Have you ever wondered what it's like to be romantically linked to the super wealthy? In these three Reddit threads, people who married or dated millionaires (and billionaires) revealed what it's actually like — and how their lives changed. Here are the most shocking stories:
1."I dated a woman whose family was rather well-off. I also worked with wealthy people for a while. She talked about visiting exotic parts of the world like it was nothing. They are knowledgeable about rich people's stuff, like Rolexes and yachts. They all play golf, tennis, or both. They know international airports inside and out. They don't talk about money unless it's business or gossip. They are generally very opinionated about how people should do stuff."
"Unless it involves their business, money is no object to them. They mostly aren't frugal and never ask the price. (Some stealth wealth people are the complete opposite.) They make a lot of time for their hobbies and to be with their kids."
2."I married into a hugely wealthy family. My father-in-law was president of an international medical staffing firm. He retired three times from the company, and each time, he had a bigger retirement package. My wife is cultured beyond belief, fluent in at least four languages, and has seen the world that most of us could only dream of seeing in our lifetimes. My wife is also one of the hardest working people I have ever met, and even with all the wealth, she actually practices charity to the point that I have to stop her. I never realized how influential the name was until visiting New York and staying at the Four Seasons, and a manager came over and called my FIL by name and pushed us to the front of the line. We were treated like royalty that week."
"There was also my wedding to his daughter. Not only did he foot the bill for everything (the wedding reception consumed 12.5 gallons of Patrón), but he flew my wife and me for a three-week honeymoon anywhere in the world on his dime. He gave us his Amex Black and said have fun. Six countries, well over $100k in a honeymoon, and never said a word."
3."I came from a low-class family. My biggest value was being kind — it mattered that we passed school but not that we had to be doctors. My family immigrated here, so it was really hard. My S.O. comes from the top 1%, is very intelligent, and has lots of money. They were the top at everything, and as a result, they were a little snobby. My family and my S.O. didn't care about the relationship, but my S.O.'s parents and siblings were very upset over it. It took years for just the mother to like me."
"They didn't think I was good enough and constantly acted cold. It was very hard on me before, but I learned not to care about others, and it improved me. I couldn't care less because I'm happy. It would be nice if they liked me, but I only need my S.O. and my family."
4."I'm pretty sure my husband married me for my money. I was 29 and feeling lonely. We were both science nerds. He was a doctor's son, but he was really not financially supported. I was a bar owner's daughter and far wealthier than him; the money was parceled out to me in fairly small amounts, but it supported us. Although I appeared to be the stay-at-home do-nothing housewife to many I am sure, it was really my money supporting us and our three children. He did work, but he had a serious debt creation problem with credit cards, so his salary was never enough. When we turned 50, he met another woman, told me, 'She's rich!' and abandoned me to basically poverty and food stamps. Lovely, right?"
"Fast-forward two years, I took my half of his retirement account, which was about $70k, and invested it, and now, I have close to a million. I'm shooting for $5 million. Oh yeah, and now, I don't have to 'discover' yet another maxed-out credit card in my name ever again."
5."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 a month, and he absolutely could not wrap his head around how a person could spend that little."
"I lived with a horrendously rich friend; his family is aristocracy in his home country. One thing I've noticed about him is that he's completely incapable of grasping that if I stop working, I just stop being able to eat. He was confused about why I was worried about taking a week off work and didn't understand that I was worried I'd lose money. He seemed to think that most people work because they choose to because he's never had to work."
6."I broke up with someone set to inherit over $1 billion from her father. Nice woman, no major issues, but I just didn’t feel like we clicked. Some days, I can’t help but think it was dumb when I’m looking at my very, very average bank account and salary. It would have been a more extravagant life, but I’m with someone who makes me happy, so I tend not to regret it."
7."I unknowingly married into a wealthy family. My wife's parents are millionaire-next-door types. Their primary house is worth maybe $230K, but I had a feeling that something was going on because one time, when I was 23–24, they had found this lightly used Toyota Land Cruiser for sale in Georgia for some ridiculous amount of money, like $70K. I was going to Georgia for work the next week, and they asked me to buy it, and they'd pay me back when I got back with it. It literally did not register with them that a 23–24-year-old probably doesn't have $70K in the bank. So, they sent me a pre-signed check and told me to fill it out with the final price. I had been dating their daughter for maybe three months at that time. About a year later, my father-in-law casually mentioned wanting a log cabin in the woods somewhere, preferably on the lake. I took it as if he were dreaming and said yeah, that would be really nice."
"That coming weekend, he and my mother-in-law put an offer in on a lake cabin with one of the best views I've ever seen in my life. I'd hate to know what they paid for that. I still didn't really understand what they did or didn't have until they made me executor of their estate. The vast majority of what they die with is going to charity and their church. Just wild. Moral of the story: Looks can be deceiving, and just because they have it, doesn't mean that you'll inherit it."
8."My best friend from childhood married a billionaire's daughter. He's still depressed and still himself. He lives a nice life, but it's not his money. His kids are set for life, and he's still miserable and complains a lot — but what can you do? He's a mate."
9."My side of the family didn't have two nickels to rub together for a long time. I was the first one in my family to go to college, and move out of the state — let alone the county, let alone the town. I didn't know of anything outside a Super 8, Motel 6, or Holiday Inn. My clothes were from factory outlets, Kmart, Walmart, etc. My first car was a 20-year-old piece of junk that burned oil. I had to take out loans and work full-time to make my way through college. My spouse's side of the family was 100% polar opposite."
"But they are so nice. They are charitable, they are kind, and they are earnest. Do I feel I've changed a bit? Probably. I now feel a bit out of place with my extended family at events, but that was bound to probably happen anyway."
10."Her parents were feeding her money to begin with (she was a social worker who drove a $100K Land Rover). I visited her family's lake house with speedboats and jet skis. She had a good attitude in life and just wanted to help underprivileged children. She just wasn't for me."
"I'm now married, and we are doing just fine financially now; we bring in good money and are in a pretty high percentile for our net worth per age bracket. But it's a far cry from the millions I believe she already had and millions more she was set to inherit one day."
11."I dated a man who didn't work — he lived off of a trust fund. Oddly, 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."
12."I know a man who married the daughter of a wealthy family. She was a huge pain in everyone's ass. Spent money like it was water and had no idea of its value or use. Unpleasant to everyone as none of them were important other than her parents, I guess — the source of the funds. Spoiled the kids, caused them to develop unearned attitudes. It was hard to watch."
"It ended in divorce. He got a payout from the family, but I don't think it was worth it."
13."I dated a woman for six years. I was days away from proposing when a friend of mine, who knew of my plan, told me he saw her cheat on me more than once with one of our other friends. When the truth came out, there was obviously a lot of turmoil, but she begged for forgiveness and promised it would never, ever happen again. Part of me believed her because we really were in love. I just couldn't shake it, though. Couldn't sleep. It was like a rock in my shoe. 'Once a cheater, always a cheater' never left my brain. I ended up dumping her and moving on. I married a middle-class woman from a farm who had a blue-collar dad. I was also raised in a lower-middle, blue-collar family."
"The woman I dumped was the heiress of a large company, which she sold after we broke up and netted around $100 million. She married a guy, and they now have three homes, Range Rovers, a Ferrari...you name it. I'm still friends with her on Facebook. I think about it a lot. I have no doubt I am much happier now with a faithful wife and four beautiful children, but damn, that Ferrari looks like fun. I managed to get myself in a $250K+ job by age 30 and have given my stay-at-home-mom wife and four children a wonderful little life, but it's a far cry from the 1%."
14."My family had rough times. We lived in housing projects; my parents always (to this day) worked two jobs each and truly pushed the value of working hard for your money. We gave up a lot of luxuries, took out multiple loans, and saved every penny so we kids could afford private schools (they were much better than the public system) and then college. My husband is nowhere near the same. He grew up in Europe with old money. Both of his parents have their own businesses, and he had a great childhood where they struggled for very little. The shock came from just visiting his hometown."
"It was gorgeous! I had never been to Europe before that and was in complete awe. His parents owned multiple homes in the best districts and in other countries for vacations. They were so sweet and gave me 500 euros the day they met me because I was so nice! I got another couple of grand for my student loans purely because they heard how much of a burden that is in America and didn't want me to struggle. They also bought us a house as our wedding gift. That didn't sit well with me and my family since we've always worked, but that's another story.
Problem? My husband never had to work for anything. Any time he needed money they, especially his mom, would just hand it off without an issue, no matter the amount. He never bothered with college and basically just did what he wanted until meeting me. Upon learning this, I stated that I refused to accept an engagement ring with money he didn't rightfully earn. That's when, at age 24, he realized that working for your money is hard. He thought he'd easily just start a business like his parents and failed because he had no idea how complicated it truly was. His parents realized what they had done and cut him off so he could learn the value of a dollar. I fully supported the decision. He had to learn how to struggle for the first time since things were not easy soon afterward. Now things are rougher, but we've come together, built savings, run a small business, and became a stronger couple in the end."
15."My first girlfriend in high school went to a private Catholic school in town. Her grandparents own some company they sold in the '90s, made millions, and then opened a 'family insurance' company now worth billions. She and all her siblings are in the trust to get more than 10% each. We didn’t last more than a year."
"Right after high school, my second girlfriend's father was a tech guy who was in the Navy when he was younger and then sold code to big companies to this day. Would never have known he had this much, and he was constantly worried that 'people were after him and his wealth.' We didn’t last two years. My current girlfriend and future wife has a father who owns a small construction company; her grandfather was a top 1% salesperson for a $100 billion company, and her great-grandfather was the first salesperson in the Midwest for a famous coffee brand. Me? I grew up dirt-floor poor with seven siblings on a farm."
16."I did not like the men I met who were wealthy. I have a JD/MBA, so I was not looking to marry into money in the gold-digger sense, I'm fine. The ones I met would shower me with material goods and expect me to be okay with whatever they did (often involving other women) because of the material gifts, which I didn't want. Other people were obsessed with money, and that was all they talked about and focused on. Plus, they felt you should show off and look like you had money. One of them insisted I should buy a Mercedes. It was weird."
"I married my husband who did not come from a wealthy family, but he had a master's and a six-figure job. I've been with him for most of my adult life, and it's been wonderful. He could care less about money, but he isn't wasteful, and he isn't extravagant. Growing up, my parents told me, 'It's just as easy to fall in love with a wealthy man as it is to fall in love with a poor man.' I fell in love with my best friend and have no regrets."
17."My daughter married someone with a ton of cash in his pocket. She has earned a decent living herself, but together, she's gonna live a lot nicer than she ever did with me growing up. Maybe it's because of the cultural differences, but he and I have never seen eye to eye and don't get along that well. I grew up very poor in a rough neighborhood in Boston, and according to everyone I know, I have an extremely crass and blunt personality. He grew up in an extremely wealthy family in the suburbs. We have next to nothing in common. As for my daughter, I think she's definitely changed. I always sensed growing up that she resented the lack of money our family had. Both my son and other daughter seemed to embrace growing up in a blue-collar family and took pride in where they were from, but she always seemed unable to cope with the fact we couldn't always do the things her friends could."
"When I talk to my daughter and her husband, I just kind of feel strange when they talk so casually about going out all the time — like, the idea of having enough money to go to these upscale bars and restaurants all the time seems wild. Also, there's the value they seem to place on 'going out' and buying expensive gifts; everything fun is based around money. All my life, some of the best memories I have is just hanging out with my friends, scrapping some stupid game together with the little that we had. ... With them, it seems like they go brain-dead if they can't buy something. It all seems artificial to me."
18."I did get together with someone who's wealthy. I was shocked at how down-to-earth, caring, and giving very wealthy people are in real life. On the internet, they are vilified to the 10th degree, but I have never met anyone from that world who wasn't charitable and generally nice to people around them."
19."We've been together for years, and we're getting married in a few months. I grew up in a pretty standard middle to upper-middle-class family. I got a car when I got my license, but it was a 15-year-old Jeep, and my parents made me pay for half. When I shopped, it was at the mall, but we weren't buying a designer or anything. That type of thing. I wasn't spoiled, but I was privileged. My S.O.'s family is old-school money — the kind where if we're in the city where his dad's originally from, his last name holds clout, and people know who he belongs to. When you turn 16, a standard gift from his family is a $50K car, and everyone gets $1 million at 18 from their trust fund to pay for college, and then, you get your remaining millions when you graduate."
"He invested his pretty wisely, and now has a good amount of money in the bank along with his own investments and such. The weirdest thing is how it's so easy for him to just do things and write them off as no big deal. Like, once we got engaged and started consolidating our finances, he paid off my student loans and credit cards without thinking about it and just shrugged it off when I asked him about it — money is just something that exists to him, and he's smart with it.
I don't feel like it's changed me or him much since we got together, as I always knew he had money. He's still just the way he always was. He was raised in a different state from his dad's family, which is where the family money comes from, so he's a fairly normal, well-adjusted adult, unlike some of his cousins. I would say I'm a bit more relaxed when it comes to accepting him paying for things. When we started dating, it was hard for me to be okay with it. It felt like pity or charity because I was so clearly broke compared to him. There has been some weird resentment from some of my friends and family, though. I can't talk about things we do or like because I get some snide comment about how nice it must be to be spoiled, which is annoying because he doesn't really pay for anything in my day-to-day life. It's definitely put a wedge between some of my friends/family because of it."
20."The men I dated when I was younger, whose parents were incredibly wealthy, were jerks. I can’t think of one of them who was a decent person — yet they will succeed in life, whereas an average person who was that much of a jerk would never be able to keep a job or have real friends. Everyone puts up with them because of their parents."
"They were just mean, heartless, and had zero empathy. They expected the world to bend to them, but they grew up with servants and opportunities that no one else would get. If Dad could write an eight-digit check, you can get into university, or get a job with the government, or anything you want. Doors open. It's a different world. Money buys all sorts of things. Yes, they were bright and smart, but it was a different world. Money. Access. Power. No consequences. The rest of us just don’t live this way. They never had to be nice or kind. They felt entitled to whatever it was that day. Nothing was fun or special. Nice dinners at fancy places were inadequate. Nothing was good enough. There was no pleasure in anything. The restaurant catering to your every whim? Still not good enough. Access to the best seats? Still can’t be happy. It doesn’t matter. Nothing was good enough, and they were unpleasant the whole way through it. I was embarrassed to be standing next to them or sitting across from them."
21."I was surprised about how real the 'network' or 'bubble' of it is — it's like the other side from the 'it's expensive being poor' concept. It's this weird internal community of people with money, and thus power, who are willing to make things happen as long as you're 'in.' I mean, 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, like, my then-boyfriend would say, 'Let's go to this concert. Tickets are $180, but it's okay; 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 owned the building, so they fixed it for free as a favor."
WOW. Have you ever dated or married someone wealthy? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.