Monday Musings: Why you should pay, not your boyfriend
"Do you argue about money?" My friend asked while we were in a long, long Uber ride the other day. We were talking about relationships in general and specifically how James (my paramour) and I resolve conflict.
"No, we don't," I said. I explained that we split everything - not to the exact centavo but we trade value for value. For example, I will pay for a sushi dinner say tonight and he'll pay for the next one. I'll cook something he wants but he will buy the ingredients. We'll set a budget for gifts, if we decide to give gifts, because we'd much rather buy the things we want for ourselves.
However, we don't live together, so it's highly unlikely that money will be an issue for a while. Living together comes at the cost of extra financial stress points that we would rather not take on for the meantime.
It's not that we aren't sweet or romantic to each other. I'd like to think we break the charts, haha! But we show it in ways by giving the best of us to each other. For example, he teaches me tennis and gives me business advice. I cook the things he likes and make sure he has glowing skin.
That said, I'd like to give you girls some free unsolicited advice about money and your romantic partners.
Never depend on anyone for money. It's okay to ask help from your family from time to time, but ideally, you should be able to find a way to sustain yourself by the time you graduate from university. That's what you went to school for after all! I think that you should be done asking from favors from your parents after they laid at your feet the biggest financial investment of their lives.
Of course, this is not always possible due to disease, unplanned children, or other difficult situations beyond control, but my point is that you should be highly aware of the difference between mooching and getting help until you can stand on your feet.
You should depend on your boyfriend even less. The minute you allow someone else to shower you with money you don't really deserve or plan to reciprocate is the minute you give them control over your life. I mean, sure he loves you now, but it will eventually bite you in the ass once he doesn't get what he wants from you.
I'm not saying it's stupid to accept gifts. I'm saying it's stupid to expect him to pay for everything and depend on him to save you from your unstable financial situation.
If you can pay for yourself, then do so. Even if he asks to pay for you. Freedom is when you don't owe anybody anything.