For the longest time, I was convinced that I’d never find “The One,” so when it finally happened, I was in total shock and disbelief. I was so happy that I fell in love pretty quickly, and it was only after a couple of months that I realized my soulmate is actually broke as hell. Ugh.
I had no idea for the longest time. It started with little things. When we first started dating, we’d always split the bill. Because I’m a feminist, I didn’t mind this at all. However, on some occasions, he’d ask if I’d cover the check because he was running low on cash for the month. I didn’t think much of it until after a couple of months when I realized that it was a consistent thing for him always to be coming up short.
He thinks it’s no big deal. Whenever I’ve tried to bring up the money issue with him, he says that it’s just because of where he is in life and at work but that with time, things should get better. Basically, he thinks I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it or worry about it.
We miss out on a lot because of his lack of cash flow. I thought I could overlook his being broke, but ever since I realized the truth about his financial situation, it’s become hard to forget about it. I notice that he doesn’t buy me gifts and that he prefers to eat at home instead of going out to a restaurant. This is OK most of the time, but it would be nice to get out of the house once in a while or even to have him surprise me with a thoughtful gift or inexpensive date activity. Instead, if he thinks something will require money, he tries to avoid it.
He’s in no hurry to change his situation. I’ve asked if he has a timeline for when he expects things to get better money-wise, but he usually gives me vague answers and asks me to be patient. It worries me because I wonder if he’ll get too comfortable with living paycheck to paycheck and then things will never change.
What about the future? I’ve thought about how things will be if we stay together and end up having a family together. My vision for a family doesn’t involve me working to support both my husband and the kids. I want a partner who can contribute 50/50 to the life I hope we’ll live. I want to have an active family life where we can have yearly vacations to look forward to, live in a good neighborhood, and have stable finances so that we can enjoy life more. I’m not sure if those things will happen if he remains complacent in getting financially stable.
I worry that I’m being shallow. At times, I think that leaving a guy because he’s broke is a superficial thing to do, but I also know that you need more than love and compatibility to make a relationship work. You need to want the same things and be consciously working towards similar goals to attain a future you both want. The more I talk to him, the more I feel that we might not be equally ambitious and that may not work in the long run.
I’m not naive—love isn’t enough. I’ve always believed that love can solve all the issues in a relationship. If you really love someone, regardless of their flaws, love can help you get past it, right? Wrong. These days, I’m much more realistic. Being with a guy who’s terrible with money and can barely make ends meet isn’t something that can be patched over with love.
I’ve held on for too long. He has a lot of the qualities I like in guys. He’s funny, good-looking, attentive, smart, honest and trustworthy, but the fact that he’s broke could be a deal breaker for me. I never thought I would find a guy with all the qualities I want otherwise, so I’ve been scared of letting him go. In the past, if my future goals didn’t align with the goals of someone I was dating and they didn’t have plans of heading in the same direction as me, I let them go without hesitation. However, because I fell for my boyfriend so fast and have never felt such strong connection with another guy, I’ve been slower with cutting the cord.
Was I naive to ignore the facts? At the beginning of our relationship, I was understandably lovestruck and in total disbelief of my good fortune. Maybe if I had a level head, I might have been able to see this coming. I could have looked at the facts more objectively and proceeded with caution or not wasted my time pursuing the relationship further at all. Ugh.
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