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Your Opinion: Do Women Find Wealthy Men Attractive?

This article was written by in Family and Life. 22 comments.

I came across this today:

Whatever the reason, experts say that at our core, there’s one reason we find wealthy men attractive: instinct. Women, research shows, rank the ability to provide as the most important quality when selecting a mate. Men, not surprisingly, prize a woman’s looks and youthfulness over her other qualities, because those are indicators of fecundity. It’s all about finding the best person to breed with.

As it turns out, we’re all just slaves to our prehistoric urges, even in an era when none of those millenniums-old rules would seem to apply…

A 2006 study done through the University of Chicago shows that men who post online profiles indicating income of $250,000 a year generate significantly more contacts (up to 151% more) than those who make under $50,000…

The article continues to say that the relationships formed between wealthy men and younger, beautiful women start off great but aren’t made for long-term relationships. So here are a few questions. Do you believe money is a turn-on? Can long-term relationships be formed with a disparity in wealth?

Is Money an Aphrodisiac?, Kris Frieswick, MSN Money, July 4, 2008

Published or updated July 4, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar KC

There is no question money is a turn on, especially the older you get. But perhaps instead of saying rich we could say “fiscally responsible” – which is someone who has appreciated their money and invested it well in retirement and other means. The harder you work and the more difficult it becomes to make ends meet the more you appreciate someone with money. I’m not saying women go out and purposely look for a rich man, but I think its one of several factors that would make the opposite sex attractive. I’m currently married, but if I were not I’d look for, in this order, a very smart man, a funny personality, and a good income (at least $80k/year and fiscally responsible). As long as he’s not morbidly obese or quite disfigured I’d be attracted regardless of looks. And in the right circumstance I could overcome the disfigurement – obesity has an entirely different set of health problems I wouldn’t want to get into.

My mother always had a saying growing up, “You can love a rich man as easily as a poor man.” Mama is usually right.

What I find interesting is that the opposite is not true for men. I know several female friends who are doctors and they are cute and smart. But since they are doctors they have a real hard time getting dates. Some of it is the time factor (doctors work 60-80 hour weeks). But a lot of it is something else – intimidation? smarts? sucess? a sugar mama perhaps? I don’t know, but men don’t seem to be nearly as attracted to rich women as women are to rich men.

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avatar Rick

I think your post hit the nail on the head. I’m not at all sure what women think but I would imagine lots of money would help. Some women though seem to attach themselves to the worst losers who have no money at all. Maybe it is the desire to reform a man that kicks in there. I have heard it said that in general women seek security and men adventure.


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avatar chuck

security..you hit the nail on the head . Just go onto any online dating . And check out the expected income .

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avatar A.J.

I’m gay, so I want a partner with looks AND money. ;)

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avatar Jon

If I remember correctly, most research concludes that women are attracted to the male with the highest status. Money is only one type of status. Fame, popularity, etc. can be just as powerful.

It seems to me that there’s also a huge difference between sexual attraction and marriage. Instead of asking, “Do women find wealthy men attractive?” a better question might be, “Are women more likely to marry a man if he’s wealthy?”

With anything like this, you also have to be careful. Lots of the old research between dating patterns is getting debunked right now because it was based on interviews, and (surprise, surprise) what people say they want and what they ACTUALLY respond to is hugely different. I understand that this is especially true for women. They have a much more complicated set of criteria than men.

Then again, what do I know? I’m a single computer nerd :-)

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avatar Transcendental Success

I don’t agree that people submit to “Prehistoric Urges” since I doubt that annual income was a factor in dinosaur times.

The easy explanation for why people who put $250K versus $50K get more contacts is because it’s one of the few things that they advertise about themselves. Donald Trump is definitely going to take a woman on a better date than I will. Mine will be dinner and a movie, his will be a flight in the Trump Helicopter, landing on the Trump Yacht for a dinner cruise catered by some fine chef. Since girls perusing dating sites are looking for dates why wouldn’t they contact people likely to provide the best dates?

On the flip side I think wealthy people are usually busier and more career-driven, which is a turn off in my opinion. My wife always wants me to spend more time with her and the kids even though if I worked more I could “get ahead” faster and earn more money. So for my wife, the trappings of chasing wealth are a turn off. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a @250K salary though. There is probably a correlation between the wealth and the number of marriages you go through.

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avatar WritingRita

I actually read a great book a few weeks ago that spends some time on this subject. The book, on the whole, is about the influence of sex on human evolution. In any event, after reading it I agree with the commenter who mentioned that the attraction to money is more about the attraction to status then it is to the actual money aspect of things. Status is generally equated to success and who doesn’t want to be with someone they consider successful?

As a women, if I were still in the dating phase of my life I’d admit that the amount of money that a man had would increase/decrease my likelihood of being willing to date him. Personally, my requirement is not that he have a specific level of income but that he has the means to support himself. Just as I feel a man’s responsibility is not to support me, I believe that it’s not my responsibility to support him.

Can long term relationships be formed with a disparity of wealth? Well, I think just about anything is possible. It depends on the people and the overall dynamics of their relationship and what each partner brings into the relationship. I think one of the problems with having a disparity of wealth in a relationship, however, is that there is often times a power differential as well. This may not be overt, but I think it can come into play. When I was laid off from my job several months ago, my husband was the sole income provider of the family. We both knew that I would find another job (which I did) but during the 7 months that I was unemployed I felt very different–almost guilty–about spending money in the family. My husband, being the wonderful man that he is, never distinguished his money from mine, but I personally felt weird spending money that I wasn’t earning. I also felt that I didn’t “deserve” to have as much of a say in our long term financial planning. My guess is that if I felt this way, others who have experienced such a disparity would feel this way. I’d also venture to guess that whether openly or not, the person making the money would feel similar thoughts.

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avatar Yana

Money was never a turn-on to me, because of what appeared to go with it. The greatest thing about being poor is that nobody wants you for your money. Money is not love, although it is tragic to do without either one.

I don’t think a positive, loving long-term relationship can be had between two people who have different attitudes and actions toward/with money. Both parties have to be together in the business aspect of the household, because a house divided against itself cannot stand.

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avatar pj

Money definately attracts. I don’t have a car so I sometimes use the car of my father , a Mercedes CLK cabrio. A couple of weeks ago, a woman approached me at the gas station. It was late at night and she started talking about the weather, go figure! Just yesterday, I took the car to go to a fiscal advisor (I am starting a business), and a girl actually followed me into the public parking and parked next to me. I was only reconfiguring the GPS, so I stayed in the car. She waited too, she was looking almost everytime I looked in her direction. After I drove away she finally cam eout of the car, ignoring me for driving away.

I am not that attractive at all, if at all in my personal opinion, so I tend to notice increased attention. A nice car, nice clothes and having an elite job really helps. When I drive the CLK and just wear my casual clothes (which are as cheap as possible), people see me as the fils-a-papa I am at that moment. If I wear a costume, women think I am a succesful businessman. If I sit in a bar and decide not to downgrade my job (strategy consulting), it takes less than half a minute before her hand touches either me or her hair/neck. Not all the time, but more often than not.

It’s all a bit sad in a way, but also very understandable in another. Many women have little to no net worth, and the real diamonds out there with looks, brains and common sense about life are extremely confident. That’s a good thing, but scary at the same time (to me at least). They are so much better to be with, but so more difficult to start dating with.

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avatar marissa

It sounds like the author of the article was struggling with her financial life at the time she dated the rich guy, so she stayed in the relationship past its pull date because his wealth eliminated that particular point of stress in her life.

Using the same “prehistoric nature” premise, it could be argued that men had to evolve wealth in order to continue controlling women, when other qualities like sheer physical size and ability to club a female over the head became less successful in the mating game.

Anyway, before I go off on that tangent, my personal preference is for someone with similar interests, and preferably a similar income range. I couldn’t deal with someone whose idea of a fun frugal date is sitting at home together with the lights off, eating PB&J. I would also feel uncomfortable going on a date to a very high-end restaurant where the actual food quality is not as important as being seen by others to be eating there. I want to be with someone who has a relaxed attitude, who doesn’t need to fret about money/status, whether they have too little or too much. I know that I’m smart, good-looking and have my life together, so I don’t need someone to buy off my own (or THEIR own) insecurities.

I’m currently seeing a terrific man whom I love deeply. He is intelligent, wonderful to look at, fiscally responsible, and has that relaxed attitude I admire. There is a wide income disparity between us, though, and it sometimes makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to marry because equality is so important to me. I’d never be able to bring equal (financial) resources to that potential partnership.

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avatar chosha

I don’t care if a guy is wealthy or not. I do care if he’s the kind who quits a job easily or never saves money. I guess I still care about security, but a less ambitious version of it. I’m rarely attracted to really rich people (romantically or as friends) because often they’re really into brands or status symbols and that attitude to life and money bores me shitless. If a guy bought me a Prada handbag for my birthday I’d probably break up with him. It would be too obvious that he doesn’t know me at all.

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avatar Kyle

I’m not attracted to men, but I can see how wealth would be attractive. It’s the concept of social proof: a person with a lot of money has clearly been recognized as successful and important by other people, or else they wouldn’t have done business with/worked for/hired them. Go into a bar with an extremely attractive woman and watch what happens: you will notice you get a lot more attention from other females than if you went by yourself, all else being equal. People care what other people think about things. Wealth is just another manifestation of that. So yes, women find wealthy men attractive because of what that wealth implies about them.

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avatar Kyle

Hilariously, the adwords advertisement for this post is for sugardaddie.com: Experience Dating For The Rich And Gorgeous. Looks like some entrepreneurs sure think women are attracted to wealth.

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avatar CherylM

Man….I’m just a freak. I married a man who makes a third of what I do, and that’s usually not accompanied by insurance, or 401K. We’re also working together on the “fiscally responsible” thing. I guess I took a turn off of the evolutionary path.

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avatar Al

Women are superficial. You can be dog ugly but suddenly and magically become physically attractive because of wealth? No, they like wealthy men because women are superficial. But they do not find them physically attractive.

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avatar Yana

That reminds me of the Yiddish saying, “With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well too.”

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avatar Andre

1. After spending numerous nights at my house, a woman dumped me because she thought I did not make enough money.

2. A woman friend of mine, so liberal that she pretends to be, still missess the trust-fund kid that treated her like a queen. Alas, she is 40+ now: she really has to hope for some sugardaddy.

3. If you are not rich, stay away from women. Those who will be attracted to you are the usual losers who will use you as their cheap therapist or intellectual whore.

You can always become a priest, or turn gay… :)

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avatar Nikki

Anyone seen Flavor of Love? Flava Flav is a hot mess honey, but those women think he has money and they go running literally. LOL! What a mess…

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avatar Biz Guy

Hey these posts are really responsible and mature, this is a nice break from alot of the crap you see out there. Anyways, as a man of some financial status, I’ve learned the hard way, that love is the most important thing, not my money! Would I date a woman of no financial wealth? Absolutely! Accertaining wealth was, and is my personal choice, but I don’t expect everyone else I come into contact with, too have financial success as there primary goal in life. Life is about acceptance, and money or the lack there of shouldn’t keep us apart! Of course I’m 36 now, and I probably didn’t feel the same way 5 years ago! Thanks too all for reading the posts on here.

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avatar richard ludwig

as for me, i feel that a woman is not only attracted to a guys money or status – they are even more attracted to how large he is down between the legs.

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avatar Jimhilton44

if your spend your life with someone because of money you are a very shallow shallow person. If a woman is going to go out with you because of your money i have a question for you and all those wealhy men out there. Why are you going out with her? If all she values in you is your ability to earn money then thats just sad. Look i understand it as its probably human nature but from a spirtual point of view its rather sad and depressing.

Id rather do without a woman then have her go out with me just for my money.

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avatar Brendan Jovel

For a personal ad that gets results – Be positive – You could be lonely and miserable, but you need to not let that come out inside your personal ad. Also do not come across as too full of yourself. Let your good qualities show via.

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