Jump to content

Girlfriend launched a small business, and I helped her; however I feel I am being taken advantage of


Recommended Posts

Hi, I want to have a second opinion and advice regarding my situation with my girlfriend.

Girlfriend launched a small import business last year, and I helped her on finalizing this business idea.

She often asked me for feedback and assistance, and I helped her with some of the tasks, such as handling the packages and inspecting the goods.

At one time, I loaned her $2000 for her to cover cash flow issues, and this has been paid back quickly.

I do this for free, as I love my girlfriend and want her business to succeed.

Earlier this year, girlfriend told me that she will open business investing opportunities for her brothers; it's a kind of free money as the business is established and it will return profit 10% of the capital per 2 weeks. I am proud that she can help her family, but also confused why she never provided me with this kind of opportunity.

I pressed her regarding this if I can invest in her business, and she thinks that I am not interested on her business, then grudgingly told me to wait for further opportunity.
After that, I decided to not help her business tasks one time as I feel I'm being taken advantage of, and she's angry that I didn't help her and asked why.
I provided my rationale, that is "I feel it's unfair that you don't provide me the same investing opportunity than what you gave to your brothers, since they don't help your business, while I do help you from business inception until present, all for free."
She told me that I'm being egoist, a sincere person would help unconditionally without expecting anything in return. And she reiterated that her brothers got low salary, so she wanted to help them since her business is now flourished.

And then after a few days, she provided with the business investment opportunity, but it's worse than what she gave to her brothers.
When I asked her why this is the case, she is angry at me, and said to me, either to take it or leave it; and provide rationale that she starts with low profit as well.

She also told me that I am being a bad boyfriend if I don't help her, because a man should help her woman sincerely without expecting anything in return.

My respect to her is gone down the drain, she always say that her import business is our business, however she felt I only helped small part of the business and I only cared about investing on it after the business flourished; thus she didn't think I should be given priority treatment than her brothers.
 

So, am I being a egoist? or am I being taken advantage of?
I have attempted to do one-on-one communication with her, but she is stubborn with her POV of the situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Renault said:

"I feel it's unfair that you don't provide me the same investing opportunity than what you gave to your brothers, since they don't help your business, while I do help you from business inception until present, all for free."

I think you should re-examine that statement. You didn't do anything for free if you are retroactively attaching a price tag to all of your efforts.

You started out doing this because you loved her and wanted her to succeed:

23 minutes ago, Renault said:

I do this for free, as I love my girlfriend and want her business to succeed.

Now you're changing your own story and getting upset about it. Honestly, I think you're getting in your own way here.

If you want to start working for compensation, then don't do any more work for her unless she pays you what you want. 

But don't tell her that she's obligated to pay you for something that you have repeatedly said you were doing for free.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I think you should re-examine that statement. You didn't do anything for free if you are retroactively attaching a price tag to all of your efforts.

You started out doing this because you loved her and wanted her to succeed:

Now you're changing your own story and getting upset about it. Honestly, I think you're getting in your own way here.

If you want to start working for compensation, then don't do any more work for her unless she pays you what you want. 

But don't tell her that she's obligated to pay you for something that you have repeatedly said you were doing for free.

Thank you for your perspective.

She is not obligated to pay what I have done, I just wanted to be treated fairly at the same standing with her brothers at least.

I admit it's kind of childish on my side that I don't want to be treated less than to her brothers in terms of priority.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recuse yourself from her business. If she wants to be an entrepreneur, let her do all the work. If you feel like slave labor, send her an itemized bill.

This has zero to do with "good BF".

As far as investments go, stick with what your financial people advise.

You might also reconsider a relationship with someone this manipulative and spoiled.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's ok if you want to be given the same consideration as her brothers. But you should negotiate for that in the future, not demand it as payment for something that you said you were doing for free. 

Part of her vision for this business may have been to help support her brothers. Perhaps she did not plan to help support you as well--hence the lesser investment opportunity for you.

Some reorganizing may have to be done to give to give you what you want. Maybe you can arrange to help with that and a better investment opportunity can be your payment.

You're causing a problem for yourself handling it the way that you are, because it looks like you've had a hidden agenda the entire time. It does make you look like you were insincere the entire time that you were helping her.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @Wiseman2 and @Jibralta for all of the advice and second opinions.

Also @Jibraltayou are on the point that part of her business vision is to help her brothers living a better life.
She told me that her brothers have been living poorly in their childhood till present time, and now I can understand her perspective better.

This is my update on the closure of the situation:

My girlfriend apologized to me that she didn't take my feelings into consideration; and she provided me a bigger one-time investment opportunity.
In addition, she will reduce my workload by hiring two part timers in future.

And now she in turn will assist me on creating my own import business in different product line with her supplier and import agency connections.
Think of it like a horizontal expansion of our import business, but with me taking charge of different brands of the same niche.

Glad that things ended well, but this is a lesson with blessings for I and my girlfriend to better manage our expectations together.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Justo chime in: if you are not married, just bf-gf, be careful that in case your couple splits, you have documents to prove ownership of your part of the business. If everything is in her name, and you guys break-up one day, you will have nothing to show for your effort. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, East4 said:

Justo chime in: if you are not married, just bf-gf, be careful that in case your couple splits, you have documents to prove ownership of your part of the business. If everything is in her name, and you guys break-up one day, you will have nothing to show for your effort. 

I agree.  I think you’re mixing business with pleasure in a harmful way in your situation. She obviously doesn’t consider you family or like family.  Over the years I helped boyfriends with their work or volunteer work /hobbies.  I still help my husband but helped him before we were married.  But it was with their work not their business and it was because I enjoyed the work, enjoyed being supportive and yes they really appreciated it. In one case I do get recognized publicly. But you’re being too muddy and gray area here about your motives etc. I don’t see her as a good fit for you as a business partner or colleague.  I’d steer clear.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was young, I got this piece of advice from my dad, "Never mix money and business with friendships and pleasure because in the long run you'll end up having neither."

Having enough life mileage now, I can only confirm that he is 100% correct on that. I've seen too many times these situation blow up dramatically.

When you are bf/gf keep your money and business separate. You really shouldn't be investing in her business and it sounds to me like she is "paying" you back for your help by likewise helping you set up a similar business. Don't get entangled in ownership issues because no matter how great things are going now, eventually it will get complicated and bite you both in the arse.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...