A man with cash to splash can shower you with love and diamonds, providing you with financial security and happiness. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? No wonder it’s often claimed that women love a man with a fat wallet. There’s even some evidence to back this up. A study undertaken by the London School of Economics found that 64 percent of women hope to hook up with a guy who earns more than they do. In theory, it seems, women prefer rich husbands.
But before you jump to conclusions, note that the study only looked at what women hoped to get — the reality may be quite different. And when it comes to falling in love, poor guys do seem to come out on top every time. Jane falls for Tarzan, Johnny gets Baby in Dirty Dancing, and Noah steals Allie from her rich fiancé in The Notebook. In all the most romantic love stories, the wealthy man gets dropped and the guy with the hole in his pocket gets the girl. And by taking a look at how money affects relationships, it’s pretty clear why. Below, check out our list of potential problems to watch out for.
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Pitfall #1: He works long hours
Consider how people get rich in the first place. Unless they’re lucky enough to have been born into a royal family or big business, they have to earn that extra cash. A man with lots of dough is a man who probably also works long hours. Princeton University researchers found that people who earned more money spent more time working and less time socializing. That means you’ll have money to spend on lavish dinner parties, but no partner to enjoy them with. Being a rich man’s wife can get lonely. What’s more, working so hard with little time for relaxation often makes people more stressed. “The time commitment to work can quickly become a contentious issue in a marriage,” says relationship counselor Dr. Pam Spurr, author of
How to Be a Happy Human: 10 Essential Principles to Change Your Life. “If both parties have high-powered careers, it can be difficult to find time for each other. Also, a woman may feel as though she’s less important than her partner’s career, and he may feel he has to work harder to provide for her in the style she’s gotten used to.”
Pitfall #2: He is frequently tempted to misbehave
Now, think about how many wealthy men behave. Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, John F. Kennedy, even Franklin D. Roosevelt... all were unfaithful at some point. Of course, those examples don’t prove that all rich men are unfaithful, but evidence suggests that wealthy men and women are more likely to have an affair. According to a study by Prince and Associates (a company that studies the behaviors of the rich), more than 50 percent of America’s richest couples said they were unhappy in their marriage and that they had been unfaithful at some point. “Being wealthy often requires a couple to spend a lot of time apart, whether that’s for work at the office or going on business trips,” says Dr. Ian Kerner, therapist and author of Passionista: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man. “It can also create a sense of entitlement so that, when a man is alone, away and a new attractive woman is being flirtatious, his sense of commitment is sorely tested. He may choose to ignore it.” To back this up, another study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that men in positions of power are more likely to act immorally and are also less likely to feel bad about it.
Pitfall #3: He’s no happier than his poorer counterparts But at least a rich man is probably happier than a poor guy, you might be thinking. All that money must be good for something, right? But there’s little evidence to show that wealthy men are any more likely to jump out of bed with a smile than regular guys who struggle to earn a living. This actually holds true across all genders and ages. A study of more than 136,000 people worldwide found that, when compared with income, a sense of being respected, being in control of one’s life and having friends/family to rely on were more important factors in terms of achieving overall happiness. It’s true that money does provide short-term pleasure; after all, that last shopping spree you had probably gave you a buzz. But according to researchers from Princeton University, that “high” you feel is fleeting — it won’t last. “Money is a bit like your health,” says Kerner. “It’s only when you don’t have it that it feels like the key to happiness. When you’ve got plenty, you’ll soon realize that your unhappiness or joy comes from other parts of your life — such as love, friendships and personal achievements.”
Relationships that work are based on give and take on all levels, so unless you’re prepared to give up your life in exchange for financial security, you’ll find more happiness if you marry for love. And Spurr agrees, saying: “Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but no matter how big or pretty they are, they won’t keep you warm in bed at night!”