For Love or Money?

The answer isn't always romance

Dear Monica,  After years of being single, I am asking myself what’s more important: love or money? What are your thoughts? — B. G.,  Elkins Park

It would be easy to say “All You Need is Love,” but if we are being honest, we have to admit that money matters. The question that you need to ask yourself is just how much it matters to you. Are you the type of person who will be happy living on a budget as long as you are madly in love? Or do you need the finer things in life? Looking for someone who makes a decent living and being upfront about it does not make you a gold digger. You need to ask yourself some questions before things get too hot and heavy.

  • Does he have the values and qualities you have been looking for?
  • Do you really need a man with a certain net worth in order for him to be desirable?
  • How much can you add to the pot in order for the relationship to be workable from a monetary standpoint?
  • Are you attracted more to brains or body?

If you are dating a man and he is not making the kind of income you need to be happy, stop and assess his earning potential and his motivation. If he has both and he is a good person, you’ve probably found yourself a keeper. The problems lie with people who are not inspired to achieve high goals.

In seeking the perfect mate, many stars have to align. You want to be attracted to him, and connect with him on a deep emotional level. You need to be honest with yourself as to whether you are looking for a life partner, or someone to fund a great lifestyle. Do you want an ATM machine or a soul mate? Is it really possible to find both? Gauge your feelings and know what you can live with and without. If you make a commitment with someone know that any issues that you have with him as a person or as a professional won’t go away. Make sure you are comfortable with the majority of the package that you choose. You need to be able to love and laugh with him, not just pay the bills.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D.
is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles.  Please send your questions to: