This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday.
There are 14 income selections one must choose on a particular online dating site my friend Craig recently joined. Take a look at these choices: Under $20,000, $20,000-$30,000, $30,000-$40,000, $40,000-$50,000, more $10,000 increments up to $100,000, $100,000-$150,000, $150,000-$250,000, $250,000-$500,000, $500,000-$1,000,000, and finally $1,000,000+. Wow. Talk about getting granular! Do people really need to know within the $10,000 or $50,000 range of how much one makes? Guess so, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many choices!
Craig is 32 years old, six feet tall and works as a project manager in construction. He doesn’t make a lot of money, with a salary averaging about $55,000 a year. That said, with dark brown hair, a nice smile, four-pack abs and a cheerful persona, he should be considered a catch by many women. Yet, Craig has an inferiority complex. $55,000 is only the fifth choice out of 14 from the income list! He often wonders to himself, How am I supposed to compete with the thousands of other single guys in San Francisco who undoubtedly make much more than me? Earning $55,000 in San Francisco is like earning only $25,000 in Houston.
Income infatuation is strong
Women love to say that it doesn’t matter what car a guy drives, how much he makes, or how much he’s worth. Instead, the gracious woman emphasizes personality, charisma, drive, and integrity! Yet, if this were really the case, why don’t surveys ask a guy to rate his charisma trait between 0 and 14 like they ask about income? Why isn’t there more emphasis on the various types of personalities and ambition levels instead of just one word, yes-or-no answers? The reason is women aren’t telling men the entire truth! High quality literature (like Cosmopolitan magazine) prove that there’s a lot more than meets the eye!
I believe everything is rational, and the 14 point income question is there because women demand it to be there, otherwise it wouldn’t be there! If enough ice cream shop customers demanded double fudge peanut butter cup ice cream with swirls of caramel, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’d find a way to get the flavor on the menu.
Don’t take it from a guy
It’s really easy to see things from a guy’s point of view. After all, I am a guy, so what am I supposed to do, pretend I’m a woman and psychoanalyze myself from a woman’s point of view? Maybe, but there is a better way. The better way is to simply ask women about this ridiculous 14 selection income field.
So I asked Jennifer, a professional woman with ten years’ experience in corporate America the following questions: Should Craig lie and say his income is $175,000 to make him seem more desirable? It’s not like his potential date can really verify how much he makes, especially if he takes her somewhere fancy. Or, should Craig be honest and go with the “love me for who I am” option? I expected Jennifer to choose the latter, and she did.
“Craig should be himself and disclose everything with honesty,” Jennifer says. “What happens if they get serious and she discovers he doesn’t make the $175,000, then what? She’ll start wondering what other lies Craig is telling.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but what does it matter if Craig can’t get a date in the first place since no woman wants to date a 32 year old man in San Francisco earning only $55,000 a year? Craig can’t even get in the door. Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to make him seem as desirable as possible, and allow him to bedazzle her with his charming personality and chivalry instead?
Jennifer smirked, and simply said, “Men.”
What’s a guy to do?
Craig has been on this dating website for over a month now but isn’t getting much luck. He gets several “winks” and messages, but he hasn’t been able to successfully get a woman to go on a date with him yet. He went with Jennifer’s advice and chose the $50,000-$60,000 level. Frankly, Craig is depressed by his bad luck and wants to just give up online dating together.
Every time Craig thinks about lying about his income, he hesitates because women continue to tell him they don’t care about income. Yet, online dating is so full of lies. The five-foot one-inch girl says she’s five-foot three. The slightly overweight guy takes a picture of himself in a black shirt in an upward looking photograph and chooses the “athletic” body type. The list of embellishments goes on and on; it’s as if one is disadvantaged if one doesn’t cheat a little.
Readers, what should Craig do? And consider the opposite situation: if Craig were to make millions each year, should he reveal the figure or pretend like he makes much less? I assure you that Craig is a good guy!