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I wish I didn't have to give this speech. In fact, I wish I could just state the obvious that money and romance don't mix well. Sexual intimacy creates a vulnerable enviroment that prohibits rational thought.

In fact, that's kind of my favorite part of a new romance.The mutual willingness to suspend reality and remain light and playful. It's a time to dream and be reminded that all things are possible. Financial investment requires rational thought and a complete understanding of the risks. Not that I discourage risk- taking, but you're not rational when you're under the spell of sexual bliss.

So, should you lend your boyfriend money for his business?

Okay, it's so obvious that you're all screaming "no"! But let me set it up for you. It's a year after your divorce, you've lost some weight and bought some new clothes. The kids are in school full-time and doing well. You go out to a party and meet a nice guy who takes you out and you're inseparable for six months.

He has one child, the same age as one of yours. He's a great dad and a great "dad" to your kids. He fixes things around your house, plays catch with your kids and is absolutely crazy about you. He tells you he loves and wants to get married and he means it. All is great.

You knew that his wife had a good job and he paid some child support but his wife "got everything" after the divorce. The house or apartment, furniture and car. He was rebuilding. You see what a great dad and helper he is with you and realize his wife was totally selfish and took him to the cleaners in the divorce.

He has his own small business and needs to borrow money for some new equipment. He's very hardworking and with this new equipment his business will flourish and the two of you can live happily ever after. He wants to get married but you would like to see his financial situation improve before you jump in. You're crazy about him, so you offer to lend him the money for the equipment.

How does the story end?

Boyfriend gets the money and puts it right to work in his business and works doubletime to get the business running. Continued delays and problems occur and you begin to ask him more regularly about when he might begin paying you back.

Dates become stressful and always lead to a conversation about money. The passion and love begin to fade and you start to lose respect for your boyfriend. Other issues crop up and you get mad and want out of the relationship. You break up. He's devastated and feels your love was fake; you feel like you were duped by a loser.

What could have happened?

Boyfriend expresses his concern about his business and asks if he can borrow money. You say you don't feel comfortable investing in something that you don't fully understand. Boyfriend accepts your answer and makes other arrangements and either succeeds and lives happily ever after with you, or fails. In the latter case, while you're sad to see your hero fail, you haven't lost your savings.

In summary, I take a hard line on this issue: It's never a good idea to lend a boyfriend money. At best, it's sure to put a strain on the romance as discussions turn to payback schedules and interest rates and of course, at worst, you never see your money again.

This is one case where you should just say "no".

 

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