Being sized up for income/assets when dating

41 posts in this topic

 

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.

 

Thats possibly just a little too late in the sequence - after all if two people are throwing their lot in together you will both want (or should want) to know if there are any major liabilities etc that one is "buying into".

 

When I met the girl who 25 years ago became my wife I was living in Germany on a UK university salary with a rolling 3-year contract. That wasn't a lot! I could take care of myself but not very much more. She had a limited contract at DESY (öffentliche Dienst) and thus was also not wallowing in the money. Of course we did not ferret in each other's salary slips but we knew we could afford our plans - which included my looking for a job in German industry.

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My new album The Fuckups I've Made is due to be released shortly... :rolleyes:

 

Was screwed over in the UK by a second wife who thought: "Hmmm! He works for a University! His parents have a villa in Spain! Yummy, yummy, yummy"... (the UK expression for such a person is "gold-digger")...

 

Well to cut a long story short, having gone through the throes of psychotherapy following the painful break-up of marriage No 2 to Her Mentioned Above I moved to Berlin on my own. Just loved the place since my first visit (1979).

 

18 months down the road having finally moved here in 2007 I met J... . First and foremost, we rather liked being in each other's company. I had no idea what she "was worth", and all she knew about me (financially speaking) is that I owned my own place ... similarly, she owned a huge apartment in a city in Poland.

 

Well, anyway, I think that togetherness is far more important than Who Has What.

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Couple of observations (will probably get negs but who cares its the truth) leaving aside the usual boy/girl stuff:

1 - There is a sizeable portion of the local population (as in any country) who assume foriegners are by definition worse paid or else tend to be only comfortable with foriegners as long as they are worse paid...

2 - Many germans are just plain rude when it comes to this kind of discussion. Many southern germans (from the villages) tend to be very direct. However its not a cultural thing as such its just rudeness/tactlessness and probably the best put down is too point out that it is rude in polite society (since self same are usually also terrible snobs but also self conscious)...

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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?

 

You forgot to mention that you don't have a television as well :)

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My GerMan laughed uproariously [something I've only seen him do a handful of times in ~15 years] when I told him my University salary [yes, he asked]. I was significantly offended. It was one of those 'red flags' that I should have paid more attention to. ;) Anyhoo, he was newly employed in Silicon Valley during the boom, so WTF did he expect of anyone else?? On the bright side, it actually motivated me [in part] to get a much higher paying job, still at the Uni. He was, of course, impressed.

 

I agree with those who say it's rude to do this while dating. I never asked him his salary. He eventually just told me. :rolleyes:

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@karig..

You are just in the 'why are the jerks attracted to me' cycle of dating. It happens to the best of us, no matter where you live. Rom-Coms are based on it. It will cycle through trust me. I am sure if a thread start called 'Worst date ever' there would be stories there to to make you feel better... enough of us have been there.

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It sounds like these men are a little jealous. I'm sure you'll meet the right person whether they are German or American.

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Two things i have noticed in general social interactions with Germans, i.e. cocktail party/dinner party conversation :

 

1. Germans want to size up social status and income level in friends or acquaintances. They behave strangely when given unclear signals. This is not limited to dating.

2. Many Germans are hostile toward foreigners who are doing better than they are or may be taking a lucrative position which could potentially be done by a local.

 

For your less imaginative suitors who are interesting nevertheless, try to help them with some details. Cultural differences exist in the sense that you may not be aware of the signals you are transmitting and they may not be getting the normal signals without provoking you for them.

 

If you suspect (2) is in play, whether romantic interest or acquaintance, i would cut the relationship immediately.

 

By the way, as far as I know, asking someone's salary in Germany is taboo.

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1. Germans want to size up social status and income level in friends or acquaintances.

 

This is something we experienced far more in the US than we do in Germany. I wonder if, in part, that's because we were both foreigners in the US whereas here it's just me.

 

Shortly after we'd found a house to rent in DC (houses becoming magically more available to view when a woman with an English accent phoned to enquire than when a man speaking English with a German accent called) we had dinner with some of H's colleagues.

 

We had barely put the drinks order in before someone asked us how much we were paying in rent. I answered and in a heartbeat someone else kindly informed the table of the pretax income we needed to fund that. It seems a popular question/calculation as I went through it a few times while we were living there.

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Women have been sizing up men for income/assets since the dawn of time. Now we live in the era of gender equality. Why should't men do the same?

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Poohsan's post is a delight. But I have to admit, the guys who ask your salary before asking about your boobies have bad priorities.

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It sounds like these men are a little jealous. I'm sure you'll meet the right person whether they are German or American.

 

Why narrow it down to 2 nationalitied? ;)

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Two things i have noticed in general social interactions with Germans, i.e. cocktail party/dinner party conversation :

 

1. Germans want to size up social status and income level in friends or acquaintances. They behave strangely when given unclear signals. This is not limited to dating.

2. Many Germans are hostile toward foreigners who are doing better than they are or may be taking a lucrative position which could potentially be done by a local.

 

Oh, so that's what I'm missing out on by not going to cocktail parties or dinner parties. The kind of people I meet aren't like that.

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I've been sized up by German *mothers* of partners within weeks after dating started.

When I was a poor student, a wealthy mother ordered me to come drink coffee with her at the Bayerische Hof, one the top hotels in Munich. She verbally created a sort of Excel sheet balancing my and her child's assets and weaknesses against each other. I barely squeaked through to have permission to continue dating, based on what I was studying. Shoot.

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I take you weren't into being bought out of that relationship or you could have milked her for what is was worth. ;)

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We American men are far less materialistic and we could not care less about how much you earn. Instead, we are much more interested in a woman's personality and instead of asking about your salary we like to find out more about you as a person with questions like "How big are your boobies?", "Are your boobies big?" and "Can I see your boobies?"

 

I read the first half and scoffed, then continued and agreed.

 

 

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

 

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

 

They're real, and they're spectacular!

 

 

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??

 

My future depends on my lady bringing home much more (soy)bacon than I expect to... cha-ching! I should say that this is not why we are together. Just a bonus...

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it's not an uncommon question and is genuinely unlikely to be a way of finding out how much you make

 

Why would they express it back then in the amount of pretax income you'd need to fund it? I'd lived in Stockholm just before, another place with skyrocketing rents, but questions were always phrased in a more general *average for the area way* and nowhere else that I've lived have people calculated it back to income. Just a US habit?

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Why would they express it back then in the amount of pretax income you'd need to fund it? I'd lived in Stockholm just before, another place with skyrocketing rents, but questions were always phrased in a more general *average for the area way* and nowhere else that I've lived have people calculated it back to income. Just a US habit?

 

I've never (that I can recall) had someone calculate that back to me, unless there were something specific about the situation that would warrant that. Some landlords in, for example, NYC require an income of at least 40 times the monthly rent, so if I had acquaintances who were in low-paying jobs, maybe it could be an expression of surprise that they managed to meet that criterion?

 

There are lots of guidelines out there about how much of your income you should be spending on housing/rent, but I don't think it's likely that you kept running into folks who were evangelizing this kind of restraint :)

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