Dare to Ask: Does a man of modest means have a chance
with a woman with dough?
By Phillip Milano
The Florida Times-Union
I don't have a glamorous job, but I enjoy it and it pays my bills. Some women
who caught my eye on a singles Web site are professionals. One asked what I do
for a living. She hasn't talked to me since. Will "independent women" give guys
with lower incomes a fair chance? -- Dave, 26, Berea, S.C.
Most women want a man of means as much as most men want a woman who is
physically attractive. -- Lyddie, Chicago
I found that men who earn a lot less than I sometimes can't afford some
events. If I pay, it throws the balance of power off. -- Cassandra, 37, Chicago
I am a professional with a Ph.D. I married a "poor guy," and was that a mess.
I prefer the men to be well-educated. -- Leslie, 26, Tampa
I met my man when he was a cafeteria worker. My mom worries about us, but so
far, so good. Problems may arise from lack of money, but ... it helps that we
are both very easygoing and non-extravagant. -- Natalia, 23, New York
Those same women who see nothing wrong with looking down on your income (and
yes, they're looking straight down at your poor butt) are probably the first to
think it's awful that guys want "hot" chicks. -- Brian, 25, Indiana
Maybe if we all spent a little less time worrying about getting ahead or
which mate had the bigger salary, and a little more time on love and peace, we'd
have fewer allergy symptoms each March.
Until the rest of you totally get that connection (what, there isn't one?)
we'll muddle through solving stuff like this with experts like sociologist
Whelan, who's written books on relationships like "Marry Smart: The
Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love," commissioned a 2006 Harris survey of
high-achieving men and women.
It found that a third of the women married someone who didn't earn as much as
they did, and 67 percent would be comfortable as the primary earner.
Nowadays, there are more independent women, and they can choose whether they
want a similar mate, Whelan said.
"Potentially, more women earn a good income and see it as a freeing thing.
They can marry for love. The flip-side is plenty of them say no, I'm educated
and can make a good living, but I don't always want to have to."
Often it's not salary but education, social class or willingness to toss out
gender roles that's vital. Education and upbringing give us a particular way of
seeing the world, which usually is at the heart of long-term compatibility,
"Sex and passion only last so long; then you have to talk to someone at the
end of the day," she said. "For example, on 'Family Guy' they were having a
fight over a trivia question, and the guy said, 'You don't know that? The cat
would know that answer.' And she said, 'Not everyone went to college.' It shows
the fights you can have ... that can end up with one person sleeping on the
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Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
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