Advice

I’m a successful businesswoman and love to travel. But my accomplishments seems to be a put-off for potential partners.

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

For years, my drive and focus to build my business was my priority. I’ve done quite well for myself and I’m trying to focus more on dating. I’m having trouble finding someone who isn’t put off by my success. One guy outright asked how much money I made/have, and said he couldn’t “afford” me. Another remarked on photos of international travel on my dating profile, and said, “Not all of us can afford to just travel overseas.” He tried to play it off like he thought travel was a waste of money and unnecessary, but it was pretty clear he was actually insecure.

In the most recent incident, I went out with a really nice guy several times. I thought things were going well. While I was on a solo trip to Europe, I sent him photos of places I went. He slowly stopped responding to my messages, and when I came home, he sent texted me that his “financial situation” means he can’t spend money on the same things I do, and he doesn’t see how it could ever work out. We haven’t talked since.

I worked hard for years to get to where I am and I feel like now I’m being punished for my success. I’m a generous person, I’m also reasonable and flexible, and I can see a million ways to manage a wealth disparity with a partner when it comes to traveling and other things — like paying for it myself, or even just traveling alone. I don’t see why my wealth is such a deal-breaker. What else can I be doing here?

Wanda says:

Obviously both your career and your love for travel are two things that are hugely important to you, and you shouldn’t sideline the pride or passion you feel for either for the sake of placating the egos of potential partners who are success-shaming you. Here’s the thing: When these individuals have reacted badly to your fun and fortunes, that really isn’t about you. It’s about their own sense — or lack thereof — of self-worth, and they’re totally projecting.

Unfortunately, money is a deal-breaker and game-changer in many unions. When one partner has more resources than the other, it does create a disparity and can also introduce feelings of power imbalances and disadvantages. It can be the basis for a structure where the person pulling the purse strings has an expanded role in decision-making and spending. And it’s well documented that a leading cause of divorces and breakups comes when the woman makes more money than the man. Insert eye roll here.

So will it be hard to find the right guy if you typically make substantially more money than the average Joe? Yes. But it’s hard to find the right guy anyway! Dating is hard and so are relationships, so as trite as it sounds, the best thing you can do is keep at it — and keep being honest. Tout your love for travel, and brag about your business. These things are part of who you are, and when you do find Mr. Right, he will love and be proud of these traits.

Wayne says:

Goodbye average Joe, hello Joe Millionaire?

Time is money, right? So why are you burning it on dates who don’t appreciate your passion for business success, world travel and financial independence? Or are even intimidated by the total package?

Start investing your dating energy the way you invest in your business, self-care and travel. Stop digging around for diamonds-in-the-rough and start dating men who are, like you, successful, ambitious and independent, guys who also work hard and play hard. Can’t find them? Be uber-transparent on what you are all about and what you are looking for on your dating site profiles. Even better, maximize your odds and minimize your work by hiring a matchmaker who specializes in putting successful but busy singles together.

And to further increase your odds, it’s just like you said: a dream fit doesn’t even have to be a rich guy, though that’s a bonus, right? Think about all of those talented Alaska men out there who happily make more-than-modest livings selling their art or busting their butts doing seasonal work while stashing savings for that oh-so-inspiring travel. These are confident, creative and fun dudes who would surely accept a first-class upgrade in dating you.

[Is dating really so bad in Alaska? These Anchorage dating coaches say no — but you have to be open-minded.]

[When I’m not working, I’m helping out family. How do I reclaim some personal time for myself?]

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at wanda@alaskadispatch.com.

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