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Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:01 am

Are we having fund yet?

I’m a single mother with a 12-year-old son. Four years ago, when my boyfriend fell in love with me, he would buy me clothes and jewelry. He also promised to build a house for my son and me to live in. (We can’t live with him, because he repairs motorcycles from home and it’s loud day and night.) Well, he is building the house but now says it’s for his mother – a woman living perfectly fine on her monthly Social Security checks. I work six days a week and still have trouble making ends meet, despite my boyfriend’s giving me $400 to $500 a month. He keeps making promises that get me excited and make me want to stick around, like that he’ll take me to Hawaii one day. I love him, but I fantasize about having a boyfriend I could live with so he could help me with the rent and bills. –Conflicted

We all dream of finding that special someone to pay the cable bill.

There’s looking for love, and there’s looking for some man to take over where Daddy left off on your allowance. You do say you love this guy – well, somewhere in there, between all the grumbling over money, clothes, jewelry, trips and elderly moms getting houses. Compare your kind of love with my favorite definition, by sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein: “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” This implies a level of effort – beyond waiting around, frowning, with your hand out, for that other person to slap a handful of $100s into it.

The truth is, money actually can buy happiness, because the possibility of having real love starts with not having to choose boyfriends according to which provides the best financial aid package. Monetary independence would also allow you to have higher standards for a partner than you can now. Though no man owes you a home or a trip to Hawaii (are you dating a man or a game show?), promises should mean something. You wouldn’t have to stick around to see which promise your boyfriend breaks next if you could go to the ATM and get a stack of your own money (instead of what the ATM probably spits out now – increasingly rude receipts: “Cash? Are you nuts, lady? You’re more overdrawn than Greece”).

Consider taking steps to become independent, like living a more “European” existence. (Europeans seem content with far smaller living spaces, fewer appliances, and not living life as a mad dash to get the next shiny new whatever.) You could get a roommate or move in with one – perhaps some other single mom whose values you seem to share. And you could figure out and work on ways to improve your earning power. It won’t be easy street, but it should eventually prove far more satisfying than sitting around feeling cheated out of a house and resenting some old lady (already living the high life on her Social Security checks!) for not reusing more of her teabags.

©2014, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon

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