Ariana Grande's recent bop "Successful" is iconic for two reasons. First, anything she makes is gold. Second, it's about young people, specifically young women, being successful in whatever they choose to do. Of course, success can be measured in an endless number of ways — your barista remembering your drink order, nailing your Dolly Parton karaoke song, finding the perfect biker jacket on sale at Buffalo Exchange. Yet for earth signs, capitalists, and many others professionals, your paycheck may be used a sign for measuring success. Of course, money is not everything — not even close. But making more money than your partner, can be a tricky relationship dynamic to navigate. But not to worry — it absolutely can be done.
Speaking in binary terms, women have historically made less money than men. Speaking more inclusively, trans and queer people make even less. And while for in many loving relationships economics do not play a huge a factor, in others, the way individuals manage their own money can become a real issue. According to a 2018 study by Personal Capital, 45 percent of millennials attest that money can be the biggest cause of stress and strain in their relationship. With gender norms impacting us on a societal level daily, it can be difficult for some couples to break the mold and communicate openly about who makes more. But the year is 2018, and with more women than ever running for office (and winning!), it's time to open up the conversation about who makes more and why it matters.
I spoke with five women who make more than their partners about economics, love, and being young and successful.
1. It's 2018.
It’s not 1956, so if your man is insecure about making less money than you, it’s time to move on. We're over.
— Kat, 27
2. It's NBD.
I don’t really have a strong opinion. If they’re comfortable and secure then it shouldn’t matter, and with me and my partner, it doesn't.
— Mara, 24
3. It is a big deal.
I don't have student loans and I currently make more than my partner who does have loans. And we're long distance. She'll check me often when I suggest visits or trips because she doesn't make as much as I do. I'll try to pay for things more when I can but I don't want to make her feel bad. It's a bigger deal than either of us planned for.
— Bella, 25*
4. It can be weird.
There's an episode of Friends where the half of the group that makes less money gets mad at the other half that makes more because they can't afford to go to dinner or shows as much. I think about it often because that's very much my relationship and it can be really hard sometimes. I want to go to nice dinners and on trips, I work hard, and I can afford to do that. There can be tension when my boyfriend can't afford to pay for his half and won't let me pay.
— Gemma, 26
5. He's into it.
Honestly, my partner likes that I make more money than him. He thinks it's hot and tells me often. He jokes he wants to be a stay-at-home dad.
— Alesin, 21*
There is no right way to talk about money with your boo, and every couple should broach the subject in a way that's health for them. Socio-economic class is a hard topic to discuss openly with anyone, let alone someone you're dating. But if you plan to be together long-term, finances will inevitably come up. Remember: Communication is key in scenarios like these.
If money continues to be a big topic in your relationship despite an open dialogue, try to be patient. Being transparent with where you both stand is paramount in having honest talks about money. And if ultimately, you can't find common ground, then perhaps your partner just wasn't "the one." You deserve to feel proud of how hard you work. Above all, remember to incorporate intersectionality and self-awareness when thinking about, *Cardi B voice,* the dollars.