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It’s Just As Easy to Marry Rich…

Once again I defer to the late, great Philip Larkin:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad,

They may not mean to, but they do”.

Recently I’ve become aware that one of my ’s little “sayings” wasn’t nearly as common or everyday as I’d previously thought.

Growing up, I must’ve heard at least a thousand and one times that it was, “just as easy to marry rich as it is to marry poor”.   It never occurred to me that that was rude or strange.  I thought it was just one of those random things that all mothers said to their daughters.

It’s only now that I’m much, much older (old enough to have teenagers of my own, which freaks me the hell out) that I realize how truly bizarre it was to have my mother say that to me, over and over, for all of those years.

And every time I mention it in conversation, it becomes clear to me that other people think it’s odd, too.

But here’s the thing.  The very fact of her saying that to me over and over, made me less likely to do it.  I mean, made me less likely to be interested in marrying or even being interested in a guy just for his /position.  Because it was something I’d been thinking about my whole life.  Long before it became a real possibility.  And so when it did become a possibility, I already knew that it wasn’t something I’d be interested in.  Marrying rich.  That wasn’t something I could ever comfortably tally into the romantic equation.

So here’s what I want to know, did anyone else hear that from their mom?  Or anything like it?  Or was I the only one who’s mom decided (way back when I was in elementary school)  that my best chance for a successful future was to marry some rich dude and live off of him for the rest of my life?


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16 to “It’s Just As Easy to Marry Rich…”


  1. iamalejandra says:

    Funny, my mom always said I should marry for “looooveee” and I think women should heavily consider marrying a very financially stable guy. (Now, I don’t think this will ever apply to me, as I do not plan on getting married, but that’s another point entirely.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    My mom used to say that to me too – and I’ve had the exact same adverse reaction you do. So strange the things that our mothers instill into their children’s minds…even when they think it’s for the good of said children.

  3. Susan Mercedes says:

    I heard that growing up too. But from my dad! Funny really since my dad made great money and my mom divorced him when I was very young to seek out happiness.

  4. Erin Korogodsky says:

    Similar advice I received from a guy friend of mine, who happens to be seperated “Figure there’s 8 million single guys out there. 2 million of them have managed to buy a house. Marry one of them.”

    To your original point. most of the divorced women I know have said things like, “I’ll only marry again for money.”

    I guess its a big issue.

  5. AGirlNamedMe says:

    My parents said the same thing to me (I’m 43). Usually, this was prefaced with something like, “You have expensive taste.”

    Even though it wasn’t *that* long ago, women just didn’t have the same potential to earn.

    xoxo

  6. Tales From A Bar Stool says:

    My mother is a big advocate of don’t try to score a rich man. Sure, she’d be happy if I did find love with a rich man but she never told me to go out looking for it or to take nothing less. She wants me to be my own success, make my own riches…

  7. Hypersingle says:

    Wealthy persons think about the flip side of this idea. Are their partners/spouses with them primarily because of their wealth. How do you date, emphasizing YOURSELF and not your wealth? How do you share your wealth with friends and partners without seeming like you are “buying” their friendship? Some of the posters here may be on the way to financial success and these issues should make the wonderful world of dating even more thrilling. Wannabe sugarmommas can disregard this entire post.

  8. Hypatia says:

    That’s a pretty common saying actually. My friends say it to me all the time… :-p They’re only KIND OF kidding.

  9. You Make My Date says:

    I’m truly amazed and envious of all of you who have said your mothers have been a bit more understanding.

    My mum was the spoilt princess who fell for a guy much below her socio-economic level. She tried to make it work for 13 years, before she filed for divorce. And now all she ever does is lecture me on how I should avoid poor men. As opposed to “avoid arseholes” like my father was.

    I dated a guy for 3 months but finally cracked under her daily rants about how he wasn’t good enough for me because he wasn’t filthy rich – not because I believed her, but just because I didn’t want to have to fight with her all the time.

    On the other hand, guys’ mothers often just hate the girlfriend for no apparent reason; regardless of her wealth. Not sure if that’s supposed to be better…

  10. klawless says:

    I heard it too… and adversely reacted for years. :) Now I’m just not focusing on it at all and looking at other things — more balance that way.

  11. Don't Be A Slut says:

    Too, too funny.

    My mom is basically of the “all men are no good” variety. She scoffs at my desire to marry and have a family, telling me I’m better off single.

    Sigh.

  12. dazediva says:

    This has turned out to be a really insightful post with all the comments …. Coming from an Indian community background – one of the core thoughts instilled in girls is that if they are going to marry and settle with someone – it should be with someone of the same social background as their own family … social status, family money, education, etc etc

    A few years ago – I used to lash it out with my mother stating that it was unfair to judge someone based on social backgrounds or if that person didn’t come from a ‘good enough’ financial background …. My mother would remind me then of the kind of upbringing I had and would ask if I was willing to give that up for my children when I eventually had them …

    Now, as I’m contemplating marriage I’ve realised – that even though I could marry either rich or poor – I want to be with someone who has the ‘potential’ to earn the sort of lifestyle that I want my kids to have – its not even about me at this point … I’m not a gold digger by any standards – so wouldn’t just hook up with a guy because he’s got the cash …I have been working for a few years now and would like to continue after marriage too and hence there’s always double income in a household … I’m now looking out for a partner who has the potential to make a secure and stable life for himself as well as his family …

    So I would say .. don’t marry rich just for the sake of it – but don’t marry poor either … marry someone with potential :)

  13. Simone Grant says:

    -iamalejandra
    I guess this is evidence towards the theory that women always want the exact opposite of what they’ve been taught by their mothers to want (or something like that).
    -Anonymous
    I’m glad to hear it’s not just me.
    -Susan Mercedes
    Not THAT’S funny – that you heard it from your dad. Hmmm.
    -Erin Korogodsky
    Interesting that the divorced women you know say that they’d only marry again for money, but then, so many couple fight over money so I guess I can see how that makes sense.
    -AGirlNamedMe
    I think your point about age has a lot to do with it. It probably never occurred to my mother when I was young that I might be able to earn as much as a man (and then when I pursued a career that wasn’t ‘high-earning’ she was so disappointed).
    -Tales From A Bar Stool
    And I’m guessing that’s advice you’ve taken to heart?
    -Hypersingle
    I’ve written about this, and have been surprised and how mellow some guys with money are at the way women go after them. I think it’s crass.
    -Hypatia
    I think it’s pretty common in some parts of the country and really rare in others (I completely shocked someone over drinks by repeating it).
    -You Make My Date
    Hmm, not sure how old you are, but past a certain age I’d imagine your mother’s opinion shouldn’t matter much. My mom is no longer living, but I never introduced men I was dating to her. Never. Not worth the hassle.
    -klawless
    Balance – what a nice goal.
    -Don’t Be A Slut
    “all men are no good” – not exactly a fairytale, but perhaps not unrealistic, lol.
    -dazeddiva
    A bit off topic, but for a long time I’ve been obsessed with arranged marriages (modern ones), specifically in the Indian community. I know that not everyone has them, but I’m fascinated by the way they work – and they do work. The way that they are build on similar backgrounds (as you mentioned) and similar desires. And that the couple is not being forced together. The success rate is very high, much higher than your typical American marriage. Anyway, I think the fact that you’re looking ahead to the life you want for your family is incredibly mature and forward thinking.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard this saying too. I’ve also head, and fully believe, that people who marry for money work WAY harder for it than people who get a job to earn their own money.

  15. sugar&spice says:

    my mum never said anything like that although my uncle always stressed the importance of women marrying a rich man and suggesting we should all be goldiggers…which is why men should never get married!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I used to hear this all the time, not only from family, but from friends at school: when talking about the sorts of men we’d marry when we grew up, “rich” always seemed to sneak in there, somehow.

    Now, I have done well for myself. I don’t consciously look for a man with a fortune comparable to my own, but when I think about it, I haven’t dated outside my income bracket. Probably because I always seem to disobey another directive my parents used to drum into my head: don’t date co-workers. (I am unadventurous, and like to date people who are similar to myself. Work seems to be a good place to find that. I’ve been lucky, so far: no messy breakups or lost jobs. But I suppose it isn’t a terribly good idea.)