The Rise Of The Sugar Mama

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Brunette woman holding a phone
Women are increasingly dating and marrying men with less money than them. Enter the sugar mama.

A story in Newsweek magazine documented how two-thirds of the 11 million jobs lost in this recession were occupied by men (some place the number at almost 80 percent), with male-dominated industries like financial services and manufacturing seeing the most job loss. What's more, men who have become unemployed during this recession are more likely to stop looking for work. According to Forbes, "Men are not merely becoming unemployed in greater numbers than ever before. They are actually dropping out of the labor force at greater rates than before." Skip The Soul Mate, Find A Trophy Husband

Another study showed that women tend to be better-educated than men and, as a result, women ages 22 – 30 earn, on average, 8 percent more than their male counterparts. As a writer on Slate's XX blog pointed out, "The main engine fueling this change—the fact that for every two men graduating from college, three women will do the same—is not going to change anytime soon, which suggests that the next many waves of educated women will also out-earn men."

 

So what is this doing to our relationships? Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and the author of He's Just Not Your Type (And That's A Good Thing) acknowledges that, "The economy has clearly contributed to more women assuming the role of 'sugar mama.' Yet... the hope is that their male partners are still making significant contributions to the relationship and not just relying on the woman."

But it's not always an easy arrangement. "Being a sugar mama can be a bad thing if a man is not applying himself—to look for work, for example—because some women are bound to feel resentful," says Syrtash. Especially if the man clearly has his eyes on her cash. Such a man may not be easy to spot, however, since successful women aren't usually on the lookout for male gold-diggers.