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


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. 21

    I agree that more information would have helped a lot in this situation. But given that, I agree with the advice. She’s an adult and needs to be independent. Two years of taking care of her was more than generous.

    I also have to admit it’s frustrating to read some of the hypocrisy/double standards written in the comments. But other comments make me realize maybe this is progress.

    I guess it’s ok to want to be taken care of and have the partner be the provider/protector. And I think it’s ok to expect your partner to be independent. But if your partner doesn’t want to be what you want. It’s not that they are wrong. You just need to find someone that wants the same thing as yourself.

  2. 22

    Too many variables in the economics of lion’s share equation; without enough information it is hard to tell except this is a great life and relationship lesson for the OP.  

    My attitude towards money is influenced by my culture (Eurasian raised in NYC) and family dynamics. Men in my family take manhood very seriously 🙂 protect and provide.   The women take the supportive role but know and can step up to the plate.


  3. 23

    It surprises me that in this day and age young women give up their careers for a man. A career is not just  a job that supports you, it’s your future, your self-expression,  and your freedom. Time will take away whatever romance  you are feeling now, even if you do marry the object of your affection. But no one can take away your career accomplishments, and you can continue to build on them for decades.
    I read in a sociology book just the other day that marital expectations among  young adults have changed, that nowadays both young men and young women want an egalitarian marriage. If, however, they don’t find an  egalitarian marriage,  most young women  say they will opt not to marry, while most young men say they will go for a traditional marriage (i.e., according to  traditional gender roles).   Sounds like a lot of conflict brewing.
    Given this paradigm shift, for all women, I think, it’s better to know that you can count on yourself. Follow your career dreams and you’ll likely meet someone else along the way, someone with whom you are compatible. If not, at least you won’t be dependent on a man. Imagine, for a minute, that   ten years from now your professional accomplishments  exceed his. Can you imagine giving that up to live in a place that serves his dreams but not  yours? You’ll never know what  you can do until you start doing it.  It’s so exciting to be rewarded financially for your talents, abilities, and hard work. Best of luck to the OP.

  4. 24

    Joe: No gets a music degree in instrumental performance if they aren’t very good at it–you don’t get accepted in to a program unless you are. The fact is that there aren’t many orchestral jobs out there, and there are  many qualified applicants for each open orchestral position. Most musicians understand and accept this going into school, and most make their living teaching. Point being, “deserving” a job has nothing to do with it. If the OP loved her course of study, she’s probably good at whatever discipline she undertook. She can probably  make a nice career in it.  No need to suggest that she’s a loser  at  the work she loves. Sounds  just the opposite to me.     

    1. 24.1

      @Simone: I actually respectfully disagree with you. Loving your course of study does not make you necessarily “good at it”, and even if you are good at it this does not mean that jobs are available in the related field.
      To my opinion this is the huge problem of higher education in the USA, given how expensive it is. Some undergraduate degrees are still totally worth it because they train students for specific skills relating to well-defined positions in fields that are still in high demand. Examples: engineering, computer sciences, nursing, and for non-college degrees: electrical, plumbing, etc. Majoring in art history, theatre, world religion and such topics do not lead to as solid job opportunitites, despite being super interesting. Students end up with huge student debts and poor job prospects, and get stuck in either holding out for the “fulfilling career” or doing unrelated low-paying jobs to make ends meet.
      Possible solutions: 1. Biting the bullet and going back to school for another major or an advanced degree leading to a job currently in high demand (I vote for computer science and nursing), 2. Finding fulfillment in a volunteer job (helping undeserved communitities, working at an animal shelter, coaching a local sport team, creating a theatre group at the local highschool, etc).

      1. 24.1.1

        Fusee: Respectfully disagree in return. I know two art history majors: one  is a VP at Goldman Sachs and the other a translator at the Italian consulate. I know many, many theater majors, some of whom have won the big awards and others who use their performing degrees in entrepreneurial ways (corporate trainers, event planners, fundraisers, writers).  I even know people who majored in religion  and work in religious settings (these church jobs have some of the highest satisfaction ratings of all professions). It is quite possible to use one’s degree if one has an open mind and can think creatively.  The world cannot be full of computer programmers and nurses.     

        1. Joe

          So, did your Goldman Sachs VP get that position just a couple of years after getting that art history degree?

      2. 24.1.2

        Making a living in more creative fields is difficult, but not impossible. I know art directors, an art curator, designers, art professors who all have solid careers. However, you have to be where the work is, and that usually means a large city. In following hr boyfriend, the OP made a choice not to be where the jobs in her field are.

      3. 24.1.3

        There is a glut of nurses in many areas. All of the nursing school grads I know are having a miserable time finding a nursing job. Most have to take caretaker jobs that don’t utilize their degree.

        And, get real, not everyone has the skills for computer science.  

      4. 24.1.4

        Ok guys I realize that my comment makes me look like I’m glorifying computer science and nursing. I’m not. I’m just giving examples of degrees with more chances of finding decently paid jobs right out of school, for folks who do not want to do “low-pay” jobs. Of course, not everybody should be a programmer or a nurse! It is a fact though that a lot of degrees do not lead to a defined skill set and position, and graduates in such majors will have to either specialize with an advanced degree or go through low-pay jobs while waiting for The One related to their original degree.

    2. 24.2

      Joe: No, she didn’t. Her degree, which is a basic liberal arts degree, got her a decent job that led to something that led to something, etc.
      Most people do not work in the fields they chose for themselves as teenagers starting college. Many spend years training and thousands upon thousands of dollars to build careers that they do not like: Many people drop out of law school and med school, for instance, or they graduate but never practice in these professions. They all go on to do something else, presumably something else that suits them better.  
      To build a successful career you must have desire, opportunity, an expenditure of effort, and luck.  In the OP’s scenario, she’s  sacrificed her desire and her opportunity to be with a guy, and the guy is  telling her that he’s not going to sacrifice in kind any more. Not surprisingly, his change is causing her rightly  to question the relationship. The advice to double down on the effort part of the career equation isn’t going to work without some measure of the other three career requirements,  IMO.  
      Sadly, women are usually encouraged to sacrifice their career desires and opportunities and to double down on the effort part (usually in  deference to men’s desires and opportunities), usually as homemakers or in service or caretaking jobs. For most women there isn’t enough luck to change the course of this trajectory. It’s an insidious thing. Women have to be vigilant–we have to ignore the low-grade criticism,  the lack of understanding, the poo-pooing. Then one day we wake up and we have this fantastic body of work that we created.
      I also reject the role reversal  scenario. Very few men would give up their career desires and opportunities to  follow a  woman around while she pursued hers. But in those very rare cases  where that happens, I wouldn’t recommend it either.   

      1. 24.2.1

        The letter writer is also unwilling to sacrifice — she states that she is the one who doesn’t do long distance relationships.    So, her solution is to expect that her boyfriend should support her forever without complaint.   Let’s not forget that these two people are not married; there are no children involved.   I still don’t understand why this guy owes her anything.

        I think it is interesting that her response to her boyfriend not wanting to support her financially is that he must not lover her.   Well, apparently, she doesn’t want to support herself either so then doesn’t it mean that she doesn’t love herself?   

        Also, if you read her letter, she never says that she left a job that she loves.   What she said is that they moved from a big city where there were plenty of jobs in both her field and her boyfriend’s field.   She also said she was planning to go back to school before she even moved with her boyfriend.   So, she left job offers.   She did not leave a career that she loves.   She didn’t even know if she was going to love those jobs.   

        Also, with all the possibilities in this world, there is only ONE thing that this woman can do to be happy.    That doesn’t seem reasonable to me.  

        Finally, I work in corporate America and while there still isn’t full equality for men and women, there are so many men who actually are moving around for their girlfriends/wives.    Is it happening at the same level that women are following men, probably not.   However, I think we as women lose credibility when we don’t acknowledge that real and significant change is happening in the world.   
        Woman are not the only ones sacrificing.   
        Plus, as a woman who used to   support a man who was chronically (and purposefully) un/underemployed, I felt a lot of pressure.   Even though I have a job that a love, it was a very different feeling going to work knowing that the burden of all the finances fell entirely on me.   While it is true that I would have many of those expenses if I were single, it’s just a very different feeling when you know you have to take care of someone else.   I really don’t think women acknowledge that feeling enough when men have to do it and many women act like it’s no big deal.   It is a big deal.   It’s a big deal financially and emotionally.     


  5. 25

    Can Sydney (the OP) contribute in other ways to the household so that her boyfriend would not feel taken advantage of?   While you are looking for a job, you can’t contribute financially, but can you contribute to his life in other ways?   Like cook, clean, be his emotional support, etc.   In my opinion, if he pays for everything and you don’t help the household in other significant ways, then he is not wrong to pressure you to find a job. If you devote yourself to the relationship by acting like a stay at home wife while earnestly trying to find a job, and he still wants you to move out, then I think he’s being unreasonable.
    Also, if you can’t find a job that is your passion, you might need to suck it up and just get any job.   No job is beneath you if you are unemployed.   You’re not the only to give up your dreams just to put food on the table.
    But honestly though?   I don’t think the relevant question is whether or not he is a good, upstanding guy.   Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.   But the answer to that question isn’t important at this point.   I’m not so sure that he’s still in love with you.   The answer to that matters.
    In my experience, no one is “stupid” for too long.   Sooner or later the party that gives more and receives less will feel the imbalance.   And if the imbalance isn’t corrected, well then, you know.

    1. 25.1

      I’m not so sure that he’s still in love with you.

      …or maybe he loves her too much to let her get into a bad habit of being dependent on him.

  6. 26

    I agree with #18 Bluew. The boyfriend knew what he was getting into (i.e. the OP sacrificed her career and chose to move with him even though there won’t be a lot of jobs suitable for her, and he knew this). Yet he is unwilling to be the man of the house and support her while she continues to find suitable work. The OP was only able to contribute a little but not much, due to the work that she found that has been low-wage or part time at best. At the same time she has been receiving pressure from the boyfriend to find a full time job, but hello, the boyfriend knew from the very beginning that there are hardly any jobs suitable for the OP.  

    I believe that both the OP and the boyfriend are at fault here (the OP for sacrificing her career without a ring on her finger. The boyfriend for choosing to move for his awesome job opportunity even though it would leave the OP partially unemployed, while at the same time he refuses to be the primary breadwinner).

    At the beginning of this year my boyfriend of 5 months received a lucrative job offer in Tokyo to work at a prestigious US investment bank. He is obsessed about Tokyo and was already applying for jobs there until 2 months after we started dating, but at the time no job offers came through. He didn’t apply for any new jobs since then, but all of a sudden this great job offer that he really wanted came by. He discussed it with me but I was firm with him that I was not ready to move to Tokyo. I also mentioned to him that if he really wanted the job, he should go, but it would mean that we can’t be together anymore (we both don’t want to be in long distance relationships). Simultaneously I told him that if he chose to stay, I needed him to find good reasons to stay other than to be with me. In the end he chose to stay even though he secretly shed a few tears for letting the lucrative job offer go. He found other reasons to stay, but I know that deep down inside it was so that he could be with me, because he said that he would have accepted the job offer in a blink if we hadn’t been together. Now we are 1 year and 1 month together and we are still going strong, and I really appreciate him for having shown his real commitment to me. Career-wise he is now in a better position too as he is on his way to get promoted!

  7. 27

    Whoa…I feel like poor Sydney is getting raked over the coals here.    From her letter, she mentions that moving to New City would limit her career prospects, and Boyfriend was cool with supporting her while she found work.   Fair enough.   Boyfriend grew resentful that it never really happened, and this crippled his ability to live his life and plan for the future – two years is pushing it.   I don’t know anyone who would not be resentful in that situation.  
    Sydney, girlfriend, I think most of your depression issues will resolve themselves if you move on   from this and use it as a really valuable learning experience.   Get a job that pays enough to live on while you find your dream job – in New City or Old City or New New City.   Get some distance from Boyfriend.   Do Sydney for a while, and find out what makes you tick.   You have had the opportunity to see how Boyfriend reacts when things get bad.   Do you feel loved and supported? No.   You feel lonely and misunderstood.  
    Good luck Sydney.   I was in a similar position with my ex-husband.   It is scary at first, but it gets fun when you ease into it and embrace the changes.  

  8. 28

    In her letter, Sydney states “I have struggled to find fulfilling work”.   I don’t believe it takes  TWO YEARS  to get ANY full time job…unless one has  some  kind of record that would make them an unappealing candidate or something.   Of course,  I’m sure trying to explain a two-year employment gap is not easy, but she is not willing to start from the bottom and work her way up!   She needs to get over the idea of finding “fulfilling” work and settle for finding ANY work in the meantime while she  continues looking for  something “fulfilling”.   She is the one who CHOSE to give up the “path” she was on to follow her boyfriend, and he has supported her through her trying to get back on her feet, but it seems she is being too choosy with what she’s willing to do…complaining that the jobs are low-wage or part-time.   So what?   Work the  low-wage, part-time jobs…even if you have to take on more than one!   If she is not happy with this and would prefer to be in a relationship where the man feels okay with being the breadwinner/provider, then she needs to find a man that can better suit her, and leave her boyfriend free to find someone that will better suit him.   It’s THAT simple!

    1. 28.2

      Have you ever worked at a soul-crushing crap job? I doubt it. If you had, you wouldn’t be so glib in telling her to just get over herself.

      1. 28.2.1

        Yep, I have, and I got out of it–went back to school and got a masters degree, took a part time job while in school which led to a full time job after getting the degree.   I wouldn’t say I love my job, and working in the corporate world has its ups and downs, but I am not required to love my job.   It pays my bills, and lets me do things that I like to do when I am not at work.

        1. Ness

          Amen! 😉

      2. 28.2.2

        I find it amusing that I am being  accused of making assumptions, while having them made of me.   Whether or not I’ve ever had a “soul-crushing crap job” is irrelevant, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Sydney’s boyfriend would be happier with a woman who WANTS TO put in effort to carry her own weight…and if it would make you feel any better, then yes, I HAVE had “soul-crushing crap jobs” that I have ENDURED while looking for better opportunities, and I’m sure that MANY other people have gladly done the same.   Not everyone is lucky enough to land non-“soul-crushing crap jobs” without going through some “soul-crushing crap jobs” along the way, nor does everybody feel ENTITLED enough to  not have to make any sacrifices ever.  

        1. Simone

          The difference, Joe and Ness, is that you worked soul-crushing crap jobs but had a prospect of getting out of them and moving on to something you liked better. The OP is saying that there are no prospects for her where she lives. Telling her just to suck it up is actually what an entitled person says. It also patronizing, because you couldn’t possibly know   more about her skills, her hopes and dreams, and her local economy than she does.   

        2. Jen

          Ness and Joe – in agreement. Thank you.

        3. Karmic Equation


          You’re just making excuses for a lazy woman.

          If the sexes in this blog post were reversed you’d be calling the man a moocher. Rightfully so.

          Women need to pull their own weight and work jobs they hate to pay bills. They don’t get to be picky because they “deserve” to live their dream…more than their bf deserves to not have to pay for her to find it. If he’s ok with it, good for her. If he’s not ok with it, she needs to get off her ass.

        4. Melody

          She can find a job to pay the bills like the rest of us have had to do on occasion while she’s looking for her fulfilling work. This is not rocket science, folks. It’s completely reasonable for the boyfriend to ask her to pull her weight.

          Several years ago, I attempted to create a business and failed…miserably. I lost a marriage because of it, which was a good thing. But I should’ve picked up a regular job and done my own thing in the evenings and on weekends. She’s the one being a pain in the ass, not the boyfriend.

          Find a job and suck it up, sweetie. Welcome to adulthood.

    2. 28.3

      I can think of places that a woman might move to with a man who got a good job. We have them here in my state, basically places that are experiencing a boom in natural resource extraction. In rural PA, there is gas drilling and no other industry. So it is feasible for a woman to move and not meaningful employment. She said she has had jobs but working 10 hours a week at Walmart or as a server in a diner is neither stable or meaningful. Obviously we don’t have details but I can imagine scenarios where it would be hard for anyone to find real employment.

      This is why I answer that Sydney should find a job anywhere. Her boyfriend doesn’t want her to leave his town but at a certain point, you need to decide what’s best for you. You also need to support yourself, which is why she should start thinking about her own future and worry less about wether he loves her or not.  

      1. 28.3.1

        Not that it is the case here, but you have a similar scenario with trailing spouses of corporate expats. diplomats or academics. There has to be an agreement that while one person is developing their career,  what the other  person gets out of it is usually only an international experience.   

        1. Noquay

          Kind of a rough parallel but your average ex pat isn’t still paying off student loans and knows from the get go that she/he will be the sole breadwinner.  
          More like one partner working while the other finishes med school; there is the expectation that the student will get a job, and a good one, at the end of it. A clear progression with a well defined end result.  

    3. 28.4


      She had a good job in her old city. She gave it up for him. Why should she settle for a job she doesn’t like if she knows she could get a fulfilling job in her old city?

      1. 28.4.1

        Because it’s not the same city?   I’m not saying she should just settle for mediocre work forever, I’m saying, if she wants to stay with her boyfriend, she needs to compromise and work SOMEWHERE in the meantime so she can start from the bottom and work her way up, or at least to have something to sustain herself while she looks for a “fulfilling” job instead of just sitting around whining about how there isn’t anything “good enough” for her.   Otherwise, she can go back to her old city and get a “fulfilling” job, but that would require compromise on her part anyway since she said she doesn’t “do” long distance.   She needs to decide whether she wants to try to carry her weight so that she can stay with her current boyfriend, go to another city and agree to “do” long distance, or just leave him so they can both find more suitable relationships.  

      2. 28.4.2

        I didn’t detect any whining or entitlement in the young woman’s letter. She had actual employment opportunities and work that she says she loved in another place. She said that she had to CHOOSE between her career and him. She made a huge SACRIFICE to be with him, but he is not willing to share the risk with her. So I think she is completely right to question his feelings for her, but  not because he’s drawing a line in the sand. It’s actually because he ASKED her to sign the lease for another year with him, and very soon after,  he ASKS her to move out. This is very weird for two reasons: 1) If her name is on the lease she is legally entitled to live there. He has no legal way of getting her out of there,  and he knows that she has no money, no prospects, nowhere to  go. This part  sounds very  domineering and controlling. 2) It’s not like the rent for him is going to be any cheaper if she moves out. He actually loses what little she did contribute via her PT jobs and her parents’ contributions. So what is he gaining by having her go? This part sounds very punishing. Bad signs.
        If I were in her shoes I would run back to the work I love, the people who want to hire me,  pay back my parents and this guy and  stay as far away from him as possible.     

  9. 29

    I certainly understand the boyfriend’s frustration and also the feelings of the Letter Writer but I don’t think we know enough to make a valid assessment about who is right and who is wrong. However to my opinion what the Letter Writer and the rest of us can get out of this story is:
    1. Becoming self-sufficient is a personal path, and must be accomplished before moving in with someone, getting married, etc. Great if there is support from a partner or parents along the way, but decisions must be made as if there was no help or as if the help could be withdrawn at any time. It means delaying “fulfilling dreams” and focus on the reality of adulthood, which means paying for one’s own shelter, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. As Evan said, what’s wrong with a 30,000 a year job?
    2. Moving in together is a very serious step that people routinely underestimate. They slide into cohabitation because “they spend every night together anyway”, “it’s smart to save on rent”, “we don’t want to be in a long-distance relaitonship”, etc. All of these reasons are understandable, but lack basic wisdom. A successful cohabitation needs the same level of love, compatibility, relationship skills, and commitment as a marriage, and therefore requires that all these important conversations have taken place and that agreements on each “hot topic” have been reached. It also requires to have plans in place in case the unexpected happens: not finding/losing a job, getting pregnant, being robbed/having the home destroyed due to a catastrophic event, etc.
    These two people were obviously not ready. The Letter Writer was not self-sufficient and it does not look like their relationship was at the stage of commitment that could sustain hardships. Moral of the story: sometimes the dream job comes later in life, after the basics have been covered and debt reimbursed; and cohabitation needs more than love.
    At this point I’d suggest to the Letter Writer to break up, move out and go back to her parents or the city where she had better job prospects. Focus on your self-sufficiency, and go back to dating only after you have secured your first 30,000/year job.

  10. 30

    One thing that struck me in the letter is that she is being supported by both her boyfriend AND her parents and her boyfriend AND her parents are telling her to get a full time job.   So, it’s not just the boyfriend who is tired of paying her way.   

    From my own personal experience, some people need to have all financial support removed in order to stand on their own two feet.   And I was one of those people.   In my 20’s, I was reckless with money and got into a lot of credit card debt.   For a several years, my mother would bail me out and I’d find myself right be in trouble until the one day my mother said no.   No more money; no more help.   Now, because I had been used to her support, I was so angry and I could rationalize in my mind exactly why my mother owed me HER hard earned money.   I was so angry that I didn’t talk to her for a few years, but it was the best thing that she ever did, because I had to get myself together on my own.   If my mother hadn’t said no, I am pretty certain I would never have changed.   

    I have a feeling that the OP might be the same way I was.   As long as there is a net to fall into, she has no incentive to change.      She might say she wants a fulfilling job, but she mentioned that her boyfriend is doing quite well and she was feeling resentful that he is frustrated that he is paying for everything.    That thinking feels a lot like she thinks that because he can afford to pay for everything, that he should HAPPILY pay for everything.   That’s exactly what my thinking was like when I was younger.

    So, sometimes helping people is actually hurting them.   Maybe her boyfriend realized that or maybe he just wants to spend HIS hard earned money on himself as is his right.    Either way, I think the OP needs to support herself and stop relying on others to do it for her.    She may not like it now, but it will be so much better for her in the long run.

  11. 31

    I remember once in economics class our teach asked a financial question and required every student to give a answer, so she had each person answer one by one, by the time the the question reached the last row of students, the number given in the orginal question had been greatly changed. The responsed in this post remind me of that class.

    -She never said she had a job prior to moving

    – She said her parents are also tired of supporting her, so for all you who say that her boyfriend doesn’t love her, because after TWO LONG YEARS of supporting her, he has had enough, so he doesn’t love her, are you also saying that her own parents don’t love her either?

    -For those of you who said that the boyfriend is a selfish for having her leave her job for him (again where did she say she had a job), did you NOT READ where she stated that she WILL NOT DO long distance relatonships? I think it was her idea and not the boyfriends for her to move along with him, if not then the long distance statement she made wouldn’t have been necessary.

    -She was planning on going back to school before she even moved with the boyfriend to the new city, she never gave up a job, she just stated that once she would have graduated there would have had a greater chance of not finding a job, but finding a job in the field she loves

    -She never stated she had trouble finding a job, she said she had trouble finding a job she considered fulfilling, for all you commenters condemning the boyfriend, maybe his problem is that after TWO YEARS his girlfriend is passing up work waiting on the perfect job

    -She stated that she did find a job after TWO YEARS, but it was low-wage and part-time, in other words she had a job but quit it.  

    -She stated that the boyfriend wants to stay together, and she can move back in once she has a job, which tells me that his purpose is to light a fire under her to motivate her to stop being a princess, not to punish her  

  12. 32

    I honestly don’t fully agree with Evan’s point of view here. It’s not just like one goes outside and find a job. It can be difficult, but even despite that we are talking here about being supportive. Imagine if they were married, so if she gets sick and cannot afford to pay the medical bills and contribute to the household, she has to leave too? this is insane. She mentioned she’s depressed, and depression is a serious mental illness, glad you’re getting help.  
    I honestly would think twice about giving up on my own career dreams over other’s, he doesn’t seem to appreciate the effort she did for him: moving to other city with less job opportunities to be together and etc.
    I’d advice you to re-think all this. He says he loves you but do you feel loved? with all this? I have serious doubts about it

  13. 33

    I am not saying that she should leave or stay. Only she can determine that.

    But one thing that is certain….he has revealed that his live is conditional.

    Now is she okay with being loved conditionally or does she want unconditional love ?

    Now it can be argued that all love is conditional …ie: most humans would no longer love a person if they found out that person was a murderer.

    However, most people can come closer to unconditional love then the man she is currently with

    Bottom line: His dealbreaker *is* money.

    Only she can determine if she is okay with that.

  14. 34

    In this case, I think commitment to the relationship came before the OPs commitment to herself. When love knocks, it can be hard to resist opening the door, even when you’re not financially ready. I think that it wouldve been better for her to stabilize all aspects of herself THEN date afterwards , when shes in a better headspace. Sacrificing a major career opportunity for someone that is A. Not your husband and B. Not rich enough to support you should you sacrifice , is not a healthy move. I dont think that a husband would kick his wife out for not finding a job but she needs to realize that this guy is NOT her husband…and thus, is not willing to make the same level of sacrifice that she feels that she made.He couldve proposed by now lol. @evanmarckatz and Evan, wow! You continued to date your now wife even after you learned of the debt?! You proposed anyway?! AND PAID FOR THE WEDDING?! Lol what planet of man are you from? It sounds like you were more committed to things working than some other guys. I think the mindset that someone has towards themselves and a relationship speaks volumes about how much that person may value a relationship. You seem like you always wanted a wife and family but some men are unsure. And because theyre unsure, they have limits to how much they will sacrifice for the relationship. I think you were more invested in your wife when you were dating for nine months than this guy is for his long term girlfriend! I think she needs a new job AND a new boyfriend

  15. 35

    We actually did not move to another city but he still took the position and travels during the week most weeks. ..I think she should leave him for sure he obviously doesn’t appreciate the sacrifice she made moving for him. Yes not enough information. Is she still working part time or did she quit and is unemployed? I agree maybe she and maybe myself committed to a relationship without even knowing how committed the guy is before committing to herself and me myself. Huge mistake! Just be glad you don’t have a child Sydney that would make it more confusing and difficult.

  16. 36
    Michael Stewart

    If it were me in your situation rather than wait for my dream job i would simply take whatever I can find and while I am working earning income and taking care of myself I would search for my dream job. I had a gf  who I payed for all her expenses and gave her money for our wedding and it put a real strain on my finances and causes stress. So far we are not married yet and she is demanding 1000 a month from me. Whenever I am unemployed my first thought is finding asource of income as fast as possible even if it is not an ideal job for me. I would rather be earning something at a job I hate then earning nothing waiting for something that might never happen.It is true it is annoying to have to pay for someone else. I would rather spend the money on trips or into Treasury bonds which would be better for my future and my future spouse.

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