In Praise of Frugal Men (and Frogs)
|Credit: Raphael Tuck & Sons|
My regular readers know I am at present a city girl but that I frequently hop out to Frugalfrog's pad for a little countryside r&r and --oh okay, I'm sure you already have surmised my boyfriend isn't actually a frog but if people really do have spirit animals then you can bet his hops and catches flies! He has loved frogs and other amphibians since he was a kid, protecting their habitats from pollution is an important cause to him, and more than once we have left a restaurant after seeing grenouille on the menu. Therefore he is perfectly delighted to have frogs for neighbors. He is also a very fiscally-conscious, frugal fellow ...so Voilà! for all froggy intents and bloggy purposes today I dub him Frugalfrog. And frugality is what I'm here to talk about: specifically, frugality in men and the dating game.
Basically, I have observed that men get a bad rap for being careful with money and that they experience, at least on the heterosexual dating market, a lot of pressure to be a big earner AND spender. It is also fair to say that there's a lot of women out there that need to grow up and quit treating potential suitors as ATMs. Yup, I said it. Now maybe I witness so much distasteful gold-digging behavior because I live in a relatively affluent metro area but when I look at the rise of such websites as sugardaddie.com and news reports like this Lisa Ling program I have to wonder if this isn't indicative of broader societal problems, namely an unhealthy obsession with materialism and the devaluation of men.
|The perils of the dating game!|
Photo: German Postage Stamp
So there you have it --men are constantly getting signals to fork over the cabbage and woe to the frugal man who doesn't want to put up with being someone's cash machine! But you know "frugal" is not the same as "stingy" or "cheap". The frugal man values what things are worth, and what money can do for one in life with an eye to long-term payoff. Unfortunately, that is not always how things are perceived in the dating game. I found a rather interesting 2010 article from Marie Claire called Is Frugality a Turnoff? The article cites several studies, including a survey by ING Direct where respondents associated dates described as frugal with the words "stingy" and "boring". Verdict? Frugal is a turn-off.
|I beg of you, Marley, can't we at least go Dutch?!|
So in summation, dear Frugalfrog, I praise you. You are generous yet prudent and I have learned a lot from your example. While you have spoiled me rotten at times you are also someone who I can revel in life's simple and free joys with: lazy days with the cat, impromptu picnics among the daisies. I respect all the hours and years of hard work you've put into being a solvent homeowner and, yes, while I will always turn the thermostat up when your back is turned I will never insist you buy me a $900 purse. And to all the frugalfrogs out there, keep fighting the good fight and don't kiss too many princesses.
Me and Frugalfrog: a couple of swells...