Moises: When richer dates poorer

@JULIA: Hi, Singlestalk. I’m a sales director. I’ve been an accomplished go-getter since birth. I’ve not been successful in getting myself a husband, though. Even just a boyfriend. My last relationship was still in high school. Yeah, I started early. But it looks like I’m going to finish late. If ever I’d be lucky. I am now in my late 30s. There’s this guy in the office, though, who I like. But I’m also astronomically above his pay grade and economic status. No worries. He is not within my reporting line. Do you think there’s at least a potential?

DJ: Hopefully, Cupid has one more arrow he shot one for you. Seriously, relationships are not fostered around the number of zeros on your paycheck. Unless you’re the type who considers it emasculating for a guy not being the breadwinner in a relationship. Is he responsibly managing his finances? Are you fine with being frugal? If money is no object to you, dating someone below your pay grade will make little-to-zero difference if it does not impact your beliefs or your moral compass.

Will there be compatibility issues? Probably. If you’ve made it to the top of the food chain, chances are you’ve had to knuckle down at some point during your life. This could mean a lot of study, a lot of long hours, early mornings and no weekend breaks. However, do you see his drive to become better than where he is? Does he constantly look for ways to grow, develop? Does he offer an insightful opinion when the situation requires? Is he the type who would go the extra and advance value to the organization? If there are a lot of boxes ticked in these areas, there can be a potential. He has your respect.

How can you get to know him better? The mountain will not come to Moses. Make yourself available and accessible. Hopefully, your taste isn’t consistently above what he can afford. Are you okay with three-in-one instead of a Starbucks frap? Be more mindful as well of a possible power imbalance as you get to know more about each other. Keep the ego in check. Allow him to make decisions on your personal time when you’re together. Like the choice of food or places to eat. This sounds small but when it comes to restaurants for example, he’s likely to be price sensitive. I’m not saying people your pay grade is not but you tend to go to places because you like the food even if at times it’s expensive. Money to him is a finite resource and his choices are structured around it.

He’s probably been through many situations that his life skills can be pretty spot on. Besides, we generally gravitate to partners who have the most in common with us and this isn’t just confined to social classes. Are you genuinely interested in his job, his hopes and dreams? How well do you communicate? Do you share common values like love of family? Do you laugh at each other’s jokes? Guys from humble beginnings usually color their world with their own crayons. You may even end up richer with ideas outside of your usual spectrum having him around.

Sometimes, the potential problem has nothing to do with the actual relationship but from comments of friends and family who believe that the two of you are a bad match given the perceived disparity. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to remember that you are the one in the relationship — not them. And if this guy treats you and others with respect, is intellectually presentable and has a good social and emotional intelligence, it’s likely that you both can slay these dragons. Otherwise, who cares? You both are of legal age.

Mixed-collar dating is not free from inevitable speed bumps that come with all relationships. It requires some extra work because both of you are outside your comfort zones. That doesn’t mean, though, that the two of you can’t make it work. That is if he likes you too. This isn’t about settling as much as it means figuring out what really matters to you and to him in a relationship.