|The modern gal is earning her own cash and is looking for emotional security. (Shutterstock)
After attending a few class reunions we noticed many lady lawyers, doctors and M.B.A.s were still slaving after 40, while lots of less brainy gals were taking long vacations from their day jobs, shopping at Prada and enjoying more than their fair share of hot-stone massages.
We asked ourselves: "Why are these women faring better than the smart chicks?"
Since we think of ourselves as smart girls, here's the bottom line: Find your fortune while you're young and marry a man with money.
This is what we call the Gold-Digging Imperative - "The GDI."
We don't think "gold-digging" should be frowned upon. Why, we wonder, does society applaud a girl who falls for a guy's big blue eyes yet denounces one who chooses a man with a big green bankroll?
What's the difference? Earning power is, after all, a reflection of his values and character. Big blue eyes? Not so much.
The average guy believes most gals are only looking for money, but the truth is too few of us are interested in their income at all. The modern gal is earning her own cash and is looking for emotional security.
Too bad it doesn't exist.
What's worse, national statistics show women suffer far more economically than men when marriages fail. With this in mind, we have some advice: Instead of looking for love, let's look out for our own security, the kind you can count in dollars and cents.
Now we're not saying that money equals happiness. Everyone knows even the very wealthy can be downright, even bitterly, miserable. This is not about "happily ever after." It's about being smart and avoiding economic disaster by clinging to old paradigms about love and marriage.
Marrying for money isn't new. In fact, throughout history spousal arrangements have rarely taken any other form. In the past, marriage was primarily a system to promote the financial, social and political aspirations of the families involved. But these days society is pretty much disgusted at the thought of a mercenary marriage.
But money means nothing without our soul mate, right? Most smart girls long for it. From the day we're born, we're immersed in a culture that elevates romantic love over…pretty much everything else. And with true love as our highest goal, marrying for any other reason has come to be seen as just plain wrong. Immoral even.
It's time to start treating your life like reality, not a fairy tale. We live in a world that runs on dollars and good sense. The GDI can prevent a future that no smart girl believes will happen to her. We‘re not saying become Anna Nicole and go after some old codger just for his wallet (unless that's what you're into).
We're saying find a man to enjoy, to have fun with, be intimate with. Just remember to take economics into account. It's a move toward financial security.
So even if your husband leaves you for someone younger or you get sick of hanging out with your old man, with a few bucks in your pocket, you can live well, pursue a successful career and still have a shot at "true love."
Excerpted from Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Are Getting Shafted by their Romantic Expectations--And What They Can Do About It. Copyright @ 2010 by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake, M.D. Reprinted by permission of Running Press Book Publishers.