What do women actually think about men who earn significantly less than them?

Like what do you actually think about that scenario? I am supposed to meet soon with someone who as they were explaining to me exactly what they did it sort of dawned on me that she probably earns several multiples of my salary and it made me feel a bit

*raises eyebrows

I might turn up to meet her with a Dick Whittington style hobo bag hung on a stick carried over my shoulder. I think that would be appropriate in the context.

It never bothered me at all. In fact, other people seemed to care a lot more than I ever did.

She will probably care more that you were beaten with the ugly stick and have a soft boiled egg in your knickers.

Seriously though, is this post from the 1990s?

Well clearly, collectively we all think exactly the same thing on this issue 

FWIW I think women tend to be more attracted to what you do and why rather than how much you earn. 

Providing you earn enough to support yourself that is. Perpetually carrying an out of work actor etc is grating for the same reason a man would find it grating. 

I’m sure that you are not in the territory of asking for change for a cuppa.

Forget about it, meet her as a person and hopefully have fun.



What kaulbach said (although TBF also what hoolie said but I shall generalise horribly )

Someone who is interesting and fun and loves what they do is always hot

That said if he earned significantly less than me it would have to be a third sector gig and I am not sure I could handle the earnestness

I love a hot besuited man who can also fix your toilet cistern because he noticed it was weird when you didn't even realise

God I love that

Clergs would you not countenance say someone at floor level in retail, hospitality or a tradesman or labourer?


A lot of tradesmen and labourers who have been at their trade for 20 years earn more than lawyers. 

My experience of this is similar to my experience of dating women taller than me. I have absolutely no problem with it, but I’ve also felt that they have, and that puts a huge dampener on any sparks of chemistry. I would never refuse to date somebody because of either of those characteristics, but I wouldn’t be massively hopeful either.

basically what all women want is a laz

I have only once dated a man who earned substantially more than me and he transpired to be a cad

I am excluding property rentals from my calculations because they don't count for sexy purposes

Almost all the men I have dated have earned more than me, usually quite a lot more 

I was in Hampstead a couple of weeks ago and found myself wondering what it must be like to be a Hampstead type with a great big investment banker hubby

Not sure I could be fucked

Although it's probably less hostess intensive now 

I have dated plenty of hard up chaps in the past. As long as you have enough between you to go out to dinner and treat each other occasionally then it is fine.

If a rich handsome man had bad manners or unpleasant views then he was gone, regardless of wealth or status.

O Christ am remembering the journalist who said when I suggested getting a Costa and sitting in the park "thank god because I couldn't afford a restaurant in London it's so expensive here"

He was nearly 40

AND I don't expect men to pay. It was doubly annoying.

Although this was a long time ago because I remember getting bikini line done beforehand "just in case" and it accidentally went too far and I thought oh well can't have sex as this looks fucking freakish

These posts were brought to u by the letters t, m and i

He cleared his nose at one point by holding one nostril shut and blowing through the other onto the grass

can see why it might be an issue, either way, early doors, but once married who cares who earns more?

" love a hot besuited man who can also fix your toilet cistern"

Such a man no longer exists 

I had to call in a man to fix a leaking tap the other week

Two men took 20 minutes to fix it

I said this used to be a 5 minute job with a spanner

They said it now has 8 possible  parts where there used only to be one

And on a modern toilet, 18

I did manage to fix the cistern tho  The plumber said he didn't know

how I  did it when he came to do the permanent repair

Wtf would wear a suit to fix things round the house?

Unless it was a boiler suit.

I've dated a few guys who earned less than me.  One of them i got fed up of paying for them when we were out and the other two we just didn't go out.  I won't date anyone who earns considerably less than me again.

  • Women usually go for high social status. Often they happen to perceive lawyers and older men to have that status and believe it is, to some extent, an indication of wealth.
  • I don't date outside a certain age bracket and could never really be in your situation, but I have an ex who is on 200 something k in her mid / late 20s nowadays, and I note we broke up two years ago and she is still single.
  • Notwithstanding that I put her off men for life, I reckon she'll find it pretty tricky going on tinder dates with guys her own age who earn 50k. I know before we dated she was on elitist apps like The League. I genuinely think she's going to try to land someone in private equity and will get cheated on repeatedly. In tough industries, like banking, you have to be a bit of a shark to get ahead and those guys have loose morals and are expert manipulators. Lot of genuine sociopaths in the city.

Essentially what Kaul said,

Though significantly less than me income covers people with no income. I love people who really care about what they do and the impact they are having.

Basically, I am hot for teachers

Lol. She works for an American investment management firm that is famous enough that even I’ve heard of it, and manages a team. I’m pretty sure that means she’s earning a seriously massive amount of money.

i just spoke to her about bandes desinee, manga and sports so I was kind of surprised by the ‘so what do you actually do in financial services?’

‘I do X and Y and Z.’

‘riiiight. By the way, I don’t even wear a watch.’

Not necessarily. Depends what she does there and her seniority (i.e. how old is she). If she's a lawyer, for example, she might only make 150ish at 7 odd PQE. I know quite senior lawyers in investment management companies on about 120ish + bonus. Alternatively really good gigs you can get 250 odd k at 8-10 PQE if you're moving in to a client assuming you're at a decent US shop.

I think a lot depends on her expectations about children and child-rearing.

If she does not expect to have children, then her attitude about a lower earning partner will be very much the same as a man in the same situation.

If she expects to have children, there are five possible outcomes she’ll consider:

a)  She will have prime responsibility and the couple will have a reduced joint income.  This is a problem

b) The spouse will have prime responsibility. This is fine

c) Childcare will be outsourced to grandparents/nannies/childminders. This is fine if joint income is sufficient

d) Let the children be feral and look after themselves.  This isnt really an option

e) She and partner will have equal responsibility.  She knows that this option doesn’t really exist either  



Our UK GC is on 175k, plus bonus ( 80-100%) and a bit of carry. He rocks up at 10.00, and is out the door by 5.00. Whats not to like?

I love it when elffi holds forth about what's normal and isn't 

No, she’s not a lawyer.

engineering degree -> financial services -> MBA -> back to financial services. 

I’m a software engineer and work with engineers. I have enough former classmates etc who work in financial services to recognize where she works and what she does is quite ‘shit, you must make a lot of money’.

i do ok. I own my own place etc but I’m not that kind of rich.

Honestly, as long as you can support yourself and generally manage your finances well (saving for retirement, spending less than you earn, not in mountains of credit card debt) - it really shouldn't matter. Particularly in the beginning.

To me, income disparity is only an issue in the sort of medium term of a relationship. 

Short term dating, it's not really anyone's business how much people make and generally both people can afford dates; there's not a heavy expectation on the future anyway so who cares? Much more important to have common interests and of course physical attraction.

Long term - if you're married or living together common law it's basically all one pot and or you split expenses by income anyway.

Medium term though - tricky time. Say you want to go away together, and one person likes to fly business class and stay at 5*, the other flies Ryan Air and stays at the Premiere Inn. If the richer partner pays, the power dynamic is weird and off - if the richer person relents they may not have a great time or feel they're not enjoying themselves because the accomodation and flight are not to their standards. Then you've got birthday and xmas gifts...how much to spend? Dinners out at fancy restaurants? etc etc.

So getting past the middle bit when incomes are very different is the hard part. And if you really love someone it shouldn't matter, as long as you both hold similar views on how to handle the money you make. My 2 pence.


I run when any woman who earns less makes it patently clear that she’s going to expect me to pay for everything.  Don’t actually want her to pay but offering to buy a round or split dinner every now and then would be appreciated even if I turn down the offer.

Biggie13 Sep 20 18:41

  • Women usually go for high social status. 

No they don't.  It's just the excuse they are giving you to spare you from explaining that it's your shit performance in the sack that's put them off.


Your first concern is about earnings?

Good to know true love will never die...

No Fluffy... his first thought is about his own insecurity and how women will react to him when they don’t perceive his earnings as a key attractive feature. 

I have always earnt more than whoever I was dating... it was never an issue or a problem for me... it’s frequently been a problem for those men. 

Most men just don’t seem to handle having their primary social function as ‘breadwinner’ taken away from them. 

Also ... what Canadian said here...


‘Say you want to go away together, and one person likes to fly business class and stay at 5*, the other flies Ryan Air and stays at the Premiere Inn. If the richer partner pays, the power dynamic is weird and off - if the richer person relents they may not have a great time or feel they're not enjoying themselves because the accomodation and flight are not to their standards.’


Especially so when the other (poorer) partner decides to be a real khunt about it and delights in rubbing your face in that shitty stuff. Like booking a room in India for 100rupees for the ‘adventure’ of it... a room with no fly screens so you wake up bitten to hell by mosquitos that have been hatched from the nearest sewage infested sludge.  Then they laugh at you about it and that you can’t handle ‘slumming’ it. 

tbf there is a happy medium between slumming it and business + 5 star; people who prefer the latter are often class insecure twats

as to what women think about anything - they are different you know and different ones may have different views. crazy or what ...

Indeed there are Merkz, and I would have been happy to stay in anything that was there in the middle. 



I should really have said people who insist on either extreme tbh; there is very little more annoying than a western tourist being a khunt over a few quid in the third world. At lest the 5* crew are doing the decent thing and overpaying 

I’ve never seen the point in travelling as cheaply as possible.  

Either you can afford to go travelling and stay/do/enjoy the things you want.. or stay at home till you can.


IMO there is absolutely nothing worse than spending thousands to get somewhere then refusing to pay a $10 entrance fee to a historical site ... so you can save your money. What is the fvcking point?!? 

I'd be a great house husband. I'm seriously handy, green fingered, clean freak with an attention to detail second to none. 

Also own my own white t-shirt/boiler suit combo. 

I'd love to have plumbed your sink, Scylla. 

(Sink update pls)

 it was never an issue or a problem for me... it’s frequently been a problem for those men. 

Most men just don’t seem to handle having their primary social function as ‘breadwinner’ taken away from them

Translation: “I couldn’t resist making sniping, resentful little comments about their lack of financial success and over time it drove them away.”

if it were just one man it might be their fault. If it’s “frequently” been a problem it’s probably your fault.

I've always earned more than my husband. At times he had nearly no income. Neither of us could care less. We have a household income and live within our means. If he had earned more, perhaps we'd have some more money in the bank. But I think we're lucky it worked out for us as I wanted to continue working full time after Red anyway. 

Hahahaha.. not quite Hotnow. 
I’ve never been snipey or resentful at all about it... in fact I always offered to pay for them to do things with me but I didn’t let their lack of finances stop me from doing the things I wanted to do either. And they really didn’t like that. 

I’m the same with my friends. I’ve ‘Subsidised’ several different friends to come on holidays with me.. because they couldn’t afford it and it made zero difference to me.  

They usually pay for just their airfares and food and I rent whatever the hell I want to stay in on Airbnb that has room for a guest and a hire car.  It doesn’t cost me anything extra than i would already be paying if I were travelling alone and they get a cheap holiday.  

I have a lot of friends whose earnings are substantially less then mine.. I wouldn’t possibly expect them to pay for the things I enjoy doing. 


The last properly adult man I dated before my husband ran a small business and paid himself only just enough to get by. As soon as I started my first proper job I was earning twice as much as him (we'd split up by then for unrelated reasons). I didn't care at the time because he was working so hard and had so much passion for what he did, but I think if we'd stayed together in the long term I would have become resentful about not being able to go on holiday (even if I'd paid for both of us, because he couldn't take the time off) or have any hope of buying a property.

My husband has always earned less than me (I don't actually know how much he earns but it is less than me), but enough to afford the kind of lifestyle and spending habits that suit us both. We live well within both our means, have the same ideas about what kind of holidays we want to go on and how much we're comfortable spending, and we don't worry about money. We don't have completely shared finances but every time I feel like my current account is getting a lot more full than his I whack a bit more in the joint account. 

amazing how married couples have so many different ways of managing money isn't it, different strokes...

we have a joint account and everything in and out of that. we each pay 1500 pm into our black ops accounts

we both earn ok so not an issue

CV. Sink has been ordered and I bought all my kitchen appliances last week.  Everything will be on hold at the suppliers now and delivered as and when needed by the builder. 

this also means I can stop my obsessive research into kitchen appliances and turn my attention to saunas/spa baths (or not) and tape ware. 

I also went a little bit nuts and bought an ENORMOUS tv... which is so big it may not fit on the one wall I have for it to go on. (Everything else is glass or built ins) ... Oops. 


the answer to the question as always if it depends..if you like love them uts fine, if not eventually you will thi k fuck that im not even arsed about you so I'm not subbing you

Wot rog sed

if it’s ‘luv’ you will cut your cloth accordingly. 

we have a joint account and everything in and out of that. we each pay 1500 pm into our black ops accounts

I've suggested this but annoyingly you pay a monthly fee per card here, and neither of us are keen on each paying a monthly fee for both our current accounts and the joint account, or giving up our separate current accounts. So mortage, direct debts etc go out of the joint account, as does anything that can be paid for by cheque (yes, those still exist here) and we just both pay for stuff out of our current accounts as and when.

Since moving into gov employment a little over a decade ago I am certainly behind what I would have been earning had I stayed in PP. That said I have no regrets about it. This had led to me dating a couple of ladies who earned quite a bit more than me, but neither of us were particularly money focused so it wasn't a problem. Most stark example I saw of this at work was my old boss whose wife had a bigger income tax bill than his total salary.

I earn 2-3 times what my husband does and likely always will.  It's not an issue for either of us, never has been.  We both have similar attitudes towards work (work to live not live to work).  I do notice that pretty much all of my male colleagues are very much the 'high earner' in their relationships and have wives who don't have careers or who are in relatively low-paid jobs.  I think a certain kind of professional man who identifies strongly with his job  and salary doesn't want a woman who has the same sort of status.  I'm very glad not to be in a relationship with someone like that.     

On the issue of married couples and joint bank accounts, in your experience what is the "norm" 

My parents have separate bank accounts, my father earning many, many multiples more than my mother a NHS consultant. I have no idea how the bills are split, or where the savings go.

Once married in  todays world do couple just have single joint account to which their salaries get paid, and pay everything from that. That seems the most simple way?

My ex husband in theory supported me in having a career, but still expected mine to take a back seat every single time there was any kind of ishoo with the kids etc. 

Most of my relationships I’ve earnt similar or more.

as long as we were both working or a reason for not it doesn’t particularly bother me.

i find it more tricky managing being second job at home and taking on the associated extra domestic labour despite having first job pressures / salary

We have a joint account into which we are both paid. All household bills are paid from that. We also have our own accounts into which money for own things (hobbies, spending money, things for children) is transferee and spent as we wish. Not 1500 quid a month each tho because we aren't rich like roger 

I manage the finances so nev gives me a portion of his salary to run everything and keeps a bit back to pay the bills etc that come out of his account.

we do have a joint account but we were rubbish at using it as always felt weird topping it up to share the cost of something. 

i feel a lot different about money / our money now that we are married and also that we have finally finished paying fucking maintenance 

I was in love with a guy that earnt basically nothing doing the night shift in a hospital in Italy. I was attracted to his care free nature, that he wasn't obsessed with money and actually made me question my city life and why I did it (I made significant changes and left pp cos of him). We kind of did long distance seeing each other/ being super close friends where we texted each other 100s of times a day. We did try and see each other often and when we did We partied so hard and had a lot of fun spending our days day drinking and not planning a thing. I loved him and would have ditched my career to move to Italy to be with him but he was scared of commitment- we had an insanely complicated relationship and he broke my heart several times. it was probably for the best though and thinking about it- I think I would have got pretty irritated living the reality of being with him. He was always broke halfway through the month because he was genorous with his money and also couldnt budget and would blow his earnings on booze and going out (oh, also he was an alcoholic) and when he had to ask his parents in his 30s to pay for a flight to the UK to see them for xmas I realised that this would never had worked. I am so independent and have never asked my parents for money. Surely a 30 something year old bloke should have enough money to buy a flight from Italy to the UK to see his parents for  Xmas???

@deadcelebrity - so you earn 2-3 times more than your hubby which is fine but find it distasteful that your colleagues earn 2-3 times more than their partners?

do you think you might be a sexist?

@hotnow - I find it distasteful that ALL my male colleagues have lower earning/no income spouses (I am trying to think of an exception but can't).  This suggests that they (or at least some of them) are not considering high earners as potential partners. This is not the case with my female colleagues, who generally have professional husbands who probably earn in the same ballpark as them (I am an outlier in this respect, and I don't think that I am someone who would not consider going out with someone who earns the same/more than me, I just happen to have ended up with someone who earns less).

My experience is when young it didn’t really matter who earned more with the caveat that girls liked it if I earned more, but it wasn’t their primary motivation.


As I got older this balance shifted and although I do not think it was ever their primary motivation they seemed much more interested in money. Presumably as they were thinking about a family and how that was going to pan out. At this stage they seemed to split into two groups. Those who were quite calculated about it and had done their research on how much it costs to have a nice house, pay school fees etc. etc. and those who were vaguely aware but thought it would just turn out okay and they would naturally live the life their parents had.


I did go out with a girl who had a trust fund and, at the time, a lot more money than me. She ruthlessly made it clear who had all the money and enjoyed the fact. I enjoyed my period as a kept man on account of the facts that she was smoking hot, we went travelling and she paid for everything and she wanted sechs all the time. It was an exhausting period. She dumped me horribly after a year and married someone else. I bumped into her about 15 years later and she tracked me down invited herself over and shagged me. Then went back to her husband. Then divorced him, got really fat and married a self-made working class multi-millionaire. I add the ‘working class’ bit because she was a colossal snob.    

This doesn't really sound like a morality tale of her getting hers tbh 

I dated seriously two guys who earned less than me.

With one of them it would have become a problem (and was part of the reason we split) because he basically wanted all the spoils of the salary to fund his life but also didn’t want to eg do any childcare/go part time. So it was basically - we buy a big house in [prestigious university town he had a post doc in], a pied a Terre in london, you commute to your very long hours/high pressure job in London and when we have kids we’ll get a nanny, cleaner, gardener etc so I can continue to be an academic. It just felt like too much pressure for me (and yes I am aware many men have the reverse of this set up but I would not feel comfortable being on the other side of it so am not being hypocritical). 

second one was a hot surfer bum with a non career job. Would have been perfectly happy to continue with him as he would have been totally happy to stay home, look after kids, do diy etc but we broke up for other reasons. 

Roger  if you each know about the others (especially how much is going in) then it's not a black ops account ffs.

I do recall one of my exes who earned about twice my salary. We were having a chat and she was mapping out her vision of the future which involved kids and her quitting work to look after them. I said hang on, why can't I be the one to quit work and look after them, you currently earn way more than me and will continue to do so. She didn't really see my point.

@Merkz and @Scylla

I made a deal with myself when I started to make good money, that while I was earning X amount or more, I would not fly long haul without business class providing the price wasn't ridiculous obviously. I had too many awful experiences on long haul flights and realized that to me, it is worth it to fly business class on flights overnight flights.

And precovid - I would be in Bora Bora, Australia/NZ, obviously back and forth across the pond to Texas/California, etc. with some flights being 18 hours. I just can't do that in economy, it makes me miserable and anxious about the trip rather than looking forward to the trip. But I love(d) to travel.

This preference can cause a problem in medium term when dating someone who doesn't make the money to afford business class or place a value business class for long haul flights, rightly takes offense to you paying for your own seat up front and not sitting with them. Honestly, it can be weird. Fortunately I'm past that now!

Accomodation, I have slummed it to meet the income level of a medium term relationship and it was miserable for all concerned. I don't go on vacation to slum it for the adventure at this stage in my life. I have enough adventure trying to keep my career going upwards.


absolutely what Canadian said... though on occasion I have used my frequent flyer points to upgrade my travel companion ..   telling them that it didn’t ‘cost’ me anything  seemed to make it more acceptable. 

No problem with Mr XL ( I ended up earning 10x more) until we divorced. Before for 20 years it was never an issue, we shared everything, each did as much as the other at home - cleaning, babies etc.


We both work very very hard however so never a question of one person being lazy and also he is very good. I met him at a Cathedral where I sang and he is a brilliant organist so  that kind of excellence is good to find. Someone who was useless at everything and didn't earn much and was lazy might not have gone so well.


Well the jury’s still out then.

Canadian’s points are good, and probably closest to the scenario. There’s no way in hell I’m buying a business class ticket on a long haul flight and I would feel a bit like the bloke in Titanic if I was stuck in economy and then she went a bit ‘draw me like one of your French girls’.

I don’t know. I’ve spoken to her on her phone a few times now and she thinks I’m funny. She knows what I do so I suppose if it was something she thought was an issue she wouldn’t bother.

  • Watch out for the strap on and remember under English law only men can commit rape (as penetration has to be with a penis).

The end of this story is that I met up with said lady last weekend and went for a meal with her sister and her m8s (I know, intense for a first ‘in person’ meeting) and then back to hers and we shagged a few times.

she seemed keen and I have bruises as a result.

she says she doesn’t want to ‘pursue this’ though.

probably just fancied a few roots....back to the drawing board

Who buys the pig when you can get a little sausage for free... 

"she seemed keen and I have bruises as a result"

If there are no bite marks she isn't keen...