The last time I was in a relationship, I got broke.
In the beginning, all relationships start rosy and have this blend of sweet romance with a tinge of spicy moments. Let me tell you these are good times but don’t let these fool you like they fooled me. Like most of you, I too dated and eventually got entangled in a relationship. Life was happening! The initial days comprised of long rides on the bike, romantic candle lit dinners, breakfast dates and what not. In short, we were the type of couple who made use of every opportunity to simply meet and spend almost every hour of every day with each other.
Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day were days we celebrated with delight. Showering gifts on each other slowly became a ritual. With time, we had our share of arguments followed by peace offerings. Our peace offerings again came at a price and so did fulfilling her food cravings and other fantasies. Truth is, our relationship cost me a lot and I realized that the expenses were leading to a hole in my pocket. Our relationship became materialistic with time and one fine day we broke up. I was left with a broken heart and an empty pocket.
Never again will I take sole responsibility of paying the bills.
A relationship is shared by two people and both individuals should make an equal effort to maintain it. Once when I offered to pay the bill in a restaurant, she asked me, “Are you spending money in exchange for my time?” I exclaimed, “No!” That was when she suggested we split our bills. On one of our outings, she didn’t have enough cash. She said she would pay me later and asked me to remind her, which I did. Gradually, I was too embarrassed to ask her for it and decided to stop. I didn’t want to be considered a cheapskate.
She always spoke about how she was independent and made tall claims about paying me back. I was working back then. Society has been extremely adamant about men bearing all the expenditure. Frustration seeped in and I began to wonder, when women ask to be treated equally, where does the equality go when it comes to paying bills? After we broke up I didn’t even have enough money to comfort myself. That’s when I began to focus on savings. Never again will I take sole responsibility of paying the bills. Best part about being single? This money was all mine to have and to hold.
I am not a miser, I am economically wise and it will take me a long way.
Working on savings was not the only outcome of this event. I realized it was necessary to set some ground rules for myself. I formulated my own mantras to avoid getting broke. I focused on being single and enjoyed my money and time as required. When I went out for dates or hung out with my friends, I stressed on a 50-50 payment. Most relationships are often sabotaged by money and I wasn’t going to take that risk again.
When I tell people about my mantra, they secretly judge me. I’m sure some of them even call me a miser. Guess what? I got broke the first time because of my fear of being called a miser. Although I don’t really care I’ll provide a clarification. I am not a miser, I am economically wise and it will take me a long way. It took me a lot of time and experience to come up with these principles and I won’t give them up to please anybody. People’s judgments don’t faze me anymore.
With bad experiences comes great understanding. Here’s hoping you don’t fall prey to a financially exploiting relationship.
I learnt my lesson the hard way,
Someone who won’t be taken for granted again.
Author: Joanne Baptista