No, thank you

Joey Garcia

I’m embarrassed to admit that I emptied my savings account and maxed out my credit cards supporting deadbeat boyfriends. I don’t know why I believed each one of these guys was going to get his life together, marry me and be the father of my children. What is wrong with me? I’ve paid for cars, rent, meals, vacations, clothing, child support and more. These guys were vampires sucking the life out of me. How do I stop attracting men like this?

When a man you’re dating says he doesn’t have a job, remind yourself it’s not your job to be his bank. Watch your words, too. Don’t describe yourself as someone who likes to take care of her man unless you clarify exactly what that means to you. In a healthy relationship, two independent people come together and, over a period of time, they slowly begin to depend on one another. An independent person is someone who takes responsibility for herself or himself and is thriving as a result of that commitment. By financially supporting the men you date, you’re pushing away from a stable lifestyle to join the same economic space that your boyfriends occupy.

It’s natural to want our loved ones to have nice things, but it’s not kind to completely remove their participation in providing themselves with the basics. In your relationships you give too much, and that’s a red flag. Over-giving occurs when a person doesn’t value their time, body or resources. It’s a sign that you believe you’re not loveable without buying someone’s affection. So you use gifts and compliments to distract yourself and your partner from your insecurity. There’s a deep cost—financial, yes, but also emotional, and sometimes physical. Denial takes its toll, most often in the form of stress.

Do you believe you deserve to marry a man if you’ve been his financial lifeline? That’s a transactional approach to love. It requires a tally of who is giving and who is taking. If that’s not your idea of the perfect relationship (and why would it be), you can change. Reset your attraction magnet for more fulfilling connections. Begin by joining Debtors Anonymous, a 12-step program to help you review your beliefs about money and get back in the black. Eventually, it will become obvious that you—not the men you date—are responsible for sucking money out of your wallet. Hey, you agreed to spend the money. You signed for purchases. You equated gifts with love. Once you accept that you made these choices, you can pivot and make fresh ones. If you insist on blaming ex-boyfriends for your financial problems, you’re investing in the past. So don’t be surprised when the universe continues to introduce you to more men with financial challenges. After all, these experiences invite you to say three powerful words when the wrong man shows up: “No, thank you.” Instead, choose to do for yourself what you hoped your various boyfriends would do: Get your life together so you can create the love you want. P.S. There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone faces challenges in love. 

Meditation of the week
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival,” wrote poet and activist Audrey Lorde. Are you ready to thrive?

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