I've recently been trying to do some research into divorce rates on Wall Street.
The figures are hard to come by, in part because the Census doesn't do a very good job between differentiating between high-powered Wall Street jobs and people who work in "banking" who might be garden-variety regional loan officers or even bank tellers. Anecdotally, however, it seems that working on Wall Street makes it hard to get married and stay married.
There are a lot of divorced folks on Wall Street and lots of people who stay single far later than the rest of the population.
So I decided to check my impressions with a young woman who works for a high-powered financial firm. For obvious reasons, she asked me not to use her real name or the name of her firm. Let's call her Gwen for convenience sake.
According to Gwen, there are two types of successful men on Wall Street.
One type is "very regimented."
"They get up at the same time (early) every morning, never drink too much. They get married and stay married," she says. The other type is "the risk taker."
"They stay out late, test the limits, don't like being told no," she says. These guys tend to marry later and divorce more frequently.
When she meets a single man who is potential dating material, she always tries to figure out which category he fits into.
What are the tell-tale signs?
"If you are in your late thirties and single: risk-taker," she says.
Another indicator: How much time he wants a girl to spend at his place.
What's not an indicator? Seeming to want to be in a relationship. As it turns out, both risk takers and regimented Wall Streeters often want to be in relationships.
"Risk takers may want or think they want a relationship, so it can be confusing. They can be more fun, with their ski adventures, their vacation outings, their parties," she explained. A woman can get swept up in it and think that all this attention and travel together means he is ready to settle down.
The real indicator, however, is whether he wants you to spend time in his apartment. The risk takers want to be out and about, the regimented want to be home more. If the guy enjoys spending time with a gal in his place, he's probably the type who will marry earlier and stay married.
"Just don't leave your towel on the floor of his bathroom," Gwen says. "And no booty calls at 3 am. That is not in their plan."
Men sometimes shift between types, she said.
"Failure can convert the risk takers and money can convert the regimented," she said.
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