Friday, March 15, 2013

Being in Love Makes Women Poor

I've wanted to write a blog post about this subject for sometime now; mostly because money is an intensely divisive subject in the western world. It is used to value our accomplishments and unspokenly it is used to measure our intelligence. For women, the earnings disparity is a double slap in the face. When it comes to dating -the subject of my expertise- money is a great dividing line. The Rules indicate that at the beginning, the first three dates, the man should pay. Given how formulaic the first three Rules dates tend to be this no more than a token cost anyway. Contrary to popular belief, The Rules is not a guidebook for gold diggers. Dates four though marriage are divided through a complicated set of percentages based on income and number of dates, again with fairness and romance being at the head of the decision-making process. It is important to remember for the length of this blog post that The Rules is concerned with dating that leads to a Rules marriage. Not just any marriage, but a Rules marriage and if you read the book then you will have an idea of what that looks like. The theory of the Rules, and the theory that I espouse wholeheartedly, is that dates should be romantic and a mirror of what your future permanent partnership will look like. If you are honest and still in your child-bearing years, then your husband will be footing a majority of the bill while you are taking care of the main driving forces of your lives; namely home and children. While the opposite may exist, I have never met it in real life and if I have, I can assure you I have never seen it well-married. As you well know, Dear Reader, that is something I want and here's where it gets divisive...

The Rules are Not for Cynics
Like dating, a lot of single, broke women think they know everything there is to know about money. And the irony of that statement is always lost on them. The women who argue against the Rules always start the same way "Oh, I read that book, it doesn't work for me and/or I don't believe in doing that" I always marvel at that statement. What don't you "believe' in? Do you not believe in going out on dates is a good way to meet people? Or do you not believe you are good enough to accept a glass of wine from a stranger? The idea that a man should pay is old-fashioned because it works. If we value what we spend money on, then clearly he doesn't give a shit about you if he is asking to go Dutch treat. It's a one-way ticket to being permanently paranoid about your status in his life, as in, you don't have any and you can't kid yourself about that.

I want you to imagine for a moment, Dear Reader, that you are a full grown man. You have a career, an apartment, a car and maybe a dog. The world is your oyster and you are hunting online and everywhere else for a relationship. What are you saying to the young lady you are trying to sleep with if you won't even pay for her meal? You are telling the world that you are an enraged young man without an adequate grip on reality, because no woman who knows her worth would put up with that asshole nonsense. Dear Reader, be the woman who knows her worth.

This brings me to my next point: the girl who gives her debit card to her boyfriend. There is a certain breed of Trainwreck who hands over her debit card and PIN to whatever ex-con is currently hanging around. If you want me to respect you and you want to succeed, then do not give your money away in the name of romantic love. You are kidding yourself. Accepting money from a woman makes the guy a gigolo, a kept man and it makes you poor and embarrassed. You are curbing his ambition by paying for his nonsense. And you can bet you are not the only woman he is earning his living from.

Since I am in full rant mode, I want to complain about something else. Have you ever noticed that it is socially-acceptable for loving parents to pay tens of thousands for a girl's "dream" wedding but if you want a university education you have to take out a loan, silly-girl-who-wants-booklearnin'? What kind of message are you sending, foolish parents? Isn't that insulting? From a purely economic POV, I would certainly sign up for a quickie marriage sooner that a 4 year degree if I did not have to pay for one, but the other came with a price tag that may not immediately lead to results. It's more than insulting, it's controlling.

Let us turn our attention to more serious matters and that is the Economics of Divorce. Divorce is financially catastrophic for most women. More so if she has children. In this groundbreaking study of divorce, the pursuer-distancer relationship pattern was tapped as the most common reason that couples get divorced. Visit the website here, or keep reading what I am trying to tell you, ADHD-Girl. In short, it means the modern self help book craze has exacerbated the communication problem between men and women, rather than making it better. The forceful nature of our tell-all society has put pressure on women to over share well passed any reasonable sense of dignity. The evolution of TMI that leads women to force men to over share is actually creating an uncomfortable wedge in our relationships. More divorces means more single breadwinners trying to feed families. The long term outlook for a woman who used her best career-building years for child-raising is fairly bleak, in that it hasn't changed since the turn of the last century. This is a gross societal problem that won’t be addressed here but it amplifies how careful one should be in choosing who to marry, if not when. 

And your future marriage happiness is a guaranteed extension of your dating reality, Single Girl.

This brings me back to The Rules. If there is an opposite of over sharing, say “under sharing”, then The Rules advise it at the beginning of the relationship. The Rules are not about lying by omission – which is failing to advise a material point – but they are also not about the typical interrogation tactics that are employed on every talk show and every self-help book. Reduce the amount of nonsense that you speak so that you can conversations of real meaning. Listen carefully so that when a person tells you about themselves you have the space to believe them, rather than talking over the point in a fit of denial. Fall in love head over heels and you end up marrying a stranger. That is a heavy risk in a rising interest rate world. You can go broke doing that. Pick up any tabloid and you will see at least three Train wreck celebrities doing it right now. Don’t be like that! Read The Rules, Set Some Damn Boundaries and don’t allow falling in love to drive you into the poor house.

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