Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Outback Crush” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Outback Crush,” the young woman who developed a crush on a guy from Australia she met one night while he was visiting the states. She wondered if it would be crazy to start a long distance relationship with him and whether it was weird that he mentioned how much money he made.

Since I last wrote you, we still talk, he’s still charming, I still like him, etc., but I’ve cooled down quite a bit off the initial high and continued life as normal. I’ve gone on dates with other people, and that’s probably how things will go in the future. At least until we get to know each other and he is closer, geographically speaking.

Also, no, I’m not a gold-digger. As I said in my last letter, most of the men I’ve dated up until now have been as poor as I am, as have the ones I’ve gone out with since. Would ending up with an awesome guy who I love who ALSO has the means to give me a great house and allows me to not have to worry about bills be great? Absolutely. But it’s not why I’m interested. Someone in the comments also pointed out that money can be attractive because it can point to other attractive qualities like work ethic, intelligence and drive to succeed — things I see and admire in people like my father who never made more than 60k. And again, I felt sparks before I had any idea what kind of money he made.

The reason I mentioned money was because he mentioned it, and I thought you might give me a clue as to what his motives in mentioning that were. I thought I made that pretty clear in my letter when I said, “Do guys normally talk about their salary and life-affecting things with girls they’re interested in? I’ve never been with a guy who had worldly assets to brag about, to be honest.” Anyway, perhaps it wasn’t so clear, so mea culpa.

Thank you again for answering my letter. These heels have been cooled and I’m totally down for riding the chill wave, making a friend, and seeing if anything comes of it later on. Perhaps much, much, much later on, or not at all.

 
Wise decision!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

16 comments… add one
  • avatar

    carolyn November 15, 2011, 10:36 am

    Having money is a very poor indicator of work ethic. Ask the millions who work their asses off and don’t get paid much.

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      CF November 15, 2011, 11:08 am

      Spoken like a true communist!!!!

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        lk November 15, 2011, 3:30 pm

        i don’t totally “get” this comment, but i do kind of love communism…

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    Carolynasaurus November 15, 2011, 10:44 am

    This letter and update are a perfect example of a lot of people who write in for advice. They feel they have to make a decision NOW because it’s all they can think about and they have to act.

    Just take a breathe and let things develop and, with a level-head, things are usually much easier to see.

    That’s why the commentors are always right. We’re a level-headed bunch, amiright?

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  • FireStar

    FireStar November 15, 2011, 10:52 am

    I’m glad to hear that he is just in the friend category for now. And because you raise the topic – Don’t rely on/hope that/anticipate that any man will “give you a great house” or take away the worry about paying your bills. Never set yourself up to be dependent on anyone – even someone you love. You are more than capable of making yourself financially secure through your own choices. That way when you are ready to settle down you can come to your relationship as equals and his bank account will not even factor in your consideration of him as a partner.

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    • avatar

      SpyGlassez November 15, 2011, 4:08 pm

      I didn’t feel that the writer WAS in any way expecting or hoping that. I thought it was more of the idea that HE had mentioned it, SHE was wondering if this was curious, WE jumped on her for it, and SHE was reiterating that while it might be *nice*, it isn’t in the criteria.

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  • Budj

    Budj November 15, 2011, 11:01 am

    Sounds like a good resolution.

    And men usually don’t brag about their money unless they are insecure and need to use that as justification that they are worth something (best case scenario). Worst-case scenario it might indicate their value set is more superficial than indicating they have strong work ethic.

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger November 15, 2011, 11:09 am

      I STILL think that when it comes to this type of airfare being required to see each other( over 1K, usually more like 2, if I understand correctly), in addition to hotels, etc., if a guy is actually interested in pursuing something on any ongoing basis, it is natural, fair and prudent for him to let her know it is within his financial capabilities to visit. If that’s what it was, i think we’re being too hard on the guy.

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        silver_dragon_girl November 15, 2011, 11:22 am

        Agreed. I’m in a LDR, and my guy bears the brunt of the financial burden of travelling to see one another. I hate it, because I want all things to be equal, but the fact of the matter is that he can afford it and I can’t. So sometimes there is a good reason to bring it up.

        However, IIRC, in the original letter she made it seem kind of like he just flat-out told her his salary, which is a little weird. I guess I just want more information on the actual monetary conversation that took place.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar November 15, 2011, 11:33 am

        If I remember correctly – he said it in the first real conversation he had with her after meeting her at a club the night before… which is why it sent off warning bells with everyone. Having a conversation about money before starting a LDR with the person you are seeing makes sense – but that is not a conversation to have before you know the girl’s last name.

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      • Budj

        Budj November 15, 2011, 1:31 pm

        I still think it is tacky and was used as a measure of his worth since he didn’t mention it in the context of visiting her in their textual communication post meeting.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 15, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Eh, I said it then and I’ll state it again now… in the cases of long distant relationships — especially those where there is an ENTIRE ocean to cross — money does matter a bit more because you not only need the funds to buy tickets but also the success that allows you to take all that time off. (Just getting there and back eats up two entire days of your trip!)

    Everybody here was so caught up in taking her to task on this one thing she mentioned, that they missed the much bigger (and more damning) picture — which was that she barely knew the guy at all and yet suddenly seemed to think he was “The One.” Happy to hear that cooler heads have prevailed on this one.

    The ongoing debate about the money thing is amusing to me especially though because, well, I mean it’s just such a well known fact that women NEVER seem to worry about how much their potential mate makes… I mean, surely that is NEVER a factor in anybody’s decision to date somebody. Just as guys always, always fall in love with the personality and NOT the mere physical vessel…

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      SpyGlassez November 15, 2011, 4:15 pm

      I actually agree totally with you. Money IS an issue in relationships. Sure, poverty-stricken lovebirds who give it all up to be together and wait tables together may make for cute teenybopper movies and books, but it is NOT being a gold-digger to assess the financial situation of one’s partner. I knew when I started dating the Ginger that he was out of work and living on what was left of savings. Money wasn’t an issue in in that I would not have dated him for that reason, but the fact that I was steadily employed and have a decent earning potential took some of the pressure off. Plus, knowing that he was reasonably prudent with his money (he makes the occasional impulse buy, but we all do) was reassuring.

      The other thing is that money SHOULD be an issue – in that people shouldn’t lie about how much the lack of it, or the pursuit of it, or whatever, can interfere in relationships. I know of three relationships right off the top of my head that ended because someone wasn’t honest with money situations, or because money was tighter than they thought it would be, or because the financial balance in the relationship shifted.

      But I grew up in a household where we discussed finances and where my mom and dad didn’t find it necessary to hide either income or expenditures, so I look at it from a practical standpoint. The fact that this guy thought he had to flash his money to attract her says more about him than it does about her, but at least she could cross “is a crackhead who will live on my couch for the next 3 years and never tr to get a job” off the list of things to worry about.

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  • avatar

    Lo November 15, 2011, 6:24 pm

    Wendy, why do you think it is that people spend 90% of these updates defending themselves or making excuses? Why are people writing into an online advice website if they can’t handle the potential feedback – negative or positive!?

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  • avatar

    Jess November 16, 2011, 3:55 am

    I never called the LW a gold digger, but I don’t think she has to defend herself anyway!

    I don’t know, my dad always told me “you can fall in love with a rich man just as easily as a poor man, all else being equal life will be easier with the rich man.”

    I don’t know why its so taboo to care about money. Money is important, it’s a huge part of life!! People who say they care about money are NOT saying they don’t care about the other things, like character and values. It’s just in addition.

    It certainly makes more sense to care about money than it does looks. And they are both just as ‘superficial’ right? Of course you shouldn’t force yourself to be attracted to anyone. But there’s no shame in being attracted to money. There’s some anthropology PhDs on DW right? Isn’t women being attracted to good providers an evolved thing?

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    • avatar

      Jess November 16, 2011, 4:00 am

      but I do think that the australian guy telling her about how much money he made, etc, was super douchey/tacky.

      I’ve found the phrase “If you have to tell people you’re a lady/leader/successful, you aren’t” holds true for pretty much everything.

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