What happens when you meet a man who has everything you’re looking for — but just one thing is missing: he’s not in your income bracket? Maybe he’s a cute teacher and you’re on a partner track. Or maybe he’s an emerging entrepreneur who’s still getting established, while you’ve already become a homeowner.
How do you navigate the situation without creating awkwardness or hard feelings? That’s what Kim is struggling with.
Hi April, I’m 32 years old and do very well in my profession. It’s not easy to find men who are at my financial level. What advice do you have in dealing with major income differences?
Kim, your question is so very common these days! And the short answer is, it all depends on how much you respect the man you’re with.
Most women will fall into the trap of paying a man’s way, but this is a recipe for disaster. It takes away his opportunity to court you, which in turn makes him feel as if he’s not contributing. And the fact is, a man feels his value to you when he can contribute on all levels and make you feel good.
At the same time, you’re accustomed to providing nice things for yourself; you’re able to travel, to go to the fancy restaurants of your choosing, and you don’t think twice when you see a gorgeous dress you’re dying to have. What’s a professional single gal to do?
Think About the Man, Not the Money
Yes, you might make more money because of the type of work you do, while the man you’re dating is absolutely brilliant, but limited with what he earns due to his profession. But just because a guy doesn’t have a lot of money, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t pay for the date. Or that he wants you to pick up half the check.
Remember, your guy still needs (and wants) to be a gentleman. He still needs to court you, money or not. So trust him. Know that if he chooses a restaurant, it’s one he can afford, and don’t offer to pitch in. Just relax, and let him enjoy treating you.
Instead of jumping in with suggestions for dates, practice patiently receiving and see what he comes up with. You might be surprised by what he can offer, and it may be even better than a typical dinner at a fancy restaurant you’ve already been to. Be open to the experience of being with him, without obsessing over income, which is not what love is about.
What Matters to You
Finally, my question back to you, Kim, is what is most important? Another trip to Paris, or a man who loves, adores and respects you?
As women are becoming more successful, the pool of men who make as much as, or more than you do is getting smaller. Certainly finances are a factor, but whether you connect with a man (his mind, heart, and values) is key.
Now, again, I’ll stress that you must respect the man you’re with, so if you can’t look up to him and admire him for any reason, then he’s not for you. But look at the whole picture. Don’t forget about the deeper and more meaningful things that will carry you through your life together. That’s where you want to place your heart.
A Common Experience
I hope that helps, Kim. For the rest of you, I know if you’re reading this, you’ve come up against this issue before. I’d love for you to share your thoughts here in the comments section. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
Finally, be sure to check back on Sparks! this Friday for part one of my next The Friday Takeaway series: Eight Ways to Win at Online Dating! It’s going to be good!
Much love as always,