“Marrying Down” Benefits Men But Hurts Women

Very real reasons why some women may look to “date up.”

Vanessa Torre
4 min readAug 17, 2023
Photo by Boris Ivas via Pexels

When I entered back into the datingsphere after my divorce, I struggled to find a quality relationship. No, really. It was a well-chronicled hellscape. Routinely, men would tell me that the reason I wasn’t finding an amazing long-lasting relationship was that I was looking for the wrong guy.

They recommended that I stop looking for a man who made six figures (a attribute I never mentioned) and start going out with the “average guy,” maybe blue collar, who was nice but made a modest income. The problem? I myself was making just under six figures and it wasn’t long before I passed that threshold.

Data tells me that ignoring that advice was a solid decision.

The likelihood of a woman outearning her partner and being happy is slim. Yet, men who outearn their wives benefit in areas where women experience threats to their happiness.

Currently, in 45% of US marriages, wives make as much or more than their husbands. A decade ago, that number was only 38%. Look ma! We’re decreasing the wage gap! Women are the breadwinner in 16% of marriages and 6% are the sole income…



Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. linktr.ee/Vanessaltorre Email: vanessa@vanessatorre.com