Would You Date a Man Making a Lot Less Than You? A Woman Making More?

Money is often a contentious issue in an relationship. But The New York Times is reporting that conventional gender roles are shifting: men are increasingly getting hitched to women who are bringing home more bacon than they are. ... I wonder how thi...


There's lots to talk about this week--like the latest with my shrink, my decision to move to a new neighborhood, a minor Internet dating drama and ... should I go out with a reader who's asked me?


But ALSO: I've been having a really, really rough month, emotionally-wise. When I sleep well and feel rested, I think, Eh, I can do anything! I'll conquer the world.

When I don't--which once again seems to be the majority of the time, regardless of whether or not someone is honking outside my window--I feel completely helpless, ineffectual, impotent; I seem to be back in the state I was in before I started taking anti-depressants, more than a year ago. I'm so chronically exhausted that I feel like I can't rely on myself. I never know what kind of state I'm going to be in. It's hard to tell, but I think my appetite has been affected too. I've been thinking I need to talk to my doctor about doubling the dose. (Of course, she's on vacation.)

Has anyone out there had experience with this stuff? Will doubling the dose help? Am I building up a tolerance or what?

* * *


Anyway ... what I'd really like to discuss is an article The New York Times ran yesterday.

The headline proclaimed More Men [Are] Marrying Wealthier Women, and discussed a new analysis of census data that was recently done by the Pew Research Center.

The article said:

"Men now are increasingly likely to marry wives with more education and income than they have, and the reverse is true for women," said Paul Fucito, spokesman for the Pew [Research] Center. "In recent decades, with the rise of well-paid working wives, the economic gains of marriage have been a greater benefit for men."

The [Pew] analysis examines Americans 30 to 44 years old, the first generation in which more women than men have college degrees. Women's earnings have been increasing faster than men's since the 1970s.

"We've known for some time that men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being," said Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and research director for the Council on Contemporary Families, a research and advocacy group. "Now it is becoming increasingly important to their economic well-being as well."

The education and income gap has grown even more in the latest recession, when men held about three in four of the jobs that were lost. The Census Bureau said Friday that among married couples with children, only the wife worked in 7 percent of the households last year, compared with 5 percent in 2007. ... In 1970, 28 percent of wives had husbands who were better educated, and 20 percent were married to men with less education. By 2007, the comparable figures were 19 percent and 28 percent. In 1970, 4 percent of husbands had wives who made more money; in 2007, 22 percent did.

My guess is that a lot of the reason for these changes is not that men are suddenly becoming so enlightened, but simply that the dudes have no other choice; there are a lot more women making a lot more money now than the chicks of yesteryear were making. So men have to be more open to considering ladies in higher income brackets than they used to be.

Do you think?

I wonder how this is playing out in the real world.

Ladies with big salaries: Do you find that it's difficult to date men who make less than you do--either because you feel like they can't keep up, or because they feel inferior? Less "masculine"? Are you happy dating men who don't make much if they're pursuing their dreams--but less interested if they're not making much while, say, doing something in the business, legal or managerial jobs? (Uh, yeah, maybe the way I've phrased that question reveals something about me.)

Men who aren't making much: Do you feel uncomfortable dating women who make a lot more than you do, or does it take some of the financial pressure off?

Or does it just not matter all that much in either direction when you meet someone you like?



dear commenters:

-Diana and Edwinna: You both deserve golden pom-poms, for being the best cheerleaders ever.

-(Also, Diane? I saw your nice flattery from the other day, when I was asking about the read shirt--you made my day!)

-Claude: Keep me posted on Chroncile by GGM! Is that fiction or non-fiction? I can't remember. My friend Jack--who might be better-read than anyone in the entire world--says GGM's best is The Autumn of the Patriarch. But truth be told, I found it a little slow (after a breath-takingly good beginning) so I never finished it.

-DC: I like your suggestion: I'll try anything once. Just not monkeys' brains. Good mantra. I am repeating it.

-Ara: That sounds like a crazy story! What do you mean he mistook her for another girl--but, it sounds like, they met anyway?


One reader emailed me to say:

the after work salsa at SOB's isn't always the best option to get your flirt on. There are sooo many socials and salsa nights throughout the week and Fri/Sat generally get really packed. Every other Sunday at the Jimmy Anton social, Room 55 on Sun nights, Taj on Monday, Iguana or Columbus 72 on Tues, LQ on Wed., Cache on Thurs...all better options. It's OK to say no, or "how about the next song".