Do You Need to Make More Money Than She Does for the Relationship to Work?

This article is about why men find it difficult to deal with a smart, successful and independent woman. There are some basic facts about internalized expectations that follow men (and women) from childhood into adult life and these expectations can torpedo an otherwise promising relationship. To be more precise, do you need to make more money than she does for the relationship to work?

Boys are raised to compete, win and be in charge. This happens at home, in school, and especially in the world of sports. Men have pretty much always been expected to be hard workers and good providers for their spouse and children. Over the last few decades women have been asserting their rights and especially entering the workplace. Many women have gotten a higher education and have professional or high paying jobs in the business world. Nevertheless, men typically arrive at adulthood with the same set of internal expectations that they always have. A few months ago The Washington Post published an article looking at relationships from the viewpoint of the successful woman. She typically has a high paying job and earns more than her boyfriend. And, all too often, the relationship does not seem to progress to a more solid and permanent footing. According to the article men say they want smart, successful women but these women are having trouble dating and moving on to a solid relationship.

[There is one possible] explanation in the enduring pressure men feel to be providers, even in an era when, in about a third of married or cohabiting couples, women bring in half or more of the household’s earnings.

Until men can provide for a family, Birch finds, they don’t feel comfortable dating seriously or making a lifelong commitment.

And an extension of this argument is that even if a man can provide for himself and his wife, he will always believe that he is not doing is fair share if he is contributing the smaller part. So, does this ever work out or are all relationships with smart and successful women doomed to fail?

There Are Successful Relationships with Smart Women

The late Margaret Thatcher was married and was the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Angela Merkel is married and the current Chancellor of Germany! If these folks can make it work, you can too. But, on the other hand, is this the relationship you want?

What You Want versus What You Need in a Relationship

We recently wrote about if you know what you want in a relationship.

Years ago we wrote about getting the relationship that you want. But, do you know what you want in a relationship?

Getting the relationship that you want, starts when you begin online dating. Do you want a casual relationship, to be just good friends? Or do you want a hot first date to lead to an ongoing intimate relationship but without any serious obligations? Or, are you looking for a happy and satisfying relationship that lasts a lifetime?Getting the relationship that you want will probably not happen by chance. You need to think about what you want and then proceed in the manner most likely to give you what you want. And, remember that you may, in fact, progress through each of the three stages mentioned above. So, getting the relationship that you want may require a little more planning that just thinking about how to get sex on the first date.

So, knowing what you want in a relationship is important but how do you get to know what you want in a relationship. After all you start out without having had any romantic relationships and your only guides are your family, friends, and social contacts.

And this is often the problem with men who date smart and attractive women. The man starts with an idea of what he finds attractive and then finds out as the relationship proceeds that he does not want what he thought he did.

One sad fact about smart and successful people is that they are often very busy and they often derive a lot of pleasure from their work and achievements. This way of life makes it hard to develop and maintain relationships. People like Angela Merkel and Margaret Thatcher made it work by making space for their personal life amid the demands of their work. Some folks say that it is best if both of you are busy but that just means that neither of you has time for the other.

And, back to our original question. Do you need to make more money that she does for the relationship to work? If this is where you are stuck then you have not allowed the relationship to develop either because of lack of time or lack of effort. There is nothing wrong with deciding that you want a traditional marriage in which the man is the sole breadwinner. But then, you have no right to complain about the smart, successful and beautiful woman got away from you.

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