Sunday, July 26, 2009

Men and Money

At a recent event, my friend Jennifer stopped by to say
hello. After the event, we had the following conversation:


Jay- "What do you think
about Zeek?" (a guy who was participating in the event and
who I knew personally.


Jennifer- "No thanks, I am
just not attracted to him. Well actually, what does he do for a
living?"


Jay- "He is in xxxyyyzzz"


Jennifer- "Forget
it. He doesn't make enough. I need a man that makes more
money than I do"


Jay- "So at first you said
not interested, but if he happened to be a doctor or lawyer, then you
might have changed your mind? What does it matter if you make
more money than he does?" What ever happened to getting
involved because you like the person and want to see if something can
develop?


Jennifer- "I am
accustomed to a certain lifestyle. I need a guy who makes at
least six figures, because I do. I have tried dating guys who
don't make as much as me and it just doesn't work. It bothers
the guys as well. They get an inferiority complex. Most
men want to earn more than a woman."


Jennifer- "Women in their
early 20's want someone who is hot and fun, someone they get along
with."


Jennifer- "For women in
their late 20's, early 30's, the priority becomes friendship first,
then attraction."


Jennifer- "For women in
their mid 30's and up, it becomes about lifestyle. (standard of living
to which you have become accustomed)., the kind of life you will have
with this man. Looks and that other stuff is
secondary."


Jay- "So when you
say lifestyle, you are talking about how much money the guy has?"


Jennifer- "I didn't say
that. Lifestyle is about the standard of living to which I have
been accustomed. I look at the type of life I can have with this
man. Looks and that other stuff is secondary."


Jay- It sounds to me like you
are still talking about how much money a guy makes.


Jennifer- "I need someone
who likes to do the same things as I do. Someone who can afford
it." I have supported my share of deadbeats, and I am not
doing it again"


Some very interesting comments. Please share your thoughts in
the blog.


Guys- Would it bother you or give you an inferiority complex if the
woman made more than you do?


Ladies- Is Jennifer right? Once you hit your mid 30's, it is
all about "lifestyle"?

21 comments:

Alan Weber said...

Jay, I want to thank you for NOT making an effort to connect me with Jennifer at the recent event, as I had requested. Never has it been so clear how much more important it is what is INSIDE a person than what is outside. It is a shame there are people who think like Jennifer, in the various superficial, stereotyping, cold and calculated ways that women AND men too often do. Maybe you should throw an event where people have to put their bank account on their name tag? Why bother having a five minute conversation about life and such when one can just hand over their credit report? The part that seems to be missing in her analysis is that the lure of hot looks will not last forever and ultimately what makes someone stay with you is not shared expense accounts but shared values, feelings and experiences. She says being with men who earned less didn't work. Did being with men who DIDN'T? She says that the men felt insecure. Are we sure it was insecurity and not rejection of such an attitude? The last time I entered into one of these discussions I was outnumbered by those of your clients who recommended that you change who you are and learn to "play the game" so you'd be more successful (as if THEY are). My response was to stay yourself because then ultimately you'll get someone who wants YOU and not the game player. If I find myself outnumbered again by people finding Jennifer's comments acceptable and popular, I'll realize just how out of place I am here.

ann said...

I for one truly don't care how much he makes for a living I do however care that he is making a living. A chance at having a truly compatible relationship with a man is hard enough throw in some love wow you have hit lotto once you start thinking money well I believe thats considered selling yourself.

Anonymous said...

Like I said previously in the 'who should pay for the date blog'...I don't care how much a guy makes...as long as he acts like a gentleman...that is he can take me to McDonalds, as long as he pays for the date. If the man is a gentleman, then the foundation is in place for everything else.

Anonymous said...

I think that Jennifer is speaking from her experiences. That's what most people go by after their 20's and 30's. She has already "supported deadbeats" as she says and doesn't want to do that again. She might feel that if a guy makes as much as she does that won't happen again but I think there is still so much else to consider.
I am a woman in my late 40's, married almost 19 years and now single and I have never "supported a deadbeat" but of course like everyone, have my experiences. In the last six years I have dated guys that live on just a disability check and ones that made over $200,000. For me, I also react to guys based on my experience and it's got to be about the guy himself that is the most important thiing and not how much he makes or his lifestyle. I cared very much for a guy on disability and enjoyed all the things we did together even paying for myself most of the time because he had a limited income. The guys that made a lot of money really had nothing to offer me except a big paycheck and a much higher style of living than I had been accustomed to and I turned it down.
This is my experience, so I feel that although many women may feel like Jennifer, and I don't think there is anything wrong with it, not all or most women feel that way.

Anonymous said...

I have plenty of money, but I always play it down considerable... I have no interest in women like Jennifer for that exact reason. Get to know me, like ME... and you will be rewarded with a guy that is interested in you... Jennifer is partly right though about age and attitude, which is why I prefer younger women and will not date anyone (almost, I always give a person a chance) in their 40's!

Anonymous said...

This is directed at Alan Weber...and other men out there....well, well, well...now you and other guys knows how it feels when a PERSON (women - in today's society)--and for as long as I can remember--are judged SOLELY on their looks. That's right. Being judged, accepted or rejected, based on the size of one's wallet, or earning potential is just as unjust and superficial as women being judged by a 5-second glance from head to toe. And most, if not all men will barely give a woman the time of day if she doesn't appeal to their vision straight away...because men justify their shallowness with the ole adage "we are visual beings"...so in the dating world, both men and women are not always judged by their "inner qualities". Is that right or fair? No...I don't believe so. But the door swings both ways...I have heard men comment "I don't want to date a secretary"...I want a career woman...or I have also been asked...so, "do you rent or own"...live alone? etc...you get where that conversation is going. This coming from a man (or better yet a mouse)! A poor excuse of a man, and most definitely a man that lacks in the social etiquette department. Men can be just as calculating in their judgment calls when dating. Is it right...again, I don't believe it is. I do not justify or agree with Jennifer's ideas of dating, and her perception of why people in different age brackets date. However, I personally feel that women that DO have it together, emotionally, physically and financially--want the same qualities in their partners...they want to know that a guy is responsible and mature enough, and is not merely living for today, and not thinking of tomorrow. If a guy is in his late 30's or early 40's and doesn't demonstrate that he is motivated, ambitious and responsible with his finances and life in general, what type of partner would he make? A woman that brings all that to the table will want her equal.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you friend Jen is a bit emotionally bankrupt - and perhaps that is why she has not found someone who makes her happy - perhaps she does not know what makes her happy - I would be totally turned off by her - and don't let her kid you - not her lifestyle or intimidated by her money (she should get over herself) but her shallow perspective on life

Anonymous said...

In Jennifers defense she says repeatedly she is talking about standard of living verses actual dollar signs. I think I understand what she means and maybe i can elucidate that. Alan talks about shared experinces and feelings, and so is Jennifer, but what she is saying is she has worked hard and reached a point in her life where the experinces she wants to share and she can afford are weekends in the caribbean or skiing in vale. To date a guy who cant afford those things means either A she has to lower her standard to do the things he can afford or B she has to pay for him. Falling in love is much easier when someone is on the same playing feild and I think that statement is the general rule ( there are always exceptions) for most things easier to fall in love when the education level , finacial level and age is in same playing feild.

Anonymous said...

Jay, I would absolutely date a "xxxyyyzzz" any day!
It's not the job of the man: it's the job the man does!

Alan Weber said...

I appreciate what you say, "Anonymous," but I think we have to say that there IS something wrong with it. People have to take responsibility for the choices they have made in men (or women). Even assuming these men so depthfully described as "deadbeats" WERE so (and I think that's a huge leap of faith), what was it that made Jennifer choose them in the first place? Was it some OTHER superficiality, like their hair or muscles or clothes or car or associations or words? Was she disappointed, causing her to become cynical and see everything in such plastic terms, or was it that she simply created a self-fulfilling prophesy through her expectations and reactions to these men? I think everyone by now is, or should be, tired of the stereotyping both men and women make about the other gender based on their OWN poor choices. Obviously it's critical to learn from experience. But some people may have less to learn because they made the best judgements they could in the first place, and are then open and able to learn and grow from it all. That seems to be the case with you, from what you wrote. And then there are the people who have more lessons to learn, yet end up learning the wrong ones. They come up with shallow and simplistic formulas for their lives because they don't trust themselves to exercise discretion, nor others to be who they are. And they trust neither themselves NOR others to have the potential to rise above the cardboard cut-outs that they have constructed. What makes me so empassioned (and wordy) about this is that these attitudes affect US, you and me. We get rejected (and reject) for superficialities that may even be more projected than real. I regret that I still judge too much by looks, and have probably overlooked or rejected some wonderful women who might have been very good for and to me. That's a hard one to learn from, as the chemical factor is ingrained in us from childhood, if not instinctively. I don't think Jennifer's is as hard to overcome. But she won't until, like all of us, she learns the hard way, that money won't buy happiness and that what she thinks she "needs" is not what we all REALLY do.

Anonymous said...

This question is something that I definitely struggle with. In theory, I don't care how much $$$ a guy makes - and I have dated, long term, someone who makes much less than I do. However, like Jen, I have worked very hard to get where I am and to make a life for myself. (NOT waiting for Prince Charming to come along). I can afford to and do enjoy, going out to dinner and taking vacations. I would never expect a guy to pay for me and likewise, he should not expect me to pay for him. The last guy that I dated for a significant amount of time could not afford to travel but also became unreasonably angry when I would go away with friends (it was not ALL the time - just 2 long weekends in one year.) So what is the answer - give up a lifestyle that I enjoy? Or only date guys who can also live that lifestyle? (I would never date someone just because of the money they make - there has to be a connection there as well.) It really is something that I wonder about and have not figured out. Any answers, anyone?

Alan Weber said...

I don't think there ARE answers. You find someone you love and then work it out. Those 50 weeks spent looking forward to coming home to someone to share your day with, someone with whom you can take joy in simple pleasures and doing nothing, with whom you have nothing to prove, and with whom you can raise children and grow old together without regrets, might put those two vacation weeks a year into perspective for both of you. I think it comes down to trust, acceptance, compromise and wanting one's partner to be happy. Men used money, status and adventure to compensate for ages, and now a lot of women have either emulated or settled for living the same way. My parents taught me that success and ambition had to do, not with how much you make or what you can afford but how fulfilled you feel with what you do and what kind of difference you make (and how you earned that money). You're absolutely entitled to your vacations. But they're the whipped cream, not the meal.

Anonymous said...

This is not that unusual I have met several women who judge men by the car they drive, where he lives, does he own or rent. We all know that shows a shallowness to a some women's personality but that is who they are and really don’t care. They think men are to be used and that just because they are women they deserve it. I gave up; it’s too bad the shark’s prowl the waters looking for new victims and grab hold before the good women have a chance to be noticed.

Alan said...

You know what... I'm going to rant here. And I DO understand, as much as I can, the flip side as it affects women. But I don't have a great deal of money, as might have been obvious. I wasn't given or left any wads of it by my working class parents, who lived decent and generous lives. I was raised to seek a job for the inner reward and social good it provides, not the money or status. So I went into a field which paid unbelievably little but makes a real difference for the future, affording me no mounting bank account. Plus, I spent most of my free time on social causes, not exactly a way to pad one's income. Even though I'm now a Professor of my subject, do you think educators are that well compensated as compared to the various forms of social parasites and clowns that strike it rich? I spent a lot of money on dating, because, well, the man has to pay, right? Why in 2009 is that still a rule? Men still make more than women on average, but there is hardly the discrepancy there once was. Don't get me wrong, I do pay and want to, but if the woman doesn't make an OFFER to pay her share OR express appreciation, if she acts like she expects or "deserves" it, she's not likely to get another date. There are a lot of men who are sexist jerks, and want something in return for spending money. There are a lot of women who are princess jerks, who just expect it for nothing... and I don't mean sex. I want to treat a woman like a queen, but because she deserves and doesn't expect it, and treats and judges others similarly, and doesn't measure it frivolously and materially. Now I have a young teen son, as I married late. I'm a committed father, which means he gets the first of my money and I can't steal away whenever I like because I have responsibilities. Oh, by the way, he's a child who likely would have been identifiably and severely autistic if it weren't for years of love and hard work and, yes, money. So now I have to listen as I'm told I don't bring enough "to the table," for women whose greatest contribution to society is their "status," who want to "have it all" but can never appreciate what they, and others, already have. Maybe we should be happy we HAVE a table, that we HAVE dinners, wherever they are and whoever pays for them. You "NEED" the Riviera trips and yacht cruises? Try experiencing REAL need. You expect "ambition?" What is "ambition; is it a matter of how much we can acquire or of how much we can accomplish? You want somebody who has something to give? Don't measure it in money. People who accumulate money usually are less inclined to give it than those for whom it means something, something real. Maybe we SHOULDN'T "have it all;" maybe we lose something when we do. I'm sick and tired of women my age who want someone who is "free of responsibilities." When did responsibility become an undesirable inconvenience? And then we hear complaints about all of the irresponsible men out there. Go figure.

teachpany said...

Alan, I agree with you about almost everything. It should matter about the inside of a person, the shared "little things" and fun we could have together. I don't expect a man with money, just that he lives within his means. I want him to have a fulfilling career, and enjoy similar things. There are so many fun things to do that are low cost. I appreciate all of it, but can't find a man within my age range who isn't looking for "arm candy" and won't see the great person I am, just because I don't look like a "centerfold." Jennifer is shallow and probably doesn't know who she is, so therefore can't find someone who "fits" her. She needs to open her heart and use her brain, too. All of life is a risk. Stop overlooking great people based on the size of their wallet or their body.

Anonymous said...

Jen is not shallow for enjoying a certain lifestyle that she has worked hard to attain for HERSELF.
And, a guy who does not make a lot of money is not a loser, just because he doesn't have a big bank account or a fancy car. But, I am a successful woman and I worked HARD to get there. I never had anything handed to me on a silver platter. I grew up in a single parent home and learned that I could only rely on myself - so I worked hard to make sure I didn't have to count on a man to take care of me. (If I did, I be accused of being a gold digger - can't win?)I don't think I deserve to be penalized for that - and yes, many men are intimiated or resentful of the fact that I make a good living. I respect any man who works hard, regardless of his income. But, I have dated many men who, in their mid-40s or later, are still drifting from one dead-end job to another - with no ambition, goal or passion. That is not acceptable to me. I truly do not care how much a man makes, what he drives or whether he owns his home. There are many types of success in life and I do care that a man have some kind of success - whether it's having a passion for what he does, in creating a good life for himself and/or his kids, or whatever his definition of success might be. But a man who is just drifting along, getting by, with no drive should not be angry that a financially successful woman is not interested.

Anonymous said...

For the people who want to know why men should still pay for dates...because women are still disadvantaged at work...even today.
Women still make less money than men. It's unpleasant, but a fact of life. There is also a glass ceiling; women often don't get as many promotions as men.
Whether women are paid less than men due to poor salary negotiating, career choices or institutional biases, the end result is that they still have less money than men. On top of everything else, most women have children during vital career-development years.
That being said...it shouldn't matter how much a man makes or how little he spends on a date, as long as he is a kind person and has proper, good manners.

Anonymous said...

I went to a Yankee playoff game with a women exactly like this piece of s - - -.
I was making about 70K at the time and she was making 75k.
The topic of money came up at the toll booth for the Throggs Neck Bridge.
She told right there and then, that because I made $80 a week less than her, that she could never have any respect for a man who made less than her.
Can you believe these women.

I think that most men, deep down inside, are slowly becoming misogynists because of the jennifers of the world.
Please exclude her from all co-ed activities.

PS - I kept this as clean as possible

TRUST ME

Elizabeth said...

I posted my comment at 7:06AM...and I fully agree with the comment made at 7:48PM! I have heard men who are STILL drifting through life in their 40's - from 1 position to another...still living at home off of their parents. It's apparent they lack any sense of responsibility or integrity and pride for doing so. Yet they want a self-sufficient, independent, together woman that is hard-working and goal-oriented! Don't demand something you are UNABLE or UNWILLING to provide for someone else. Prime example...recently met this guy - he was 39 yr old...he absolutely adhored his job...he worked at some floral shop--but wasn't passionate or interested about it or moving on to greener pastures...zero ambition. He was driving a brand new Lexus though...guess what? He was livin with Momma! Have some self-respect. It's about having pride, being self-sufficient and realistic in dating. Some of these men only want "arm candy" as well...which is just as shallow--as judging someone based on their salary. I may not agree 100% with Jennifer...but I do agree with her--that a woman that has struggled and focused and worked hard to get where she is, should not be penalized, nor should she feel guilty about not dating a man that is not accomplished in his own right, or goal-oriented. Any man that has issues with women who are able to live a very nice lifestyle (based on their own merit)--has some serious self-esteem issues - and needs therapy.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that sometimes it's about lifestyle and not just money. I am currently dating someone that has less disposable income than I do and it does change dating activities. I like to go to higher end restaurants and have a glass of wine and that is not how he would like to spend his money. A lower cost restaurant means more money available for other, possibly more necessary, items. He's not comfortable with me paying.

Remember, it's not always how much you make a week, month or year but sometimes depends on what your obligations are. He has kids, I don't. This means my salary is divided by one while his is divided by 4.

I don't know where this will go long term but I see a lot of compromise on both our parts to make it work. I might have to give up some of my indulgences and he might have to give up some pride and let me pay now and then.

Not everyone is willing or able to compromise enough to make that work. If everything else is perfect, maybe. But if the cons start stacking up, it might be time to agree to part and find someone more compatible.

Anonymous said...

When debating who should be paying for what on a date, we should also consider the disproportionate cost of getting "date ready" for women. Hair cuts, highlights, makeup, manicures, pedicures, waxes and the occasional cute new date outfit aren't cheap and these costs add up quickly. It is nice for gentlemen to show the lady they are taking out their appreciation for the time and money she has invested in looking especially nice for him by picking up the tab on your first few dates. Let the lady get the tip and the popcorn at the movies. In my personal opinion, for what it's worth, going dutch should be the rule once you're dating exclusively. Of course, men in exclusive relationships should not necessarily expect a fresh bikini wax every Saturday night!

I am apalled to read that there are actually women out there who do not even offer to pay on dates. Ladies, if you've never heard this before, then hear it now: this type of behavior is rude, presumptuous and makes all of us look bad!