As teenagers, pimples and puberty complicated our dating lives. As adults, we’re faced with different dating hitches — and one I’ve heard a lot about lately is income. How much we make, whether it’s a lot or a little, does factor into our dating luck.

Online dating services have made it easier to match personality preferences with desired bank accounts. In fact a survey of online daters found that just over half of both male and female daters include a salary preference on their profiles as a way to broach the question of income.

While I would never ask a guy I’m interested in how much he makes, even questions of “What do you do for a living?” too soon in the conversation are sometimes met with suspicious looks. He sees this as the mark of a potential gold digger, while I see it just as polite conversation.


In fact one reader recently shared that he’s resorted to telling women he works at McDonald’s — he’s actually an engineer — and hasn’t had a date since. Why the lie? He grew tired of women seeing him as a sperm donor with a nice paycheque.

Yet dating coach Patti Feinstein doesn’t see it that way. “Most people usually marry someone in the same socio-economic group or go one higher,” says Feinstein. “Why? Because they grow accustomed to a certain level of comfort and aren’t willing to give that up.” So fibbing about one’s salary only drives away like-minded daters.

Feinstein says the majority of single women she coaches say while they’d like to meet someone who makes at least as much or more than they do, it’s not a must. But when a man earns more it can be benefit the relationship, she says, because it puts the man in control. A man with a bigger paycheque frequently has a bigger… confidence level. “Often you have to stroke the big ego,” she says, “in order to stroke the little ego.”

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