Moises: His girl just wanna have funds

@CHADPROVIDES: Hi, Singlestalk. I’m having a relationship with someone who’s really a match. We complement each other. She procrastinates while I tend to work long hours. She’s chill while I’m driven. Her family is poor while I have a privileged background. Don’t get me wrong. I’m helping her pay off her credit card debt because her father got sick. There were times too that she’d use my details to pay for a few items online. But things do eventually add up — about P200,000. I kind of feel bad knowing she’s broke. Like living-paycheck-to-paycheck-while-servicing-her-debts broke. But she manages to go on night-outs with friends. She even went on a trip somewhere south of Asia this year with her family. Don’t you think she can actually pay me back for some stuff? And why would she suggest we go out somewhere pricey when she has no money to shell out in the first place? It’s been our set-up for over a year now. I’m too young to be her sugar daddy. Or am I?

DJ: Your girl just wanna have funds. Her financial situation is a good opportunity — both for you to feel helpful and for the recipient to prove she’s trustworthy and conscientious. What is your story telling you? There’s a big difference between not being able to afford anything and spending more money than she can afford. Is she purposely budgeting her money? Is she demonstrating behavior that she intends to pay off her debts? We all make mistakes. But hopefully she’s not abusing the privilege.

If it was just a one-off, I would have said don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s cool to treat your partner to things once in a while considering her dad’s situation. I’d understand if she wants to have a vacation or occasional night outs to clear some dark clouds she’s having over her head. But if these mean spending money she doesn’t have, is this something you can tolerate indefinitely? She’ll make you a millionaire. If you’re a billionaire. And if you’re saying this happens often, every single one of my multiple personalities is telling me her spending habits are woven with red flags.

Her financial situation is not reason enough to kick her to the curb. It’s your respective attitudes and habits surrounding money. How different or similar are you? People overall are into two distinct camps — saver and spender. Regardless of one’s social status. If you and your girlfriend play on opposing teams, that can be the reason there’s tension. Financial compatibility impacts the choices you and your partner make or not make. Today might be about eating out, trips or shopping habits. But tomorrow, it can be complex like whether you buy a condo or a house. Will you have kids? How many can you afford to raise? Where will they go to school? If you’re not on the same page when it comes to money, it can continue to cause problems down the road. You’re her partner. It’s a relationship. Not a source of income.

So, are you now staring at a two-hundred-thousand-peso sign to get out of this relationship? Talk about it. How? Don’t hijack her with an awkward conversation. You can say you want to discuss your financial situation and ask when is a good time to do it. This gives her enough space to prepare and think how she feels about it. Be truthful but still caring. Telling her that she’s a money-squandering swine isn’t straight talk. Rather state the facts about her night outs and that vacation and how they’re making you feel. Then ask her what she thinks about it. Work with her with a plan to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and a whole lot of debt. Then take it from there. What if she won’t respond? Wear her stockings. This might just move her to say, “we need to talk.” Seriously, a good woman is an investment. But is your girlfriend just a bill? Will you ever see your money again if you’d break up with her? Why? Will staying on increase the chances of getting it back?

Sharing goes both ways. Whatever she wants to be understood, it helps if she’s open too, to whatever you want her to understand. Neither of you is perfect. The more it’s essential for both of you to be on the same page about what is fair and reasonable.