Single Mom Question: We have chemistry, but…

by mssinglemama on June 10, 2011

This one is from Jen, a single mom who has all of the chemistry a girl can dream of with man who is not financially responsible. Her question in a nutshell is – “We have this amazing chemistry, but what about his financial instability? Can I overlook that? And is this the last time I will have love?”

Sound familiar?

It does to me. My ex-husband was thrilling in the chemistry department, but soon all of that wore off when he couldn’t keep a job or a steady pay check. Dating a financially irresponsible man is one thing, it’s easy to overlook his situation but when you are legally bound and married – no way. Suddenly he loses a lot of his sex appeal. But, it is rare to find that kind of connection. The question is – what can you accept, what can you live with? If a financially irresponsible man isn’t a turn off, or if you don’t need a man for financial reasons at all (and if you don’t plan on marrying him) – why not?

This is a tough one.

Here’s Jen’s Single Mom dating question:

My “question” makes me think of a past relationship you wrote about…and lists. You wrote about a relationship where there were some things that you would not accept, and even though you appeared to have an amazing connection with this man, you ended it with him because he did one of these things. (Did that even make sense?)

I have a man that has been telling me he loves me for 2 years now. He says he loves, and wants to be involved with, my children, too. On some levels, he appears to have a lot to offer, but there are other things that scare me.

So, here I am with this physical attraction, good chemistry on all levels, (we can talk for 2 hours and it feels like 2 mins) but the guy hasn’t done his taxes in 5 years. Also, he struggles with some other things that don’t go along with my values. I’ve “broken up” with him twice…and he went off and dated other women, only to immediately break up with them when I showed interest again (which would happen when we ran into each other).

I think what is going on for me is that there are things that I DON’T feel good about, but I’m wondering if I should overlook them because here is someone that loves me, loves my kids, is a great kisser, great at communication and I am AFRAID that I am passing up the only time this will come along. But I am unsure about his ability to provide stability, and unsure if this is really what it appears to be.

Have you ever passed up someone that felt good on so many levels and made it through?

- Jen

What advice do you have for Jen? Leave yours in the comments.

Back up reading from my own blog:

Remember Kris? I wondered if we broke up if it was my last chance at love? We had chemistry, but not much in the way of companionship. Here’s the post.

And here’s my post on the Must Have Man List Jen references. For me, a solid financial situation and a stable job is now a must.

Related posts:

  1. Single Mom Question: Why can’t I commit?
  2. A very good question.
  3. Shacking up…with another single parent.
  4. A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding a Manperson
  5. Single Mom Dating Tips, Part 2

{ 2 trackbacks }

A question about your ex. - Get your ex back
March 8, 2012 at 6:51 am
A question about your ex.
March 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin June 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

I’ve passed up someone who had financial instability and I’ve never looked back. Yes, it’s lonely for awhile, but there are PLENTY of fish in the sea. If your heart is sending up the alarm, you should listen, even if it’s HARD. His poor financial choices WILL affect you if you were to marry him and share everything, and it could disrupt your entire life. If would be unfair of him to expect you to bind your life with someone who won’t get himself together financially. That’s a RESPONSIBILITY of an adult, not an option…. many prayers for you! It’s absolutely your decision, but if I’d not given up Gary I never would have met Ross!

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Erin! And I love your blog! :)

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nan laws June 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

I jut broke up with a man who I had fabulous chemistry with. My kids liked him and we were compatible on many levels. HOWEVER, he, like my ex-husband, is a financial train wreck. This took several months for me to discover as he was very misleading in this area. He moved into a condo and I found out he had no furniture (other than a bed) because he thought he was moving to Africa. Big red flag. He has 2 daughters, 1 of them has major health issues and very expensive drugs. I only recently learned her drugs are covered for only a few more years, then she will be 25 and completely 100% responsible for them. He rides around town on his motorcycle and hangs out in Starbucks…Long story short, NOT the man for me. I am no spring chicken, and it gets a lot harder to find suitable men when you hit my age but I’d rather be alone than have a “man” shack up with me in MY home, at MY table, eating MY food and enjoying MY lifestyle! Thank goodness I’m out of this sooner rather than later!!

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Steve June 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Nicely said, Erin. From a guy’s perspective, I’ve been involved with a few girls who are financial wrecks. It’s aggravating. Sex and money – that’s what couples fight over. Find someone who works on both levels.

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Natasha Salas June 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

Loving someone and being loved by someone in the right way does a number of things for a person’s soul. The fact that he wants to be a part of your children’s life is a great thing. I think as people we need to stop keeping score financially. The human spirit runs deeper than that. If you are independent and having this man in your life just enriches what you already have then what more is there to think about?

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SingleMama June 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

There is a reason you are questioning it…your heart is telling you to look out! His irresponsible nature in the finance dept. can, and most liekly will, spread to other areas of his life. Unfortunately, those will then spread to your life and your child’s! You deserve the best :)

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I think you have something there. My heart is telling me what I need to do, but fear is interfering with that; fear that I won’t find something like this again (or better than this). I’m ignoring things that really bother me because of this fear!

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Hydrangea June 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

I too was with a guy who was fiscially irresponsible. The bill paying and account managing were left up to me. It. Was. A. Nightmare. Often times he would buy things (ie a motorcyle. Seriously! It was like, really?! Really??!!) without talking to me first or if he did talk to me about it (I would say no because were financially strapped), he would do it anyways. Needless to say managing our accounts was a joke- constantly overdrafting, bouncing checks. Bad bad bad. He ruined my credit and ruined my trust in him. He would lie about his spending because he either a) knew he’d be in big trouble and/or b) he felt guilty knowing what he did was wrong but continued to hide it rather than face his mistake. It wasn’t the straw the broke the camel’s back in our relationship, but it strained it quite a bit. Because I’ve lived through that, I will never again be with someone who shows such poor judgement with their finances. If he can’t be disciplined with his money, where else will he not show discipline good judgement?? It shows a lack of maturity and responsibility. If I were you, I would voice your concern in a non-judgemental, non-confrontational way. Give him time to SHOW you that he can be responsible with his money, not just take his word. Go through a budget plan together. There are a lot of financial websites out there that allow you to establish a budget without signing up for anything. See if he is willing to work with you on this major concern you have. If he really loves and cares for you, he should do what it takes to be in a committed relationship with you. If he doesn’t, or isn’t willing? Well, you know the answer. Follow your gut!!

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Thanks! My comment finally went through (below). I have to say that this guy did buy a motorcycle last year and, even though we don’t live together, called to ask me what I thought of the purchase. He SEEMS like someone who would do everything WITH me and want to be on the same path. He says constantly that he wants to share everything with me…and I DO believe him. (I believe that he wants to anyway.)

Check out my original comment below (that took me quite a few tries to get it to post!) for more detail.

And thanks for sharing that. My ex-husband was SUPER financially irresponsible…just like what you shared above! I totally know what that is like.

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ann marie June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Jen,
I’ve been the “unstable one” in the relationship. and also I have a good friend whose husband still does not have a paying job, (they’ve been married 5 years)

I think what it really boils down to, after my experience and seeing others’ from a different perspective, is to ask yourself, “how much does it really, really matter to you? Is this a deal-breaker for you or could it be? If you expect him to change, he won’t. You can also make the decision to accept it, and move on. This is what my friend did. Close friends will never understand, but it really is none of our business. It’s her marriage and her relationship, and it works for them and her.
It’s all about what you are willing to accept. If you think that someday it will be too much, best move on now, because it has a very, very, good chance at separating the two of you.
My ex and I differed fundamentally on financial issues and ultimately, he’d thought I was going to change my values. (no!) It was one of the things that caused him to want a divorce, even though he knew my values beforehand. Even though we had one of the strongest connections and chemistry I’ve ever had in my life, and we have a daughter together.
Just a thought.

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Thanks so much, Ann Marie!

This really gives me a lot to think about.

It’s amazing to me how many stories there are of women here who had “amazing connections and chemistry” but it didn’t work out for some reason.

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ann marie June 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

aach. posted too soon.
anyway. good luck with this. if the things you listed as positives are more important and you know FOR SURE you can accept the rest and it doesn’t matter, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to work through this ;)

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Amy June 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I passed up two and have never looked back. The man I married, and am married to 19 years later is the whole package. Financially responsible, great dad, husband and partner. I respect him and could not really say that for the other two.

But life is short and one must make the decision that feels best for them.

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Super-awesome!!! And so very encouraging! Thanks, Amy!

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Mindy June 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Of course he says that he loves you and wants to be with you! You have your life in order! He sounds like a clinger…someone who isn’t taking care of their business and clings onto someone else who is. I’ve dated guys like this before, and I find that these types of men are almost eager to get into serious relationships. I have to wonder if this is because they are so excited that someone is willing to put up with their BS, they’ve stopped looking, or if they just want to latch onto someone who IS financially stable because they know that it will benefit them in the long run. That makes me wonder if they’re really there for ME, or the stability that I provide.

I’m curious about the other things he does that “don’t go along with your values”. That might change the whole situation…the money thing may not be the most important factor. If it’s drugs – GET OUT!!!!! He will only drag you and your children down with him.

I’ve found that when you see that someone is very lazy in an extremely important area of their life, they are more likely to be lazy in others. Just my opinion. Good luck to you! :)

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Mindy, I think you are absolutely right. And I have to remember that I do NOT need to settle. While he seems supportive and absolutely loving, it is entirely possible that he is a “clinger”. I shared some more detail lower in the comment list here…just took me a while to get it to post!

I do not want to wake up one day and find that I am in a relationship similar to what my marriage was!

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Mindy June 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Glad that I could help…don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve! :)

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Anna June 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm

red flags pop up for a reason…

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Star June 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

You need and deserve the whole package. Amazingly, there are many many men that are willing to take you and your children on and wouldn’t be afraid to be financially responsible for himself as well as you and your kids. I had strong chemistry with all my past men (including the father of my two sons) and all they all turned out to be disasters because the chemistry was blinding me to all the other things they were lacking. I found a man that is wonderful to me and my sons and is a real grown up. All his ducks were already in a row when I met him because being a responsible person is important to him and that carries over into the rest of his life as well. He is a wonderful and EQUAL partner in all respects. Our chemistry was there to begin with but I have to say, it was nothing compared to my usual guys…but it has developed in time due to his wonderful caring nature and attention to detail and now I have a more satisfying time in the bedroom than I ever did with the “chemistry” guys and it’s made even ore enjoyable by the fact that while we’re in the bedroom, I’m not worrying in the back of my my mind about his inadequacies in other areas ;)

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Oh, Star, this is so encouraging! Thank you!

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Star June 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Jen, I’m glad you found my blog :) Let me tell you…it is SO worth the wait for the right man. I never new a man like mine existed. His wife cheated on him. Never knew that happened either. Thought it was only men. Last night I had a breakdown and told him that I feel like I can’t catch up…can’t keep on top of the kids crazy messiness, the things that need to be done every day, and I’m tired of working so hard…you know his response? “I don’t want you to try to be anything that you are not. I love you. YOU. I fell in love with the messy you. I LIKE that you’re messy. Don’t try to be something you’re not for me. Just be you because that’s the person I love. I WANT to help you! Tomorrow, I will get up (on a Saturday) at 6:30 AM to drop my car off to be fixed as soon as they open so I’ll have more time to help you get everything done.” Not only is he amazing…but he ADORES me. The way I always dreamed of. I make him as happy as he makes me. He loves everything about me and feels like he won the jackpot too. Look for this kind of love. It is wonderful. :) I felt like I’d have to wait forever and I only was a single mom for two years…what a blip in time when someday I look back having been happily married for 30 years ;)

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I’ve tried and tried to post a comment here and they keep disappearing! Hopefully I can have this one show up and at least say thank you all SO much for your comments. They have been so absolutely helpful…as I knew they would be!

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Jen June 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Hey guys…Thanks!
I have tried to leave a comment TWICE and they keep disappearing!
Third time’s the charm?
I had emailed in a bit more detail after my original question, so here is an excerpt from one of those emails:
…And there is more to it than financial, but that is a big part of it. Before I met him, I would have said that was a BIG red flag, but then I find myself doubting what I thought were pretty solid requirements I have. He smokes…and says he’s quitting (and never smokes around me). However, I am aware that he would only be quitting because he knows I don’t like it (…it just doesn’t FIT for my life). He’s struggled with alcoholism in the past and now socially drinks…even though when I first met him he did not drink at all.
(My ex was a huge alcoholic/drug addict.)

He does “have money” (from selling land), and seems to manage his life for the most part…but I don’t see any evidence of goals being set (& met), or any sort of a life-plan beyond just really wanting to be a part of MY life. I’ve sortof been able to understand his lack of a regular job since he was caring for his elderly mother full-time when I met him and, being really burnt out from that, hasn’t started working since she went into a nursing home.

So, maybe I should have been more detailed? Didn’t want to feel like I was bashing him though, you know? These are things that someone else might just be able to brush under the rug and call it “the past”…but raising 4 children and having survived a horrible 15 year marriage, I know what a big deal this can turn out to be.

I know that he loves me and feel he would be absolutely devoted to me and my children. However, I have this nagging feeling that the physical chemistry is clouding over the reality. Choosing this man would mean compromising on a few of my values…and my faith…and I think that must be a sign that, while there is a wonderful connection in some respects, I have to move on.

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Star June 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I have to say…I hadn’t read this…just from my experience…they never quit smoking for one…alcohol problems = RUN AWAY. It’s not about being your partner…it’s about being a partner in raising your kids and being a role model…if they do things you wouldn’t want your kids doing than it’s a BIG red flag that your morals and priorities do not match up. If it’s something you wouldn’t want your kids doing, it’s something you wouldn’t want your husband doing…it’s just harder to see that. My ex is still drinking, partying, smoking…all the things he swore for 6 years that he’d quit. He’s not capable of changing or he would have done it before he met me if it was actually important to him. Find the man that already IS the person you want. Single moms don’t have the extra time or energy for a “fixer upper” in a man any more than they would for a “fixer upper” place to live :)

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christine June 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

i have to agree here. my ex had addiction issues (and has now managed to turn himself into an alcoholic. fun!) and they seem to go hand-in-hand with money management/impulse control issues. i was 100% responsible for our finances, as many others have commented, with no control over his spending. i’m still living with my mother as i work to financially recover. but i’ve learned that i will never do that ever again. i just can’t risk it, especially not with children to be responsible for. i’d rather be single indefinitely.

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Jen June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Thanks, Star. All of these comments have been so helpful…and the way you summed that up REALLY helps! We (single mamas) cannot afford risks in this area. It is just not worth it!

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Mina June 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hi Jen,
I am writing to you from across the world; Turkey. Situations as yours are universal. I was married to a man for 11 years before we divorced (2 months ago). He was amazing when we first met. Just as you explained; great chemistry, wonderful conversations, love, caring and commitment. But just like yours; he was financially irresponsible and that was just the start. At first I would keep making excuses for him but as time passed; his behavior reflected into other areas of our lives. He cheated on me badly! It took me 2 years before I could realise that he was actually a very disordered man (BPD/NPD).
Jen, in Turkey there is a saying that even mountains can not withstand “ready” goods such as selling land. Eventually everything runs out. Having goals is very important and you already know the answer to your dilemma. AND you are very pretty too…you’ve been through enough already. Stay strong!

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Jen June 12, 2011 at 12:52 am

I love that saying!
This may be the wrong guy for me, but I AM thankful for the opportunity to stay strong (and get stronger!). It’s huge that I was able to notice things weren’t right. There was a time when I would have plowed ahead on chemistry alone!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story, Mina!

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Julie Rickert June 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Hi Jen,
Red flags!!! A person cannot be an alcoholic and then socially drink. There are so many things that this person is doing and you are compromising your values. You (and your kids) are worth so much more and deserve so much more. You cannot make anyone change–you know “if he really loved me, then he would…”? Trust your gut to respect yourself and move on.

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Jen June 12, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thanks Julie and Mina!

I think posting my question here, taking the time to write it out and really look at it, and reading through all of your responses have really helped me to see this thing for what it is. I WILL trust my gut and stay strong on this! I do already know the answer to my dilemma…and thank you to all of you for helping me to see that!

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Erin Marie June 12, 2011 at 2:36 am

I have passed up two guys that can be categorized as “The One that Got Away”. The first, I was entirely too young, and the second was more recent. I think that as women we doubt our intuition entirely too much. Why are we willing to snuff that little voice and compromise in areas to ignore red flags just so we can have companionship?? I think that red flags SHOULD be considered. We all have them… none of us is perfect… but the red flags should be evaluated to decide if it is something that we can deal with or not. I look at my most recent “One that got away” and I can see now that it wouldnt have worked. He had red flags that illustrated his inability to make me and my daughter first, and being ready for marriage. I could have been saved from the painful sting of being a solo parent… and had a family for my daughter… but Im glad that I evaluated the red flags… because I dont want my daughter to think that it is ok to be 2nd best.
Something to think about: My mother-in-law (I was still married to her son at the time) remarried a man that had not paid his taxes for around 10 years or so. They had separate bank accounts, and both worked. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to quit her job. It would have been ok because he made a lot of money and could support her three times over. But the IRS caught up with him at the same time. I am sure he ignored the warning letters, until it was too late. They began garnishing his wages, the what he was left with a month wasnt enough to cover their rent, let alone car payments and medical bills. He lost hope and drown himself in a bottle of Jack… but when she lost hope it was much more devastating… she ended up dying from CHF before her second round of chemo. It was painful and frustrating to watch, and never planned to happen that way. She knew what she was getting into when she married him… but I am positive she never thought things would happen like they did.
I hope you make the best decision!!

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Alice X June 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I have experienced a relationship where i loved the person deeply but he couldn’t find a job, it lead to many fallings out. I think love can be enough if both partners are on a similar financial level. However when one partner is much more financially independent than the other it can lead to friction.

I think you and your children are the important things to consider here. Is he stable enough to be in you and your children’s life?

Humour and relationship tips and advice for women

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Exactly, Alice & Erin! It’s not exactly an issue of me NEEDING him to support me…but I do need him to be stable and able to be in a healthy relationship with me.
Thanks for the comments!

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karebear June 13, 2011 at 3:35 am

“We have chemistry…BUT, Wow, to be honest that’s how I got myself into this mess! The single mom mess that is. My rebound relationship was a whirlwind, exciting, passionate, can’t take your hand off of each other romance. When it came down to the logistics of being a family man he ran. He lied to me about everything. His age, told me he was retired (he was unemployed). He told me a story and I fell for it all. Because of “Chemistry”. I fell in love with the man that he wanted to be. When I was 5 months pregnant he went on to find his next super chemistry whirlwind ride. I haven’t seen him since my son was about a month old. Now he’s taking me to court for custody. Looks like he and his new gal want to have an insta family with my little boy. Curious to see how it fits into there lifestyle… UGH So upsetting. I wish i’d been warned to move out of the state while I had the chance…. Sorry that’s my “chemistry” 2 cents. Next time I want a real man. One that is comfortable enough with himself so that he doesn’t have to make up lies. Good luck mommas!

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Karebear. This is such a good reminder that there is SO much more we need to be looking at. I can also look back at so many times I was super-attracted to a guy that I now know was a poor choice!

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j June 13, 2011 at 6:18 am

It is ironic when I was younger I did pass up a few guys who were actually financially responsible though perhaps not high wage earners. That was important at the time because I never thought I would earn “enough” and I wanted a certain quality of life.Then I found amazing chemistry with a financially irresponsible man who said all the right things. He too called me about making some big ticket investments. There were red flags like when he would counsel others about the importance of fiscal responsibility. I knew he struggled to save though. I lent him money. (I still sometimes kick myself.)Needless to say, financial stress is terrible as a single mom but I imagine if I were still with this man I’d be in a terrible situation financially with no end in sight. I got out early and now own my own home (just 2 years later). And by the way he has never taken any financial responsibility for our child. I do think that financial irresponsibility is a sign of deeper problems. Even when I look at friends who can’t save a dime, there are often self esteem issues or other emotional problems going on.

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faye June 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

As a mom, I think it must be incredibly easy to think you’re into someone more than you might be, if only because it can be so darn hard to raise kids on your own. Getting dinner on the table night after night–case in point. If there is no other adult, why not just eat chips and peanuts after the kids go to bed?
http://www.youtube.com/dinnerconfidential

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Nicole June 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

I chose single motherhood over life with a cheating spouse. I worked hard to get where i am in life without the help of my husband and only chose to be with him because i felt he complimented my life so well…i thought we would be best friends and partners forever. the first man i attempted to trust and date after the divorce was fun at first, but the more i learned about his life, the more i realized how financially irresponsible he was. He had all the other good qualities in a man, but that financial piece kept eating away at me. I ended it only because I know there must be a man out there that has ALL the qualities that will enhance the life of my son and myself. im not seeking a man with money, but just one that has both chemistry and understands how to be a responsible adult. single motherhood is hard enough at times, why make your life more difficult by having to take care of your child AND a man.

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

So, so true…and I am feeling the same way. I just graduated college (my first time going) and have worked really hard to get where I am. I feel protective over it!

Thanks, Nicole!

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Lanna June 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Red flags should never be ignored. I learned my lesson and am on my way to a divorce. My soon-to-be ex-husband is an alcoholic that recently only drinks socially (or that is what he is saying). His drinking led him to bond with a co-worker and friend of ours, which led to him cheating on me when our daughter was 3-months old. I was worried that his nightly cocktail-of-choice wouldn’t stop about a year into our relationship. We would argue about it. He always assured me that he would be able to once we decided to have kids. Well, that didn’t change, and when I demanded more form him it just drove him into the other girl’s arms, where she was waiting willingly and patiently. His drinking actually got worse when I did get pregnant. I saw the red flags, but decided to ignore them because he and I had such amazing chemistry. Now I look back at “the one that got away” and see that I passed up on an amazing man (now happily married with kids)…and realize I passed up on him only because of the chemistry- not that he and I lacked it, but because my soon-to-be ex-husband and I had just ridiculously amazing chemistry. Trust me, that chemistry soon turns into disgust and dislike with an alcoholic. Even with a few drinks, and he is slurring, swaying, forgetting conversations, and falling asleep anywhere.

Now in counseling and Al-anon meetings, I see that it is a blessing in disguise that I am getting out of that relationship. I actually look back at all the red flags I chose to ignore because of chemistry and love…and ask “what was I thinking?”. (But if I hadn’t ignored them, I wouldn’t have my daughter!) At least now I know that my daughter won’t grow up in an environment with a lying, alcoholic, OCD-perfectionist (who no one lives up to his standards) father. I am also learning that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. And alcoholics are notorious for being manipulative, narcissistic, lairs.

Don’t ignore the red flags. You’ll find your guy. Don’t settle, you deserve everything on your list. And sometimes chemistry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thanks, Lanna! I have been there, too, and you are RIGHT.

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Rosalyn June 15, 2011 at 1:38 am

My boyfriend left my son and I in March. He is very financially unstable and has not done his taxes in awhile either. When we were together I knew he wasn’t good with money……we still moved in together. It didn’t work out. I feel the way one handles their money is a strong indication of other characteristics. It’s all interconnected in some way, If he is does not take care of his money, how can he be responsible and committed to bring stability to a family?

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Farrell June 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The answer is right here: “However, I have this nagging feeling that the physical chemistry is clouding over the reality. Choosing this man would mean compromising on a few of my values…and my faith…and I think that must be a sign that, while there is a wonderful connection in some respects, I have to move on.”

ALWAYS trust your gut!!!

Also, it seems like this guy has a lot of the same traits/issues as your ex and I would steer clear of that.

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Right on, Farrell. I think this was just the next thing I needed to really focus on: trusting my gut. Thank you!

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Steve June 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Suze Orman says, “People first, then money, then things.”

This guy is not prioritizing. He’s putting things and experiences first, avoiding money issues, and that’s going to hurt the people he loves.

How one deals with money is often a barometer of how they feel about themselves. If they are wasteful and careless, often they feel that they are not worth caring about, and are worthless. If they are strict and pickey and cheap and overly thrifty, often they feel they’re not worth spending money on, and often they’re overly controlling.

You seem to have pretty big reservations, so marriage is definitely NOT an option at present.

Be direct with this guy. Tell him your opinion. Tell him of your reservations in this department, and give him examples. Don’t be his parent, his superior. Be his friend, and his confidant. Perhaps he’ll open up, deal with it. Perhaps he’ll not open, but fix the financial crises. Perhaps he’ll change for you, because he wants to.

You’ve got EVERY RIGHT to be concerned, as marriage is an emotional connection AND a financial connection. Being married to a financial abuser is not a picnic, I can imagine.

Providing stability is an important issue in a marriage, especially with kids. Good to see you’re looking for the things that matter in a relationship.

By the way, you really look like Reese Witherspoon in that photo.

Good luck!

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Taru April 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

So sweet! You have lots of variety to your snsoises all the pictures from the same session have a different emotion. It’s making me want to fall in love all over again.

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Jen June 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Wow, Steve…great perspective!

Back in my unhealthier days, I was strict, overly thrifty, etc…and definitely got to a place where I did not feel it was worth spending money on myself. And I do think unhealthy relationships can definitely lead to overly controlling behaviors. That’s a whole ‘nother issue, though. It’s just interesting to see the change in my relationship with money now that I have been on my own for 3 years…so I think that’s right on!

No, marriage is not an option…but, being in my late 30′s and already having a family, it is definitely where my mind goes in examining a relationship.

A friend of mine recently said to me that the world has things backwards. We go into a dating relationship with our eyes closed, get married, and then open them…only to see everything wrong with the picture. She encouraged me to go into dating with my eyes WIDE open, be critical in the beginning, and then shut those eyes once I’m married…because then it’s just time to know that I made the right choice and love him. I thought that was a neat way of looking at it.

Honestly, I’m in a place in my life where I’d rather take a guy “as is”. I don’t feel that someone making changes for me is something I’m really interested in…or something I’d really like to rely on. However, I have been very open & direct with this guy, and that has been good.

Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement!

(And I get asked if I know that I look like Reese W. a LOT! Ha!)

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Sassy Single Mom June 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

I think it’s always tough when you have that incredible chemistry with someone because it seems so very rare. But, being able to trust yourself is priceless and it seems like there is this part of you that is speaking very loudly to you and not letting this go. That is a wonderful thing!

The other thing I wanted to share is that during my post divorce dating … every time I would break up with someone who seemed so unique to me in this way or that and I would grieve and wonder if it would be possible to *ever meet someone like that again*. Because I journal, I often reread over the past entries and I realized one day that I had the same thought pattern after every break-up! And, every time, I did go on to meet another someone who was special and unique to me again. So, whew … relief there. :-) As others have mentioned, there can be that lonely lull between – but even that can be good for us to heal and get grounded again – and maybe update our LISTS!

I also have a “must-have” and “can’t-stand” list. There are 10 things listed on each. It makes it easier to make decisions while dating. Even if there is crazy chemistry, but he possesses one of my “can’t-stands”, I know it’s ultimately a NO because I’ve done my soul searching ahead of time and know these are my non negotiables.

Good luck, Jen … you’re really thinking things through and listening to your gut! I wish you all the best!

Kris

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Jen July 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Thanks, Kris!

I have had times in my life where I’ve been able to look back on a journal and see some patterns, too, so I really appreciate your example.
We’ve had “the talk” and now the hard part of NOT talking is what we’re doing. It really is the right thing to do…because we would never be “just friends”.
You are right, chemistry does not make the man and I am going to hold out for that man of integrity.
I like what someone else said above about falling in love with “the man that he wanted to be” and I have just done that so many times. What I am now learning is to pay attention to the man he is actually being.
I also have “can’t stand” and “must have” lists! Made them a few weeks back when I was dealing with this so I could be more solid on the things that are really important to me (and my kids).
And, yes, this “lull” will be good for me…

Just wanted to pop back in over here and thank you for your insight!

:)
Jen

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Terri June 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Hi Jen,

I can honestly say RUN….I know, it’s hard to give up the chemistry but you have values that he doesn’t. Trust me, if your gut is sending up little red flags I would strongly encourage you to listen. I’ve ignored those gut red flags in the past and regretted it every time.

You can’t make a decision based on fear. You’re afraid you might not find it (love) again or as good in the chemistry department. You can and you will. Love comes when you least expect it and usually when you are not looking for it. Take care and keep us posted.
terri

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Jen July 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

You are right, Terri. And the fact that a lot of this was fear-based was another big red-flag for me.
Thanks for bringing that up!

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nathan June 20, 2011 at 11:28 am

Without trust it doesn’t work. Sounds like you did your best. Take care.

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Nikki June 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Trust your instincts. You may not understand them up front, but if something doesn’t feel right doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with YOU. It doesn’t mean there’s something really ‘wrong’ with him, either, but…you may be wrong for each other. Trust your intsincts. Trust the red flags. Trust that what your gut is telling you is something that needs to be heard…and listened to, regardless of what others may think of it.

And…words words words words words…don’t mean anything when ACTIONS speak louder than them. If a man cannot be responsible for things in his life, he will not be able to be responsible for things in yours. Who he is now, will be who he is then…if he doesn’t pay his taxes, he won’t pay yours.

And…chemistry does not make the man. It’s alluring…but NOTHING is more alluring than a man of integrity.

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Jen July 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Oh, Nikki, you are so right ON with this and this is exactly where I am. What huge things for us to learn (well, me anyway): trusting our gut, being able to look at ACTIONS and who that man *really* is (not who he SAYS he is)…and not losing ourselves in the face of chemistry! This is my chance to honor who I am.
I am going to write what you said down and remember it: “Chemistry does not make the man. It’s alluring…but NOTHING is more alluring than a man of integrity.” So very true!
Thank you!!!

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traci whitney June 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

I just think that you could be passing up your dream guy by staying with this one! If it bothers you now, while you are relatively young in your relationship, then it will bother you a lot more later. Not only will it wear on you, but it will start to affect your personal finances one you get married. Then, imagine if things didn’t work out, you could possibly be in a huge hole.

Chemistry is great, but it is not the foundation for a strong, lasting relationship. Good luck!

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Jen July 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Good point, Traci! Definitely don’t want to pass up a guy who really will be right for me (and my family) because I “settled” along the way.
Thanks!

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Steve July 22, 2011 at 3:06 am

Well, it’s been a while since we last typed, or blogged, or whatever… Jen: What is the status of your relationship with Mr. Moneynot?

Have you succumbed to his evil chemistry filled sexy stares and has he entranced you in to relationship stupor?

Were you able to discuss with him his shortcomings, not in a parental tone, but in a friendly tone? Did it backfire completely? Did he reveal his hidden trust fund of millions of beanie babies? Each one is worth perhaps a quarter or more the right collector! Did you settle anyways and get craigslisting?

Did he get the sense that there were not going to be many more nights of free-loading? Did he split?

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Jen August 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Nope! I let him know the reasons that this wasn’t a fit for me, and he agreed. We are still “friends”…though I find myself wanting to talk to him less & less.
Funny what a little time and separation will do for ya.

This blog and all of your comments were a HUGE source of strength for me!

Thanks for asking, Steve! :)

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