"It’s as easy to marry a rich man/woman as a poor one” (or “It’s as easy to fall in love with a rich man/woman as a poor one") is an answer to statement that one shouldn’t marry a person for the money that he or she possesses. One shouldn’t marry for money, this saying means, but it’s just as easy to fall in love with someone who’s rich. Possessing (or not possessing) money doesn’t necessarily make someone more (or less) lovable.
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) wrote in the novel The History of Pendennis (1848-1850): “Remember, it is as easy to marry a rich woman as a poor woman.” Thackeray—frequently anthologized for this remark—was not the first to come up with this saying.
Caroline Kirkland (1801-1864), writing from New York City in the 1840s, used the saying in Graham’s Magazine in March 1844 and again in May 1844.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven: Yale University Press
William Makepeace Thackeray
English novelist, 1811-1863
“Remember, it is as easy to marry a rich woman as a poor woman.”
The History of Pendennis ch. 28 (1848-1850)
How to Date a Wealthy Man
By eHow Relationships & Family Editor
There’s an old saying that it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man. The problem may be getting the rich man you’re interested in to fall in love with you. While there is no tried and true method for nabbing a wealthy man, a few tips and tricks can help you on your quest to finding a financially secure man.
“It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich guy as a poor guy, so...” How true is this statement?
I’ve heard this a few times in my life, usually stated as a colloquialism by an older fellow. I’m simply checking the validity of this statement. I know it’s partially true.
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I don’t mean to offend, but this is probably not true (though it might be becoming more true over time). Men tend to trade off. That is to say that men trade money for an attractive partner. Women tend to trade looks for wealth/status/power/etc. That isn’t to say that all men and women do this, but it is a tendency that men and women have. However, if you don’t have the money, then physical attractiveness is usually the most important thing. Women do tend to like tall men. The taller the better, up to a certain point. If one were short, stout, and poor, chances of finding a life partner quickly diminish. Human beings tend to pick others that are like us, but if we can move “up the ladder” so to speak we tend to do that as well. As for personality, if one were both rich and tall, then the Halo Effect would probably take over, people would treat the rich and tall man better, and thus the rich and tall man would act more congenial. The arrow of causation points the opposite of the way most would think it does. As long as a person isn’t a jerk, personality tends to have little to do with “falling in love” with another person.
Wikipedia: Caroline Kirkland
Caroline Kirkland (January 12, 1801 – April 6, 1864) was an American writer.
She was born into a middle class family in New York City, the oldest of eleven children. Her mother was a writer of fiction and poetry. Her father died when she was 21 and the family followed her to upstate New York where she taught and had met her future husband, William Kirkland. The death of her father had made her mainly responsible for the rest of the family. She married William in 1828 and they settled in Geneva, New York where they founded the Domestic school. They had five children (one of whom died) before they left Geneva.
In 1835 the Kirklands moved to the then frontier town of Detroit, Michigan and in 1837 they founded the village of Pinckney on land that William had purchased. It was there that Caroline had success with her first book, A New Home; Who’ll Follow. She wrote another book about life in the settlements, Forest Life, while still in Michigan. The Kirklands left Michigan in 1843 because their venture to establish the town of Pinckney was not a financial success, and because they felt shut out by the reactions of their neighbors to Mrs. Kirkland’s frank revelations of frontier life. A third book based on frontier life, Western Clearings, came out in 1845, after she had returned with her family to New York City.
In New York William Kirkland entered the newspaper business as editor of the New York Evening Mirror, and of his own paper, the Christian Inquirer. In 1846 an unfortunate accident resulted in his death. Mrs. Kirkland continued her literary activities until her death in 1864. Their son Joseph Kirkland, who was born in Geneva, also became a recognized writer.
On returning to New York, Mrs. Kirkland opened a school for girls and from 1847 to 1849 was editor of the Union Magazine. She also entered into the literary social life of the community often entertaining writers, publishers, and other notables. Her home was the leading literary salon in the country where Edgar Allan Poe, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, and others frequently assembled. Mrs. Kirkland went abroad in 1848 and again in 1850. She was received by Charles Dickens and the Brownings, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. She also became a close friend and correspondent of Harriet Martineau.
Kirkland, as attested to by the above names, had considerable fame and accolades from her writings during her lifetime. Poe in particular thought of her as a significant American writer. She was a relatively early American woman writer who appears to have written because she liked to write and only published what she considered to be well written. She wrote for men as well as women but definitely wrote from a female perspective. Her works continue to be studied in relation to style, contributions to American literature and the influence of the female perspective.
March 1844, Graham’s Magazine, pg. 118:
“I haven’t asked you to marry her; though, for that matter, it is just as easy to love a rich girl as a poor one,” said Mrs. Burnet.
("Love vs. Aristocracy,” by “Mrs. Mary Clavers,” author of “A New Home”—ed.)
May 1844, Graham’s Magazine, pg. 215:
“Only remember, Alonzo,” said the good lady, “that you will never be happy with a girl that does not like muffins, and that it is as easy to love a rich girl as a poor one.”
("Courting By Proxy, A Tale of New York” by the author of “A New Home”—ed.)
A Family Secret: A Novel
By “Elzey Hay” (Eliza Frances Andrews—ed.)
Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co.
On the other hand, he had often been checked in his attentions to some penniless beauty, just in time to retreat with a good grace, by the reflection that he could not afford to marry for love altogether, and then he would wonder why the deuce it was a fellow couldn’t find it just as easy to fall in love with a rich woman as with a poor one.
The Rise of Silas Lapham
By William D. Howells
Edinburgh: David Douglas
“I wouldn’t have a man marry for money,—that would be rather bad,—but I don’t see why, when it comes to falling in love, a man shouldn’t fall in love with a rich girl as easily as a poor one. Some of the rich girls are very nice, and I should say that the chances of a quiet life with them were rather greater. They’ve always had everything, and they wouildn’t be so ambitious and uneasy. Don’t you think so?”
The Halletts: A Country Town Chronicle
By Leslie Keith
London: Richard Bentley and Son
“You see,” he had said when he made his announcement, “it’s just as easy to marry a rich woman as a poor one when you know how to do it, and it’s a vast deal pleasanter.”
Hammersmith: His Harvard Days
Chronicled by Mark Sibley Severance
Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin and Company
“Gad, sir! why shouldn’t a fellow capture a young woman that can bring him a good pot of money, eh? Gad! it’s no more trouble to fall in love with a rich girl than a poor one.”
8 June 1898, Indiana State Journal, pg. 8:
A wise little woman remarks that it is quite as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one.—Philadelphia Times.
17 February 1900, Philadelphia (PA)
It is just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl as it is with a poor one, and it’s a lot easier to fall out of love with a poor girl than it is with a rich one.
27 July 1941, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “For Anniversary Month, Ginger Rogers,” section IV, pg. 5:
Tom, Dick and Harry is the story of a telephone operator whose theory is that it’s just as easy to marry a rich, handsome guy as a poor one.
Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Lorelei Lee: Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?
DVD In My Pants
Marilyn Monroe: Comedienne
By Mr Wrinkles
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, released the same year, is a lavish musical co-starring Jane Russell in which Monroe plays the usual ditzy bombshell, though this time underneath the vapid exterior lies a shrewd young woman – Russell comments that “sometimes your brain amazes me” - who lusts after all things multi-caret. The audience never gets the feeling that Monroe’s character Lorelei is manipulative or conniving, however, which would have lessened her appeal considerably. When she observes that “it’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor man”, the statement does not ring cold or materialistic, only reasonably logical. She is upfront about the financial support she expects in return for any relationship, and Lorelei’s obsession with diamonds is a running gag that is referenced repeatedly, though never unkindly. As Russell, playing Lorelei’s cynical, streetwise friend Dorothy puts it, “You’re the only girl in the world that can stand on a stage with a spotlight in her eye and still see a diamond stuck in a man’s pocket.”
The Bonfire of the Vanities
By Tom Wolfe
New York, NY: Bantam Books
His father, supposedly referring to Cowles Wilton, who had a short messy marriage to some obscure little Jewish girl, had said, “Isn’t it just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl from a good family?”
The Automatic Millionaire:
A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
By David Bach
New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
Marry it; How’s this working for you so far? There’s a saying that it’s as easy to marry a rich person as a poor one. Really? The truth is that people who marry for money generally end up paying for it for the rest of their lives. So let’s skip this one too—unless, of course, you really do fall in love with someone who happens to have money.
Comments on: How to Marry a Millionaire
Loved your article. I too grew up with a Mother who chanted “It’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor man” and “I been rich and I been poor and rich is better.” Well I’m a grown woman now and I tell my daughter, “God bless the child who got his own.”
April 6th, 2009
Relationship Strategies in an Economic Downturn
Some highlights from our columnist’s visit to CBS TV’s Early Show
by Dr. Christine B. Whelan
Can we afford, in these times, to fall in love with people who are broke?
Our grandmothers would quip, It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man… so fish in rich ponds. Obviously, money helps make life easier — but there are plenty of miserable rich people out there. When couples say that they are fighting about finances, there’s usually a general breakdown in communication in the relationship.
But can you afford to fall in love with someone with no ambition or industriousness? Probably not. Times are tough right now, but the folks with the go-get-’em attitude are going to succeed in the long run. That’s the smart investment for the future.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (1) Comments • Tuesday, May 12, 2009 • Permalink
Loved your article. Great being here to read your posting that suggests money doesn’t really matters. Good one!