Single man says women need universal awakening - II

Importance of equality of assets when dating

A man I've known for a few years said he is dating a woman who has assets far greater than his assets. "Should the disparity matter?" he asked.

"Not to you," I said, "unless dating her is forcing you to live beyond your means or beyond the point of feeling comfortable with what you're spending."

"My spending on her is nibbling away at my nest egg," he said.

"Then the lifestyle you're currently living is not sustainable for the long haul. Have you discussed this with her?"

He said he was afraid to because it might chase her away and he was also embarrassed that she is wealthier. It made him feel inferior.

I asked our women members for their opinions on this man's dilemma.

Sue said, "In my last relationship, I was wealthier than the man. He is from the old school and insisted on paying for everything and was insulted when I offered.

"I would have preferred to go to more upscale restaurants, but he could not afford them. Several times, I asked if I could treat, and he refused, only allowing it once when he had chosen the restaurant. Men of our generation have issues about who is in charge and who pays."

Joan shared: "Relationships need to be partnerships where we each bring added value and enhancement to each other. Without a mutual understanding, they won't work."

Elaine wrote, "I was dating a wonderful man who was not nearly as financially stable as me. I had to evaluate whether I could handle the financial stability issue if it became long term. I have a decent retirement nest egg and have earned a steady, modest salary with benefits for many years. I've been careful with my spending and investments.

"If the relationship is good in every other way, a woman may have to make the decision to take on the responsibility of providing for a man. I did not want that with him; the relationship ended."

Liz said, "I will not respond to or email any man who does not at least earn as much as me.

Comment from Tom: I'm not sure how Liz finds out upfront how much a man earns. Questioning about that will chase him off whether he earns more or less.

Alexis, 66, said, "I'm uncomfortable if I do not share expenses 50-50 with my gentlemen friends. I still work and command a rather good salary while my dates are usually retired. I'm startled when I learn how little these guys are living on."

Back to the man who asked me the question. If each person shares in a relationship, no matter what each makes or has, it gives each a feeling of freedom and neither feels taken advantage of. Both sides win.

The man needs to forget his pride, and discuss finances with her. Perhaps she would suggest or recommend an equitable splitting of expenses, as Alexis said. The longer he waits; the longer he won't know if his relationship can endure.

© 2010, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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