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Caveman finance

May 8th, 2009 at 07:13 am

There seems to be quite a bit of talk about money and attraction/love recently, so I'm going to spout a crazy little thing here. A completely unsupported, personal pet theory about the evolution of human beings as a social organism, on the matter of gender and money. Yes, it's only a hypothesis, but then, this isn't an academic study (thank goodness). It's just a guy, on a blog, with maybe a bit too much time on his hands. Big Grin

To start, I too believe that men's eligibility and attractiveness was originally based on their physical abilities. This isn't too hard for me to believe because, although the name escapes me, I remember seeing documentaries on TV about indigenous tribes that still exists today where men's attractiveness are indeed based on their physical abilities as a hunter. Naturally, a good hunter is better able to feed his family. Heck, I'm a guy and the idea of another guy able to bring me food seems rather desirable to me too. I'm look at you Mr. Papa John pizza delivery man. Big Grin

But seriously though, much of the world has modernized from our hunting/gathering days, and though physical prowess remains an attractive quality on a primal level, I believe it is the ability to generate income that has rationally displaced physical hunting skills as the characteristic of choice in mate selection. Sure, swiping a credit card is not as sexy as shooting a dangerous beast and dragging it home for a meal, but the result is the same: Bring home the meat. Feed the family.

And ladies, please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that women are shallow or anything. There always seems to be such a stigma about the attraction of money, but seriously, when have you women ever been attracted to a guy who is just down-right lazy and won't work to help pay the bills? Contrast that with a man who is driven and passionate about something, and is able to help keep the electricity on and food on the table? Am I right?

Plus, I don't think money is the only factor. While I'm sure money plays a part, I also believe looks play a part, as well as social skills. However, I think the biggest factor is how much you care about a woman (or just people in general). I really do. I believe an average guy who makes average salary but cares very deeply about a woman is going to win out more consistently than a good looking man with a large salary who cares very little about the same woman. However, that still goes back to my original point of being able to care for the family (with or without the presence of children). Because, basically, to care is to provide....

Another layer of "complication" in our modern society is that a lot of women are also "hunters" now, in that they too are professional money-makers, and therefore, do not need to rely on men as much for financial support. However, I don't think that eliminates the attractiveness of a man who can make his own money, does it? If anything, it's simply lower in terms of priority next to other qualities that a woman would find attractive.

In the end, I don't think the fundamental principles of attraction has changed at all. Human beings still strive to find in one another the "fittest" for them in terms of mate selection. The only thing that's changed is the qualifications of fitness, such as displacing hunting skills with financial skills....

Uh, this is kind of an awkward entry for me to make because I don't want to pretend that I've got women all figured out or anything. I have a failed marriage, and now I'm thinking of being single for the rest of my life anyways. Again, please keep in mind that it's just a guy with a blog and too much time on his hands. Big Grin

Oh but one last thing for us guys: Please don't fake any of this stuff! Don't bother trying to look like you have money, that you work out, and you give a crap about somebody if you don't. Unfortunately, some Players are good at these deceptions (for a short while), but in the end, nobody likes to be deceived.

18 Responses to “Caveman finance”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    One thing that attracted me to my husband was the fact that he was such a hard worker. The fact that he made very little money did not bother me at all. He has not changed. He still works 7 days a week to make sure we have everything that we need and want.

  2. simpleyme Says:

    I think you are pretty much right on
    my Dh had no money when I met him but he was hard working and had strong moral character we are stll together over 20 years

    I dated guys who were better looking than my Dh but non of the guys were rich they did all have jobs ,I would not date a man without a job not because of money but why are woman suprised to find out the guy who never had a job before marriage wont help suport the family?

    My Dh and I have discussed what will happen when one of us dies, that will be tough as I would have to have a guy with the same asset level as me and preferably a widower
    a lot of lazy guys come after old rich widows , I have 2 neighbors whos husbands died and they are pretty well off and the losers just flock them ;-)

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    I remember reading a study where they asked a group of men and a group of women to write down a list of traits that they would find attractive in a partner.

    What was really interesting is that the qualities both the men and women have listed down were nearly identical!

    Then, they asked both groups to put them in order of what was more attractive to them, then the differences came out. For example, physical appearance was listed higher for men than it was for women, but money was listed higher for women than it was for men.

    In other words, I agree that men do find women with money attractive as well. It's just not generally listed as high, especially if the men have their own money. But as I've pointed out above, it's also true for professional women who make their own money as well.

  4. M E 2 Says:


    Tell that to my friends! They are all dating/living with men who don't/won't work. @@ It gets on my nerves, but it is none of my business so I stay WAY out of it.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hmm how old are they? And do they have their own money? Do they have... you know... insecurity issues?

    I'm just broadly generalizing here of course, because I agree that there are a lot of men and women who doesn't place the value of money as highly as others.

    I also find that your list of things you find attractive change over time as well. For example, when I was younger, I personally would not have cared for a woman who values money. However, I have obviously changed my mind about that one.

  6. cassandra Says:

    I agree with you.

    In my experience, the only women who go after the guys who are lazy and refuse to work and still live at home are the ones who think they can fix the guy and turn him into something.

  7. toyguy1963 Says:

    AWWWWW, so now i'm confused. Should I save my pennies for a Ferrari or not?

  8. princessperky Says:

    I think what folk want in a mate (significant other) has to do with who they are.

    'fixers' tend to want fellows that need fixed. (best outcome is to find a fellow that needs and WANTS to be fixed)

    'bankers' tend to want other 'bankers'. (meaning accumulating wealth)

    'providers/hunters' tend to want whichever part they think they are not able to do best (you of course know family is much more than money or dishes or childcare!)

    Some folk are looking for a daddy or mommy. (to replace a failed parental relationship possibly)

    In short no one answer will work for all men or women. The best anyone can do is figure out what they want, and keep your eyes open, you never know what sort of package you might find the perfect mate in.

    I think due to the diversification of our world, even the so-called 'primal' instincts are skewed. In some heritage 'strong men' are heavily muscled in others strength is lean (my preference). So on a primal level women can't agree anymore on what is best looking (though in shape is always a hit)

    You see this plainly when you look at comments online 'get that girl a sandwich' and 'she needs to work out a bit' are found for the exact same girl...along side fellows saying she is just right.

    Men can't really all agree on what looks good.

    Though by and large the average male likes what makes good childbearing still. I wonder how long that will last though. Women have no such 'look' to judge by. So we women pretty much just judge looks by strength colored with past experience.

    Now I am babbling. Saw a study on looks, seems symmetry is very important to good looks in all cultures. No human face is entirely symmetrical, but the closer we get the more likely others are to find us attractive.

    I bet a balanced portfolio would do the same Smile

  9. Broken Arrow Says:

    Great comment, PP! Indeed, there are a lot of different people with different types of preference (yet another layer of "complication"). In particular, I find that personality seems to work the same way. Some men and women are more extroverted than others, so the personalities that they are attracted to also varies.

    You also bring up the aspect of physical attraction itself, which I did not exactly address (since this is PF blog and it's such a broad subject, I thought I'd focus on finances). What's really, really interesting to me is also how the standards of physical beauty has evolved. I think in the medieval age, white skin and um plumpness was preferred, signifying someone who has eaten well and stayed out of the sun. Today, slender and tanned is "in" because it implies someone who goes out and works out. Of course, the fundamental principle hasn't changed though, which is still fitness or health.

    Men are particularly interesting. In western countries such as ours, brawn and bulk seems more desirable as it signifies someone who is physically stronger. However, in Asian cultures, more feminine looks are in because it signifies someone who is more "caring" and "sensitive".

    One last thing about symmetry. I've heard about that as well, since near-symmetry gives the impression that at least one side isn't paralyzed or something, and hence, undermines the look of fitness and health again. However, I've also heard that perfect symmetry is highly undesirable... not sure why, but I do agree with this! I've seen pictures where people's faces were photoshopped with perfect reflection on both sides, and they just look darn creepy. There is a horror movie coming out soon, and the movie poster used that same technique. Again, creepy.

    But anyways, interesting subject matter. Oh and Toyguy? Sorry, I got nothin'. Big Grin

  10. Tic Toc Says:

    Do you remember: "You complete me Mini-me".
    I think your true love is one that makes you feel more "you" than if you were alone.
    You are free to be yourself and you are lifted to greater heights of achievement with that love, support and encouragement.
    Just my two cents, and nothing to do with money ; )

  11. monkeymama Says:

    I don't agree.

    I never identify with the masses though - so that probably explains it. LOL. Though I thought PP made much more sense. I think it's more personality than anything.

    That being said, I don't know. Though I have never searched out a man "to take care of me" in the slightest, I had no desire to settle down with a lazy slob. Being independent and able to take care of oneself was an important quality personally and an important quality for me to find in a mate. For that reason I can see why the results of the study would be as so. & does any man or woman really idealize a lazy slob? LOL. Women don't want lazy slobs, but men do???

    (I've had people assume my spouse was lazy because he does stay home. Which probably couldn't be farther from the truth - he works harder than most men I know. Then it just becomes about stereotypes. "People who stay home are lazy." In reality they could be quite successful and simply not have to work for a wage).

    For me personally, money itself was low on my list. I never had a desire to be married to someone who loved their work more than me, or who would put money above personal relationships, etc. As such, I think I would have never been particularly interested in dating someone with a lot of money. It's hard for me to say for sure since I did all my dating, and settled down, before I Was even 18. I can't say how things would change now if I were suddenly to find myself dating in my 30s... Not like any teens and young 20-somethings I ever dated were anything but poor students! Though I did steer clear of the guy who still lives at home and goes to school at age 35. That was a good call. Wink The ones I considered marrying do quite well for themselves on the other hand.

  12. cassandra Says:

    BA, what you mentioned about looks goes back to money. Centuries ago, the rich had the money to eat well and not work so they were often very pale and "plump". They didn't have to spend hours out in the sun working and could stay inside instead. It was desirable to marry someone who was rich and "move up" so to speak. In more modern times, thin and tanned is more beautiful also partly due to money. It gives the impression that you have the money to travel and vacation frequently.

  13. Petunia Says:

    BA, there are lots of nice people in the world who would make terrible spouses. I don't think it's wrong for a woman to look at a man's ability to provide (and what the man thinks is "providing") before marriage. It's not everything in the relationship, but it will assume greater importance if the couple has children.

    I do believe there is some "primal" in all of us. . . I had different beliefs about what could make a marriage work before I was married for several years. I've studied various points of view (mostly traditional) and observed my friend's and acquaintance's marriages. . . and, well, there is a lot more "primal" in us all than people give credit to.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with recognizing what you need from a relationship and evaluating marriage prospects using that for criteria. If you're interested in reading a book about relationships Smile Willard Harley Jr explores what women tend to need and what men tend to need in his book His Needs Her Needs. One of the women's needs is listed as financial support. If anyone picks up this book and disagrees with it - note that these are tendencies. I would have said it was baloney before I married. . . after many years of marriage I agree with him.

  14. whitestripe Says:

    well, i don't really know if i agree with you or not Big Grin but i had liked my DF since I was about 12 years old - i liked his personality, attitude and looks. he worked as a housekeeper in a resort at that time. i've never liked anyone based on money - when we got together DF earnt about $400 a week and spent most of it on computer games and drinking with his mates!

  15. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, very thoughtful comments. Thank you all. It also goes to show that the um "mating dance" is all that more complicated and mysterious than my drab treatise that reads more like a VCR programming pamphlet. And I'm glad it's that way. Big Grin

    Oh, and I hope nobody gets the wrong impression about some kind of critical connection between money and attraction. I mean, I think it plays a part, but it's not that critical next to other factors that has been brought up. But please understand that we ARE on a personal finance site.... Big Grin

  16. HouseHopeful Says:

    LOL - LOVE the Mr. Papa Johns Delivery guy reference!

  17. creditcardfree Says:

    My DH is a hard working and motivated to provide. He's even working today...a Saturday. Of course, I think he has the good looks, too. I'm biased, of course!

  18. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Apparently attraction is not a choice.

    We don't spend 10 minutes debating with ourselves whether we find someone attractive. We either do or we don't - I'm talking about strangers here.

    Also apparently - our attraction mechanisms, being a fundamental engine of procreation, are a part of our "hardware" and not our "software". That means they take 1000s of years to change - we cannot change who we are attracted by making a conscious decision to do so.

    We are slaves to our hard-wired circuitry in that sense.

    Also apparently +1, women are fundamentally attracted to men with a high survival value. That could mean rich, that could mean a man who is cash poor but very well socially connected- has friends to call on, that mean physical strength (not so much in the modern world), that could mean sensitivity and intelligence (being able to deal with the 2009 world).

    Just my 2 cents.

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