How to date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?

By Peter Brooker - Men's Lifestyle Editor

It can be emasculating not being the bread winner in a relationship.
Can you conceivably date someone who is astronomically above your pay grade?
Some say money is the route of all evil. Others say money can't make you happy.

As Ben Affleck said in the movie Boiler Room "People who tell you money can't bring you happiness, doesn't have any".

Whilst it might present a dozen or so compatibility issues, relationships aren't all fostered around the amount of zeros on your pay cheque. However, often many of the personality traits that define a one-percenter are the ones that you should be looking to imbibe. If they've made it to the top of the economical food chain, chances are they've had to knuckle down at some point during their lives. This could mean a lot of study, a lot of long hours, early mornings and no weekend breaks.

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Why would I want to date a one-percenter? 

This is the question you need to ask yourself. Your answer could typically be;

1 ) I'm not money orientated.
2) All you need is love, not money. (We all know the Beatles song right?)
3) I won't have anything in common with a one-percenter, why would I actively pursue one?

The truth is if I've successfully pre-empted any of your questions then mentally you're perfectly positioned to date a one-percenter. If money is no object to you then dating someone with money will make zero difference. It won't impact your beliefs or your moral compass. Your lifestyle might change, but sooner or later the money will just become background noise. If your wish-fulfillment is merely to find love and make someone happy and your core beliefs are transparent to her with zero agenda, you can easily become her next big investment. If you're looking to date a one-percenter because you feel like it could be a free meal ticket, then it will soon start to feel like an empty experience for the both of you.

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Where do I find them?

There is an old saying that money goes to money. In this case you need to be found in the right places. The mountain will not come to Moses. Throughout mankind people and money gravitate towards the big cities where the big money-making decisions are made. Of course a lot of people that have made money will also have fled to the country for a quieter life, but even those select few still migrate back to the inner cities for those key meetings or important handshakes.


I have been dating a one-percenter for the past year and a half. I found her on a dating app before I was about to fly out for a press event in Europe and I matched with my partner at an airport. This was a very central airport, in the heart of London, what she likes to call the centre of the world. I narrowed down my search on the dating app to a 5-mile radius and when I paired with my now partner, I asked her questions about travel, about art, about fine dining. I said I was just leaving the country, heading to a city where I had a limited base knowledge, and after hearing that she’d been to that city, I challenged her to recommend some restaurants, some exhibitions. I didn't know it at the time but with her being a one-percenter, she was extensively well travelled (as the majority of one-percenters are) and she came back with an entire itinerary for my trip. And guess what, when I got back to the UK I took her out for a meal and we discussed the entire trip and the plethora of museums and restaurants on the itinerary that she had dutifully put together for me.

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What does this teach us? 

It teaches us that you need to have a bit of luck, sure. Not everyone is going to match on a dating app in an airport just before they board a flight. But if you place yourself in those situations, then your enhancing your prospects of serendipity. Airports are great for this because they're typically central. Members clubs can be quite exclusive and expensive, but if you can afford it, even just for a couple of months, you'll be gilding the lily and shortening those odds. Maybe if you're thinking of joining a gym and you have a little disposable income, join the higher bracket or shell out on some extra classes as these will be frequented by the people that can afford them.

How do I live within her circle of friends? 

The biggest advice I could give anyone who finds themselves in a relationship with a high earner, is to read, read and read some more. If you're hoping this relationship will be of the perennial kind, then you need to learn a few things about how the world operates. If you have a base knowledge of who the main players are within the Oil and Gas industry, what the economic climate is currently for some of the major banks and investment firms, and politically, what is happening around the world, then at least you'll be able to tread water in some of these conversations. Maybe offer an insightful opinion they haven't heard themselves from an outsider’s point of view. The world is your oyster when it comes to information. If your dating a one-percenter and you'd like to know more about her world within the business sector, ask her to forward some email circulars she might be subscribed to, or recommend a podcast she listens to, or even watch some YouTube documentaries together.

Ultimately her friends might find these subjects in social situations a trite boring because they are immersed in these topics on a day to day basis. They'll probably be more entertained with ideas outside of this spectrum and you could be the facilitator. Perhaps sports gossip, fashion trends or latest movie rumours. A base knowledge of popular culture has its rewards as well as a good breadth of knowledge on some of the serious tones of conversation.

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Final Tip

Lastly, being introduced to friends and family can be daunting, regardless of which echelon of society they might be aggregated in. However, if you're making your partner happy and you're treating her with respect, you're presentable, then they'll look beyond the economic disparity. As I'm sure the two of you already have.