Do You Wait For Men To Earn Enough Money Before You Commit?

Name: KatieTE BLOG. Wedding couple and money coins.10.25.2011.iStock_000015774569Medium[1]
Comment: As I near 30, having children become increasingly important to me. I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for 1.5 years. He is tall, hot, plays the guitar, we have many shared interests, and the same sense of humor. However, he makes half of my salary. (I work in a technical field and make the upper range of my salary bracket for my experience level.) Since I desire a family, his ability to pull his weight financially in raising children is a concern for me. You may wonder why I didn’t take his earning ability into consideration when I decided to commit to him. To be honest, I only started thinking about having kids as a realistic possibility about 8 months ago and have been slowly working through the practical implications since then.

I discussed my desire to have children with him, and he admitted that he needs 2-4 years to prepare both emotionally and financially, which is understandable and predictable. He is working to switch into my career field in order to make more money. But I think realistically, it would take 4 years to him to be at where I would like him to be financially.

He is 3.5 years younger than me, so my desire for children makes the age difference (which has never been an issue before because we look about the same age) apparent, and I can’t help but wonder if we’re simply at different places in life.

I’m pretty and I understand men fairly well, so I know I would have no trouble attracting the type of guy who is ready for children right now if I were to start looking. So I don’t know whether I should stick it out for another 4 years or call it quits now. Thanks in advance for your insights.
Age: 29
City: Washington
State: DC

It doesn’t sound like you’re terribly committed to this guy now, so why stick around? I mean, you’re already weighing your options instead of trying to devise a plan that will help you and he reach this goal together. Not once do you say in this letter that you love him. That should tell you everything you need to know.

You’re 29. He’s 25. That’s a pretty critical age difference. It would be different if you were 35 and he were 31 or even if you were 33 and he were 28. He’s still developing and figuring himself out. You’re at the tail end of that phase of your life. You wouldn’t be maturing at the same rate. Not emotionally, not mentally, and not financially. You had your fun with hot guy in the band. Scratch that off your bucket list and move on.

Though, before you do that,  you may wish to consider one other point. What if, and this is a wild thought, you work and the baby’s father stays home with the child?  The one income household thing has been around for quite some time and people seem to manage. Now, if you’re you’re not making enough to support yourself, that’s one thing. But if you can end up making enough to support your family, then why not consider that as an option instead of crossing your fingers that some dude will raise his earning potential or hedging your bets that you’ll find a guy who makes enough to support a family? Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s insane for anybody to settle down with someone who can’t substantially financially contribute to a household. But who’s to say which partner should be the one who makes the higher salary? Aren’t those days behind us?

I guess I’m still blown away by how many women are still relying on the man to be the breadwinner. That’s a little out of touch these days, don’t you think?




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63 Responses to “Do You Wait For Men To Earn Enough Money Before You Commit?”

  1. Sarah Says:

    “I think realistically, it would take 4 years to him to be at where I would like him to be financially.”

    Is this a joke, or are you really this unlikeable?

    • DatingNoob Says:

      She is a total product of today’s culture and society. She simply doesn’t know better. And doesn’t know that she doesn’t know.

  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “And what’s with this, ‘He’s 3-5 years younger than me?’ thing. Do you not know how old he is and can you not subtract those digits from the digits in your age and come up with a hard and fast number? ”

    Verrry astute. I didn’t catch that. It’s like people who tell you they went to a “top 14″ school. Wait. Let me guess. Your school was no. 14?

    “I’m pretty and I understand men fairly well, so I know I would have no trouble attracting the type of guy who is ready for children right now if I were to start looking.”

    Are you now. Well, we can take your word for it, I suppose. But, you wouldn’t be the first woman to overestimate her value in the market for the so-called “marriage minded men” based on the seemingly endless army of available bachelors now willing to take you out for a good time. Even wealthy ones. So, if it were me, I would not be so quick to assume that I could “do better.”

  3. Selena Says:

    Uh I think she wrote 3.5 years – as in 3 and a half.

    Regardless, it doesn’t sound like she loves him very much so yeah, let him go find someone who will love him, while she searches for the guy who out earns her given how much importance she places on that.

  4. LostSailor Says:

    So, Katie is with a guy she at least likes, one who seems willing to want to make a commitment, is open to having children with her, who seems to have a plan to change careers to financially make it happen and he’s nearly 26 to her 29.

    Sounds like a good situation.

    Except when it doesn’t sound like a good situation.

    It sounds like he is okay with the idea and is willing to make it work. But it sounds like she is approaching this with a more mercenary attitude. It sounds like she has decided in the last 8 months that she wants a kid and doesn’t really care much who she has it with. Hot Guitar Guy (HGG) might be okay, but he might not get his act together on her schedule. But she’s pretty and “understands men fairly well” and can easily go out and snag another baby-daddy to have children right now. Really, it’s six of one, half dozen of the other.

    Since Katie has already admitted that HGG is pretty much disposable, it stands to reason that if she snags another man to father her children, he’ll be pretty disposable, too. Well, at least his physical presence as a human being, as long as his financial resource are still available, which sounds like the most important factor.

    I wish I could contact HGG and let him know that he’s playing with fire here. I’d also want to contact any other man Katie targets as a walking resource-laden baby-daddy to warn him as well. Katie has decided she wants one or more kids as soon as possible, and it doesn’t really matter who the father is. Men sound like they’re really irrelevant to her, aside from their sperm and income.

    I don’t mean to be harsh here, but Katie sounds like a bad bet for any man to engage as a wife, let alone a mere parenting partner. So, my “insight” for Katie is to go the in-vitro anonymous sperm donor route and be a single mother. Fathers sound unimportant to her as fathers; if she’s just looking for a sperm-and-money donor, do all men a favor and leave them out of it.

    But to address Moxie’s final point, about why women are still relying on men to be the primary breadwinner, yes, it would seem in our modern equalitarian age it shouldn’t matter. But it does. At least in relationships and marriage. It’s not just anecdotal, but confirmed by recent studies that in spite of our “modern” sensibilities, women in relationships who are the primary earners–whether the father/husband works or stays home or not–are far less satisfied with their relationships than women in families where the man is the higher earner.

    Yes, I suppose we “should” be beyond this. But when what “should” happen runs up against ingrained cultural norms that have lasted for millennia, “should” doesn’t stand a chance. Yeah, it can work and I’ve seen it work, but it take a lot of work and commitment to make it work.

    I don’t think Katie is there. She just wants kids because she’s decided she wants kids. And she may later decide she wants to stay home with the kids, and someone’s got to pay for that. It sounds like it doesn’t matter much who that is…

    • Sarah Says:

      “I wish I could contact HGG and let him know that he’s playing with fire here.”

      I know, right? Can you imagine if the situation were reversed? What if HGG told Katie, “I think, realistically, it will take you about four years to be where I would like you to be, physically.” No one would even CONSDIER that letter. We’d be all, “Dump him! You go, girl!”

      Jesus H. Christ, this isn’t rocket science. If you think your partner isn’t good enough for you, Katie: BREAK UP. Trying to stick it out and work on a cute little fixer-upper starter mate will only make both of you resentful — him, when he realizes what you’re doing; and you, when he continues to fail to ever live up to your expectations.

    • Goldie Says:

      ***So, my “insight” for Katie is to go the in-vitro anonymous sperm donor route and be a single mother. ***

      Aw hell no! What if the poor kid turns out not to be at where Katie would like him or her to be – intellectually, looks-wise, grades-wise, etc.? My insight is for Katie to gain more insight before she starts any kind of family.

      • LostSailor Says:

        Well, perhaps.

        But if she’s determined to continue the single-mother, fathers-are-irrelevant societal death-spiral, the least she could do is not take down some unsuspecting guy at the same time…

  5. K Says:

    Pretty much agree with Moxie’s first two paragraphs. I feel like so far people are hard on her. When and if shes writes in to Moxie at 37 about trying to find a guy in her 30s to start a family with, I feel like people will jump on her about how men in thier 30s don’t want to date women her age, how she had her best market value in her 20s and should have planned better and not dated younger guys. At 29, I wasn’t as sure as her about what I wanted, but if I was I would certainly date a man in his mid-30s who also is in a good place to start a family. She is in a great position to do so. Unless she is madly in love w/her current bf, she might as well make a good longer term decision and find a man who she IS in love with and who also is ready for the same life steps. As to the rest, I didn’t get the idea she wanted to be supported, but rather seeks an equal-ish provider. For example, I can’t support a husband and a child in the manner I want to provide for my family. So I would also want someone who could provide in the same ballpark. Also if she likes more traditional roles, she may not be a good fit for a house husband. I know some guys are okay with that, but my male friends aren’t the type and we are generally in our 30s. I think it will change in time, but for most main stream people we aren’t there yet. Maybe she is and if so she could follow that advice to keep this relationship.

    • C Says:

      I agree. She has reached that point around the 9 month to 2 year mark when people take inventory of their relationship and ask if this thing is going toward marriage. Thats a smart move.

      I agree with Moxie. Doesnt sound like she is all that into this guy and is almost asking for approval to leave him.

      Unfortunately, Lost Sailor is right. This girl has a boyfriend who is showing all the signs of being a good and supportive partner. He has similar goals as the LW and appears to be working hard to accomidate her needs. Thats awesome! These are the qualities that make for a good parent and a long, successful marriage. He may still be the wrong guy for the LW, but these are the qualities she should be looking for in a man.

      Her values (in my opinion) are skewed when she glosses over the supportive partner bit and goes straight for the earning potential.

      Guess what, that hot guy who has been focusing his energy on having that high salary since he was 12 is probably not going to be a very good partner. Everything is secondary to his career. Thats why he is so good at it.

      I wouldnt be surprised if the LW does get the guy with the salary shedesires….but be careful what you wish for.

      • Eliza Says:

        Good point to make…and that is, I know – from experience, observation – and close relatives as well. A man can be extremely focused, career-minded, and a go-getter all the way – to the point where he is super successful in what he does–and earns a bundle…and yes, he may want the share the same life-steps with women like Katie–and be a great provider, and want children. But with that does come compromising. A man that is say earning a very handsome salary–may not be around – due to work demand, travelling for work reasons. Afterall, with a high-networth comes demands on one’s personal time, nothing is free, – from the outside it may seem all fun and games…and trips here and there, and an easy-breezy life–but I personally know couples – who seemed to have it all, a housekeeper, no money worries–but eventually they got divorced. Why? Because although money does make life easier in many ways…absence of genuine love, and the lack of “presence” does put a strain on ANY relationship.

        • Nicole Says:

          Wow, you just described my marriage Eliza … My ex was incredibly smart and talented, and for most of our ten year marriage his work took him around the globe. My choice was to either see him a couple of weekends a month, or follow him to a new place every six months (effectively giving up my career and social life). We tried both. Neither worked for us. By the end, we were friends, not partners.

          Ironically, I’m dating a guy whose first marriage also failed in part because he was gone for work so much. Definitely moving slowly and hoping he means it when he says he’s learned from his mistakes.

          So I will second the sentiment that there is a lot more to a fulfilling family life than just finding a highly paid man who wants kids. I hope the OP knows that, too.

          • Eliza Says:

            To some degree-absence does make the heart grow fonder…but from conversations with those close/dear to me – sometimes when a partner has to travel for work – or work very long hours constantly–(whether it’s out of his hands or prefers to do such–because he is genuinely passionate about his profession) – and he may also be a Type A all the way–it takes a toll–on EVERYONE. With such a situation, the wife 1) either has to give up her profession–to be around for the children they both wanted; or 2) hire a nanny–and spend little with her own children. It’s far from perfect though. I heard firsthand–how such scenarios have helped a couple grow apart…they have less in common and merely have the “kids and home finances” to conversate or complain about. That, in my opinion is NOT living, nor is it a “marriage” based on happiness. Once you throw in children to the mixture, there is a lot of juggling…someone HAS to take the backseat, it’s inevitable. Not everyone woman who is genuinely passionate about her own profession will stop working altogether – for 5-10 years, to raise a family. If it’s something you love to do–it’s hard to give up…for a man or woman.

      • mindstar Says:

        Or more likely after she gets the career orientated guy who makes enough to support her in the lifestyle she’d like to grow accustomed to she will still be unhappy. She will say he’s boring and doesn’t “excite” her the way HGG did. S

        he will then either cheat on career guy with HGG Version 2.0 or divorce him and go looking for a new HGG. Naturally only after secuing a nice award of child support and alimony. The OP sees men as sperm banks and wallets with legs. HGG is better of without her.

        • Eliza Says:

          Gee mindstar…you have all this so pre-meditated! wow.
          I would hope NOBODY would operate in such a self-serving ill manner. But I do agree with the overall concept, which is…you can’t have it all…and that would be: 1) the excitement of being around someone truly passionate about their creativity, music, art, etc., and 2) that same person having the free time to focus on that – while making a huge earning – to afford a lavish and/or comfortable lifestyle. There are sacrifices with each scenario.

          • mindstar Says:

            Eliza I practiced divorce law in NYC for 20 years. I saw all too many scenarios like the one I described. Sometimes from the man but much more often from the woman.

            They were either not willing to acknowledge the consequences of their poor mate choice or were not willing to make the sacrifices that marriage requires. Too many people want to GET married, they don’t want to BE married.

          • LostSailor Says:

            I agree with Mindstar. The point is not that people are consciously operating in such a self-serving ill manner, they’re just following their “feelings.” And such people, usually women, really believe they can and should “have it all.” But in the OP the signs are already there: Katie isn’t thinking about finding a man who will be a loving husband, loyal partner, and good father, she’s looking for someone who has the right resource mix who will be on her timetable.

            Mindstar has it absolutely right. Too many people want to get married (hey, if it doesn’t work out, there are at least cash and prizes at the end of the divorce trail) but don’t really want to be married…

        • C Says:

          You might be right.

          I can also see that she might have had her fun with HGG and is now in a different phase of life. She may get herself a charismatic higher earner and never yearn for another HGG. Problem is she can easily end up with someone who views her in the same way she views him: as a commodity or as checking off a box. “While she is thinking, “Hot, good earner. Check. Babies. Check.” He is thinking, “Cute, professional trophie wife who makes me look good. Check. Babies to carry on the family name. Check. Ok back to working on my career.”

          What happens when a couple like this hits a bumpy patch in the relationship? Will they have empathy for their partners feelings of frustration? Will they chose to work through it or just see the spouse as the bad guy?

          I dont know how long a marriage like this normally lasts.

  6. Nicole Says:

    “So I don’t know whether I should stick it out for another 4 years or call it quits now.”

    You should call it quits now. If this is already how your looking at the situation, the next 4 years are going to ruin your relationship. You’ll be impatient and frustrated, he’ll feel pressured and inadequate. And there’s the (not terribly unlikely) possibility that he won’t be earning enough or ready for kids right on schedule. What happens then?

    Find somebody who’s on the same page as you are and is ready (emotionally and financially, however you define that) for kids in the near future. Better to do it now than after three years of unhappiness in your relationship.

  7. G Says:

    I can see both sides… but it’shard to take a liking to…

    At the end of the day, she wants what she wants. And she’s entitled to go for that, everyone is. But lets be honest. This is the hot band member and she’s looking for a husband and babies. She needs to let him go.

    The way the letter comes across at least, is that her wants and needs are above her actual love for a guy. She doesn’t mention the guys wants or needs. She doesn’t mention she loves him, he’s just a cog in the wheel, and that cog needs to be a money & baby making machine for her to be happy. It doesn’t sound like who the guy is makes any difference, as she says herself, she can just replace that small detail to get what she wants.

    I can’t make up my mind on it. I’m a big proponent of going after what you want in life. If the partner you have doesn’t fit the lifestyle you want, then it’s more fair on both of you to end it and go get what you are looking for. Everyone deserves that chance if they work hard enough to get what they want. That’s how I feel anyway.

    On the other side… I can see how it’s presented rubbing a lot of guys here the wrong way. The BF is replaceable, it’s all about her wants and needs, the guy is just there to provide for what she wants, not to be happy or have what he wants himself. I get it, she wants what she wants but I find it hard to believe a relationship like this can really go the distance… does the guys feelings and ambitions not matter an ounce in the relationship?

  8. POV Says:

    So she’s trying to take the proverbial “hot bad boy” and make him into a beta provider. Yes, this will turn out well. As it always does…

  9. Damien Says:

    It sounds like the OP is enamored with the idea of a trophy boyfriend: younger, tall hot boy toy who plays the guitar.

    Meanwhile, this guy could get his pick of young women and he can enjoy playing the field for a long while.

    In a few years, the tables will turn on who has the upper hand here.

  10. AnnieNonymous Says:

    Katie’s right to consider finances before having a baby, and (not knowing her health status myself), she might be justified in thinking that she doesn’t have a lot of time left to get pregnant. If she knows she wants kids, she’s not wrong to wonder if it will be with this guy or the next one. Because – let’s be real – she’ll likely only get to have one or two more boyfriends before the notion of kids isn’t realistic anymore.

    What bothers me about this email is the sense that Katie thinks she can plan everything. You can get into this mode of thinking “If I save up all of my paychecks for the next four years I”ll have $xxxxxxx” all you want, but it NEVER pans out that way. She sounds like she’s trying her logic out on an anonymous audience to see if it works before trying to sell it to her boyfriend.

  11. babytalk Says:

    I know this audience’s blog enough to see that her stance would be somewhat unpopular. I am a few years older and I have to agree with her, that if you want to start a family and that’s a priority you are at the perfect age to do so and well within your right to look for the man who can be a solid provider. And to Moxie, it’s not relevant if this is “old-fashioned” it’s relevant that this is what she wants and she is realistically within the age range, city, and “market value” to do so, according to her own assessment.

    Women have a very small window of time, relative to men, to have kids, and considering that she has stated she makes a good salary, she can always have a boyfriend that will make less money than her. She still *can* find someone else, if that is what she wants. There is *nothing* wrong with that. Because she can find men up to 10 years older who are looking just for that (I did read somewhere that 29 is the most popular age for women).

    Most women take into consideration a man’s career before settling down, if they are in a position to, *even if she does well on her own*
    From the tone of the letter it’s obvious that she is not THAT into him, if she were, none of this would be an issue. My guess is by putting the baby question at the fore, she is finding something concrete to fault him.

    But I agree with Nicole, break up, and break up now. The age difference is significant if her goal is to have a child. She is better off with a somewhat older man who is ready to settle and better prepared to have the child, since she is more of a planner. If you have doubts now, and I suspect the baby issue is the tip of the iceberg, they will not go away.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Her stance is the least of the problems most of us have with her. She doesn’t sound like a bad person because she wants a partner who can contribute to raising a child. She just plain sounds like an awful person.

      Who talks about someone they are considering having a child with like that?

      • Selena Says:

        “Who talks about someone they are considering having a child with like that?”

        That’s what turned me off.

        She says: “I discussed my desire to have children with him, and he admitted that he needs 2-4 years to prepare both emotionally and financially, which is understandable and predictable.”

        Then: “But I think realistically, it would take 4 years to him to be at where I would like him to be financially.”

        Where she would like him to be financially. Think about that.

        Where’s the love? What I’m hearing is “Show me the money.”

        • babytalk Says:

          I know, know she doesn’t sound nice at all, but I prefer someone like her, who is completely honest and straightforward, to someone who accepts the partner for “who they are” at this stage in life, only to nag, complain and resent them later.
          I am kind of amazed by people like her, who plan every inch of their lives. As someone who is a bit older and has made some mistakes, I feel like acknowledging what you *really* want – even if that means not being a “nice” person is a lesson to be learned.
          It’s not that I don’t believe in “love”, but sometimes I think we let that concept override our need to make decisions and to assert what it is that we seek in life. Having said that, she sounds like she does not love him that much, and that is what I take from this letter, ultimately. She is using the baby idea to eliminate him from the picture when in fact it’s simple, “she’s just not that into him”.

          • Selena Says:

            “It’s not that I don’t believe in “love”, but sometimes I think we let that concept override our need to make decisions and to assert what it is that we seek in life.”

            In Katie’s case it appears she is not seeking a loving partner and father, rather as Lost Sailor pointed out, a sperm and money donor. How many men to do you think want to willing sign up for such an arrangement because it’s what the woman “seeks in life”?

            How many men do you suppose have been deceived by such an agenda? Found themselves in loveless marriages? Found themselves divorced and supporting women who had such an agenda for decades?

            I really hope this woman does some deeper thinking about her priorities.

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            You think this poor fool she is dating has gotten this impressive ‘honesty’? You think he knows hes disposable and interchangeable to her? Just a paycheck and and a nanny. Of course he hasn’t. No sane man would sign up for that. She’s as dishonest as they come.

            Her coming on here talking like an ice cold sociopath does not make her “straightforward”.

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            babytalk, again, way too much credit for this woman.

            She is not using the baby thing as a way to escape a dead end relationship. The fact is that she *would* marry him for what he can give her and start a loveless family with him tomorrow if he got a big enough raise.

          • mindstar Says:

            “You had your fun with hot guy in the band. Scratch that off your bucket list and move on.”

            This. Moxie nailed it. The OP is 29 and after having had her fun with HGG she wants to move on to the next item on her bucket list which is HECG high earning career guy and kids so she can be a stay at home mom.

            I’ll hazard a guess she’s also been seeing too many Facebook posts of girlfriends of her’s who are either getting married or are married and having children. She likely is also thinking maybe the time spent with HGG was not productive towards her long time goals.

            She can’t stand the thought of not getting what she wants (first HGG now kids) and since men are interchangeable to her “I’m pretty and I understand men fairly well, so I know I would have no trouble attracting the type of guy who is ready for children right now if I were to start looking”, this is her new goal.

            As I said in an earlier comment she will either cheat on HECG with HGG Version 2.0 or divorce him and go looking for a new HGG. When he doesn’t pan out economically she will seek another HECG and now as a single mom, will be crying “where are all the good men?” Rinse and repeat.

          • Eliza Says:

            Babytalk…I do agree that sometimes we do place too much emphasis on “love” – to a point where it may blind us – to OTHER qualities that are crucial – especially when considering having a family/home, and all the obligations (“trappings”) that come with that. Love that word “trappings”–but it’s true–to a large extent – we are merely “trapped” by the material things we hold so dear…be it with a job that we truly abhor–but NEED–because we have that 30 year mortgage–and all the monetary obligations associated with such. Ever stop to think that with some highly successful men that prefer to date women that are educated, and successful–yet, there is a caveat…some of these men may be looking for women who are OK giving up their chosen professions–indefinitely too–to raise the kids, manage the home. It’s a big undertaking. Not EVERY woman would do that actually…if in fact they are passionate about their careers. Afterall, someone does have to ride shotgun–while the other partner thrives–and creates that wealth–and/or sustains such a lifestyle. You see? There is also a compromise.

  12. Goldie Says:

    Couple unpopular points.

    1) After my first child was born (it’s his 21st birthday today btw), I lost my job. I eventually found a part-time one, then a temp one, then his brother was born and I lost my job again. Then we came here and had to start over. I found an entry-level job fairly quickly, but my husband took six months longer (I pulled some strings in my brand-new professional network to get him an interview). Basically we were broke for most of our kids’ early years. Guess what? The kids survived. The fact that they had no new clothes until they started school, somehow failed to traumatize them for life. They did well in school, birthday boy just recently graduated from college, at age 20, with a 3.96 GPA, he had a full ride, sounds like a good outcome to me.

    I was confident we’d get on our feet eventually, because we were both smart, with good education (in a technical field, like the LW), and had overall potential. I was also confident we’d be content with relatively little, and wouldn’t need to go full upper-middle-class in order to raise happy kids.

    I get it that the LW has the right to want what she wants, but the fact remains that she’s throwing her partner under the bus for nothing more than $$. Is this a fair trade, even if you “think about the children”?

    2) Why the hell would anybody start their description of their boyfriend of 1.5 years with “he’s tall, hot, plays the guitar”, followed by shared interests and sense of humor. Oh really? in that order? And where’s the important stuff such as, is he reliable, is he supportive, do you two share the same values etc? If LW’s priority list starts with “tall, hot”, maybe she’s not yet ready to be a parent? just sayin.

    3) There’s a possibility of me being able to move to DC in a few years. Things like LW’s letter are the reason why I’m on the fence about the move. The whole area seems to be crawling with superficial, materialistic people. I’ll be happy to hear arguments to convince me otherwise, TIA.

    • babytalk Says:

      I feel like this letter exemplifies something that seems to go on a lot in dating, that is women having a very focused idea on finding a partner who is at least on their income/education level, preferably above. I think that is part of the issue here. I don’t think it’s just because he doesn’t make much money, it’s because he makes *less* than her. This is very early stages of the old “settling” question.
      I remember reading some column by a young female investment banker on dating…she said that they all wanted men on their level and above. Of course male investment bankers aren’t necessarily interested in dating their female colleagues.
      There was also another article about people marrying within their own class (which I think that is what she is going for) much more often nowadays than they used to, and how that decreases social mobility.
      I feel like women will “fight” to have partner that is on their economic/class level whereas men are usually more open and less concerned with money, but much more concerned with youth and appearance, generally speaking.
      The problem is that obviously, with more and more women in powerful positions there are less men that make more money than we do, and therefore a smaller “suitable” pool for high-achieving, high-powered women who want men on their level which creates a huge gap in the end, since there just aren’t that many men like that around.
      So in the end I don’t think her sentiment is all that uncommon, it’s just that she is entering a competitive field and should consider stretching her age preferences upward. But is she is focused, flexible and has time to find the partner she wants.

      • Goldie Says:

        But she’s not talking level or education. She’s talking strictly about his paycheck. And that’s not the same as “level”. My professor ex made as much as I did; OTOH, I met a guy on Match who had his own business selling and installing electric dog fences – he was boring as hell, but boy was he loaded. She’s not talking about being in the same social class, her only concern is whether he’ll bring home enough cash to raise children.

        Also, for godsakes, he’s 25! People with the highest upward mobility and earning potential are still in grad school/postdoc/med school etc at that age. Guess what their incomes are. A man’s future status and income, even if a woman is primarily concerned with these things, are still largely undetermined at age 25. The guitar boy may very well go back to school tomorrow and come out earning gobs of cash, if he’s so inclined; I’ve seen that happen.

        • Selena Says:

          She says he’s going into her field and willing be making what she wants him to make in 4 years. She’s just not sure she wants to wait 4 years. She wants a high earning man NOW.

        • Eliza Says:

          Perhaps Katie is looking for some 20-something tech-wiz or the next Mark Zuckerberg! – who will invent the next App – to be purchased from Facebook for a cool billion! The truth is – there are fields that are noble, and require advanced education…and you can be with a super-motivated person who is a hard-worker – but has decided to be a teacher or social worker. He/she may be very intelligent, and diligent and reliable and able to sustain themselves with stable consistent work, but those fields do not pay as much as finance may, technology, ecommerce, etc. Guitar boy may go back to school–but may pursue music–you can’t fault someone for pursuing what they love. But you can’t fault someone for thinking about the future either – especially where children are concerned.

    • Ben Iyyar Says:

      I think that Katie, the letter writer, has every right to demand that her husband be able to financially support his family, perhaps not right off the bat, but the potential should be there. I know this is old fashioned thinking, but I personally could not respect a man who did not at least mostly support his own family. In my own case, after several years and four children my wife told me that one of the most attractive and exciting aspects she found in me when we started dating was that I was a hard worker in a profession which might not make us rich but would always keep us financially secure.
      I can really relate to Goldie and her husband and their experience in raising their family because it is almost exactly what my wife and I went through. For most young couples the first few years are a struggle, a new couple who barely know each other are now husband and wife, becoming parents together, and taking care of a baby or two, while working to support themselves. It is tough.
      And even though Katie writes, “I’m pretty and I understand men fairly well, so I know I would have no trouble attracting the type of guy who is ready for children right now if I were to start looking” she knows in her heart that she faces a difficult and scary task of finding a suitable match with no guarantees that she will succeed. That’s tough too.

  13. DatingNoob Says:

    This blog is great. It so clearly exemplifies how screwed up our society is becoming with most people completely oblivious to it. All actions have consequences. The OP is just another example of women wanting their cake and eating it too. Except, for the most part that’s just a fantasy.

  14. Lisa Says:

    I find it odd that the subject of starting a family only just occured to both of them. They started dating 1.5 yrs ago. The LW was 27 or 28 at the time. What 27 or 28 y/o woman has never once considered having children or the qualities she would like in a husband? Plus, with the age and career differences, I would certainly have thought she would have discussed these issues much earlier on. Why would a 28 y/o, high-powered, professional woman dating a younger, much less successful man snooze on these sticking points for 1.5 yrs? I think bc talking about such things isn’t how you get or keep a tall, hot funny guy in a band.

    I don’t mean to shake my finger at her but there comes a point in every adult’s life when you need to put down the toys and be about the business of adulthood. If children were on the horizon and a nice house and all the trappings of that lifestyle, then she should have screened better back then.

    • mindstar Says:

      True but that wasn’t what she wanted back then. Now she has to deal with the consequences of those decisions.

      • C Says:


        Sorry Lisa but not everyone arrives at the same place at the same time and PLENTY of high powered professional women date and/or sleep with a hot younger guy. I personally know a gorgeous 42 year old female executive that recently had her 2nd baby with her 28 year old fiance who she met when she took a Capoeira class he was teaching 4 years ago.

        She was having fun dating HGG when the baby rabies hit. So she took stock of her relationship. When she did she realized that not only is he not in the same place emotionally or professionally, but that she isnt all that in love with HGG. It may sound harsh, but its good and rather mature of her to be thinking this through and acting on it now.

  15. AC Says:

    It sounds like to OP is dating this gut based primarily
    on his looks and the fact that he’s a musician. Nothing wrong with that
    except that she now wants him on some level to be ready to
    FFwd to where she’s at in life. Sorry but with all do respect, you
    can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  16. Katie Says:

    OP here. First of all, thanks for all the well-thought-out advice despite my initial question making me come off very unlikeable. You guys pointed out many helpful points and saw the situation from angles I would’ve otherwise missed.

    After re-reading my original post, I guess I could see how it might have come off sounding like I’m looking for any man with deep pockets to make a baby with me and support us. I assure you that is not the case, and neither is money the most important criteria I use when looking for someone to settle down with. I simply want someone who can share the financial responsibility of raising 2 kids together. And my future husband definitely do not need to make more than me, as long as we can comfortable support a family together with our COMBINED income. I just kind of assumed that you guys would know that I love him for his character and personality rather than his more superficial qualities. I have a silly tendency to expect people to read my mind at times and I really need to stop doing that.

    I think the point that I failed miserably to make in my original post is that HE doesn’t feel like HE is financially stable enough or mature enough to start a family right now, whereas I am ready. While he thinks he will reach that point in 2-4 years, I know it’s most realistically 4 years. So I guess the general consensus seems to be that waiting 4 more years for children is not really a big deal given how old I am.

    Overall, I’m very glad that I asked my question because I got many unbiased responses, which are quite refreshing and valuable to me.

    • babytalk Says:

      well, it sounds like you’ve had your answer from the beginning then. If you are so focused on having a family – NOW – and the BF is not interested, then you are not a match. It’s a tough question though because if he says he wants kids in 4 years and then when the time comes you break up before that, then it will be a big deal. If you love each other enough and have common goals other than children then yes stay together. But if you’ve heard from him that he is not ready you have an answer, even if that is not what you wanted to hear.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      What? who said that? it’s a huge deal. It would be a MAJOR commitment on your part.

      You absolutely do not want to be scurying around at 35 trying to find a man to start a family with. I know you say at 29 you have a lot of options, but that landscape doesn’t last forever.

      I still don’t believe you really care about the guy. If I were you I’d wait two years max. If things are moving in the right direction, just have a kid. If he still isn’t ready, move on while you will still have a little wiggle room left before you age out of easy kids.

    • Selena Says:

      I suppose the answer is how willing you actually are to wait. How sincere do you think he really is about having a child in 2-4 years? Four years may not be that long, but only you can gauge is sincerity.

    • E-B Says:

      There is a saying that applies here:
      “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
      ― Albert Einstein

      Katie, your guy is who he is. No one can predict what things will be like in four years, so you have to decide if you are going to stick with him “for better or for worse,” and also if he will do the same. It’s a simple question but it’s not easy to answer.

    • Nicole Says:

      Katie, I think what a lot of us were reacting to was not the money issue as much as the way you seemed to view your boyfriend as replaceable.

      You say you love him… Maybe I’m being all starry eyed and romantic here, but I would think that if you were really in love and sure he was the guy you wanted to spend your life with, you wouldn’t be weighing the options the way you are. You’d want to have kids, sure, but with HIM, not some other possible future husband. If you thought about breaking up, you’d be filled with grief and thoughts of how much you’d miss your guy – not calculating how long it would take to meet someone new.

      I don’t mean to be harsh – there’s nothing wrong with dating someone for a year or two and realizing you’ve grown apart or aren’t compatible. It’s perfectly ok to say that having kids is more important to you than being with this guy. It’s your life and you need to focus on what’s important to you.

      Can you honestly say that you’d be happy with your boyfriend if he decided against kids in a few years? Or was injured or sick and unable to work at all? If you are that committed, than by all means stay with him and plan your future together. If not – than maybe he’s not the right person for you.

    • LostSailor Says:

      Katie, it really comes down to which is more important, your timetable or a solid relationship (emotional and financial) on which to base a family. Your letter did seem to indicate that your BF was pretty replaceable if the financial-and-baby-making timetable weren’t real. Which is why most of us read that your “love” was pretty shaky and conditional.

      It’s all well and good to try to plan out your future, but you can lose sight of what’s important when focusing on making sure all the data points line up. If you do love this man and he’s committed and working toward your shared financial goals, then you don’t have to wait until a predetermined income level has been reached to start a family.

      Life doesn’t happen on a predictable timetable. Life can be what passes you by while your busy making timetables and plans. So, yes, 4 years is not a big deal given your ages. And a bank balance isn’t a big deal if you have a solid relationship and both want kids.

    • Goldie Says:

      ***I think the point that I failed miserably to make in my original post is that HE doesn’t feel like HE is financially stable enough or mature enough to start a family right now, whereas I am ready. While he thinks he will reach that point in 2-4 years, I know it’s most realistically 4 years. So I guess the general consensus seems to be that waiting 4 more years for children is not really a big deal given how old I am. ***

      No, don’t wait. It’ll be a gamble. Your bf cannot give you a solid guarantee that he’ll be financially stable and mature enough to have kids in 4 years. What if four years go by and he still thinks he isn’t?

      I agree with what seems to be everyone else’s advice in response to this comment of yours – either stay together, but realize that the future may not be exactly as you plan it now; or go your own separate ways, because he cannot give you what you need. Nothing wrong with either solution.

    • C Says:

      Well, its tricky to answer whether or not its “no big deal” to wait or not. Its no big deal id you have a healthy reproductive system, you get pregnant exactly when you want and you are ok with having both children in very close succession.

      If you have trouble getting pregnant and it takes say 2 years to get pregnant, and you wait a couple of years until the baby is older and then try to have your second baby, you may realistically not have more then one child.

      I’m currently facing issues of early perimenopause and told I have very little chance of having a child. It came as a big surprise because I have friends who got pregnant when they were 4-6 years older then me. Other people deal with fertility issues at any age which can cause it to take years to get pregnant. I can now appreciate why its best to give yourself as much time as possible to have a family.

      You arent “safe” until 35 or 40. Your body is ready when its ready and its done when its done. Hind sight being 20/20, I wouldnt wait if you are ready now. That doesnt mean dump the boyfriend. Just explain to him the unpredictability of biology. This isnt financial planning.

      • Katie Says:

        You bring up a very good point, and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with conception. There are still many other options you could explore such as in vitro, surrogates or adoption. Either way, I’m sure it will all work out for the best in the end and I wish you the best of luck.

        If you don’t mind, could you tell me how old you are? It could just be a ballpark figure if you feel uncomfortable disclosing that information or just ignore me completely, no hard feelings.

        • C Says:

          Thanks Katie. I hesitate to be so candid, but here goes….Having a family, much like yourself, wasnt something I wanted until one day it was something I wanted. Unfortunately, I didnt come around to that point of view until I was coming up on my mid 30s. So, I came to terms with the fact that my chances were slim some time ago.

          I’m 38. I know. I know. Sounds really old, but I have so many friends who had kids between 40 and 45. My ex who’s cousin and wife both naturally concieved at 44 insisted I “have plenty of time”. Even my gynecologist told me just 3 months ago to think about having a baby now never suggesting that that ship may have already sailed.

          I decided to follow my gynecologists other advise and get my eggs cryogenically frozen to buy myself some time. Everyone was very optimistic because I’m so healthy until the tests came back.

          The fertility doctor told me that I should have pursued egg harvesting “years ago”. Years ago? Like when? When I was 35? 32? When? He told me that although I’m still ovulating, due to poor (read old) egg quality, there was nothing he could do to help me have a child that is genetically mine. He told me to just go home and spend a year trying to get pregnant naturally although the odds were “very low”.

          Egg harvesting, taking drugs to drop more eggs, IVF all not an option when your eggs are crap. Furthermore, I started talking to family members and was told that my great grandmother never got pregnant after age 33 and my grandmother never got pregnant after age 36.

          As I continued doing my research and talking to friends, I found out how very unpredictable it all is. A friend who had her first child at 42 thought she was infertile because she never got pregnant while having unprotected sex for years as a teen and 20 something. A step grandmother tried to have one more baby at 35 but couldnt get pregnant for 10 years until she finally had a healthy baby at 46.

          Lamont is so on the money. Fertility and certainly fertility issues arent well understood. I encourage you to get informed.

        • HammersAndNails Says:

          > it will all work out for the best in the end

          I know you are just trying to be nice, but that’s just not how life works.

      • Lamont Cranston Says:

        I know of three couples in my circle of acquaintance who waited too long. All three had wives in their thirties who were basically informed that they were in early perimenopause and we going to have a hard time conceiving. Ultimately they failed. I know two OTHER families who barely caught the LAST train to Parenthood Junction and have had ONE child. It’s been heartbreaking to watch.

        Women’s fertility starts to drop off FAR earlier than we’ve been taught to think it does, and advancements in fertility treatments have, I think, given us false expectations as to how far child-bearing years can be stretched.

        You’re right: your body’s ready when it’s ready, and when it’s done, it’s done.

  17. Marrie Says:

    WoW! Katie’s honesty is probably her only commendable trait {well, that and her income bracket, of course}. Your response, ATWYS was perfection.
    Katie, you should cut the poor man lose. You are not committed to him or in love with him; although, I do believe you care for him…the feelings you expressed and your willingness to toss him aside over money does not represent a firm foundation for marriage or raising children. Careers, employment, economy, and health can offer twists of fate in life that your currently not in the position to experience with this man. He does not sound lazy or unemployable…it’s just a matter of salary and forcing him into a career of your choosing…not his. Maybe making money doesn’t share the same level of priority for him as it does for you. Good luck to you both. I know my words sound harsh however, in all fairness, you are being harsh to someone you supposedly love. After all, you changed the deal…not him!

  18. Howard Says:

    Our society is too defined by money, and my generation has done a really good job of brain-washing the next generation. I guess the power structure is happy, no more agitation, less energy to good causes, just mindless millions working like good little elves before we all become obsolete, when they put their mechanical robots in place.

  19. Kurt Says:

    I think it is funny that the OP decided now, 1.5 years into this relationship, to question his ability to “pull his weight financially.” She is clearly dating him because she thinks he is hot, not because of his income-producing ability. She needs to end things if his income potential is that important to her.

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