Samantha Daniels, a “professional matchmaker and dating expert,” has taken to CNBC with a tip sheet on how to date Wall Street men. She explains, “as a professional matchmaker with an office in New York City, many of my clients are very successful, high-profile Wall Street men.” Daniels claims she knows better than anyone what makes Wall Street men tick, so her tips for dating such fellows must be amazing, right?
We decided to put that claim to the test, asking a range of Wall Street men and women what they thought about Daniels’ recommendations. We’ve cut down to the essence of each of her 10 tips (and added comments from our group of financial industry veterans), for your reading and learning pleasure.
Daniels: 1. Be prepared to charm him out of talking about work when he first arrives to the date.
25-year-old man: Totally agree with this point. The conversation flows on the best dates without having to resort to discussion of work.
29-year-old woman: Great advice. Try banging some cymbals directly in front of his face. That’ll distract him!
35-year-old man: I actually agree with this point -- I try to never ask a woman what her job is or discuss work out of the box. I would hope we could converse for a few minutes before resorting to "my job is better than yours." Always comes up at some point, but I try to talk about some non-work-related interests first. I also try to avoid [work talk] more than others given I work in finance and I don't want them to lump me in a box before I have had a chance to say anything. FYI, you can tell if a guy really works in finance by the use of phrases like "out of the box," "soft circle," etc.
Daniels: 2. Learn a little something about the financial markets and notice if something huge happens on a given day, negative or positive.
25-year-old man: No. As important as it is for a woman to be worldly and well read, nothing frustrates me more than a girl who acts like she knows the intimate details of the financial community because she read a headline. For example, if I was dating a fashion designer I would never profess to being a fashion expert because I attended a fashion week show. It's important to stick to what you know and not try to impress.
29-year-old woman: First of all, what kind of adult human doesn’t know that Facebook is going public? The kind who shouldn’t be on dates without a chaperone. Also, great quote here: “Additionally, you need to be prepared that the volatility of the markets might make your guy’s mood unpredictable, especially on a day that his personal portfolio went down dramatically.” Is this the “Wall Street Guy” equivalent of, “Yeah, he hit me – but only because the Bears lost!"
35-year-old man: I could care less if you knew anything about the financial markets. I would hope you have some understanding of the basic news cycle -- but you may have your reasons why you do not. If you are dumb, that is not sexy, and I will figure it out eventually, but that could take a few months.
Daniels: 3. While a Wall Street man tends to like a little bit of a challenge when it comes to dating, he still likes things to be convenient and easy for him.
25-year-old man: Yes. My life can be crazy busy. Being flexible is important.
29-year-old woman: Yikes, this guy sounds awful.
35-year-old man: This is true for every man and has nothing to do with a guy's profession. No guy has ever told me, "She is great, but she was too easy. I need more of a challenge." In his mind he may be thinking, I can't see myself marrying this girl because she is too easy and knows her way around too well -- but we're talking about dating here, not marriage. I do travel a lot, so if I have a great first date it may be a while before I have a free night to go out again. Sometimes these reasons are true -- don't assume the guy is always lying.
Daniels: 4. Tell stories that are short and sweet because the mind of a Wall Street man is always moving so rapidly and focusing on so many different things that his attention span for social stories is very short.
25-year-old man: Totally disagree. When I’m out with a woman my mind is focused on the date and not my work. While my attention span may be short in the office, it differs in the social scene.
29-year-old woman: Ahahahaha. Who is STILL interested in dating this guy by the time #4 comes around? “Save your long, drawn-out stories for chit-chatting with your girlfriends.” So let’s see -- don’t be easy or hard to get, talk only about things that interest him, and don’t bore him with any information about yourself.
35-year-old man: Most people on Wall Street are not as bright as they would like to believe they are. After 13 years of work I know a few things: Most people I work for are not as intelligent as I give them credit for. Wall Street is a game of survival: Everyone will stab you in the front, forget the back. If you are too nice, you will probably not succeed long term. This is what I am thinking about while you are telling your stories, so it is probably best to keep them short. No one wants to hear long-winded stories about anything -- it's all in the delivery. I am probably trying to remember if I bought my Lotto tickets today. And if it is Friday, I am so tired -- the only reason I am out is to try and get laid. If it is not looking promising I am going home. I am old.
Daniels: 5. Be sexy.
25-year-old man: Yes, but I don’t think this just applies to dating Wall Street guys. I think it's more a factor of living in New York. Confidence and the way a woman puts herself together in this city makes a big difference.
29-year-old woman: No overalls. Got it.
35-year-old man: This is phenomenal advice. I should have a matchmaking service. I bet if she told all her female clients to put out on the first date she would be the most successful matchmaker in town. Obviously sexing it up a little doesn't hurt anyone. Do I expect this all the time? No, but if it is a first date or you are out trying to find a guy, you better be trying. For a guy, it's when he puts a tux on -- we will never look better, no matter what we think.
Daniels: 6. Don’t get upset if he checks his BlackBerry or takes a call during a date; this is very common of a Wall Street man and has nothing to do with whether or not he likes you.
25-year-old man: Should be no need to consistently check BlackBerry unless something is urgent.
29-year-old woman: DO get offended if he’s playing Angry Birds or if he’s on Match.com.
35-year-old man: This is stupid. Checking a BlackBerry while out with someone is rude, unless you politely excuse yourself or explain you need to check something given a time constraint or some urgency. As a 35-year-old, I remember when people had pagers and used rotary phones. Times have changed, but people believing they need to read every text and email are full of themselves. Focus on the person in front of you -- she should have your undivided attention. If the other people cared as much they would be out with you instead of sending texts/emails. And if you are so busy you are reading emails all the time, you shouldn't be out.
Daniels: 7. Don’t get upset if your Wall Street guy isn’t as romantic as you would like him to be.
25-year-old man: Agree with this just because it's hard to find the time to be romantic and manage work.
29-year-old woman: But being ignored and not drawing attention to yourself are the very HEIGHT of romance! IPOs, not XOs!
35-year-old man: This is an excuse for an unimaginative person. People with access to money should be able to be more creative, as all options are in play. There are times when it can be tricky, but the Internet has made things easier. I went through 4 years of college without a cell phone. We survived. I know. I know. Impossible.
Daniels: 8. Wall Street men tend to be attracted to women who are in industries other than Wall Street.
25-year-old man: Not necessarily true. I actually find that I share a lot in common with women who work on wall street. The problem tends be scheduling times to get together.
29-year-old woman: Schoolteachers or stewardesses are a go.
35-year-old man: Usually true, but not always. It makes sense when you spend so much time at work that you would fall for someone who does what you do. Also, they get the time constraints and pressures of the job. But sometimes it is nice to date someone outside your world to remember your work is not that important. And there are not many women on Wall Street -- and most of them are crazy.
Daniels: 9. When it comes to getting you a gift, a lot of Wall Street men are all about extravagance over thoughtfulness.
25-year-old man: Tends to be true unfortunately because of the stigma of Wall Street men having money and not having a lot of time to think of thoughtful gifts. Many girls who date friends of mine who work on Wall Street come to expect extravagant gifts.
29-year-old woman: “Hey girl! I hope you like Rolex watches and no eye contact during sex!”
35-year-old man: Men who are too good at giving gifts are usually in a relationships or married and are cheating. It takes a lot of work to keep all the lies straight -- or so I have been told. I will say that I do not get to go out as much as I want, and when I go out I like to have a nice time, so if you go out with me you are probably going to get treated to a nice dinner. I am old school -- man always pays, end of discussion. But the woman needs to know that as a relationship progresses, things will tone down, and she has to be able to handle the corner pizza place as well.
Daniels: 10. Don’t get upset if your plans get scheduled by his assistant.
25-year-old man: This seems crazy to me. I’ve never heard of this happening.
29-year-old woman: DO assume he is sleeping with this assistant.
35-year-old man: My assistant barely makes copies for me, let alone handle my dating life. I can handle that myself. Double booking rarely occurs.
Overall, our actual Wall Street people were not sold on Daniels' tips. Some comments: “Man, this is painful to read," and "Wow – this is dreck. I definitely wouldn’t want to talk markets with dates.” One man said the article is not specific to Wall Street men; another found it "insulting that article refers to Wall Street men as a homogeneous group. The population of Wall Street men has become increasingly diverse, making it difficult to generalize across the entire group.”
A 26-year-old woman agreed with some of the points (4, 5, 6, and 8), she told The Atlantic Wire, but said this isn't really Wall Street anymore: "I think it targets a very small group of men left on Wall Street and makes it seem like the only reason a girl would go for a Wall Street guy is for the idea of dating someone who will or is making a lot of money."
And our 35-year-old man said the "Wall Street man" of this article is a farce in the first place: "This article references 'the Wall Street guy' who trades stocks all day long and can lose millions depending on how the market moves in one day. Most guys do not have this job or that much impact day to day. They don't. Don't judge one Wall Street guy by the stereotype." Then again, he offered the caveat that "at the end of the day I am still single, so do not listen to me about any of this."
One thing is clear: If you want to date a Wall Street man, you should probably be, at the very least, talking to men on Wall Street, not reading articles on CNBC.