Am I Being Too Materialistic By Giving Up on a Financially Unstable Man

I decided to get back into the dating world and I met this guy online – four weeks ago. So it’s all still very early and very new. But a big worry for me is that is has absolutely no stability or consistency in his life. I am a 30-year old entrepreneur with my own online fashion store…soon to open my first physical boutique. I work hard but believe in balance so I love to get out and enjoy spending my hard earned dollar. But in the same breath I believe in financial stability – I own property, invest, have a savings and no debt.

This guy I have met is really a wonderful guy. I paid attention to your blog about not looking for someone who is a clone of me but rather who compliments me. He is thoughtful, attentive, supportive…at least what I’ve seen after 4 dates. Now here’s the problem – he’s 31 and has not finished his degree (I have two post graduate degrees), has not kept a stable job for more than 12 consecutive months (in fact he quit his job last week just because he didn’t like his boss anymore), has no assets, no savings, no investment and still needs to pay off his student loan.

I am totally freaking out – as I said he is a nice guy, so am I walking away from a good thing just because I find the stability (financial being one of many) and consistency (he seems unable to commit, complete or stick to anything) missing in his character?

I did discuss my concern with him – saying that we could still see each other and get to know one another on a friendship level (nothing physical has happened on our 4 dates) and once he has found his stability in his work/career we can go from there. He totally freaked out on me and was very passive aggressive – which opened up a whole other can of worms. But my question remains – am I being ridiculous in expecting a partner who is at least on the SAME financial and career playing field as me?

Michelle

I’ve answered a version of this question before and told a favorite anecdote of mine here.

But I wanted to take this because it’s a juicy topic for conversation.

In short, no, you’re not being too materialistic if you pass up on THIS man.

You may be a little short-sighted if you assume that your partner has to be at least on the “same financial playing field” as you.

Hope you are soon raking in high-six-figures for what you’ve accomplished. Because that means that you can marry a man for one reason and one reason alone: love.

This is a VERY important distinction that it seems that many women have difficulty making.

There is a huge difference between an aimless slacker who doesn’t have drive, ambition, and follow through, and a man who chooses a career with a lower financial upside.

Your guy is in the former category. He didn’t finish college. He can’t hold down a job. He doesn’t seem to have a long-term plan, much less a short-term plan.

This man is a bad investment for your future, and you are being very smart by moving on from him. You’re not bad. You’re not shallow. You’re practical.

But you revealed your blind spot when you stick with the illusion that a man must make as much or more money than you do.

Men and women are equal. (The oft-debated pay gap doesn’t take away from that fact)

And if we are equal, then we should date equally, no?

So if I’m a man making $300,000, do I need to find a woman who makes $200,000, also?

I would think that you wouldn’t agree with that. Nor do most men. Men choose women based on how those women make them feel. Funny. Sexy. Trusted. Smart. Noble. Connected. Important. Appreciated. Admired. Accepted.

Whether she makes $50,000 or $350,000 is largely irrelevant. Why?

Because he HAS money and he doesn’t expect her to support him.

Is there any reason, Michelle, that you can’t date the same exact way? You have money. You don’t need a man to support you. Right?

I think it’s wonderful that you are driven, ambitious, and self-sufficient. I hope you are soon raking in high-six-figures for what you’ve accomplished. Because that means that you can marry a man for one reason and one reason alone: love.

Two examples of great men who make less than their wives:

A high-school history teacher and soccer coach who has a Masters degree. He has his summers off, a pension, and is home before 5pm every day. He is fit, world-travelled, and fascinating.

The majority of men aren’t slackers and aren’t millionaires. They’re normal, stable, hard-working men with real middle-class to upper-middle class jobs. Choose one of them.

A user-interface designer for a biotech company. He’s handy. He’s sensitive. He’s well-read. He makes six figures. He’s a great dad and excellent in the kitchen.

The teacher is the man who married my Georgetown law educated cousin.
The user-interface guy is the man who married my Duke educated sister.

You don’t need a man who makes as much as you.

You need a man who makes you feel safe, heard, and understood.

The majority of men aren’t slackers and aren’t millionaires. They’re normal, stable, hard-working men with real middle-class to upper-middle class jobs.

Choose one of them.