I've always believed class is the third rail in TRP/RPW, or at least the big under-addressed issue that affects commitment.
I believe male attraction (in other words, his desire to hook up with you and spend time with you) is almost entirely dependent on interpersonal skills and your looks. Criteria doesn't vary that much across classes and follows conventional RPW wisdom. In other words:
- Your appearance
- Do you make him laugh
- Do you make him feel positive/ boosted up/ masculine?
Not practical skills - neither your MBA nor your mean pot roast.
However, male commitment is dependent on BOTH his attraction, AND a set of very practical concerns - potentially both your MBA, and your mean pot roast.
In other words:
- Do you make him look good to his friends, family and acquaintances? Do you serve as evidence for his social value?
- Does your relationship/marriage increase his odds of achieving the economic outcome he wants for his life?
- Does your relationship/marriage increase his odds of achieving the social outcome he wants for his life?
- Do you increase his quality of life, either by increasing family income and/or by making the same income go further?
Lower-income men generally have pretty low cost-of-living (may not expect to send children to private 4 year colleges, for instance) and no ability to consistently outsource household tasks. In my opinion that generally means that a practical wife choice is a woman with a strong work ethic, great household management skills, who isn't spoiled and who can ensure their family has lots of fun on a budget. As extremely bad outcomes (drug addiction, children out of wedlock, etc.) are a great risk for this economic bracket, it's especially important to find a woman who will be hands-on, strong mother - super high-quality childcare, private schools, etc. may not be an option. Some men in this bracket, for instance, may specifically look for a woman who is open to homeschooling to ensure their kids have a good outcome.
Middle-income men (skilled trades, middle management and below white collar) in the U.S., as far as I've seen, generally prefer to marry a woman with low to moderate earning potential (a sort of safety net or occasional supplement for the family), strong household management skills (can you make a beautiful home out of discount furniture and DIYs), and a similar level of desired upward mobility. I find middle-class white-collar guys generally prefer to marry women with jobs they consider "respectable" but feminine - nurse, teacher, assistant, etc.
Upper-middle income "creative class" types (think consultants, analysts, guys in tech and media, etc., generally coastal or big city locations). This is where expectations of your career, education and earning potential really ratchet up. I find guys in this bracket either like women with extremely "interesting" careers with high social value in their social group (i.e. artists, inner-city school teacher, non-profit jobs), or women who have straightforwardly high-earning potential (banker, etc.). These guys are going to expect you have the right "taste" for their bracket and compatible ambitions and life plans -- I find this is a socio-economic group that reeeeeally wants to advance.
Top 1% guys is where you see the greatest variance in tastes, simply because income volatility is very high. You've got guys who came into a lot of money in their own lifetime or even very, very quickly (imagine an NFL player, etc.) whose tastes have become, therefore, a weird mix or almost even a caricature. You often see these men dating Instagram model types. You also have guys who have had money for 2-3 generations - usually a lot more interested in deepening their class membership by finding a woman already embedded in the "scene" they're trying to cement themselves in.
These are obviously quite big generalizations and there are so many niches and sub-sub groups to discuss, but I wanted to bring up the seeming contradictions people have noticed - statistically it's becoming undeniable that "assortative mating" in the U.S. is leading most men to select similar-earning-potential mates, even though we often de-emphasize career here!