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What do they bring to the table?

(206 Posts)
1DAD2KIDS Mon 26-Dec-16 10:16:55

So moving on from my impending divorce I am very much challenging my once fairly tail view of love and relationships and exploring new ideas. So I am locking my heart away in a little box for a bit and trying to let my brain help me work out the future in stead.

So sould we consider when finding a future long term relationship/marriage what people bring to the table in terms of earnings, liability and capital? I will just add at this point what I may say is a bit controversial and is a thought experiment of my mine not necessarily my opinion.

So a bit of background. I was young and had a good career and feel in love with a School drop out with no qualifications. We fell in love and I married her. All the years she was in and out of jobs. She could be because I could always support her. She never showed much intrest in providing for her self or making a career for her self. She was quite happy for someone to provide for her. So I always worked my nuts of to earn even more and provide a future reflecting this lack of contribution. Not a problem we were married and would l be together for ever. But then it went wrong and then I realised the things I have worked hard for were in jeapody.

Made me think. I used to think all you need is love but now I think you listen to your brain too. Looking on OLD many profiles allude (overtly or not) looking for a man in work with a decent job. Often on dates I get the very early questions trying to suss out what I do for work and the quality of my life style. Now apologies for the next bit as it may sound like I am being a dick. But often these people I have dated earn a fair bit less, have liabbilities such as kids (I know it sounds cold but in terms of finance) and big debts and/or have little capital such as owning a property. Just to put into context I am 33 and the people I generally date are my age or older. So if women are interested in a man's standing and financial position then why should a man be interested in a woman's standing and financial? If I look at relationships from this angle should we get in a long term relationship/marriage with anyone who does not bring to the table and simular offering than us?

ceecee32 Mon 26-Dec-16 10:32:05

I have often thought that I should put on my OLD profile that I am only interested in finding someone who is in work. I did ask someone early on as they were very cagey about there work ethics and was roundly called a gold digger.

Nothing further from the truth - I will not tolerate someone who does not feel it necessary to work - that comes from being married to someone who sounds very much like your ex, being left in debt up to my eyeballs and slowly crawling my way out until now where I own my own house and have substantial savings.

My wishes are to now meet someone who is on an equal footing (or thereabouts) and I will not entertain a relationship with someone unless that is the case.

If you have any tips as to how that can be put into a profile it would be great !!

Hellooooitsme Mon 26-Dec-16 10:38:38

Hmm not sure about what you say really. I think a decent kind fun person is a priority over anything else, for me anyway. And I would never refer to a child as a liability. That's awful.

Having said that I have met a lot of men online over the years who are unemployed (they never phrase it like that e.g. one guy was between jobs, one guy was in dispute with his ex employer, another was on the sick with a bad leg and another was supposedly waiting for a dbs check but that didn't quite turn out be true) and everyone single one of them was tight which is off putting.

I have my own home and my own money and yes children. I hope no one is judging me on what I can bring to the table which is actually quite a lot.


1DAD2KIDS Mon 26-Dec-16 10:51:57

Hellooooitsme purely Kids a liabilty in a financial sense. Much the say way the bank may consider when considering someone for a mortgage. From this point of view kids are if we detach emotion from it.

Hoppityfuckingvoosh Mon 26-Dec-16 10:54:14

Younger me would have said that things like jobs, finances etc. don't matter, that people find their place at different times and to exclude someone from your life because they don't mirror your path is shortsighted-who knows where they'll be in 5+ years...
Now, id never consider dating someone who couldn't show they have the same priorities as me. That just happens to be being financially secure, working, having their own home (or at least working towards it). I don't see it as any different to others excluding potential dates on hair colour or looks.

As I've got older, the security matters more to me and I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting someone who is secure in themselves-I don't particularly find dependency attractive.

I have the liability (a child) and accept that this mean that I'm not an attractive option for many. That's fine; what's for one isn't for another.

Don't overthink. You want what you want and there's no reason why you shouldn't.

Newbrummie Mon 26-Dec-16 10:56:01

I honestly used to have a list on my profile:
6' at least
In paid employment. I don't care if you are a lottery winner it's the principle
Fit no beer guts
Able to navigate public transport if you don't drive, I shall not be picking you up
Surprisingly I got a decent response, most men appreciated my honesty.

ravenmum Mon 26-Dec-16 10:57:17

Personally I would prefer someone who can hold down a job as that suggests he is mentally reasonably stable at the moment, and probably reasonably confident and upbeat. Hopefully, at least.

I've been lucky enough, despite being a mother with 90% responsibility for childcare (my ex never took an hour off to care for sick children, for example ), that I was able to change to a job which involves pretty well paid work from home, and contributed the same financially as my husband. But I know it was pure luck. And being a freelancer, where I live I had to put all my remaining cash into a private pension which will still leave me living on a pittance when/if I stop working.

Based on my experience as one of the lucky independent ones, I don't think you're being reasonable in thinking that women should see finances the same way as men.

category12 Mon 26-Dec-16 10:59:35

I would want someone with a similar attitude to money and work as me. Having lived with someone who spent every penny we had and then some, I wouldn't want that again. It would be fine as a casual thing, but not a serious relationship.

So were I looking, I would want someone who works, (and stays in a job until they've found another if they're unhappy. And doesn't complain about their colleagues/bosses all the time). And doesn't fuck work about, but does take their annual leave etc.

I don't want to support a man. I am not looking for a man to support me.

If I were looking for someone to have dc with, I'd probably want someone who was prepared to do the lion's share of financially providing while I was on maternity and while the dc were small. But we'd have to be on the same page on that. I've seen women on here who expected to save for their maternity period and their dp's to pretty much go unaffected, but I think that's fucked up, like having a family is solely the woman's problem. If you want dc, you both contribute practically and financially in whatever way makes most sense for your situation.

roodie Mon 26-Dec-16 11:03:37

That's not the 1dad2kids' style of posting i recognise! (Namechanger)

There are plenty of women with great profiles not looking for a man to look after them but looking for equality.
my own experience with a high earner left me with a fear of men with money. More money equals a sense of entitlement to more power in the relationship. More decisions. More perks.
im financially independent and im looking for an equal and my profile reflects that, and my humour and my full life and my grounded place.... but when men message me it's because they "love redheads' or think im 'yummy'

Men prioritise looks over every other decision making factor i think.
Not saying that women like fat men old enough to be their dad! but personality and circumstances and compatibility seem to matter.

MsAwesomeDragon Mon 26-Dec-16 11:07:11

When I was old many years ago (I met dh on old about 10 ish years ago), I definitely excluded people who weren't working. Sometimes that meant we'd had a date before I realised they were unemployed, mostly found out during the brief messaging phase.

I was happy enough for men to exclude me based on various things that meant we weren't on the same wavelength. So if that meant they wanted someone with a similar education or car then that's fine. I had a DD when I was dating and I'm absolutely certain that a lot of men wrote off a relationship with me because of her, which is their right.

You are allowed to use whichever criteria you want to decide who you date, it's not compulsory to date anyone at all. You will find that the more criteria you have the harder it will be to find someone who meets all of them. You might also want to keep those criteria in your head rather than out loud, so people don't think you're too picky/judgemental, just say you don't think it would work out if asked why not a particular person.

roodie Mon 26-Dec-16 11:13:05

But i challenged the bullshit version of marriage my parents led me to believe would just happen.
I guess i was raised to 'hope' a man would have me and then settle into subservience.
ill be guiding my daughter to ask herself every step of the way "do i like him?"
Equality is a better basis for an equal relationship.

I wonder 1Dad2kids, was there a trade off in your marriage?
Ie, hand on heart, is she a better looking more attractive person than yourself?
Was it a trade off, her genes for your security?
Or something like that. Men with assets/security/salaries/savings think of themselves as good catches ime and they rarely go for their equal in terms of looks/wit/populariry. They trade.
Same as women who are unusually beautiful can trade. The smart ones get a decent kind funny honest man. How smart is that!?

Ps 8 know there are many reasons a good relationship tanks. But dont tell us it is cos your equal isnt out there.
Your equal is definitely out there.
would you notice her if she cycled past you, twice!?

Olympiathequeen Mon 26-Dec-16 11:16:02

Although i don't agree with arranged marriages in an emotional level, on a practical level having your partner chosen by loving parents who are looking for financial and social compatability, sounds a good way to me!

You do need to look for someone with the same outlook on life and values but I'm not sure how you would do this without seeming off putting, except to take relationships very slowly.

TrustySnail Mon 26-Dec-16 11:19:03

It should be your choice entirely. I see nothing wrong in wanting a partner whose financial standing is equivalent to your own. The more stipulations you make, the more your choice will be limited, but embarking on a relationship where you feel resentment towards a partner because they 'bring little to the table' would be a mistake.

The question of whether you should distinguish between potential partners who are in a poor financial situation as a result of choices they've made, and those who find themselves in that position for reasons outside their control, is relevant. The latter are far more likely to be keen to start contributing again; the former might be looking for a 'meal ticket'.

I agree with you that children are a financial liability - but if you don't otherwise mind a partner with children, that shouldn't affect you if the parents are providing for them.

The existence of large unsecured debts would be a complete deal-breaker for me, however they'd been run up - I think being comfortable with living on credit (or not) is quite a fundamental part of one's outlook and the existence of credit card bills, loans, finance agreements etc. would, to me, indicate probable incompatibility in other respects.

So, yes - by all means explore the financial situation (and more importantly, attitude) of potential partners - and if you're not comfortable with it, politely move away.

roodie Mon 26-Dec-16 11:19:28

Ps, the last guy i clicked with, we really clicked. But on the date he discovered that i earn relatively little and i have two not one child. My kids dad pays maintenance though so i guess i looked like a big liability to him. :-(
Do I have to drop in to the conversation that we are doing ok financially thanks. My x wants kids to go to uni and have braces etc and i will not be looking for another man to cover those costs. Wow.
should i imply this on my profile?
I am not looking for a step dad!
Id be scared to risk losing my house. A man would have to prove himself before id marry.

StiffenedPleat Mon 26-Dec-16 11:42:18

People should write their OLD profiles as an honest advert of themselves not a shopping list of what they're looking for.

My sister is a very high earner and she has a rule that she'll only date men who are high net worth high earners. It doesn't ever seem to work well because she's dating men for their money in the same way they're probably dating her for her money. And actually money is the one thing she doesn't need to care too much about as she has plenty.

May50 Mon 26-Dec-16 11:49:04

1DAD - I do agree with you. I have recently separated from exDP, after years together. I suppose gradually resentment built up on my side that he wasn't contributing. I've questioned myself hugely whether I am being unreasonable but I only wanted some fair contribution. (I've read many posts on here and think he'd be described on Mumsnet as a 'cocklodger'- he didn't contribute financially, or housework wise so I felt in the end just like a mother/housekeeper). But what a loveable chap, which he really was, happy-go-lucky. He had a hobby-job which I enabled as I provided housing and food. Finally , after many years of me suggesting this wasn't fair I snapped , ultimatum was you need to get a job , but he didn't want to do that so has wandered off! I still feel I'm in the wrong sometimes, as he's so 'nice' but even though it's hard to let go, I think I had to for my own sanity.

Aftertheraincomesthesun Mon 26-Dec-16 11:54:12

Depends on whether you are planning to date with a view to future marriage and perhaps further children?

Boolovessulley Mon 26-Dec-16 11:56:11

Hi op i think it's perfectly fine to let your head rule.

If your going through a divorce right now you will be feeling quite defensive towards dating.
Perhaps leave it a while and spend time establishing what you want.
Cliches i know but very, very true.

I wish I could find the link to a website where the man spoke about requirements, needs and wants.
With requirements being the desires in others that you absolutely cannot compromise on. Needs being the middle ground and wants are often the things we think matter such as having blue eyes and blonde hair, when in fact such things will not ensure a relationship lasts.

I met someone old after letting go of a physical ' want' and I'm so very glad I did.
I replaced it with the requirement of being similar to me in intelligence and put look on life.

Oysterbabe Mon 26-Dec-16 12:02:07

I think you're not being unreasonable. When I was OLD I wouldn't consider anyone unemployed. My ex's earnings were low and sporadic and I supported us. He actually ended up resenting me for it. After my experience with him I realised the importance of being on a financial equal footing.

Cricrichan Mon 26-Dec-16 12:12:02

Actually, a woman with few ambitions, who's a good mum and happy to stay home sounds like a good match for someone in a good, high earning job who wants to work and be the provider. It allows the worker to concentrate on their career, not worry about the million things kids needs, has the freedom to stay late and travel etc.

Fwiw - I had a really good career but have not worked in 11 years as I had my 4 kids and could not have afforded the childcare fees and logistical nightmare. If he was a lower earner and we needed my salary, we wouldn't have had so many kids. If he'd been a lower earner and been able to do equal home and childcare, I could've and would have enjoyed having a job. But yes, my priority has always been my children.

So, in my opinion, the usefulness of what one brings to the table, will depend tremendously on who the people are and their circumstances. If I'd fallen in love with someone whose job didn't provide, I could easily have picked up the slack job wise, as I would have had support at home.

And I've lost count of the amount of qualified and talented friends I have who've gone on to have low paid, boring jobs once they've had kids because they wanted to be there when the kids come out of school etc.

So, op, would you have been happy to sacrifice earnings for your children? How old are your kids? Would you have been happy taking a lower earning job so you could look after the kids, whilst allowing the mother of your child to work? Did you want her or encourage her to work or find a career she'd enjoy etc?

roodie Mon 26-Dec-16 12:12:14

I've dated a Buddhist and it was awful, the whole Buddhist thing was to make him feel better about being unemployed. We couldn't even go out for a meal! A lot of our dates were walks. Which was ok when we first got to gether in the summer! But after a while, I got sick of not being able to go to the cinema or going for a meal. I think I treated him to a meal once but I realised it would be a really bad idea to do it again and he did not reciprocate anyway. I knew he had less money than I did but it was his thoughtlessness that killed it when one day, I was waiting for him to arrive so we could go for a walk, he was an hour late (making candles with his brother, as you do confused ) and i had had to pay the babysitter for that hour while I waited for him to go on our free date. I was eking up all this enthusiasm to go on walk after walk (I do like fitness) but his thoughtlessness not his lack of cash killed it. Plus, for a Buddhist, he was very angry when I told him it was over smile So now I think of him as fake Buddhist. Really just an unemployed man.

mylifeisamystery Mon 26-Dec-16 12:14:56

I wouldn't consider a man who doesn't support themselves, Im very independent and earned slightly more than my ex but he continued to be a man child where I did everything for him and I couldn't cope anymore after 15 yrs.. Now he's going out with someone the polar opposite of me who is on a low wage lives with her dad and doesn't drive, I really don't get him!

Shiningexample Mon 26-Dec-16 12:20:25

You are allowed to use whichever criteria you want to decide who you date, it's not compulsory to date anyone at all. You will find that the more criteria you have the harder it will be to find someone who meets all of them. You might also want to keep those criteria in your head rather than out loud, so people don't think you're too picky/judgemental, just say you don't think it would work out if asked why not a particular person

Very true
Very well put

Shiningexample Mon 26-Dec-16 12:22:14

Plus, for a Buddhist, he was very angry when I told him it was over

Hotwaterbottle1 Mon 26-Dec-16 12:29:12

I am dating someone after separation and I have to agree that his work ethic & financial situation are attractive to me. He is handsome, funny, loving but also works hard & is ambitious. I don't think I'd have been as attracted to him as a whole without the latter two. Equally I know he is attracted to my looks & personality but also because I'm independent and have a decent job. We both have children. He does earn much more than me & has a much higher earning capability but it doesn't put him off. He is aware I went part time to look after the kids. I think you will find you are naturally attracted to someone with those traits anyway now.

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