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Broke Boyfriend Blues

Mistress Maeve: Your guide to love and lust...

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Dear Mistress Maeve,

I met this wonderful woman at a party about three months ago, and we started dating. I really like her and I think she feels the same. The only “problem” is a financial one. I make a lot less money than she does. A lot less. There are many reasons for this, and I am working to better my stance. However, I am not likley to ever get close to her level financially. So far this has not been an issue, and she is amazing about having home dates or picnics, basically keeping it within my budget. In your opinion, is this a workable situation in the long run? Also, how can I bring this up with her in a constructive way?

Sincerely,

Broke Boyfriend

Dear Broke Boyfriend,

In my experience, it’s often the person making less money who has a problem with income imbalance, specifically if it’s the man in a heterosexual relationship. Regardless of the social strides we’ve made, men still feel they have to be the breadwinners, which is a bunch of BS.

If she is orchestrating picnics and budget-friendly dates, it sounds like she’s aware of the situation and taking it in stride. And let’s not forget, unless you’re her accountant, you don’t know what her expenses look like — for all you know, her weekly allowance is on par with yours.

That said, I can’t promise you won’t have fights over finances. You may run into trouble when she wants to take a vacation or join friends for costly dinners and entertainment. Have a dialogue with her about how you’re feeling, but be careful not to transfer your insecurities onto her. Based on her actions thus far, she hasn’t given you any reason to worry — you don’t want to insult her by insinuating that your lack of funds is crimping her style. Ask her an open-ended question that invites her to share her thoughts: “It’s no secret that I make less money than you do; how important is it that your mate’s income be similar to yours?” I have a feeling you’ll be pleased by her response. If, however, she places strong importance on money, you may be dealing with a rich girl of poor character.

Rolling in it,

MM

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