"Old Money Is Much More Powerful Than New Money": Poor People Who Dated Rich People Are Sharing What They Learned

A little while ago, Reddit user u/zipzap21 posed the question, "Poor people who have dated rich people, what did you learn?"

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And there were so many interesting responses! Here are some of the top-votes answers:

1."They don't really have a concept of how rich they are. My ex-boyfriend was WEALTHY but had a complex about how he was super poor. It was because all of his friends were also wealthy, and he was maybe marginally less rich than some of them, so he considered himself on the lower end of the scale. They don't really have a point of reference for how poor some people are. When we were together, I was living on a food budget of £50 per month, and he absolutely could not wrap his head around how a person could spend that little."


2."My ex was having problems with roommates at university. Her parents bought a $300,000 condo for her to stay in while she finished her degree (two years). They sold it for a profit immediately after. I can't imagine being able to solve my problems with money, let alone making more money off of them."

"She was very humble and smart with her money, but it was very clear she could just call her parents if something didn't work out. Meanwhile, my parents were struggling to pay rent, meaning I was their fallback. Not the other way around."


3."I dated a man who didn't work and lived off a trust fund. Since he could afford nearly anything, nothing had any value. He'd buy a $400 KitchenAid mixer and burn it up making Christmas candy the first week. If he decided to make more candy, he'd just go buy another $400 mixer. Nothing meant particularly ANYTHING to him."


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4."I only went on one date with him. He booked out the entire bowling alley so we'd have privacy for our date. It just seemed so shockingly wasteful to me, and it was bizarre to have a 20-lane bowling alley just to the two of us, plus a fair-sized staff who were left with nothing to do but look after us. I learned I'm very uncomfortable with that level of casual assumption that the world will rearrange itself to suit my whims."

"Also, he had absolutely no respect for personal space. I don't think he was used to women not liking to be touched by folks they barely knew."


5."How real the 'network' or 'bubble' of it is. It's like the other side of the 'it's expensive being poor' concept. It's this weird internal community of people with money and power, who are willing to make things happen as long as you're in. I would meet people at a fundraiser or something, and five minutes later, they're happy to make a call that will get me a job at some huge firm. Or my then-boyfriend would say let's go to this concert. Tickets are $180, but a friend's parents have a box, so we'll just join them."

"One time, the dishwasher in our flat broke, but we didn't have to pay a dime for repairs, because his friend from high school's parents own the building, so they fixed it for free as a 'favor.'"


6."How much their rich parents resent you/think you're not worthy of their precious angel. I overheard my ex's mom telling her that she wouldn't be happy with me, and that I wouldn't be able to provide the kind of lifestyle that she wants (my ex was into horses that cost upwards of $100k). My ex sort of fought in my corner a bit, to which her mom replied, 'You need to marry someone rich.'"

"When my ex asked what if she doesn't find someone rich that she loves/is attracted to, her mom told her that she can always have a friend with benefits on the side. Suffice it to say that the relationship didn't last. She's now married to a millionaire who cheats on her constantly, and their marriage is a toxic disaster. You reap what you sow, I guess."


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7."I've thought about this a lot as someone who grew up poor but has been in a number of relationships with women who are upper or upper-middle class. I think what it boils down to is that they have a kind of certainty in the idea that things will work out for them that I don't. Growing up, it felt like we were always at the precipice of catastrophe. I always felt that one wrong move would result in us losing our house or all of our money. As such, I kept immaculate care of the things that I bought, knowing that I could not replace any of them if they were gone."

"The women I've been in relationships with, though, seem to have none of this fear. They always assume that things will work out. Plans don't need to be made because there's always some way to solve a problem with money. Objects don't get much respect because they're always readily replaceable.

I always think about Nick Carraway's quote from The Great Gatsby: 'They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.'"


8."Quality really does make a difference in everything from clothing to ingredients."


9."Dated a girl for three years who came from old money. She was fine, but her family was beyond out of touch with the real world. They were nice people but incredibly removed from the rest of the world. They looked at me like I was a zoo animal in the sense that they were so curious about my life and family. They'd ask me what it was like going to public school. How my parents immigrated. They were baffled that not everyone had vacation homes or traveled a lot."

"The most interesting thing is that old money is much more powerful than new money. They belonged to these 'clubs' that consist of other rich families, and the influence they had was mind-blowing. Want to build a factory in an area not zoned for it? Within a week, that was changed."


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10."Grew up poor (now middle class) and at 18 dated a super rich guy. The first thing I noticed was the food. Not just quantities, but I also discovered so many foods (like oysters, fresh fish, olives), things my parents could never buy. I also had to learn etiquette. My parents brought me up well; I read books all the time and was a decent student and well-behaved kid. But the way his family interacted was SO different. I had to learn a lot of unwritten rules that I wasn’t aware of."

"In the end, I think what I actually learned was that even though my childhood was rough (the stress of not having enough money has probably impacted me for life), I valued my parents so much more. Once I had seen what life was like for rich people, I was just so proud of my family for making it work with so much less."


11."I learned just how productive having money can be. Something needs to be fixed or replaced? We can afford to. Want to do something fun or adventurous? Sure, let's do it now. Want to eat healthier? We can afford all the ingredients. Like, what do you mean your life isn't slowed down by a million different things that need fixing, upgrading, replacing, or saving for?"


12."He didn’t have any concept of saving money, it was always just there because his money was always earning money. Having money was an income stream in itself. Also, he had no concept of how much anything cost. I was going to get some groceries for dinner, and he gave me $300 to pick up some basics."


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13."Well, I wasn't that poor, and she wasn't that rich, but it was enough of a difference that I was shocked at how often she just took planes. Like, she flew more in a summer than I had my whole life. Apparently, they went to Hawaii for a week every year, which was fun the time I got to tag along, but it's pretty wild to me that they could just do that. Even if I could afford it, I don't have enough vacation time to do that every year."


14."My wife's family has no concept of what a workday is."


15."The difference between having money and having wealth. You grew up poor, worked hard, finally got $10,000 in the bank, and your income keeps you afloat? Cool. But that is nothing compared to a 50-acre family farm with a couple of houses on it and several generations of inheritance that will fall in your lap someday. Savings, investments, cash hidden in safes, piles of gold jewelry. If they suddenly lost all their checking and savings accounts, they’d still be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and wouldn’t have to worry even for a second where their next meal would come from."


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16."I dated two dudes with trust funds. I learned no amount of money can make you forget your mommy/daddy issues."

17."I spent the first eight years of my adult life with a woman whose parents had money. She had no conception of how hard life could be if you couldn’t just sell stocks to buy a new car or have someone give you a couple thousand to put you up in a new place. She pocketed her paycheck every two weeks. When we went out, I paid for gas. I bought dinner. I didn’t think much about it at the time because we were engaged. When we broke up, she had $30k in her savings account, and I was broke."

"Growing up with money is like hitting every green light and not having to worry about traffic jams. And it really messes with your ability to empathize with people."


18."His parents had money, not him, because we were teens at the time. Even though his dad tried getting him to work to earn his money and not just get handouts, it was still a very different mindset. He wanted a luxury lifestyle but wouldn’t go to work more than a couple days a week, dropped out of college with less than a semester, and just couldn’t stick to things if it meant delayed gratification. Meanwhile, I was working two jobs and had a full course load. My parents helped, and I lived with them, but we still scraped by, and I had to pay for my own things."

"I learned I was satisfied with a lot less material things, I was better prepared to be on my own than he was, and I had a higher work ethic and more realistic view of the world."


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19.And finally, "I learned how truly unfair life is."


Have you ever dated someone rich? Or if you're wealthy, have you ever dated someone poor? How did it go? LMK in the comments below, or you can share anonymously here. Your response could be included in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.