A woman I'm friendly with showed me her personal ad. I was surprised to read what she was looking for-- someone who wanted marriage and kids and who was financially secure enough to support her in an upscale lifestyle. I didn't see qualities beyond that, like intelligence, healthy and happy. Everything was about money, marriage and kids. She didn't include any interests beyond fine dining, going to the theater and other things that money can buy.
I was shocked. She was someone I went hiking with and I'd never seen this side of her. I asked if any of her non-financial interests mattered. She said "No. I'm in my thirties and want to get married, have children and be taken care of in style. I don't plan to work forever. If we have no interests in common it's OK, as long as he has money and I can have a family." She wasn't even concerned about how he looked or what kind of person he was. Of course, she preferred a good-looking nice guy with money, but admitted to being willing to overlook a lot if his bank account was big enough.
I've heard variations of this from an inordinate number of women who are determined to find a husband to take care of them. For them, the guy's income is as important, often more important, than who he is. But falling in love with a guy's wallet isn't a good foundation for a happy marriage. It doesn't create the kind of intimacy that's key to a loving relationship. And parenting may not be as effective when the parents don't have the right glue between them.
I interviewed dozens of men for my book, All Men Are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise, which just came out in its 15th Anniversary edition. Many said sarcastically that they often feel they should bring a resume on a date because of the questions some women ask. Most don't want to just be somebody's meal ticket or to feel that who they are may not be nearly as important as their financial status. Yet many women continue to seek a financially secure guy to help them have the marriage and family they assume will make them happy.
I believe that wanting a man who's happy with his life is a healthier, more realistic goal than hunting for one who earns a lot and can father a child. A man who enjoys his work can be more attractive because he's usually happier and more interesting, even if his income isn't huge. I can feed and entertain myself and would much rather have a great connection that's both mental and physical than a financial one. When you're happy with yourself, there's much less of a need to find someone to take care of you and you're more likely to seek the kind of love from someone that you have for yourself.
I warned my friend that after she has the rush of getting married and spending her husband's money for a while, she might be sorry. When the baby keeps her up at night and she looks at the man in her bed without feeling the kind of love connection that keeps marriages solid -- the kind that money can't buy -- and she feels unfulfilled as a woman because of it, don't call him a jerk. She's the jerk for selling her life for cash. We only have one life and owe it to ourselves to make the most of it. The saying, "Money doesn't buy happiness" is so true. I've encountered too many women who are unhappily married to the man of their financial dreams.
Having a baby with someone you married so you can be a mother and have financial security often causes more harm than good in the long run. It's better to work on having a good relationship with yourself so you're more likely to meet a great romantic partner instead of just a sperm donor and provider. Treating each dating situation as a trial for marriage isn't a good way to find a lasting romantic partner. Relax and just have fun when you date and let commitment come organically if the love is there.
On a spiritual level, the more you work on loving yourself, the more likely you'll be to attract real love from the right guy. Being anxious to find someone based on a need for security and children gives out the wrong energy to attract happiness. If you're just attracted to his money now, don't label him a jerk later if you find yourself unhappily married to him.