Money is power. Power corrupts.
March 4, 2012 11:49 AM Subscribe
I've realized there's a hole in my new-relationship toolkit, and it has to do with money - specifically, substantial income imbalances.
posted by anonymous to human relations (26 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
It came rather abruptly to my attention this week when I went on a first date. The new date is in her early 20s (frankly younger than I usually date - I'm 30ish) and in the sort of typical early-20s financial situation - super low income, no cushion, but very few obligations and generally scraping by, with good prospects for future income. (I remember those days vividly.) It occurred to me that I could fund her entire current lifestyle - not exactly without noticing, but certainly without suffering.
I'd really like to give this relationship a chance to develop without being seriously affected by money. I have no desire to be her sugar momma. The idea of someone sleeping with me for my money creeps me out quite a bit. But I also am totally happy buying drinks/dinner and generally funding our dates, since I can do it without really noticing the hit, whereas it'd be a definite issue for her. I don't want her to think she has to either avoid going out because money is tight, or spend money she can't afford to keep up appearances.
It seems like discussing this directly is the way to go, and it's definitely my preferred style. But I don't know when or how to bring this up. I've always been in relationships that were more or less equal, financially, so I've never had to have this sort of conversation. Have you been on one side or the other of this situation? What worked, and what didn't? Was it easier to address it up front, or manage the situation more subtly? I deperately want to avoid being an unintentional douchebag about this.
(This is less about this one person than this dynamic in general, since it may well start cropping up for me more often, so I'd love to hear about a variety of age/power/gender pairs.)