Dear B. Scott
I have been dating a man who I care deeply for, for a year and a half. He has proposed to me but he hasn’t presented a ring. I let him know that a ring no matter the cost is something that is essential for me to know that he is serious. That conversation was 6 months ago. I’m worried that it won’t happen because he’s cheap. I work and pay my own bills without any problem.
Deep down I still would like the assurance of a man that can take care of me and provide. Should I be blessed with children I would like the luxury of staying home to raise them. I am not so sure that we could maintain a lifestyle together if I didn’t work. He’s not showing any signs that we could.
Most times he takes me to dinner he doesn’t have enough money to cover the tab. It bothers me when he asks for so additional $40-$50 or lets me know when the bill comes that he has suggested dinner, but left home and ate a whole meal without any money in his pocket.
Aside from the financial aspect, I love him and genuinely have a great time with him. How can I get him to break the cycle of cheapness before it breaks us?
Dear Love Muffin,
I hate to break it to you, but there have been numerous studies that show arguments about money are the top predictor of divorce — above children, sex, or anything else.
Luckily, you two aren’t married yet.
You can’t have a great, solid, relationship until you two learn to effectively communicate about money and finance. What that means for you, is that you have to confront the issue head on and make your concerns known.
It’s great that you had a conversation about a ring, but it’s silly to even think about proposals if the foundation of your relationship isn’t solid. Get on the same page about sharing financial responsibility first, once that’s consistent then maybe have the conversation about getting a ring.
And I hate to be blunt, but if he’s asking you for $40 or $50 here and there to cover meals, you’re not getting a ring right now because he’s ‘cheap’, you’re not getting a ring because he’s broke. There is a difference.
Not to say that’s a deal breaker, because what’s true today might not necessarily be true tomorrow — however you both have to be honest with each other about your financial positions and figure out how to maneuver within your relationship in order to reach a place of understanding.
If after talking through things he still can’t be the provider you desire, then you either love him through it or get out before you end up trapped in a relationship where you secretly resent him for not being able to take care of you the way you believe he should.