Dating

10 Ways To Deal When She Makes More Money Than You

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap is still around 20%, meaning that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns about 80 cents. It’s estimated that gender parity among white women and men will be achieved in 2059 but black women won’t see the change until 2124 and Hispanic women even later in 2233. Obviously that’s terrible, but thankfully there is a change happening and women are occupying more high-powered and high paying positions. So what if you’re dating who makes more than you? Instead of feeling emasculated, here’s what to do.

  1. Reflect on how you found out. Money talk is a complicated discussion for even the most intimate of couples. If you’re casually dating someone, it seems unlikely that you’d be comparing W-2s within the first few months, but with a quick stop at salary.com, you can pretty easily estimate what she makes. Personal experience tells me that this coupled with a Google search is pretty common. If you’ve gone above and beyond that, I may suggest taking a long hard look at yourself because anything beyond a quick look is sorta creepy.
  2. Understand that a woman’s paycheck doesn’t rob you of your manhood. Yes, we men have an extra appendage, but that shouldn’t define us. Just because she makes more than you doesn’t mean she’s going to rob you of your masculinity—that comes from your treatment of her (and others) rather than what hangs between your legs or what’s in your bank account.
  3. Accept it and grow up. At the end of the day, who really cares if your partner makes more money than you at her job? If you’re a bartender and she’s a salesperson, the odds are very strong she’s going to bring in a little more cash. Neither job makes one person better than the other. You shouldn’t let your respective jobs or income define who you are as people or as a couple.
  4. Don’t ask for a loan. Okay, I can’t believe I even have to write that, but it’s sage advice. She may make more than you but that doesn’t mean she wants to loan you money to help pay off your motorcycle or your credit card debt. If you’ve gotten yourself into a financial mess, it’s your responsibility to get yourself out of it. Don’t put any pressure on her to make it hers.
  5. If she doesn’t care, you shouldn’t either. It’s probably true that she’s not sitting around thinking about how much more cash she has than you. I feel it’s safe to say most women want to date guys for who they are, not what they make. Of course, that’s not always true, but believing that it is a much better, and happier, way to navigate the dating game.
  6. Be yourself regardless. Her salary shouldn’t stop you from being the person you were when you met her. I suspect it’s safe to say when you met, you didn’t have a note pinned to your chest saying you made X amount and neither did she. Carry on.
  7. Don’t get it twisted—it’s her money, not yours. Unless you’re living together or getting married, her finances are none of your business. You don’t get a say in how she spends her money and what she does with it in general. It’s hers, end of story.
  8. Talk to her about your feelings. Communication is the spinal cord of any healthy relationship. If you know she makes more money than you and it’s hard for you, tell her. If she digs you, it would seem unlikely she’ll say, “Tough, deal with it.” Women can be pretty empathetic and it’s more than likely that she’ll understand and help you navigate that.
  9. Don’t forget your manners. Maybe it’s old-fashioned, but just because she makes more than you doesn’t mean you stop holding a door for her or picking up the check for dinner. When the check comes, don’t let it sit too long, grab it and be done with it. There will come a day when splitting a check or letting her pick one up will come, but early on? Own it. Maybe that’s a chauvinistic thing to say in this day and age but I’m sure this will go a long way regardless of whatever tax bracket you’re in.
  10. Forget about it and move on. Aren’t most of us just trying to get by regardless of what we make? We work, we pay our bills, we save a little, and we all put one foot in front of the other to move forward. If you’re into her and she makes more money than you, do yourself a favor and forget it and move on. Any relationship worth having will thrive on its own merits, not your W-2s.