Being sized up for income/assets when dating

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I’ve been attempting to date German men. (Mistake #1 perhaps) As soon as things start to get serious the fact that I work in the public sector comes up (100%, unlimited contract, uni job), and I’m told disparagingly that I’ll “never earn any more money.” Which is actually not true. The underlying assumption seems to be that I’m just a lazy, money-grubbing foreigner who earns bupkiss. And I even work on the side on top of my regular job and am writing a PhD.

 

What gives? Are these guys just uninformed, or am I fooling myself that 55,000 euros is a decent salary?

 

It seems to be a good way to weed out those who I’d rather not waste my time with, but still frustrating…

 

There can be plenty of reasons why things go south, but I keep hearing this and can't figure it out. Any thoughts?

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You're better off without those tools.

 

Just to add, I do think that some men may be more cautious about starting a relationship with someone from another country. But the general consensus on Toytown is that Germans are a strange people to date (not that they actually "date" in the American tradition). Good luck and don't worry.

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Might be that they just wanted to be helpful by pointing out to a stranger that working in public sector is generally not beeing regarded as a high income great career opportunities job. This is something I find quite typical that people try to be "helpful" by bluntly giving such uninvited "tips".

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There's a guy in our walking group who is trying to find a girlfriend, too. He's German and is trying to date German women. He says that when the women find out that he works for the railways (in an office, freight trains), they think he can't earn much. Then he tells them what he earns and they are interested in him again, but he doesn't care for them any more.

 

Now me... I've dated mostly non-German guys and I can see the way they think (especially when I lived in a flat half the size of this one): "Hmmm.. she works a lot teaching*. She lives in a small flat, doesn't smoke or drink or buy designer clothes, doesn't have a car. I wonder what she does with her money? Where is it? And can I get my hands on it."

 

Believe me. I've seen this. I can sometimes read minds.

 

Conclusion? It's not just Germans. It's down to a certain type of person who is calculating and who loves money.

 

*I don't teach any more...but then I haven't dated for 7 years.

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I can only add mine to the chorus of voices telling you that these guys are jerks. A well-paid public-sector job is a great thing to have and/or for a partner to have. In the long term, too, not least because the hours tend not to be crazy, you get good time off etc., which makes them family friendly. I'm also quite familiar with the "you'll never earn any more money" line of argument. It really depends on how much money you expect to need. These alleged "men" sound extremely insecure and are probably neurotic about not getting their first Porsche by the age of 30. That aside, discussion of money during dating is in extremely bad taste. Even Germans should know better. (I write as one half of public-sector couple.)

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So poohsan is saying American men (literally) size up the womens (non income related) assets?

 

Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode about something similar...

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I would think that them sizing you up is probably better than trying to feel you up(depending what they look like I guess) :rolleyes:

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I totally agree with the others before me.

But I don't think these guys want to accuse you of being a lazy foreigner. Seeing that you're in Stuttgart, I can just imagine the type of guy who might say this: a specific type of arrogant, ambitious Schwabe in his thirties, with a job in a large private company ( Daimler and the like), a degree in law, engineering or BWL, believing that working for 12 hours a day is a sign of quality, expectations of pay rises and a career that you can only dream of in the public sector, and lack of understanding for more, let's say, intellectual or academic pursuits (no, I'm not prejudiced...).

Weed out those who come across as too condescending about your career and the effort you put into it.

 

This sounds like the type of person I left the US to avoid.

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Times have changed. Ladies now have to bring home the bacon as well as all the other stuff they always did. Do they tell you how much they earn??

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One is tempted to ask whom the poster goes out with. An entire dating pool which scoffs at a €55K salary indicates to me that she eliminates those from the eligibles who don't drive Ferraris. I could be wrong, and I hope I am; I just can't imagine breaking it off over a salary that big. Anyway, what goes around comes around.

As for me, I would walk out on anyone who even hinted that they would like to know how much I made, unless they had already popped the question. That's just such a venal way to look at dating and people. It's nobody's business how much money you or I make unless they work for the Finanzamt or your bank. Or they've given you a ring.

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Thanks for the sanity check…though we all could have been spared the boobs comments.

 

I didn’t ask about this guy’s income, because…who does that? But I did ask what aspects of his job he found interesting and enjoyed. Initial answer: great company, exciting international opportunities, etc. More truthful answer later: it’s mind-numbingly boring, no one does anything they should, I’m burned out and dissatisfied and can’t seem to find a position within the company that will change any of that.

 

I didn’t tell him what I earn, just that the position is unbefristet. The rest he assumed.

 

I don’t live in a shared apartment anymore but otherwise like a student, and the guys I’ve dated lived equally frugally – similar apartments, modest car (if any)…certainly no Ferraris or anything close to that. And THAT is why I couldn’t figure out their comments. These guys didn’t look or act like that type of guy initially, and seemed more substantial and less materialistic. One was even in the public sector himself.

 

My other impression is that they can’t afford the lifestyle they want to have or think they should have. I don’t know who they’re comparing themselves to, maybe their colleagues or friends, but that didn’t come from me. I bike and ride the train/bus, and I generally stay in hostels, B&Bs, or with friends, if and when I travel.

 

Friederike accurately described one of the guys, and I think Nina is right too. I’ll just have to avoid that crowd…which seems more and more difficult to do in the Stuttgart area…geesh.

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My other impression is that they can’t afford the lifestyle they want to have or think they should have.

That's probably the crucial point. They probably grew up with parents who worked hard, were comfortably settled (Facharbeiter at Daimler or civil servant or...) and could offer their kids a lifestyle (loads of toys, skiing, Mallorca...) that is quite expensive to maintain nowadays.

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If they are not impressed by your ability to get an unbefristet research position at a german university as a foreigner, then I am not sure what would impress them. There are perhaps a handfull of such positions at a uni, unless you are a professor (in which case I would out of professional jealousy act unimpressed).

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@Karig,

I have gotten the impression over the years the Germans are not nearly as secretive when talking about salary as we US folks seem to be. They are also fairly quick to make assumptions about salary according to Job-Type/Title. They also seem to assume that you will be staying at whatever job you have forever. And then comes their uncomfortable directness.

 

When you put those together I can almost imagine how the conversation was going; they placed, in their eyes a fairly harmless question, then they made some assumptions while ultimately and finally proving their cultural background by being for your taste so very blunt.

Maybe? Dunno. Maybe not. Wudd'n thar.

 

In any case, I thought the booby thing was purty dang funny! :lol:

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