Dear Miss A,
My boyfriend and I are discussing marriage, but I’m sensing that he doesn’t have as much money as he pretend to have. A couple of situations have come up that just don’t mesh with what he’s been telling me. How can I find out more about his finances without coming off like a “gold digger“?
Thank you so much for your question. Recently, I had a couple come in to see me about an engagement ring. The woman thought the ring was going to be too expensive for her boyfriend to buy, so she walked out of the room so that in privacy he could tell me that he couldn’t quite afford it. Instead, the guy said he was going to buy it but needed time to get money from an account. He ended up calling me to put a deposit on it, but his credit cards wouldn’t work. Eventually, he was able to manage to put a couple hundred dollars down until he got a check for us. Last week, I received a call from the girlfriend, the engagement ring shopping experience uncovered the financial difficulty that her boyfriend was hiding from her. He pretended to make more than she did, but turns out he was making half as much. It wasn’t his financial difficulty, but his dishonesty about it that subsequently led to her decision to break up with him. They will not be getting married.
The point I’d like you to take away from this story is that you really do need to have a honest discussion about your financial situation BEFORE you decide to get married. It’s not being a “gold digger” – it’s protecting yourself from the male “gold digger”. I think it’s best when a couple has the same financial goals, and both behave responsibly where money is concerned. Be careful! People go to extensive means to conceal their financial difficulties from friends and those they are dating. Sometimes the girl in the Milly dress has less money than the girl in a dress from H&M. And often the guy in the Gucci loafers is less responsible with his money than the guy in the Aldo shoes.
I wish you the best!
– Miss A
Andrea Rodgers is a Dating & Relationship Expert for HealthCentral’s Sexual Health Connection. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.