Ask Minda Honey: Is She After My Heart or Wallet?

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Hello Minda,

I’ve been dating a girl for the past two years, and it has been really great. There are no jealousy issues or mistrust, and we are making plans to one day live together. I recently noticed a pattern in her behavior that, quite frankly, is raising some red flags for me.

She started to ask me for money some four months ago because she was between jobs and needed a little help (which is not a big deal in my book), but I’ve noticed that she has consistently asked me for money every week for the past four months, but has not made the effort to find work until three weeks ago when she started working. I thought that once she found a job, she wouldn’t have to ask for any more money, but she continues asking, even though she is now working.

Sometimes I react hesitantly towards giving her money, and she becomes upset, guilt tripping me into believing that I don’t have her back and don’t really want to be in a relationship with her for anything other than just sex. I’m not sure how to approach this, because I believe that she is just trying to see how far she can push me to give her more money.

It’s worth saying that I am crazy about this girl, but I’m starting to get the feeling that our relationship may be taking a turn to where she is only with me as long as I keep giving her money.

How do I go about finding out for sure if she is with me because she loves me or she is just taking advantage of me?

Any thoughts would greatly help thanks.

— Mr. Gold Mine

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Mr. Gold Mine,

I agree. I don’t think that, in general, there’s anything wrong with helping your partner through a rough patch with a little financial assistance. But I think there’s a whole lot wrong with taking advantage of your partner in any way, whether that be physically, emotionally or financially.

It looks like you’ve done what I typically recommend and had a direct conversation with your girlfriend about the issue. If she’s been employed for three weeks, she’s likely already got one paycheck under her belt and has another one on the way shortly. That combined with regular support from your wallet during the weeks she spent unemployed, seems to me like she should be back on stable ground.

Do you believe you’re just in it for the sex? If you’re just looking to get laid, there’s no need to make long-term plans with someone, particularly plans that involve living together. There are also plenty of healthy, responsible, consenting adults involved in relationships that revolve around sex and money. But that doesn’t feel like the established parameters of your relationship. If it’s her expectation that she be in a relationship with a man that pays her a set sum each week, she needs to be clear about that. You deserve the right to choose whether or not you’re comfortable being that man.

I once lived with a boyfriend who made considerably less money than I did, and, while some of this might be due to gender norms, he really did all he could to avoid taking money from me. I’d make up little reasons to give him money, or put gas in his car, because who likes to watch someone they love struggle? He was always thankful but never got comfortable with it and certainly never got into a routine of pressuring me for cash.

My gut says you gotta cut her off, or cut her loose. If you don’t trust her, the relationship is done. If you feel like there’s still room to get back to when things were good, you can be firm and tell her no more money. If she chooses to stay, she’s into you, if she chooses to go, well…

And while this isn’t my favorite method, I believe I should mention it because you closed this letter with how much you care about her, and I sense you’ll need to be really, really sure before you can commit to leaving her. So, to get that certainty, you could call her bluff. No more money, no more sex. Tell her you love her, not just sex with her. And to prove it to her, tell her you’re happy to go without sex for as long as she needs to feel confidant you’re in love, not lust with her. Either you’ll realize she’s not that appealing when sex isn’t involved or that her claims don’t hold up.

— Minda

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