Dating economically dominant women

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Not sure whether this is a relationship topic, social science, or a bit of both. The title of the thread may also be misleading. The issue I was thinking of is how dating and relationships would work if women became economically dominant in the way men used to be (and still are in some ways and sectors). Specifically, there used to be a stereotypical wage and employment gap that meant women were more typically homemakers while men would work for wages. I think even when people got divorced, women were more likely to "stay home with the kids" and had to make due with what little money they could garner without being able to submit to the scheduling demands of well-paying employers.

Now, the thread question is how well-paid career women will feel about being in relationships with men who are homemakers and/or in similar financial/economic positions as many women once were. Men of that time didn't seem to mind if a woman he dated was relatively poor, because that meant she would be that much more appreciative of whatever he had to offer her, however little. Modern independent women, on the other hand, seem to be much less interested in dating men who are unemployed, homemakers, or otherwise not on a successful path of career-achievement (or at least hard-working in their job(s).

So the question is whether relationship-culture is developing in the direction of zero-tolerance for careerless people or whether some women are going to acquiesce to a somewhat antiquated culture of seeking to support (male) homemakers. If so, what kinds of qualities do you think such women would value in their homemaker men?

BTW, this thread is obviously biased toward heterosexual relationships but if you think that increasing female career-independence will result in more lesbianism or women choosing to remain unattached and live alone, or some other cultural choice that averts supporting "deadbeat men," feel free to discuss those ideas as well.
 

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  • #2
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Salary differences between men and women are still alive and well. Although the situation might be improving, I'd like to point out this article:

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/04/19/tracking-the-wage-gap.html#"

Another reason men may be willing to settle for a partner who earns less than them is that there simply aren't that many women who make as much as they do.

I can't speak for the modern independent woman in general, but from my point of view as a female, the education and salary of my partner is irrelevant. I find more value in personality and hobbies than whether they have hit the books, or can take me out to fancy restaurants. However, most of the guys I have dated are equal in education level (since I run into them so often) so maybe the statistics will turn out in favor of educated women marrying other educated men due to proximity? The limiting factor in my field is definitely not single men (unfortunately for them).

I think more women may choose to remain independent, since being involved in academia can make it very difficult to have children. On the other hand, having a stay-at-home dad would be great in case she does want children. In this case, the qualities I would look for are compassion, respect, a good personality, etc. These are the same qualities I look for in men anyway.

I don't think career-less people have anything to be afraid of.
 
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  • #3
Evo
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I've always made much more than the men I dated, and it rarely seemed to be a problem.
 
  • #4
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I have often heard on the radio about males who take care of the house while their spouses work.

I wouldn't go for women who are from too high or too low economic classes relative to me.
 
  • #5
lisab
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Salary differences aren't a big deal. It's a lot more important that other things match up - ambition and curiosity, for example.
 
  • #6
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Salary differences aren't a big deal. It's a lot more important that other things match up - ambition and curiosity, for example.
I think some differences do matter and salary is one of them. Your salary "can" determine what kind of people you go out with and what kind of lifestyle you live. You would be willing to live with someone who has similar lifestyle, no?

@drizzle:
Plus, there would be unnecessary pressure on other person to change their ways and be someone who they are not.
 
  • #7
drizzle
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I have often heard on the radio about males who take care of the house while their spouses work.

I wouldn't go for women who are from too high or too low economic classes relative to me.
Based on what? Just want to know the reasons, share thoughts. Good thread btw. I would go with Lisa, if there's enough understanding and trust, it won't be a big deal.

Edit: read it. Too slow. :biggrin:
 
  • #8
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All good answers but here's a very basic scenario: Although women are often assertive enough to ask men out for a date, they also like to be asked "the old fashion way," (some seem to express this anyway). So when a man asks them out and has the self-confidence that comes with being financially independent, etc. it can come across as more attractive that when a man acts passively, waits to be asked out, shows grace and gratitude for you taking him out, etc. Those are things that chauvinistic men used to love (or some seemed to have, at least). So the question is whether women will really start to respect and feel attracted to relatively passive men who are economically submissive. I find it hard to imagine that women won't at least prefer men who hold their own economically. I can't imagine the old fashioned scenario where a man approaches a meek woman and treats her chauvinistically (opening doors, ordering food, etc.) being gender-reversed and having the same effect for women. Maybe I'm thinking too stereotypically, though.
 
  • #9
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Every woman I've ever known wanted their men to make more money than they did. A woman views a man who makes less than her as an inferior provider for her. Which of course is true.
 
  • #10
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I'm kinda in that situation at the moment. After spending almost a decade in the army, I decided to discharge and go back to uni to finish off a life long dream of getting a physics/math degree. My wife is now the main bread winner, and she's earning quite a lot of money. So she works whilst I study and look after our 3 kids. I don't look at it like she's economically dominant, it's just she does something different to me at the moment. There's no real problem.
 
  • #11
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BTW, this thread is obviously biased toward heterosexual relationships but if you think that increasing female career-independence will result in more lesbianism or women choosing to remain unattached and live alone, or some other cultural choice that averts supporting "deadbeat men," feel free to discuss those ideas as well.

This is not a single sex issue. What do you think, would you date a deadbeat woman , buried in credits, for a serious relationship ?
 
  • #12
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This is not a single sex issue. What do you think, would you date a deadbeat woman , buried in credits, for a serious relationship ?
I think the stereotype of the "high maintenance woman," who likes to shop a lot and renew her wardrobe often, indulge in new makeup, perfumes, etc. fit in well with the old male chauvinism where the desire to fund female indulgences was seen as part of the thrill of dating a 'vivacious' woman. The taboo that existed for discussing issues of money (which still exists in some ways, I think) meant that no one was paying attention to HOW you got your money, just what you did with it. So like the song says, "hey, big spender, come a spend some time with me," meant that attractive women would want to spend time with men who displayed economic power by spending money. Then, although it was women's job to be economically submissive toward men, they probably tried to invest in their appearance in a way that would make them an attractive accessory for a successful man.

There are still probably men today who would not mind happening across a woman with lots of debt because they would see it as an opportunity to play hero and save her from her debts (and enjoy the forthcoming gratitude for his heroism). I don't know if there are women who would be attracted to this level of chauvinism in the reverse, even if they had a very high salary or were otherwise very prosperous. Probably some would if they were interested enough in the man, but the question is how many men would feel comfortable having their affections "bought" in such a way? Of course, no one who engages in these kinds of relationships views them as people "selling themselves," because prostitution is taboo. I have, however, still heard women say that if men really like you they should be willing to spend money on you. I assume this also means they should be willing to work to make that money and ultimately contribute to the woman's prosperity (i.e. supplement their own spending with more in the form of gifts, etc.). I know there are women who also like to shower each other and men with gifts, but I don't know if women would want to be in the position of having to be financially responsible for a man who doesn't contribute money to her spending as much as he spends her money for her. I guess it would depend on what she ended up with in exchange for what he spent.

This is all assuming high levels of consumerism/consumption, though. I wonder if there would ever be women who want men to conserve their money and discipline their spending OF MONEY THE WOMAN MADE. Traditionally men have disciplined women's spending and women have managed family budgets for men, but I think if the roles were somewhat reversed and men were disciplining women's spending AS managers of women's family budget, women would not like this because it would feel like returning to the culture of female subjugation where husbands act like fathers trying to control their wife's spending habits as if she was a wild teenager.

Anyway, this post went way beyond dating but I guess the issues sort of expand to the whole gambit of economic relations in heterosexual relationships.
 
  • #13
drizzle
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Well, it depends, it's a personal matter I believe. But generally, if they both are willing to move on together, they both have to change their lifestyles to limit any possible gap could build up from their relationship.
 
  • #14
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I for one would absolutely love to have a sugar-momma.
 
  • #15
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I for one would absolutely love to have a sugar-momma.
Do you think about the obligations that come with accepting money or do expect to just get showered in money and be completely free to act however you please?
 
  • #16
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Do you think about the obligations that come with accepting money or do expect to just get showered in money and be completely free to act however you please?
What obligations? Do you mean like never being able to refuse to cuddle because she bought me a new oscilloscope? Yeah, I think about those, and I accept them.

Wait, are we talking about girls my age or cougars?
 
  • #17
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What obligations? Do you mean like never being able to refuse to cuddle because she bought me a new oscilloscope? Yeah, I think about those, and I accept them.
No, more like not bugging her about where she was and why she came home late, or not at all. Or like putting your own emotional and sexual desires second to avoid making her feel obliged to take care of your needs instead of the reverse. Or keeping the house in a state that pleases her and dressing a certain way or acting and treating her in ways that keep her happy. It all depends on how demanding and picky a person it is. Some people pretend to be very flexible early in relationships (and probably believe it themselves) and as they settle into the idea that their partner isn't going to leave them, they grow less flexible. If you like the money you're getting from her, your tolerance level for that sort of thing will have to be that much higher than if you were totally financially independent of one another.
 
  • #18
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My wife and I got married when I was in grad school. She has always made more money than me. When I changed grad schools she followed me to a new state and took a significant pay cut to start in a new career. Now, it just so happens that her new career has allowed her to significantly advance monetarily very quickly.

So even when I went from being a grad student to a postdoc and the massive salary increase associated with that ( :D ), I still do not make as much as her. We talk about money a lot, as it is a always a big deal for us since we have 2 little kids. Neither of us cares about the fact that she makes more than me. We don't split our finances up- we have only a single checking and savings account. The sum of our salaries is the family's money. I am grateful for the money and we both work very hard to earn it.

I think as has been mentioned already, what matters in a relationship is having similar goals, values, ambition, interests, etc. This is true of both my wife and myself.
 
  • #19
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My wife and I got married when I was in grad school. She has always made more money than me. When I changed grad schools she followed me to a new state and took a significant pay cut to start in a new career. Now, it just so happens that her new career has allowed her to significantly advance monetarily very quickly.

So even when I went from being a grad student to a postdoc and the massive salary increase associated with that ( :D ), I still do not make as much as her. We talk about money a lot, as it is a always a big deal for us since we have 2 little kids. Neither of us cares about the fact that she makes more than me. We don't split our finances up- we have only a single checking and savings account. The sum of our salaries is the family's money. I am grateful for the money and we both work very hard to earn it.

I think as has been mentioned already, what matters in a relationship is having similar goals, values, ambition, interests, etc. This is true of both my wife and myself.
It always sounds so rosy to say that as long as people love each other enough to make compromises that everything works out wonderfully. However, the fact remains that as one makes compromises out of love, the other may feel more love because s/he is getting more of what s/he wants because the other is more flexible. You can try to ignore the conflicts that come from this, or "bury them under a heaping pile of love," but that doesn't erase them from existence. Flexibility is not always painful but if it doesn't/can't come from either side as painlessly, the question is whether someone is getting used and whether the other one's love is more the product of being able to do the using than actual love for the person as a person. (sorry to be cynical but it comes from having had a lot of faith in the past for these kinds of blind-cooperation type relationships without considering the implications for the individuals apart). Cooperation can be good but it can also be a means of exploitation, especially when people ignore the possibility that cooperation can be exploitative at all in the first place.
 
  • #20
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It always sounds so rosy to say that as long as people love each other enough to make compromises that everything works out wonderfully. However, the fact remains that as one makes compromises out of love, the other may feel more love because s/he is getting more of what s/he wants because the other is more flexible. You can try to ignore the conflicts that come from this, or "bury them under a heaping pile of love," but that doesn't erase them from existence. Flexibility is not always painful but if it doesn't/can't come from either side as painlessly, the question is whether someone is getting used and whether the other one's love is more the product of being able to do the using than actual love for the person as a person. (sorry to be cynical but it comes from having had a lot of faith in the past for these kinds of blind-cooperation type relationships without considering the implications for the individuals apart). Cooperation can be good but it can also be a means of exploitation, especially when people ignore the possibility that cooperation can be exploitative at all in the first place.
I am not entirely sure of exactly what you are getting at since you are speaking so generally, but it seems like you are arguing that cooperation itself is exploitative?

Regarding the rosy picture explanation: Of course there are tough times and fights. Is money an issue- hell yes it is. School debt (which we both have), car payments, childcare, etc are all every day realities in any marriage. What I was trying to say is that who makes more money is not a leveraging point in our relationship. The question of mine and ours is never a question for us. It's all ours- it has never been an issue.

I am not saying there is some blind acquiescence by either of us regarding spending. We both have things we like to spend money on and we both don't get to spend that money as often as we would like. But that is more a function of having to little kids than it is a function of the other person not letting the other one.

We were both poor as $%#& when we were married, all the way through my graduation. Her salary was just more than mine, but it was still meager compared to our non-academic friends. Learning to live lean puts our relative wealth in perspective. So maybe we don't fit into your thread as well as I initially thought.
 
  • #21
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I am not entirely sure of exactly what you are getting at since you are speaking so generally, but it seems like you are arguing that cooperation itself is exploitative?
No, cooperation can be mutually beneficial. My point was that it can also be exploitative and it seems somehow worse to me when people sell you exploitation because it's cooperation. It's like when one person tells the other that they're inflexible but by doing so shift the focus away from their own relative inflexibility. I wasn't saying that such was necessarily the case in your relationship. I was just discussing it since I have seen it happen many times in many different situations that two parties insist that they are a happy team because of cooperation, when in reality one is getting exploited more than the other.

Regarding the rosy picture explanation: Of course there are tough times and fights. Is money an issue- hell yes it is. School debt (which we both have), car payments, childcare, etc are all every day realities in any marriage. What I was trying to say is that who makes more money is not a leveraging point in our relationship. The question of mine and ours is never a question for us. It's all ours- it has never been an issue.
Right, but you still can't avoid the question of who gets to decide when there's a difference of opinion. Usually people will back down and say it's not worth fighting over, but what happens if the other person starts using the fact that you'll back down from a fight to do things you don't really agree with? After all, it's your money too. Again, not directed at you personally - just an example of how abuse occurs invisibly because people would rather avoid the fight.

I am not saying there is some blind acquiescence by either of us regarding spending. We both have things we like to spend money on and we both don't get to spend that money as often as we would like. But that is more a function of having to little kids than it is a function of the other person not letting the other one.
There's lots of ways to make sacrifices and indulge and as long as everyone feels that no one is taking advantage of anyone else, you should be fine. It's when people ignore saying anything because they're afraid it could grow into a fight that there is potential for malice, I think.

We were both poor as $%#& when we were married, all the way through my graduation. Her salary was just more than mine, but it was still meager compared to our non-academic friends. Learning to live lean puts our relative wealth in perspective. So maybe we don't fit into your thread as well as I initially thought.
I'm glad you posted your situation and your perceptions about it. It is just hard to tell when talking with anyone who talks the way you do whether economic dominance is a factor because if it is, you would be in denial of it - or what I mean to say is that when people talk about everything being rosy, there's no way to tell if they've just developed a general attitude of problem-avoidance. Often people who are avid problem-avoiders go around boasting about how they never have problems. Then, people like me who are less aversive to conflict/confrontation question whether they really never have problems or whether they've just worked really hard at glossing over them.
 
  • #22
EnumaElish
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I've always made much more than the men I dated, and it rarely seemed to be a problem.
Wow! Even when you dated the occasional millionaire? :smile: :bugeye:
 
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  • #23
Evo
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Wow! Even when you dated the occasional millionaire? :smile: :bugeye:
That one was *unique*, interesting man. Most were ok, the wealthiest and most brilliant had issues with his parents dumping him in the most expensive, exclusive boarding and prep schools since he was a child. He only got to come home on major holidays. So he had some issues, but he was the coolest, the funniest, the hottest, and the most compatible, unfortunately I was so in awe of him that I couldn't relax around him and he decided I was too boring. :frown:
 
  • #24
EnumaElish
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That one was *unique*, interesting man. Most were ok, the wealthiest and most brilliant had issues with his parents dumping him in the most expensive, exclusive boarding and prep schools since he was a child. He only got to come home on major holidays. So he had some issues, but he was the coolest, the funniest, the hottest, and the most compatible, unfortunately I was so in awe of him that I couldn't relax around him and he decided I was too boring. :frown:
Also, technically, you could have earned more than him in a given year, even a number of years. In a relationship movie ("Friends with Money") Jennifer Aniston's character Olivia (relationship movie, Aniston, I know I'm repeating myself) works for a rich but "unemployed" guy (who also happens to have issues). When asked what he does, he babbles:

"Olivia decides to stop cleaning houses and calls her clients to tell them. When she calls Marty, the slovenly guy, he asks her out. She says okay.

...

On the night of the ALS benefit, Olivia picks up Marty. She realizes he is a nice guy, and they have a lot in common. When they get to the dinner, Matt keeps asking him what he does for a living. Marty hems and haws about various investments, but he looks embarrassed."

http://www.themoviespoiler.com/Spoilers/friendswithmoney.html
 
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  • #25
Evo
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Also, technically, you could have earned more than him in a given year, even a number of years.
He comes from one of the richest families in America. He doesn't need to work, but he does. He was born with more money than I've earned in my lifetime.

Not to mention that he *IS* the Lord high muckety muck of academia. That's pretty damn impressive. No, I won't say who he is.

I met him online. After three days of trading cryptic e-mails he finally said "my name is XXX, google me". I did and three hours later I was still reading about him. He's a legend. He's *that* person. The one that impacted scientific history to keep science and religion separate.

Ok, I shouldn't have acted so awed when we were together, but holy crap, how often does someone like that think you are the *ONE*? Until you blow it, of course.

:cry:

I think I'll go listen to more Magnetic Fields, he was the one that bought me the 3 cd set. :cry:
 
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