Friday, December 25, 2009

being material & dating beneath my income bracket

Am I a golddigger?
I started wondering about that after someone brought up the whole Tiger Woods scandal at the Shabbos table last week. I made the argument that his wife knew what she was in for. Her story is reminiscent of a Jackie Collins novel: European blond aspiring-model moves to Hollywood, lands nanny position for famous tennis pro, marries even more famous tennis pro. She was looking for money & fame, and she got it.
Interestingly enough, my dad came to her defense - what's wrong with a woman wanting to marry well? Aren't I hoping for the same?
Well no dad, I'm not hoping to marry some kajillionaire who is definitely likely to cheat on me. But I'll admit that financial security is near the top of my checklist in my search for 'the One'.
I recently went on a date with a guy who was very sweet, very nice, a lot of fun to be around. But I just couldn't get over the fact that if things went well, that I would make more money than him. I was actually more relaxed than usual on that date because even before we met I went into it thinking I couldn't possibly get serious with someone who did THAT for a living. I'd tell you what 'that' was, but then you'd really think I was a snob.
I told my friend this and she said I was nuts. But I like the idea of a man being the main breadwinner - it makes a man seem more manly. I like to think I'm actual being post-feminist about this. I chose to go to school, to get a great education, to seek out a real profession (ie I didn't do the typical Brooklyn girl thing which is to go into special ed or one of those 'therapies' - today's version of the 'secretary or teacher' option of the pre-feminist 1950s, in my humble opinion). But I'd also like to choose to stay home when I have kids (IYH, of course) and not have to worry about extending mat leave after just 3 months like so many women I know.

Am I asking for too much?


DanielS82 said...

You aren't asking for too much, but sometimes what is at the top of our wishlist turns out to not matter that much, if the guy or girl has everyother thing on our list. I know, for me, after marriage I will probably learn in Kollel while I pursue either a masters in Education after I finish school, or perhaps Smicha. Will I ever have financial freedom? Maybe, maybe not. Will I still make a dynamite husband? Absolutely.

NotaGeek! said...
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NotaGeek! said...
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NotaGeek! said...

I think you're not giving the guy a fair chance... Unless you find it really humiliating and embarrassing "THAT" job the guy does.. But if it purely financial motivations, then you should reconsider, and give it a fair shot, it's the right thing to do (in my opinion :)

Anonymous said...

Girls have it very backwards today. I'm not sure if this pertains to MM's situation but it's within the same ballpark.

Many girls seem to have that want for financial security at the top of their list. This is a good goal, this sets them looking for guys who are ambitious and goal driven, men with direction and caring how and where they end up in life, someone who will look after their family. Simply put, guys who are not directionless. The girls however must be prepared to work themselves and place themselves on the same level.. Not all focused guys want a trophy wife.

What many girls don't realize is that most guys they date will not be financially stable until much later in life. Any guy under the age of 30 you're generally dating for their future potential, not their current establishments. With that in mind, if the guy is just working a simple job to get by, or his highest hopes is a kiruv rabbi, or that of a high school teacher or social welfare worker then before you even go out you can find out about this through the shidduch resume or shadchun. Looking for potential- *This is the type of information that someone should be looking for pre-date in the shidduch world*, not what stupid camp or yeshiv/sem, or type of keepah the guy wears.

Many guys in college, or working small jobs to gain more experience have ambitions to strive for a law or mba later in life. Having a woman behind us who will support our ambitions will push us all that much farther.

Most girls don't realize that their parents only got to the place they are together and later on in life, they didn't start off with the current standard of living. Many girls look for guys that can support their current life style, this is wrong wrong wrong. Unfortunately it is talked about very little in the jewish communities. They also don't realize that many fathers worked small jobs before getting a better education and better paying jobs. I may be generalizing and there are of course exceptions, but on the whole most men of the last few generations had to work hard long hours before living in middle to upper class.

(I write the above with the presumption that financial stability is middle class and above).

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that many people get an education and still get laid off work. How many MBA's lost their jobs in the financial fallout of the last 2 years?

Does this mean they won't provide for their families?

Likely the more ambitious men will find ways, either going back to school, creating their own businesses, or working for their parents, or possibly future in-laws, theres a multitude of ways. Remember we're jewish and we believe in Hashem, therefore it is by Hashem's will where we end up, and we can always change our position in life by actually being proactive, working hard. Hashem will provide for those that put in the effort.

... and pray to let him know blah blah *fill in religious belief system here* :)

Mr. Shidduch said...

With comments like these it is no wonder why we are in the middle of a "shidduch crisis". I hate to get all religious, but girls need to get their priorities straight. Money does not equal happiness. Yes everyone wants and davens for financial security but a good, well paying job does not make someone a good husband and is no indication of a happy marriage. And if the recent economic events have taught you anything, having a job today does not mean it will be there tomorrow. (and now the religious angle,) it's all up to the one above. Yes you should marry someone who is motivated and driven to provide for his family, someone you can respect and puts in his "hishtadlus", but how much money he makes or what his job title is should not even be on your top ten list of qualities you are looking for in a soul mate.

Get over the fact that you may have a solid, high paying job, and may even make more money than your future husband because again, a good job is ephemeral and does not define a successful marriage. (especially because you chose to persue the atypical jewish girl career option)

I would recommend taking a hard and honest look at yourself and what you want out of life. If you think that money is the be all and end all, then start asking for the potential dates to submit financial records along with their general information. But also ask yourself, what is going to happen if my husband loses his job and is forced to take a "less than admirable" job. Will you still be able to respect him? Are you attracted to his great job or to his great personality, kindness, and sense of humor? I just hope you screw your head on straight and realize what is truly important in life before it is to late.

p.s. - Guys are so much better looking than girls.

Genumis said...

Well, most important criteria in a mate (IMO): Does he adore her? etc etc

Like previous commenters, they are right: Unless the guy is working on a set profession, ie doctor, lawyer, etc, you never know how much he'll make later on - could be a lot, or maybe not. Although, it is important to find someone with goals and passions.
And nowadays, guys are looking for similar traits: so many women are going for nursing, pharmacy, law med, and other careers so the weight of making a lot of money doesnt rest squarely on his shoulders.

Jessica said...

There's a difference between financial security and financial luxuries. Are you wrong for wanting luxuries? No. We all want things that we can't necessarily afford, but if you can't see past a person's wallet (and give them more than one date to see if you're compatible in any way other than money), then yeah, you're probably a snob.

Anonymous said...

I, the woman, am the breadwinner in my relationship. I have two masters as well and am considering going for my doctorate. My husband is the stay at home dad (SAHD). Does that make him less of a man? Absolutely not. He is incredibly committed to raising the kids and cooks and cleans...OK, I exaggerate. He doesn't clean, but he does do laundry. I think you need to examine what is important. I think the most important trate is that you have a good relationship with your husband and feel adored/loved. I agree with an earlier commenter that earlier generations built up to where they are. I respect that you want to be a SAHM eventually. Just remain open to the idea that if you make more the guy might be the better choice. Every couple has to decide what is right for them. So, are you a snob? It isn't up to me to judge. I'll be frank, there have been times on the blog where I wanted to judge you and commenters for being racist/anti-non-jews. However, I could easily have taken those comments the wrong way. It isn't my job to judge you. Good luck as you find the right guy. If this guy felt good, I say give him a second chance :) does feel like the wealthy/famous cheat. I'll agree with you on the Tiger thing, but I'll also agree with your dad. No one deserves that treatment.

rachel said...

i don't see what the problem is. looking for a guy who has a good job is a lot less disgusting than a guy who looks for a girl whos a size 0.

Jessica said...

rachel - just because something is less bad than something else, doesn't make it good.

Ariella said...

I 100% agree with you! On my list for "the One", a guy who "had a plan" was #1. As previous posters have said, I knew he wouldn't necessarily have a good job NOW - but being educated, being in school, knowing what he wanted to do and doing it - that was paramount. I went out with a guy (who was very wrong for me for other reasons) who installed granite. Part-time. I went out with a couple guys who had never been to college. Who had no plans for the future, or were involved in who knows what. I don't think it was snobby or wrong of me to say I was Not Interested.

Girls, if a guy who wants to do something with his life - if a guy who is college educated is important to you - if you want to have eventual job security - then go for it. Don't let guys tell you that's what's causing the shidduch crisis. It is totally reasonable for a girl to want to marry a guy she respects. And sorry, few girls respect a guy who works at Dairy Queen. One of my husband's friends manages a hamburger restaurant, and is married to a girl I know. I would never, ever have married someone who does that. And I don't think it's wrong of me to say so.

My husband is in medical school. I'm supporting him now, but the fact that one day, iy''H, his salary will far outstrip mine make me very, very proud and happy. (And other things, too, of course!)

So MM, kudos for you wanting to marry well! A girl wants to be taken care of.

Ingstrim said...

Ariella, managers of restaurants can make a lot of money. But comparing a professional with a guy who works at Dairy Queen is a bad comparison - there's a loooot of middle ground.

There is nothing wrong with a girl who wants to marry well - but voicing it out loud seems a *tiny* bit chutzpa-ish, b/c of the maidles out there who are working hard thru med school, law school, etc.

Maidel said...

Ariella! Finallly, someone who understands where I'm coming from!

Just because there's a socalled shidduch crisis shouldn't mean that i have to lower my standards.

I have an education - shouldn't I expect that from a guy at the very least?

Ingstrim - where's the chutzpah? I'm voicing it because no one else will. How many 'learners' look for wealthy girls shamelessly? Why can't I do the same?

Maidel said...

Anon - I totally respect your decision to be the breadwinner for your family. It's just not the type of situation I would choose. I'm actually the least racist person I know (especially in NY), so I don't know where that comes from. But thanks for not judging me.

Data said...

I'm backing you on this one (MM), since I'm right there with you.

I have also been told that it is perfectly all right to desire financial security, as I too want to raise my children, not Maria from unspecified country.

I also believe you are backed up halachically.

Barb Chansky said...

I always enjoy reading about the "shidduch crisis", the admonishions for the girls to be realistic and to get their priorities straight, et cetera; I especially enjoy when all this comes from women. As somebody who is in her 30s and never been married, I could probably write a book longer than Bridget Jones about the downright stupidity that goes on in the so-called "shidduch parsha" and the preferential treatment alloted to men in our wonderful community. Having said that, MM, it is your life, your priorities, and your future - you go with what you feel is right.

Frum N' Flipping said...

Maybe it's also about the type of guy who chooses the proffesions you're not impressed with, and not merely the salary they bring in?
I know I have no problem marrying who wants to learn in kollel long term (I.e. earn nothing), but a guy who is studying/ working- he'll have to a decent career for me to go out with him. Basically, it's less about the money, and more about me being a secret snob.

Anonymous said...

Simple answer to a simple question - yes, you are most certainly a golddigger, and a shallow one at that.