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“Men often have a pre-conceived idea about wealthy women – they think we’re too demanding – so they don’t ask us out.” Sometimes, says 'Lady’ Lara Asprey, 32, who runs the dating agency The Sloane Arranger, and has written a book, The Very British Rules of Dating, the men may even be right.
“Rich women can, unwittingly, come across as very difficult and high maintenance,” she says. Having spent 25 years with a Midas touch spouse, holidaying in yachts in the Caribbean and luxury chalets in Klosters, she’s loving the arty new life she’s creating for herself and the men it throws in her path.
“I feel as if I’m the man in the relationship – he even puts his head on my shoulder – and it’s starting to really irritate me. “I dated this lovely guy who was interested in literature and poetry, just like I am, but in the end he couldn’t cope with the fact I owned a pile in the Cotswolds without a mortgage.
He found it emasculating to take a woman out who was richer than he was.” Melanie, an elfin mother-of-four who looks years younger than her age, says the peril of being rich is that it can actually put many men off.
And he’s always giving me advice on what to wear and offering to walk the dog late at night.” Six months in, however, the relationship is starting to sour. It only works when we’re on our own.” Then there’s Melanie, 54, another wealthy divorcée, who having briefly dated a string of younger suitors in the immediate aftermath of her divorce – “They made me feel that I wasn’t all ropey and leathery and bitter” – is now dating more “age-appropriate men”; only to find that her money intimidates them.
And then there’s the professional, self-made woman who may be all hard work and no play.
In all honesty, neither are an easy prospect.” The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
Take Anna, 49, the ex-wife of a City banker, currently involved with “a kind of gigolo” with a rackety work life and a chequered history of dating rich divorcées.
“My friends warned me about him but I didn’t listen,” she says.
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While a few among the available billionaires are women like media queen Oprah Winfrey, a comfortable majority among them are men who are either perennial bachelors or divorced and looking for another chance at love.