Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dating someone with financial problems

I received the following recently:
Dear Jay,

I am wondering if any of your readers have faced a similar situation. I had gotten involved with a woman and everything was great. About six months into the relationship I found out that this gal had serious financial problems and was going to file for bankruptcy. From that point on, she started asking for me to put a lot of her personal living expense items (e.g. telephone, credit cards) in my name.

This started to cause a significant strain on our relationship and we are no longer together. I am sure I could have avoided this heart ache, had I known towards the beginning about her serious financial situation. It may have deterred me from getting involved.

At what point is it feasible to ask someone about their financial status?

Thank you,

So what do you all think about this? Comment in the blog


teachpany said...

John: She should have been upfront about it, but it was really tacky for her to ask you to take her bills into your name. That shows lack of respect for you, and lack of responsibility for her. I have financial issues, but would never ask someone I was dating to do that. Next time I suggest you watch for clues. Does she offer to pay for dinner or the movie? Does she reciprocate for gifts? Be aware of how she spends money. Does she offer to use her car, but expect gas money? These are not good signs. If she was interested in you for you (not your financial security) she would do other things that wouldn't cost money to show she cares, if money was an issue. You are much better off without the gold digger. Use your head as much as your heart next time! Someone out there will respect you more!

teachpany said...

John: She was using you! Not good! If she respected you, she never would have asked you to take her bills into your name. She showed lack of responsibility for herself, as well as lack of respect for you. She should have been upfront, or at least giving you signs that money was an issue. Watch how she spends. Does she complain about money, but always seem to have the latest and best clothes and accessories? Bad! Does she offer to pay for dinner or the movie? Good. Does she offer for you to use her gar, but never have gas, and expect you to fill it up? Bad sign! I am sure that in healthy relationships she would have disclosed it, but taken responsibility. She doesn't deserve you. I know you will be wary the next time, but you should be able to discuss this if you are really willing to go to the next step. This isn't something you can find out on the first date, but after a few weeks of dating, you should be able to tell how mature she is. Good luck next time! Look with your head as much as your heart. You will be able to spot a "Gold Digger" next time!

Anonymous said...

Financially strained does not have to me rude and 'gold digging' -- which that woman was on both accounts. What she dis with the bills, etc. was unacceptable regardless of her financial situation. On the other hand in this economic time it would be a shame to dismiss someone due to their financial situation alone. There are many ways around spending lots of money -- go to the beach, talk a hike, picnics, the summer abounds with free events -- that way no one feels insecure about finances because finances will not taking center stage your relationship will. Overall be flexible but not a push over.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/John & Teach-lots of folks have finacial problems these days, but no one has the right to ask another to foot their bills. However, if I had to choose I'd take financially challenged over mentally challenged-LOL.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first post. It sums up what I was going to say on many points, main one being that she should not be asking for HER bills to be in YOUR name. Does she currently have a job? Regardless, her bills are her responsibility. I would never ask someone to put my bills in their name...employed or not.

You have every right to feel a strain by this and to let the relationship end and to look to move on to someone who is more responsible.

As far as when it is the right time to ask about a person's financial status, that is a bit difficult. My best advice also is to watch for clues as well.

Unknown said...

John, I agree this woman was trying to use you for your financial security.

That being said, there really is no way to be sure you have heard the truth from a date regarding anything. You have to pay attention to the red flags and repetitive themes. You can date for several months and even get married before you learn some key piece of information.

Some people hire private investigators before they get too serious. The obvious problem with that is the breach of trust toward their partner. If I found out a girlfriend hired an investigator to check me without my consent up front, that would be the end of the relationship.

Fortunately for you, she bluntly asked you for the cash.

Anonymous said...

I agree with John-if she was struggling with her finances to the point where she was unable to focus on a relationship or anything else, honesty would have been the best policy. And as for asking someone to foot their bills or put their bills in their names--SHAME on that person--for not having the pride to handle their own obligations and dilemmas (especially of that nature). She may not necessarily be a goldigger--but merely an opportunist--who is extremely irresponsible - and that says a lot about her character overall. Asking someone about their finances is flat out wrong, rude and inappropriate. Asking someone if they own or rent is quite rude as well. Dating is not about prequalifying someone or verifying their credit rating. All that information will surface eventually, and it requires some vested interest, effort and time on both people's part. If a woman is handling all her finances on her own, has a student loan, is paying off debt, and lives on her own, why should she be discounted as someone who can share their life with someone and bring something to the table? As for activities, there are plenty of things to do that are not expensive --moreso during the Spring and Summer. Beach, park, picnics, some museums. If a woman OR man is unable to afford the minuscule parking ticket to any NY beach or gas in their car, perhaps they need to focus first on their current financial situation and then date. It comes down to having respect for oneself--and clearly, someone who asks to use someone else's name for their financial mess lacks that integrity.

Unknown said...

This blog infuriated me. This woman is giving us a bad name. We all have financial situations and although I don't know much about her background (does she have a car, kids, house, does she treat herself to a professional hairdo and mani-pedi regularly) I know we are all struggling. To ask someone to pay your bills (which is essentially what she is doing) is rude and presumptuous. Its different with men because they are the ones who usually foot the bill so it is much easier to catch one who is financially unstable Did you refuse her proposal? is that what ended the relationship?

Unknown said...

Olga: I wouldn't worry too much about this one giving women a bad name. Any guy who thinks badly of all women because of this one is not a great catch anyway. He's probably already a bit anti-woman to begin with.

Of my last four dates, every woman was kind and volunteered to go dutch on the bill.

John: Fortunately there are other fish in the sea!

Anonymous said...

I am writing this anonymously so no one figures out who I am because I actually take the drinking glass of any men I am interested in when speed dating and have their finger prints identified. Then I run them through a national database to check on their finances. Really! Otherwise I might end up with an incredibly nice man, with a great personality, interesting and kind, but with "financial issues"! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is: People with financial messes - usually (not always)--have a very unstable life altogether, and tend to be quite impractical in general and compulsive in many ways. The manner in which a person handles their finances, speaks mountains of the person's character. A person should be able to live within their means, and be responsible when it comes to their debts and lifestyle. A woman doesn't have to reciprocate with gifts...down the road if the relationship gets serious, it's always nice to treat one's partner (but within one's means)!

And if you can't afford to do anything at all...then, you need to focus on handling your finances first--that is, focus on those priorities prior to dating.

How lame, and mortifying--to ask someone to use their name for their bills?! Don't people have an ounce of pride???