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Money, Love, and Time

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Twice in my life I have had a look inside the female universe, bypassing the protections by which women naturally keep men out of certain conversations.  The first time, while I was in graduate school, was a Sunday walk with some single friends, male and female.  There were no romantic pairings and at one stage all the men were walking together ahead.  I was held up for a moment and overheard the young women behind me.  Amazed and intrigued, I resumed walking ahead but staying in earshot. They were assessing the income potential of each of us guys.  Two were medical school students, one was a lawyer, one an architect and I was a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. These women knew the income effect on lifestyles and family life (and ranked psychology pretty low!) The amazing thing to me was that this was not a “gold-diggers” conversation — they were all nice young women — but it clearly was an easy conversation for young women to have about the young men they might become interested in.  Of course, they were right:  they would have to depend on that income for a lot of what they were hoping to achieve during their life. They were wise to be clear about that before they set anything in motion.

(The second inside look inside the female universe has the makings of another blog — someday soon.)

Many great novels have dealt with this theme of the impact of income on the decision to marry, and we all relate to that.  I, too, had a similar role a few years ago, when a future son-in-law came asking for my blessing on his proposal to my daughter.  He was a good man and I gave him my blessing but only after we had a course-correcting chat about his education/income track.

Income is a key ingredient to a good marriage.  Any young man wanting to win his fair lady had better take care of this dimension, for money and time are interchangeable.  The more money he makes, the more time he will be able to devote to his wife and children, who will (subconsciously) measure his love of them by the time he gives to them, though in hard times they see their father’s long hours of work as loving them, especially if their mother sees it so. But aside from such circumstances, love and time-giving are almost equivalent. Good income makes that gift possible.

The good father passes on this wisdom to his so, most especially if he begins, during adolescence, to slacken off on schoolwork in favor of chasing girls because, inadvertently, he may be setting up his future loss of the girl of his dreams!

If the father is close to his sons, it is unlikely they will be out “chasing girls”.  What is more likely is either they are holding off or they have already set their heart on the girl of their dreams. Either way their future looks good though their income levels may be different.

For the good of the child, the future of mankind,

Pat Fagan

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