Mailvox: deal or drop out

The One has a question:

So I’ve been playing poker for half a year now as a pro. I have focused on tournies and SNGs, recently came back to cash games. Well my finance told me today if i continue to play poker she can’t be with me. She told me it was wrong, that I shouldn’t be going it, that I was wasting my potential. I asked her if it was about money and she said no, even if I win million dollars she won’t be happy, basically she implied it wasn’t noble. I found that odd as I before this I was a commodoties trader, and I basically bought low sold high, etc ,so there wasn’t anything noble about that, but she seemed much happier when I was doing it. I quit because I like to work for myself and don’t relish the fact of getting up at 6 a.m everyday. I also left college at twenty to enter Wall Street, I always been a risk taker. Anyway I feel if I am being true to myself, I must stay with poker, but I don’t want to lose her, she is a good girl or I wouldn’t have purposed to her. It certainly isn’t the safest route, how retarded will I feel if I pick poker and then in a year or two the gov’t really does ban it and I end up with nothing. I spoke to my friends, but I like advice from you guys. What I am msot concerned with is setting a pattern. If she wants to change me in this, what else will she want to change me in? Or what if I get a regular job and in 5 years I get a promotion to another state, and she wants to stay here, then what? How far do you compromise? Love to hear from you Vox as you are the woman expert.

First, there’s no such thing as a woman expert. There are only men whose experience with women is less unsuccessful than others. The problem that you’re facing here is due to one of three possibilities:

1. Your fiance fears risk.

2. Your fiance is hooked on perceived status.

3. Your fiance is a control freak.

4. Your fiance is testing your backbone.

In cases two, three and four, the answer is simple. Tell her that as you are responsible for providing for your own support as well as that of your family, you will make the decisions regarding how that support is best performed. If she is simply testing you, as women always do from time to time, she will accept your decision and likely forget all about the entire affair.

If she is hooked on status, then drop kick her as far as you can, as fast as you can. Traders and investment bankers are of very high status, poker players are considered low class. One occupation summons up images of Porsches, massive Christmas bonuses and elegant parties in expensive New York condominiums, the other images of cigars and cheap suits. The fact that both occupations are essentially the same is irrelevant in this regard.

Likewise if she’s a control freak. Only make sure to leave a mark so that all the other non-masochists will know to avoid her. Or, if you prefer, to help the masochists find what they’re looking for.

However, if it’s what I suspect, a risk thing, then you might be able to talk her round without calling. Being an entrepeneur and associating with many entrepeneurs, I know how hard the constant uncertainty can be on women. Women hate and fear risk even though they love the rewards it can bring. The key is to give them some sense of stability, of financial security, that will offset the inherently chaotic nature of the incessant risk-taking. The problem is that whereas you can blow off losing fifty grand because you know it is going to happen from time to time, she can’t hear about it without getting lost in scenarios that involve her being homeless and starving on the street.

Talk to her about your savings, assure her that it won’t be part of your operational money and that it won’t be invested in anything riskier than bonds or metal. Promise that you’ll put away a certain percent of every win so that she knows you’re not risking everything every time you enter a tournament. And put some parameters on your performance, so that she knows you’ll quit if you can’t make it work before completely destroying your finances.

If she still can’t handle it, then she’s simply not the right woman for you and the relationship must end. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her, it just means she needs to settle down with a nice middle manager who works at an office, makes 65k per year and contributes to his 401k every month. The world needs them too.