The only upside of being a writer who doesn’t make a bunch of money is that it has become a little easier to date. I can’t figure out if this is because I have a more flexible schedule, or because I’m happier and therefore more available and sultry-looking, or if it’s because I’m less intimidating now that I’m not pulling in five figures.
What’s confusing is that I don’t know if a decision has been made about whether women who bring home most of the money who are also in relationships are hot or not. It used to be common knowledge that that whole power dynamic thing in a relationship shifted with the purse (man purse?) strings.
Jane Ganahl, a former colleague of mine, writes that women are increasingly catching up with men as breadwinners and it’s not exactly all good for heterosexual couples:
In 1981, only 16 percent of women out-earned their male counterparts. In 2000, it was 22 percent, and these days it’s almost 40 percent. Research predicts that by 2030 the average woman will out-earn the average man. Good news, eh? Not always. For some couples, this can be a major problem.
According to one study by the American Sociological Association, when men are economically dependent on their women, they are more likely to cheat. “It may be that men who make less money than their partners are more unhappy and cheat because they are unhappy,” says Christin Munsch, a sociology Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University. So how are couples adapting? Apparently, not too well.
Over at TIME magazine (in an article published before Breastgate 2012), Liza Mundy wrote that in the heterosexual dating/marriage market, at least, that women who make a lot of money can still attract the honeys. Jamie Reidy of the Good Men Project concurs:
We’re in a recession! Pride is expensive. Billy Joel was clearly ahead of his time with “Uptown Girl.” I’m completely cool with dating a woman who earns more than I do.
Is this the norm, though? And how does this dynamic play out in same-sex relationships? For those of you who are dating, have you had problems attracting mates because of how much you make—either too much or too little? In longterm partnerships/marriages, has this been a point of contention or does it only rarely come up? Previously: Women are 60 Percent of Breadwinners, But Still Opting Out of High-Paying Work. Why?, You want food stamps to go with that advanced degree?