Boyfriend Doesn't Earn Enough
Q: I love my boyfriend. We live together and get along extremely well. The problem is that he is a carpenter and doesn't make much money. I'm tired of paying for things and not doing things together that cost too much money (like trips) because he can't afford it. Do I dump him and hope that another person comes along that I can enjoy just as much? HELP!! — Elizabeth, 57
Dr. Susan: You have to ask yourself if you're willing to make that big a gamble with the rest of your life. If you really love this fellow, you probably wouldn't seriously be considering dumping him. How can you know the odds of finding someone who will be just as lovable to you, who will love you back, and who can also afford to do all the things you would like to do? I know what I'd do if I were you: I'd get creative and discover new enjoyable activities that aren't at all costly.
Is taking expensive trips so necessary to you? Of course, if the two of you were seriously committed (i.e., married or planning to be), then your money and his money wouldn't necessarily be separate. So that if you wanted to take an occasional trip, and it was important to you, you'd pay for both of you. Or else you (or both of you) would seek out additional means of earning money to pay for such extravagances. It's short-sighted to leave a man you love because you can't adapt to his limited earning ability.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.