Seven Ways Dating A Rich Man Can Change Your Life
When I was a university student in my early 20s, I went to an art gallery opening of some up-and-coming artists in Toronto. I wasn’t at all meaning to meet anyone – I had just ended a three-year relationship with a boyfriend and fellow student.
At the event, I met a man who I’ll call Carl. He was different from most of the boys I knew. He didn’t try to show off, or impress anyone. He was quiet and kind of kept to himself, and walked around and looked at the art. We struck up a conversation about the art, and I told him how I knew the artists. When I asked how he came to attend the event, he looked surprised.
“I’m… uh… an art collector,” he said hesitantly.
Later on, I saw a local reporter interviewing Carl. She came up to me and asked me for a comment, and asked, “How do you know Mr. Smith?”
She told me that he was a well-known Canadian entrepreneur, who owned a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products. “He’s quite wealthy,” she whispered to me confidentially. “And I think he likes you. If he asks you on a date, you should definitely go!”
Sure enough, Carl asked for my number (this was in the mid-2000s, when people still called each other instead of texting) and phoned the next day. We went out for a coffee, and I decided I’d go out with him again, not because he was rich, but because I liked him. He was a nice person. We went out to dinner that weekend.
I learned a lot about Carl, and about myself. He was very different from the student types that I’d dated before. In fact, even though he was only in his 30s, he reminded me a bit of my father, who is a well-travelled executive. Even though the relationship with Carl only lasted six months before we parted ways amicably – I moved across the country for my first job – I learned a lot of things from him, and about myself.
Here are seven ways dating a rich man changed my life:
You learn about the finer things in life.
Carl was accustomed to only having the best. He didn’t mind paying more money for things if they were worth it, and would rather have one thing of excellent quality than three or four things of mediocre quality. I have since taken this practice for myself, and would rather have to save up for something I really wanted instead of getting something I only kind of liked because it was cheaper.
You become a real foodie.
Your tastes change, literally. Before Carl (B.C. – ha ha!) I was a regular student. I ate things like pizza, pop tarts, and drank way too much cola and ate way too much crap. Carl took me to the best restaurants, and introduced me to things I’d never thought I’d eat. He was truly a well-travelled eater and in fact, was a more adventurous eater than anyone I’d ever met. He had pasta in Italy, Chinese food in Hong Kong, Indian food in Mumbai and Thai food in Bangkok. He knew how things were supposed to taste and tried everything. “Food is the safest thing you can experiment with,” he told me once. After dating Carl, I found I was more willing to try everything.
You learn more about the world.
Like many rich men, Carl was well-travelled, because he could afford to fly anywhere. He often told me how fortunate he considered himself to be and took advantage of his ability to travel whenever his work schedule allowed him some time off. As a result, he knew a lot about how different cultures lived in different parts of the world.
You become more open-minded and open to risk.
Rich men, especially self-made rich men, tend to be good listeners and very observant. Carl is a smart guy, and was willing to try new things, listen to new ideas and take chances. He said that he often kept an open mind about everything, because he didn’t become rich just by staying at home and doing the same routine over and over again.
You become interested in philanthropy.
Before I met Carl, I saw my parents make donations to local charities, like the United Way, and the national cancer foundation every year. Carl did the same thing. He went to all the charity events he was invited to, and took it upon himself to learn about each charity before deciding where his money was going to go. And he didn’t just do it for the tax break (which is what many rich men do). “I was blessed, so it’s my responsibility to give back whenever I can,” he said to me once. As a result, he learned about different causes, structures of charitable organizations, and where the money went once the fundraising was complete.
You make important connections.
Carl (and my dad) taught me that it’s often not your resume and education that will get you a job with a company, but often, who you know. Carl had a lot of connections. He hired a lot of people, and all the people who worked directly under him weren’t people who sent in their resumes, but were people who had either gone to school with him, or worked with him in the past and impressed him. You can get an entry-level position with a resume, but when it comes to the really high-profile gigs, it really is all about whom you know.
You realize what is really important.
Without having to worry about money, Carl was free to focus on things that really mattered. Although these things are different for everyone, Carl knew what mattered to him. He loved his family, his friends, and his pets, and spent as much time as possible with them. He knew that without his health, he couldn’t work on his business, enjoy his wealth or travel, so he took very good care of himself. He knew that life was short, so he traveled as much as he could. Dating Carl truly changed my life, but this was the most important lesson he’d taught me.