“I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ with no broke…”

This past August I went to my first Yankees’ game (and first professional baseball game ever) and it was great. My friend  knew a guy who worked for the team so we were given tickets to the Audi Club and inside the club we ran into an old friend of hers that was married.  As is typical whenever a married person is talking to a single person, the friend (we’ll call him Chris for purposes of this article) was dying to be entertained with stories of being single and our dating escapades. Throughout our conversation, Chris  kept mentioning “rich, successful, good-looking guys” that he either knew, wished he knew or wanted to set us up with.  It struck me that he kept saying the words “rich” or “successful” so I finally asked him why he kept emphasizing that the men had to be rich.  (Now let me be clear. Yes, a rich man would be ideal and that is one of the adjectives I would use when describing my dream man to a friend or family member, but I would never so openly talk about it with someone I just met.) He looked at me confused and then simply said “Well why wouldn’t you want a rich guy? That’s like a guy saying he doesn’t want a hot girl. It’s just ridiculous.” Yes, yes it is.  

Of course I want a rich man, and so does every other woman on the face of this planet!!!!!!!! That doesn’t mean I won’t date a man who isn’t rich, but it means I’m going to look for a man who appears to be financially comfortable and more importantly, ambitious and seemingly capable of becoming wealthy. Like with everything, though, it’s all about perception. Below are some indicators that women look for when determining if you can be categorized as “potentially rich”.

1. Do you live alone? The most obvious indicator of lifestyle is where you live.  If you are living in a two-bedroom apartment with 5 roommates it sets off an alarm, whereas if you live by yourself (studio or not) we assume you must be making enough to afford that apartment, which is no small feat. And do you live in Manhattan? We also know that if you have that apartment in Manhattan, versus say Hoboken or Brooklyn, you are paying top dollar.  That’s not to say the outer boroughs are inexpensive (because they aren’t), but Manhattan portrays a certain level of success.  Each borough, and neighborhood, reflects a style that women (and men) make assumptions based on. The location of your apartment not only reflects how much you’re paying in rent, but also your cultural preference (or lack thereof). You should seek to live in an area that fits your personality and bank account.   For example, someone who lives in Williamsburg most likely wouldn’t want to live on the UES and vice versa.  (this applies to all cities, not just NYC).

2. What you do for a living. Let’s face it, she’s going to ask what you do for a living (most likely right before she asks how old you are) and you can’t really change your profession to impress a girl.  That being said, it’s all about the spin you put on it.  I don’t advocate lying, but if your job is on the lower end of the pay scale and has limited upward mobility, you can be vague.  For example, if you are a teacher (not to pick on teachers) you can say “I work in education.” If you’re not comfortable doing that for fear that she may respond with “what do you do in education?” I strongly suggest saying something positive about your job immediately after revealing what you do. For example “I teach high school science; I absolutely love it.” I find that so few people actually like their jobs that when we meet someone who does, we are immediately impressed.

3. Your watch and your shoes. As I’ve said before, these are two things women always notice and they are, or can be, very expensive. These items should be viewed as long-term investments that will last for several years, if not longer, and will be worn regularly.  Find the nicest watch that reflects your personality and make sure you take care of it.  If you buy a watch with a leather band, be sure to replace the band once it gets overly worn and be careful not to scratch the face.  You should also own at least one good pair of work shoes and one good pair of casual shoes.  Post college, sneakers are not an acceptable form of footwear when going out.  If you are looking for casual, easy shoes, check out Cole Haan, Sperry Topsider boat oxfords or classic boat shoes for the summer. (I will have a more thorough post on shoes in the future, but for now you get the idea).

3. Your car. As someone that lives in NYC, cars aren’t really that important or prevalent, but in pretty much every other town or city across America they are.  The thing is, most women don’t really know cars and therefore will only know the two extremes.  If you have a nice car, such as an Audi, Range Rover, BMW or Lexus, we assume you have money.   That being said, I am not recommending going out and buying a car beyond your means.  If you aren’t in a position to buy an obviously expensive car, your only job is to make sure you have a new(ish), clean, normal-sounding car.  Basically, just don’t have an embarrassing, piece-of-shit car that rattles every time you come down the street.   The key is to get a decent car and then take good care of it so it looks nicer than it is. It’s all about maintenance.

4. How you talk about money.  How a person talks about money and the things they have is not only a huge indicator or whether they actually have it, but also how they choose to spend it.  Any discussion of money on any level makes most people uncomfortable so I would avoid the conversation all together.   Also, any type of discussion about expensive things or events can very easily come off as braggy and unattractive – it will make you sound like you are trying to show off and prove that you have money.  People who really have money don’t need to talk about it.  The only women you’ll attract by bragging about  your wealth are real gold diggers. This also applies to your online profile and profile pictures.  If the majority of your pictures consist of you either standing in front of your expensive car or attending a charity polo match it will be clear the image you are trying to convey and it will just look like you are trying too hard.  On the flip side, if you complain about how expensive things are and act cheap, no woman will be attracted to you. It’s a thin line to walk.

5.  Your knowledge of wine, golf, skiing and global cultures. It costs money to travel, and golfing and skiing are two relatively expensive activities while wine is associated with sophistication and can also be quite pricey (think trips to Napa).  Being exposed to all of these things makes it seem as though you have the means to support these activities, as well as intellectual curiosity to seek them out (which translates to ambition). Lucky for you, it  is pretty easy to read up on different cultures and try pretty amazing wines without ever leaving the comfort of your home, while Groupon and similar sites have made  ski and golf getaways more accessible.  So go arm yourself with knowledge.