I’m a fervid fan of your page and I make sure that every weekend I get a copy of The Voice specifically for your page.
I have been dating this young lady for almost one and half years now and our relationship has been wonderful but as usual with its ups and downs at times, though we have managed to pull through.
I have a career but she is still schooling at a certain university in Gaborone.
She will be through with her studies this year in December.
I work outside Gaborone but I do own a house in Gaborone but normally come to the house every two weeks on weekends or public holidays only.
I’m still paying a mortgage on this house.
We recently had a big misunderstanding on how far I need to support her financially.
She is a government sponsored student and both her parents have jobs.
In short, she is still under the care of the parents and the government.
We are just dating as at now and we haven’t yet made any commitment to each other.
She recently complained that I am not assisting her financially, that is, to her expectation in the following ways
– I’m not paying for her rentals,which she expects me to pay for on a monthly basis as her friends have boyfriends who do this
– I do not buy her groceries on a monthly basis
– I do not take her for shopping frequently
– She went even further to say that at times she sleeps at school doing some assignments because where she is staying there is no internet access.
Most of her friends have boyfriends who bring nice food like pizzas, nandos etc, which I do not do.
I may have failed her but I feel some of her expectations are just out of this world. I may be wrong but that’s my view.
– On the rentals my view is that I don’t have to take over that responsibility from the government or the parents.
She is getting a monthly allowance to cover this. I do assist at times but it should not be my monthly bill.
Same thing goes for groceries.
– On shopping I am of the view that she should not forget that she is still a student.
She should not live beyond the means of a student.
Even I do not go shopping for myself every three months.
– On the nice food when she spends nights at school, that is also a nonstarter as I can’t manage that.
I stay almost 500km away from Gaborone, how does she expect me to do that? Why compare me to her friends’ boyfriends?
Just to add to the rental issue, I once offered her to go and stay at my place by taking up one of the rooms which was vacant, unfortunately she snubbed the offer.
Her reasoning was that she is staying with a schoolmate and the friend is staying with an unemployed boyfriend, she doesn’t want to disappoint the friend.
I went further to say she, her friend and the boyfriend could all go and stay at my house since the house can accommodate them all.
She vehemently refused. Recently the friend’s boyfriend secured a job and they have moved out of the house leaving her to pay the rent and other bills alone.
She then came to me to say she had a problem with accommodation and she was ready to move into my house.
By that time I had already found a tenant who took up the vacant rooms.
I explained to her that I couldn’t tell the tenant to vacate because we have already signed a one-year contract.
Up to now this is a thorny issue in our relationship.
She is very adamant that I have the right to chase away my bonafide tenant and let her occupy one of the rooms.
Please I need your professional advice. I really love this young lady and I do not want to lose her but at times I feel like she is abusing my good hospitality.
She is 10 years younger than me but I have come to accept the age gap.
I don’t mind even if you can just respond to this request to me only through the email but it would be better through your page as we may not be the only ones having this predicament.
Thank you for your continued support for the Ask Gase page; it’s good to know that there are people who look forward to the column every week.
Your girlfriend should not expect you to pay her monthly rentals just because her friends have boyfriends who do that.
She also needs to understand that her groceries are not your responsibility.
You can help her out with these whenever possible because you love her, but you’re certainly not obliged to buy her groceries on a monthly basis.
Why can’t she take herself shopping with the allowance she gets from Government?
In addition, her parents are still very much alive and gainfully employed; they can help her with extra pocket money for her shopping sprees.
You can help her out wherever possible (that is when you have cash to spare after you have taken care of your own financial needs and the needs of your family if you have any that are dependent on you), but you’re not obliged to take her shopping every three months.
Where on earth does she get these ideas from? She should be ashamed of herself for even uttering such words; these demands of hers make her sound like a gold digger.
Having read through your letter, I do not think you failed her at all, like you’re thinking.
You come across as a loving and considerate boyfriend and there are not many like you left out there; she should appreciate your efforts and the love you have for her.
She should really get a grip on herself and stop with her outrageous demands already!
Her biggest problem is that her expectations are too high; things that other people work hard for, she wants them on a silver platter…without lifting a finger to earn them…and guess what?
You’re her cash cow; she and her friends have it all worked out! That is why she has a list of financial To-Dos for you to work your magic on…and that is why she keeps comparing your relationship to those of her friends and their boyfriends.
When she’s with her friends, they compare notes…when her friends are flashing new and expensive phones, weaves, designer clothes, designer handbags and shoes and all of that, and she’s got little or nothing much to show, she feels compelled to turn up the heat on you because it’s like her boyfriend is not ‘performing’ to standard.
Believe me, as her friends keep upgrading, she too will want to keep the pace.
If you’re not careful, very soon she’ll be asking you for her own car, house, and God knows what else.
The thing about many young women and their friends is that competition within their circles is very high; they’re constantly checking who among them has the boyfriend that meets their high expectations the most.
That is why many are tempted to deploy a whole ‘cabinet’ of men to provide for their financial/material needs because often, one boyfriend cannot live up to those expectations.
You say you love her, so sit her down the next time you’re together and discuss this issue openly and honestly.
She sees this sort of thing going on all around her, i.e. girls expecting their boyfriends to provide for all the things that she has asked from you (and more)…and maybe she thinks that’s normal life…that women should demand to be taken care of financially and that their boyfriends should comply…no questions asked.
Sadly, some young women have this mentality drilled into them by their mothers, who encourage them to have a taste for the finer things in life…but instead of teaching their daughters to work hard for the kind of lifestyle they want, such mothers mislead their own daughters into expecting men to provide for their every need.
There’s this age-old practice called ‘gobecha’…when a man occasionally helps out the one he loves…mostly financially; the modern-day woman has taken this to another level, and quite honestly, many men cannot keep up as it’s no longer up to the man to give what he can afford to…now the man is made to feel inadequate if he cannot provide financial support to his partner on all fronts…food, clothing, shoes, hair, nails, jewellery, cosmetics, transport, rental, utilities, entertainment…the list goes on.
Tell her openly that you yourself do not go shopping every three months or take any of your siblings and parents shopping that regularly…if she’s smart she’ll realize how selfish (and foolish) it is for her to expect you to do this for her when you cannot give yourself or any of your own family members such a treat.
Like you said, she must live within her means; she has to realize that it’s just wrong to want a lavish lifestyle and expect other people to pay for it.
Indeed, why compare you to her friends’ boyfriends?
There could be some low self-esteem issues at play here as well, coupled with inner circle competition between friends.
This expectation of hers about nice food is ridiculous.
There’s nothing wrong with her wanting ‘nice food’ when she spends nights at school, but this is where her own allowance and pocket money from her parents come in; if she cannot save for this ‘nice food’ and if her parents cannot afford it either, she must eat whatever meals are available and be grateful that she has food to eat; many people go to bed on an empty stomach.
You’re right; it’s more than enough that you do assist with her rentals at times; that responsibility should not be shifted from government and her parents to rest squarely on you.
She turned down a good offer from you for accommodation at your house because she didn’t want to disappoint a friend who didn’t think twice about vacating the house they shared, leaving her to foot the bills by herself.
She needs to re-evaluate her friendships because some of her friends probably do not value her and their friendship as much as she does.
Expecting you to tell your tenant to vacate the house just so she can move in is plain selfish, insensitive and downright deplorable.
What does she expect you to tell the tenant when a lease agreement has already been signed…that the madame of the house has come back to reclaim her position as the rightful occupant of the house?
She missed her opportunity because of foolish loyalty to a friend and she should just accept her error of judgement and learn from it.
Of course she is abusing your good hospitality, but people take certain things lightly, especially in their youthful years…so it’s possible that your girlfriend does not realize the extent to which she’s abusing your love and good intentions.
Depending on how she was brought up or what she sees the society around her doing and also the peer pressure from her friends, she may see her demands for financial support as normal practice in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
It is up to you to talk some sense into her and make her realize that love should not be based on material benefits like she seems to think.
Young women today need to be taught to work hard for the kind of life they want and not expect to sponge on men all the time as is the case in many ‘relationships’.
Talk to her and make her understand that you’re her boyfriend, not her career; she should wait until she earns her own money, then she can use her own resources to sponsor the lavish lifestyle she wants.
If she loves you at all, she’ll consider what you’re telling her and will make an effort to look at things from a different perspective.
What I have written here is just common sense and definitely not rocket science…it is not difficult to understand but a selfish woman would want to resist and argue because she thinks things should always go her way.
Should you feel that you need more help with this problem, please contact New Perspectives (73888898); they offer Relationship Management services that you and your girlfriend can benefit from.