Women Are Out-Earning Men And Picking Up The Check On Dates

02/24/2011 03:57 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Young, single women in New York are bringing home more bacon than their male counterparts -- and they're sharing the wealth on dates.

From the New York Post:

A recent study of US Census data by James Chung and Sally Johnstone of Reach Advisors found that the income of single women in their 20s living in New York City is now 17 percent higher, on average, than that of their male counterparts.

While a financial victory for females, this income shift in the midst of an anemic economy is also shaking up dating rules in the city. Successful 20-something ladies may have scant choice but to date Big Apple guys with skinnier paychecks -- or (deep breath) no paychecks at all. So instead of the perfunctory "purse reach" at the end of a romantic meal, young women are now pulling out the plastic.

Cecilia Hughes, a 24-year-old account executive in financial communications, fits the trend.

"I've paid for dinners, theater tickets and overnight getaways, because lately the men I date are starving artists who still live at home or can only buy me a pizza slice," Hughes said. "And I'm lactose intolerant, so that's a negative."

Hughes said she's had a string of down-on-their-luck suitors. There was the laid-off hedge fund manager who lived with his parents, the artist who kept forgetting his wallet on dates and the part-time bartender who couldn't come up with his share of a resort vacation because, "tips kinda sucked this month."

"I'd much rather pay for my own drink if it means he has a collection of travel stories or big dreams of finishing grad school and starting a global nonprofit or selling a piece of art," Hughes said. "But no job? Then I sure hope he's interviewing."

29-year-old IT Specialist, Kelly Smith, said she doesn't mind picking up the tab for her lower-income lovers.

"I'm OK with the 23-year-old busboy or the 21-year-old intern," Smith said. "I get the booty call where they want to meet up and get a drink, and there's no question I'm buying the drink."

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