20 January 2011

"Nothin from nothin leaves nothin" --Billy Preston


I can distinctly remember, when I was in my 20s, standing in Rumors, telling a guy that I wasn't going to go out with him. Why? Because he lived with his folks and he didn't have a car.

You just called me a snob, didn't you? Wow. It's like that, is it?

Here was my thinking at the time. It wasn't this huge deal that he lived with his folks or that he didn't have a car but it was a deal-breaker. I appreciated that he had a plan to eventually move out of his folks' place/buy a car. And I hoped that he wound up very successful. I understood that not everyone had the same advantages as I had and I didn't think less of him. I just didn't want to start something with him.

I was gainfully employed (back when most people were), living on my own, in possession of my own car (well, me and the bank) and I wasn't going to waste my time with someone who wasn't in the same financial position as me. He wasn't interested in being my friend. I wasn't interested in dating someone who couldn't afford the same activities/interests as me. It wasn't going to work. Brutal? Maybe.

I wasn't looking for a sugar daddy. Just someone who didn't pull his pocket linings out when we'd be out doing something.

I don't believe you have to make the same amount of money as your partner. I DO believe it helps if you are on roughly equal footing, though. Am I a nut case? A jerk? A bourgeois elitist?

Question du jour: Would you rather be on equal financial footing, the other person make more, or you make more?

19 comments:

Titania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titania said...

I'd rather say that I'd want my partner to be at a similar level of "having-my-act-together"ness, if that makes sense... It is not about money per-se, but about the stage in life in which you and he/she are... Does that make sense?

The Bug said...

I've been married too long to really know anymore. I was the main breadwinner for a lot of years while my husband was in school getting his doctorate. Now we're on equal footing, but it doesn't really feel different (except we're finally paying off some bills). We just pool it all & do what we can with it. Or, you know, like a lot of Americans, MORE than we can :)

Gilahi said...

As a completely unbiased observer, I think you should work and make your man's life one of leisure and rest.

suicide_blond said...

i'll go out with just about anyone who will scrounge up the nerve to ask me.... but as for something serious.. well..i just try NEVER to do serious anyway....so i should prob just keep my mouth shut!
xoxo


"under the moonlight this serious moonlight.." ~bowie

Mac and Cheese said...

As someone who was raised in federal housing but now lives a fairly luxurious lifestyle because of my husbands income, I'm quite alright with the income difference ;)

Raquel's World said...

My views on this have changed considerably in the past ten years. I USED to want to be independent and preferred a man who didn't have as much as I did. That way I did not have to depend on him and I had the upper hand. I also felt that when men controlled the finances they were possessive and bossy.
But then I lost my job and had to count on my bf who always counted on me and that did not go over very well. In that moment and ever since I have decided I would rather have a man with more or at least equal to me.

froggy said...

I actually got that tshirt for Eldest as he was in a band, a really good band, but still a teenager and in high school.

I work in education, DH is an engineer - there ain't NO comparison in our incomes whatsoever and it doesn't bother me a bit.

Drama Queen said...

I'd probably have the same rules, but if the guy was hot? Then no rules. His hotness would overshadow anything else.

But I'm rather shallow like that.

Cyndy said...

My husband lived with his parents when we first started dating. I told him that I would not be able to take him seriously unless he moved into his own place or a group house or whatever.

Everyone's different, but relatively equal financial footing is what works best for me.

Vivian said...

I'd like them to make much, much more money than me. And then give it to me. I mean, that works, right? True love, no? Mama needs new shoes.

Ibid said...

I don't mind being on financially different ground, but one does have to watch out for warning signs that they've been leeching off their parents and are preparing to do the same to you.

Lemon Gloria said...

OK, it's kind of hard for me to focus on your question because in my head I am all, "Rumors! She was at Rumors!" Uh, not that I ever wound up there or anything.

I don't know that I care about amount of money as much as having it together, like Titania said. That said, my husband makes a lot more than me, and I'm fine with it.

spleeness said...

This doesn't strike me as snobby. It strikes me as intelligent. Why get involved in something that isn't a good idea? As someone who has looked at many things, said "wow, that's not a good idea" and did them ANYWAY, I can tell you right now... your take is WAY better.

Kate said...

It certainly helps when you're on relatively equal financial footing. When I met Brian, he was broker than broke (as in, sometimes all he ate in a day was a package of crackers) and it caused some friction between us. Obviously, we made it through and he does just fine now. So while it's not an impossible thing to deal with, equality helps.

Oh! I was just thinking that age is a factor, too. It's one thing to be carless and living with your parents when you're 23 ... quite another when you're 45.

Bowie Mike said...

How much ya got?

On a slightly more serious note, I was searching for the "Like" button after reading Gilahi's response. When will blogger get one?

On a totally serious note, in a good relationship, I don't think it's necessarily about how much each person makes as it is about being in-sync about what to do with the money once the paycheck(s) arrive. There's always going to be differences, but you've got to be in the same ballpark.

Felisa said...

Ditto what Titania said. Considering the economy, sometimes people just have to pick their own battles. I know people who live at home so they can pay for school. And some who don't have cars so they can afford rent.

It's different for every person but I definitely want someone who's an equal -- not an inferior or a superior for that matter. There's nothing snobby about wanting someone who has their stuff together like you!

lacochran's evil twin said...

Thanks, everybody, for weighing in.

And Lemon Gloria: Rumors was great back in my day. But, then, so was fire.

dcalex said...

Haha, i had exactly the same thought as lemon Gloria. ;-)