When it comes to assessing relationships in the modern age, I think some of our biggest fears come under the banners of 'imbalance' and 'unfairness'. We don't want someone to love us for our money or what we can buy them. We don't want to be taken advantage of and we certainly don't want our worth to be determined by how good we are as living banks - well I don't. Despite the fights for equality through feminism and the much improved version - womanism, there still seems to be a tremendous amount of pressure on men in many societies to subscribe to patriarchal constructs and be the providers in the relationship no matter what the economic climate is. I do find it fascinating that some women have a complete disregard and obliviousness to the socio-economic times and will blindly cite; that part of being a real man is that he pay and provide for everything. I for one hate the term 'provider' and as for a 'real man' the definition is meaningless. A real man, is really a man that does everything that is expected of him by whichever woman he is negotiating with at the time and each woman has her own requirements of her partner.
When it comes to assessing relationships in the modern age, one should be aware of the socio-economic and political climate in which they live in and ask "Do my expectations in the 21st century even make sense?" There was never a reason in the world to suggest that once women entered the workforce, that they wouldn't go on to be highly accomplished in their respective fields and also earn big salaries. But the delusion that an abundance of men would be out there to match every single one of you in finances and professional status was severely short-sighted. No man in looking for a woman ever cited that his future wife had to be from a certain profession and make a certain amount of money as essential parameters because these elements don't help form successful relationships. Also, back in the age where women didn't work, every single man who was employed, was always going to be 'higher' than you in monetary status which eliminated competition and disputes between the sexes about who paid for anything. In modern day dating, women are trying to apply an old fashioned ethos without considering the new fashioned element; which is that you earn money now. Your competition isn't just other women, but men who earn less than you who will still be eligible to women who either don't care about his salary or earn less. Using his matching pay cheque as a feature to determine worthiness is going to dramatically cull the amount of eligible men for you.
If you are someone who very much subscribes to traditional gender roles, then you have to understand the position you automatically put yourself in when you say "I believe a real man takes care and pays for everything". Historically, the man was the only one working - allowed to work, therefore that placed women where? In the home. Is it fair in modern times with some of these pitiful wages, to have your partner pay for everything, when you also work? Maybe. Maybe he earns enough, great for him and you. But what if he doesn't? Is a man unworthy because he can't pay for everything? Are you willing to lose out on the love of your life for that reason? I often wonder why some women don't think they are supposed to contribute. There are plenty of households that couldn't even begin to survive without 2-4 separate pay packets and I often wonder what this hoarded money is supposed to be for for anyway? Maybe there is a plan to buy a second property using separately saved assets - well in that case good on you, but I would bet in most cases there really isn't a specific reason, other than subscribing to a part of patriarchy that works in your favour. Bizarre to me, I can't figure out why a person wouldn't want to invest and contribute to the setting up of their own life.
Now, after all the education you've received and the climbing of ladders in the workplace you've had to go through, are you still willing to enforce these gender roles and play that correlating position? If you are deliberately looking to be served and have your entire existence provided to you by your man, then worry not. As long as you're honest up front, I guarantee you that there are hoards of men out there willing to comply and myself personally would have the greatest respect for your honesty. But don't lie. Don't say you believe that this is a man's role, when in truth you just don't want to take on any of those roles yourself - even though you do asa single person.
All I am ultimately saying is this; get in, where you fit in; find a man of equal or higher status (monetarily too) and have the same values. But the lying has to stop! I am tired of these mish mash ideologies that were not born together, being forcibly made to collide and hold. They are contradictory systems if you want patriarchal privileges but feminist freedoms then just say it. But some of you have ideals that border on being business deals to such a degree, that I would wholeheartedly suggest that you take a look at Victorian style marriages as a good template for what you are really looking for.
Even though socio-economic times have changed for women, the old formats from patriarchy are still being clung to like a life preserver in a storm. Women are complaining that they can't find men that equal them in salary and so they are having to date down. Tell me something, when you meet a man that earns more than you, is he dating down? No. Why? Because patriarchy dictates that the man is supposed to be the breadwinner anyway, so him earning more than a woman is apparently how it's supposed to be. The conclusion I have come to is this; people are being inflexible, short-sighted and selfish, to the degree that the systems that were put in place to hold them down are being adored (in part) if it means they can either be mercilessly in charge (MEN), get something for nothing (WOMEN) or forever be served (MEN & WOMEN). We have entered an age of Pic'n'Mix politics, where if it benefits us we will select a little slice here and there from various ideologies, ignoring the rest, even if the full ideology was invented to maintain a status quo through oppression.
The selfishness and lack of understanding is too extreme and the moment that you only focus on what you can get and what you can get away from giving, is the moment that you should consider being in a relationship that is constructed as an arrangement. I understand the practicalities of equal status, I really do, but in part it now makes a lot of what is being pursued outside of a relationship redundant, as in why have a brilliant job that pays well, if the criteria for a worthy man now becomes that he too should have a brilliant job that pays more. Are you going to remain single because you don't want to pay for anything even if you have lots of money? Are you going to prolong your singleness until a man matches or supersedes your salary? With relationship politics that have too many contradictions within them and with the worldwide economic realities getting worse, you'll discover way too late, that the success of a relationship is not based around money.