It’s tough to date a rich man…self-made ones are WORSE

by Kate Mulvey

Like any other girl, I like luxury.

So when a handsome man I met at a party invited me to dinner, I didn’t hesitate.

‘Pick you up at seven, gorgeous,’ he said in a voice that was half East End slang, half Prince Charles plummy vowels.

Where was I off to? I wondered, – clickety-clackety in a pair of sparkly Gina mules bought specially for the occasion – Nobu or maybe a spot of dinner at Babington House.

Designer Gina Mule Shoes

Well, we did arrive at a rather posh hotel, only it turned out my date owned it, along with about 200 others.

As I stepped down from his BMW convertible onto the cobbled drive, tripping and practically twisting my stilettoed ankle, he had already shot off inside – rich men seem to move and talk quicker.

By the time I hobbled into the faux Art Deco foyer, there he was – Mr Tycoon, his face red with anger, spluttering at the poor doorman for being slow.

It got worse.

Well it would, wouldn’t it? – How can you take a girl out to dinner when you are checking that the people at the next table are being served properly?

Every time I started to talk about something I thought was vaguely interesting, all I could see was his perma-tanned neck as he looked around the room. I wanted to fling a Gina mule in his face – the guy was working, for God’s sake.

And it got worse. ‘Kate could you leave a tip,’ he suddenly said, rummaging in his pockets, ‘I’ve left my money in the car.’

What, all £3 billion, I thought, as I brought out the only fiver I had left and plonked it onto the squishy chocolate mousse.

That’s rich men for you. From what I have seen, they are rather unpleasant. For a start, they are not only greedy – what else could motivate them to make more money than they could spend in a lifetime – they are also mean.

Take Paul McCartney, for instance. He has shown himself to be a penny-pinching miser. While Heather Mills is not the sweetest girl on the planet, he did marry her, so why has he now had her credit cards stopped and her bodyguards taken away when the child is not with her.

There was also something about a threatening legal letter from McCartney’s lawyers accusing Heather of taking three bottles of cleaning fluid from his kitchen.

It sounds vile, doesn’t it? I mean, we are talking about a man who is not rich in any normal sense, but so catastrophically loaded that he could probably buy the cleaning company several times over.

So why on earth are wealthy men so stingy?

For a start, Macca and my multi-millionaire are that rare bread; the self-made man. Unlike the landowner rich who are so blasÈ about money, the self-made man often comes from a poorer background.

My Mr Rich lived in a two-up, two-down in Lancashire with an outside toilet throughout his childhood. Such self-made men are so terrified of being poor again that they are constantly driven to make more and more money.

Yet it is more than that. While they don’t like spending it ‘unwisely’, by which I mean on other people, they think nothing of splashing out, if it is for a good reason – such as showing off their status, for example.

Take my zillionaire – yes, I went back for more. When he bought a house in the exclusive Hamptons near New York last year, he wanted to make some new best friends and threw a bash.

At the top of the stairs that night, the PR who had organised the party whispered the name of each new arrival, so he could greet them like long lost buddies. I counted quite a few famous industrialists and a smattering of celebs that evening, all of whom he schmoozed with a ruthlessness I had never witnessed.

It must have cost a fortune, but in his mind everything was an investment, and this case the return was worth it.

Think of all the new contacts he had made, and how he could show off his impressive collection of 20th-century art – I counted at least six Cy Twomblys that evening, a couple of Picassos and if I am not mistaken there was even a Rauschenberg in the toilet- subtext: I am so rich I don’t care where I put my paintings.

So why did I not run away as soon as I found out he was an egotistical maniac? It is simple. Money is an aphrodisiac.

It is the natural order of things. While men desire women who look like Meg Ryan, recent studies confirm that women are attracted to men who look as if they have wealth, or the ability to acquire it.

Super-mates, whether the stick thin model or rich man, are not accessible to all, which is why when one of them invites you to dinner, you feel as if you are being allowed into a special club. That is how I felt at first.

And of course I liked the trappings. His house had one of those home cinema screens and a wall of DVDs. I used to spend whole weekends watching the entire Doris Day collection in his sitting room, which was three times the size of my entire flat.

Besides, he was a welcome relief from all the wimpy new men I had been dating. I was sick of being asked what I wanted to do, of being the one who made all the decisions.

Mr Rich, on the other hand, was dominant. Like the alpha male in a wolf pack who walks with head and tail erect, Mr Rich would enter a room with such confidence your heart skipped a beat.

He was your typical triple A personality – acquisitive, aggressive and accumulative, and having amassed a fortune he decided he wanted to own me.

I hadn’t realised I was just another of his toys, and that I took second place to his hotels.

This was the catch – the relationship was on his terms. Given that he spent a huge chunk of his time jetting around the globe, I had to be on call.

He was so used to feeling superior that he treated me like another person in his employ. His superior attitude kicked into my submissive side and I found myself troweling on make-up at 11 pm, because he had just arrived from New York and wanted to see me.

I remember once blowing out my oldest friend because Mr Rich called at the last minute and ordered me to come for a late-night supper.

But this time, I snapped. After I had nearly broken my neck running for a taxi, he arrived two hours late. He had a conference call, he said.

He neither apologized nor said he would make it up to me, just waved an imperious hand and summoned the wine waiter.

When he called the following morning, I simply told him I had found someone else, and went in search of a kindly beta male.

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