Wednesday, September 12

Dating Down: Should You Hold Out For Someone as Successful as You Are?

I recently saw a clip of Chilli from R&B group TLC on Good Afternoon America that I found interesting. The discussion was about the idea of dating down and if it is okay to date someone who makes less than you.This brought up the age-old yet highly debated topic of dating on your “level”. If you are successful, should your partner have the same or better financial lifestyle as you?
Chilli has received quite a bit of flack in recent years, since her VH1 reality dating show aired, because of her insistence on finding her “perfect mate”. In the interview when asked about whether she would date someone who made less, her stance was that she wants to be treated like a princess:
I’m very picky, I guess you want to call it that. Here’s my issue with ‘dating down’ – it sounds bad it makes us seem shallow — the problem with dating down[…]I think that for a female, no matter how much money you make or not, every woman wants to feel like a princess, you know. I don’t look for a guy to pay my bills, I can pay my own bills.  I can do a lot of things for myself. Thank God I’ve been blessed. But I would love to go on a date with a guy and he pays for it or we go on a trip together and — if I have to pay half then I need to go on that trip with my girlfriend, not a dude. I’m just saying.

To some extent, I understand what she is trying to say. It is hard to deal with the harsh reality of finances in a relationship. As a womyn, when you have achieved a certain level of success it is difficult to form a partnership with someone who you may continually need to support or who is unable to treat you to the lifestyle that you are accustom. In romanticizing the idea of love, we often seek and hold onto this fairytale image of relationships where our significant other somehow always has the means to cater to our every want and need.

While I don’t think that Chilli specified anything that was too drastic – dinner paid for and maybe a vacation away, the focus of her ideal partner seemed to be mainly focused on finances and her mate's ability to cater to her.

I tend to believe that passion and love for what you do leads to success regardless of industry. Therefore, learning to find a partner whose principles match yours is key - does their level of passion for life, vision and determination compliment yours.

With life’s ups and downs, successes and failures, I think it is important to seek a partner who can ride the waves with you. Oprah puts it best, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

So tell me, is financial comfort a dating must for you or is it the cherry on top of other characteristics?

Do you think that Chilli is right to hold out for someone that is as successful as she is?

Leave a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Hey, as long as his ego isn't hurt by it and he can pay his share of the bills, I don't care.

Anonymous said...

Money doesn't necessarily equal success, happiness or passion. Three things that are more important to me than a paycheck when choosing my life partner!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment! As long as my partner doesn't make it an issue or I don't have to fully support them like a second child then I'm okay with making more money. Ideally, I would love for him to have money to wine and dine me but it's not a deal breaker if he can't. Characteristics like honesty, respect and passion mean more to me.

Lauren Lisa Yon said...

Personally money doesn't matter to me, I have my own. What I look for is, " Does this guy have goals in life? Or is he mooching off of his parents/friends, etc."

The amount of money doesn't matter as long as you are stable and driven to succeed in any form I'm good with that.Also, a partnership means you work together, not what can you buy me - Being treated like a princess doesn't mean diamond rings and other material things, it just means that your guy thinks the world of you, THAT'S a real life Prince Charming in my opinion at least. I'm all about the romance. lol

That's my 2cents.

Anonymous said...

I think it is okay to want to find someone who is successful as Chilli. I don't think she said anything bad because she probably wants someone who can challenge her. Primarily what she wants is a person who can take her away on trip and treat her nicely in the relationship. Which in every relationship we all want someone to do nice things for us. It should be expected, you do nice things for them and they do nice things for you.

Personally I think it is more important to find someone who is passionate with their career. Can you help pay the bills and contribute.Does this person have goals and is actively working to succeed, no matter what the profession is. If they are "successful" but not a great partner then what is the point of being in a relationship. I would prefer a partner who is thoughtful, kind, does the simple things (dinner at home, picnics,skating) Its more important to find someone who has goals and is actively pursuing their passion, than waiting for a successful person hates their career and not passionate about life. You could passing up your soul mate.

legal beagle paralegal said...

It seems that Chilli is very self-aware about her needs. She is an old-fashioned girl, looking for an old-fashioned guy! It's become unfashionable to say so, but the reality is that Alpha-type men need to be needed... if they are with someone who can take care of themself; they usually hook up with someone who needs to be taken care of (pardon the dangling preposition). Think about it - why do so many men leave, or cheat on, their "successful" wife, for someone of lesser "stature in the world"... If women sought after (in big numbers) supportive, nuturing males, who were perfectly ok with wifey hustling out there in the world, it would be less of an issue, but it's not in our nature... there has to be a balance of course, Neanderthals need not apply, alas,it is what it is.