How Do I Figure Out If My Boyfriend Loves Me or Money More?

couple looking at their bills

Thank you for the sound advice you give. My boyfriend and I both respect it, and it is because of this that I am writing. When my boyfriend got his job about two years ago, it was a great opportunity. One of those companies you retire from, which in this day and age is rare. However, in order to stay together, it also meant we were not in a big city as we had originally planned, where there are plenty of jobs in both our fields, so I had to make a choice: him or my career.

At the time, I chose him and figured I could freelance or go back to school like I had been planning. Since then, his career has blossomed and I have struggled to find fulfilling work. The work I have found has been low-wage and part-time at best, leaving me dependent on him and my parents for support. I did go back to school, but a combination of depression (for which I am now getting help for), understandable pressure from my boyfriend and my parents to get a full-time job, and my general honesty with myself (I majored in a field I love) has left me just looking for work again.

Now, my boyfriend has asked me to move out because he’s sick of supporting me while I find work. I’ve been looking a month and until Dec was working part-time and contributing what I could to mutual bills, which was about half my monthly income. It was my understanding that our agreement was I would wait to find something for at least the first semester – which is now ending – before looking. I understand his frustration as he’s paid the vast majority of the shared bills for most of the time we have lived together, but I also can’t help feeling resentful about it. He wants to stay together, and for me to move back as soon as I start working again, but in this economy I feel I might as well apply to the cities I had job offers in two years ago (as well as local) and then take what I am offered.

I have made it clear that I won’t do long distance, and he agrees that would be for the best. I can’t tell if he’s just trying to break up with me (when I ask he denies it) or if he’s just upset about not being able to save and pay down his debt, which he blames on supporting me. He asked me to sign a new lease with him and we did, then he brings this up. It’s not like he’s forcing me out by a certain time. He just doesn’t want to go through another year of paying everything. I believe he does love me (family and close friends confirm it), but there are so many questions and feelings about this that I can’t help wondering if I’m being played and if he doesn’t love money more.

I just don’t know what to make of this and would appreciate your advice.

Thank you,

There’s a bunch of information that would make it easier for me to give you advice, Sydney. Your ages, how long you’ve been together, how much money you each make, how much he owes, and your respective long-term goals. Without that, I’m grasping at straws and am bound to miss something important.

So let me start with an anecdote:

I dated my wife for 9 months before I learned she was $40,000 in credit card debt. She was divorced, didn’t get alimony, didn’t manage her money properly. I’ve never paid a dollar of debt. She knew that, so she didn’t tell me…until she could no longer hold it back. I was pissed. When I dug further, I learned that a big source of her debt was the fact that she took out a $15,000 cash advance on her cards to bail out a single mom friend of hers who was going to be evicted from her home. My girlfriend was in debt largely because of altruistic reasons. She was willing to suffer to save her best friend. It’s hard to argue with that.

I’m pretty sure if you wrote an email about your sad and penniless boyfriend, every woman here would tell you to leave him. Yet I’ll bet a lot of those same women feel that your boyfriend is being selfish right now.

At that point, I was debating whether we could work for the rest of our lives. How could we buy a house with her abysmal credit rating, and so on? We decided — together — that I wouldn’t pay any money to get her out of debt. It was her job to do that herself. On the other hand, I would shoulder the burden of paying for everything else — all meals, entertainment, travel, and, if I recall properly, the wedding. By the time we were ready to buy a house 3 years later, my wife was back to even. She took responsibility for her own debt. I helped her pull it off.

Now, part of the reason that this is a flawed parallel is that we were in our late 30’s, I was financially secure, and it wasn’t breaking me to pay for food/entertainment/travel. I can’t necessarily say the same thing about your boyfriend.

So while it’s easy to say that he’s cheap, loves money, and is heartless for asking you to move out, the only way to accurately assess this is to know the particulars.

You’re depressed.
You’re unemployed to partially employed.
You’re looking for meaningful work and can’t find it for two years in your new town.
He’s paying for the vast majority of shared bills for most of the time you’ve lived together.
Because he’s covering the lion’s share of these bills, he can’t pay down his own debt.
You threaten to move to another city to find a job.

And you’re feeling resentful that this is frustrating to him?

Listen, I’m sympathetic to what it must feel like to have a boyfriend tell you to move out to get your own financial ship in order. But you have to be sympathetic to what it feels like to be in his position.

If we do a quick gender role reversal, you can see more clearly:

He’s depressed.
He’s unemployed to partially employed.
He’s looking for meaningful work and can’t find it for two years in his new town.
You’re paying for the vast majority of shared bills for most of the time you’ve lived together.
Because you’re covering the lion’s share of these bills, you can’t pay down your own debt.
He threatens to move to another city to find a job.

I’m pretty sure if you wrote an email about your sad and penniless boyfriend, every woman here would tell you to leave him. Yet I’ll bet a lot of those same women feel that your boyfriend is being selfish right now. Funny how that works.

He does love you. He just doesn’t want to be your sugar daddy anymore.

Here’s the deal, Sydney. You don’t need to have the world’s greatest career right now. You just need to have a job — a full time gig that pays you $30,000 a year so you can contribute to your household. You can figure out your dream career on the side. (By the way, this is what I did when I was 30 and depressed and took a customer service gig at JDate to pay the bills when I was in film school.)

I acknowledge it’s not easy to get a job, and I acknowledge your pain that your boyfriend is asking you to leave. But when you question whether he really loves you, you’re missing something important: do you think you’d be having this conversation at all if you’d gotten a steady job in the past two years?

Of course not.

He does love you. He just doesn’t want to be your sugar daddy anymore.

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  1. 1

    And this is one of the reasons I will never move for a man without a ring on my finger.   I have learned after having been divorced that love is not enough. And it REALLY sucks when there are financial issues.   I am fiercely independent and would feel extremely uncomfortable to depend on someone else financially and I damn sure won’t do it for a man unless he is my husband and fell on hard times and it was a temporary situation.

    I am with Evan on this. Move out and find your own way.       

  2. 2

    I would agree with Evan if it weren’t for the fact that she moved to support her BF’s career. She gave up her career progress for his career. He should be willing to give something back to her.

      They should have come to an agreement then about how to handle finances, but there is no fixing their past mistakes now. There’s no one way for a couple to manage their finances. In some relationships, a woman supports a man, a man supports a woman, or each person pays exactly half of the expenses. It’s not like one is right and one is wrong.

    He doesn’t sound supportive.  

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “She gave up her career progress for his career. He should be willing to give something back to her.”

      Respectfully, Fiona, he gave her the past two years, and she still doesn’t have a job. How much longer does he need to pay for her inability to choose/get/hold down stable work, even if it’s not her dream career? Especially, at the expense of paying back his own student loans…

      1. 2.1.1

        I concur, been there, done that with my ex husband. I wasted a good portion of my younger years paying for 90% of our household bills and. Caring for our kids. It’s overwhelming taking on all of the financial burden and household responsibilities, you will never understand how stressful it is until your the one in the driver seat. He has every right to ask her to step up…I waited way too long to ask my ex to step up, as an alpha female I just handled it which ultimately caused me to leave him. I couldn’t take his selfishness and unwillingness to step up, bottom line is that if continues to provide what she needs it will be less likely for her to ever find her ideal job.

      2. 2.1.2

        Clapping for Evan. I am currently IN this situation. I moved out to pay off my debt after supporting my boyfriend, and all our   bills. We’re both young, and I feel he is an adult. He is capable to actually try and find a job and learn how to handle his finances. He gets upset that I moved out, but when you start resenting someone, something needs to change. I still love him, and we’re still together. We’re just living apart. He needs to understand a relationship is 50/50 and 2 years is too long for one person to be supporting two people. He’s also been graduated from university for 1 year now. I can’t take excuses anymore. If he survived before having me around, he can survive again. He needs to learn financial responsibility. Your NEEDS must always be covered first, rent, hydro, internet, phone bill and food. Wants come after.

  3. 3

    So he wants you to move out and find a job but wants to tell you you cannot switch cities for said job? If you move, will he continue to live in the same place? So he will be spending the same amount on rent and most utilities? I don’t see how this is a good resolution. I would move out and back with your parents for the mean time. Look at jobs wherever you can get them. You have to support yourself. If its in the town you live in now, great maybe the two of you can be on the path to success but if not, you have to worry about yourself. He is worrying about himself at this point.

  4. 4

    BF’s request sounds reasonable to me.   Maybe he’s just trying to light a fire under her.   If it’s been two years and OP still hasn’t been able to find employment to contribute to household, then I think anyone in their right mind would need to reconsider the situation.   Who wants to always be the one in a relationship to bear the brunt of the finances?   Should be equal or as close to equal as possible.     

  5. 5

    Sorry, lady. I am more inclined to side with the boyfriend on this one. I’ve been there, supporting my last boyfriend for 2 years while he was in school (12 hours/semester) and not working at all. Except that I was the one who moved and took a 40% pay cut to be with him and still ended up supporting the both of us with my dramatically reduced salary. He pulled the same crap the OP is pulling, waiting for his dream job to come along while I stunted my career growth by taking a lower level job because I had to have something, anything, to pay the bills (both his and mine) while I put myself through grad school. Fortunately I have no debt, but I have been unable to accomplish my dream of saving up a down payment for a house because I was paying his share of the rent, utilities, car insurance, and groceries. He was shocked–and angered–when 2 years after his graduation (and 4 years into me being his mommy) that I lowered the hammer and broke up with him. If he wasn’t working at all 2 years after getting his degree, it just wasn’t going to happen. The entitlement of some people just amazes me.
    Stop making excuses and stop acting like this man doesn’t love you just because he asks you to stop taking advantage of him. Resentment is a powerful emotion, and you are probably close to passing the point of no return with this guy. I wrecked my life for a guy who was using me to keep a roof over his head and food in his belly while he spent 2 years finishing 2.5 semesters’ work. I’m starting over in my 30s with greatly reduced earning power and no savings. I think your boyfriend is seeing what I’m seeing at about the same 2-year mark that I saw it and is wanting to avoid the same fate. If you want to salvage your relationship, start with a huge apology, not a list of grievances.

  6. 6

    And I can not see here the – Togetherness, the commitment and the love. This BF should of known that is not easy to change towns,jubs and life. He got what he wanted of life,what is his problem in supporting the woman he “loves”..? He definitely loves money more and puts them above the relationship. What kind of family man,father and supporter would he be at all, if they are to get married and have family…? He is selfish and greedy. Leave him to live with his money and be happy..!! Men forgotten totally what is to be gentelman,supporter and the main pulling financial wagon. He has better job- he Have to support and understand. Is not like she is not trying to contribute. If she was slacking and sponging in full of him, than ok,but she is Not. She gave up many things to be with him. he has to give back and for as long as it takes. If he loves and trusts. To me he does not love her and does not trust her and love money more.
    You do not need to have a job,girl, you can start your own business,build something,have ideas,go forward in life and be everything you wish to be.If he is going to threaten you with petty controlling demands – well, you do not need that. He is holding you down and making you depressed and worried and you can not focus on finding something good not only for yourself,but for you both as partners and future family. He been totally not understanding and selfish. Ditch him,live your own life,find generous ,understanding and supportive in everything man.

    1. 6.1

      Dora I couldn’t agree more!

  7. 7

    Just to add – if Sydney was drughead,drunk or with any bad addiction and was wasting money and future on it – than she would be for blame. I can not see her being that. So, what does this man wants of her..? Cheap man. Run girl. You will be free from him and his poison and holding you down.

    1. 7.1

      A fully grown adult woman who has her boyfriend and her parents paying all her bills, and you are calling the boyfriend cheap?

      That is hilarious.

    2. 7.2

      She is an ADULT woman, she can take any job, while continuing to look for better work. They should come to an understanding of what financial and living situation would work best for them, should this opportunity come her way. However, that being said, 2 years of supporting someone is mentally exhausting. Love can be bore from resentment…

  8. 8

    People do a whole heck of a lot these days without a ring on their finger, and I don’t understand it. Even at 30 years old, I’ve never lived with a guy or gotten into these kinds of entanglements. I see my friends buying houses with guys they’re not married to! It just seems so risky to give up so much for someone who hasn’t committeed to being a lifetime partner.

  9. 9
    Dina Strange

    Not to sound cross…the guy is a loser. Dump him, and find yourself someone who is more understanding and less selfish.

    1. 9.1

      Well the guy doesn’t really sound like the loser, the girl does. Come on 2 years and no job what the hell have you been doing with your life. The guy is not asking you to shower him with money, he just want you to pay your share of the expenses.   All in all you should probable get a job right away and work off that debt that you’ve owed him for the past 2 years. And really doubting his trust in you after 2 years of you leaching off of him, that’s really low. You owe him greatly, if you really think he has no right to throw you out on your ass, then girl your wrong, no two ways about it.
      I would suggest you stop blaming and questioning him because so far I haven’t seen him do anything outside of what he should do to a leach. Get a job already, if you were him would you want to pay for the bills for the rest of your life?

      1. 9.1.1

        yes, if i can afford and if i love him and he loves me truly



  10. 10

    I totally support and side with the boyfriend. He should be breaking up with her.  
    Evan is right that more information would help. As it is though there is a lot to go on
    -making threats and giving ultimatums
    Plus “contributing what I could to mutual bills, which was about half my monthly income.  ” Ummmm…..what are you wasting the other half of your income on???  
    I was with a guy just like this – took no responsibility for himself, lived off me, “looked for jobs” (which only meant a lot of hot air about dream jobs that he made no effort towards getting) and all the time prioritsing his needs. He would spend on himself and then not be able to meet his half of the rent (so I would pay it). I am guessing that the other half of her income is spent on herself (whether that is drugs, drinks or just selfish shopping sprees).

    1. 10.1

      While I sympathize with your position, I have to say that what you did was pretty dumb. I’m sure you realize that now but really, that is exactly the kind of thing women do when they’re afraid that guys won’t love them back. If you were secure in yourself and your love, you would have stayed where you were, wished your boyfriend well at school  and carried on a long-distance relationship until he graduated. While far from ideal, that situation is far preferable to the one you’re in now. You  need to recognize your part in all this: no one twisted your arm – it was your choice to do what you did. Now that you know better, you won’t make that same mistake again, so at least that much good has come out of it.

      1. 10.1.1

        If what Rachel did was dumb, then what Sydney’s boyfriend is doing is also dumb.

        1. Jenn

          What Rachel did is different and it came from a different place. She may have been doing it more as a “Look how much I LOVE you!” kind of move. The reason I know that is because I have been in her position (not financially, but the attitude was the same). Men are the providers and protectors. Sydney’s boyfriend wants to be neither for her, so clearly his feelings are not what they should be. I understand that men these days do not (and largely cannot, with the economy as bad as it is) want to shoulder the full burden of finances, but it is very telling of his feelings toward her that he would rather boot her out than be there for her financially.

      2. 10.1.2

        The double standard going on here is amazing. Why is it that when a woman pays all the bills, she’s dumb, but when a man pays all the bills, he’s just…barely not an asshole. I don’t buy into this man’s job / woman’s job B.S. If a man is unwilling to be the sole breadwinner for a leach of a woman, many of you say he’s not doing his job. If you still live in the backward paradigm that forces men to be providers/protectors, then you live in a world in which women, conversely, are brainless baby factories. So, if a woman doesn’t want to be a full-time stay at home mom (or a mom at all), is she not doing her job? If she doesn’t put gourmet meals on the table every night, should he run from her? Does the fact that she expects him to share responsibility for housework mean she doesn’t love him? I think anyone can see the absurdity there.
        I think my motives were similar to those of the OP’s boyfriend. My guy was in school and was struggling to get by. We had been best friends for a decade, had dated for a year, and had already decided to get married. I didn’t have the actual ring because it seems gauche to demand a diamond from a struggling college student. My move was an investment in us as a team. We succeed or fail together, and managing 1 household between us was better than trying to hold down 2. He promised to get a PT job when I moved, so we were actually going to be better off collectively under one roof than paying 2 rents and all the other redundant bills. The problems happened when he (1) didn’t follow through on his promise to get a job and (2) failed some classes and graduated later. I had already moved. I had given up my job and it’s not like I could just move back and pick up where I left off. You can dump a guy like that when he effs up 2 months in, but when it’s been 11-12 years of being there for each other, you hang in there and give him the benefit of the doubt. I held it together for the sake of the team as long as I could, and I just had to face the fact that I didn’t have a teammate. Sydney’s boyfriend is just now coming to that realization and I don’t think that makes him a bad guy or dumb. It makes him patient, persistent, caring, and generous…just not to the point of being played for a fool.

        1. Dina Strange

          I feel like it’s YOU who is living in a backward paradigm.

        2. Carie

          Rachel I couldn’t agree more. I hate double standards, always have and always will. I really hate seeing someone get dragged down because of their “partner”.  

        3. Mark

          I was in the same situation as this for a long time, I was always their for my wife and when I finally asked her to get a job after 13 years of being together she divorced me. Now shes collecting alimony and has a boy friend. I feel like crap and really don’t know what to do, I kind of still love her even though she hurt me so much. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I hate being used.

  11. 11

    There is something deeper going on here. I say this as a woman who quit her job to go back to school so I could earn 3x more. At the time, my bf supported the decision, but when I couldn’t make rent one month he started to panic. I have supported myself my entire life. then the truth came out–deep down he feared I would sponge off him like his mother. We broke up. 6 years later I make MORE than him and am close to a 6-figure salary. Whatever his attitudes are about money, he’s projecting them on to you. I say you have to have a meaningful conversation about money and explore your family history/philosophy and get to the real root of the problem.

  12. 12

    She should RUN for this boy, and I say boy as MEN are the providers, caretakers and leaders. Woman cherish, adore make sacrifices and take care of their man in many ways other than monetary. And this is what is wrong with the work and relationships today. Equality and roles are all mixed up and men and woman have mixed up roles. Traditional values work.   Communication, unconditional love, respect and honesty make a relationship work, and clearly these values do not exist in this one.

    1. 12.1

      I’ve been looking a month and until Dec was working part-time and contributing what I could to mutual bills”.

      I don’t know exactly when this was written, but she’s been unemployed since December and has only been looking for work for a month?

      IMO, both parties are at fault for taking the career issue so lightly. Moving for a man, in this day and age, with your own career not in place, is a risky move. Supporting someone that you’re not married to for an indefinite amount of time is also risky. It’s not surprising that booth parties feel resentment. Sydney needs to move out and go where the opportunities are.  

    2. 12.2

      I really hope she does leave him. This guy sounds like a great guy, he’s been taking care of her all this time and only now does he have a problem with it. If it were me in his shoes and he in hers i would have dumped his ass a long time ago.

      1. 12.2.1

        Jill, he’s the man he has to pay for the stuff, it’s his job that’s what men are for. If i ever had to pay for anything, i would drop that guys ass right out the window and found myself a real man, one who could handle me and all that i am. Because really why should you care for a guy like that, he couldn’t possibly love her if he is asking her to pay anything!!!! Look, if the man doesn’t provide he not worth your time, dump his disgusting worthless ass, find a real man, one who will provide for you.  

        1. Jordan

          In other words:


          Princess and the Plow horse.


          Got it.

        2. mercy

          The key thing here that people are forgetting is that they are NOT married

  13. 13

    IMO the OP made the mistake of making a big decision like moving for a man with no job without a ring on her finger.   That’s not right.   Now she’s in a precarious position.   If she had been married this whole conversation would have been different.   

    I agree the BF is right BUT in my opinion he’s not that into her as they say.   He hasn’t married her and he won’ t marry her, not at this rate.   That’s the bigger problem in her hands than her   current lack of job. She’s chosen a man over her career but the man has not chosen her.   These career-over-man decisions can only be taken if there is SERIOUS commitment involved on both parties.   Otherwise you’re choosing a career over a castle in the air.

    1. 13.1

      I agree with you that he’s not that into her. While he may want her in his life, and he is not wrong for feeling the strain of having to support another person in addition to himself, he doesn’t love her. Any man who really loves a woman and can see a future with her that includes marriage wouldn’t be grousing about having to support her while she looks for a good job so that she can eventually make a good financial contribution to the household. More along this point, what would he do if they did get married and then she has to take maternity leave and drop down to part-time (or stay at home) to  raise their kids? Or perhaps down the line, after they’re married for a while, she (or even he! gasp!) loses her job and they have to survive on one income for a long time? These things do happen, and so it’s very telling that he is acting this way. It shows that he is not really in a position where he wants to be the provider, so maybe she would be better off if they broke up. And I agree, never move in without a ring and a wedding date. Talk is cheap.

      1. 13.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz


        “Any man who really loves a woman and can see a future with her that includes marriage wouldn’t be grousing about having to support her “

        For two YEARS?

        “It shows that he is not really in a position where he wants to be the provider”

        No, it shows that is is not really in a position where he CAN be the provider. He can’t pay back his own loans because he’s supporting her.

        1. Jenn

          “No, it shows that  he is not really in a position where he CAN be the provider. He can’t pay back his own loans because he’s supporting her.”
          Fair enough, but  I still say  it shows  where his head is at if he’s ready to give her the boot rather than compromise. Perhaps  the two of them could get a smaller place with cheaper rent until she finds a suitable position.  It just seems to me that if this was a case where he was  envisioning spending the rest of his life with her, he would be more willing to do what it took for the both of them to live together. And she said in her letter that she’s making contributions where she can, so it’s not like she’s totally stiffing him on everything.
          I’m coming from a place of understanding for her because I’m on a low income, full-time position. I pay all my own bills and buy some of the groceries, but I have to live with my parents because I don’t make enough to support myself. It sucks, but that doesn’t mean that’s how it’s always going to be. I’m still in school at 33, trying to figure out how to get the career that I want (veterinarian, preferably). But if I do get in to vet school, that is going to come with a huge price tag, at least  $100,000. And that’s on top of the almost $30,000 I already have from a vet tech degree that unfortunately,  didn’t work out. And vets don’t make a ton of money, but it’s a career that I have wanted since I was 10 and I’m finally realizing that if I don’t try for it now, I never will and I’ll quite possibly be stuck in this dead-end job working for peanuts. So you see, I can very much identify with where she’s at.  I understand that  financially, yeah, I’m a bad investment. But that doesn’t mean I’d deserve to get booted out on my ass. And she doesn’t either.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re making excuses for her and conflating your situation with hers.

          She is not in school to pursue her dream job like you. She is justifying why she’s gone nearly 2 years without a job and then blaming her boyfriend for being selfish. He is not selfish. He, like some of the other commenters on this thread, did not sign on for the job of supporting her. That doesn’t make him selfish. It means that she is reneging on her end of the bargain, which is to be a self-sufficient adult. When I was in grad school, I took a job answering phones at an online dating company. It wasn’t glamorous, but it kept a roof over my head for $32,000/year. The OP has given no indication that she’s willing to take A job just to pay the bills and contribute. It’s the entitlement that’s getting her thrown out; not her boyfriend’s lack of commitment. Love doesn’t mean that he owes her his hard-earned money when she is doing little to deserve it (says the man who supports a stay at home wife and two kids). Put yourself in his shoes and you will come up with a different answer. Right now, all you can do is blame him for not wanting a slacker/moocher girlfriend, when no woman wants a slacker/moocher boyfriend….

  14. 14

    They really should have discussed this thoroughly before she moved to another city because of his career. Since she didn’t have a job lined up from the get-go, she knew there would be at least a period where she would not be contributing much because she would be looking for work. It was her responsibility to find out how he felt about this, I believe. They should have played through various possible scenarios and their respective expectations, and how each of them felt about each scenario. In my view, it was wrong of the OP to just assume that her boyfriend would be happy to continue paying for most things indefinitely if they never agreed on that. It is understandable he feels taken for granted, maybe even taken advantage of. In my opinion, communication is key here. Be open to how he feels about all of this, and to what he suggests. Show willing, get a job, contribute more, work out a budget, talk about this. In all likelihood, you can get this back on track, but not just by continuing to do what you’ve been doing.

    1. 14.1

      BTW, I’ve been in this exact situation. I gave up my job to move to another country with a man for his career, where I would not be able to work. However we discussed this beforehand, and he was happy to support me whilst I contributed in other ways, like doing all the housework and cooking, and managing our budget.

  15. 15

    And women can’t propose so it is not the same if you flip it!!!! Never give up a job and move without a ring and a plan.

    The mistake is you moved without a ring. Look for a great job anywhere and get out. It’s not your fault he is selfish and not committed and not into you but you won’t make this mistake again. It would be better if you moved with a fiancé and the agreement is to have kids while his super new job provides.  

  16. 16

    This is why everyone should have their life together FIRST before getting into a relationship. Yep, good jobs are hard to find. I am working in a position that no longer want to be in, in a redneck town that really destroys any chance of finding someone compatible to marry. Why? I have a mortgage, until last month,
    supported a dying parent, I need health care and to save for retirement. Responsibilities come first. I don’t know the origin of your depression, but maybe that’s something to start with. Yep, you’re going to have to move, accept it.   I am not sure whether this
    dude loves you or not but having been in a situation where I was going to have to support a man who chose not to succeed, I can understand where he is coming from. He’s paying off student loans, trying to lift himself up, and for whatever reasons, having to pretty much support you too. Time to start getting on your own completely which may require living on much less than you are used to. When my marriage broke up, the affordable rent I could find was a 2 room cabin w/no water or plumbing, grew my own veggies, wore used clothing, ate cheap food, and taught tracking, survival skills classes to keep myself fed outside the school year. Think outside the middle class American box. You’ve learned a harsh lesson; never leave job, home, etc for someone without a ring on your finger or similar commitment. Relationships crap out, people leave, die, become incapacitated. You have to be able to support yourself and children, on your own regardless of rship status because things go wrong. Sorry to be so tough but think about what would’ve happened had you had children or stayed in this situation for years. Best of luck.

    1. 16.1

      A woman I know who is a financial planner has a saying “A man is not a financial plan”.

      1. 16.1.1

        Lol, SparklingEmerald! I was raised with the exact same motto. NEVER *expect* a man to support you with no fall-back plan of your own.

        I was raised to always be able to support myself financially, so that I would always be ok, no matter what happens. Quite frankly, a man’s job is no guarantee of anything nowadays and I do think it’s a very heavy burden for him to shoulder alone. I also wouldn’t want to be dependent. If a man is willing and able to contribute a greater share towards the household bills, personally I think that is wonderful. But I do really think with how far we have come as women, that it is not right to just sit back. Not only for his sake, but also for your own. What kind of person really likes to feel like a financial burden to someone else?  

        1. Henriette

          Hear, hear!

        2. Jacob

          Thank you for not using that quote in a way to hurt men. And thank you for trying/being a real human being. I am a man and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything even closely resembling this coming out of a women s mouth. It seems like we as men are forced to pay for everything now a days. I really want to meet a women who will actually insist on paying for herself on dates then ask if she could see me again afterwards. If a girl ever did that I might be a little embarrassed at the start but she would truly have my attention, and knowing that she is just as competent of a person as i am really makes her someone I would want to share my life with.  
          Thank you Clare for being you, please if you read this know that you are one of the best and greatest women out there because you think this way. And for any other girl out there who feels the same way, thank you for not using us to get a free drink/dinner or just to relieve your boredom. Thank you for being you. I hope you all end up with men that feel the same way about you as you do them.

        3. Jordan

          Now you Noquay and Clare are a REAL woman.

      2. 16.1.2

        Great comment SparklingEmerald.   Girls should be taught this very early on.

    2. 16.2

      I’ve had a job the whole time have a child and he still chose himself and money over family bc I didn’t pop out a baby making 50,000 and focusing on raising my son (which obviously impossible). I worked at daycare bringing in 19,000. I filed child support we lived together only 5 months at a time. He swears he loves me but I don’t believe it.

  17. 17

    Dear Sydney,
    From your letter, I get a feeling that while you initially put your boyfriend over your career, this choice is not working for either of  you in the long run. Neither have you really come to terms with sacrificing your career (you write that you love your own field, but have no chances of finding a job in this field in this little town), nor does your boyfriend really feel like becoming a breadwinner for the whole household. In this sense, your expectations for a relationship model still match each other. You want a career, he doesn’t   want to be the sole breadwinner. If this is what you both want, and provided that you both want to stay together, you need to find a place to live where  such a relationship model is possible.   
    You need to get yourself out of this depression and get your self-esteem up, and becoming more successful in your job search would certainly help. If you were a friend of mine that asked for advice, I would probably say try to widen up your job search and see if you can get job offers in  cities where there are job opportunities for both of you. If you start getting job offers in such cities,   talk honestly with your boyfriend about your future. If he will be willing to change his good job for another job in another city for you to stay together, you’ve got a man with integrity. If he feels that his current job is so good and bears so much prospect that you can get married and he asks  you to consider  becoming a stay-at-home-mom, you’ve got a man with integrity. However, if in such situation,  he still   expects you to sacrifice your career for him  (each year without a job in your field, whether on unemployment or as SAHM, diminishes your chances of getting back on track career-wise)  on one hand, and makes no sacrifice for you and your well-being on the other, you have a man who wants to eat his cake and have it, too.  
    If he asks you to move out now in order to find a job, please move to a city where you have real chances of finding one.

    1. 17.1

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Are you depressed because of the situation? Perhaps you would feel better getting a job in your field, move if you have to and become independent.

      Then you might see your boyfriend in a new perspective.

      I believe you can make it!!!

  18. 18

    The OP is wanting to work full-time in fullfilling work. She is not looking to work fulltime in whatever is available. So far, no dice. She left her fullfilling career to be with him.
    He knows that.
    Two years have passed and she has found squad meaningful work. And let’s face it the opportunities for such meaningful work may never happen or it may happen in two years time. I don’t know how the job market in the OP’s chosen (meaningful) work field is.
    He knows that, too.
    You know what, I know a married woman whose passion is acting. So she works part-time and does acting the rest of the time. Her husband supports her but he knew what he was getting into before accepting. I know another married woman who used to work full-time but now she wants to be a housewife. Her husband supports her but he knew what he was getting when they got married.
    I’ve got more examples – all share one commonality: the man knew what he was getting into before sealing the deal and the man was happy with that arrangement.
    What I am saying is: He knew what he was getting into. He is now not happy with the arrangement.
    RUN, baby, RUN.

    1. 18.1

      Agree with you 100% bluew. He knew what he was getting into and now he wants to back out on the deal.  
      He was quite happy for her to give up her prospects to move to be with him and now he is telling her she has to leave.  
      He knew how much his student loans (or other debts) were right from the word go and how much had to be repaid. Was there no plan B in place in case something happened to either the OP or the boyfriend?  
      It doesn’t sound like the OP’s boyfriend is 100% committed or he wouldn’t be asking her to leave. Men who love you want to be with you, if they don’t and you’re now getting a bunch of excuses or he’s backing off, you’re wasting your time. It really is that simple with men.  
      Good luck with whatever you decide to do but it seems you may be wasting your time with this man who is asking you to leave – like a flat mate who can’t pay the rent. Man, that really sticks in my throat!

  19. 19

    I’m just gonna point out that, a) it’s not explicit that Sydney had fulfilling full-time work prior to the move, b) that Sydney doesn’t necessarily need  fulfilling work (lots of people work jobs they don’t love in order to pay the bills–they work to live, don’t live to work), and c) just because she majored in a field she loves doesn’t necessarily mean she deserves a job in it (if you major in violin but aren’t very good at it, do you automatically deserve an orchestra position?).

    1. 19.1

      Fair enough. My initial feeling was that he knew what he was getting into. But re-reading the letter she may have skewed things a bit alas why he may have agreed to the initial arrangement. (There are two sides to every story)
      But what is fact is that both went into an arrangement with ultimately different expectations.
      He was hoping that at some point she’d be willing to contribute even if it meant to temporarily work anywhere to make ends meet. (until something better would come along)
      She, however, was hoping for something else entirely.
      I am not sure both discussed the arrangement properly before moving in together.

  20. 20

    This guy is a jerk and he doesn’t even sound like he’s acknowledged the sacrifice she made. I was in a similar situation and some men are just takers and complain if they can’t take any more from you because you end up being poor. Run from this man and don’t make such sacrifices again for a man

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