Finding a deep and lasting connection with an equal partner can be a challenge. As a dating coach, I've seen too many women prioritize financial security over emotional compatibility. I understand why. Historically, men have been the providers and it feels safe to have a partner who makes more than you.
The problem arises when, as a woman, you’re already in the 90th percentile in income and only 10% of men make more than you. And that’s before you factor in attraction, personality, kindness, consistency, and communication.
You’ve undoubtedly dated successful men who weren’t good boyfriends. You’ve also probably met a few who were lazy, unemployed, and unmotivated. I’m not suggesting you go for either of these types. What I am suggesting is to consider the many bright, hardworking men who just happen to get paid less than you. Given that 40% of women now out-earn their spouses, that’s not necessarily a fatal flaw.
Here are four signs that indicate you may be placing too much emphasis on his wallet and not enough on how he treats you.
1. Constantly Comparing Financial Status
If you find yourself unfavorably comparing your partner's income to your own, you may want to reevaluate your priorities. Instead of fixating on your monetary differences, focus on your shared goals, dreams, and values. Fostering this emotional connection leads to more harmony, helping you feel better about your connection. You wouldn’t like it if your partner looked down on you for making less money. There’s no reason you can’t extend that same courtesy to a man you’re dating.
2. Measuring Love Through Gifts
You ever have a man buy you an expensive necklace who turned out to be an insensitive, emotionally unavailable jerk? Of course you have. Gifts are just gifts and spending money is not synonymous with love. When it comes to feeling “taken care of,” pay more attention to the effort behind a gift. A handmade card or a heartfelt act of service can reinforce a connection that leaves both partners feeling cherished. What’s more valuable? A man who listens to you after a hard day without judgment? Or a man who buys you nice stuff but is dismissive of your feelings?
3. Placing Excessive Importance on Status Symbols
Sure, it’s normal to look at others’ lives on social media and compare yourself. Look, her husband bought her a Tesla! Look, her boyfriend took their family to Italy! But if you seek validation via luxury cars or extravagant vacations, you’re probably missing out what really matters. Confidence in your relationship comes from emotional intimacy and trust, not by signaling to others that your man loves you based on his splashy purchases. We all know a couple that posts amazing photos on Instagram but is actually miserable in their relationship. So, take time to appreciate the small moments that make you feel and valued, regardless of the brand names he can afford.
4. Overlooking Shared Values and Goals
You both work hard to contribute to the household. You both want to save money for the future. You both want to enjoy yourself along the way. But when you make more than he does, it’s easy to lose sight of your shared goals. True love is built on a foundation of mutual respect. The same way men respect their wives because they’re thoughtful, accepting, and nurturing, you can respect your man even if he doesn’t out-earn you.
Finding love and maintaining a fulfilling relationship requires more than just evaluating his financial status. It's about fostering trust and connection using all 5 love languages, not just “gifts.” By shifting your expectation that a man has to make more and focusing on a bond built on shared values, you can create a relationship where you feel calm and connected. When you prioritize true compatibility, how you feel with him and not his take-home pay, you can experience a love that lasts forever.
Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the author of 4 books and has been featured in hundreds of media outlets since 2003.His blog has over 35 million readers, his podcast has over 2.5 million downloads and 13,000 women have taken Love U, his signature course that helps smart, successful women find love. Click here to subscribe to his free newsletter, Lovesplaining. For more information visit www.evanmarckatz.com.