Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on MadameNoire on June 10, 2016.
I think we can all agree that lending money to friends and family is a no-no. There’s nothing worse than having to find a less than aggressive way to confront your aunt or your friend about that loan that they mistook for a gift. And while blasting “B—h Better Have My Money” by Rihanna would be a great way to do it in theory, that’s probably going to make a negative situation worse. So unless the person requesting coins is known for paying people back in a timely manner, tell them that all you can loan them is the lint in your pocket.
But what do you do when your boyfriend needs to borrow some money to cover certain expenses and comes to you? You might want to cry broke in this situation too. In the case of one woman, she would probably encourage you to do so after her boyfriend of more than a year decided to take his sweet time to pay her back on a hefty loan. Things were going great in their relationship–until he decided to stick her for her paper.
“He paid me back a small amount of it but right now he owes me $330 because of other things that have been adding up,” the young woman wrote online. “Whenever I ask him about it he gets all irritated and upset…I’m tired of waiting and i’m worried that he is taking advantage of me because I have more money.”
I can’t imagine trying to make a relationship work when your boyfriend owes you money and has the nerve to be annoyed by your inquiries into when you’ll get that money back. If he doesn’t pay up soon, I’m pretty sure this young woman’s resentment will grow even stronger, and if it does, it will be time to question if this is a person she needs to be with. A few dollars here and there is one thing, but loaning out hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars only to have your significant other drag their feet about paying up? Not a good look. The fact that he doesn’t see the importance of paying what he owes, as though ignoring it will kill all communication on the matter since she’s his girlfriend, shows that he has some less than admirable traits as a partner.
Not to add to the pettiness here, but if things seem to be going well aside from the money issue, I would probably go the route of avoiding picking up any tabs or helping with expenses and outings. If and when he asks why she isn’t helping out or paying him back for purchases he’s been making for her (maybe when she needs him to run certain errands), she can ever so graciously remind him about that debt.
But aside from that, I wouldn’t run to Judge Judy over this. Court costs are no joke and the time wasted? Well, it’s up to the wronged party to figure out if it’s really worth it. But sometimes you have to take a loss to learn an important lesson in life. In this situation, the lesson is that you don’t need to play Shylock to anybody, and you shouldn’t lend money that you can’t afford to lose. So for the young woman in this messy money situation, I would recommend confronting her boyfriend in a straightforward manner with an actual plan of how he can pay what he owes (instead of just asking, “When can you pay me back?”). Tell him she will take a certain amount per week or come knocking when he gets paid. If he can’t oblige then she can tell him that he won’t be hearing from her. Yes, it might be best for her to cut her losses and cut him off (and maybe cuss him out on the way out of the door)…
But as always, that’s just my opinion. What do you say? Is this a petty issue she should let go of or should she cut him off if he can’t chooses not to pay up? How would you handle things?
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