emotionally immature men because they had access to great wealth or status.
    Stories of successful women marrying men who make significantly less than they do is almost unheard of.
    I wonder if it is just a stereotype with some truth as it’s bases? Yet if that is the case, than how can there be so much supporting research confirming it? Does that mean that the women on here are the minority and they just don’t realize it?
    Women add to this myth (or truth) by constantly recounting stories in which men couldn’t handle dating a woman who made more than he did; it was always the fault of biology, evolution, etc; how men are built.
    So why is it that most women agree with the science that says that most men need to make more than a women, but not the science that say that women select men based off his wealth more than any other quality he has; including his personality?

  17. I don’t think women want to think that about themselves.  The way I would describe their financial preference is that most women will not marry a man of it’s going to cost them.  Most women expect to, at least, be financially supplemented by a man.  Many women expect to be financially compensated for their companionship.
     
    Men are expected to provide, but we are also expected to pretend women don’t expect this of us.  Lol

  18. SparklingEmerald

    Hi Chance “Most women expect to, at least, be financially supplemented by a man. “
    I would describe it more as “pooling their resources”.  In that case, they are supplementing each other and they each benefit.
     

  19. @Chance: Yes, in my personal experience that’s largely true, though I’m judging from a limited sample size. Eg My best friend is a very sweet girl, but she’s admitted to me that “I can’t respect a guy who isn’t high-achieving”, which kinda surprised me. She’s smart and quite an achiever herself, so it’s not like she wants to totally depend on her partner, but she’d never let him financially depend on her either. I’ve seen some women who are fine with a lower earning man, though, if they have loads of disposable income.
     
    Also, I don’t think most women marry the richest man they can get, but it’s more like they can choose a financially-stable man who treats her best. Which is reasonable enough I think, lol.

  20. Chance,
    I hesitated to respond to this at first, because I don’t think your interested in other view points, particularly a woman’s, regarding money, dating, marriage.
    I’ve noticed that you say something negative every time the subject comes up and you’ll even bring it up when it isn’t a topic. The most recent example is the article on Melinda wondering if she handled things right with the “almost” 5th date guy.
    I was just wondering if you’ve noticed this about yourself and if there’s even a remote possibility you could be wrong or have a blind spot in this area because it really seems to be an issue for you.

  21. Hi KK, I’m absolutely open to other ideas and the possibility that I might be wrong.  I’ll leave it to you to tell me how.

  22. How I might be wrong, that is.

  23. Chance,
    It seems you place a higher value on money than you do people, or at least your romantic relationships. Quality women won’t respond well to that. If you’re leading with, “I’m determined I won’t be taken advantage of here!!!”, women can sense that. No one is saying to blow through your savings trying to impress a woman. Several female commenters have said they actually prefer inexpensive, thoughtful dates in the beginning. Key word: Thougtful.
    I can only guess you’ve been burned in the past in this area. Women get burned too. If you go out with someone who refuses to be affectionate, you won’t respond well to that. It’s the opposite side of the coin. So her leading with, “I refuse to be taken advantage of again!!!”, works against her just like your attitude works against you.
    The only women you’re going to get with that attitude are likely suffering from low self esteem.
    Women want to feel special. Smart men know this.
    If you’ve dated women like Stacy2, sorry for your experience, but she is in the minority. MOST of us do not think that way. I think she said something about a date using Groupon. Who cares!?!? If anything, frugality is a good quality. It shows maturity. All flash and no cash is no way to live.
    Anyhow, just my 2 cents… And I agree with a lot of the comments you’ve made over the months. It’s just this ONE area… lol.

  24. KK:
    If you’ve dated women like Stacy2, sorry for your experience, but she is in the minority. MOST of us do not think that way. 
    Actually, KK, he was married to a woman like YOU and got royally screwed by an alimony award, just like you did to your husband. If he was dating “women like me”, he may have been receiving alimony instead. I know i can’t wait for the day when i stop paying my ex-s medical. Nice try though.

  25. Haha, nice try Stacy,
    But you’re wrong on both counts. My ex was / is no victim. He faired MUCH better in our divorce. He’s actually vacationing in Hawaii at the moment so no need to shed any tears. He is doing well; financially, anyway. To your other point, I don’t think it’s fair to say you’d be paying alimony to anyone considering you’ve made it so abundantly clear you would only get involved with someone who makes more than you and you make, what was it??? $600K? LOL. Okie dokie!

  26. KK:
    You know what your ex and I have in common? We are both spending the money that we earned – Hawaii or jimmy choos – while you are living off of somebody else. Yet you actually have the audacity to try to preach the virtues of frugality, lecture men to not be focused on money and call me a gold digger. I mean you truly are something. I firmly believe that a person in your position has zero moral right to pass judgement in such matters. In any case, i think others would be wise to ignore it.

  27. Wrong again, Stacy. I’m not “living off” anyone else. I’m doing my very best to provide for my children and myself by myself. There’s no such thing as life long or even long term alimony where I live. So just stop. And if you’re offended by me ‘preaching’ the virtues of frugality, walk away in your Jimmy Choos. No one is impressed. No one wants to hear about you trying to poach some poor, rich guy or your spectacular job in “high finance” that we’re all too stupid to understand. Ha, right…
     

  28. Many stereotypes come from truth so it’s possible. If I had to guess, I would say it is the human tendency to blame rather than fault ourselves. Or maybe some good old cognitive dissonance.
    Let’s say all the rich men/women a person dated were assholes
    While all those assholes were rich, they were also chosen by the person calling them assholes. Is it easier to admit to yourself that you ignored said asshole-isms and dated the rich person because you feel (consciously or subconsciously) the money is deeply important? Or to blame that rich person for just being an ass that couldn’t handle his/her personality?  I think that this is exacerbated by the tendency that some people have of remembering things via how they felt as opposed to perhaps an outside or unbiased look at how the actual events took place.
    Once a woman said I was using her for sex. That I was just like all of the other guys that just wanted to fuck her without getting to know her. Sounds awful right? If she had told you that, you’d have no particular reason not to believe it. We know that men do this to women sometimes. And we’ve heard other women express it. So it doesn’t seem at all unreasonable or even uncommon. The other half of this particular tale that you wouldn’t hear, as this actually happened to me, was that I was not using her for sex at all. We hadn’t and kind of sexual contact whatsoever.  I tried to kiss her, after a couple of months, and she pulled away. Was standoffish. I didn’t push the issue. I figured she wasn’t ready for that, but actions up until that point lead me to believe she was genuinely interested. And I of course was interested, so I didn’t think it that big a deal. So to me, it seems she felt that by me trying to kiss her, I was trying to initiate sex and she wasn’t ready. After the accusation, I tried to discuss the matter with her, she wasn’t interested in doing so.
    I went on one date woman that specifically mentioned that” most men were unable to handle her strong personality.” She was just an asshole. That was it. She was rude to the service staff at the restaurant, rude to me, and just unpleasant to be around. Oddly enough, she said that she had a great time. She must have felt that her behavior was justified and perfectly acceptable.
    These things do happen. And we can only take people that we don’t know at their word. So I think all we can do is be healthily skeptical on both sides.
     

  29. Hi Adrian-in my personal opinion. It’s because most people aren’t making the money most commenters say they make. I certainly don’t. It’s a much different world for the average lady. Intellectually, most women who want to have a family (that she would actually love to raise/even if she works full time) know its going to be a much more enjoyable experience raising kids and loving her hubby if he isn’t a starving artist. It’s no fun worrying about the ac breaking, the roof leaking, medical bills, etc. most women desire a bit of security. My lifestyle is a reflection of  that need.

  30. Median US female income is about $39,000
    Median US male income is around $50,000

  31. Dang, you Americans are rich!  I don’t know the breakdown by gender, but here in Canada, the median individual income is about $20,700 (in US dollars).

  32. Wow, where did you get those numbers about Canada?  I wasn’t aware of that.  I realize that the Canadian dollar has since fallen quite a bit from parity a few years ago, but thought the PPP would negate some of that.  I would think that the median income (in US dollars) w/PPP would be ~$33-$36k?

  33. It’s really depressing, @Chance.  And our current government just spends and spends and spends, and taxes and taxes and taxes and our country gets deeper and deeper in debt…

  34. I’d agree with Caroline. Once you get over $70K/yr, it’s a different ball game. Under that, there’s a lot of stress about making ends meet, paying for rent/cars/food/kids/vacation. If there are any differences in money habits or personal values, that lack of income will push that divide wide open.
    A lot of women know that if they want kids, it’s plain harder when you have to choose which necessity gets paid, and which goes unpaid, because you don’t have money for both. Women know that it’s hard to work full time and be a mom, not to mention the emotional impact. Like all human beings, there’s a desire to choose an easy life over a less hard life. At that point, it is genuinely easier to put up with the faults of the other person, if you are not worrying about paying for necessities. You literally have more emotional room to handle that person’s faults. That’s not a moral fault of women, that’s human nature.
    Also, a lot of women inaccurately use income as a mechanism of determining confidence, and tendency to pursue his own happiness (which is a very good relationship trait). It’s faulty, but a lot of women use it anyway. I think that’s partly why the stereotype exists. Women who are wise look for those traits without regard to income, especially if they earn enough on their own for necessities. But, as we know, not everyone is wise.

  35. Oops! Meant to say, “choose an easy life over a hard life”.

  36. Nissa, you wrote  “a lot of women inaccurately use income as a mechanism of determining confidence, and tendency to pursue his own happiness (which is a very good relationship trait).”
     
    I think it is actually quite the opposite, that women are attracted to a man’s confidence as a heuristic for his internal “quality”, and his ability to provide her with the things she wants – whether it is his ability to provide security (if that is what she wants) or excitement (if that is what she wants).  Similarly, his tendency to seek his own happiness is also a heuristic for his ability to provide HER with the happiness she wants by riding on his “happiness” coat-tails.
     
    The problem is that if his confidence turns out to be baseless (ie, he lacks the ability to provide her with what she thought his confidence entailed), the confidence then loses all meaning as an attractant.  Similarly, how many women marry men who seek out their own happiness, only to find that such men have no tendency at all to seek out anyone else’s happiness but their own, making their partners miserable?
     
    I therefore disagree with your assertion that “women who are wise look for those traits without regard to income.”  Rather, I would assert that women who are wise realize that confidence is not necessarily indicative of what they think it is, and a tendency to seek out one’s own happiness is definitely NOT indicative of a tendency to seek out the happiness of a future partner.
     
    A wise person makes mistakes and learns from them.  A brilliant person learns from the mistakes of others and avoids making them him/herself.  If, as you wrote, a wise person seeks out men who are confident and pursue their own happiness, I’d assert that a brilliant person looks for other traits ????

  37. Excellent points, @Jeremy.  As much as women might want a partner who displays confidence and ability to chase his own happiness, research has shown that these traits have little correlation with rewarding long-term relationships.  Kindness, respect and a willingness to help with childcare/ housework are the qualities we should actually seek, if we want the best chance at a great marriage.

  38. Listen to the research Adrian.

  39. And pay attention to where that “research” came from.
     
    If it isn’t real women with life experience sharing honestly, then what is it worth just because ‘science.’
     
    My point – don’t be fooled by ‘scientific’ claims. Most studies today are done by, and on, college students. I’m paying my college student’s tuition. I don’t think she’s quite ready to dispense life advice yet.

  40. GoWiththeFlow

    Ken.
    “I don’t think she’s quite ready to dispense life advice yet.”
    My son’s 20-something year old friend has decided to open a “life coaching” business.  My only comment was she needs to have a life first!

  41. That’s a great point! Thanks for that input Ken. I had no idea

  42. Remember, @Adrian: there’s a huge stigma against a woman admitting (even to herself) that she wants a rich man, and one of the biggest reasons she wants a rich man is because he/she believes that when they’re married, his money would become “their money.”   So, you can take the studies with a grain of salt, but please also take self-reported assertions with a grain of salt, too.

  43. SparklingEmerald

    Hi Adrian “Most scientific research says that money motivates women to choose a particular partner more than anything else!”
    Could you please provide links to some of these studies ?
    I did find one study, but it only concentrated on looks/attractiveness and money/resources.   I think right there makes the study a bit skewed, since it is not even looking at personality/character traits at all.  This study also said that as people get older looks/resources start to matter less.
    Also this study broke down steady income vs makes or will make “a lot” of money.  97% of women wanted a man who makes a steady income vs 69% who wanted someone who makes or will make “alot” of money.
    Can anyone really begrudge a woman (or man for that matter) wanting a mate who makes a “steady income ” ?  The alternative is an unemployed, or under-employed man or a retired partner with extremely limited resources who has very little time left to up their earning potential.
    As for the 69% who want a man who makes “alot” of money, yes that is a majority, but that still leaves 31% who aren’t looking for a man with “alot ” of money, just simply a steady income.  Men can bitch about that 69%, or they can look for that 31% who simply want a man with a steady income (or that 3% who don’t even look for a steady income)
    In another thread Adrian you asked why women “deny” that they are looking for money when “scientific research” “proves” otherwise.  Perhaps you are hearing from the 31% who don’t like being lumped in with gold diggers.
    Also, desiring a mate who at least has a steady income, doesn’t negate  the necessity nor the desire for character traits such as honesty, pleasant disposition, kindess, etc.
    I question a study that only focuses on the shallow traits (looks and incomes) and doesn’t mention anything else.  But here is one that I found.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916162912.htm

  44. Hi Adrian,
    First time commenter (early 20s female) here. Sorry if this is already an old thread, I’m not sure if any of these posts/comments have some kind of timestamp or not, but wanted to reply anyway.
    I agree that there are a lot of studies that point out financial resources as the #1 thing women look for in a man. We saw a few of them in my social psych classes! I can’t seem to find specific articles to reference now, but a quick google search led me to this fairly recent study by Chapman University:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916162912.htm
    That shows similar results.
    I think it’s important to note though, that you can’t apply statistics to an individual or take it as an absolute fact (a truth, if you will). I think this information is to be taken as “a large percentage of the female population consider their (male) partner’s financial means as desirable or essential when selecting a partner.” Which is very true. A large percentage of men do as well, but its just a more significant percentage of women. I think most of these studies that make the claims that women look for men with financial resources also make the claim that men look for physically attractive women. But  that information is meant to be taken the same way; it doesnt’ mean that men are “assholes” that only care about beauty, and we all know at least a few personal cases where a male friend is dating a woman we don’t necessarily find attractive. I assume, anyway.
    Other factors at play might be what each of us is using as the criteria for “physically attractive” and “wealthy.” While we’d all prefer partners who were financially stable AND we were physically attracted to, its probably more important, on average, as a statistic, for men that their partners are “attractive enough” while for women, that their partners are “wealthy/financially stable enough.” And there are definitely life factors at play here, like women making less income than men on average, and potentially being faced with more financial turmoil/instability should they experience pregnancy and childbirth. So depending on the context of the conversation you have with a woman, or the poll you look at, you might get different input. If you ask, “when choosing a guy, is a higher income the #1 thing you look for?” a lot of women may say no. But if you ask “Is financial stability (whether that means little to no debt or steady income) important when you look for a partner?” a lot of women might say yes! And not just the women who intend to “rely on husbands” for income, but women who have to be prepared for maternity leaves, potentially lower salaries over the course of a lifetime, or regular women who are hesitant to join their finances with someone who isn’t financially stable.
    On that note, I would like someone who is financially stable! I am not necessarily looking for someone wealthy though. I wholly agree with #7: I am trying to be budget conscious and learning about the importance of sound financial decisions (retirement funds, emergency savings), so I would have a problem dating someone who didn’t feel similarly. Small personality differences can be compromised and worked on (since I don’t think anyone has a perfect personality), but extreme spending habits would be non-negotiable.
     

  45. I am of the opinion that no one has ever gotten rich by being frugal and personally I prefer to spend my money and enjoy good lifestyle while i am still young. Oddly enough i was raised by remarkably frugal parents and spent most of my teenage years aggrieved by our family’s lifestyle. Ultimately that drove me to be ambitious and to reach that 1% of earners – i just wanted to get my hands on some money to spend on my “wants” not just on my needs! LOL.  So, I would never get along with a frugal person and this tension always becomes obvious on date #1. I really don’t see how it wouldn’t be.
    I think most fights about $$ in couples are not around frugal/spender (those two are unlikely to get married in the first place IMO) but rather around priorities and the sense that one partner may be freeloading. My ex and I were both on the same page re spending, its just that we were not on the same page re making. To that end, I think separate finances are best. His, hers, and one common for shared expenses. This is by far the healthiest option i think.

  46. Hi Stacy2,
    I would love to hear your opinions and hypotheses to my inquiry in #4.
    In addition, I’m curious as to your personal hypotheses as to why many other women disagree with most of what has been published in scientific articles concerning the role courtship plays in mate selection?
    Finally, in your social circle what order would you and other women like you rate facial attractiveness, bodily sex appeal, height, and wealth from greatest to least important-I intentionally excluded personality.
    And does that mean that you are willing to compromise on what is last on your list as long as you have the first 2 or 3?

  47. To add to this, what is your opinion Stacy2 of men who are high earners but hide this fact from women?

  48. why many other women disagree with most of what has been published in scientific articles concerning the role courtship plays in mate selection?
    I honestly have no idea. I don’t spend much time thinking about this.
    In your social circle what order would you and other women like you rate facial attractiveness, bodily sex appeal, height, and wealth from greatest to least important-I intentionally excluded personality.
    We’re all different. Not two of my girlfriends would agree on the order of those things. And yes, we would all compromise on the factors we deem least important (to me it would be height and hair for example… )

  49. NorthwestSmile

    Adrian, I hear you about the money issue; I find the conversations on this blog about the abundance of gold diggers very confusing. I’m a never married woman in my 40’s. I’ve had several LTR’s that lasted 1-3 years, and money has never come up in any of my relationships, other than the occasional “I don’t get paid till Friday, so let’s eat in tonight.” Not once did I ask the man I was dating how much money they made a year. No man I have dated has ever asked me how much money I made. Anyone can make assumptions based on cars and homes, but that is all so subjective. In my big city, a studio condo by the water can be more expensive than a 5 bedroom home in the suburbs. So I would have no idea how much money a man actually made by their visible possessions, and it wouldn’t occur to me to ask. I have a large group of single girlfriends in their 30’s-40’s-50’s and I can’t remember ever having a conversation about how much  money a potential date had, other than saying he had a “good job”. I think it is necessary to discuss salaries if you’re getting married, or are living with someone and need to talk about rent/expenses, but I’m not sure how else it would come up while you’re just dating.
    My single male friends have yet to tell me about any gold diggers they have encountered, but they do tell me about their personal insecurities about how much money they make and not feeling like they make enough, as though there is some magical salary they could achieve which would finally bring them love, security, perfect abs, etc. Just like women obsess about a perfect weight on the scale that would bring us love, a great job, a perfect butt. So possibly there are men who are interpreting women’s behavior through their own lens and identify a past rejection as being money related when it could have been for any number of reasons, and that is skewing any research.  I once had a guy I was dating slip out of my bed and disappear the first time I brought him home and I thought it had to be because of my body;  I was devastated, humiliated, etc. I ran into him again and asked him why he left and the reason had absolutely nothing to do with my body and everything to do with my apartment. It was so specific that it had to be true. But if you had interviewed me for any research before I learned the real reason, I would have told you that “men reject women due to their bodies” and I would have cited that as evidence.
     

  50. Not once did I ask the man I was dating how much money they made a year.
    Why would you event have to? Isn’t it pretty clear from their job description (not the life style which can be on credit) how much money they make? Within my industry, I can tell with a +/- 10% how much a person is making, that is because I know how much I have been making, how much my team is making, what I have been offered at job interviews, discussed with friends, plus the actual salary/bonus surveys published by industry magazines. In other industries, I can make a very intelligent guess with good accuracy based on my life experience. Not knowing these things is simply being clueless. I don’t like being clueless.

  51. @Stacy2-that’s pretty black and white thinking. Industries tend to be more nuanced within their divisions. That’s like saying most salespeople in the medical field make between x-y. Sure, you could ascertain a medical device salesperson may make more than a cancer drug rep. But I doubt I could tell within 10% what someone makes 1) since I’m not in the industry 2) how long they’ve been doing it to establish clients 3) how well received the product is within their territory…blah blah blah. Sure, you could google and find an industry average and ascertain maybe a minimum. Personally, I make significantly more than the national average of my occupation. Not everyone is a corporate zombie.

  52. Sure, commission based occupations can have greater variability but usually it is not that great at all. I mean its not like you could have one plumber/firefighter/policeman making 40K and another making 200K (assuming the same level of seniority of course, not talking about the police chiefs here). Similarly it is a safe bet to assume that all doctors will earn well into 6 figures, for example, and it is widely known that a first year big law associate fetches 140-160K. I mean its pretty common sense. In my industry a lot of people have contracts and even though it is never discussed openly we all know give or take if somebody has fetched a $2m guarantee – these things just do not stay under wraps somehow… I mean people talk. I would always know.

  53. I say this because I have. Nephew in medical device field-he made close to double the national average.

  54. I agree with Caroline. Appearances don’t always tell you much either so be careful who you judge. I have a friend who is a VP in the oil industry… very high, 6 figure income. He always laughed about the new hires, fresh out of college starting out at $50k. He visits the oil rigs regularly, and on those days would come in the office later in dirty jeans and boots. These kids, who should’ve known who he was, didn’t… and would be quite rude and condescending bc of his appearance. They’re so proud of themselves when they pull up in their brand new little BMW’S, snubbing one of the big bosses (unknowingly) bc he pulls up in a Ford pickup. Funny he outearns them tenfold. Lol

  55. Funny you mention plumbers. I have a friend who works for himself (no employees) and makes 6 figures as a plumber. I checked online also, journeymen in NYC, Boston etc can make upwards of $250,000
    its like you’re saying all apples are red.

  56. Give me a break ladies. Median incomes in most professions are easily discoverable. And yes, some blue collar occupations make six figures and that is a well known fact too (unless one is living under a rock or in an ivory tower I suppose). Whether to use your brain and experience to understand the situation of the person you’re dating, or remain clueless is your choice entirely. I personally think it is very important to understand one’s financial position as you can infer a lot about their character by overlaying this knowledge with other behaviors. For example, I had guys use groupon on dates, it happened to me exactly twice in my life. One guy who did that was a post doc (and I know how much, or should I say little, they make – so he gets a pass). The other one talked big game, he was an “entrepreneur” of some sort – and he didn’t. First guy using it = necessity, trying to find ways to impress => good. The second guy using it = greedy/cheap or lying about his income => bad. You can’t make such judgment if you don’t have the full picture. Use your brain.. and certainly don’t date guys who are one step away from needing a payday loan (“I don’t get paid till Friday, so let’s eat in tonight”). Cheers.

  57. @Stacy2-I think you missed the big point. Most folks especially when they meet organically are traveling in the same circles. On average-there’s probably not a huge wage disparity. If they meet online, sure you might have an idea about how much they earn. I personally never posted mine. While its important he’s employed, we have similar backgrounds, etc. is more important. When I’ve dated men over a few months, I’ve at least known by the activities, venues we went; we were probably on similar standing or at least he could afford what we were doing.
    Thinking you know what other people make puts you at a distinct disadvantage by assuming and missing out on a great guy.
    The problem with assuming; is that people use it most often to disqualify people. Especially online

  58. Really Stacy2-I love how you think soneone who stays in because they don’t get paid until Friday is one payday away from a payday loan. Maybe try considering your friend has commited to saving for a vacation, pledged money to his church/good cause or even promised themselves they’d put more into retirement monthly, has obligations to a sick parent… I know just this last month I pledged more to my church and took on a huge dedication to helping my son further his education. So I’ve reworked my budget and found spots to save so I can be able to give more which is a great reward to me personally. I enjoy being generous and for most of us saving/cutting back is key.

  59. What a sickening thread this has devolved into.  Whatever happened to looking for a decent person who can support themselves and you enjoy being with?   The high achievers who make the world spin and the sun shine can find each other and have dates where they smell and count their hundred dollar bills and we under-achieving slacking plebians can giggle about trivial nothings over a milkshake.  There, problem solved.

  60. ScottH,
    In all fairness, I’ve only seen one commenter that values money & materialism above all things. I think the test rest of us are a bit more level headed.

  61. “the rest of us”

  62. GoWiththeFlow

    ScottH & Caroline,
    Thanks for being the voice of humanity!
    No pair Jimmy Choos, luxury automobile, or high dollar dinner in a 5 star restaurant (and I’ve had all of those) is anywhere near as fulfilling as being able to talk a beloved relative when they are near dying, or being able to hold your first born grandchild in your arms.  The important things in life are the relationships you have with people and the bonds you future with them, not possessions.

  63. GoWiththeFlow

    Typo:  the bonds you FORGE with them.  Darn “spellcheck”!

  64. @ScottH-I apologize. Always better to take the high road. It’s just annoying being told you’re clueless, have no mental capability of understanding what one may do in “high” finance, etc. I think I’m a bit over concerned all we ladies will be lumped into a bad generalized category if we don’t express we disagree with some of the blatant comments.
    ????

  65. Caroline- a valid concern.  I totally understand.
    BTW, what are Jimmy Choos?  no need to answer.  I can google it on my common computer that I bought at walmart for $319 on sale (and it works really well too).  I’ll have to look for Jimmy Choos there too.

  66. Wow Scott, you really are common. I prefer Tar- Jhay.  ???? ????

  67. @Caroline: I’m curious (not trying to goad you, just truly, genuinely curious).  You wrote, While its important he’s employed, we have similar backgrounds, etc. is more important.  What does, “similar backgrounds” mean to you?  Would you not date someone of a different religion, race or nationality?  Would you only want to date someone who had the same level of education ~ no more, no less ~ than you?
    I guess I’m interested bc I meet very few men from my own background.  I live in an extremely multi-cultural city so most people I encounter aren’t from my ethnic background; I’m the only person out of my group of friends/ acquaintances who regularly attends church; the men who come from my socio-economic background (note: in Canada, “The 1%” is anyone earning over $US145k/ year…  we’re not necessarily talking crazy wealth, here) are hunted like big game so I rarely come within 100 feet of one without several younger/ cuter/ more aggressive/  not from our background women running interference…
    Your comment just made me think, hmmmm.  Evan found happiness with a woman from a very different background than his, but maybe you were talking about backgrounds in a way that I’m not understanding.

  68. Hi Henriette-I don’t mind answering at all:).  I’ve been married twice and one thing I’ve learned is that it is much easier to get along with someone raised in a manner which is more inclusive. My ex was a preacher’s kid (baptist) and I was raised catholic. It’s not that I wouldn’t consider someone of a different faith; they need to be willing to compromise and me with them. (Like Evan and his wife has). My ex mother in law actually sat me down and told me (years into the marriage) how disappointed she was I wasn’t at least “Christian”. I was told I was going to hell and bringing my kids along if I didn’t convert and teach them “right”. When I divorced my abusive alcoholic ex; his parents sent me a letter that I was breaking up their family. My guy and I now are both very compromising in religious matters. I guess I should have said values. My bad. Our upbringings were similar in that we have families who see the world through a wider lens.  I live in a smallish city in the Deep South. I’m a liberal/centrist Yankee. I’ve been known for rubbing the extremely conservative guys here the wrong way. There is very little diversity here. I have only dated a few men of different ethnicities since my divorce. A wonderful Cuban man raised in Chapel Hill, NC (we are still friends). My family lives all over (both coasts). I have a niece in San Francisco who is married to a man of Chinese descent and a nephew in the outer banks who is married to a Russian girl. My oldest son has a wonderful girlfriend who I care about dearly (hope they will marry) who is African American and Thai.

  69. Forgot-money! I was really naive when I married. I really had no idea how much $ it would have taken to raise kids. My marriage was financially stressed all the time. I’ve worked full time since I was 18 (am 55). I missed out on a lot raising my boys working over 50 hours a week (my ex was very involved in sports with them and was constantly “coaching” something). He wasted so much $ in our marriage and put me in deep financial debt )it’s taken me 7 years to see light. We owned our business and unbeknownst to me he was having someone else fulfill his responsibilities while he sat in the bar all day. It’s taken me an enormous amount of time to not only trust others but myself as a single independent mom. I have definitely expounded to both sons how important it is to be transparent about financial matters. I hope I can prevent them from dire financial circumstances by talking and being honest about mine

  70. Anonymous Female Commenter

    I am a 46 year old woman who has been exploited financially by both men I have been in serious long term relationships with (a 20 year marriage and 6 year relationship).
    Where are all these rich men who are taking care of women freeloaders? I read these stories and hear men complain, but I just don’t see it. I have rarely ever seen it, actually, although one hears stories …
    And, I have many friends who can tell the exact same story as me.
    One woman worked 2 jobs to support her family while going to nursing school to improve her lot in life – with a slacker stay at home husband who drove a taxi cab occasionally when he wasn’t playing in his band.
    Another woman I know was actually a lottery winner. 15 years later the money is running out and guess how her husband has spent his time? Playing video games and spending the money.
    I could go on, but I won’t bother. I have seen many, many women ground down by “love” who would have been better off alone rather than be with the man-children they married, who ultimately did nothing to contribute to their lives or well-being. If some ladies are not having any of that, and expecting men to provide for them, good!
    I think what it comes down to is this:
    People – both genders – will try to take advantage. Be discerning!
    Men and women have certain traits they look for, programmed by evolution. This does not make either gender bad. Women want provision and protection (yes, that means money). Men want signs of fertility (yes, that means youth and beauty).
    This doesn’t make men pigs and walking ATM’s, or women gold diggers and livestock – WHEN THEY ARE ALSO GOOD PEOPLE.
    We evolved this way for a reason. Stop dating bad people, and the evolutionary tendencies won’t bother you so much. ????
    We all need to remember that to find a good partner, you need to BE a good partner. And that does include giving your lover what they want and need.
    But above all, seek integrity and BE integrity.
    I’m now dating a man who would NEVER borrow and steal money from me like my ex-boyfriend, or mooch off of me while I worked my fingers to the bone like my ex-husband. I love him for his soul and his body and his friendship much more than his bank account – but the fact that he makes way more money than me means I can relax and trust that he loves me for the right reasons, too.
    I hope I’ve finally figured this out. Good luck to everyone.

  71. AFC,
    The majority of men I know are doing well financially. Some have been fleeced in divorce court. With that said, I’ve noticed a group of men that love freeloading off of women. This group of men have no sense of being masculine and like to let their woman take the lead on all things. They play video games all day while their wife works a 10 hour day at the office. My theory is that men are no longer required to support a woman, so they don’t. Thru also feel they don’t even have to contribute in some cases. Also men are more feminine  today than 30 years ago. Any man worth his salt goes to work and takes care of his family. A man shows his love by providing and protecting his loved ones. I know this sounds old fashioned, but it is true. If you want a man who makes you feel like a woman, stay a way from the man-boys. They are easy to identify. No job or part-time job, loves video games, calls you “dude” and treats you like one and won’t propose within two years. I could give you more signs, but you get the picture.

  72. Anonymous Female Commenter

    John, I can’t disagree with what you wrote in general. However, it is sometimes trickier than you realize to spot these guys…
    Your description of a man-child is obvious. But in both of my serious LTR’s, that was not the case.
    I knew my husband for 5 years before we became involved. I knew him well, and we married within 2 years. He was independent and responsible, and had a steady job that was “good enough” (working class dude, lower middle income) – so, while I knew I would have to be a working mother when we had kids some day, that was all fine with me because I loved him. All I needed was an equal partner, not a sugar daddy…
    But as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, he quit his job. Then began ten years of under employment and slacker behavior. I thought things would change when we had children because men are said to “man up” when they become fathers, but all that happened was that I felt like a single mom with two mouths to feed!
    And my LTR boyfriend was actually a batterer who abused me verbally, psychologically, financially, and physically. This guy was like the proverbial pot of boiling frogs, slowly turning up the heat – by the time I realized what I had gotten into, I was in over my head.
    Ultimately, he paid for almost nothing while getting me to foot the bill for all kinds of things, damaged or destroyed  thousands of dollars worth of my personal property, and stole $10k cash from me. He did not play video games, or fit the slacker stereotype on the surface. In fact, he presented himself as successful and independently wealthy, and was what most folks would call “alpha”. It took a couple of years of confusion before I started to figure out what was going on.
    The thing is, I should have taken more time to live with my husband before agreeing to marriage, because in retrospect the signs were there that he was not as responsible as he’d portrayed himself.
    And the second guy? Oh shit, I should have run! I know what the warning signs for abuse are now, but I didn’t then.
    You just can’t be sure who the real person behind the mask is, until you’ve put in the time. We must all be diligent in really getting to know our partners, be able to recognize red flags, and know our boundaries and be willing to call it when we encounter a deal breaker.
    That’s why I’ve agreed to move in with my boyfriend; I’m pretty sure he’s the man I want to spend the rest of my life with – Life 2.0 – and I want to make sure I’ve got alllllll the info I need to make that commitment *before* we say “I do”.
    I only commented because I hear so much noise from men about these so-called gold diggers. I don’t doubt they exist, I just think it’s PEOPLE – people can really suck. If you’re a straight man, then you’re dating women who might suck. If you’re a straight woman, you’re dating men who might suck. It’s up to each of us to choose our partners wisely.
    I don’t think men are all money grubbing leeches, but based on my experiences I could easily hold that view. Using common sense and looking at my own tendency to see things with rose colored glasses – i.e. failure to protect myself – will help me avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
    So you COULD say that I am one of “those” women, who values a man for his money… but is that really true? Or am I just protecting myself by choosing a man with more money than me? Knowing my history, it becomes obvious that I am not a gold digger. But, since I am, in fact, a conventionally attractive woman who is dating “up” in income level, someone from the outside looking in could make that claim.
    I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t impressed by my boyfriend’s hefty income, fancy car, and generosity on dates. I was! I’ve NEVER been treated before… but he has made me feel like a Queen in many ways, including the above but also in how he listens to, admires, and respects me. (I don’t make a lot of money, but the work I do has a positive impact on the world.)
    I get twitchy when I hear men complain about women’s preference for a man who can provide, since I’ve never been provided for nor have I seen it very often. (And yeah, like you men don’t have preference for women who are “hot”? Please!) Evolution created tendencies, they do not make us bad.
    Our hearts are what matter.
    I wish more people, men AND women, looked inside themselves, stopped being angry about things that just ARE, and realized that it is up to each of us to be discerning and loving, both.

  73. The problem is that testosterone helps men play sports, kill wooly mammoths and chase women but  testosterone  harms impulse control. People with impulse control issues have trouble making financial decisions.  Hot, manly men are more likely to spend now and save later.

  74. Not sure this makes sense.  How do you explain the sea of female impulse buyers out there, then?

  75. I have a question for the male commenters:
    Stacy2’s comment has sparked my curiosity about something that I have noticed a lot of men saying they do, but I never understood why.
    Many men say they avoid telling a woman what their job is on the first few dates; I always assumed these guys just were bad dates, paranoid, socially awkward, insecure, or just strange.
    Conversely, many women say that they have heard of or personally encountered men who lie about their career, job, position, etc
    However now reading Stacy2’s comment, I wonder if men don’t tell about their jobs or just flat out lie about their jobs because of the fear of being rejected for having a low status or low paying job? As she said, with google it is easy to estimate what a guy makes and therefore learn his social status and income level.
    …   …   …
    Hmmm… a sub-question would be, how much are men willing to sacrifice or put up with to be with an top tier (high rating face and body) woman?
    Because the obviously mindset would be why would you want to date a woman who would reject you “solely” based upon your financial status? As long as you are not a financial burden to her or yourself, why would a woman place what a man makes over how he treats her…
    Yet millions of men lie about their careers, lie about how much they make, and even skip over average looking women who write nice profiles for women that have “nothing” written in their profiles but at the same time those empty profiles have beautiful pictures.
    I know 99% of the regular men on this blog would say that they would not, so I am asking your impressions of men in general concerning this subject.

  76. Anonymous Female Commenter

    Good point. People, both men and women,  are shallow – especially online. While women want a guy with money, men try to date “up” in looks, every single time.
    I am not the most beautiful woman in the world or anything, but I am a solid “8” even at my age. I started out using very average pictures on my profile – “mom” pics, pics with glasses, me dressed down, etc. I tried to show myself as an average girl next door.
    I did this because I:
    1. Didn’t want to disappoint anyone (I am incredibly photogenic and don’t look nearly as good in person, IMO – although my dates and now boyfriend disagree)
    &
    2. Didn’t want the “wrong kind of attention”
    Of course, that was before I found Evans blog and learned that men look for sex and find love!
    I was SHOCKED by how old and troll-like the men were that contacted me!! As in, they were not even remotely attractive and could only be described as “dreaming” about dating me.
    Finally a girlfriend told me I was going about it all wrong, she said “you’re only as cute as your worst picture”…
    She was right. Only by putting up my best, sexy but not slutty, pictures was I contacted by men I *might* be interested in, and ultimately found my boyfriend.
    MEN GO FOR THE FACE AND BODY, and many of them are optimistic little dreamers. So the bitter ones can bitch about how women don’t give them a chance, but the truth is that humans are flawed, and every single one of those guys have rejected a woman who *could* have been perfect for them, if only she’d been better looking.

  77. @ Adrian #9“reading Stacy2’s comment, I wonder if men don’t tell about their jobs or just flat out lie about their jobs because of the fear of being rejected for having a low status or low paying job? As she said, with google it is easy to estimate what a guy makes and therefore learn his social status and income level”
     
    I think it’s just human nature Adrian; it seems women simply have an instinctive drive to consider a prospective mate’ resources (income/status). Therefore, it’s not really their fault that they analyze and consider a guy’s career/worth is it?
     
    Similarly, it makes sense for guys to embellish their own net worth, earnings and future potential etc., as he has real motive to do so: it will materially (excuse the pun) increase his chances of bedding said woman.
     
    Discussing whether all of this is “right”, “admirable” or even “sensible” is moot as human nature will often/usually over-ride noble pursuits such as “equality”.
     
    Now, more discerning daters will realize that a guy’s career/salary is no indication of whether he;
     
    a) has any intention of investing those bucks in the woman he’s dating,
    b) is judicious in expending said resources and/or
    c) has a global worth related to his current income
    d) will earn significantly more or less at some point in the future
     
    I.e. a simply guessing his salary indicates nothing of his character, which is what actually matters. And this can’t be gleaned from a basic “google search” or “intelligent guess”, lol.
     
    Btw Adrian, how does a guy manage to avoid telling a woman what he does? Is that not one of the first questions on any date? Purposely obfuscating on such a generic and fundamental aspect of your life would surely come across as suspicious. Why won’t he say what he does, what’s he hiding? Is he unemployed? Unemployable? A spy? Haha.
     “a sub-question would be, how much are men willing to sacrifice or put up with to be with an top tier (high rating face and body) woman?”
     
    Depends on the guy I guess. I suppose the obvious answer would be that a top tier guy wouldn’t have to sacrifice anything to be with a top tier woman haha.

  78. Tom10-I liked your answers:). Just a note to all the guys. I think it would be totally disingenuous to claim money doesn’t matter to we ladies. I think at times though a small group of men tend to think its all that matters (which of course for a small group of ladies this is true). Besides, like I said before money can be much more important to a person if they’ve truly lacked. I believe most folks tend to socialize and marry people who have similar upbringings, social status, looks, religion, values, etc. I think many of the ladies who comment here realize that a man’s salary is of less importance to them personally because they 1)have their own money and have experienced life long enough to realize they can support themselves and their families 2)and as we age we realize the men who are available to us may have their financial downfalls or obligations.
    Needless to say, money is of great importance if you’re going to marry or live together and should be discussed and continuously looked at so you’re both on the same page. And as SE said most couples pool their resources.
     

  79. However now reading Stacy2’s comment, I wonder if men don’t tell about their jobs or just flat out lie about their jobs because of the fear of being rejected for having a low status or low paying job?
    I have seen a lot of men trying to inflate their value like this when I was in my 20-ies – by being vague about their jobs as in “I am in real estate” … hmm an agent pedaling rentals for 30K a year and Donald Trump are both “in real estate”, so which one are you? Or by trying to be flashy and renting a Ferrari for a weekend or something. Any woman with half a brain past the age of 25 will call out that BS in about 10 minutes, I would think. But then again, isn’t this why men prefer very young women, because they don’t know better yet and are easily taken advantage of? The point is, this strategy will absolutely work on young and inexperienced women so if that’s what you’re after go for it.

  80. @ Stacy2 #9.3“I am in real estate” … hmm an agent pedaling rentals for 30K a year and Donald Trump are both “in real estate”, so which one are you?”
     
    And in comment #6.1 you wrote:
     “Isn’t it pretty clear from their job description (not the life style which can be on credit) how much money they make? Within my industry, I can tell with a +/- 10% how much a person is making”, 
     
    and
     “In other industries, I can make a very intelligent guess with good accuracy based on my life experience. Not knowing these things is simply being clueless.” 
    So which is it Stacy2? When someone says that they’re in real estate can you make an intelligent guess as to what they make or not?
     
    If not, surely replying with a generic “in real estate” answer actually makes a lot of sense?
     “Any woman with half a brain past the age of 25 will call out that BS in about 10 minutes, I would think” 
    You would think wouldn’t you, yet here you are outlining the very reasons why it actually makes sense for guys to obfuscate about their career!

  81. If I knew what they were doing “in real estate”, I would be able to tell. I live in NYC where everybody is obsessed with money & status, everybody is talking about it all the time and everybody’s income is known, sorry. An attempt to “obfuscate” usually means it is not great, because it if was they’d brag about it (the opposite not true, them bragging about it may be just lying). Like I said, will work on inexperienced women who are new to this vanity fair which is this city.

  82. @ Stacy2“If I knew what they were doing “in real estate”, I would be able to tell.”
     
    Right. Which is why they purposely didn’t say what they were doing in real estate; so that you wouldn’t be able to tell.
     “An attempt to “obfuscate” usually means it is not great, because it if was they’d brag about it (the opposite not true, them bragging about it may be just lying).” 
    So when a guy tries to be discreet about his salary you assume he doesn’t earn much, and he doesn’t try to be discreet you assume he’s lying? I dunno, it seems he just can’t win!

  83. Tom10:
    A guy could “win” by being honest and acting in a congruent way. Whenever a guy is trying to play games like understating his income or inflating it, he will lose. If you rent a Ferrari for a weekend in the Hamptons but live in 5th floor studio walkup in hells kitchen – you’re playing games. If you’re a successful lawyer but you pretend to be a waiter you’re playing games (though I am yet to see this one honestly). If you’re a waiter and you tell me you’re a lawyer you’re playing games. etc. Just say it like it is. Be proud of your achievement and own up to your true place in the world. Is that really that hard?

  84. @ Stacy2“A guy could “win” by being honest and acting in a congruent way.Whenever a guy is trying to play games like understating his income or inflating it, he will lose… “Just say it like it is. Be proud of your achievement and own up to your true place in the world. Is that really that hard?”
     
    It’s not so much that it’s hard, rather that I don’t think it acknowledges the subtleties involved in navigating the real dating world and understanding that what motivates people to behave in certain ways.
     
    You see, if a guy hasn’t actually achieved all that much what motivation does he have to own up to his “true place in the world” and admit this to a date? He knows that owning up to a lack of achievement will potentially turn off women, thus he will lose. Therefore, he has motive to embellish his actual achievements thus increasing his odds of success with his date.
     
    Conversely, a guy who has achieved a lot might be wary of freeloaders out to coattail his success, therefore he has motive to diminish his achievements thus reducing risk.
     
    Now, while I don’t condone outright lying or pretence I think guys are simply being sensible when they play their cards close to their chest when dating. Therefore, it makes sense for guys to ambiguate their income as it affords him time to assess a woman’s character and establish what she’s looking for.
     
    Similarly, I don’t have a problem with women who also exercise prudence when dating. Would you like it if a guy was probing your sexual history in an effort to assess your number? In such a situation do you think that women will “win” by being honest? That’s kind of what it feels like when women are explicitly trying to figure out our income.

  85. Tom10:
    but you are missing the bigger picture. A guy who hasn’t achieved that much will not trick women who are looking for a high achiever. Those women know their game and they will see through him. He will waste his time and money. He will win by being honest and targeting the women who are ok with who he is.
    On the other hand, a sucesfull guy would be a moron to hide it, because he will likely attract the ones who are looking for a high achiever, as well as the ones who don’t care. He will have more options.
    So you see, honesty is really the best policy here. There’s no real downside to it, only imaginary one.
    As far as your other example – yes a woman should be honest. If she’s ok with this question she should answer. If she’s diagusted with this question she should say so. Honestly.
     
     
     
     

  86.  @ Stacy2
     “A guy who hasn’t achieved that much will not trick women who are looking for a high achiever. Those women know their game and they will see through him”
      
     
    But your contention is predicated on the assumption that the women who are looking for a high achievers have better “game” than the guys they are talking to, which is not necessarily the case. Some women will have the better game, whereas some guys will. May the best person win! Welcome to dating.
      
     “On the other hand, a sucesfull guy would be a moron to hide it, because he will likely attract the ones who are looking for a high achiever, as well as the ones who don’t care. He will have more options.”
      
     
    But what’s the point of having more options if all those options only care about money, success and status? How is he supposed to identify the women of character and fortitude amongst the milieu?
     
     
     
    So a guy would be a moron to exhibit his success as the women he’ll attract contingent on that success will disappear should he fail at any point in the future.

  87. SparklingEmerald

    Hi Tom10″You would think wouldn’t you, yet here you are outlining the very reasons why it actually makes sense for guys to obfuscate about their career!”
    Yes, she is !  I’ve always thought guys should keep those first dates, no cost or low cost.  There are lots of fun things to do that are free or very low cost.  A first date should be about getting to know each other and having fun.  Also, for guys, weeding out the gold diggers to find a gal who will like the MAN, not his wallet, and for gals, weeding out the guys who want ONLY sex and not a real relationship.
    I also disagree with Stacey2’s “achievement” litmus test.  Why is making tons of money the only measure of achievement ?
    AFAIC, the person who is a peace corp volunteer achieves much more than someone who gets rich by screwing other people out of their hard earned money.  (Think Charles Keating, who achieved much by Stacey2’s standards, but screwed many people out of their retirement savings, )
    NOPE, I’ll take my retired, blue collar worker who adores me and live happily on our comfortable middle class income over a “high achiever” like Keating or Trump.
    Yes, I do have a minimum financial threshold men have to meet, but I never made a six figure income a requirement.  If he can live comfortably on whatever income he makes, that has always been enough for me.  I married my ex husband when he was a recently laid off carpenter, going back to college on his VA benefit and working retail part time.  Our divorce had NOTHING to do with money.
    I wouldn’t marry a “high achiever” like Trump or Keating if I had a gun held to my head.  I’d rather have my middle class lifestyle as an adored and cherished wife, than to be bought and paid for by a “high achiever” who thinks he can use and abuse everyone around him because of his high status.

  88. SparklingEmerald:
    Yes, I do have a minimum financial threshold men have to meet, but I never made a six figure income a requirement.  If he can live comfortably on whatever income he makes, that has always been enough for me.
    Amen to that. You and I are exactly the same on the conceptual level. Except, we probably have different views on what constitutes “comfortable living” and have different realities with respect to the actual cost of living. NYC low six-figures income will qualify you for some “affordable housing” projects designed to keep low and average income people in the city. I doubt a lot of people in the middle of the country realize that. This is a different world and six-figures per se gets you nothing here. I can honestly say that “i have never made seven figures a requirement” – that would be a coastal equivalent for what you just said about your preferences.
     
    Tom10:
    But your contention is predicated on the assumption that the women who are looking for a high achievers have better “game” than the guys they are talking to, which is not necessarily the case. Some women will have the better game, whereas some guys will. May the best person win! Welcome to dating.
    But of course they are better at that. They’re not trying to be something they’re not, all they have to do is to see whether your “story” adds up, and if you don’t have the money you claim you have, you will flop within a day. The moment you have to take her back to your place the jig is up (which is why a scenario where a personal assistant/real estate agent etc. takes a woman to his boss/clients luxury house is so popular in popular culture). You just won’t be able to keep it up long enough and you’ll waste a lot of $$ in the process. Besides, this isn’t dating. This is game playing.
     
     
     

  89. @ SparklingEmerald“A first date should be about getting to know each other and having fun. Also, for guys, weeding out the gold diggers to find a gal who will like the MAN, not his wallet, and for gals, weeding out the guys who want ONLY sex and not a real relationship.” 
    Touché Sparkling! ????
     
    @ Stacy2“You just won’t be able to keep it up long enough and you’ll waste a lot of $$ in the process” 
    Well he might just be able to keep it up long enough to have sex with her – which might have been all he wanted in the first place. In such a scenario the woman will see through him eventually alright; but by the time she does he might have already got what he wanted. He’ll just write the $$ expended as cost of dating.
     
    Now, if the guy embarks on a relationship by implying that he’s a lot wealthier than he actually is then I agree, it’s not a very sensible strategy.
     “Besides, this isn’t dating. This is game playing.” 
    Tomayto, tomahto?
     
    I guess my broader point Stacy is that in our efforts to better navigate the dating minefield it is incumbent on every individual to understand the motivations of those we want to date and parse what is that they are looking for. Once we have identified what our target it is looking for it simply makes sense (i.e. is in our interest) to imply that we are the ones who can best fulfill their needs. Which is how we manage to have our needs fulfilled.
     
    Using this basic tenet I don’t begrudge women when I cop that they’re trying to suss out my income, as I simply see it as part and parcel of dating.

  90. Tom10: Well he might just be able to keep it up long enough to have sex with her – which might have been all he wanted in the first place.
    That is possible but unlikely. Kind of like hitting the jackpot. Possible, sure. But unlikely. Where would he take her to have sex? Also, status seeking women will generally require a confirmation of said status in the form of expensive dinners, trip etc. before they jump into bed.
    If his goal is simply to have sex, there are much more efficient strategies to get there than to do what you propose. Trust me.
    SparklingEmerald:
    Also, for guys, weeding out the gold diggers to find a gal who will like the MAN, not his wallet, and for gals, weeding out the guys who want ONLY sex and not a real relationship.
    This notion about gold diggers out there cracks me up every time i hear it, i swear. In the word of Whitney Cummings “i am the one with the gold, dummy!”. Seriously, though, in my experience most men concerned about “gold diggers” don’t actually have any serious money or earnings. The truly successful are not concerned about it at all.

  91. GoWiththeFlow

    Tom10,
    My grandma and mom had an old saying I always remember when I read or hear comments like these:  Rich men and beautiful women never hear the truth in matters of the heart.

  92. @Stacy2,
    Unless you are brazen enough to ask someone their net worth and assuming they are willing to answer honestly, you don’t know much at all.
    I have a school teacher friend who made out like a bandit in her divorce settlement and then inherited a large sum several years later from her family. Assuming school teachers in my area make $45 – $60k a year, plus the fact that she lives a modest lifestyle and has wisely invested most of her money, you would be way off in guessing her net worth. On the other hand, one of my closest friends recently married a very successful attorney. If he explained where he works and what he does, you would assume he is a high earner… and he is. What he wouldn’t divulge to a stranger is that he lost half his savings in his divorce and is paying out the ying yang for the next 15 years in spousal and child support. He also supports his elderly mother who receives 24 hour / day care. This didn’t deter my friend from marrying him, but she knew he would need her to help out financially.
    Side note:  I also know men who will intentionally play down their wealth when they’re looking for a serious relationship.

  93. I am not trying to guess their net worth. Their net worth is none of my business, really, and in the context of dating situation I don’t care about it all that much. I care about income, which is more important than net worth, and that I’d be able to guesstimate with a good certainty. I hope this settles it.

  94. “I live in NYC where everybody is obsessed with money & status, everybody is talking about it all the time and everybody’s income is known, sorry.”
    I grew up in the metro NYC area and moved to the midwest 30 years ago where we don’t have that mentality and because of that, I’d never want to go back.  Who the hell wants to live like that?  Certainly not me.  I get disgusted every time I go back to visit the family and can’t wait to get back to the comfort of the midwest.

  95. Who wants to live like that- onviously high achievers who value money, success and status. I grew up in a small town. People there are f#^ed up in their own way, which is definitely not better. Just different. I wouldn’t want to be them. So please don’t try to look holier than the pope with your Midwestern lifestyle ????

  96. Hi ScottH,
    When I first graduated from college I worked at the corporation that was in the same city I graduated from for 8 years; and then six months ago I got a promotion and move to one of the biggest cities in America to work in the company’s headquarter branch.
    What I have learned is that many men and women in big cities are not actually even from that city; You’ll be surprised at the number of people that walk up to me on any given week day to ask for directions or something and I’m always like, “I’m new here; I don’t know” and then the person would turn to say the same thing, that they just moved here as well.
    Now when it comes to dating here’s the funny thing (who this affects all depends on age) many people move to these large cities expecting dating to be something out of a movie, yet easy at the same time. Therefore instead of bringing their own dating values with them, the majority of younger (and even older) people I have noticed adapt to the values and dating patterns of that large city.

  97. Adrian-  not sure what your point is.  If you’re saying that values change as we age and get new experiences and exposure to new things in new places, then I totally agree with you.  Values can and should change over time.  But if you’re saying that we should try to fit in, then I’m not so sure I agree with you.  See what works for you and what doesn’t.  I know I would be a fish out of water in a place where everyone values status and money and things.  To each her own.  There’s a lid for every pot.  Two people who value wealth and status could very well find happiness in their superficiality and I’m sure there are a lot of them.
    Signed, holier than thou…

  98. Hi Adrian,
     
    “However now reading Stacy2’s comment, I wonder if men don’t tell about their jobs or just flat out lie about their jobs because of the fear of being rejected for having a low status or low paying job?”
     
    When I was dating online, I would actually initially withhold my occupation for the opposite reason:  I didn’t want women to know that I made a relatively good living.  I noted what I did, but did so in a way that was sufficiently vague so that they couldn’t get a clear picture.

  99. SparklingEmerald

    Hi Adrian I am a little confused on whole talking about your job thing myself.  I remember I attended a dating seminar facilitates by two women, and they INSISTED that women should NEVER ask a man what he does for work and should NEVER answer the question when asked.  They suggested joke answers for that question.  I also hear that men have no interest in our work, but I am always asked about it.  If asked, I give a straight answer, but I do wonder, if there is no interest in my work life, why ask ?  Is it just such a standard social question like “Where are you from” and “How are you” that these questions are just asked automatically ?  I don’t lead with my job ( it’s boring ) and I don’t ask, but most men I meet mention it in prompted.  I think some of this may be much ado about nothing.  If asked, I give a brief answer, and if told I listen.
     

  100. SparklingEmerald

    Stupid auto correct !  “In prompted”. S/b. UN prompted.

  101. That actually confuses me also. I think men do care more than they are willing to admit. And if I say “I am in finance” which is sufficiently vague and should get them past the small-talk phase, I actually get pressured on what exactly I do in finance. And that is a very large and nuanced sector to explain to somebody. I have recently invented a glamorous and easily explainable occupation for myself which and use it when asked in settings like clubs/bars (ie by strangers). Screw them with their interrogations LOL ????

  102. Let me get this now @ Stacy2. Your occupation is “nuanced”. Hmm…seems you might consider other’s occupations would be nuanced and therefore…May have a larger or lesser income. And it bothers you when guys ask you about what you do? So you’ve made up “a glamorous explanation”.
    Whew-all I can say is buyer be aware!!????

  103. Buyer Beware!!

  104. People who I date know exactly where I work and what I do. A nosy stranger in a night club doesn’t need to know. Besides, unless you’re in high finance yourself, knowing my exact job title would only leave you more confused about what I actually do.

  105. FYI:  one may want to consider that at least a modicum of humility can be found as attractive

  106. I’d say the advice given by those 2 women is really bad.  Your job is a huge part of who you are.  And a lot of people are and should be proud of what they do.  While I make a good but not great salary, I’m damn proud of what I do and I’ve been doing it for 30 years, so ask away.  And if you won’t give me a straight answer about what you do, I’ll lose interest very quickly.

  107. SparklingEmerald

    Hi ScottH – I agree
    These two women “match-makers” and dating coaches gave out a lot of lame advice I think.  I attended some of their seminars, (complimentary) and they had some good speakers, but so much of their advice was lame.  I also thought they advocated what  I thought of as “silly goose” behavior.  Blech.
    I think if I behaved in the manner they advised, guys would be very put off and consider me difficult and evasive.
    In fact there is a lot of advice being peddled to both men and women advising them to be “mysterious” “challenging” “coy” “play hard to get” etc.  I see it as really bad advice.  Perhaps designed to keep people perpetually alone, and seeking paid date coaching.
    And no, I don’t believe in the other extreme of spilling your guts like you are on Dr. Phil or Oprah, but bringing your best authentic self to every date. That’s what I did, and it worked for me.
     

  108. Absolutely SE-I personally have never regretted being honest (while maintaining personal boundaries in accordance with how well you know someone). Not have I regretted confiding in a true friend. Do into others…

  109. Anonymous Female Commenter

    @Sparkling Emerald:
    ????????????
    Ditto everything you’ve said! I don’t want a rich guy like that, either. Ugh… I just don’t want to get used again.
    No, I’ll take my sweet, kind, loving, respectful boyfriend – even if he quits his insanely high-paying job – any day over what I had in the past. I’m pretty sure he’d still be himself, responsible and hard working, even if he couldn’t provide as many fancy dinners and expensive trips.
    I. Do. Not. Care.
    I will camp out in a tent, Air B&B, work full time, cook at home – whatever needs doing to make ends meet and still have fun – with a man who cherishes me and wants to provide for my well-being, *whatever* his income level.

  110. I will chime in to say that I also do not disclose my job until at least date 4.  It is a fancy sounding job and I make close to 1/2 million a year…but if you met me in a cafe, you might mistake me for a graphic artist or something completely off from my true job.  Most of my friends make well under 6 figures because I deliberately avoid the corporate set in my personal life.
    I plan to quit my job and find something relatively menial and 9-5 in the next few years.  Something like making coffee or even working at a gas station.  I’m burned out and have saved enough money to focus on other things.
    Anybody who considers my job important or “part of the package” will be very disappointed when I become a barista!  Under the circumstance, best not to disclose.

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