Only got $20 in my pocket..

Mara wrote:

Sean,
I am a poor college graduate with a dilemma. I haven’t found a career in my field and have been bartending while job searching. I am swimming in debt (but making payments) while my boyfriend of two years has found a nice, high paying job. The dilemma is that he is buying nice things for us and our place and making plans for us to go to all of these nice restaurants and trips but I always get stuck paying part of the bill. I can afford to go out maybe one night a month but he wants to go out two or three times per week.

How do I help him see that I love being his girlfriend but I can’t afford his new lifestyle?

Mara

 

Mara,

He isn’t seeing your side of the relationship and you need to make him aware of your concerns.  Let him know that it’s fine if he wants to do things and buy stuff, but you can no longer help foot the bill for them so he’ll either need to go out without you (hopefully, he’s smart enough to stay in with you and not go out as much) or he’ll need to cover the expense.

I can understand if you both discuss going out to places and buying things, then by all means, you should cover part of the expense..but if he’s deciding on these things without you or mentioning it to you after the plans have been made, then he should be footing the bill.  There are two sides to a relationship and that goes for finances too.  If and when you get married, the responsibility of open communication about finances becomes absolutely critical (joint bank account is strongly encouraged by me), and things can get rough pretty quick without that communication.  You’re not off the hook either.  I know you said you’re looking for a new job, but you’ve really got to show him you are trying.  Don’t just settle for “nothing’s out there”, really push yourself to find something.  Set some goals and celebrate your achievements.

 

Sean

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