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Read Letter

Can You Afford Her?

My dear Jack, I’m afraid I sense in your mail a burden of perplexity mixed with anxiety. You sound like someone looking for solution to an arcane problem requiring a stroke of genius. And that I worry about. 
Relationship ought to be natural. It’s why it’s called relationship. It’s a natural phenomenon, not a life challenge. You’re too young to be even contemplating the kind of burden you are carrying in your relationship. I know young men sometimes want to prove responsibility by prematurely taking on burdens. They assume responsibility for the wants and desires of their girlfriend, and that’s crazy especially given income level. That’s not saying you shouldn’t care for your girlfriend; but full responsibility for wants and desires?! That’s a lot! And you can’t assume the burden of a husband when you’re not one yet.

I’ve seen this premature assumption of roles several times, especially on university campuses. Boy and girl begin to play husband and wife prematurely. They become practically married. And so breaks simulate divorce, creating devastating emotional trauma with dire consequences. Truth is, the average campus relationship won’t result in marriage. Realism imposes itself on young dreams. The girl is usually readier for marriage than the young man at graduation. That’s due to many factors, economics included.

Coming out of school the young man has no apartment, no furniture, no job. He can’t contemplate marriage immediately. He has to “settle” down. If the girl is impatient that marriage will not take place. She’ll move on. And parents do mount their own pressure. If she meets a ready candidate in the real world, that can spell doom for the original relationship. Campus love has many hoops to jump before it becomes marriage. It’s why I advise too serious-minded young men in school to relax about marriage, and young women face their studies. The primary objective of going to school is to get your qualification; it’s not romance. If you accomplish romance but fail to do well in your degree course, that’s a romantic failure. It’s not worth killing yourself over a campus flame. There’s no warranty. After school, a different set of permutations emerge. Reality intrudes its ugly face.

It’s also why I quarrel with the artificiality imposed on relationships by some religious groups on campus. I’m told a young man has to inform a committee of his intention to date a girl before speaking to the girl. The logic being to regulate proposals and prevent “confusion” among brethren. Who dreams these rules! How do you operate a command structure for relationships? Relationship socialism?! Isn’t that a big brother concept – a novel regulatory protocol? When we impose regimentalism on the natural order of life, we create artificial sociology. And that has consequences – terrible consequences which have not been thought through.
What I’m saying may not be politically correct, but I owe no obligation to political correctness, only truth! My penchant for saying it as it is, is why young men and women write me for sincere advice in the first place. What happens when the interest of a suitor conflicts with the interest of a member of the dating regulatory committee? How do you ration love? It’s not a material quantity. You can’t administrate affection through bureaucratic officialdom! And what kind of humans are we breeding with these programmes? Emotional robots?!

The fact of life is that some women will get multiple advances, some will get none. That’s a statistical reality. Life! It’s up to the woman with plural advances to choose whom she wants. Choice and personal responsibility are at the heart of relationship. Committee regulation of matrimonial and emotional choices is incongruous with the fundamentals of Christianity. That it’s even taking place on campus shows a lack of appreciation of the realism of life, or emotional dynamics. Doesn’t it stymie natural affection, the very notion of two-way choice and the opting out of a relationship option? Does it not have the capacity to lock people into emotional prisons warded by public and bureaucratic opinion?

Statistical proof of the efficacy of these regulatory regimes in producing matrimonial happiness is of course lacking. Instead, the potential for creation of sadness and depression is very high. It creates undue pressure on a young woman, as well as wrong obligation to an ecclesiastical order or collective.

It’s important that in setting a social framework for a society, we think of the consequences at the individual level. Freewill is central to the definition of “human”. Autonomous freewill, not encumbered freewill. That’s not freewill. If only… Where were we? O yes, we were talking about you and this lady of yours. The point I was trying to make is that you’re taking on burdens that are not reasonable or legally assigned. You won’t be able to meet the burden of those standards of responsibility. It’s heavy. You lack capacitation.

This young woman you’re dating, she has all these expensive dreams, and that’s okay, but here’s the problem: She expects you to finance her highfalutin dreams, some of which actually negate your union. She wants to live a good life, drive a good car, travel, live abroad… And she expects you to finance and carry the burden? She’s defined your manhood by your ability to finance insensitive dreams that have no grounding in reality. She has flights of fancy but is unconcerned about assuming responsibility for the price of her dreams. Truth is, she has no business dating you. You’re a man of limited means. You earn a salary. The consternation is that you want to shoulder such responsibility. Are you planning on robbing a bank? Will you change profession to bank robbery? Or how are you going to finance these fantasies of hers? I’m asking you point blank: Can you afford this woman’s dreams? Better still, can you afford her?

Your girlfriend is not looking for a husband; she’s looking for a financier. She’s in the wrong relationship. She needs to be in a quid pro quo relationship: sex for finance. I don’t know how this relationship will work. It’s going to end badly and you’re going to be bitter. You would have spent your all, borrowed to take care of her, and all for nothing. You won’t satisfy her. Why don’t you let another man volunteer for the role of financier, and you look for a wife rather than a project? Don’t marry what you can’t afford.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Choice, finance

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