Ask a Guy: Dating a Guy with Financial Problems post image

Ask a Guy: Dating a Guy with Financial Problems

I’ve been dating someone for a couple months now and, like a lot of people, he is experiencing financial difficulties.  He just recently began sharing these financial problems with me and I know it’s the reason why he’s been asking me out less than when we first started dating.

I’m not a very experienced dater so I’m unsure as to how to deal with this situation.  I like this man very much, I enjoy his company and he is incredibly kind.  I am fine having dates that are economical and have let him know this. However, I believe him to have a strong ‘male gene’ when it comes to who the provider should be.

How do I deal with this without making him feel as though I think less of him?

Well let’s think this through.

He’s been going on less dates with you and he’s been sharing his financial difficulties with you. I’m going to make the assumption that this isn’t a ploy on his part to go on “cheap dates”.  :)

There are tons of guys out there who have complexes about their jobs and the amount of money they make and what it “means” about them. Not everyone is present enough to see through it all, but the whole job/money and ego/identity crisis is a big illusion that men suffer from.

I’m not saying that guys should be cheap, but you and I both know that the amount of money a guy spends on a date isn’t going to change how you feel about him in your heart.  I’m not saying that you wouldn’t like him spending money on you, but it has nothing to do with love or that butterflies-in-your-stomach type feeling.

But a lot of guys don’t know that.

A lot of guys fall into the trap of measuring their self-worth based upon how much money they make, what kind of job they have and their overall financial situation. It’s an easy trap to fall into, considering that everything in our society and media encourages this type of thinking. The point I’m making here is that this is his complex, not yours.  You don’t own it.  Don’t make his problem into your problem – he needs to figure it out.

On a personal note, I’ve fallen into this type of thinking before.  There have been times that I had been so dissatisfied with my work situation that just thinking about my work made me feel sick to my stomach. It didn’t matter whether or not a girlfriend or anyone else thought I was great, I simply didn’t feel like I was measuring up to my own standards.

I’m a perfectionist, so the feeling of not measuring up to my own standards is unbearable to me.  It consumes my entire consciousness to the point where the world is gray and everything is meaningless, like I’m suffocating and trying to get a breath of inner peace.

When I feel so overwhelmed and suffocated by my own problems I go completely cold.  Friends and girlfriends can’t reach me.  All I want is to get out of the life situation that I feel is so unbearable, in this case it happened to be my job/financial situation.

But again, this was MY problem.  Nobody else’s.  And nobody else could fix it. It was up to me to take the actions necessary to bring consciousness to my own situation and resolve the fundamental problem.

When you love someone, you want to help them.  You want to seem to be free from any pain and suffering.  So I know that when I’ve been overwhelmed or stressed by these types of situations it has been tough on the people who love me and want me to be in a good place. The hardest thing in the world can be to accept that ultimately they need to solve it for themselves.

The best way you can help is to just be present with them and not need them to be any different.  When a guy feels like this, he feels like a huge loser in life.

Let me make a distinction of what I am NOT saying here:  I am not saying to reassure him.  I am not saying to comfort him.  I am not saying to feel sorry for him or to pity him.  I am not saying to try and solve his problem.

I’m saying just be willing to be there with him and give him the space to just be.  He’ll ultimately need to work this out himself anyway, so anything you do that supports that is helpful and anything you do that interferes with that is unhelpful.

If you handle him like he has a problem that needs to be solved, he’ll feel like it really is a problem and he’ll feel even worse.  On the other hand, if you accept him, he’ll probably see things for the illusion that they really are.  He’ll (eventually) see that it doesn’t really matter and he’s making an emotional issue out of nothing.

The bottom line is that if you realize that everything is fine and there is no “problem” here, it will be a helpful energy for him to be around.  You don’t need to talk about it, you don’t need to help with it, you don’t need to reassure him… you don’t need to do anything.

Let it be.

Hope it helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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When you notice a guy is struggling financially. Should a girl offer to assist even though the guy has not asked?

Reply January 7, 2021, 7:57 am


Thank you guys! I have a guy that moved in the country with me, but he is broke. He could not find job and I felt him all over me. I became so used on being alone and by myself. Besides that, I ve never seen how a relationship should work. I am independent and I have specific standards, i do not wanna waste my time.
I want to still enjoy my freedom, but I feel that he just wants me around.

Why I did not leave this situation yet? because he is fighting too much for me, does not accept me leaving him, and fear of regret. Regret that I found someone who accepts and does not give up on me and I might never find something similar again..

Reply March 26, 2019, 4:14 pm


Hey Eric, what you are saying hits the nail on the head. I feel soooo tornn! And utterly confused on what i should and shouldn’t do to the point I’m losing my mind. He broke up with me over a month ago due to his financial struggle of taking care of himself and his parents, i can see it taking a toll on him we are long distance relationship. i didn’t necessarily see it coming but i always knew of his difficulties, he does have a good paying job but i know that he has to financially look after his parents and siblings because they aren’t well but also very demanding. We’ve been together for 5 yrs it breaks my hurt whenever i think about him cuz he still has me on his social medias. I feel like im doing exactly what you said i still have hope which could more than likely be false hope but im soo confused i dont actually know what to do. I haven’t been contacting him since the break up i just left it as is but i promise you it’s eating away at me. Do i remove him from my social medias entirely? Because how does a person just recover completely having them around but it also hurts never knowing if hes okay. We’re in our 30s and yes my dream is to get married and have a family but emotionally i can’t even get there to the point where i can love another entirely.

Reply March 19, 2018, 8:53 pm


Woow. Thank you so much! I’m having the same problem with my bf. It sucks that men feel this way. Reading this helped a lot! Not just to better understand how guys feel but to remind myself that it’s not about me and that all I have to do is be there for him. Which is the only thing I can do really that might actually make him feel better.

Reply October 5, 2017, 7:57 pm


Hi Eric,

Here is a somewhat related comment. I am known as a saver and I found what appears to be a spender. My whole life and modeling gigs have been devoted to saving to help a man start a family. I work hard in NYC and I met a man that has a great job, but is in the negative. I am well in the positive by the definition of a millionaire, I am one. He is not and I don’t know how he will help me so I feel I will end up helping him. What do you suggest I do? Move on or become the breadwinner? I am so traditional and I work over 100 hours a week and I am tired and feel alone. I have always believed in equality .. He says I am money focused and care too much about money. I just want a nice life for my future family and I am starting to resent the fact that it seems he hasn’t been saving or sacrificing like I have to start a family. He has been partying .cant tell if I am too focused on money or if he is using me for a sweet easy ride to hard earned high end lifestyle .. He is older than I and I am a published model. Don’t know who is right or wrong.

Reply June 23, 2017, 6:08 pm


hi! I have a live in partner and we actually loaned a car, we then talked prior to purchasing it that we should split the bill for paying for it. However, he suddenly gets laid off from one job to another and gets a bit picky on finding a job so I end up paying the rent, bills and the car. The downside is that my salary is not sufficient to take care of these things. Right now he tried being a Sales Man in a Car company, from the suit to shoes to everything I needed to buy him because there is an attire requirement. I am starting to feel so exhausted and frustrated knowing that all my money goes down the drain. I can’t even buy anything. for the entire 2016 I wasn’t even able to buy anything for me, instead I bought him the shoes, socks, suit, pants just for him to go to work at this Car Company. I feel so fed up, plus none of his family member helps us.. I mean I am only his gf, he’s parents should be the one shouldering everything. I want him to move out because he is adding up to all my financial burdens but then again he does not have anywhere to go because even his family relies on me. not only that his brother and the wife borrowed 17,000 from me but does not want to repay me, and to think they know that I just borrowed it from the office. I don’t know what to do, I don’t want my car to be towed just because I have missed paying it for a month now. what would be the best thing I need to do. please help… thank you.

Reply August 16, 2016, 9:40 am


God, I get so tired of hearing women attempt to “empower” each other by saying things like “MOVE ON GIRL”, “YOU DESERVE BETTER”, “ONTO THE NEXT ONE” just because a man is going through a rough time. He is worthy of love still….he is worthy of a good woman. Would you want someone to give up on you that easily? What ever happened to loyalty and working hard at relationships? What happened to loving someone unconditionally? This flippant mentality on relationships is exactly why our divorce rate is so high and our interpersonal relationships are so impersonal. I’m not saying stay in an unhappy relationship but as the wedding vows go, “for better or worse, for richer for poorer”…if you’re gonna bail on someone that easily because their situation is not ideal in YOUR EYES, then maybe YOU are the one who needs evaluating and a wake up call on how you are in a relationship. Relationships/Marriages are extremely hard work. They will never ever be perfect, they will never ever be 100%. Nothing in life worth having is ever easy. Why is it so hard for people to give up on their dreams when it comes to money or careers but not relationships with other humans? Our society as a whole is so shallow and superficial….GOD HELP US.

Reply August 4, 2016, 2:58 pm


Hi Eric, I’m facing a similar situation too. I am in relationship with my boyfriend for two years. But about three months back, he started avoiding me. I didn’t know the reason at that time. So I thought he was not interested in me. Then, I knew that he has some financial problems. I helped him. Then, after some time, we had some misunderstandings. And I spoke harshly to him. He started to withdraw from me completely. He said he needs time. But he couldn’t figure out what is his problem. Firstly, he said he’ll be back to me soon and it’s not my fault. But I didn’t give him much space. I always threaten him emotionally by crying. Then after some time, I really gave him some time. Sometimes he’ll call me asking whether I’m fine or not. But sometimes he’ll send me a text asking me to forget him. I didn’t solve this matter directly. I asked his best friends to figure it out. But they don’t know how to solve it since they don’t know the real cause. Then, I gave him a surprise meet. It was a bad timing so we couldn’t discuss anything. He just hugged me and said ‘sorry, I’ll come back to you’. Then, I gave him lots of space. I will just send him motivational quotes once in a while. But now, it has been over three months and I don’t see much improvements. Once I called him. He talks as if nothing happens. But on the same night, he send me a text asking me to hate him. I said I can’t and will wait for him. I think he’s mainly stressed out with his financial problem and scared that my dad wouldn’t accept him with his current financial situation. But the truth is my dad is in the midst of giving the green signal. I think he thinks he is worthless and he is scared that he won’t be able to save enough money for our wedding. He also has inferiority complex that I am wealthier than him and he always needs my financial support.

I was thinking of bringing him to temple and just explain him that money or his financial status isn’t important now. And wanted to also make him realize his situation since he doesn’t know about his own problems. I was also planning to give him surprises and make him feel special and tell him that he is worth.

Is this a good idea or will it make the situation worse?

Reply July 19, 2016, 1:31 am


I will admit when it comes to money, I can be a bit reckless (in terms of buying something too quickly without doing my due diligence) which brings me to the situation im in now. Me and my lady have 2 young kids, both of us work demanding jobs in healthcare, so absences is not a good thing. I needed a car asap, found one on Craig’s list, it lasted a month. So I went back to Craigslist (I got my lady car off there also a while back, u win some on C.L u loose some) in search of a temporary ride just until I had enough bred to get something more reliable. That car was pretty cheap I got, but had to put some tires and work into it, these 2 cars and the work I must put into it is putting a financial strain on my income. I decided to rid the car and got some of he money back. Now im back on the market car shopping. I met homeboy from my gf job who sell cars, and finally I was able to get me a “reliable car”.

Reply April 17, 2016, 10:49 am


I met this amazing man who was very attentive and affectionate to me and we matched up on so many levels. Before we even met, he had lost a job and had to temporarily move in with his dad at 32. He has a job but it’s not the best paying. He also lived 2 hours from me but was always happy to come down here to spend time with me once a week. We only dated a month when he told me he liked but he wasn’t ready to go further due to the fact he had to get his act together ( he mentioned the living at home thing) While we weren’t that serious yet, it left me bummed that it was me and he just lost interest and was trying to be nice. He assured me that wasn’t the case and he thought he was ready but wasnt. He even wants to still see me from time to time. What throws me off is literally 3 days before this, we were good but a week before our talk, his vehicle broke down where he couldn’t come see me that weekend. I reassured him from the beginning, the financial stuff didn’t matter to me. He told me when he ended it that he knows I said it didn’t matter, but I get the feeling it matters to him… HELP…do guys end it because of financial stuff like this or did he just need to make up a reason? By the way, he told me earlier in this conversation that I wasn’t imagining our connection we had)

Reply January 12, 2016, 5:56 pm


He wants me to leave him due to his financial problems and told me that he is not a good guy for me. Well, I won’t leave him and I told him I completely understand his situation and I choose to stay with him. He didn’t say anything. He said he needs time and space. And it’s been two days since my boyfriend and I last talked to each other. I am not sure if this means he’ll be leaving me anytime soon. I’m not sure how long should I wait for him to he emotionally stable. I have no idea what to do.

Reply September 13, 2015, 1:33 am


There is this guy I’m dating, and at one point we were in a relationship, but i broke it off because i seemed to make all the effort in the relationship. I told him i was going on vacation and i did, but when i came back from vacation he was working at my job!

Reply July 30, 2015, 11:18 pm


I’m in this situation with my best guy friend. We are both going through financial hardship and I love him to death and would eventually like more out of the relationship. We are both in this way because he is helping me struggle my way through nursing school. But the hardship is making him depressed. I told him to stop helping me and let me sink or swim on my own but he won’t have it. I keep giving him outs so he can have his life back and all he says is you are a part of my life and this struggle is for our future. Which is even more confusing. Because I know it is because of this struggle that he is not pursuing anything with me, which to me is ruining the future for us because I feel sometimes he resents me.

Reply July 11, 2015, 10:56 am


Major thankies for the article.Really thank you! Want more. oqza

Reply May 30, 2015, 7:04 pm

Mitch Vandell - Poor-Sucker Syndrome

The flip side of the same coin is what I call Poor-Sucker Syndrome (I wrote a book onit), it’s when men try to hide from issues with self-esteem getting into debt in hopes of achieving status and group belonging. Men are constantly fed with impressions that lure them into thinking that self-sabotaging behaviors will reward them and should be pursued.

Reply December 10, 2014, 7:57 pm


hi charles! after reading your response i felt relieved..i am in the same situation right pulled away because he has too much goin on right now, especially financially, i am paid higher than him..i spend a lot in our dates..until one day he realized that he is being unfair to me, but i told him that its okay that im fine with bf felt worthless and unsuccessful..he told me that he will turn 30 next yr and until now he has a crappy life, no savings, no house of his own and even his goal to have a car before he turns 30 is still blurry..he said that one of his goals is to havr his own family before he turns 30..he said that he felt lost..i think he made thia realization last august because most of our friends got engaged and he felt pressure..he wants to solve all of his problema and crisis alone..

Reply October 29, 2014, 2:47 am


After reading your response above regarding men in a financial crisis. I am in a very similar situation. I have been dating this guy for 2 years. Things were going pretty good up until a few weeks ago when he suggested that we be friends. I told him I didn’t want to be friends but to still be in a relationship. I asked him are you saying this because you’ve found someone else or already seeing someone else and he said no, I don’t have time to even think about a relationship right now. We are older (59 and 61 yrs old) and he contracts himself out with his trucking business (semi). Well he has changed jobs twice trying to get more loads for on the road but the jobs aren’t coming in fast enough for him. Now he is behind in all of his bills including rent. He’s an ex-Marine and has the mentality of a Marine and has said that he was taught to stand on his own two feet. I’ve helped him out here and there even when he says he doesn’t want my help but I do it anyway. It’s not much but something to buy groceries with etc. Also a few weeks ago he called and had me listen to Chaka Kahn’s ‘Sweet Thing’ which I thought was really sweet so it’s almost like getting mix signals from him. I am currently missing him so much and don’t know what to think so I have decided not to call or text and wait to see if he will be calling. Just trying to give him his space and keeping myself busy.

Reply September 27, 2013, 2:18 pm

D Garcia

For the last 2 1/2 years this economy has caused tremendous stress on my man, he has his own business. He has still to recover. He has lost many clients and income. He may still lose his home which has been in the balance for 2 years. He has borrowed to pay bills. I met him before these tragedies and we were so close to a loving committed relationship and life was great. Then the “economy” happened and his clients could not afford his services. He drifts in and out of my life since. I have such strong feelings it is hard to move “forward” and away from him. I am angry at this “Obama economy” that hit my guy so that he distances from me because of his pride as a provider. So I give him his space and an awesome compatible relationship bites the dust with distance between us because the economy has eaten away at his pride and ability to pay his bills and consider any sort of a commitment with me, and we have such feelings about each other, but won’t happen till he feels like he can “provide”…

Reply February 24, 2013, 1:06 am

D Garcia

What I didn’t say is that I absolutely stand by this man. And I tell him I will. But it is so hard to watch him struggle and not know what to do to support him. And what to do when he distances himself like he has just recently. What do I do that is loving and supportive then??? How do I help???

Reply February 24, 2013, 1:16 am

Jen Smith

I’m amazed at how the economic downturn has affected everyday relationships. I have fallen for a fantastic guy who is in a financial “perfect storm”: lost job paying $400K at age 47, trouble finding a new job for a year, finds new job paying $100K (which he hates) and now must rent his million dollar home, sell his boat, try to find a new, smaller apartment, get rid of many of his things, and is looking for a new job. We had the best time until one day he accused me (semi-jokingly) of having his balls in my handbag after he made me breakfast one morning. He said he felt emasculated by making me pancakes! The very next day I saw him, and he was a completely different person. All the fun and smiles were gone, and things have not been the same since (6 weeks now). He invited me to his boat 2 weeks ago and spent the whole time discussing the new unsavory job and the job search with little emotion. I so wish there was something I could do to help — he is so fantastic. After reading this post, I think I now realize what’s going on, and that it wasn’t me. I am moving on, but do continue to hope that things improve and that he might come back to me one day.

Reply July 10, 2011, 6:36 pm

D Garcia

A whole lifetime has probably passed since your posting, but I feel the same. My guy was making over 200,000 when I met him in 2009 in his own business. By 2010 his business took a sudden turn and he lost clients. Obama economy hit him and his clients. He was able to hang on for a while but the last 2 years he could not. We were developing a wonderful relationship and then then economy tanked. But I can relate to your post. The smiles are gone, the frequent phone calls are gone. So how do we help and support these men? We gals really need to know, this is not a unique situation. How do women support their men in times of work/economic stress???

Reply February 24, 2013, 1:28 am


Please write the column on relationship limbo. Is it the same for guys or usually just a girl problem?

Reply March 18, 2011, 7:43 pm


Not until he gets on his feet. On his own. Leave the door open and move on.

Reply October 26, 2010, 11:51 am


Hi Jasmin,

I can very well relate to you…the job hunting, and all sorts of financial assistance just to help him get through those difficult times.
He has unstable work, and last month, just before losing his job, he broke up with me.
I told him ill be giving him space, since that is what he wanted in the first place.
We had limited contact ever since, and when we talk, he updates me about his job hunting ventures. I can see his restlessness to make himself better, but his coldness and uncaring ways pushes me away from him all the more.

For Eric,

Just last week, he expressed his intention to start a small business with me–with me funding it. He on the other hand will manage the business. But with the current state of mind, i am not sure if this will work.
if i say yes, i would be wishing the partnership would rekindle the relationship. but what if its only friendship that my ex wants? I was full of bitterness when he offered this and told him that i could easily get another partner for the business venture without enduring the emotional pain i could experience when he goes to depression again. as of this time, we are civil with each other. but we grow farther emotionally as day passes.

is there a way to salvage this relationship? im still hopeful but unsure.

advise please??

Reply October 26, 2010, 11:09 am


At this time in his life what matters to him his self worth/job /financiaL situation. The # 1 fear that most men have is failure/ performance /life related. For women it is lost of love/relationships. The feelings you have about this relationship ending are identical to how he feels about his job/financial situation. I know you want to help, but men prefer to solve things on their own. Many of them shut down during the process. His actions are not so much a reflection of how he feels about you but more about how he feels about his situation. Don’t take it personal but realize that this may not be a good time to enter into a realtionship. Give him space and don’t wait around. I t may hurt but who knows what the future holds.

Reply October 13, 2010, 1:07 am


Jasmine, as Eric and Paul McCartney have said, LET IT BE. Love yourself, don’t take the easy road, YOU are worth the effort. Your love will be returned when the right person reflects your light. What do you need, what do you want? As women, we have the capacity to be smart, articulate, thoughtful, loving, giving, and DEMANDING. Do what’s is uncomfortable for you: Tell him what you require from a man then, GO YOUR OWN WAY GIRL! xo

Reply October 13, 2010, 12:40 am


Thank you ladies! JJJ, you are very right, it is easy to give and give and put the other person first. I guess you could say I’ve been in denial. I think that the more I help him, the more attention he’ll give me. But like AJ said, I help emasculates him. I know he can feel that I care for him. I’m starting to take a step back. I haven’t heard from him in a week. I am sooooo tempted to contact him, but I guess I should wait for him to contact me… Right?

Reply October 12, 2010, 11:57 pm


Jasmine, obviously you are a very sweet and caring person but, this is EXACTLY the type of situation I’m trying to avoid! It’s so easy to give and give and put the other person first but, you are worth being first in your own life. Take care of YOU!

Reply October 12, 2010, 1:23 pm


You need to leave him alone, give him space and let him solve his problem on his own. Your offers are emasculating him.

Reply October 12, 2010, 1:13 pm


Hi Eric

I’m in a somewhat similar situation. I’ve been seeing/dating this guy for the pass 7 months. Things were great in the beginning, we would always go out on dates, talk on the phone. In the 2nd or 3rd month of seeing him, he lost his job. He was really upset about this because he has never not had a job before. He’s been having problems finding a new job, and he did not get unemployment because he applied too late. So right now he has zero income.
Even after losing his job we were still good. It wasn’t until August when we had a talk about “us” that things starting dying down. He told me that he cannot make me his official gf because of the situation he’s currently in. He doesn’t have money, doesn’t have a job, and has so many bills to pay for. He doesn’t want to make a promise to me that he cannot keep. Right now his top priority is finding a job and not a relationship. I told him I completely understand, and that I’m here for him if he needs my help. I told him I want to continue seeing him because I like him a lot. We are not exclusive, so if I want I could see other people. I am a pretty loyal person, so right now I don’t think I could see other people.
We don’t talk or text as much as we used to. When we hang out, it’s mostly at my apartment; we’d watch TV or a movie etc… We rarely go out and this sort of bothers me. I get a lot of coupons and gift certificates at work, for restaurants and movies (which is good because it saves money). Sometimes I’ll ask if he could go out with me and we’ll use the certificates. And most of the time he says maybe… then he says he can’t.
I try my best to help him with job hunting as best as I could. His computer is currently down, so he can’t go online. I’ll go online when I have time and try to find something good, if I see something, then I’ll text it to him. If he’s interested I’ll apply for him.
Just last week, I found a job that was good pay, and I thought he would be interested in, so I text it to him. He never responded. I waited a few hours and then text him and asked if he was interested. He said he wasn’t crazy about it. So I said “ok.” I asked him to dinner, and said that we’ll use my gift certificate… he said “maybe.” Then the night before dinner, I still didn’t get a yes or no response from him, so I called him, no answer, text him, no response until a few hrs later saying he couldn’t make it to dinner. I was a bit frustrated because I feel rejected… so I just replied “ok” and haven’t heard from him since… it’s been about 6 days…
Do you have any advice as to what is wrong? Am I helping him too much?

Reply October 12, 2010, 12:11 pm


I agree that it is probably best not to remain in limbo, but it would depend on the situation. If a person treated you badly or couldn’t commit, that’s one thing. But if you fell in love with someone and then a situation occurs outside of their control and up to that pount things were great and you have to split. Having feelings remain is not such a bad thing. I may be a bit older then most, but I have seen many happy marriages of people who split and then got back together months later. The circumstances of the split was not necessary a bad situation. It could have been relocation or job related. The time apart made them realize that they were better together. I think it is important for that clean split, no hard feelings, or fights.

Reply October 11, 2010, 4:55 pm


I agree that it is probably best not to remain in limbo, but it would depend on the situation. If a person treated you badly or couldn’t commit, that’s one thing. But if you fell in love with someone an then a situation occurs outside of their control and up to that pount things were great and you have to split. Having feelings remain in not such a bad thing. I may be a bit older then most, but I have seen many happy marriages of people who split and then got back together months later. The circumstances of the split was not necessary a bad situation. It could have been relocation or job related. The time apart made them realize that they where better together. I think it is important for that clean split, no hard feelings, or fights.

Reply October 11, 2010, 4:54 pm

Eric Charles

Hey aj,
There’s a very specific reason I said, “Don’t look back…” Maybe I should write an article on it. :)
There’s something I like to call “relationship limbo”, where a girl will break up with a guy but not really break up with him in her heart.
She may not see him or talk to him, but she still stalks his Facebook. She still wonders about him. Hell, she may even start seeing other people.
But secretly, deep down, she is just hoping and praying that he’ll come back a changed man. She hopes that one day after he’s solved his problems, he’ll ride up on a giant steed, lift her on and that they’ll ride off together into the sunset.
As a result, she never really lets go of the relationship even after the breakup. There’s still a part of her holding on – and so the door is never really open for something new.
The now-ex-boyfriend can feel it. She knows it in her heart too. But nobody wants to admit it and everyone remains in “relationship limbo” where there’s no relationship but no possibility of moving on either.
That’s why I phrased it how I did. It’s possible something could happen in the future, but I can guarantee it won’t be a good reunion unless there’s a complete, 100% split first.

Reply October 10, 2010, 1:31 pm


You are so on point. I had a similar situation but after 4 months he suggested we part . At first I wanted to wait it out but later I realized that waiting was not a good idea . He was a great guy before his financial problems. One thing I would disagree with is the don’t look back comment. I left the door open for my ex. Although I am going on and dating others, at some point in the future if and when he resolves his situation, if he contacted me and wanted to date and I was single, I would definitely go for it!!

Reply October 9, 2010, 7:55 pm

Eric Charles

It sounds like the guy has problems that are so massive and overbearing in his mind that the relationship is unlikely to become a priority.
Tough position because if you stay and tolerate it, then that sets the standard of what you find acceptable and people tend to put in as little effort as they feel they can get away with in relationships.
At the same time, he probably is ashamed of his life situation and does not intentionally want to take you for granted. It would be useful to realize that he doesn’t mean to be like this toward you. In fact, he probably doesn’t even feel he can have a good relationship in his current state.
If you wait for things to improve, you might be waiting a long, long time. In fact, I have had situations in my life where I was caught up in my own crap and the relationship I was in just made it tougher to handle my issue – instead of having space to figure it out I felt like I had an additional pressure on me.
In my column, I typically refrain from giving “dump him” or “keep him” suggestions. I have several reasons for it, but the biggest one is that women typically know in their heart what they really want to do, but they have mixed emotions on top of what they know to be right in the moment for them.
If your heart is saying to stay, then stay and stay fully. Occupy yourself so if he blows you off you can easily do something else without being disappointed. Give him space to figure out his stuff and commit 100% to being OK with your decision to stay.
If your heart is saying to go, then go and don’t look back. Say you wish him the best, you think he’s a good guy but the timing is bad and you know he needs space so he can feel good and stable again.
Either way, have a bottom line for yourself of what you need to stay and whether or not he meets it NOW. People get caught up in the “what could be” side of things. If there’s no sign of things improving quickly and completely, then you have to ask yourself if things as they are now are worth staying for…
Good luck.

Reply October 9, 2010, 2:08 pm


I have to add to my original question. Tonight was the second time (in the past two weeks) that this man has cancelled our plans (made in advance) at the last minute. Tonight, his excuse was that he was too stressed about his financial issues and he asked if we could go out tomorrow. I want to give the guy a break, I know his problems are far more pressing than dinner w/ me but, being cancelled on at the last minute is a hot button w/ me to say the least.

I want to look at the bottom line of this issue now because we are only ‘dating’ at this point. I’m interested in developing a serious relationship (with the right person) and I want to avoid falling into the trap of being taken for granted by someone who isn’t willing to, or incapable of, putting in a sincere effort.

What’s your take Eric? I’ve dated guys w/ money and w/out but, my intent now is to break bad relationship habits and not let myself be treated poorly regardless of the excuse.

Reply October 9, 2010, 1:05 am

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