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April 12

Taxing questions

Filed under: issues — posted by Chris @ 9:08 am

In honor of tax week, it seems apropos to blog this piece from Your Tango which asks the question “Is The Cost of Living Higher For Single Women?” Sure, we understand that single people don’t have some of the financial stresses that married folk do — especially those with children — but could there be economic discrimination against singles that balances it out? This article won’t make you propose or get divorced, but it’s an interesting read.

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February 23

The shallow end of the dating pool?

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:33 am

From the Charlotte Observer: “A forthcoming study by a Duke University researcher and several colleagues confirms what not-so-thin women and short, broke men have long suspected: They don’t get nearly as much romantic attention as skinny women and tall, financially secure guys.” You need a study for that? Here, I got a study. It’s called pay my rent, food, and Netflix. Fund that, science people.

The study, out of the University of Chicago, is still under peer review before publication. But here’s what we know: analyzing 22,000 online daters, researchers found that “women put a premium on income and height when deciding which men to contact.” They did the math: the study showed that a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool.

Men in the study demonstrated a strong, and depressing, preference for women with a BMI of 18 or 19, which basically means if you’re 5′ 6″ you’ve gotta weigh 115. So okay, women want men who can afford to take them to dinner, but the men don’t want us to eat. This should work just fine.

Sarcasm aside, I’m still annoyed with this study — or at least, to some degree, this article about it — and the way it only, and unnecessarily, perhaps even misleadingly, perpetuates and underscores that same-old same-old depressing, needlessly divisive message: “The only thing men and women have in common is that they’re shallow.” ‘Cause here’s the thing: the article and the researchers talk about what a fertile field for study these online sites are, because there are just so many people on them. Right: there are just so many people on them. That’s why people go in — or at least online — with those faux-“high” standards. Because they can. There are so many eligible singles there, at least in urban and urbanish areas, that you can afford to impose a minimum height or maximum BMI standard. You know? Then later, at a party, you happen across someone who — for whatever ineffable reason — makes your heart go pitter-pat, maybe someone whose attributes you wouldn’t have click-clicked and checklisted, and boom, you give them a chance. I’m not saying some people aren’t shallow, but still.

As the article, to be fair, does state: “Since the study focuses on first impressions and initial contacts rather than marriage, it doesn’t rule out the chance of true love winning despite appearance or income. ‘If you had to sit down and write what you wanted in your dream guy, most girls would write ‘tall, hot and well-off,'” said Kari Castle, a 27-year-old online dater in Charlotte. ‘But in reality, is that the only thing they’d settle for? Probably not.'” Right.

So, I guess, since the study doesn’t really tell us much, the reporter is forced to fill in with dumb cranky unhelpful — and dare I say self-fulfilling — quotes like, “It’s got nothing to do with anything but green,” [said one bachelor]. “If you’ve got enough money, you’ll have women swarming all over you.” Attitude, people! Actually, it might be a guy in the comments who said it best: “If you think women will only like you if you have a sizable bank account, you are the one who makes that happen.”

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January 19

So maybe men should be the ones gunning for the ring?

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:23 pm

More on marriage: You know how some folks get all, “Ooh, ooh, that will UPSET THE BALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE!” when they hear, stop the presses, that she earns more than he does? Well, welcome to planet topsy-turvy, because more and more, that’s becoming the norm.

But that’s not all. From NPR today:

The joke used to be that some women went to college to get their M.R.S. — that is, a husband. In sheer economic terms, marriage was long the best way for a woman to get ahead. But a study by the Pew Research Center finds that there’s been a role reversal when it comes to men, women and the economics of marriage. [Emphasis added by fascinated superhero.]

The study compares marriages in 2007 with those in 1970, when few wives worked — and it’s no wonder why. Until 1964, a woman could legally be fired when she got married. Even a woman with a college degree likely made less than a man with a high-school diploma.

“When you think about it from a guy’s perspective, marriage wasn’t such a great deal,” says Richard Fry of the Pew Research Center. “It raised a household size, but it didn’t bring in a lot more income.”

Four decades later, it’s men who are reaping rewards from a stroll down the aisle. Many more women are now working, and in a greater variety of jobs. Add to that the decline of gender discrimination, and women’s median wages have risen sharply in recent decades* even as men’s have remained stagnant or fallen.

On top of this — for the first time ever among those age 44 and younger —- more women than men have college degrees.

The Pew study also finds that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be married. It didn’t used to be that way.

It’s all turned the marriage market on its head.

“We found that increasingly, women are more likely to marry husbands who have lower education levels than they do, and lower income levels than they do,” says D’Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center. From 1970 to 2007, husbands whose wives earned more than they did jumped from 4 percent to 22 percent.

/snip/ “I think [the notion that men “should” earn more]  is really an example of an outdated idea,” says Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. Coontz says that in a 1967 poll, two-thirds of women said they’d consider marrying a man they did not love if he had good earnings potential.

“Now, women have a completely different point of view,” Coontz says. “They say overwhelmingly — 87 percent — that it’s more important to have a man who can communicate well, who can be intimate and who will share the housework than to have someone who makes more money than you do.”

The numbers might be there, but the man-earn-money culture isn’t yet.

“The tension really surrounds this notion of, ‘I’m the man, so I should be providing,’ ” says Steven Holmes, a freelance photographer in Northern California. He makes far less than his wife, a business adviser for IBM, and often finds himself holding back in discussions about spending money.

“Because I have this guilt that I feel like I am not an equal partner,” Holmes says, “I will let her make the decision, even though I might have had a different opinion.”

While some still wonder how anyone (especially perhaps a feminist) could still, um, buy into such an outmoded patriarchal model in which women are basically property, well, look how — measurably — far we’ve come. But on an individual-couple level, it’s fascinating to me that what seems to persist is this pay-to-play notion that one’s say in the relationship is weighted by income. Tell me, readers: to what degree has this been your experience? And, bonus question, how much does it annoy you that even NPR calls higher-earning women Sugar Mamas?

* Of course, women still make only 77 cents to a man’s dollar and are more likely to take time off from or cut back on work to take care of children.

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January 7

Bizarro pitch of the day: “Faux ballers”

Filed under: Comedy — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:11 pm

From today’s BG super-inbox. Summary: “Ladies! Watch out for those wily ‘faux-ballers’ — who are some of our best customers!” What the what?

Have you ever seen that guy at the bar or nightclub with an entourage of people trying to enhance his profile? You know, the guy’s showing off a wad of cash (as pocket change), flashing his Range Rover parked in valet and trying to invite you back to his five-bedroom house. It’s an interesting story that one of our customers actually admitted. He took over a Mercedes car lease to be a “faux baller.” Naturally, we wanted to ask some follow up questions and tip off women on these poor practices from men. So LeaseTrader went out and asked our guy customers (what it truly meant) their tips and tricks for being a “baller on a budget.” Here’s how you spot a “faux baller.”

Inflated Posse – Get a group of 4-6 friends and take turns being the baller. Each night choose one guy and designate him as baller for the entire evening. Let him carry around all the money and purchase drinks throughout the night. Also you can hype his swagger by asking questions about his latest trip to Dubai or if he closed that multimillion dollar deal last week in London.

Empty Bank Account On Friday Night – Take out all the money from your bank account (literally, take all your money out) before hitting your first destination. Here’s the trick. Pay for each drink you order but don’t start a tab. This gives you the chance to pull out your extremely huge wad of cash for each drink purchase. Make sure you pull out this cash when ladies are nearby.

Getting A Car You Have no Business Driving – This was the inspiration to the story. Our customer wanted to get a sick Mercedes on the cheap. The secondary lease market (LeaseTrader.com) lets “faux ballers” get a Mercedes or even a Maserati for pennies on the dollar with little financial commitment.

Sharing Payments – Purchase that sweet condo or house with a group of friends (the same friends that serve as your club entourage). You’ll hopefully be making money on your investment and getting immediate satisfaction telling girls you bought the place as your vacation home when you’re not traveling around the world. Just make sure your buddies are staying at their parents’ place for the evening or sleeping in their car.

Fake Passport Locations – Nothing says “faux baller” like your faux passport. When you’re talking about running with the bulls in Spain, catching the Cannes Film Festival, or dropping in on Carnaval in Brazil, pull out your faux passport with proof of being in each country and this should seal the deal.

After doing this research we thought you might have some fun with these. If you have any further questions let me know and i’ll be glad to help.

Best,

NAME REDACTED
PR Manager
LeaseTrader.com

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January 4

This week at Happen: Laid off

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:48 am

MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.

This week Lynn answers a letter from Stumped in St. Louis, who feels his long distance relationship is in jeopardy because of his job loss.

I’m feelling very stressed and scared about telling her what happened because it is going to significantly impact our ability to see each other. … Do I put our relationship on hold and focus totally on finding a new job? Or should I suggest that we make that move we’ve been talking about so we can pool our resources and see what it’s like to finally be together?

Read the full letter at Happen, then come back to pitch in your two cents.

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August 6

Receipt for disaster

Filed under: media,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 4:45 pm

“Trying to impress that hottie at the bar? Money talks. Hand out your number on the back of one of our fake ATM receipts. They’re a players [sic] dream come true.”

Where to begin (other than with a warning against the risks of fake-identity theft)?

Let me just say this, and not for the first time: You know how people hesitate to meet people online, for fear that they’ll, you know, lie? And how I always say hey, people lie in bars?

Well.

One more thing: if there’s not a romantic comedy about a guy who uses one of these on a girl who (inexplicably) turns out to like him and then he has to maintain the lie through all sorts of highjinks that make him look like he’s rich, which totally works until it doesn’t and then she hates him but then comes back, and he learns something about life, love, and himself, then I have $782,012 in my bank account. Hey, wait.

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June 15

A piece of work

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:19 am

The Predicament of the Week from February 16, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I met this guy a week ago on the elevator. He gave me his business card. I know from experience that today when a guy gives you his business card, this is actually a way of showing interest in you. So I waited a day and gave him a call under the pretense that I needed his service. Sure enough, he told me that he gave me his business card because when he saw me he was interested and this was a way to continue contact with him.

In any case, he suggested that we get together for lunch some time. When I talked to him on the phone he told me he had his own business and that he had diabetes (which I had reservations about). He suggested that we could have dinner either at his place or mine. (I never invite a guy I just met over to my place and I was sure not going over to his!) Or, he said “we could go out for dinner and then a movie.” So I said great, we’ll do a movie and dinner or vice versa.

(more…)

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March 30

Currently at MSN.com: He lied about his virginity

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:40 am

MSN datingAsk Lynn, Breakup Girl’s alter ego’s advice column at MSN.com (powered by Match.com), is now being updated monthly rather than weekly, so now you’ll get two new letters each month…

1. Warhammer Widow feels like she comes in second to her beau’s gaming — but then, so does paying his car insurance. Eeep!

2. Confused and Hurt, who is not a virgin herself, has a boyfriend who said he was. That is, until he finally admitted that she wasn’t his first. This is both confusing (why lie?) and hurtful (the lies!).

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March 20

Mixed Blessing

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:58 am

Living in sin on January 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend and I are engaged to be married this fall. We recently decided to move in together to help cut down on the costs of living separately. We both looked forward to the idea of saving money until we approached his parents with the idea. Needless to say, we took them by surprise. His parents are very much against the idea of us moving in together before we are married. They have said that if we do go through with moving in together, we need to get married first. My boyfriend and I are really unsure as to how to handle his parents’ actions. There is no way for us to get married before our set date in the fall; my boyfriend is finishing up college and I still need to save up a little more money for our wedding. What is the polite way to tell my boyfriend’s parents to leave us alone, and that we plan to move in together with or without their blessing? And should we just tell them to butt out since they aren’t helping to pay for any of the wedding? This conflict with his parents is taking its toll on my boyfriend and me.

— Unsure in Missouri

(more…)

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February 11

B MY DEBT

Filed under: Holiday,Treats — posted by Rose @ 5:10 pm

Catchphrase for V-Day ’09: Frugal is the new flirty. (What Mia said!) Which is why we’re having a giggle over these custom candy hearts thought up by the folks at BusinessPundit.com, created online via the ACME Heart Maker site*. STMU L8ME!

*Make your own without leaving this site!

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