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Read Letter

Expensive Impressions

My dear Jack, in every relationship there are specialties. The problem is, we’ve historically defined those specialties along sexist lines instead of extant capacities. Each party is better than the other party in some things, and less capable than the other in other things. It’s wise to understand what you’re good at, and what your partner is better at. And vice versa. A lot of these capacities depend on our temperament and make up, as well as our upbringing. Take something as basic as ironing. Some people hate it and some love it, all for different reasons. Life is full of minutiae, and we all specialize in different minutiae based on our temperament and interests. Some people are good at certain kinds of minutiae in a relationship. And yet they suck at others. If as a man, for example, you find negotiation tedious, why not leave it to your literal better half. Relationship is team effort, an essential team of two. Each party is important, or there will be nothing called relationship. And if as a man, you’re better at groceries, you better do the groceries and forget all that sexist stuff. The ability to recognize capabilities, capacities and differences goes a long way in making a wonderful relationship.

Recognize your weaknesses and acknowledge the strengths of your partner. It’s that simple. That’s not saying dump your responsibilities on your partner. That’s no relationship, it’s labour congress. And that’s also not saying a man should not pick up the gauntlet of societally-assigned responsibilities. You earn a certain respect in a relationship by picking up certain responsibilities. If you want respect, do the things that beget respect. If you want to be appreciated, do the things that evoke appreciation and gratitude. And don’t be in a hurry to overly impress your girlfriend or young bride. There are financial capacities that come with time. You jump ahead and you get into trouble. Now, I know you’ll like to boast you bought her jewellery and fashion accessories, etcetera. But you can’t neglect salient responsibilities in a relationship for non-essential responsibilities.

As you grow older in life and as you show diligence, your capacity to buy certain presents for your partner will grow. You can’t be seeking to buy a General Manager level present for your girlfriend when you’re just a trainee manager. Be patient, the time will come when you’ll be able to afford those things, plus more. Don’t do what you can’t afford. You just be diligent and have faith in your future. In time you’ll be able to afford a lot of stuff. If she’s a wise and understanding woman she won’t be egging you on to do what you clearly can’t afford. Both of you are in your life together. Both of you will arrive at the future together if you don’t rush the future. If for example, you use the rent to buy her jewellery, that’s irresponsibility however much you want to impress her. If you want to buy her a car, first build capability to buy a car. Be diligent at work so you get promotion. All that Tyga and Kylie stuff. Television is not reality despite the oxymoron, reality TV. There’s a place for affordable generosity. There’s a place for contentment and values. What matters is, love and trust and faith. Faith in the future. You will get there. But if you rush the future you stand a pretty good chance of messing up the future.

And if the only reason she’s dating you is because of the presents you can’t afford, why, you’re dating the wrong woman. When you’ve overstretched yourself and proved incapable of continuing to buy those things she’ll move next door. You can’t be an ATM machine in a relationship. That’s a finance affair, not a relationship. You’ve got to have right priorities in life. You’ve got to set right priorities. There are things you can only afford when you become successful. Wait until you become successful. All that wanting to impress stuff. Well, life will teach you impressive lessons. You can’t rush life like you rush a bottle of Coke. Life is not a carbonated soda drink. And stop making promises you can’t afford. Your girlfriend should not goad you to make such promises. There are too many young men trying to impress would-be in-laws with promises they can’t afford. Easy to make a promise in front of a crowd. Then comes the fulfilment part. That’s always private. It’s not wise to make consumption finance promises to would-be in-laws counting on borrowing money to fulfil them.

You’re a young man, just starting off in life. Everyone has to appreciate that simple fact. Including you. This means that at your age and given your background, there are certain things you’re not expected to be able to afford. You yourself must recognize that. You’ve got to recognize your limitations. And when the world knows that you know your limitations, they won’t push excesses on you. There are responsibilities you must not fall short of  your rent for example. As for the designer suits, shoes and ties, don’t worry. Those will come with time. You will wear all those designer stuff if you pace yourself, being diligent in your career and endeavour. First things first. An unwise young man devotes energy to unimportant stuff. And all those people you’re trying to impress they know you can’t afford those things. They’re laughing at you. You erode your confidence trying to impress people doing things you clearly can’t afford. If you can’t afford a cab take a bus. In time you’ll be able to afford a car. If you’re smart and diligent it’s a matter of time. Don’t join clubs you can’t afford, wanting to belong. Never be fooled by the carryings on in those circles. Be focused, be strategic, be determined, pace yourself. It’s all a matter of time.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Romance and Finance, Impressions

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