The Lures of Superficial Dating

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This week’s column is about women who are lured into relationships with men because of false promises and a focus on the superficial. Instead of looking at the surface aspects of what is turning you on, look within your match. Is he an honest and loving man, or just a man with a big old bank account?

As a matchmaker, I hear time and time again how many of my female clients will anchor onto their past relationships and glorify their ex’s status. They will talk about the fancy trips they went on, the luxury yacht they sailed in during their summer vacation, and the Atherton dream home, that one day they would get to build. As I get to know my clients, I often ask them ‘why’ things did not work out. More often than not, they explain how they never really got to know their boyfriends, because they were so fixated on the allure, charm, prestige, and money love could buy. When I ask them if they ended up building the dream home, they always end up saying, “No.”

I often see a similar trend—older rich guy dates younger hot female, casts spell on her and begins to make false promises of a rich future together. The younger girl is instantly attracted to the guy, as he has the material possessions she cannot afford, and often these possessions are symbols to her girlfriends (and her) that she has found someone successful, who ultimately will take care of her. In the beginning of these relationships, these successful guys will act like they love taking care of the girls and will treat them to extravagant things. With much lower salaries, these women definitely could not afford the things these guys are buying and accept them. As time passes, so many of these men rear their ugly heads and expose sides of themselves that are frightening. From total resentment, to making their girlfriends feel inferior, to displaying anger, it can spiral downward quickly.

Years ago, I used to socialize with a lady in the city who was in one of these relationships. For sake of anonymity, we will call her Claire. Claire was in her early 30’s at the time and was dating a guy ten years her senior. She had trouble sticking with jobs and seemed to get laid off because of flaky behavior and probably unfortunate circumstances, like company downsizings. Claire loved her powerful, successful investment banker boyfriend who made a lot of money, drove a nice German car, and owned his own Pac Heights home. On the outside they seemed to love one another, yet inside the relationship it was a total disaster. He was constantly resenting the fact that she never offered to pay for anything, nor took her career seriously. He knew he was not going to commit to her, but couldn’t deny the fact that the sex was amazing. He told her he loved her, but often spent his Saturday nights out with the guys, getting other girls’ phone numbers and flirting for attention from someone else. She on the other hand, kept having him pay for everything and control her. She assumed things would get better and that maybe he would commit. He never did and ended up stringing her along for eight more years. It got worse and eventually he broke up with her. She still has not recovered.

My basic professional advice for all women out there is to be your own independent woman. Men find it sexy for women to make their own money and be in charge of their own lives. Nothing screams sexier than the woman who offers to help pay for dinner, who looks deeper within her potential suitor to learn more about who he truly is, versus the car he drives. It’s one thing to have a man you like pay for your dinners, it’s another thing to expect it or demand it. This happens more often than not. If you have just met someone or are maybe dating someone who seems wonderful on the outside, do yourself a favor and get to know him and take it slowly. Don’t become prey to false hopes, superficial things, and the allure of a life of luxury. Openly communicate what you are looking for and find out if he is on the same page as you. Create a balance between the two of you and even the playing field. By doing this, you are setting yourself up for a healthy, loving relationship between two equals.


By Amy Anderson

Related story: Dating Before the Divorce is Final: The 4-Way



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