A reader writes in:

“Hello Pat !

I’d like to ask you something that I don’t think you’ve already went through (if that’s the case, please send me the link to the email you wrote that talked about it). Please know that as a non-paying customer, I have no expectation from you to answer this – no hard feelings nor entitlement from me, don’t worry.

Here’s the situation:

I’ve been in a relationship for the past year and a half with a great woman. We’re both 32 and she’s a “sane” girl by all accounts. The only thing that troubles me is the socio-economic gap between us. We’re both well educated, and I can even say with certitude that I am more “cultured” than she is (Started my academic background in humanities/literature before switching to business and I’ve written a novel, which is something she appreciates). Thing is, she earns way more than I do – ~€6k/month Vs ~1.5/2k for me – and she is more “advanced” than me in life. I launched a startup 4 years ago that doesn’t really “work” anymore and I am in the not-so-agreeable process of looking up job interviews to go back into the 9-5 world (at least for the time being).

She’s not a high-lifestyle girl by any means, but as you can imagine, there are a lot of things that are normal to her that I cannot do. She’s used to travel (leisure) every month or so but in my situation, even a €500 Weekend is out of the equation. Day to day, I can’t afford to take her to the restaurant 3x/week, and even if she tells me those things are not important, I can still see how it impacts our relationship – and perhaps more important, how it impacts my own perception, as the man of the relationship.

She says she loves me but sometimes has trouble projecting herself with me given the instability of the situation: will I have to move out of our city for my next job (likely), will I find a good job or something that is merely “casual” ? Etc. She does a lot for the relationship. She even pays sometimes for Week-end trips – which I try to keep under 3-4 times a year, because that bothers me a lot (I’ve always been the one paying for these things in my previous relationships and I’m very uncomfortable with my girlfriend doing that for me).

Her last two exes were an M&A director and a capital venture founder (she’s the one who broke up with them). Of course I cannot refrain myself from comparison, and I noticed I began to grow resentment towards myself and the situation. And I fear this resentment also begins to translate to the relationship.

My question to you is thus: besides the obvious (putting my house in order), how can you manage a relationship like this and find a way to still grow together and keep a strong emotional connection?

Because even if I find a good job, I will not earn as much as she does (not within the first 2 years at least), so my way of apprehending things must be long-term.

Whether this piques your interest or not, thanks again for the great content you put out daily, and best to you and your family!

This is a fun email to tackle… especially as it is going to bother a lot of the manosphere guys (I love shaking the hornet’s nest).

But from the sounds of it, the main problems here are in your head.

Before we get into that, however…

There are a couple of questions I have.

First — what happened with your business? And why is the response to get back into a 9-5 (when you don’t want it) rather than branch out and start something else?

If it’s just temporary, as you insinuate, then that’s fine and understandable. But if it’s just temporary, why are you concerned about this issue to begin with?

I mentioned this obliquely in the last email, but I want to ram this home for you…

Women don’t care about failure, but about capitulation.

I am sure that your girlfriend does not care *that* much about your current financial situation, because she senses you are a man with motivation and spirit. It would be nice, of course, if you had more money… but it sounds like she enjoys her work and has enough money to not feel lack. So it doesn’t affect her much.

Money is primarily a source of comfort for women. It amplifies desire, but it does not create it. What creates it is what is usually upstream of money: leadership, intelligence, ambition, passion.

So long as you don’t “give up” and decide to settle in for life at a 9-5 that provides no meaning to you, the problem is more one of your ego than her taking issue. She likely anticipates you will start a new project eventually, and will become handsomely rich.

However, even if that weren’t to happen — it’s probably not big deal anyway.

Because so long as you are handsome and charming, many “professional women” these days care less than you think.

They are looking for someone who they connect to and have fun with. Someone who is hot to them. They can make their own money, but they need a man for this. If you were to become a “house husband” in the future, or focused on some less lucrative path that provided you with meaning, she would still love you and wouldn’t care.

Now, would this be ideal? No. No question the polarity suffers as a result of this dynamic.

I am just simply stating that I have seen plenty of “big city” relationships that have materialized like this. The woman works a busy, high-paying job and the man takes care of the kids and does something more part-time that he enjoys. She’s actually happy in many ways they aren’t both “high powered,” as he becomes a respite for her after a long days work.

The key thing here is that this only works well if the guy is a) physically attractive b) good in bed, and c) ok with it himself.

Which is really the operative issue here — not her. Are you feeling ok with yourself?

It sounds like you are not. It sounds like you feel like a failure compared to her, and are embarrassed that she’s doing better.

You shouldn’t feel this way. You took a risk and started a business. It didn’t work out. So what? Get back up and start another. Lock into the reality of yourself as you will be, not as you currently are.

This is frame. This is leadership.

And this is what she was attracted to in you initially. She will only lose this belief when you do.

Anyway, enough said.

I know coaching is expensive. Which is why I recommend for most guys the masterclass.

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– Pat