{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Started seeing someone and while we both are well educated and have good jobs, it’s clear that there’s a big difference in our families’ economic class. I come from top 1% and my parents will be setting up a trust fund, have designer bags/clothes, am well traveled—whereas he comes from blue collar background, wears simple clothes, has not been outside the US, etc. Has anyone been in a similar situation where it presented problems?", "post_id": "6158cb26dae3d1001dcc7c9f", "reply_count": 192, "vote_count": 27, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Started seeing someone and while we both are well educated and have good jobs, it’s clear that there’s a big difference in our families’ economic class. I come from top 1% and my parents will be setting up a trust fund, have designer bags/clothes, am well traveled—whereas he comes from blue collar background, wears simple clothes, has not been outside the US, etc. Has anyone been in a similar situation where it presented problems?

likefunny
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It’s not the wealth itself that would present a problem, it’s the character and conduct/behavior exuded by you and your family. I don’t know what values and beliefs your boyfriend has, but if I was in his position id like to determine the following about you/your family.

-do they treat all people with the same level of respect regardless of their wealth? Do they view someone’s self worth tied to $? Are they aware of current social issues, are they down to earth or behave as if they are superior?
-Are you flashy? Are you entitled? Do you recognize privilege? Are you open to experiences that don’t require spending a lot of $? Is your identity and character all tied/centered to your parents wealth?

It sounds like your problem will be your own family. You have to stand up to them and call them out on their superficial bs like comments about his luggage. Since you reacted to the comments by trying to change your boyfriend to fit your family’s superficial expectations, I could see that becoming a problem.

My friends’ parents are billionaires (top 50 list). He is very humble, treats people with respect and warmth, you’d never know he is extremely wealthy. He dresses casual, does normal things like stays in line with regular people (when he could easily pay off the doormen or buy tables), those are his principles. So if your principles align with your boyfriends, your relationship will be strong.

likesmart

Love this comment

I'm from a lower middle class family that prioritized education, so I went to a prep school and a good college, now work in tech on the west coast and am building a wealth mindset, am (solo) solidly in "upper" earners (as per a pew research survey).

However, my partner was raised dirt poor and has always spurned corporate culture and prides himself in going against the grain/dropping out of things. It's been difficult, but I've found shared values to bond over and he sees a lot of promise in building wealth.

I also have taken big chances myself - quit a job to travel the world for 2 years, then worked off $30k debt and put myself back in graduate school to get a job here, took any and every job and worked 120 hour weeks that came my way to get where I am.

I just bought (us) a house, and he's starting to get angry and jealous about my accomplishments because he cannot say the same.

It doesn't mean we don't love and respect each other, but we're just at different points in our lives, careers, and money. I love him, and want him to be happy, and we split everything proportional to our incomes, and I give him grace to go do things he wants to do as well. But, it can be difficult and disheartening when I reach my goal and he throws a shit fit about it.

It sounds like you two may have a little less of a difference than my partner and I. I won't say it's not worth it, because it is, and I feel like if you both have similar values and ambition/he's open to growth, you'll do just fine.

But, don't judge a relationship until you've tried to walk through it - is everything else great? Does he make you laugh? Do you have goals that can help each other grow, stretch, change and learn? Do you have the same ideas of what you value, or at least a lot of overlap? Does he WANT to grow, change, experience things and prioritize travel? Sometimes it just takes a few trips for them to catch the 'bug', or hear your true story of why you think education and private school is important.

A partner who cares for you will help you prioritize your goals as well as shared ones, and there will be disagreements in every relationship.

likehelpful

Why are you still with him, if you know it’s going to end? Why not cut the cord now? Do you think he’s going to change/are you giving him an opportunity to change before you cut the ties? (I’m not saying you should; I’m saying that you sound like it’s been this way for a while and I’m just wondering what’s holding you back, if it bothers you as much as it seems to.)

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Please spare this guy the weight of your low expectations of the value he could bring to your life/ the relationship

likefunnysmarthelpful

Agreed on your general point about discussing debts with a potential partner.

So, does he have significant debt or concerning financial habits/obligations? Or is this just something you assume blue collar people have?

likefunny

I’ll play devil’s because I really do understand what OP is saying, I think she just said it a little aggressively. Will there be issues? Yes. Why? Because there are certain unwritten rules that you just know when you’re upper class that are very difficult to follow or pick up. Your family’s community probably vacations in the same spot, so everyone just knows everyone. Will your bf be weirded out if you want to send kids to private school? Will he be uncomfortable with excessive displays of wealth? Just saying “go on vacation” really isn’t the same thing - he may not like or crave culture in the same way OP does. (For me this would be a massive issue.) the list kind of goes on. People may judge this response but I said what I said.

likesmarthelpful

@ A2 that’s a great point. While the wealth disparity may be extreme in OPs case, many couples match with completely different backgrounds. I can think of 3 where it became an issue.

#1 friend from average income married a guy with extreme wealth. She felt excluded and looked down on by his his family because the made her sign a prenup (totally normal for his wealth class). They also did things that I found to be rude. They’d go shopping at luxury stores and then save her the boxes and bags the stuff came in. She never asked for them. They’d present her with what was effectively their trash and make comments about how they thought she’d just LOVE some Hermès packaging. While her complaints were valid, there was also more to consider. Her husband had a fiancé when they met. He was marrying someone from a family his family was well integrated and had extensive history with. She chose to ignore that they were likely weaponizing their wealthy because they didn’t respect the fact that she was a mistress

#2 was a coworker who was such a sweetheart but grew up with so much money that she seemed oblivious to the average person’s circumstances. I never heard her husbands (fiancé at the time) perspective but i felt for the guy. The firm i worked for was filled with wealthy people and they’d often tell her she was expecting too much of her fiancé. She didn’t seem to understand that some of her asks were wild. As examples - her family was paying for the wedding. The fiancé wanted to contribute. Her family suggested he pay for her veil. He assumed it would be at most a grand. Her veil cost $10k. She didn’t run it by him before buying it because she didn’t even realize that was expensive. She didn’t really look at the tag. They didn’t have the conversation until the invoice came and he had to cut a check. That sort of thing happened all the time. She sat next to me and would sigh, explain the situation, and seem completely unable to understand why her husband cared so much about the cost of things.

# 3 is a couple that my husband is very close with. The woman comes from money (large trust fund from her grandfather) and the man is middle class. She also had a substantial salary when compared to his - she was almost double. While we love them both, the things we pick up on outside looking in is how she talks about money. She acts like every thing they have is because of her. When they make big financial decisions, she doesn’t go to her husband for advice. She goes to her parent. As his friends, we know this eats him alive because he doesn’t feel respected. They also aren’t accepting help from her parents. He’ll say something about wanting to invest x in x. She’ll say - wait! Let me see what my father says.

like

Lmao I’m sorry but this is hilarious.

likefunnysmart

The fact that you’re asking the question makes me think this is something that bothers *you.* Tbh, if you’re a child of the 1%, there’s a really good chance that most of the people you will meet and possibly date will not be. Can you see past those differences? The red flag for me here isn’t the guy…

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It’s the word pedigree for me 🤮

like

Okay sorry changed it—for the record meant we are both well educated.

like

Wow.

likefunny

Well then 🤷🏻‍♀️

like

I grew up upper middle class and my husband grew up dirt poor (occasional homelessness, food stamps, etc.). It hasn’t created any problems, but we both come from good families… my parents are welcoming and not judgmental, his mom doesn’t expect us to support her (although we do help out). If either of our families were toxic it would create problems… but that has nothing to do with money.

I think it depends on the individual people involved. Are your parents judgmental and exclusionary? Is his family deeply uncomfortable around people with more money? Will his family expect support that you are unwilling to provide?

likehelpful

D1 a similar class divide between my husband and me does honestly create a lot of issues for my husband and I. Upper middle class and a poor background. However a lot of that might also be cultural differences. How we see, spend and value money is different and that’s really hard. We work at it but w class differences there is more to work at. On the other hand the relationship can be richer for the differences.

One thing OP needs to consider is if she is part of the 1% and wants someone in her class then that’s theoretically only 1% of guys out there... there are a lot more men outside of her class than in it statistically. Even if the gap w this guy is too wide, I do think OP should consider other guys she might not typically who are at least partly outside her class (ie upper middle class).

like

Maybe reframe and consider how much respect your SO should get that they came from more humble beginnings and ended up in same spot as you. I find true value and pride in an SO for that. It should not be a flipped story of them having to prove their worth - sounds like they did that enough already and should hopefully be enough for you to be proud of them too. But if even after the fact they have a good career and in same spot as you now is not sufficient and it’s more the gap in status you can’t overcome - different issue.

likesmart

Thank you both

like

It surprises me a little that you consider your relationship serious and are thinking long term, while you have the need to crowdsource what some potential issues may be, instead of knowing him well enough to understand where he stands on those issues.

For example, I grew up super poor and I am very financially savvy now, I live well but also save and invest. It drives me crazy when people carelessly live beyond their means (spend more than earn and rely on rich parents for money). I just don’t have any respect for it. So while my partner is from a much wealthier family, he doesn’t take any money from them and it’s very modest. So does it bother me that he is richer? No, because he lives according to what he can afford with his own salary.

Do you like your rich life style so much that your parents pay for it? If so, does he mind? Is he self conscious around your rich family? You should be able to answer that.

likesmart

No problems, but just some cultural differences. I grew up upper middle class (country club, second home, nice primary home, new luxury cars, wanting for nothing) and my family lost it all. My husband grew up very frugally (no new clothes, modest infrequent family trips, no socializing with other families, wasn’t exposed to high net worth individuals and careers as a kid) and his parents now have millions from saving and investing.

It took him a while to get comfortable with things like having a house cleaner, taking vacations, flying first class, buying nice things, and he’s still frugal, but now he appreciates and understands the value of paying for services and enjoying nice things if we can afford them (we can). He still doesn’t care about new cars, but I’ve gotten him into the idea of our own second home. He used to think we “made enough money,” then our income doubled and I started sharing more about how much other people earn. He still gets a little uncomfortable at luxury hotels and such, but as our own net worth and income have grown, he’s gotten more confident.

likehelpfulsmart

Yikes. Cringe alert 😬😬😬

like

My mother came from a wealthy family and married my dad who came from a dirt poor single mom family. My mother’s family didn’t think my dad was “good enough” for years and didn’t hide it so well. That said… they got over it eventually (when they discovered my dad was smart, caring, and hardworking). They did seem to fight over money sometimes… e.g., like my dad was very careful about spending and would get annoyed if he thought my mother was out shopping too much as an example. But…. They celebrate their 50 year wedding anniversary next year, so I think all in all it worked for them

likeuplifting

Thanks, definitely slightly concerned about my family in this vein. Appreciate the anecdote

like

OP, FB spans a relatively wide range of ages, career stages, races, ethnicities, financial status etc. If vast majority of responses tell you that you come across a certain way and that you need to reframe how you are thinking about this, why become so defensive and hostile in your responses, do you automatically assume everyone is wrong?

Maybe your intentions are misunderstood here, but it’s time you do some inner reflection on how you come across to others, try to see the other side, think about how you can approach this better. It would benefit you in all your relationships. As you said, you are the 1%, do you not care how you come across to the remaining 99%?

likesmarthelpful

it’s pretty clear just by asking this question that you can’t/ won’t ever truly love this man (and yes I know you just started dating) . As someone who also “grew up In the 1%” (actually .01%), while her husband grew up in the foster care system and both parents were in prison, please spare him a life with you. I never once had this concern. the fact that you’re thinking about it this early means it’ll never work.

likesmart

Thank you for bringing some sense into this thread.

like

I was taking this whole thing really seriously until I read all OP’s responses to even the non-judgmental posts. Every single response OP has made is cynical, rude, obnoxious, and bitchy. I’ve posted where people give irrelevant answers, I ignore 🤷🏻‍♀️.
My brother is in the 1% and he has never, not once, ever spoken the way OP speaks and relates to others. I would make sure to work on that before discussing anything with SO. That’s how I’d prepare for success. Any conversation will work, no matter how difficult, if you’re on the same team and communicate as such.

like

Ew. Let this guy go now if you don’t plan to defend him from your parents and shut down their comments and judgements both in and outside of his presence.

Your whole post at best reads as how you’re trying to make him “acceptable” to them and deal with whatever issues that may arise stemming from them.

That this is your main concern/lens means you are likely not ready to be with someone they don’t wholeheartedly approve of.

like

Regardless of what’s being implied by other posters, I think PWC2 has a point on what you will need to do if you expect to continue in this relationship. You will need to be prepared to defend him to your parents - of course when they say something in his presence but ALSO when they make a comment outside of it. Even if it’s just you and them, if you’re going to date this guy, you have to be on his side always, even if that means you shut down their negative or judgy comments about him more than you would like to. Just be prepared to do that is all I’m saying

I wouldn't say my family was that well off. But my family was comfortably upper middle class while my boyfriends was lower. I would say the main difference is that he's made me realize a lot of the privilege I grew up with. That and he'll likely be supporting his parents which is something I'll never have to do.

like

Foods for thought: Material things - Are you going to expect him to buy you designer gifts for every holiday/birthday? Or just because? You might be setting up yourself for disappointment because he probably doesn’t do that or wouldn’t know what to buy since he didn’t grow up getting those things. Are you going to be upset if he doesn’t come up with the ideas to go to exotic places in the summer and Apres ski in the winter? Do you like being around his family and does he genuinely like being around yours? Do you guys have interesting things to talk about with each others families or is it an obligation for you both? Now imagine wedding planning. Will he be ok with an over the top wedding? Buying a house. Will the down payment come from both of you or your family and would he be ok with it? I have a friend in a similar situation and it works bc her fiancé (who’s family is in top 1%) has her back when his family gets upset because of these monetary differences. I think you need to think about whether or not you can be happy with him or with the monetary things.

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Thanks, this is helpful

like

I come from wealth and my husband did not. We took Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university together before we got married, which gave us a better footing on budgeting and money stuff. Practically: We limit gifts given and received on both sides and I don’t use my trust money as my income is plenty for our needs.

like

Interesting, thanks!

like

OP, I don’t say this to be a jerk, but… you come off really defensive and unable to accept criticism/different PoVs. Honestly, that’s going to harm a relationship more than any Billy Joel romance dynamic.

::hums Uptown Girl, shows age::

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