I’m Looking For A Guy With Ambition, Not Money

Work ethic and personal drive turn me on—who wants to be with a lazy loser with no ambition? It may seem callous to consider a partner’s professional success when deciding whether or not to date them, but for me, it’s never really been about chasing people with money—I’m not a gold digger, I’m a goal digger.

  1. Life can change in an instant and I need a partner who can help me navigate that. It doesn’t matter how well off you are—things happen. When you have drive and work ethic, you can deal with reversals of fortune. In fact, I’d gladly pass over someone who’s flush from a huge inheritance for someone that maybe has a little bit less at the moment but is working hard and has a clear vision for their future. They’ll know what to do when the money is gone.
  2. I’m attracted to people who are working towards something bigger than themselves. It’s extra attractive if their goals aren’t simply financial but tied into their values and they’re trying to make the world a better place. I’m so done with people who are only concerned with themselves. We have a responsibility to contribute something worthwhile to the world around us.
  3. The goals I’m digging aren’t just my partner’s but also my own. Being a goal digger is a matter of simple compatibility. I’m ambitious myself and I need someone who understands me and what makes me tick. Sometimes this means that I have to make some sacrifices, and the last thing I want to do when I have to work weird hours is listen to someone complain about it and how it inconveniences them.
  4. Gold digging is about the present and goal digging is about the future. Gold diggers are obsessed with having material things in the present and that’s so not me. Expensive toys can be fun, sure, but they’re not what I’m after. Instead, I’m always looking toward the future. I’m a planner, so I always look to what will be happening in five or 10 years. Not only is my life likely to be better in the future if I pick someone who’s also concerned about the future (because they’ll take steps to improve it), but they’re more likely to get where I’m coming from and why I plan rather than fighting me every step of the way.
  5. If you don’t strive, you’re left behind. The world moves fast and if you passively accept that and only do the bare minimum, you’re going to run into problems. I need to be with a partner who understands that so that we can keep up with the world together and that I’m not stuck doing all the work for both of us. Been there, done that, not doing that again. Ever.
  6. It’s gratifying to help the person you love meet their goals and be part of their success. One of the things about dating someone who’s working towards something is that when they can reach their goal, it’s amazing. Not only do you have something to celebrate together, but you can look back at your part in things and see how you helped and supported them. You share that success. When you date someone who already has everything they’re ever going to have, you can’t really feel that way.
  7. Someone who’s goal oriented and actively working towards their own ambitions is less likely to feel slighted by your success. It’s sad but true. When we meet with personal success, sometimes other people in our life can be less than gracious, even those closest to us. I’ve had a few exes who didn’t do well when I hit high points. Whenever I achieved something, they’d compare themselves and take it as a sign of their relative failure. In a way, they viewed my success as an attack on them and their self-worth. They all had one thing in common: They weren’t ambitious and didn’t have clear goals of their own that they were working towards. The more ambitious people I’ve dated have dealt with things more gracefully. Maybe they were a bit envious of the achievement but they never lashed out. In fact, it usually just drove them to work harder on their own pursuits.
  8. People who set goals take responsibility for their own happiness. Rather than sitting around passively waiting for someone else to make them happy or successful, ambitious people look at what they want, evaluate the difference between the present reality and their ideal future and figure out the steps they can take to get there.
  9. If they’re willing to work hard to achieve their goals, they’re usually not afraid to put work into a relationship. While this isn’t true for every ambitious person, I’ve found that a willingness to work hard outside of the relationship often translates to a willingness to put in work inside of it. At the very least, I’ve found that people who aren’t willing to put in work in general don’t magically decide that relationships are different and clean up their act. Instead, they avoid doing the work and you both suffer for it.
Page Turner is a freelance writer and the author of "Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory." A giant unabashed psych nerd, Page has also worked as a psychological researcher and an organizational behavior consultant.