Men are the Breadwinners

That’s the emerging theme I heard when I posed this question on Facebook last week:

Hey FB family:

I asked this question in a group and wanted your opinion.

I have a friend who is 48 and makes above $80k annually. When we were talking about joint accounts he said that he doesn’t believe in them because then someone would see how much you make. I explained to him that if you’re getting married your potential spouse should already know. He said, “Well, I’ve been burned before and I usually meet women who make substantially less than me. Between $20,000 and $40,000 less.”

I explained to him that at his age he’s closer to retirement than just entering the workforce and he shouldn’t be dating women who make less than $80,000 a year. What are your thoughts?

So, I get that my question was a fire starter in some instances. It brought all kinds of comments. Many of which I don’t think people answered and just wanted to comment. LOL!

I get it. But, the interesting thing is that women felt that the above man shouldn’t date if he’s worried about a woman’s salary because men are supposed to be the breadwinner. As a strong advocate for equality among the genders I disagree with this premise.

Why?

Because if the roles were reversed and I was making $80,000 or above I would not date anyone making substantially less than me. The response is…you shouldn’t. So, why is it that a man can date a woman who makes a lot less than him and it be okay or if he doesn’t he’s considered being pompous or too selective?

Women were responding that money shouldn’t matter because they make less than their spouse and it’s fine. Point of clarification…it’s your spouse. What married people decide is between them. I’m talking strictly dating.

My reason for giving the gentleman that advice was because he was closer to retirement than just entering the workforce and if he’s dating for a purpose he may want to consider someone who is his financial equal. You don’t want another dependent. However, even that was considered too harsh.

My own mother responded and said:

Let’s distinguish the levels here. If you are dating, no disclosure required. But, don’t be fooled, most people can figure out what you make, if they try hard enough. However, once you put a ring on it AND set a date, I think it is time for full disclosure on BOTH sides! After all, you can make $85K and be $65K in debt! Likewise, you could make $40K and have no debt! Full disclosure after engagement! That is my two cents!

Yes, my mom is on Facebook. She’s only 19 years older than me. But, I called her and told her that I disagreed because as I spoke about earlier this week with financial intimacy, would she want me to date someone who makes substantially less than me knowing I have a child. Her response, “No, I wouldn’t.” See. I told you.

I think we need to change our mindset and not be afraid to discuss money if we are dating with a purpose. You don’t have to give an exact figure of your income, but most people can guess based on what you do and where you work. It’s hard to date someone if you’re in your 40’s, living in this area (DC, Maryland and Virginia), have dependents and make less than $80,000. I’m not making excuses, I’m being real about the situation.

Which is why many women are running into men that want to pay for the first date and then chill or hang out at your house for the next. That’s crazy. We don’t know each other. You shouldn’t want me to know where you live and trust and believe that I won’t tell you where I live. So, how do we get to know each other?

Phone conversations? Yes. Text Messages? Sure. Email? Perhaps. Those are all great methods for communicating but you need to engage in the old-fashioned face to face communication. We need to hang out doing things. I’m not necessarily speaking on things that are costly, but you have to be willing to invest both time and money when dating someone.

Realistically speaking isn’t that what matchmakers do? Match you with someone who they believe would be a good fit. Who wants to get matched with a gorgeous man who makes an annual salary of $40,000? Not at 40.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch and say, “T, money isn’t everything.” I know it’s not everything. I agree with that. If you’re a man who meets a woman who makes less than you I’m not suggesting you dump her and move along especially if there is chemistry. What I’m suggesting is that you observe her lifestyle and with communication find out if she can make sound financial decisions and practice sound judgement calls when it comes to wants and needs.

Again, it is my belief that the older you get you should look for financial compatibility as well as compatibility in other areas. Β Dating with a purpose if you are closer to retirement with your financial equal is of utmost importance, not just for women but for men too. You don’t want to be a victim of someone’s financial irresponsibility.

debt

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9 thoughts on “Men are the Breadwinners

    1. Yeah, dating over 40 has put me in all kinds of let’s talk about money conversations. I bring a 7 year old child to the mix so someone who is not financially responsible can’t destroy our lives. We need to have the open conversations about money and financial views while dating.

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  1. I tend to think that whatever works for a couple is what they should do. Joint checking works for some, I think, but I tend not to like it mostly because I find it incredibly difficult to keep up with the balance with just me using the account, much less adding another person’s transactions to the mix!

    But I have a hard time believing that a wife isn’t going to have at least some idea of how much money her husband is making, and that level of secrecy in a long-term relationship seems like a Very Bad Thing.

    As far as the breadwinning thing goes—it’s so strange how many people still buy into the gendered thinking along those lines. It’s actually really difficult for most families to make it on one income—and even if they do, there’s no reason it has to be a husband’s income.

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  2. That gendered thinking that the man should be the breadwinner is B.S. That said, I don’t think a number should be involved when dating someone. Just because you earn $80K doesn’t mean he or she needs to. I think that what is more telling is how responsible the person is with money.Some professions just pay less. I was a teacher. When I met my husband (at 36), he made a lot more than me. Not hard to do when a teacher with a Master’s and 6 years teaching experience only earns $40K.

    I do think that if you are seriously dating someone that financial conversations need to happen (full disclosure) before you get engaged,

    Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday!

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    1. Thank you so much for responding. Salaries in random dating don’t matter, it’s only if you want to get serious with someone. Financial intimacy is truly important. However, there are some professions that don’t make a lot of money and you know this…mainly teachers, some local police officers and firemen. You know that when you date them and you’re okay with that. When you get married it is a combined income that matters. Thank you for reading.

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