Dear Avi and Adele:
My girlfriend is in major debt, while my finances are in perfect shape. I see long-term potential in this relationship, but I’m really nervous about moving forward with someone whose finances are in sorry shape. What should I do? – Mr. Moneybags
Dear Mr. Moneybags:
Mazel tov (good luck) on finding your potential bashert (soulmate)! Avi and Adele are most happy for your happiness, and we also applaud you for looking at your girlfriend’s financial situation with a keen eye.
Your question spurred more questions than answers in us, but that won’t stop us from giving you a thorough response. What you’re most likely worried about isn’t your lovely Lila’s money matters; you’re probably wondering if her money management mirrors yours. Right now she’s deeply in debt and we’d like to know why. We’d also like to know what you consider “major” debt. Does that entail a heavy student loan burden after completing her law degree or does it represent a shoe compulsion that can’t be contained?
One of your loveable Lila’s qualities should be comfortable communication, and we’d suggest getting deep about her debt one day soon. Determine the source of her debt and the choices that led her to this place. And most importantly, does she have a plan to remedy this situation (other than marrying into money)? Would she look to you to participate in the debt-reduction planning, or does she express independence in this regard?
As Adele can attest, money matters can be a sore spot in any relationship, but she can also tell you that this is an opportunity to test your communicating mettle. Money represents so many things beyond the balance of one’s checking account that it’s best to get on the right path of talking about things now before you hitch your wagon to her star.
Livin’ and Lovin’,
Avi and Adele
To submit questions to Avi and Adele, e mail [email protected] For additional Jewish content, go to www.letmypeoplegrow.org – a blog dedicated to cultivating Jewish conversations on topics that matter, while educating, entertaining and engaging our national Jewish community.