Real Talk: Why Money Matters To Women
You guys may have seen our AskWomen video series, where we got some real women to have some drinks and answer your questions about whether a guy can ever get out of the friend zone, whether size matters and whether body hair is a deal breaker. Well, here’s a single girl’s opinion on more of your questions. Readers have been kept anonymous.
Q: I recently went on a date with a young woman who said she doesn’t date men her age because they “don’t have a lot to offer.” I took this as a very shallow and materialistic response. Because of today’s economy, has it become increasingly OK for a person to put more emphasis on what a partner has to offer monetarily and be able to do so without being considered materialistic? Or is love still enough for some women?
A: According to the Universal Order of Women handbook (in some sects, it’s Womyn), I really shouldn’t be telling you this, but we’re friends, right? We are? OK. Come closer. Closer. Here it is: All women are not the same.
We don’t look the same, we don’t dress the same, and we certainly don’t all want the same things. All we universally have in common is a vagina (and sometimes not even that). That being said, I’ll try to answer your question the best I can, both from my perspective and from an overall one.
Some women have chosen to follow a traditional path in life, which means settling down with a man who can support them, bearing and raising children, and taking care of the home and family. I don’t judge them for that, because I believe feminism is about choices, not limitations. But I definitely can’t speak for those ladies, let alone quantify their financial needs. (I suppose you could break it down to the lifetime cost of a child, multiplied by how many children she wants, and add a geographically average mortgage and living expenses to it, but that seems a bit intense). So if you want this kind of lady, then I really can’t help you as I have no idea what on earth they want.
But if you’re looking to land a more career-oriented woman, or even a creatively ambitious one, the stakes are a bit different. I won’t say money is completely off the table as a consideration, because if a woman works hard to support herself she probably doesn’t want to spend all her money supporting a man with no means. But even that is not always the case. Here’s the thing: A goal-oriented woman (whatever those goals may be, from climbing the corporate ladder to being a successful artist to building an entrepreneurial empire) usually wants a goal-oriented man.
A man’s bank account matters a lot less to me than his ambition and drive. Recently a very attractive retail employee was interested in me, and I told my friends I didn’t want to date him. Here’s why: It isn’t because he folds shirts all day (OK, maybe a tiny bit); it’s because beyond that job, I didn’t see any indication that he wanted any more out of life. He wasn’t a writer pursuing his dream of penning the great American novel, or a business-savvy web designer trying to get his own company off the ground, or a musician struggling to make it (although dating band dudes is a whole ‘nother enchilada of no thanks), all while making ends meet with this job. This job in and of itself (or any comparable job) is all he seems to want out of life. I want more, much more, and so I can’t see myself with someone who doesn’t. Which means whether he was a shop keep or a decently salaried office drone or a high-paid miserable accountant, I wouldn’t want to be with him.
So, anonymous reader, what your date may have meant when she said younger men “don’t have a lot to offer” is that perhaps they’re not as driven and ambitious as older men who are more set on their paths and hungry to be better at their chosen “thing.” But poor thing is wrong, because there are plenty of older dudes who are also captains of the S.S. No Aspirations, and, believe me, it’s not their maiden voyage.
Age isn’t a factor here, and neither is materialism. It’s more intangible than that: It’s a shared future. At least that’s my take on it. Your date also might have just been a trife bitch, in which case, I can’t really speak to her state of mind because I’m way cooler and would totally love to go to Chili’s with you (which is where I imagine you took her, as they have excellent meal deals).
Choose more wisely, and you’ll find a girl who has the same end game as you: happiness. Or as my homegirl J.Lo put it, “Love don’t cost a thing.” She also said that, to her, staying real is like breathing, but I don’t really know what that means, so let’s just end this here.