Don’t knock status – it’s just part of the struggle to win a partner

There’s a truth to Mrs Merton’s joke about what attracted Debbie McGee to ‘the millionaire Paul Daniels’. Is it really so ridiculous to choose someone on the basis of their status?

When Caroline Aherne’s character Mrs Merton asked Debbie McGee, the wife of the TV magician, “So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”, status was wittily laid bare as motivation in what was touted as a romantic liaison. We all duly laughed. But is it really so ridiculous to choose someone, at least partly, on the basis of status?

Alain de Botton in his book Status Anxiety acknowledged that the modern journey of the individual is, at root, the quest for status. Peer pressure is inescapable. Ask yourself, would you be with your partner, however much you liked them, if you knew your friends would disapprove of them, or even laugh at them?

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Alex Vidal