The Good Men Project recently pondered, what’s a man without money? I’ve never been one to focus on money — my own or someone else’s — or see it as a path to happiness.
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I am fortunate to have a wonderful longtime partner (who, as an educator, knows all about small salaries), but I sometimes wonder what would happen if I lost my job and was looking for love — would I be marriage material (assuming I even wanted to marry again, that is, which I don’t), or even dateable? ); by virtue of my gender alone, yes — I would probably be viable relationship material.
But if I were an unemployed man — regardless of age — would the same rules apply?
Probably not (although I imagine a certain amount of women would eagerly entangle themselves if he was hot; yes, we gals can be incredibly shallow, too).
Unemployed, under-employed and low-income men are just not good dating or marriage material in the eyes of many women.
That’s why the pro-marriage people have it all wrong when they say marriage will get low-income women out of poverty.
While studies have shown that low-income women value marriage and have more traditional views about marriage and divorce than others, they don’t want to get hitched to a man who is going to drag them down.
A man who isn’t contributing financially is a handicap, as one young single mother says in “What was his purpose?
I started thinking, ‘I don’t need him.’ He was just like an extra burden.
It was actually easier without him.” I’m sure I’m not the only girl growing up whose mother told her that it’s just as easy to love a rich guy as it is to love a poor one.
A few years ago, the book — boys get the same message, and even in this presumably enlightened age, I just can’t see a parent encouraging a son to “marry up.” Earlier this summer, a study (OK, funded by a credit report agency so I take it with a grain of salt) indicated financial responsibility and financial compatibility was more important or just as important as career ambition, physical attraction and sex and intimacy, especially for women.
It never even occurred to me to worry about such things (I’ve never discussed credit ratings with a partner), but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have paid it attention when it seemed like things were getting serious.