If You Were Broke, In Debt, Or Unemployed Would You Settle For A Less Than Ideal Partner To Save You?

Stripped down bike with nothing leftGiven older women refuse to talk to me, I decided to have a couple conversations with two lovely, younger women about personal finances one night out of town. Nothing gets a woman going like a man who can talk about derivative investments!

Woman one – let’s call her Amanda – is in her mid 20s and is currently going through a quarter life crisis. She recently broke up with her boyfriend in Los Angeles and moved back to Miami to be closer to family and childhood friends. Amanda is currently unemployed, has less than $2,000 in savings, and has roughly $50,000 in credit card debt thanks to a lavish lifestyle she and her ex led for two years. She has a marketing job offer in Chicago from one of her male suitors, but she’s putting it on hold as she really wants to find something in Miami. Amanda comes from an upper middle class family who own multiple properties around the world. Despite her parent’s ability to financially support her, Amanda says she doesn’t want to rely on her parents for anything except for moral support.

Woman two – let’s call her Victoria – is in her early 30s. She’s a manager at a large consumer products company and pulls in a low six figure salary in San Francisco. Victoria can financially support herself and is currently dating a wealthy boyfriend. She has always been the studious type, graduating in just 3.5 years from a prestigious university. Her parents never spoiled her with much of anything because they come from a lower middle class background. In fact, Victoria regularly sends her parents money to help them instead. Victoria believes she’s found the one, although she’s frustrated her boyfriend has to travel so much for work. Her boyfriend is also relatively good looking with the ability to make anyone feel at ease, so she’s worried she won’t be able to hang on to him.

Amanda and Victoria are as different as can be. Amanda loves to dress in expensive clothes, drink, and party it up until 3am several days a week no problem. Victoria, on the other hand, is Target’s biggest fan and would much rather stay home and watch a good DVD while curled up on the sofa. Where Amanda enjoys being the center of attention where men buy her drinks, Victoria does not. Victoria would rather have a glass of wine and get into deeper conversation at a lounge with her friends. Both have no trouble attracting men thanks to their good looks and vibrant personalities. But both of them deep down would prefer to be done with the game of dating and find their rock.

So it was with great interest to hear how each would respond to the question:

If you were broke, deep in debt, or unemployed, would you settle for a less than ideal partner you were not physically attracted to if they promised to take care of all your money problems?” I went on to describe, “The partner is a gentleman who you get along with just fine. You won’t have gut busting conversations where you cry for joy, but you’re able to sit in silence for half an hour to enjoy the scenery and also be able to talk to him for an hour non stop about life.


Dealing With The Fear Of Being Alone Forever

Old Fort MallorcaWhen I went to Switzerland this summer I had plenty of time to contemplate living life alone. There was nobody to call in Zurich to hang out with until the wee hours of the morning. I couldn’t share a walk along the romantic Chapel Bridge at sunset in Lucerne. Nor could I experience with someone the amazingly steep Mt. Pilatus Railway that arrives at the top of Obwalden. Every experience is locked up in my memory. What a shame words nor pictures can do them justice.

Although a week of traveling alone isn’t a long time period at all, I’ve realized I fear being alone as much as I fear being broke. I did everything I could after high school to make sure I wouldn’t have to depend on anybody to survive. I’m not sure I can say the same for finding companionship since my family has always been there. It’s like I’ve taken them for granted. I’ve also never not been in a relationship since college as luck would have it.

If I didn’t take companionship for granted, I’d probably be a nicer, more patient person. I’d probably exercise more and eat less lemon meringue pie. I might even try and learn some jokes. Alas, I’ve got a ways to go.

Popping over to Mallorca after Switzerland with nine other people in a villa only buttressed such fears of loneliness. We literally went out every single night to unspoken amounts of fun. We’d sleep in the next morning, make us some jamon with slices of honeydew by the pool for brunch, hit the clay courts after and then relax on a nearby beach before going out all night again. It was one extreme to another, neither of which I could handle for an extended duration of time. But if I were to choose, I would select being surrounded by interesting people any day.


How Can You Tell If A Guy Is Rich If He Displays Little Material Wealth?

Sailing At Sunset In MallorcaIf you shack up in a house full of men and women as I did in Mallorca, there will inevitably be conversations about the other side. Men want to learn more about how women really think in order to get more women or at least find one perfect woman to treat right.

I imagine it’s the same for women, although men are much easier to figure out. All we want to do is cuddle, give you foot massages, and make pancakes while you’re still in bed every morning. Is that really too much to ask?

One woman, let’s call her Chica Bonita, recently went through a divorce. Money, the number one reason for marital breakups was unfortunately one of their main reasons as well. Perhaps they had spending differences or perhaps the economy was unkind to two budding successes in their respective fields. I didn’t want to dig.

When I asked her whether she’d go out with a not-so-rich fella again, she said, “Absolutely. But can he at least be attractive?” Fair enough. Who doesn’t want to go out with a good looking beefcake? But by the end of our enormous plate of paella con mariscos and bottle of rosé she changed her mind. “OK, I’ve decided I’m only going to be with a rich guy in the future because breaking up over money problems is terrible! I did the whole poor fella thing and never again.


Do You Suffer From Apathy? Here’s How To Care Again

Swiss Flag Waving In Mountain RangeEverybody warned me about the incredibly expensive prices in Switzerland and for that reason I found things to be just fine. I caught myself saying in my head, Is that it? a number of times I opened my wallet. For example, the cost of a one way train ticket to Lucerne from Zurich was only 20 CHF (~$22 USD). Is that it? The cost per night at the Hotel Pilatus in a quaint town called Hergiswil was only 120 CFH. Is that it? Even a plate of gooey raclette was only 9.5CFH, leaving me more than good enough to get three scoops of gelato for 5 CFH afterward!

I decided to visit Switzerland for three reasons: 1) I’ve never been and heard Switzerland to be one of the most beautiful and livable countries in the world, 2) To test the upper limits of what my income can comfortably afford and 3) To get firsthand experience about Swiss neutrality, which I find synonymous with apathy.

The first things that comes to people’s minds when they hear the word, “Switzerland” are chocolate, mountains, and cheese. There aren’t any sort of negative connotations about the country except for perhaps the high prices. Try the same exercise with North Korea, and you get a completely different set of nouns and adjectives. What we also don’t get from Switzerland is any feeling of emotion due to its neutrality.


Is There Someone For Everyone? In Search For Love In Chaos

is there someone for everyoneSeven billion people in the world are split 50/50 between women and men. Surely there’s someone out there for us all? Maybe we get it wrong the first 10 people we date. Or maybe we think we get it right the first try only to end up divorcing several years later. Whatever the case may be, I believe there are multiple “the ones” out there for us to find. If we end up lasting with that person for the rest of our lives, then clearly there is only one.

The thought of living life alone is somewhat frightening. I wonder if this is part of the reason why we have children? We’d like to increase our chances of always having loved ones around us until we are gone. I do feel optimistic that if I were to find myself coming home to an empty bed that I would have the gumption to find someone eventually. But who really knows?

I’ve witnessed seemingly normal, decently attractive people miss their golden window for finding someone. We can argue how big the golden window is, but the fact remains that most people go through their first serious relationship before their mid 30s. I do hope that age is just a number.

We love to talk about how our 30s is the new 20s, yet our biological clocks don’t agree. 35 is still the age where doctors warn about an exponential increase in child birth risks. If a woman doesn’t want to have children, then who really cares? But the anxiety, however small, is still there. Maybe a woman who doesn’t want to have kids will find some incredible man who changes her mind and vice versa. Relationships have a funny way of softening the most adamant thoughts.