Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Can’t Buy Me Love

I guess it was about a month or two ago, I was on an already and the guy asks me, out of nowhere, if I would go out with someone who didn’t have a master’s degree or better.  I’m sure I looked at him like he had 2 heads and said that, yes, of course I would.  I’ve dated plenty of guys without advanced degrees, a few who didn’t complete their BAs and plenty of morons with Ph.D.s and that the ones with the advanced degrees usually weren’t any smarter or better in any other way.  He said that he wouldn’t.  Date anyone without an advanced degree.  He felt they wouldn’t have enough in common.  It was, like, his 5th strike (and, yeah, I got mine).

The conversation came back to me last night as I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs (if you’ve never read Belle’s Blog you should check it out).  Anyway, her conversation was focused more on men who earn less and seem to have less motivation.  But the discussion on her blog led me to think of that crappy date, and – let’s see if you can take this leap with me – my recent experience on POF and how it differs from the sites I’m used to.

For the past several years I’ve used which is pretty well know in NYC for being the arty site.  A lot of the people on there are writers, artists and educators and people in the entertainment business. There are also plenty of lawyers and doctors and finance types, but it’s the arty folk who set the tone.  Note, I haven’t mentioned any blue collar professionals.  There are some blue collar folks on the site, for sure.  But they are in the minority.  And they are, for the most part, comfortable with the arty, wanna be upscale way that people go about trying to get laid.  Let’s be clear here, the majority of the folks on the site are just trying to get laid, but they do it by talking about their favorite books and life-altering trips to Nepal.

is the Mall of America of online sites.  Everyone is there.  Everyone.  I’ve bumped into a doctor and a lawyer or two, but I’ve also bumped into a guy who openly states that he’s on parole and a heck of a lot of hardworking blue collar guys who’d never feel comfortable on nerve.  And for the record, the semi-literate messages are not exclusively from the guys with the high school educations.  They’re coming from all directions.  I just think the site breeds a kind of carelessness.  I have no idea why.

I come from a family that has a pretty heavy mix of blue and white collar workers and know a lot of really smart people who just weren’t into school when they were younger (I have a HS dropout in my immediate family and while he’s an asshole and a whole lot of other bad he’s not at all stupid). And so when I got a well written message from a guy on Plenty of Fish last night who didn’t go to college and who has a steady blue collar job, I didn’t really think twice about answering it.   Who knows, maybe he’s my next guy?

But back to issues of and motivation – no, I would not date a guy who was living with his parents or mooching off some other relative unless there were some really good reason for it (like he moved in to help take care of them).  I have issues dating guys with roommates.  I figure if a guy is over the age of 35 and he still hasn’t figured out the living on his own thing, that’s an issue.  And it’s not a class issue or a brains issue, it’s a motivation issue.

As I’ve said before, many times, I don’t care how much money a guy makes.  I really don’t.  However, at this point in my life I will not date a guy who cannot support himself.  I just won’t.  A few years ago the starving artist thing might’ve been something I’d be OK with.  But not now.  No.  Sorry.  I don’t need him to take care of me, thank you.  Just himself.

OK, I’ve clearly tried to tie too many tangents in here.  Sorry about that.   But I’d love to know what you think.


Tags: , , ,

22 to “Can’t Buy Me Love”


  1. lorilori17 says:

    I agree. For me, it’s about motivation and ambition. If the two people in a couple aren’t compatible or complementary in those areas, it equals resentment. You can pretty much guarantee that will happen, IMHO.

  2. FitDarcie says:

    I don’t give a damn how much they make, as long as they make SOMETHING. I’m no sugar-momma. Level of education doesn’t mean anything either. My dad is the smartest man I know, and he only has his grade 8.

  3. Plentyofdish says:

    Despite all your tangents, I think you are spot-on with the conclusion. Motivation. It’s like the people who are too comfortable with their place in life. Even a doctor or a lawyer or a phd student can lack the drive for more. But that’s what I want, someone who keeps striving, even if all they have is a blue collar job.

  4. bobbyjensen says:

    Although there are target sites like the one you mentioned, I prefer a cross section as much as possible. That’s just me though. I can’t speak as a woman’s point of view, but money has never been a factor for me. Motivation however is a good quality.

  5. bobbyjensen says:

    Correction: I can’t speak FROM a woman’s point of view…

  6. recklessstudio says:

    Independence is something that is important to me. I have to know that you can take care of yourself. I don’t want you to take care of me. Occasional pampering is acceptable (both ways).

    But, something that I do look for early on is how interdependent someone can be. Someone’s interdependence determines how well I can “work” together with someone in a growing or long-term relationship.

  7. Alex Shalman says:

    I’m in a LTR, but I think it would be fun to go on a blind date with another couple. Not like a swingers type of thing, but just someone cool our age, that’s into similar stuff. Then again, we’re both so busy, that we feel guilty not keeping up with the friends we already have.

  8. SINgleGIRL says:

    -OK, so the general feeling is that “class” and income don’t matter but both partners wanting the same things and having similar levels of motivation do matter (sorry for responding individually right now – busy day at work). So what about the living with the parents thing. I’m old, but a lot of my readers are still in their 20s and early 30s. If some guy were still living with his parents would that be a dealbreaker? What about someone who was “still trying to find himself” and so hasn’t really settled into a career?

  9. lorilori17 says:

    The living with parents thing would worry me. It may not be a deal-breaker, depending on the guy and other factors (like ambition and motivation). When I moved out of my parents’ house to go to college, those years did a lot for my self-esteem and independence. I could take care of myself and that felt DAMN GOOD. I would want a potential partner to have that same sense of self-sufficiency, i.e., that he wasn’t with me because he “needed” someone to take care of him like his mom, but because he wanted me for my qualities. I guess there’s a lot of big stuff in that statement. LOL I would be really concerned about a guy moving from his mom’s house to mine.

  10. SeanD says:

    Motivation is an interesting term, people’s motivations are very different, as are interpretations of success. I’ve often used the term “having a similar outlook/mindset” to try and summarise what you’ve written about.

    As for your comments about someone who hasn’t settled into a career. While not everyone finds their niche early, or settles for one, I am somewhat suspicious of those who haven’t at least made some effort… especially when you can see they have a lot of potential. Then there are also those that decide to make a major career change which I think is extremely brave.

    BTW, just a thought… how would you distinguish between a guy who still lives with his parents, and someone whose parents live with him? Would this make a difference?

    P.S. Glad to see that you’re feeling better.

  11. SINgleGIRL says:

    OK – time to catch up. First to go back. I was thinking about FitDarcie’s comment and it occurred to me that people who know really smart people who don’t have advanced degrees (like FitDarcie and myself) are more likely to dismiss the notion that an advanced degree is the true measure of a person’s intelligence.
    -lorilori17
    Your point about learning self sufficiency when you moved out on your own is a good one. I know guys who have never done that. They go to college near home (or don’t go to college) and live at home until marriage. I fear for their future wives. The same goes in reverse, btw. I think a guy should think twice about marrying a woman who’s in her late 20s/30s and has never lived away from her parents.
    -SeanD,
    A long while ago I wrote about my definition of success (the post was “Successful”). It had nothing to do with money and was all about being happy with ones life. I am one of those midcareer changers and it’s freaking scary. I bet there are some people who look at me and think I’m a lazy cow for throwing away my position and title and starting over, but it was what felt right – what I needed to do to feel like I was going to be successful with my life. I understand people taking a while to figure out what they want to do, but I’ve met guys who are in their early 40s and still don’t know and like you I am highly suspicious of this – it seems as if they’ve made no effort at all. How do I distinguish between someone living with his parents and his parents living with him – every situation is different. It would make a difference if they needed his assistance, financially, or for health reasons. And thanks – it’s nice to be vertical again.

  12. derek7272 says:

    Here is a good little dating story for you involving finances. I was out with a girl tonight, second date, and she is rumaging through my iPhone. Checking out various applications. Hits one called “Mint” which is in fact a financial application by Mint.com. Well it opens and gives her the default screen — showing my net worth, account balances and credit card debt. (I hadn’t updated the program in awhile, actually, so credit card debt figure was quite high — I’ve since paid it off). It was a little embarrassing…

  13. 20forty says:

    I’m with you. I can take care of myself just fine thank you very much, but if a guy can’t even take care of himself he can move on down the road. I’ve been down that road one too many times already.

  14. SINgleGIRL says:

    -derek7272
    OMG, She should have been the one who was embarassed. How RUDE!!!! I can’t believe anyone would be so nosy. OK – that’s not true. I’d believe just about anything. But seriously, that’s the kind of stuff you CHOOSE to share with someone when you’re talking about spending your lives together. Not on a 2nd date. Rude, rude, rude.
    -20forty
    And so, no guys still living at home for you, huh?

  15. starangel82 says:

    Class and amount of money aren’t an issue with me either. But I couldn’t date a guy who lives with his parents. That just screams lack of motivation for me. I also couldn’t date a guy who couldn’t support himself. I really think past the age of 25 a guy should be able to support himself 95% of the time. (I know there are times it gets tough starting out.) The only way I could date a guy who is still living with his parents is if his parents are ill and need their son in house to take care of them.

  16. Shannia says:

    Both my parents only have hs diplomas and did great for themselves, they’re both confortably retired now and are still the first 2 people I would go to for advice, on anything. My 3 brothers are great family men with blue color jobs and they are also very smart. i am the only one that got I higher education in the family. I’ve dated doctors and warehouse workers.. It doesn’t make a diffence to me.
    As for roommates, I wouldn’t date a guy that lives with his parents for not apparent reason. If he’s there to get back on his feet after a break up, I am fine with that, but it shouldn’t take a year. If he’s just a momma’s boy, not for me. Rommates are ok, i was 4 years with a guy that rented a very big and beautiful appartment in the heart of downtown with 3 other guys, the place was huge, and super expensive so it made sense, i actually moved in with them after 1 year and it was great, like a family, we shared meals and did a lot of activities toguether, I am still friends with 2 rommates even if the relationship has been over for years.
    2 weeks ago my aunt that I love very much and is single, lost her job.she is 48 and has been working at the same company for more then 10 years. So I offered her to move in with me for 1 year, time for her to get back on her feet. Why not, I have the extra space and she’s been fantastic to me all my life. When I told my boyfriend, he was far from pleased and I didn’t get why. Turns out he likes my appartment being the place we have total privacy (he is the full time daddy of 2 kids).

  17. SINgleGIRL says:

    hmmm. Wow. So now both starangel82 and Shannia have weighed in and they are also in the class/occupation/money don’t mean a damn thing camp. And yet somewhere out there this means a great deal to some people. Just not anyone who reads my site? Or maybe no one who reads this site is willing to admit that it would matter to them.
    -starangel82,
    Those are the only circumstances I would date a guy who lived with his parents. Family is SO important.
    Shannia, I think it’s great that you made that offer to your aunt. And I hope your BF gets over it. He needs to see the bigger picture.

  18. SINgleGIRL says:

    -bobbyjensen
    I just remembered that I never responded to your comment re the “target sites”. I admit – I always used nerve because it a) had the MOST guys in Manhattan (that’s just a fact – and I am a Manhattan chick) and b) I thought the guys there had the greatest liklihood of getting me. It’s not a class thing but an interest thing. I do want to meet a guy who has interestes and life experiences somewhat similar to mine and so I went shopping someplace where that seemed most likely. I also buy most of my clothes in small little local boutiques and shun big dept stores and malls. I go to the place that is most likely to have what I want.

  19. Shannia says:

    Well if he doesn’t then he’s not the man i thought he was and want to be with…

  20. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Shannia
    That’s what I’m thinking. There’s the short term – I want to get to be with you in private, whenever I want to. And then the long term – this means so much about who you are as a person and lets me know that you are there for the people you love when they need you. I want that in a partner.

  21. derek7272 says:

    She was just checking out my iPhone, playing with various applications … it wasn’t like she meant to snoop. She was playing with iHusky, my “virtual dog”, before that. The Mint app does have a dollar sign on it, but it’s a little subtle. I blame the program designers!

  22. SINgleGIRL says:

    -derek7272
    Well then, she isn’t a nosy cow and we’ll all understand if you give her another chance. :-)