Dating or becoming a millionaire
There are many ways to turn yourself into a millionaire. Pursue and succeed at a high-income or stock option-rich occupation. Earn a steady salary, invest wisely, and live frugally. Or, of course, marry someone who has already done these things or, better yet, who simply inherited his or her millions and thus is not worn down by toil.
The good news is that the number of millionaires is increasing. Estimates are that there will be 5.6 million millionaires in the United States by 2005. Furthermore, with more women joining the millionaire ranks, new options are opening up for male gold diggers.
Unfortunately, while there are thus more millionaires than ever before, very few of them are single. According to Thomas Stanley's The Millionaire Mind, 92 percent of those millionaires are married, 2 percent are divorced, 2 percent are single and have never been married, and 4 percent are widowed meaning that 8 percent of our 5.6 million millionaires, or 448,000 millionaires, are single. As of the 2000 Census, of the 221 million Americans age fifteen and over (which is roughly marrying age in most states), 60 million (7 percent) had never been married, 22 million (10 percent) were divorced, and 15 million (7 percent) were widowed a total of 97 million singles.
In other words, the odds that the person you're dating is a millionaire are 215 to 1.
Improving the Odds
From an analytical perspective, improving your odds of marrying a millionaire consists of four steps: (1) locating a millionaire; (2) attracting the millionaire; (3) dating the millionaire; and (4) getting the millionaire to the altar. But how to move from step (1) to step (4)?
For advice here, it's best to rely on the experts: scheming women who have used every possible artifice to date rich men and acquire their lifestyles. Thankfully, at least two such women have written books: Lisa Johnson, author of the comprehensive How to Snare a Millionaire, and Ruth Leslee Greene, author of the hard-hitting How to Marry Money. Qualified? You bet. Ms. Johnson is described on her book jacket as "a multimedia journalist and food critic" who "has dated many men of wealth, most of whom have proposed to her." Ms. Greene's biography is not mentioned anywhere in her book, and is not discoverable on-line; there is a good chance that the author's name is not even Ruth Leslee Greene. But is the fact that the book was written by a pseudonymous author a reason not to take it seriously? To the contrary, it may well have been written by a woman who wishes to hide her scheming secrets from her incredibly wealthy husband or his suspicious family. (Three words: Anna Nicole Smith.)
In any event, standing on the narrow shoulders of these social climbing giants, we proceed to think through the spotting, pursuit, and conquest of the rich.
Locating Your Millionaire
Obviously, some places are much better for spotting a millionaire than others. Among the hot spots that common sense and our experts' wise counsel identify as good places to explore are yacht clubs, Episcopal churches, polo matches, art auctions, and charity functions and more recently exclusive dating sites.
Equally important, though, is avoiding places where you are unlikely to ever run into a millionaire, and thus are wasting your time. Ms. Johnson, in How to Snare a Millionaire, contributes a comprehensive list, including:
- tractor pulls
- adult magazine shops
- professional wrestling matches
- cosmetology school
- auto parts stores
Of course, spotting one's quarry is in some ways the easiest step. The true skill comes in what follows. Moving in for the Will
Approaching millionaires must be done carefully, as they are nervous creatures prone to flight. Generally, your approach will need to vary with the situation, but Ms. Greene, in How to Marry Money, offers some tried and true approaches:
- On a cruise, wait until your quarry leaves his deck chair to get a drink or use the facilities, and then occupy it. When he returns, first quarrel over the chair, then apologize, then flirt.
- Determine the brand and number of tennis balls your quarry uses. Buy identical balls, and occupy the court adjacent to his. Gradually, steal all of his, and insist they are yours. (While Ms. Greene is too sweet to describe the method as such, at this point one might note that you have him by the balls.) Then, according to Ms. Greene, "After being such a bitch, the very least you can do in apology is invite him for some refreshment."
- Buy a dog and walk it in wealthy neighborhoods. Teach the dog to bite whomever you designate, and point it toward preselected millionaires. In the course of offering apologies and first aid, strike up a conversation.
If you use these methods wisely, you have the chance to make that all-important first impression, and entice him to ask you out. Now the game's afoot! Dating and Beyond
Once you have a millionaire smitten, the job is to keep him interested.
First date. The first date will be crucial. In How to Snare a Millionaire, Ms. Johnson offers comprehensive advice on what you should say and do on the first date, with the prime directive being to "establish common interests, and express great enthusiasm for them." Equally important, though, are things to avoid on that first date for example, Ms. Johnson counsels against:
- insisting that your children come along
- asking him to help you out with your "financial difficulties"
- chewing tobacco
- expecting him to empty your garbage
- inquiring about the beneficiary of his life insurance policy
If you feel you may have a hard time navigating this minefield, you may wish to write these down, or pick up a copy of her book.
Inviting him into your lair. When your millionaire visits your apartment or house to pick you up for a first or subsequent date, you will need to present an attractive lifestyle. Here Ms. Johnson's book again provides some keen insights. You may wish to have on display art prints, an espresso machine, an inviting couch, and big fluffy towels. Items that Ms. Johnson counsels avoiding: fuzzy toilet seat covers; crossword puzzle books; an abundance of medication sitting around; and a "zoo" of stuffed animals. You will not wish to look eccentric or needy.
Closing the Deal
Once hooked, your millionaire needs to be brought on board promptly, without time for reflection. Ms. Greene counsels strongly for elopement, thereby minimizing the potential for familial disruption. Failing that, she offers this sage counsel:
Try to tie the knot in a very small church or registry office so you won't have to invite your embarrassing cousins or old friends among whom your improved fortunes have triggered cupidity and envy. Detach from them without rancor, and adjust to the rarefied atmosphere of your new rich life. A small price, really, for such a large success!
Really, that says it all.