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How much does money matter?

(75 Posts)
Hattymatty Tue 10-Sep-19 12:31:45

How much dues money matter in a relationship?

Currently dating two men (not exclusive as early days) and one has significant wealth and the other has a very low paid job on minimum wage with no prospects of progressing into anything better paid. I’m pretty self sufficient and have a decent standard of living.

Obviously I won’t be continuing to date either man on a decision on money! But just interested to know whether people think money actually matters in a relationship? My friend has said if I stick with minimum wage guy then inevitably I will have to compromise on my own lifestyle for instance won’t be going on as nice holidays and so on as he won’t be able to pay his share. I’m not sure these things matter but maybe it would be frustrating in the long run?!

Chitarra Tue 10-Sep-19 12:36:25

Personally I think the absolute ideal situation is that the two people in a relationship have comparable levels of wealth income so that there isn't a power imbalance and neither of them feel resentful / guilty etc.

Obviously, that's not the case for lots of happy couples. But I think there could be potential problems with the rich guy in your scenario, as well as the poorer guy as he might think of himself as the powerful / important one in the relationship.

Oysterbabe Tue 10-Sep-19 12:40:19

I agree that being on an equal footing is the ideal. Self-sufficient and without significant debt would be my minimum requirement. I don't care if their job isn't great as long as they can support themselves.

HermioneWeasley Tue 10-Sep-19 12:43:01

Having similar attitudes to money is very important

It would also matter to me why someone was in a low prospects role - if it’s a poorly paid vocation that he loves I’d understand that more than just no ambition or drive.

Baxdream Tue 10-Sep-19 12:48:49

Attitude to money is far more important than how much someone earns.
I cannot stand people that are tight. I don't mean people that don't have anything and absolutely cannot afford things.
I also agree about people being driven and having ambition

category12 Tue 10-Sep-19 12:55:33

As per pp, it's attitude to money. For example, rich but tight guy who would watch you struggle is worse than a poorer but sharing guy who'd do his damnedest to help. Also power dynamics and who sees themselves as important because of money.

DBML Tue 10-Sep-19 12:55:35

I agree with pp. Earning equal or thereabouts is better.

I’d be lying if I said money wasn’t important. My husband and I earn identical wages and enjoy lovely holidays and a comfortable lifestyle, though we are by no means rich.

When we started dating, he came from quite a deprived background and I dated him regardless (I came from a more privileged background). But, we were in school at the time and he was a hard worker, going to university and eventually getting a good job.

Now, I am slightly embarrassed to say that I probably wouldn’t date a man who earned substantially less that I do. I would want to as you say compromise my lifestyle.

Saying that, how do the personalities of the men compare? As I guess this is also a very important factor in your decision. I wouldn’t want to be with a rich guy if he wasn’t a nice person either.

Pearlfish Tue 10-Sep-19 13:11:47

DH and I are the same age and we met at work, so we were initially earning almost exactly the same amount. Now he earns more than me (as I work part time and do more childcare), but I'm sure it helps the dynamics of our relationship that we started out on an equal footing and think of ourselves as equals.

Of course, earning more than someone doesn't necessarily mean you are more intelligent than them (or better in any other way). But I think a lot of people do subconsciously judge themselves and others in this way.

Itsmostlygristlecath Tue 10-Sep-19 13:20:18

How snobby. No wonder this board and life is full of failed relationships.

MissDew Tue 10-Sep-19 13:25:35

How snobby. No wonder this board and life is full of failed relationships.


MissDew Tue 10-Sep-19 13:29:13

Minimum wage guy MIGHT not have any ambition (well done to anyone who has worked themselves from the bottom to the top of their career/earning capacity.)

You will find it harder and harder to pretend that money doesn't matter for life's milestones i.e. mortgage, children, holiday/s, car/s the list goes on and on. I accept those things aren't important to everyone.

Otterhound Tue 10-Sep-19 13:41:34

There is the risk you cant keep up with the wealthy chap just in the same way the poorer one cant keep up with you....

If you cant decide dump them both and start again....

inwood Tue 10-Sep-19 13:44:47

I wouldn't have dated, or married, someone who wasn't on the same level as me.

I realise that that will antagonise some but that's life.

I wanted to be with someone equal with an equal standard of living. Not unreasonable imo.

DBML Tue 10-Sep-19 13:50:22

How snobby. No wonder this board and life is full of failed relationships.

One of the biggest stresses and causes of arguments in relationships is apparently money...or lack of.

BlingLoving Tue 10-Sep-19 13:55:18

I think it's perfectly okay to be with someone who earns less. BUT you have to have the same overall values. so if really flashy holidays, fancy houses, private schools are your thing and you can't afford them for two people (and dc) alone, then yes, money becomes important. If they're not, then it's less of an issue.

For me, what was important that my partner contributes equally, even if it's not financially. And that's what I have with DH. He's never going to earn anywhere near what I earn, but he took on the role of main caregiver for the DC no problem, he does his share at home and takes the lead on things as necessary. That's far more important to me than money.

Unfortunately, I've seen too many women who are with men who earn much less who find themselves with a third child. And they become financially, emotionally and mentally responsible for everything. At least my friends who have wealthy husbands comfort themselves with the fact that they can afford help and/or things to compensate for their DH's uselessness in other areas.

SIL's DH earns very little but has very little interest in stepping up elsewhere either and every time I see them it breaks my h heart. He's pretty good with the DC, but that's about it.

Foreverlexicon Tue 10-Sep-19 13:55:51

I have dated people in a poorly paid role and unless there were extenuating circumstances as to why, I don’t think I would again.

It’s more about the drive and ambition for me which I found previously made us incompatible in other aspects but I also just don’t want to carry someone through life again.

30to50FeralHogs Tue 10-Sep-19 13:56:52

If can’t believe how many of you say you’d want someone earning the same as you do that you don’t miss out on nice holidays etc!! How shallow. Surely it’s about who you’re there with, not how many stars the hotel has?!

FWIW my DP earns significantly more than I do. When we met he was on a good wage, but not amazing, but since then he’s moved up the ranks and now earns 6 figures. I earn 1/10th of that.

But he doesn’t lord it over me or scale down his plans to match what I can afford, he pays for me to go with him as he wants to share his fortune.

FWIW some of our most memorable holiday experiences have been at the cheaper hotels and restaurants, it doesn’t have to be 5 star just because you can afford it. But if you can afford it and someone you love can’t, why wouldn’t you want to help them out?

Especially once you’re married it should be shared money, and as long as you both pull your weight in other areas there’s no reason why you shouldn’t want to support your loved one to have a nice life too.

We don’t live together but DP helps me out when I’m struggling financially, paid off some cards I had and sends me some money each month to help out when he stays over. If he was happy taking home his thousands of pounds a month while I couldn’t afford to put the heating on I’d think a lot less of him tbh.

Some of you need to sort your priorities out.

ButterflyOne1 Tue 10-Sep-19 14:02:54

You say you're not going to make a decision based on money but I feel like by asking this question it is clearly a concern to you.

I am also self-sufficient. My DP has three kids and a greedy ex so I see zero of his money. That's fine for me as I can support myself however down the line if we have children of our own, I don't want to be solely financially responsible for them.

I realise now I'd rather be with my DP who doesn't have the financial resources that I do than with a guy with loads of money. My DP is one of a kind and money or not, I'm happy with him.

I assume you've only been on a couple of dates with these guys so it's always difficult to make a decision but I wouldn't dream of making a decision even loosely based on money.

ButterflyOne1 Tue 10-Sep-19 14:07:00

Also just to add a relationship is about being there to support each other. I've taken my DP to the Caribbean for his birthday, I pay for meals out and if there's something I want to do that he can't afford, I pay for it. I'm perfectly happy to do this as I know in a heartbeat he would do the same for me if he could.

TipseyTorvey Tue 10-Sep-19 14:08:35

I think pre kids, mortgage etc I was quite happy with the person and not concerned about the income. Once 8 started thinking long term I discarded anyone that had no ambition and couldn't at the base level match me. I'm not a high earner, more middling but couldn't have afforded our house, DC and holidays on just my wage which would have made me miserable as I want that stability. I guess it depends if either chap is looking long term at the moment.

30to50FeralHogs Tue 10-Sep-19 14:12:10

Butterfly exactly - and the same for me, if I had money I would happily treat DP and I do to the extent my finances allow. Eg for his birthday I bought his some designer clothes but got them at TKMaxx as I can’t afford full price and I bought him something for his hobby, knowing full well it was above and beyond, but he has recently paid for me and my DCs to join him at this hobby, so the least I can do is to show my appreciation with a gift.

It does mean I live beyond my means sometimes, but I have a lot of equity in my house so at some point in the future when we combine our lives fully, I will be able to more than pay him back for his generosity.

Hattymatty Tue 10-Sep-19 14:13:41

Wow a lot of replies and food for thought!

For me, I have worked hard to have a nice lifestyle and of course it matters who you are there with...but is it really unfair to say you’d feel frustrated if you had to essentially subsidise someone’s life in order to do the things you’ve worked had for? It’s different if you have masses of money I suppose. But I don’t. The guy on minimum wage has wanted to go to the pub every time we have met (5 times) as he can’t afford dinner. It’s a bit annoying and I feel terrible for saying it!

Hattymatty Tue 10-Sep-19 14:16:18

Just to add I am not mean with money and wouldn’t happily support someone I loved but this gap seems quite big as he really can’t pay for anything much, just about rent and food.

BogglesGoggles Tue 10-Sep-19 14:16:56

So why don’t you buy dinner for him? I think it’s weird and tight-fisted to never spend money on you OH (especially if you have much greater means). Even in a platonic relationship I find it weird. Like when people go to a coffee shop and take turns buying their coffee. Why not just Male one order and the Erwin who didn’t pay this time can pay next time?

Rooftop99 Tue 10-Sep-19 15:14:23

It’s a good job the majority of men don’t think like this else hardly anyone would be married. Virtually all of my friends wives are on minimum wage type jobs whilst their husbands are decent earners. I have never once heard any of them bemoaning how little their wives get paid. I don’t think it is even a consideration.

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