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He makes less money: dating dealbreaker?

Jeannie Assimos

Jeannie Assimos, managing editor of EHarmony Advice, wrote this guest blog for

If you think money issues don’t have any impact on romantic relationships, you’re not living in reality. They absolutely do. They make and break couples every day. From how much debt you have to how you handle money (are you a spender or a saver?), this issue is a big one, as this survey shows.


But what if one partner makes significantly more money than the other? I asked the eHarmony Advice community for their thoughts. My initial reaction: It shouldn’t matter who makes less or more. And if a woman happens to bring in a higher income than her partner, it shouldn’t get in the way of a fulfilling, happy relationship. Unless they choose to let it!

We had a nice, healthy debate in the office about this. Some thought a man may feel inadequate if he dates a woman who makes more money. I also heard the opinion that most women were not going to want to be with a guy less accomplished, because it is simply not attractive and they may not want to be the breadwinner. I am sure that is true in some cases.

I pondered about this some more and read lots of audience comments — which (happily) leaned more in the direction that I do.

I do not think you should turn a guy down simply because he makes less than you do. There are many things more important than his bank account — like his character. If you meet a fantastic, honest, ambitious guy who doesn’t pull in the big bucks because he is a teacher at a public high school, should you continue dating him? I say YES. Money isn’t the end-all be-all and the only means to a successful relationship. What’s more important is that you both are on the same page about how you spend, save and view your finances.

Of course, it isn’t that simple (What ever is?!). If the guy you start dating likes to play a lot and work occasionally (and has no problem with you footing the bill more than half of the time), this would end up in the “dating don’t” category.

Would you rather have lots of money and be alone? Or would you rather share your life with an amazing person who might not be as blessed as you are in the bank account arena? I would go for the latter arrangement, personally. In any case, it’s a little food for thought and my point is to not write off a guy solely because he makes less than you do.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this one!

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  • Jamie Rathbart

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