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

I’m Kinda a Bad Person, Part Deux

I don’t usually in the heat of the moment.  I did last night.  I was annoyed with myself and it was related to dating and I just did it without giving it much thought.

And so before I dive into your wonderful comments (and thank you to everyone who took time to comment, both here and on Twitter) I just wanted to make a few general, clarifying statements.  Just so, you know, you’ll have better sense of why I was so annoyed/upset with myself last night.

I have always been fiercely independent.  Dysfunctionally so. My parents tell stories of my refusing assistance, as a child, with simple tasks.  I would insist that I could do everything by myself (Which I guess would cause general mayhem in the house because I wouldn’t let them help me get dressed or eat or tie my shoes, etc.  I’d have tantrums if anyone even offered to help.).  I know that at certain points in my adult life this independent streak has caused friction in my relationships because I don’t feel comfortable either asking for or receiving assistance even when I desperately need it.

Until somewhat recently I was financially independent.  I didn’t make lots of but I made enough to have a relatively secure, middle class lifestyle and to have a little cushion of savings in case anything ever went wrong.

And then about a year and half ago I made the decision to completely up end my world. I walked away from my career.  Rather suddenly.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and there are days when I still think it’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done.  And then there are days when I can’t quite figure out how all my bills are going to get paid and I regret it deeply.  My closest friends repeatedly make up excuses to pick up the check when we go out (on the rare occasions when I do go out) and the best off of them have offered to lend/give me money until things look up.  I can feel my slipping away from me.  It’s all rather disorienting.

It’s in this context that suddenly I am caring about guy’s incomes.  Not whether or not they can wine and dine me.  Not whether or not they have a penthouse or can afford to take me on lavish vacations.  But rather, would a long-term relationship with them mean that I could have some of what I gave up? No one can turn back time and undo the decisions I’ve made.  But a with a man who was financially secure could alleviate some of my current burdens.  Maybe.

I realized that last night.  That I was factoring that in.   And I hate it.  I hate it because it’s shallow and weak and where I am now is 100% my choice and no one made me do it.

Anyway, I don’t know if this makes things any clearer.  On one level I think it’s way .  The wall between my life and this blog is crumbling and I don’t like it one bit.  But I didn’t know how else to respond to your comments.  I guess I could have just said, This has nothing to do with what other women want or what anyone thinks of me or a guy’s level of ambition.  It’s about my sense of self and how it’s tied into my ability to take care of myself.  And how I haven’t been doing a very good job of taking care of myself lately. I just felt that you deserved a few more details than that.

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16 to “I’m Kinda a Bad Person, Part Deux”

  1. flipper7809 says:

    Do not beat yourself up about this. I have a similar screening process for guys and know that is works because I am looking for a confident successful guy who is on an similar intelligence level. It also means that we can do the things that I want like travel. I understand your reasons may be slightly different but you know that deep down if you find Mr Right it won’t matter how much money he has.

  2. lorilori17 says:

    I can definitely see why this is creating some cognitive dissonance. You’re independent and don’t want to give that up, but paying even peripheral attention to a potential date’s financial situation has two sides. If you were in an LTR where his finances helped you our significantly, you’d be more comfortable in some ways, but less in others. You’d be giving up some more of that independence, it seems.

    For what it’s worth, I think you can still take care of yourself. From reading your words, I get the sense that you express yourself well, and have a clear handle on what you want and need (even when you have doubts about those things). Take care :)

  3. dmplgrl says:

    I can completely relate to the independant do it yourself thing. I actually got upset with my boyfriend the other day (hehe I love saying that) because he asked to help me doing something. It was silly and there was no reason not to let him help other than I’ve been doing things for myself for a very long time and apparently letting someone do things for me ‘just because’ is something I’m going to have to work on.

    As for the $$ part. As long as the guy is stable and shows he knows how to be responsible (i.e. hold a job) then how much he makes, or how nice his pad is has never been a big deal to me. I make more than Matthew and even though I pretty much live check to check it doesn’t bother me a bit.

  4. starangel82 says:

    I know what you mean about being independent. I’m very much the same way. After college, I turned down a cushy job to work a minimum wage job and live with my parents so I could help take care of my grandfather during his last year of life. I don’t regret it. Now, I work for a better company and a better job, but sometimes I wonder where I would be if I had taken the cushy job. I certainly wouldn’t be having days when I wonder if everything is going to get paid after taking a fall down the stairs (oops). But I’m also too stubborn and independent to ask my parents for help. I do make ends meet, even if it does mean I don’t go out, get to buy new things, or live a fancy lifestyle. Not me anyway.

    I think it’s okay to look for a guy who is financially secure (I’m not talking billionare here). Living check to check sucks. I wouldn’t want to be with a guy who couldn’t support himself. He does have to be responsible and hold a job that pays the bills. I’m okay if together he and I would make it work check to check, but honestly have a little financial cushion does make life easier.

  5. Coyote Too says:

    This helps explain why you find it so upsetting, but I still think you’re overreacting. I’ve done the same thing when I was looking at dating sites. Some of it is about security, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be secure. Some of it is about sexiness–what’s more sexy than a (justifiably) confident person? But most of all, it’s about compatibility. In this post you’ve really spelled out exactly *why* you want someone who is financially successful. You’re a driven, independent, person who can become a success on her own. You know what you want, you’re not afraid to take chances. Aren’t those attributes that you want in a partner too? Would you be happy with someone who wasn’t as strong mindedly successful as you are? How are you going to measure that in a profile? Financial success is a pretty good indicator. Sure, there are the folks with potential, who just haven’t quite made it yet. But there are a million (dare I say) fish in the sea. You can’t look at them all. You’ve got to filter the initial set somehow, and you can’t measure potential in a profile.

    If you were a person who wouldn’t make a good match for a secure, financially successful guy, then one could argue that you were trolling for sugar daddies. But you aren’t. You’re looking for someone who will respect you as their equal, and this is a perfectly good way to find that person. I don’t see that you have anything at all to feel bad about.

  6. HyperDuke says:

    I Think I Have To Agree with Coyote Too, your taking this whole thing outta proportion. If you beat your self up over just one insecurity then your not making it any better for you. What I think you should is sit down, and have a nice long one on one with yourself, because i know you’ve heard “The More Things Change, They Stay the Same”, Your Independence Is Still the same as when you were a child, but your morals, standards, and insecurities are changing.

    Its either that or your looking in the wrong line of men. Maybe your chasing the wrong standard of comparison, plus if money brings two people, thats a recipe for disaster. But anyway, you need to loosen up, stop being so hard on yourself…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Usually I tell people to put things into perspective and not to worry too much. In this case, this is very important to you. There is a change in yourself, an important one, and it seems that you are at a crossroad. Sometimes recognizing a situation intellectually is not going to cut it. So get frustrated, angry, confused or anything else that you may feel, it’s probably healthy. In the long run (more than likely the short run), you’ll have it all figured out for yourself one way or the other. At least I think so. Best of luck to you :) Bobby

  8. Mimi09 says:

    I feel that men define themselves more by the relationship they have with their money and careers. Men are paid higher salaries, obtain higher positions, etc. than what women, and single moms, are sometimes able to do. We have more things to balance in our lives than what men do. If we feel secure, even if it is in a financial sense, and this is what he is offering, you damn well know that we, as women, have that ability, whether emotionally, physically, etc. to offer to him in return, a million times over. It all balances. As humans, you have the sense to give what you can to those in your life, regardless of what it is.

  9. SINgleGIRL says:

    But I’m so good at beating myself up :-). You’re right. If I met someone wonderful, I wouldn’t be concerned about his financial status.
    That’s exactly what I’m experiencing, cognitive dissonance. And I don’t like it one bit.
    I used to feel exactly as you do. And probably if I met someone special who was broke I’d be cool with it. I just happen to be looking at a lot of not broke guys right now.
    You said the magic words, “make life easier”. I miss that so much. So much it hurts.
    -Coyote Too
    Damn, you make it sound so logical and reasonable and almost even right. Seriously, I get what you’re saying. And yeah, there are a lot of guys who wouldn’t be a good match for me because of who I am and a lot of the ones who are happen to make decent money anyway. I just have to get rid of the icky feeling.
    I have a bad habit of being too hard on myself. I like to find all of my faults and then pick, pick. pick. Well, not LIKE.
    Thanks, as always, for your support. It’s going to take a little while for my emotions to catch up with my brain on this one.
    It is about balance. And I guess this is a balancing act that I’ve never really tried before. So much to work on…

  10. derek7272 says:

    Well, hopefully you like your new career… and even if it is stressful now, in time you will advance and move up and be making more money than you did at your last job. It’ll all be fine!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t feel bad about this – I didn’t! I had a very good job, etc., but gave it up to start my own business. I then met my now husband and I was broke! He didn’t care – he admired the fact that I gave up a lot to try something new. However, a large issue in any marriage, good or bad, is money and I was not marrying someone that didn’t or couldn’t hold a job, didn’t have a home, had bad credit, etc. You need to reassure yourself that your future will be secure in all ways. Please don’t apologize for your need for security in your marriage – its natural. I took care of myself for years and enjoyed that freedom immensely. But now I wouldn’t trade my husband and my marriage – a product of a lot of hard work – for anything. And I don’t worry about the money issue any more. So, please don’t beat yourself up over this – you have lots of offer and that is MUCH more important!

  12. starangel82 says:

    “You said the magic words, “make life easier”. I miss that so much. So much it hurts.”
    I know, honey. Me too.

  13. Anonymous says:

    You go girl!

  14. PiscesInPurple says:

    Everyone has already said so much, so I’ll just belatedly chime in with:
    Good for you, Simone. It’s hard and it’s scary, but it sounds like you did the right thing. I have a very strong feeling it’s all going to turn out fantastically for you.

  15. sklep w says:

    Ciekawy blog, dodalem go do ulubionych, bede tu wpadal czesciej

  16. Mitre says:

    Posts like this one make me reiterate how much I appreciate this blog – it’s one of the most open and honest around, and that’s something…
    I’m sure you already do this, but just in case – you should look into ways of getting some (more?) advertisement money from this blog. It’s already quite popular (as blogs go) judging by its Alexa ratings and it’s probably going to expand in popularity as people spread the word (I, myself, am a brand new “follower”).
    For my part – I just registered on OnSugar, and am going to Digg you – a new drop in the sea of your popularity 😉

    I really, really hope things are going well for you!

    P.S. I just realized I’m talking to you-3.5-months-ago, since I follow the blog without skipping ahead 😉