Love Letters: Should You Have The Same Socioeconomic Background As Your Partner?

rich gang

Aight love birds, time for another round of advice from yours truly.

If you want me to pry into your personal business, I’d be more than happy to! Here’s how.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Do you think having like socioeconomic backgrounds is a foundation for making a good couple?


Growing up, I always heard old folks talking about the importance of “marrying up,” i.e., making sure your land someone who is at least a rung or two higher on the ladder than you were.

I see the strategy and all, but even as a kid it bothered me. “Marrying up” just sounded like a more polite way to say “gold-digging.”

Oh crap, can I say gold-digging in 2018?

Did I just put myself on Twitter’s #canceled list?

Will y’all dig up this post in 2027 to block my Nobel Prize win?


I guess that makes me safe. 2018 is stressful.

And speaking of security, despite what our elders told us, it doesn’t seem like most people are heeding their advice. According to a (somewhat) recent study, couples’ tendency to marry within their education level has increased since 1960.

Proof you get factz here, not just rants.

I guess it makes sense, though. Especially as we get older, we tend to make connections through our current social circles. So if you’re hooking up with a coworker, for instance, chances are you’re on somewhat of the same ground economically.

To KJ’s point, I do think having like socioeconomic experiences is important. To quote the greatest philosopher of our time, Nasir Escobar, a caterpillar can’t relate to what an eagle envisions.  We are a product of our experiences and, as we’ve especially seen in this country politically in recent years, we have a HARD time relating to the journey of others. We’re so often blinded by privilege and unable to see life from the eyes of our neighbors.

But let me take it a step further and look beyond dollars and cents.

Having similar socioeconomic backgrounds is important, but not necessarily vital. What IS vital is that the couple shares the same morals and ethics.

I mean it’s great that you and your boo both know to cut the edges of your bologna before frying it so the middle won’t bubble up. But if you were taught that a fierce work ethic is the best way to battle poverty, it’s gonna cause big problems if your dude was taught that get-rich-quick schemes are the answer to financial freedom.

Same background, different beliefs.

Your socioeconomic background frames your experiences. But your ethics and beliefs are what define you as a person. Being on the same page means more than having similar credit scores.

That was a surprisingly deep answer for this space. So let’s get back to the PETTY.

Question No 2:

So my ex blocked me about 6 months ago on all of his social media outlets. Now I’m noticing I’m unblocked. Now I wonder what could be up with that?


I recently found out that a (former?) friend of mine unfriended me on Facebook a few months ago. Basically a mutual friend asked if I had seen a video that my former dude posted. When I realized I hadn’t and I went to the homie’s page, I realized I was removed. I have no idea why I got cut off and when.

So what makes this question hilarious to me is that clearly you were stalking this dude’s account on the regular to a) learn that you were blocked in the first place and b) find out later that you were unblocked.

I really need to teach y’all the Art of Being Unbothered. Y’all expend wayyyy too much energy playing Social Media Matlock.

As far as what’s up with being unblocked, who the heck knows. Maybe he’s let go of whatever grudge he was holding on to. But he’s your ex, bout time you let go too.



  1. I am writing to comment on the letter about whether couples should have similar socioeconomic backgrounds. I have firsthand experience with this, growing up as upper-middle class in the suburbs, and marrying a city boy who grew up poor and is a different ethnicity from me as well. I agree that your common core morals, beliefs & values are the most important thing. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some areas where the differences in upbringing won’t stand out, though. You both have to be understanding & accepting of how the other was raised and be able to see through the differences to spot the similarities. Often, the differences are more surface-level, but if you look to the core of it, the similarities are still there at the root level. You both have to find the balance between acknowledging the good things about what’s different & acknowledging the absurdities in your own & each other’s upbringings and/or current situations. In other words, just be very open. You definitely need to not take yourselves too seriously, have a sense of humor about it all, and know that you don’t have to only live out your adult lives the same way as you grew up. Being with someone who was/is in a different situation from you can open up new worlds for you both to enjoy, embrace & appreciate-broaden your horizons. Why limit yourselves? There is a great book I read called: Crossing the Tracks for Love: What to Do When You and Your Partner Grew up in Different Worlds by Ruby K. Payne. I found it really interesting & recommend it to anyone dating or married to someone who grew up in a different socioeconomic status from them. There is a whole world of amazing people out there…don’t cheat yourself out of finding the one meant for you just because you aren’t open to new people & experiences!

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