My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years going on 5.
We both received full-scholarships, but to two different colleges and we are about 5 hours apart. So, at the moment we’re making the long distance thing work. Though I love him very much we are different when it comes to our financial status. Since high school he’s always had a job and works hard. I understood he wasn’t as fortunate as I was. Whenever he couldn’t afford to buy me something or to go out I was fine. I paid for most of our dates and still do, but I can tell he doesn’t like it.
I have always been spoiled. When I got my license my father bought me a car, and I got a second one when I graduated for high school. When I got to college I didn’t like living on campus so my parents got me an apartment not too far. My parents told me not to worry about getting a job until I feel like it or I get my degree.
I feel like my boyfriend is a little jealous or something because the other day we got into a huge argument because he didn’t have money to pay on his car and he was already late. I told my parents (who adore him) and they decided to GIVE (not loan) him the money and said he doesn’t have to pay back. When I told him he completely flipped out! He never yelled at me before and I’ve never seen him so mad. He basically called me spoiled, and told me, “If you get anywhere in life it’s because your daddy paid someone to let you through.” He left and has been ignoring me ever since.
My feelings are hurt and I’m so confused because all I wanted to do was help him out especially since he just got laid off, so he’s been struggling with his bills. Was I wrong? How do I fix it? – Super Spoiled
Dear Ms. Super Spoiled,
It seems that you got involved with your boyfriend’s finances when he didn’t ask you to get involved. He didn’t, doesn’t, nor need your help, especially your parent’s support, and therefore, he is upset that you went behind his back, told your parents about his financial struggles, and as a man he is embarrassed, and feels defeated that he can’t be a man and do for himself or his woman. And, because you have had the support from your family, and they are always there for you, you felt you could reach out to them, and you called in your reinforcements to help him, and unfortunately, that is a big no-no for most men.
A man who has worked all his life to do for himself and get himself through his challenges and obstacles does not feel like a man when he has to go to others for support and help. He will struggle, be broke, damn near destitute before he will reach out to anyone and ask for some assistance. Most people, like your boyfriend have stated, have the mentality and attitude that in order to get anywhere in life it’s because of hard work and doing for yourself. They pride themselves on being able to work hard and earn their own way because it means so much more for them when they can buy something or pay their bills. They appreciate things more so than those who have everything given to them. That is a great attribute of your boyfriend, and it shows he is willing to work hard and do what it takes to take care of himself.
But, unfortunately, your boyfriend has some resentment issues toward you because your parents have been able to give you what you want. You don’t have to work. You have already had two cars, and you live off-campus. Your boyfriend doesn’t have the financial support from his parents to do and be as care-free as you. You see, many people who have to work hard, take care of themselves, and earn money through hard work have difficulty asking anyone for help. They refuse to ask for help because it appears to them that they are unable or incapable of doing for themselves, and they feel embarrassed asking for help. So, they will suffer in silence, and just try to work out their situation on their own. They will never say anything to anyone. They will just go without before they ask for help. And, as much as you may want to get involved, help, and offer assistance they will refuse. They don’t want to feel indebted to anyone, or allow their ego to be bruised by you knowing that they can’t do for themselves. It’s nothing personal, or anything about you, it’s just how he is.
Therefore, dating someone like you can be difficult and challenging. Your outlook on life is from two different perspectives, and how you address your financial situations are just as different. He may be a saver, lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and doesn’t have the means to go out and eat a different restaurants, or hang out frivolously without thinking about how he is going to pay his bills, eat, or live. Whereas you don’t have those concerns. You can call your parents for money. You don’t have to worry who is going to pay your bills, and you don’t have to worry about hanging out, eating out, and spending without any concern.
It may be hard for you to understand that your boyfriend is self-sufficient and independent. He values and cherishes his things, and the ability to do for himself. It gives him a sense of accomplishment, and that he is able to pay his own way. He is not reliant upon anyone giving him anything, and he can do for himself. Therefore, you calling your parents to help him is a slap in the face. It is a bruise to his ego and manhood.
I suggest talking with him and listening to his experiences in life, and how it is for him. How does he view his life experience, and what are his challenges. Talk with him about money, what it means to him, and how he feels about it. Listening to your boyfriend about his life experiences and his family background will give you a better sense of his value of hard work, doing for himself, and being independent. Yes, you may have dated him since high school, and may know his family, but you don’t know the dynamics of his family situation. There is something he hasn’t shared with you or told you and why he has to work so hard, be independent, and earn his own money.
You are young, and you’ve had everything given to you so you are not aware of what it means to work hard, do for yourself, and be independent in the same sense as your boyfriend. Yes, you are independent and are away from home. You may take care of yourself, but at least you have the resources to call on your parents if something is to happen. Your boyfriend doesn’t have those resources. So, give him some time, and just sit and talk with him. Let him know you only wanted to help and offer some assistance. But, next time, if this situation arises, you two should talk and you ask him if he wants assistance or help. Let him know you are there for him, and you only want to be a support system for him and that it is okay to have assistance and help from time to time. It doesn’t mean he is incapable, or less of a man to have some help. It truly shows his power and courage to reach out to others for support. – Terrance Dean
Hey Bossip Fam, what do you think? Share your opinions and thoughts below!
Follow Terrance Dean on Twitter: @terrancedean
Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15); Hiding In Hip Hop (Atria Books – June 2008); and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!
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