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Waiting For GotDough

The guys in my DATING GALLERY are adament about hating these four words in a woman’s dating site profile: must be financially securePASHA says the statement is “rude.” FIREFLY thinks it’s a sign of insecurity. MILO thinks it’s snobbish. FIGARO grumbles, “Why don’t they just say ‘must be RICH’?”


It seems fair to judge a man undeserving if he has reached our stage of life without having planned for his future. There are mitigating circumstances of course, but I don’t know any that would make me want to tie up with someone for whom I’d be supplying clothes, food, and cruise tickets in perpetuity.

I don’t feel apologetic about wanting a man who is on my financial wavelength. I think it’s normal for women our age to want a comfortable life. We’ve already gone through the financial strivings of the young. Slowly and painfully, over decades, we’ve built a nest egg.

I am very far from wealthy, but the degree of comfort I do have is not something I can give up. When I discovered that STUNT MAN lived in a 70’s-style trailer and was shopping for linoleum for his tiny kitchen floor I withdrew — politely, but in a bit of a rush. I didn’t mind at all that he wasn’t rich, but linoleum seems like a metaphor for “not with it” in an extreme way.


So what’s wrong with must be financially secure?  I don’t like the phrase because I think fails at the screening job it’s intended to do. It’s vague to the point of meaninglessness. Just what does financially secure mean?  Is a $100K portfolio pitiably insufficient? Is a guy who prefers pizza to foie gras a loser?  If a man doesn’t own his home is he disqualified?  Here’s a tip: a senior man’s pride in who he is financially is as important as his pride in who he is is sexually.  Must be financially secure is a dare.


Of course there are freeloaders out there, and you want to steer clear of them, but without more tactful methods you’ll also be screening out very good prospects.  What irks senior men is not only the rule itself, but the fact of its being imposed — and prematurely. Dating site profiles are directed to people to whom you’ve never spoken, whom you’ve never met. It hints that you may be bossy or avaricious.

I say omit the demand — not only because it’s a poor screening tool, but also because you’ll probably discover in your first phone conversation whether or not a man meets your financial criteria. Years ago, I considered dating a man who sounded delightful in his emails, but in our first (and last) phone conversation he revealed himself to be someone who not only visited flea markets with alarming frequency and duration, but boasted of furnishing his home with naugahyde arm chairs and cast iron doorstops.

The more “musts” you have in your profile, the more chances a good man who might otherwise have been interested will click out and move on — and believe me, if he wants a less demanding prospect he’ll find one.  A dating site profile is at its most effective when it eschews conditions and rules.


A pleasant, straightforward tone and a list of things you like to do will attract a like-minded senior man. If you’ve enjoyed opera at the Met, polo in South Africa, and seminars in New South Wales, chances are you’ll attract someone well heeled enough to have a similar background. And if you’re into the Harley Davidson scene, you and an old guy biker will find each other (Harleys aren’t for paupers). Eventually you’ll meet up with someone you like, you’ll spend some time together, and THAT’S the point at which you can determine if he’s financially right for you. What’s the rush?

One last word. Don’t imagine that doctors, lawyers, and stock brokers are the only financially secure senior men. Plenty of non-professional men have carefully managed their income and can look forward to effervescent retirements that you could find yourself happy to share.  Don’t let must be financially secure be a code word for snob.

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'Waiting For GotDough' have 13 comments

  1. January 2, 2013 @ 7:59 am Mgirl

    I have been dating a man who may or may not have money. He is okay with an occasional restaurant date, but he orders very carefully, and sometimes suggests splitting orders, which is okay with me because I have a small appetite. I’m guessing he is afraid i won’t like him if he’s not wealthy or at least pretty comfortable. So there is pressure on men whether we ask for financial security or not.

  2. November 10, 2012 @ 7:08 am Kerry Cooper

    I want someone with money, period.

  3. September 14, 2012 @ 9:10 am Misha

    I agree that you can mostly tell when you are talking to someone new if he’s in your class, monetarily and otherwise. Men who have financial security talk with more confidence, and usually have better grammar lol.

  4. December 10, 2011 @ 11:08 am TerriM

    If you don’t put this in your profile you will get some real losers. If men don’t like it it’s because they don’t have money and they’re sore losers. I’m not supporting anybody, and I don’t expect them to support me.

  5. December 10, 2011 @ 8:06 am EGThomas

    Sienna, this sounds selfish to me. I would be happy to have a nice man who has no money at all. I don’t have much of my own, but I would share it in a heartbeat if I could find a man to share it.

  6. October 24, 2011 @ 2:29 pm MsPreserved

    I agree with MadameX here. I want a man to know I am looking for stability and not just casual sex.

  7. May 1, 2011 @ 2:57 pm Ricki

    Although it’s not a deal breaker, who wants to be with a man who is dependent. Money doesn’t bring happiness but it doesn’t hurt.

  8. May 1, 2011 @ 10:31 am vizsla Mom

    It think asking anyone if they are financially secure is rude.

  9. April 27, 2011 @ 12:38 pm Madame X

    I continue to think this phrase is useful. I have had too many bad experiences, including a man who seemed really to be a pauper. I don’t even know how he paid the fee for the dating site (senior people meet). He showed up in a beat up car and loafers that had holes (I saw them when he sat down). That would have just seemed eccentric if he had been a sophisticated conversationalist but he was a dud. I guess I was pretty desperate to make a date with him.

  10. April 25, 2011 @ 3:42 pm mikeG

    There are other “musts” that are common – must like dogs/cats/gerbils/parrots/whatever is one of the most prevalent. I like dogs as well as cats, but I wonder when I read a profile. You hope for a toy poodle but she might have a 90-lb mastif. There are women who have about eight cats, too. I guess putting it out there early on is good, because I know guys who wouldn’t come within 10 feet of a woman who has a dog, so better to know up front.

  11. April 25, 2011 @ 2:35 pm Manstuff

    As a man, I can tell you that this “rule” IS stupid as hell. I don’t do web dating sites, but you are right to tell women not to put this phrase in their profiles.

  12. April 25, 2011 @ 2:33 pm Tilly

    I never thought about this, but I’ve been on dating sites for about 2 years and I can see your point that it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to men anyway, whether they have money or not. They like you to have money, though.

  13. April 25, 2011 @ 10:08 am ElizAnn

    I wonder what a woman would do if she read on a man’s profile that phrase “must be financially secure.” She would probably be insulted. So…

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