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How to Know If You’re Dating Someone Who’ll Make You Poorer

Joanne Poh

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Some guys firmly believe that the way into a woman’s heart is through their big wallets, and spare no expense in trying to impress the ladies with flashy cars and expensive meals. Others are terrified that they’ll end up with a gold digger, and take pains to make it clear they’re not about to buy expensive gifts or eat anywhere that’s not self-service.

Whatever your inclinations, nobody wants to be with someone who’s going to take all the cash you’ve spent years on the hamster wheel to earn and spend it all on bling. Here are some red flags to look out for.

 

How does the person react when asked to rough it?

Being prudent about spending money often means giving up something comfortable or luxurious in order to achieve a long-term goal. If your partner insists on taking a cab all the time because the “MRT is full of smelly people” or can’t stand eating at hawker centres because there is no air con, alarm bells should be going off in your head, as this might be a person who considers their own comfort a top priority—no matter what the cost.

And if you’re going to be spending a lot of time together, you can expect your own spending to go up, too.

 

Does he or she offer to pay?

Whether the guy or girl should pay on a date or whether the bill should be split remains a controversial topic amongst Singaporeans, and there is no standard practice. Some couples even decide to split the bill according to their earning capacity, while still others don’t have a particular arrangement.

But whatever your beliefs, whether your partner offers to pay can say a lot about his or her sense of financial independence. If your partner often offers to split the bill or give you a treat, this could signal a willingness to shoulder financial responsibilities. This applies even if you decline or your partner is much younger or earns much less than you.

On the other hand, someone who enjoys lavish dates without ever offering to chip in could be trouble.

 

Does he or she order the most expensive thing on the menu?

So you’re going out on a hot date and you’ve made it clear to your significant other that tonight, dinner’s on you. Observe carefully how your paramour makes his or her selections from the menu. If he or she gleefully chooses the most expensive item on the menu or picks a costly wine, this might not bode well for your relationship as it could display an unconscious desire to take advantage of the generosity of others.

Even if he or she would have ordered the lobster and caviar even if you hadn’t offered to pay, doing so when you’ve made it known you’re footing the bill is a little inconsiderate.

 

Is he or she unable to stop walking into shops?

On a stroll through Orchard Road, pay attention to what catches your date’s eye. If he or she is marvelling at the futuristic architecture or excited about the cinema or games arcade, fine. But if your date is constantly dragging you into shops and insisting on browsing even when you get bored, beware, as that could signal a love for accumulating stuff, or even a shopping addiction.

Of course, a little bit of shopping never hurt anybody. But keep your eyes peeled for compulsive behaviour or a preoccupation with shopping, especially if you yourself aren’t too big of a shopper. Fail to spot this behaviour and you could one day find yourself joining the group of bored partners and spouses parked glumly outside the changing rooms each weekend, fiddling with their smartphones in despair.

Have you ever dated someone who cost you lots of money? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.