I was coming home from visiting a friend in Cambridge over the summer holidays, and as I drove down the slip road onto the motorway I was faced with a giant billboard, offering me the chance to meet the man of my dreams through the website sugardaddie.com.
As the name almost suggests, the site offers the opportunity for both men and women to meet people who are “classy, attractive and affluent” at the same time as “eradicating the issues of financial stress that modern living can bring”.
Sounds good doesn’t it?
I’ve never had Money. As a child we never had money, which is why at 16 I became pregnant in a bid to get my own council house and sponge off the state for life. (Joke.) The pregnancy part isn’t a joke of course, but I have never lived in a council house…
As a single parent, travelling a 100 mile round trip everyday to go to university, I didn’t have money. I have never had a boyfriend with money either – I’ve never been bought expensive gifts, or been surprised with European city mini breaks.
I’m not saying I live in poverty – my days of eating pasta ‘n’ sauce from a camping stove are a good ten years behind me – but money is always there, in the background, I am always aware of it. I can afford to eat out, to waste cash on sparkly bangles when I fancy it, but it is always in the back of my mind – I can spend money, but it is always a choice. I can buy the handbag, but not the shoes.
So, the idea of money not being an issue is of course attractive. It must be incredibly liberating to not have to always think about money, to not be restricted in the choices you make, and to be bought lovely presents now and again.
But can money buy you love?
Could a man with money make you happy, even if other areas of the relationship were somewhat lacking?
I’m thinking probably not.
Money buys you choices, but it doesn’t buy you happiness. Or does it? If you had the opportunity to travel the world, eat the finest foods, drink the best wines, would it be enough? Would other shortcomings fade into the background?
You could say that marrying money is simply a matter of financial planning – in a recession, with cuts being made left, right and centre, a secure pension suddenly becomes very attractive. However much we might like to believe in equality, the fact remains that women earn less than men, and that bringing up a family can have a detrimental effect on future earnings. Marrying for money therefore could be seen as nothing more than a wisely placed investment.
The thing is though, I already have a pension. What I don’t have is a partner to share my hopes and dreams with. I can see that money might bring security, but how much satisfaction do you get from holding your bank statements close in bed every night?