best of craigslist > seattle > Why this woman cares about a man’s money
Originally Posted: 2005-08-10 9:19am

Why this woman cares about a man’s money

I don’t get it. Why are CL men always complaining about women not paying for dates or judging them based on how much money they have? Who are these women? I have never met women like that. I am not friends with or related to any of these women.

Let me lay it out for you: I do care about how successful you are, however you define that in your own mind. But I don’t care about it more than any other area, and I don’t care about it for the reasons that you think:

1. Your ego
I am successful. With my career and my investments and my assets. I have a prestigious job. I am ambitious and I work hard. I have accomplished a lot at a young age. And I want a man who is not the least bit threatened by that! I also want a man that I can look up to and admire. It is only natural for me to want you to be bigger and taller and stronger and yes, at least a smidgen more successful than me. We are both more comfortable that way. It is only practical that we be reasonably well matched.

2. Our relationship
The two biggest reasons why relationships break up are sex and money. And having more money is not the solution. I just want it to be a settled issue. I want you to be happy and fulfilled in your chosen field and able to manage your money well. I never cared about this until I had a serious relationship that was ruined by his business failures and bankruptcy and lack of direction and constant stress about money. I would rather have a man who manages a modest income in a healthy way than a man who makes six figures and is hounded by debt and consumed by financial stress.

3. Our future together
I like to set goals and accomplish them. I am always working to be the best version of myself in all areas of life. Life is all about learning and growing, at least to me. So naturally, I am moving forward in the area of finances, career, etc. I don’t want to leave you behind. If we want to consider a long-term relationship, we need to make sure that we have similar or at least compatible goals, and that we can support each other towards those goals, rather than undermine each other’s progress.

4. Maturity
If you say that you are ready to meet your life partner and that you are looking for commitment, but you have done no planning and preparation toward those goals, I’m not going to believe you. If you are in your 30s or 40s and you are still spending all your money on toys, I am not impressed. How we handle our money says a lot about out maturity in general. I am looking for someone who has long-term goals that he is sacrificing for today. I am doing the same. Men especially, link their identity with what they do for a living. It is a healthy sign to see someone growing and challenging themselves in the area of career, business, income, finances, etc.

Here is how I handle finances with someone I am dating:

  1. I let him pay for the first few dates, which is not a big investment on his part. Coffee, drinks, a lunch, a couple of dinners or movie tickets. However, I do my part to respect his budget (follow his lead, never order expensive items, etc.) I never miss an opportunity to contribute, such as leaving the tip. And incidentally, I’m sure that I invest as much or more in the form of clothes and shoes and perfume and jewelry and haircut/color and pedicures/manicures, etc., etc. It is not cheap to look the way a man wants a woman to look! I bet you that we break even at the end of the day. :-)

  2. After the initial stages, I start treating and buying and splitting the check and shouldering 50% of the expenses of our time together. The only exception is if he really wants to do something that I cannot afford, and if it is worth it to him for me to be there, I will let him pay (within reason). It is the same principle as spending money on food, drinks, decorations, etc. for a party and inviting guests to join you. It’s your choice. (And I have chosen to stay home at times, if I truly couldn’t afford to go.)

  3. We may buy each other little gifts or surprise each other with little gestures, but I do not allow him to spend an inordinate amount of money on me. It is not appropriate. It would create an unhealthy imbalance in our relationship. Neither of us should feel a financial obligation to each other. We should both feel at all times that if we walked away, no one was taking a greater loss.

  4. On the other side of the coin, I won’t allow him to take advantage of my generosity or mooch off of me. It does neither of us any good. The price of me supporting him is his self-respect, and without that, we have no hope of a relationship (or of a rewarding sex life). Of course, things are different in marriage. It is like a business merger. We become a single “corporation.” If one of us is disabled or unable to contribute, the other takes up the slack. But while we are just dating, as a wise investor, I will not risk my income by investing it without adequate legal protection.
To the men who post on CL
To the men who complain about the “key words” that women put in CL ads, such as “ambitious” or “goal-oriented” or “established” or “financially secure”: why are you so threatened by that? If you have a job that you enjoy and if you manage your money well, you have nothing to be afraid of. You should be asking the same questions of us! Anyone, male or female, who has a consistent pattern of problems with paying their bills or with bad credit or with not saving or with living above their means should raise red flags! This is not healthy! It will create problems down the road!

I don’t care about your income
Men, let me be clear: I don’t care how much you make. It doesn’t affect me or my life. You may have a bigger house than I do or a fancier car, but you live in your house and I live in mine. When I go shopping, I bring my own bank card, so why should I care how much is in your account? If you are a man of integrity, honor, and compassion, I will be proud to be on your arm. If you are selfish, mean-spirited, and dishonest, no amount of money will get me to stay.

I don’t care about your status symbols
I have dated several millionaires (net worth, not income), and I find that they usually live thrifty, low-overhead lives. They drive used cars and wear unremarkable clothes. They spend their time working on projects, like remodeling a house, rather than looking glamorous or spending money. Far from being impressed by cars or boats or other status symbols, all that can be a red flag for me because it often means that you are deeply in debt. A few months without an income, a few unexpected expenses or losses, and the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Women, don’t be fooled by cars or Rolexes or such displays!

What does matter to me
While your income, your appearance, and even your choice of hobbies or music can tell me a lot about you, I do not base a decision to date you on these things. It would be very short-sighted of me to base a relationship on such transient things! Your income, job, appearance, fitness level, hobbies, activities, music, even politics etc. are different today than they were 10 years ago and different than they will be 50 years from now. What I really care about is your character. Who you are as a person. What makes you tick. What your goals and dreams are. We only become more ourselves as we get older.

I want to be with someone who knows who they are and what they want and where they are going. I want someone who can manage his life and is happy and fulfilled by his lifestyle and life choices. That is my definition of success.

I believe that the best relationship is one where both people were first independent, self-sufficient, and happy in and of themselves. Then, when they meet and come together to give to each other, it is a many splendored thing.

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