Ask Wendy

Dating While Rich & Successful: A Steve Jobs or A Stedman?

Friday, November 1, 2018
champagne and dessert
Hey Wendy,

I’m a doctor who owns her own practice. I also own twelve houses. I’m financially very successful. I’m fortunate with a net worth over ten million dollars. Is it realistic to ask for someone with equal net worth or education?

Rita L., Los Angeles, California

Hi Rita,

Congratulations on using your talents and education to make a successful life for yourself. Big kudos! I’m guessing you’ve already learned that success and status bring with them some unexpected complications. There’s that niggling question:

“Will they love me for who I am, or do they just want my _____?” You can fill in the blank with money, lifestyle, or access to opportunities—sometimes all three.

This shit is real. You can’t get around it, and it’s why you (and others with wealth and/or status) naturally want to partner with those in similar situations.


Setting out to date only those with your level of wealth, education, and career achievement will trigger similar questions: “Will they love me for who I am, or do they just want me for the power of our combined money, connections, and status? Do they just want me because what I’ve accomplished is a reflection of themselves, or do they actually value me?”

It’s kinda gross to date someone when you feel they want something from you instead of just wanting you. But don’t worry, I think there’s a way through.

You’ve asked whether it’s realistic to ask for someone with equal net worth and/or education. It’s possible to find this match—especially if you are social and hang around a lot of people who share your level of wealth and education. My first bit of advice? Talk to the women. They know who’s newly available and will arrange a dinner date for you; the men probably won’t be as proactive in getting you paired off. A word of realistic caution right off, though: If you choose this set of criteria, you should already know your pool of available suitors will be very, very, very small. Do you mind swimming in a small pool?

Next, I think that the most prudent way to go digital in your search is by using the dating app, It only connects you to people who know your people—in other words, it connects you to the same circles you already run in and will stretch just a bit beyond them. A client of mine (graduate of Harvard and Stanford, earns three million a year) met her husband who had a similar background as hers on Hinge. It works.

Now, I have some homework for you: Do a little introspective navel-gazing and learn a few things about what you most desire in a partnership. We’ve got the box checked for compatible lifestyles and education levels, but what else?

Since you don’t need someone to put a roof over your head (you already have twelve of them, thankyouverymuch), what do you need from a partner?

What are you dying to have a partner provide for you?

What are you dying to provide for them?

What would be precious to you?

What type of person would make you feel empowered?

What would you want your shared life to look like?

What do you two care about?

What are the things you can’t you do for yourself?

In broad strokes, sketch out your love’s qualities, personality, and what they’re up to in the world. And it’s fine to have minimum standards and deal-breakers. The moment you have true clarity in what you’re looking for (instead of what you don’t want) is when things start getting interesting; people with those qualities will start showing up in the most unexpected places.

If I were in your Jimmy Choos, I’d use my social connections, I’d use Hinge, and I’d ask the universe/gods/whatever higher power resonates to “surprise me.” Then I’d stay open to who comes my way.

Are there a lot of people who will want you for your money? Yup. Are there amazing humans out there who would be an extraordinary match for you and bring gifts beyond your wildest imagination to your partnership? Uh huh. Would it be okay with you if they didn’t have all that you do, and enjoyed the added perk of sharing your lovely lifestyle? This depends on you—your desires and your deal-breakers, and your own ability to read people’s true intent and nature.

Whether you’ve got a Steve Jobs or a Stedman in your future, I have faith in you. You’ve got this.

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