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Old 12-02-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Keeping romance alive in the age of female empowerment

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Remember “Sex and the City,” when Miranda goes speed-dating? She wastes her eight-minute pitch three times by giving away that she is a corporate lawyer. The fourth time she says she is a stewardess and gets asked out by a doctor.

...

Now, as more women match or overtake men in education and the labor market, they are also turning traditional gender roles on their head, with some profound consequences for relationship dynamics.

There is a growing army of successful women in their 30s who have trouble finding a mate and have been immortalized in S.A.T.C. and the Bridget Jones novels. There are the alpha-women who end up with alpha-men but then decide to put career second when the babies come. But there is also a third group: a small but growing number of women who out-earn their partners, giving rise to an assortment of behavioral contortions aimed at keeping the appearance of traditional gender roles intact.

...

Some men have more fundamental issues. One 38-year-old Italian manager complained that her boyfriend suggested she change jobs because he no longer felt able to “seduce her” after her salary rose above his. A French management consultant said her husband, a teacher, stopped coming to parties with her because he felt inadequate every time anyone asked him what he did. A German banker said one reason her ex-husband left her for a physiotherapist was “because she would have more time for him.”

“It is amazing how even many liberal-minded men end up having sexual and emotional difficulties being with more obviously successful women,” said Sasha Havlicek, the 35-year-old chief executive of a London research group.

...

Dating sites seem to suggest that highly educated women have more trouble finding a partner than women in more traditionally female jobs. “Care and social professions work well; the really educated profiles are more difficult,” said Gesine Haag, 43, who used to run match.com in Germany.

“Men don’t want successful women, men want to be admired,” she said. “It’s important to them that the woman is full of energy at night and not playing with her BlackBerry in bed.”

...

Ms. Domscheit-Berg, who is also active in the European Women’s Management Development International Network, has three bits of advice for well-paid women: Leave the snazzy company car at home on the first date; find your life partner in your 20s, rather than your 30s, before you’ve become too successful. And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists.

“The more different their activity from your own, the better,” said Ms. Domscheit-Berg, “because that makes an immediate comparison harder.”
Rest of article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/wo...er.html?src=me

So, straight men of FYM, thoughts? How do your partners compare to you in terms of jobs, education, financial success?

Women, thoughts?
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
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Well, I'm familiar with keeping a marriage with children "alive" in a female-breadwinner household...but I've no experience at all with dating in any particularly similar context--we met and married in grad school, in fact I defended my dissertation two days before our first child was born. And it seems to me that's a pretty different situation, because when you're both already several years into your careers, then you'll both already have at least somewhat of a career trajectory mapped out for yourselves, and therefore any personal projects you undertake will take shape relative to that, rather than the other way around. So the sense of agency (for both partners) about the balance of work/home you wind up with, including relationship dynamics, is probably quite different.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:29 AM   #3
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Leave the snazzy company car at home on the first date;
Fully agree with this-heck, I think it should be a rule for both genders. Flashing stuff like that when you first meet just comes off like you're trying too hard to impress. I would feel weird if some guy I'd just met started showering me with or showing off expensive stuff.

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find your life partner in your 20s, rather than your 30s, before you’ve become too successful.
I understand what she means by this, but sometimes it's not easy to "find your life partner" at any age. I do agree a couple should get to know each other and see how they react during joint as well as individual financial good times as well as bad ones, but at the same time, if I were in a highly successful career and I met a guy who wasn't, I don't care what ages we are, I would hope that once he knew about my line of work, he'd be comfortable with it and know that I don't consider him any sort of "failure" because he hasn't managed to have the kind of career I did (maybe that's not even what he wants. Maybe he's perfectly happy in less demanding career fields. That's fine, too). If he's that intimidated by what I've achieved, that's his problem to deal with.

All I ask is that I know whatever guy I'm with is working as hard as he can and that he's responsible with his money-knows when to have a bit of splurge fun and knows when to be cautious, can do the proper math necessary for bills and whatnot, etc. I don't ever want to get all snobby or scared about who's making more than whom and whether the type of job you have is "good enough" for someone else to fall in love with you or whatever.

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And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists.
Fully agree with this as well. There's nothing wrong with hoping to make a comfortable living money-wise, but if that's all you care about and all you measure your success on, I can't agree with that mindset.

Besides, smart, artistic men are super sexy anyway .

Angela
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:28 AM   #4
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As sort of an aside, Ms. Domscheit-Berg in the article is the wife of the ex-spokesperson for Wikileaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

In my experience, many men are still macho enough to have difficulties accepting when any woman is better than them, so I can imagine that if it were to be their own girlfriend/wife, they wouldn't take it easy.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:54 AM   #5
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In my experience, guys do not like successful and ambitious women. Back when I had a full time job, I was independent and did not rely on anyone to help me with projects. This pissed off a lot of the guys I worked with because I was never the damsel in distress. I couldn't understand why the needy girls got all the guys while I was left in the dust. One not-so-nice guy told me to my face that I wasn't a "real woman" which of course hurt.

I guess what my experience shows and anitram's article shows that despite all the changes in society, men still have the upper hand in relationships between the sexes.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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Phil and I are in some ways opposites but it works. For starters I basically control the household (bills, finances, chores, maintenance, the dogs, vacation, etc). I have a much different (read: higher) standard as far as what is "clean" and "organized", but I am also OCD about cleaning and organizing, it is cathartic for me. So, I don't mind doing 90% of the chores and housework because it's like I NEED to do them. Same with finances, I basically control the money and pay all the bills, but I'm better at keeping a budget and paying things on schedule. I'm also faster at making decisions. Phil will waver or try to figure out what I want rather than what is actually the best decision (which comes directly from his dad!) whereas I can't be bothered to waste more than 30 seconds deciding what movie to watch, where to eat, what groceries to buy, etc. Maybe Phil secretly resents me but I think overall what we have works for us. We both know that there are many things that I am simply better at getting done. There's a list of things he is better at as well - he's good at being on time, he's far more patient and considerate than I am, he can do things physically that I can't, he's better at penny-pinching - but most of the things I'm good at just make sense for me to have more control over the household. Is this emasculating for him? Not sure, ask him. One thing he has way over on me is he really puts more of himself into his work and I think he works longer and harder than I do.

It's hard for me to judge our relationship because I have a different idea of "success". I put my heart and soul into my dogs, so my level of "success" will never be quantified by how many degrees I have, what salary I make, and how high I climb the corporate ladder. In my line of ambition, the more successful you are, the more money you've spent, not made. Phil has more degrees and better job opportunities, and he loves his work and allows it to effect him in ways that my job never could, so I guess along those lines, even though I control the household, he is more "successful" and always will be.

I had to take a Gender Studies class as part of my degree and the one thing I remember is that "equity doesn't mean equality", meaning that a relationship that is fair and balance does not have to be 50/50.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
Rest of article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/wo...er.html?src=me

So, straight men of FYM, thoughts? How do your partners compare to you in terms of jobs, education, financial success?

Women, thoughts?
my girlfriend of almost 2 years makes twice what i do, has a much more high profile job than i do, and has a higher level of education.

and i'm a.o.k. with that. never really a thought and/or issue for me. if anything i was afraid that it would be an issue for her.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:35 PM   #8
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^ True, that's something I've seen happen, too; sometimes a woman will lose respect for a man who makes less than her, especially if he doesn't seem to be advancing in his field (or works in one where there aren't many opportunities for advancement per se).
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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Fact: my wife is far smarter than I am, more intuitive at reading people, trendier and more well-read, better at negotiating, and a better multi-tasker. She's also good at finances, which is why she took them over a few years ago. While introverted if left to her own devices, she's a great host, and charming and gregarious at parties -- she's the one everyone wants to get to know.

All of this despite having merely a high school education.

So even though our education levels are different (I have a BA), I still think I married up.

The turbulent finances frustrate her (she does look to me as the primary breadwinner), and there are times where I think she would prefer a more stable lifestyle. But I can't always blame her.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post

Besides, smart, artistic men are super sexy anyway .

Angela
Oh really? I don´t know.. some women like artists at first but get fed up easily; artists are not easy to deal with sometimes I guess

I think many artists want a true independent strong woman, not an asshole but self confident.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:09 PM   #11
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http://www.isoulseek.com/sitebranche...les/6signs.pdf

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Contempt is the worst of the four horsemen because it communicates disgust to the person it is directed toward. As a result, the conflict escalates. It becomes impossible to solve a problem when the message being sent is that one partner is disgusted with the other. Typically, when one partner uses contempt, the other partner becomes defensive, which is the third horseman. Becoming defensive is a very common reaction to being treated with contempt. Many people become defensive when they are being criticized, but the problem is that it never helps solve the problem at hand. "Defensiveness is really a way of blaming your partner. You're saying, in effect, the problem isn't me, it's you" (Gottman et al 31). As a result, the problem is not resolved and the conflict escalates further.

The escalating conflict usually leads to one partner tuning out the other, and is the sign that the fourth horseman, stonewalling, has arrived. Usually when the first three horsemen are used in a discussion - criticism, contempt and defensiveness - following a harsh startup, one partner will tune the other partner out.
Both people in the couple need to be emotionally SECURE about their own self-image and both should try and do the best they can. If both are doing that some arguments here or there won't amount to much because it's really hard to blame someone who is doing their best at whatever level they can handle. Lots of positive attitudes on both sides will alleviate stress and allow energy to deal with obstacles. Setting off the amygdala with stress and circular thinking in arguments and blaming is pointless. Positivity is what is needed to take action with obstacles. ALL GOALS HAVE OBSTACLES and it's important that disgust and contempt are avoided all together (unless it can't because a person has done something morally reprehensible).
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:22 PM   #12
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So, straight men of FYM, thoughts? How do your partners compare to you in terms of jobs, education, financial success?


Once a month I write-out my wife's paycheck, which is almost twice as much as mine. What does that tell you?

We run a business together and have for more than 12 years now. We've been married for more than 18 years (Married at 19 BTW). I latched on to her because I saw her great qualities and her potential.
I still don't know quite why she decided I was worth it.

I'm almost entirely fine with being in a more subordinate position, but it does come down to establishing who has final say or responsibility on what.
I think the biggest myth is that relationships are or have to be equal; they're not, and they won't be. The key is accepting that fact, relying on each others' individual strengths and finding the balance.

So, trust. (and love)
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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YouTube - Cheryl Cole - Fight For This Love

Cheryl.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:43 AM   #14
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So, straight men of FYM, thoughts? How do your partners compare to you in terms of jobs, education, financial success?
I think that women who are powerful or rich, do use that power and wealth in relationships.

I think they don´t want to be with a man who is not powerful, rich and drives an expensive car etc. The authors should ask other questions as well: Does a powerful woman want to be with a men who is not representative? I bet representation is very important when she goes to the next cocktail party to chat with her clients, bosses or rich friends. She doesn´t want the poor sod by her side, right.. after all, what would people think?

In our society it is accepted when a CEO´s wife is a secretary, but when a female CEO´s husband is a clochard, people will start to whisper.. "what on earth does she want from him? she could be with (xxx) and they´d make a better pair". Some succesful women are weak inside: they can´t bear that kind of chatter; they´ll rather stay single, or find a man who has the same social status.

In case it happens anyway, women may use that financial power to subordinate their partner. Maybe this sounds awful, but I think 80% of women are better than their male counterparts with using psychological suppression.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:06 AM   #15
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"And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists."

Mrs. Domscheit Berg surely means successful academics and artists.

I can only imagine the discussions that come up with artists:
(she): Hey I get up at 6 every day and work hard and bring the money home, and you bitch? you sleep until eleven every day!
(he): well that´s because i´m an artist
(she): well i do respect your art, in fact you know i love it, but what have you gained with your oh so great art?
(he): gained? there´s nothing to gain, i just create my art because i have to. and if i get up at eleven, it´s because i go to sleep at three
(she): right, that´s another disturbing fact. i have to get up at 6 and i would like someone to drink coffee with me instead of you lazily in bed. and i can´t stand when you´re up that long to paint.
(he): yeah but the night has the different mood. the dark pictures come out by night
(she): oh jesus, you crackhead
(he): hey i´m not a crackhead
(she): nope, you´re not, you´re a clown

etc etc and so on...

of course, things are a bit different when our painter is successful

(she): good morning darling, what have you painted tonight?
(he): red
(she): cool. hey can my colleagues come to see the vernissage at the gallery of modern arts on the 15th?
(he): sure sweetie, bring them along and we´ll all have some champagne and retreat to our spa for a sex massage later
(she): oh you with your dirty fantasies
(he): exciting, huh? i wonder what the president of the board of management you´re in would think about that
(she): aawwww, come on, mr. breinschmidt is old and grumpy
(he): well you know, i thought of doing another vernissage at the bank.
(she): honey, you´re so wonderful, that´s an awesome idea! the bank wants to be associated with modern art anyway!
(he): you´re sweet. now go make some money, darling
(she): i meant to ask you, will you come to the corporate christmas party on the 20th?
(he): sure, if they have a decent buffett i´ll be there.
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