An Honest Craig's List Posting - Girl Seeks Rich Guy

This ad recently appeared on Craig's list, and has been requoted everywhere. It's about why a man with wealth shouldn't marry a girl just for her looks. I'll save my comments for the end because I alwasy wanted to write about this. The Craigslist ad starts off with a girl looking for a guy.

Girl Asks - What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York . I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

The Guy Replies - We would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump."

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

* * * *

Okay, now for several things I've always wanted to write.

When one sees a beautiful girl, the hidden promise which people assume is that the outer beauty represents a hidden inner beauty of personality. In every culture that is the assumption, that outward beauty reflects inward beauty. If the inward beauty is not there, who could stand you for long? But how often have we heard the term "b*tch" tossed at a beautiful girl, many times unfairly (a spurned advance?) and many times because of a personality shortcoming?

Men also immediately think or hope that outer beauty translates into a great sexual partner. This is also not necessarily correct, but in the Desire Realm we're wired to think of sex, and we match the desire with the looks. Our eyes cause us to make the assumptions we'd like even though we have no basis for assuming that these things might be true. In fact, how often have you seen a crisp looking apple and bit into it to find it soggy, sour and rotten? Ask several men who have slept with lots of women whether beauty correlates with a great sexual experience, and the answer will come out negative. It is the mind's imagination that causes men to wish it to be so. Looks do not also correlate to good companionship either.

On the other hand, the assumption upon seeing a rich man is that through his riches he can provide stable, solid security ... that the money will last. Who can say so either? I have seen millionaires wiped out in a single day not one time in my life, but many times. I have seen rich men so stingy that they would not share anything with the family or others, and who lived so frugally that it was the same as if they were a struggling pauper. There are monetary flaws, there are personality flaws as well. Fate and fortune bob up and down. If you marry for these reasons, you're setting yourself up for disappointment from the start. Ask several women who have married rich men how things are going, and you are sure to hear of many problems and complaints. Many women who married kings in history have looked for the escape of divorce after the they experienced the truth behind the public relations. Rich men are often kings of industry -- the divorce rates and complaints are no different.

Beauty can be lost in an instant because of a car accident. Riches and wealth, power and status can be lost in a single moment as well. (Today I just read that the ex-Nasdaq stock exchange Chairman has been defrauding investors out of about $50 BILLION over the course of years). And yet it is true that there is usually stability and continuity to them for awhile, but nothing you can rely on for the far future, for who knows the future?

That being the case, it makes sense for people to look for the following in a mate -- a "Partner." Few people know what a "partner" entails. As several of my more well traveled friends have surmised, perhaps ten percent of marriages are partnerships. The rest are usually karmic debts between people paying each other back. Some are mistakes, some are business relationships with sex that may or may not last, some are yet something else. Few are partnerships.

And marriages don't last today like they used to. Frankly, it's because the SURVIVAL need has been eliminated in many cases. In the past you needed a partner to survive. Today, many women do not need men's incomes, and thus divorce is more viable and appealing than in the past. Why stay together if you are unhappy and don't need the money? This is something to think about when you ponder the causes. The more things become better for women financially, the less stable marriages will become over the long run. Don't say I'm saying women should be paid less. I am only pointing out the facts of the trends. For a stable relationship, people say they want both sexes equal, but who is skilled enough to make yin and yang balance in harmony?

Society does not push couples to stay together any longer, so that uniting force also has been removed. Survival needs are no longer as great as they were that would require a man and wife to stay together. So that bonding force over the last half century has been removed also. The sexes are near equal in terms of financial opportunities and career prospects, so the financial dependence of women on men has been alleviated somewhat ... marriage can come later in life, and divorce is now an option whereupon one can still live without want.

Extrapolating this into the future, where karma is happening faster and debts are being repaid quicker, you can see that the glue that binds is weakening. The better things get for yin, the worst they get for yang, and the bond of yin and yang thus deteriorates. This is simple yin and yang algebra; by the end of the century marriages will seem existent only in word.

So my advice is to look for a true partner and lifelong companion, not a rich guy who might lose his money or pretty girl who will lose her looks. Find a common purpose and build together on that. Without a common purpose, why are you getting married? For the sex? It's important, but for most partners the interest dies out over time and it takes second place to someone who can support them, whom they trust, who they can talk to, whom they can build something with and share life together. Yes, sex is part of that. Yes, money makes life easier. But without these other factors, both parties will probably choose the "rent" options going into the future rather than the "buy and hold."



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