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Online Dating Gold Diggers

A recent comment at Loveawake dating site blog touched a nerve with me. It reminded me of a problem I’ve had dating in Silicon Valley – some women seem solely focused on how much money they can get out of a man.
woman in blue denim jacket wearing brown hat
Not all women are like this. But some definitely are. I’ve seen it personally. Friends have, too. Gold diggers have been around for ages.

Here’s what happened: last week, I devoted a week’s worth of blog posts to vacations. I tried to tie in single parenting or family issues and stories, and I wrote about real vacations I’ve taken: Kilauea volcano lava flow on Hawaii’s Big Island, a Machu Picchu Peru vacation with a post-divorce girlfriend, and a Fiji tropical dream resort vacation I took when I was married. A signal flare went up when a few people called me obnoxious for taking such exotic trips while they can barely afford to go camping. Forget that I’d told of three trips taken over the course of twenty years. Envy raised its head.

I have to admit, I can relate a bit to feelings of envy. Whenever a single parent talks about having their kids with them every day of the week, I might feel a pang of jealousy. I only see my children half-time. In nearly ten years of divorce, I’ve missed out on five years of their lives. It sucks, but I don’t dwell on it, and I don’t complain. I try to focus on the good in my life. A more stinging comment hit, though, when it was suggested all the women take turns being my “girlfriend” until they get a cool vacation out of me. WTF? Am I just a wallet?

Granted, the comment ended with “hahahaha”, so the gold digger reference was clearly a joke. And I well know not all women feel this way. (To be clear, I’m not calling out or picking on the commentator. It was a joke. What she wrote simply touched a nerve.)

The problem is – some women really do feel this way about men.

I subscribe to the notion that deep in our psyches, women nurture and men provide and protect. I don’t mean to disrespect men like me who take care of kids, or women like my mom and every woman I’ve dated who work and have careers. It’s just a Mars/Venus difference that, for whatever reason, seems to exist between the sexes. As such, a lot of women are looking for a feeling of security from men they date, and they size men up as to how well they can provide. Some men play along in this game, showing off expensive cars, watches, clothes, and taking women to fancy or exotic places. Some older men date younger women (and vice versa) just for this purpose. This is all fine, I suppose, whether there’s wealth or not.

But when the relationship dance becomes only about money, it’s a problem. For one thing, what happens if the perceived wealth isn’t there or dries up?

I’d personally rather connect on a more grounded level than just how much money I make, and how much money a woman wants to spend. After all, there’s always someone who makes more, and someone who wants to spend more. Especially in Silicon Valley. For me, it’s more important how well a woman and I connect on a mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and sexual level. The fun vacations will come (camping is fun!), as will the providing and protecting. But let those things come on their own, don’t hunt them out, and don’t give nothing back.

In short, women should know that’s not a wallet in my pocket – I’m just glad to see you.