Editor’s Note: The Alternative title for this post was going to be Dating a Financially Irresponsible Partner but let’s be honest, GMD is not exactly known for censoring her thoughts and feelings.
I’ve mentioned it before in my Ask the Reader: What is your Biggest Credit Card Mistake? that my biggest credit card mistake was taking cash advances out on it, usually a few hundred dollars to “lend” to an ex loser boyfriend who was an even bigger financial mess than I was.
I didn’t go into detail about how much of a financial mess the ex loser boyfriend really was because I didn’t want to come off as bitter and mean.
However, I’ve had a change of heart after reading save.spend.splurge’s powerful post The time I was a TOTAL idiot: Money and its importance in Relationships because I want to warn other Girls (and Guys) out there that dating a financial loser just ain’t worth it. Literally. It will break your heart and drain your bank account.
I know what some of you are probably thinking…it’s not like I am some financial “winner” so who am I to judge someone as a financial “loser”, but the distinction is actually quite simple in my humble opinion – I am doing everything I possibly can to get out of debt and I never hurt anyone (but myself) with it. My ex was doing everything he can to avoid his debt situation and he had no problem taking advantage of others generosity.
I met my ex when I was a senior in high school and he was 2 years older still trying to finish his high school diploma. I thought it was so cool to be dating an older guy. I was working my first part-time job at McDonald’s and he was working…nowhere. He lived at home rent-free but his mom barely gave him any spending money because she was trying to push him to get a part-time job that he refused to do because he wanted to hang out and party with his friends.
I gave him money to buy smokes and alcohol because I thought I was in love. Curse my young foolish generous heart.
We then became a long distance relationship after I graduated high school because I went away to college. My ex was the first person to introduce me to the idea of a cash advance on a credit card. I didn’t even know this was possible until he told me to do it because he needed money right away that I didn’t have the cash for. He promised he would pay me back ASAP. He never did.
We broke up after my first year in college when I finally realized that I didn’t want to keep giving him money alongside a long list of other problems in that toxic relationship.
Wish I could have said good riddance but…..
Unfortunately I got back together with him after almost 2 years apart. This time it was different. I was the broke college student and with some miracle he manage to find a job and earn decent money.
He spent his money recklessly. The minute he got paid, he spent it. I think he also felt guilt by how much he “owed” me from the past so he bought me countless presents. I was the broke college student who wasn’t eating mac n cheese every night because my boyfriend would take me out to eat all the time.
He also couldn’t see it, but his friends and brother were always mooching money from him. He had debt collection agencies calling him daily from back in the days when he had really bad credit and no job but even though he had the cash to repay everything he owed, he chose not to. He just didn’t care enough.
Of course the relationship ended badly, although thank goodness I never lent him money again the second time around. After I broke up with him I vowed never to date a financial loser again.
We all know that I eventually developed some bad financial behaviors of my own but I never involved anyone with my debt problems. They were my own to deal with.
Even today, I am engaged to a personal finance savvy man who has never had any real debt but he has never paid a single penny towards my debt repayment and he never will. This one is all mine.