Are Men More Attracted to Wealthy, Educated Women?

Real men weigh in on a new study about marriage and money.
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Are Men More Attracted to Wealthy, Educated Women?

Real men weigh in on a new study about marriage and money.

-Carrie Seim

Young couple

What are men really looking for in a wife? A big, beautiful, voluptuous… paycheck?

According to research from the Pew Research Center, and reported in The New York Times last week, more men are marrying higher-earning women than ever before.

Read How to Get Him to Propose

The study looked at American adults, ages 30 to 44, and contrasted Census Bureau marriage statistics from 1970 with those in 2007. In 1970, only 4 percent of wives earned more money than their husbands. In 2007, 22 percent – nearly a quarter of all Mrs.’s – brought home more bacon than their Mr.’s

By most measures, this is a significant triumph for women and for men. Finally, our society is inching toward a more egalitarian financial-power balance between genders. (And make no mistake – money most definitely equals power in relationships.) The fact that many marriages now recognize and welcome the financial contributions of wives is a wonderful thing. Right?


Then why did the headline of the Times article – “More Men Marrying Wealthier Women” — leave me uneasy? Perhaps it was a quote from Paul Fucito, spokesman for the Pew Center:

“Men now are increasingly likely to marry wives with more education and income than they have, and the reverse is true for women,” Fucito told the Times. “In recent decades, with the rise of well-paid working wives, the economic gains of marriage have been a greater benefit for men.”

Men aren’t willing to settle for less – all too often they won’t settle for equal, either. This massive cultural correction also seems to reinforce the idea that it’s OK if today’s man isn’t satisfied until he finds a woman with a better body, better wardrobe, better education and a better paycheck than him. Isn’t that sort of, um, totally unfair?

On the other hand – isn’t it laudable that men are now less intimidated by female success? That’s surely something to be celebrated.

To sort out my mixed feelings, I chatted with real guys to find out how they feel about dating women who earn more than they do.

“I would never have a problem with that,” says a 38-year-old guy from Wyoming. “Just in case any of your wealthy female friends needs a man.”

Brad*, a 31-year-old business exec from Boston, tells BettyConfidential he’s dated lots of women who make more money than he does, including a Las Vegas cocktail waitress who earned more than $130,000 a year serving drinks.

“That was totally fine with me,” he says, adding that he’s dated women of all income levels – from starving students to lavishly paid pharmaceutical reps. But he still insists on paying for dates – some gender habits die hard.

As for his future wife, Brad says he doesn’t need a woman to earn more than him, but he’d never marry someone whose only career ambition is to be his wife.

“I don’t care how much money she makes,” he says. “She just has to be passionate about something and have career goals.”

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14 thoughts on “Are Men More Attracted to Wealthy, Educated Women?

  1. Very interesting! I have two single friends who have done really well, and have made a lot of money. They both say that it is REALLY difficult for them to meet someone as they men they date end up resenting them for having so much money.

    It is really hard for them to find someone who care for them jsut for them.

  2. Why do women insist on continuing to perpetuate the myth that men care how much money they make? My guess is because it’s so important to women how much a guy makes. But really ladies, the majority of men really care first about how you look and wether you can satisfy them sexually. Sure it’s nice that you can support yourself, but sex is primary for most men—period.For example look at Oprah, she’s very wealthy but if you asked most guys who they which tv personality they would like to get with it’s very unlikely they’ll say Oprah. It’s not they money, just have agood personality and a hot body and most guys will be happy to be with you.

  3. I have been proposed to 12 times (ok, 2 of them cab drivers), but most of them legitimate none of them knew whether I had money or not, in fact many times it was clear that I didn’t.

    Ideally sure, men want money, women too, looks, fame, a pony, a home in Greece, all of it. If you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you everything.

    When you look into someones eyes the first time and realize you are meant to be with them, and in sheer joy they show you that they feel the same way…well, money doesn’t mean a thing.

  4. Essay-Tigers-UK :It is a developmental thing. At the point when people were stone age men, the men would battle one another and the effective man would get the opportunity to mate with the most sexually alluring ladies to proceed with mankind. Presently the criteria has changed from physical accomplishment to money related achievement. Obviously the rich man must be solid on the grounds that no lady (take off alone a whore) would need to be with an unfortunate individual. Truth is severe.

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  6. Individuals appear to feel the mind-boggling need to multiply when they are infatuated. "Taught" individuals trust that they ought to be the ones to have the children and not the hicks since then the "astute" qualities will get went on. I concur with you that the world needn't bother with any more individuals in it, however take a stab at persuading the other 6 billion individuals on the planet!

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