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To all my single sisters, question for you…

Would you rather have a wealthy man who provides everything for you, ensures that you never want for anything, you travel regularly, and are able to pursue your dreams because he doesn’t mind supporting them financially, but he admits and you are aware that he sleeps with other woman on occasion (with protection)?


Would you rather be involved with a man that is struggling financially, but pays his part (and that is it). However, you can’t do much else in life. Your life is predictable and limited, but he is faithful.

For the sake of the question, the rich man cherishes you, and doesn’t bring drama into your home. Also, both men love you and don’t ever plan to leave you because you add value to his life. And finally, let’s rule out STDs or your health being at risk, and assume he is very careful, never does anything without protection and is into quality more than quantity.

One of my Facebook friends recently presented this scenario on her page, sparking a lively, and even contentious, debate over which relationship option was the smarter, more advantageous one for a single woman. (Actually, this particular friend is not the first to pose a question like this on social media; similar scenarios are commonly presented in Facebook groups devoted to discussions about sex, love and relationships.) As a participant in the discussion, I challenged the scenario being presented on a number of fronts, pretty much boiling down to the following questions:

Where is the love? And if there is none, why would it be in the best interests of a woman to choose either of these men? Why present a scenario of such limited options?

Let’s be clear about what the choices are:

  1. A rich man willing to “lease” you as his favorite toy; his preferred plaything. Nobody really loves toys. Check the bottom of his “toy box” and see how many other former favorites are lying there, to be played with only occasionally (with protection of course), if at all. What about this man’s character would lead you to believe him when he says that you’re his favorite, he’s only into “quality”women (but will never get emotionally involved), he’ll always use protection, and most importantly, that he won’t discard (or neglect and abuse) you for a new favorite? Can he really cherish you?
  1. A man who you are clearly settling for. You don’t love him. You are doing him a favor by being with him despite the fact that he doesn’t have the resources to make all your dreams come true and give you the life you want (which, by the way, is no one’s responsibility but yours). If he does suddenly experience an increase in his financial prospects or meets someone who genuinely appreciates and celebrates him (not just tolerates him) as he is, what would make him feel good about staying in a relationship with you? Can he really cherish you?

Ironically, both of the men in the scenario presented are as likely to leave you as you are to leave either of them. So what’s being presented as a choice is no choice at all.

How about requiring potential partners to practice fidelity and bring something to the table to enrich the partnership, in order to be considered for an intimate relationship with you? (I never got a clear answer to this question during the discussion, beyond being told that only the two options presented in the hypothetical scenario were to be considered for discussion.) How about not settling for anything less than a relationship with someone who cherishes you?

During the Facebook discussion, I shared that I did not understand the either/or, limited-options mentality presented by the question. I pointed out the unfairness of a question limiting single women to only two choices, while the rich man’s options (unlike those of the regular guy, whose only apparent positive attribute is that he won’t cheat) were virtually unlimited. (When I asked why a single woman shouldn’t be free to entertain relationships with both men, I was again told that wasn’t an available option in the hypothetical scenario.)