For love or money

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I was blessed with a substantial inheritance early in life. But several of the women I have loved, and who have little money of their own, have rejected me. Either I’m too frugal and they want me to spend more on them, or they can’t tolerate me paying most of the bills. The women I date say they want everything equal, but don’t have the required financial resources. I think a good relationship can be based on the nonmonetary things we share. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong somewhere, but what?

You’re expecting relationships to last and when one (or a dozen) ends, you imagine it means you’ve erred. But from another perspective, each relationship has completed its necessary course. Between relationships, there are always edits we can make in our attitudes and behaviors to become more open to giving and receiving love. For you, that may mean examining what drives your choice of a partner. The magnetism of attraction easily seduces us into believing we cannot help who we desire. When the intensity of an infatuation fades, it does not automatically reveal insights. We must consciously undertake the task of reflection to find the lesson. Yes, that means you should sift through your psyche. See if you unconsciously choose women who wish to be saved. Like this: You swoop in and pay most of the bills until a woman feels indebted to you. Or until you unconsciously attempt to manipulate her into feeling indebted by pointing out that you pay the bills. In exchange for your financial help, you require her adoration. When that kind of relationship ends, you withhold financially with the next woman you date. You justify this by pointing out to her, and yourself, that being generous didn’t work in your previous relationship. Swinging from one extreme to another keeps you from feeling grounded in love. If you’re not standing on solid ground, it’s difficult to gain the spiritual traction needed to progress. Try dating a woman who shares your financial values, instead.

Six months ago, I met a man online. After a few online conversations, we communicated through our private email accounts, and then began talking through Skype. We spoke every night. He said he loved me and talked about me moving to Houston, where he lives. Everything between us worked. Last month, I flew to Houston. The man I met was different than the man I had been speaking with. He was shy! But he began to relax and made me comfortable in his home. My visit was great. But now, he has cut all contact. The last text I received said “I love you,” but he refuses to talk. How can he leave things like this?

The fantasy of a relationship crashed into the reality of a relationship. Technology aided and abetted the deception. It permits a superficial level of intimacy but not the depth required to assess real compatibility. Consider this: Your man clearly enjoyed chatting with you. But when you showed up at his house, things changed. He had to expend the energy necessary to be the conversational man you met online, and he had to keep that mask up for your entire visit. It was probably exhausting. When he realized how much his life would have to change if he added you into it, well, he admitted to himself that he was not willing to open that space. Yes, he loves you. And, yes, he loves himself enough to accept his limitations. If you love yourself, you will reboot your heart and retrain your mind. If your thoughts flit to him, yank your mind back to something important. Focus on enjoying your life and improving yourself without adding him into the equation.

Meditation of the Week

“[T]here is nothing worst than self-deception—when the deceiver is always at home and always with you,” is written in the <i>Dialogues of Plato</i>. What lie do you use to hold yourself back from creating your dreams?