Are assets and wealth important?
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
"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
"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
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
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.
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
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