Cathy Hanauer is the editor of The Bitch in the House. Daniel Jones is the editor of The Bastard on the Couch. They have been married for 14 years and together they provide a his and hers take on questions about sex, love, dating and relationships. This round: financial inequality.
Question: I'm a professional with a good salary. I really love my boyfriend of five months, but he works in the nonprofit world, and it seems like he’ll never make a lot of money. To me, that’s a flaw in an otherwise perfect guy. But should I allow it to be a deal breaker? –Mina, 33
Her Take: If your goal in life is to be extremely wealthy, by means dump Mr. Right and hold off for Mr. Deep Pockets. But a) he may not come along; and b) he does, he may not be as great as the current guy. I should add that a career in nonprofit could have other advantages, like a schedule that doesn't keep him at work 80 or 100 hours a week. That might matter now, but if you someday marry and have it will be nice to have their father—and your parenting partner—around. In the end, that may be even nicer than the Lexus and the diamonds.
His Take: Earning potential is an issue that will only become more important as you start a family, buy a house, and the swooning-in-love phase of your relationship gives way to the complicated dynamic of marriage. I find it sad that this guy—who presumably works hard for something he cares about for modest pay—should be punished for what he values. But it would be far worse for you to marry Mr. Nonprofit now, and then complain 10 years down the line about his stagnant income level. I can already see the scene where you demand that he give up on the Nigerian orphans and get that damned corporate real estate license because his measly paychecks simply can't cover the nanny and the timeshare. Bottom line: Either change your priorities and keep him, or keep your priorities and spare him.