My girlfriend is very ‘high maintenance’ and I just can’t afford the gifts, dinners and movies, pubs, etc. anymore. I have borrowed money for our dates and I owe my friends a lot of money. One friend warned me that this is a bad investment, that she would leave me at the drop of a hat, and that I should myself end it ASAP. I’m so used to her presence in my life and the thought of ending it is extremely painful. Also, the sex is very good. What should I do?
Aman Bhonsle says:
The answer to your query isn’t a straightforward one. You have to examine what got you into this position with her in the first place. This may require introspection or talk-therapy, depending on how disturbed you’re feeling.
Ask yourself the following questions –
- Have you discussed this problem with your girlfriend?
- Do you feel empowered or disempowered by her?
- Is she truly with you only because of the expensive gifts?
- What aspects of you does she say she likes?
- Does she see your relationship in vague or specific terms?
- Has a long-term relationship goal (such as marriage or living in) been established by you both?
Write about this honestly and read the answer. Writing will help with clarity. Feeling drained and confused is usually a telling sign of an ‘unhealthy relational enmeshment’. You’re clearly at an impasse.
To be in debt is a worrying situation. As ethereal as the concepts of love and companionship are, money is a very real contention and will bring you back to earth from any starry romantic interludes. Here’s the thing – ‘Money requires constant regeneration’ so that you’re socio-economically afloat. Money is also a finite resource in one’s life. If your bank balance and debt is evidence enough, you are due for an assessment of how you want to better plan your finances and whether her presence in your life is sapping you of your earnings!
Is all that feels good, really good for you?
One may love the way someone’s voice sounds, the way someone makes one feel, those infamous blue coloured double tick marks on Whatsapp that signify a coveted acknowledgement, those ‘date night’ selfies that haul in the ‘likes’ on social media and more importantly the social prestige that comes with being ‘settled’. While all these are ‘nice’ to have apart from the glee and mutual romantic and sexual gratification of companionship, it may be noted that everything in life that ‘feels good’ actually ‘may not be good’ for you.
There’s nothing thematically wrong with gifts, dinners, movies and pubs – but the success of a relationship cannot be sustainable if it is predicated on these things, as there is no universal definition of ‘how much is good enough or how much is too much’.
Addiction to a person
There is a phenomenon where people could get addicted to certain substances (such as psychotropic drugs or nicotine) where one becomes chemically dependent on the presence of these substances in one’s body. It has been diagnosed recently, that one can also similarly get ‘addicted to a person’. Although ‘addiction’ is a harsh word, it’s a pretty accurate one for the phenomenon where a continued association with something despite the pain it brings – is continually engaged in.
Knowing what you know so far, are you emotionally addicted to your girlfriend?
You may very well enjoy having sex with her for now but know that like all ‘sensory pleasures’, that too will eventually not suffice to sustain a relationship that’s precariously balanced on ‘the new and shiny things in life’. You will eventually run out of new & shiny things. If you are in the relationship just for the sex then, that is a call you have taken and you cannot blame anyone.
Relationships need grounding and a solid foundation if they are to stand the test of time. Sometimes people sometimes get together because they’re feeling lonely. A mutual friendship with reciprocity, an honest and genuine bonding over shared values and common interests is what sustains a relationship that is worth celebrating in the long run. In your case, an honest upfront conversation with your girlfriend will help you get clarity. Have you told her that her lifestyle is beyond your budget?
Think deeply about the above and you will have your answer.