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My dear Jack, I think you’re mistaken about issues of life, possibly conflicted by your ego. There’s no nobility in poverty. If you don’t accept that as basic fact of life you’ll keep having problems in this relationship. Your girlfriend’s character is not defined by willingness to live in poverty. That’s not what makes her a good woman. That she wants to live in relative comfort is not a repudiation of character. Everyone has a right to aspire, to want more from life. She has a right to want to live in relative comfort. You can’t blame her for that. Neither should you accept your starting point in life as the permanent definition of your class. It’s just a starting point. Aspire for more. Aspiration is not evil. It produces drive in us, creates leadership potential in us.

Here’s the challenge I see, and it’s not a new challenge, it’s an age old challenge. The generation before you faced a similar issue in their relationships. You’re dating a girl who earns far better than you and lives in a better part of town from you. This can prove daunting to a young man’s ego. He begins to wonder if he can cope. What some guys then do is try and limit the aspiration of their girlfriend. It’s psychologically ameliorating but it’s a dim solution. It will eventually create resentment. They try to suppress their girlfriend by insisting she moves from her high income neighbourhood to the lower income neighbourhood upon marriage. Which really is stupid. You don’t aspire down, you aspire up. And when the girlfriend resists her resistance will be labelled poor character and refusal to accept her boyfriend for who he is! How can that make sense?
If you’re so fixated on staying in a low income neighbourhood why date a girl from a higher income neighbourhood? Why not date from your neighbourhood? You don’t date someone from a better neighbourhood and insist she moves to a poorer neighbourhood as proof of love. Let that decision be her choice and determination. You have to distinguish between such “proof of love” and obtuse control of your girlfriend. She has a better standard of living, why don’t you scale up and aspire. It’s all a matter of time. If you work hard and remain focused you’ll be able to afford a higher quality of accommodation. That’s something you should work towards. You work hard to give your family a good standard of living. That’s not saying live above your means. But you SHOULD aspire. If you date a millionaire would you insist she moves from her tony end of town to your moderate income neighbourhood? You move! Same principle applies here. Your girlfriend has a higher standard of living. There are natural consequences to every relationship configuration. If you date a beautiful woman there are things that go with it. You can’t give her grief because someone ogled her. That’s not her fault. You have to accept the consequences of her beauty. If you’re poor and you date from a rich family there’s stuff that naturally goes with it. You SHOULD expect suspicion. But you prove yourself with your values and character. Your consistency too. And you work hard. Same with dating a girl earning substantially more than you. There are natural consequences to it. Accept the reality and work on your ambition.
Truth is, how a husband and a wife share financial responsibility in their marriage is nobody’s business. If you’re relatively poor and she chooses to date you despite stronger offers there must be something she sees in you. Stop negating the qualities she admires in you. From your mail I don’t get the impression this lady is the type who’ll drive a man beyond his means. Your challenge is her insisting you don’t stay in your neighbourhood after marriage, that you move to her neighbourhood. She’s willing to pay the rent. Why won’t you want to live in a better neighbourhood? Shouldn’t you take your ego out of the way? She knows you’re not yet there, that you’re not at the point in which you can fully foot such bills. She understands. She believes you’ll get there one day. That’s why she’s willing to marry you.
Seems what’s troubling you is what will people say. Which is why I said you don’t understand life. They will always say. The world is always saying. They never mind their business. Do you think if you force her to move to your neighbourhood they won’t say? If you do they say, if you don’t they say; so why don’t you do what is good for you! There will never be a shortage of judgment or shortage of opinion about your union. Some will even count how many months to your first delivery. If you insist on going in this tangent you’re going to scare her. She’ll start wondering if you’re oppressive, or just unreasonable. To her what you want doesn’t make sense and can’t make sense. And it’s like you don’t know her. She’s possibly thinking of the other side of the implications. There’s her family to think of. If you insist they may come to believe their daughter has taken leave of her senses, that you’ve hypnotised her.
Let her neighbourhood be an aspirational impetus for you not a subject of resistance. If you don’t approach things that way pride will prevent you in the future. You shouldn’t repudiate in others what you should be aspiring towards. All this underscores why a young couple must cooperate. You plan together, support each other, aspire and dream together. There must be simple unity of purpose. There’s always something better ahead. It’s why you aspire. It’s why you push for the heights. There are opportunities ahead. You can’t know them. You should dream of one day buying her a better apartment to live in; just to tell her what she means to you. It’s an expression of gratitude. You should aspire. What you should tell her is, even though I can’t really afford this neighbourhood now, someday I’ll build you a beautiful house in a good neighbourhood. Accepting to move to that neighbourhood is therefore a token of aspiration. You’re going even higher.
Don’t fall into the trap of a wrong definition of manhood. Of course some of your friends will tell you they won’t accept such from their woman. Don’t be fooled, they will. But even if they won’t what has that got to do with you? They’re not you, don’t have your opportunity or girlfriend. Everyone has his program. Stay in your lane. Work out a plan with your girlfriend. Sheath your ego. She’s a blessing to you. Create a plan together. This is a start.
Acceptance of poverty is no proof you have character. You’re mistaken if you imagine it is. If that proposition were true no poor man will have terrible character, and all rich people will have awful character. Don’t romanticise poverty. Don’t justify it. Don’t accept it. Aspire beyond it. Romance and poverty may seem to make a good story line – you know, the story of a couple who loved themselves despite having nothing… The truth however is, poverty obliterates romance. Poverty is no proof of righteousness either. Put your ego aside, sit down with her and plan with her. Share your dreams. It will bring you closer.
This is all a starting point. Everyone has a starting point, just that some are relatively more fortuitous than others. But everyone has a starting point and it’s usually disadvantaged. The starting point is what it is – a starting point. It shouldn’t define your limit, it shouldn’t represent a lack of ambition.
Have a plan. Perpetually dream. Aim high. Be ambitious. You must be working towards something unseen. In a matter of time it will manifest.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
Tags : living, aspiration, a richer girlfriend

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