Love? . . . or Money?

Dear Dr. Doris,

I need your advice. I am in a relationship, almost a year now. The good news? I don’t think I’ve ever felt more loved, adored and appreciated by anyone. The bad news? My boyfriend has no steady income. I’m in my early 50s, divorced and I’m not making much money.

I’m concerned about my financial future. Here’s the dilemma. He provides for my emotional needs, but not the realistic stuff like money, decent clothes, nice home, etc. This sounds a bit superficial, but it’s also a reality. He knows that unless his financial situation improves, he will lose me, but he talks about being together forever and says I’m the love of his life. He says he has been looking for work but he’s a freelance photographer.

Since we met a year ago, I’ve broken up with him three times because of my concern regarding finances but we keep getting back together. We have a very strong emotional connection.

Bottom line? I have a wonderful sweet man who loves, adores, appreciates and cherishes me unconditionally. I’m comfortable with him, love him, and I can be myself with him. I could end up alone and poor, so perhaps I should just be thankful and grateful for what I have. I’m not “settling”; I’m just realizing that no situation is perfect. Do I stay or do I go?



Dear Helene,

We connect with people who mirror many of our strengths and weaknesses back to us. This helps us see things about ourselves that we often can’t see.

You just proved how well this works. You’re saying you aren’t making much money. You’ve attracted a man in a similar position.

Here’s the good news: You’re more likely to create a financially successful partner when you’re personally supporting your preferred lifestyle and accepting responsibility for your future security. Successful singles . . . people who are living the life they want as a single person . . . attract other successful singles.

What would happen if, instead of breaking up with this man off and on, you two had a heart-to-heart about your joint financial needs and decided what both of you are willing to do to meet your requirements? Explore the possibility of a combined vision for your future financial life so you can discover if your challenge is solvable or unsolvable.

Relationship coaching can be a critical tool for working through your current confusion. You’ll discover what money symbolizes to you. You’ll explore outdated childhood messages you’re unconsciously tuned into.

Your self-esteem will soar and you’ll empower yourself with possibility thinking. Then you’ll never settle for less than you want in the critical area of relationship with a partner.

Let’s do some great work together!

© 2011 Doris Helge, Ph.D. Excerpted with permission from the book: Helge, Doris, Ph.D. “Transforming Pain Into Power.” Download sample chapters at:



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