The Politics Of Earning More Than Your Boyfriend
The Debrief: Is it really going to make them cheat on you? Absolutely not. Unless your boyfriend's a dick.
Up until very recently, I earned more money than my boyfriend. Not like, Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of money levels of earning, but just about enough that I could pay my rent, buy a travelcard and have enough left over for a couple of glasses of wine with my mates at some point in the month. My boyfriend on the other hand, opted to go down the not-quite-as-glamourous-as-it-sounds career path of ‘musician’, which meant that rather than hobnobbing with Elton John (on point cultural references there Molly well done) and bathing in Evian water, he was living of the meagre salary of his part-time job and er, housing benefits.
According to a super depressing recent study, men don't deal with earning less that their lady friends. The University of Connecticut study found that 15% of men who were completely financially dependent on their girlfriend or wife were likely to cheat on them (this is compared with just 5 % of women). The likelihood of these men cheating though decreased when the contributed more. This suggests that the more they contributed financially, the more their precious male egos were massaged, preventing them from finding a bit of extra-curricular 'bolstering' on the side.
For me though, things couldn't have been further from the truth. Unless that time my boyfriend said he was visiting his mum was actually code for 'I've been balls deep in an Eastern European prostitute while off my tits on cocaine,' (boy am I going to look stupid if that's the case) he's never cheated on me and actually, the years of him earning less than me has improved our relationship for the better. Here's why.
It’s really not that much of a big deal
Obviously this won’t be the same for everyone but, rather than being emasculated by my being the 'breadwinner', my boyfriend fell right into his role as house husband with wild abandon. Having more time on his hands he was happy to cook and clean and help out in ways that he could and, on the other side, accept drinks and meals that were purchased with my money. Now we’re on more equal footing money-wise, rather than the roles reversing, they've pretty much equalled out entirely. There's not one person who takes the traditional 'male' or 'female' role and no one's overly reliant on the other for emotional or financial stability. In fact, everything's pretty much the way it should be. Because really, if you've got a guy that's going to be wounded by his inability to earn as much as his girlfriend in the current economic climate then he's really not worth your time.
Your relationship’s more honest
I once interviewed a celebrity lady who, famous for tottering along in high heels next to a boyfriend with a matching tan was horrified to find out that my boyfriend hadn’t ever paid for dinner, the fact that he couldn’t afford it didn’t really make much sense to her and she told me I needed to give him a good talking to. I considered her advice for a minute before realising that what it did mean was that my boyfriend found other ways to be nice; like making me a GET BACK ON YOUR FEET mix CD when I was hungover and writing me long letters about how much our relationship meant. Sure, the monetary value of these things is zero, but the fact he had to think about them means more to me than any five-star restaurant experience could have. Plus, five years down the line, we're still together while said celeb's had a string of rocky relationships that look anything but as nice as mine.
You will notice a dent in the old bank balance though
You're going to start hemorrhaging money because if you don't, you’re not going out. Date nights are a lovely idea but once you add up the cost of the meal, the cinema, the drinks and the taxi home because you missed the last train, you’re looking at a silly amount of money. Being a non-earner, your boyfriend will be well aware of the repercussions of this. ‘Come out with me I’ll buy your drinks!’ you’ll say plenty of times without fully understanding exactly what you're getting yourself into. You certainly will by payday, though. Ouch, right in the bank statement.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
What Your Boyfriend's Pants Say About Your Relationship
I'm 25 And I've Never Had A Boyfriend - Why Does That Freak Everyone Out?'
Here's Everything You Need To Do To Make The Opposite Sex Go Weak At The Knees
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating