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What happens when women make more than men?

A 2012 study found the median income of single women to be greater than the income of single men in most cities. We break down what that means for YOU

Ramit Sethi

I’ve written about gender and money before. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman — for a lot of people, this is one of the greatest taboos you can possibly talk about (even more than people anonymously sharing their salaries).

Yes, men and women react to money differently. Yes, they have different scripts. And yes, I think it’s important to talk about it, instead of pretending money is the same for everybody.

Today, I want to talk about what happens when women earn more than men.

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My friend Farnoosh Torabi, who has a new book out — When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women — wrote an interesting piece on women who earn more:

“The fact is, particularly for young ambitious females, the chances of finding an “equal” mate in terms of pay and education is statistically challenging. And even if you do land a first date with this guy, there may not be a second, for certain psychological reasons…”

Also, did you know that most young women now out-earn young men?

“According to a 2012 study by Reach Advisors, the median income of single women between the ages of 22 and 30 is now greater than the income of single men in that same age group in most cities throughout the country.”

I find this fascinating. What happens to social norms when women start earning more than men?

Behind closed doors, in conversations my high-earning female friends would never let me share publicly, some of them tell me how challenging it is to find a partner because of their income.

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If you’re a 28-year-old woman and your male partner suddenly found out you made 2x as much as he does, how would he react?

What if you’re a guy, and your partner finds out you make 2x what they do?

Is the situation any different if you’re a man or a woman?

I want to hear your stories. If you earn more than your partner, does it affect your relationship? How does gender play a role in your finances?

Share your stories in the comments below.

P.S. I once asked a question about gender and money on Twitter, where all responses are public. 95% of the responses were politically correct answers that made you nod your head. But then I looked in my inbox, which was flooded with private emails from people who were saying the exact opposite thing — only they wouldn’t admit it on Twitter. I want us to have an honest discussion, so if you want to answer anonymously in the comments below, feel free.

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