Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is your 'ideal mate" checklist keeping you broke?

I'm stealing today from another blogger. Adrienne Samuels is Ebony magazine's senior writer and someone I count among my best friends and favorite people on earth. Yesterday she blogged her take on the flaws with many young people's approach to coupling.

Why's that relevant to a blog about personal finance? Because like I've stated before, even in my own singleness I understand the connection between marriage and accumulation of long-term wealth. But Adrienne takes it a step further, drawing a connection between how you date and how you think about choosing a partner and your long-term wealth potential:
Look around at folks in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The reason why many of them...drive Cadillacs, have big houses, tithe thousands of dollars to church and can take fab trips to Athens or to Jamaica now that their kids are out of college is because they pulled their money together and made their finances WORK when they were a young couple.

Everybody wants the perfectly perfect mate with the perfect social status, income, car, home, brains and physical looks. Everyone wants to marry up. But guess what? Marrying up is a fairy tale ideal that doesn’t really translate well to today’s society. You want up? Get up there yourself.
One caveat to a point she made: Baby Boomers didn't all get the trappings of success because they married and worked real hard. Our parents' generation also left a legacy of messy, costly divorces and financed much of their lifestyles with credit, a legacy that we're all paying dearly for now.

Still, Adrienne's point holds. Too many people want for insta-fab relationships that come with all the luxuries of a romantic comedy where everybody lives fab and has no wrinkles (think The Best Man, "The Brothers"). She offers a much simpler, more workable approach:
Rather than looking for a rich mate, why not look for a mate to get rich with?
Read Adrienne's blog here.

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