Over the past few years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of single women who are looking for love. Some of them have been clients, some friends, and some strangers.

It probably comes as no surprise to you the topic of money comes up:

“I want to meet a man who is financially secure.”

“I want to meet a man who has his own money so he won’t spend mine.”

“I want to meet a man who makes at least $500,000, has at least $150,000 in liquid savings, owns his home, and can afford to pay for private school and college for all the children we’ll have one day.” (This is a real quote.)

If you can relate to any of the above, you are likely living a life far beyond your grandmothers’ dreams. You might have an advanced degree and/or a high salary, and/or a well-worn passport, and/or many professional accomplishments.

I can relate because I too am living a life my grandmothers couldn’t have imagined. I have been single and “out there” as a professional woman, wondering if I’ve educated and globetrotted myself out of finding a great and equal partner. (Spoiler alert: I did find a great and equal partner, but not before kissing my share of proverbial frogs.)

So ladies, I get it. You want a man who can relate to you and your experiences. However, without even realizing it, you might be blocking yourself from love with outdated expectations of what your dream man should look like and how much money he “should” make.

Why I’m Talking About Money

When money is one of your main requirements to even get to a “maybe” for a potential partner, dating feels really hard. You’ve got to find someone available, who’s into you, who you’re into, who wants the same kind of relationship that you do. Are those men growing on trees? Now add “makes more money than you” to the list - are you meeting tons of guys who fit that bill?

It’s a shame that money is often a love roadblock, especially when 95% of the single women I talk to are using money as a proxy for something else.

(The remaining few who say they want someone to take care of them financially so they don’t have to work. If that’s the most important thing to you - no judgments. We all have our priorities.)

For most women, their focus on money isn’t about wanting someone else’s - it’s about wanting a traditional, “old-fashioned” relationship dynamic where the man is the primary breadwinner.

There are two reasons why I’ve found focusing on how much money a man has is a bad strategy when you’re looking for love. My reasons have nothing to do with money not being important - of course money is important. They also have nothing to do with rich people being bad, or greedy.

Here’s why:

Reason #1 - A Rich Guy Might Be the Opposite of the Person You’re Actually Looking For

When it comes to any of the must-haves on your dream man “list” my philosophy is this - have a list as long as you like, so long as you actually break down why every item on the list is important and relevant to your actual relationship.

Money is no exception.

When it comes to money, the “whys” I hear most often are some version of:

“Because I don’t want to be a sugar mama.”

“So he’s not intimidated by me.”

“I want to live a certain lifestyle and I can’t/don’t want to pay his way.”

“Because when I dated guys with less money in the past, it didn’t work out.”

I am not at all negating any of the feelings that have led you to want a man who is financially successful. And I’m not saying in order to find love you have to date someone broke.

What I am saying is - the sooner you challenge the assumptions in your “whys”, the sooner you’ll meet someone who is truly compatible with you. Find the real why underneath your “why” and focus on that.

Let me break down the above sentiments to show you what I mean:

“Because I don’t want to be a sugar mama.”

Can you spot the big assumption in this statement? The assumption is - if you date a man with less money than you, that means you have to support him financially.

I’ve seen women spend loads of money on men who are dead broke, and on men who have plenty of their own money. If you don’t want to be a sugar mama - don’t be.

A better strategy is not to date men who are looking for a sugar mama.

Believe it or not, there are men who will take your money, your expensive gifts, exotic vacations, etc. who are fully financially capable of paying their own way. And there are men who have far less money who would never dream of taking advantage of you.

If you don’t want to be taken advantage of, focus on the character of the men you date. That’s a better indicator of who can satisfy your real why.

“So he’s not intimidated by me.”

This is a big one. HUGE.

It’s no fun repeatedly being told you’re intimidating. Believe me, I know. You are right to want a man who isn’t threatened by your success.

The assumption here is that if a man makes a lot of money, he’ll be confident and unintimidated and a cheerleader for you and your success.

Guess what? I know from personal experience dating highly successful men with far more money than me that this is not always the case.

You’re making an understandable, but nonetheless incorrect assumption - the assumption that money = confidence.

I hate to bring him up, but we have a current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who is undoubtedly the least secure man who’s ever occupied that office, and also one of, if not the richest.

Rather than assuming his money will make your man comfortable with your success and ambition, focus on dating men who are comfortable with your success and ambition.

There are men who make less than you who fit this bill. There are men who make more who don’t.

Find the men who root for your success. Who think you’re the bomb.com, and rather than be intimidated by your awesomeness, they celebrate it.

By focusing on that, not only do you dramatically open up your pool of potential partners, but you also focus on your real why - the thing that directly impacts the quality of your future relationship.

“I want to live a certain lifestyle and I can’t/don’t want to pay his way.”

Assumption: you have to live exactly the same lifestyle in the future that you do now.

This is a tough one, I know. When I say this to women, this is usually the hardest pill to swallow.

Tough love time:

You have to decide what is most important to you in life, and choose accordingly. And carefully.

When you partner with someone for the long haul, your lifestyle changes in any number of ways. This is especially true if you’ve been single for a long time.

Just because your man might not be able to afford all the things you are used to enjoying doesn’t mean that will always be the case. And it doesn’t mean he’s using you if you pay for some things that are very important to you that he can’t afford.

If you’re single and you’re looking for love, you are wishing for a profound change in your life. You can’t simultaneously have change and keep everything the same. Believe me - I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. An open heart requires being ready to merge your life with another’s.

Is it worth giving up a first class trip every year in favor of something more affordable for you both to have the love of your life? Is it worth dining out less often to have an amazing, loving partnership? Maybe you have to live in a different neighborhood, or even move to a different city to have a more affordable lifestyle.

And guess what else? There are men who have a lot of money who still don’t want to live the same lifestyle as you. In The Big Leap, the author Gay Hendricks talks about a billionaire client of his who constantly criticized his wife for buying expensive toilet paper. As Hendricks says, “fights about money are never about money.”

No matter what, relationships require compromise. It’s time to let go of your “everything stays the same” fantasy in order to open up the possibility of something deeper and more beautiful than you could have previously imagined.

“Because when I dated guys with less money in the past, it didn’t work out.”

This always reminds me of years ago when a friend was recovering from having her heart broken. Her ex-boyfriend had a lot of body hair and was the same height as her, both factors that always bothered her about him - she always wished he was less hairy and significantly taller.

When he broke up with her, her reaction was: “I’m never dating anyone hairy or who isn’t taller than me ever again.” When I suggested that his complete aversion to intimacy, emotional or otherwise was the real culprit, she wasn’t interested in hearing it. She wasn’t ready to face the real why.

Well, most relationships don’t work out. If you’re single now, it didn’t work out with anyone you’ve dated in the past. What was the real culprit?

Was it his lack of money that was the problem, or was it his comfort with sitting back and letting you support him? Was it that he was intimidated by and resented your success, instead of rooting for it? Was he an opportunistic user who saw you as his meal ticket?

I agree that you should absolutely not date anyone who meets those descriptions!

Your past relationships, no matter how painful have man lessons to teach you, if you’re willing to learn. (Especially when they’re painful.) If you want to do better next time, be happier, be in a relationship that lasts - look at your real why - and prioritize the character traits that align with those needs, not the superficial ones.

Reason #2 - You’re Not Actually Old-Fashioned

I once worked with a client who was in her mid-40s, a doctor, never married, who had been single all of her adult life. In one of our first conversations, she told me she wouldn’t date anyone who had been divorced, had kids, or didn’t make as much money as she did.

When I pushed her to think of her “whys” her answer was “That’s how I was raised and that’s how I always thought it would be. I want to be his first wife and I want us to have children for the first time together. I want him to be capable of taking care of our family, even if I can. I’m old-fashioned that way.

I had to break it to her that no - she was not actually old-fashioned. Her thinking might be, her fantasy might be, but she was not. Back in the “old days” there were not unmarried 40-something women doctors. Back in the “old days” mid-40’s women were not in a position to still plan on having biological children. Back in the “old days” if you were unmarried in your 40’s, chances were you weren’t getting married, ever.

To what era do your love expectations belong? When women didn’t work outside of the home, then yes - we needed a man who could financially support us and our children. It was a necessity.

It’s almost 2019. For the first time in history, there are more women enrolled in college than men. The “old-fashioned” ideal was born of a pragmatism that isn’t relevant to you. You are not “old-fashioned”. You’re not going to have a home cooked meal waiting for your man every night when he gets home from work. You didn’t get married at 22. You have degrees and a career and complete agency over your life.

You are part of a generation of women who are changing the world - who already have, despite the enormous obstacles we still face in navigating the patriarchy.

The rules have changed, rapidly. It’s no wonder so many people are confused about how to navigate them. It’s not easy for any of us to challenge our assumptions about how things “should” be. However, if you want to find a loving partnership in our hyper connected world, it’s time to write your own rulebook. One that’s based on values and relationship needs and shared relationship goals.

You very well might end up with a generous and supportive billionaire to spend your life with. Your first class lifestyle will be the icing on the cake, but the real cake is the character of your partner. Start prioritizing that, and money won’t be a love obstacle for you any longer.

xo

Francesca