Money Isn't Everything: Don't Let Income Stop You From Finding The One

Should salary really be a deal-breaker? According to Lunch Actually and Viola.AI founder Violet Lim, it shouldn't be.

If your boyfriend earns less than you, is that a deal-breaker?

As a professional matchmaker and CEO & co-founder of Lunch Actually Group, I have met many successful and established women who only wanted to meet men who earn more money than them, citing reasons like financial security, similarity in backgrounds, and social status as reasons for their choice.

We all have our set of dating criteria and preferences. In fact, I always stress that it’s important for singles to think about what their 3 must-haves and 3 deal-breakers are.

In the last 13+ years, I have observed that men generally place emphasis and importance on looks and physical appearances. Women, on the other hand, generally look for someone who is confident, carry themselves well, and is financially stable. The latter is often interpreted as “earning more”.

Now, this might come as a shock to some, but the truth is, if you are a woman who earns S$10,000 a month and you only want to meet men who earn more, your dating pool in Singapore has just drastically shrunk.

Even though times have changed, there is often still an “expectation” that men are the main breadwinners of the family, which partly contributes to women wanting to date men who earn more.

But in my humble opinion, women should be open to date men who earn less than them.

Just hear me out.

Here's why it shouldn't matter if your boyfriend earns less than you.

1. Like everything in life, it’s all about our mindset.

boyfriend earns less than you

Before you decide that you only want to date a man who earns more than you, ask yourself why.

Earning big bucks can definitely be a shared objective and common goal if money is extremely important to you. However, I think that to disqualify someone because he does not earn more than you is not the best dating criteria.

I always ask my singles to do this exercise — write down 8 things you want from your future partner, and pick just 3 things you NEED from him. You will then realize that some of your wants may be superficial criteria, and don’t contribute to what would make you truly happy in a long-term relationship.

2. You may miss out on "The One" just because he currently earns less.

boyfriend earns less than you

I always encourage women to keep an open mind about the men they meet. I know many women who will completely shoot men down after one date, simply because they did not find the man attractive, or that he does not earn a certain amount of money.

Sometimes, getting to know a man further even just as friends can surprise you with how compatible you both are, and how much you both have in common.

Just because your boyfriend earns less than you does not mean that he might not face economic difficulty or job redundancy in the future. Similarly, just because your boyfriend earns less than you right now does not mean that he does not have the potential to earn more in future. Just as track record is important, potential is equally important!

To cut the long story short, do not let the thought of how much he earns stop you from assessing objectively if he’s The One.

3. Consider the dating pool's demand and supply.

boyfriend earns less than you

Just as the pool of available men has shrunk based on the high-income criteria of S$10,000 and above per month — decrease in supply; the pool of available women based on age group increases as the man ages — increase in supply. And women, no matter if they are 25, 30 or 35 are similarly looking for someone with high calibre and high income, which will lead to an increase in demand.

Hence, if a man with high income does not choose you back, it is not because there is anything wrong with you or you are insufficient in any way; it is simply because he has many more choices.

4. Which brings me to my fourth and final point: Ultimately, the best lifetime matches are those with whom you share common values and life goals.

boyfriend earns less than you

It takes a lot of trust, patience, understanding, respect, and compromise to make any relationship work. That’s why it’s important to choose the right mate.

The problem is, a lot of us are conditioned by society and the media to choose based on the wrong criteria, like "she must look like a model" or "he must earn more than me".

I get it, money is definitely important to “put food on the table” and to enable us to continue to a lifestyle that we are already used to.

However, think about it: “Does my partner’s higher income help make him a loyal  and loving husband or a hands-on and dedicated father?”

The truth is, your best lifetime match is someone who shares common values and life goals as you, someone who loves and respects you, and is willing to accommodate and compromise.

As the initial fiery passion dies down and the routine of marriage sets in, you'll find that character traits such as kindness, respect, filial piety, loyalty, empathy and compassion will matter the most. Those are the things that contribute to long-lasting relationships and marriages, not his income, nor yours.

The good news is, I have started to observe that many women nowadays are becoming more open-minded when it comes to dating and they also tend to be more flexible in their preferences including income preferences.

I think we are definitely moving in the right direction!


Do you think it's a big deal if your boyfriend earns less than you? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Here are some other articles that you might find useful:

Money Questions Before Marriage: 11 Questions To Ask Your Fiancé

Financial Discussions Before Marriage: 6 Talks You Should Have With Your Partner

Is My Boyfriend Stealing From Me? 4 Ways To Find Out If He’s A Thief

Money Isn't Everything: Don't Let Income Stop You From Finding The One