Recently, I was at a networking event for women entrepreneurs…
…many of whom were both single and very, very successful. It didn’t take long for the conversation to drift to the topic of dating. And when it did, I was fascinated to hear the different opinions on the best ways for chicas with assets to go about meeting terrific men.
And first I should probably qualify that “terrific men” did not (necessarily) translate to “high-net-worth men.” To be sure, for some women, money will always be a big, big determinant of a guy’s overall attractiveness. And some of the reasons for that ARE valid, practical ones–like simply wanting economic parity with one’s partner. (Or being afraid of acquiring an impoverished dependent.)
But the women gathered around the table that night were not all about money. They had it, and they knew it mattered that they had it. But they didn’t define themselves by bank accounts or status symbols.
Their number-one concern in dating was “wasting time with losers.”
And what constituted a loser in their eyes? Like, the kind of loser who gets automatically disqualified–no further exploration required. Many different things. Here are a few:
- Chronically unemployed
- Lousy education
- Failure to pay child support
- Massive amounts of credit card debt
- Criminal record
Several of the women involved in the discussion felt it was critical to use premium matchmaking services or exclusive dating services that require background checks and verification of employment, income and credit rating, and child support compliance. One was a member of It’s Just Lunch (IJL)–and recommended the service for its built-in screening (i.e., The price tag is high enough to act as a barrier to entry to the jobless, the shiftless, and the downright miserly). Another had tried 8 at 8 (a dinner group style of dating). she said she felt frustrated by the frequent event cancellations but also, like the IJL subscriber, liked the “green screen” (an up-front investment of roughly $500).
In other words, even without employment verification, it’s highly unlikely that an out-of-work sot will join up with a pricey dinner-dating group. There are, after all, so many cheaper options for meeting women. And who could argue with that reasoning, right?
But there was also a little subset of high-net-worth ladies who thought online dating served their purposes just fine. Here were five reasons I heard why those affluent women were on subscription sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com. And even free sites like OKCupid. (Though I will add that there seemed to be universal agreement that that good ol’ freebie-site PlentyofFish had waaaay more than its fair share of beer-swillin’, conceal-carry-holdin’, mullet-sportin’ good ol’boys.)
1. The Douchebag Avoidance Factor. Rich men–who date with a high level of consciousness about their wealth–are pretty likely to be giant assholes There is an important distinction to be made. Rich men are just fine and dandy. It’s the ones who are all, “I must impress women with my milllllllions” who are pretty awful to be around. And usually quite controlling as well.
Caveat: A whopping percentage of the single, male non-wealthy population is also quite douche-y. The ones who can’t finance their various methods of compensating for gaping inner black holes of insecurity do, however, tend to do less damage on the dating scene. They just sort of fade away after the first time they stick a woman with the check.
2. The Philosopher King Factor. As Plato observed, those who don’t chase money and power are the very people you should want to date. Well, that wasn’t exactly it, but I’m sure Plato would have observed that if he’d ever lived in a 21st-century consumeristic society. I live in the Washington, D.C., area–so we see more of the idealistic-think-tank type than most. (And, I must admit, their corrupt doppelgangers extracting bribes and running PACs too).
And boy oh boy, the good guys in that idealism spectrum–academics, nonprofit leaders, and research scientists, for example–seldom amass much coin. Furthermore, for most of these guys, the thought of money as a screening filter would probably only make sense in the context of the next round of grant applications. Not in the quest for a date or mate. Wouldn’t it be a shame to screen out the folks who are using their talents and education in the service of values and ideals? (And really, let’s be honest–most professors and developing-nation economists aren’t exactly in danger of starving or anything.)
3. The Cool Bartender Factor. Sometimes, one woman chimed in, it’s just nice to meet someone articulate and interesting who is completely outside of your normal sphere. Someone who gets to meet the kinds of people you’d never in a million years encounter in your day-to-day life. Someone who has a wholly different perspective form those with conventional jobs. Like a bartender with a faithful neighborhood-pub following, for example. Or a personal trainer. Or a schoolteacher. And, as I have personally discovered in my dating, the bartender might just be ready to cash out and head to Key West to operate a fishing charter in his semi-retirement. (He probably just won’t advertise that he’s done just fine from his years of awesome tips and restaurant-provided meals.)
Avoiding the Donald Trumps of the world–and opening the door to noble and cool sorts of all different stripes. Three pretty valid reasons for not sequestering oneself with an elite matchmaking service.
My own additional comment would be that if you know how to present yourself well through a clever, luminous dating profile and follow-up, you don’t need anyone to do your screening for you. You can engineer introductions to the ambitious world-changers, the unconventionally brilliant, and any other fascinating sort of person who might make your world a little bigger.
And remember there’s nothing at all to prevent you from doing your own background sleuthing later.
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