Dating a man who earns less than you

Krysta Anderson
Krysta Anderson

December 13, 2021

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Years gone by, men have serenaded the fairer sex with the promise of being her sole provider. Much has changed since then, including pay scales. We asked 10 women: Would you date a man who made less money than you? Here’s what they had to say.


“I would date someone who makes less money than me if he is younger than I am. If I meet a man who is in his 40s, and he is not financially secure, I am going to question that. You have had years to get it together, so is there a reason? Are you paying out child support? Were you in bankruptcy? I need you to demonstrate to me that you are going to be responsible with money, that you won’t squander our earnings and savings, that you’re a good caregiver, and you will make money for us and our family, if we have one. If he’s younger, I could see him trying to figure out himself. That’s fine. But he has to understand that we’re going to be making money together.”

— Charmaine Redway, 36, divorced


“Yes, I would date a man who makes less money than me. I’m not with him for his money. It’s all about his personality and the love that he has for me.”

— Shelly-Ann Sibblies, 34, single


“Yes, I would date a man that makes less money, but he better not be annoying or narcissistic. He has to be funny, easy-going, not controlling, and he better be good in bed. If you’re not packing in the pants pocket, you better be packing in the pants. So conditions apply.”

— Jody Anderson, 22 (plus shipping and handling), it’s complicated


“Yeah. I don’t think his income matters if I make enough money to take care of myself.”

— Shaniece Chung, 27, single


“Yes, I would. There [are] so many reasons that we get paid for what we do. Plus, in my field (social work), we’re forever underpaid, so I know the struggle of trying to find something better. Money isn’t everything, but I’d hope he’s using what he has wisely.”

— Lori-Ann McDonald, 33, single


“I wouldn’t date a man who makes less than me, just because I believe that the man should be the main breadwinner or provider. He’s the leader, so he’s in charge. Also, I wouldn’t want to date a man who earns less for him to feel less than a man and insecure for not being able to take care of his woman. That can cause a ripple effect in behavioural patterns in the relationship, which I have seen before. On the flip side, if it is that in the beginning, he was making more money than me, then after a while my income increased, it is my responsibility as a woman to still give him that freedom of providing and make sure that he still is the leader of the relationship. A woman can help with ways to increase his income by giving him new business ideas, a second job, or studying to get a promotion or investments.”

— Jody-Ann Ramsay, 31, in a relationship


“I would date a man who makes less than me if I was comfortable financially to do so because the man can add value to the relationship in other ways.”

— Shanell Forsythe, 30, single


“I have learnt not to watch material things too much because a man might make less money than me but has accomplished way more, securing essentials like a house. Also, if he has great qualities that I look for in a man, nothing is better than a man who treats you like a queen, with respect and loves you. If he’s making less money than me and it only affects a certain lifestyle that I am used to or want to live, then I would try to help [him] find his purpose or passion to make more money for himself than settling to work for someone and make less. Sometimes we as women miss out on the best person because we are seeking financial security.”

— Audre Wisdom, 29, single


“I would date a man who makes less than me because what is most important for me is a good character. I also believe in teamwork regardless of whoever is making more.”

— Tara Osborne, 33, single


“No, I would not date a man that makes less money than me. Not at this stage in my life. If I were younger and saw that he has potential and is very ambitious and working towards his dreams, then it would be fine. But now, at this age? No.”

— Kimone Brown, 38, single

Krysta Anderson


Krysta Anderson

Tackles sex and relationships with honesty and openness. For months, she took readers on a journey of self-exploration with personal dating column 'Single but Iffy to Mingle'. Now she's ready for an even bigger adventure.

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