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We are in different stages in life

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It’s going to be quite long, but I want to make sure I don’t explain it well. Thank you in advance. 🙂

My now boyfriend (28yo) and I (27yo) met on Bumble just as the first lockdown started last year. We chatted all day every day for a few months, then, when he asked to meet I panicked and I we stopped talking for 3-4 months. Eventually he messaged me again and this time, after about six weeks of chatting on WhatsApp etc. we finally met in person and ended up becoming an actual couple a while later.

That was about 5 months ago. Everything is going great, maybe we’re still in the honeymoon stage but so far it’s perfect - I met his family and friends, he met mine. He is incredibly supportive and treats me like every girl want to be treated.

Now to the point... he’s very well educated, has a well paid job and overall is pretty ‘sorted in life’. I really am very happy for him as a few years ago he was in pretty big trouble financially and mentally, so I’m incredibly proud that he has managed to overcome that.

Myself on the other hand, I still don’t have my degree, after failing first year of uni (without going into too much detail, I’ve lost a couple of friends, including one whom I was incredibly close with, within three months from each other, which resulted in depression, leading to messing up uni). Throughout the first lockdown I wasn’t working (I work in hospitality) and was only on furlough but had to help some of my family members and pay for a pretty pricey surgery for my dog, so didn’t manage to save almost anything. Didn’t get in debt or anything but had to be beyond cautious with money. Went back working part time for a little bit (due to lack of hours, not by choice) and then all of a sudden, without any notice, myself and the entire team were told we’re losing our jobs. That was mid Feb, since then I found a job and got my first pay check just a few days ago (all bars and restaurants were closed till end of April and my previous company stopped paying us furlough immediately after telling us we are being made redundant. My brother lost his job three days after me, so the last 4 months or so we’re pretty hard for us (we live together) and we fell behind with bills etc. We both have jobs now and are going to slowly get rid of the overdue bills but it might take us 2-3 more months, where we’ll have to be careful with money. 

My boyfriend has never made me feel like I’m less intelligent than him (due to lack of a degree in my age) or he’s better than me because he’s got money yet I can’t help but feel this way. I feel like I’m dragging him down or at least stopping him from progressing - every now and then he brings up that we should go somewhere on holiday this summer, or we could go out to eat and I have to dodge the subject and it’s starting to get awkward. He’s also telling me about his job and jobs of his siblings and parents (doctors and vets) and yet in my family I’ll (hopefully) be the first one to have a degree and a decent career.
I also feel like he might start to think that I’m materialistic or like his ex girlfriend solely focused on his money (she left him in a pretty bad debt) - I insist on everything being 50/50 until I get out of debt and will be able to treat him to a fancy dinner or something every now and then myself), because I talk about money all the time since I started my debt. He also mentioned buying a house in a few years time and I won’t start my dream career till at least three years from now, then will be able to start saving proper money. I feel like I’m stopping him from progressing in life. 

 I’m miserable all the time as I’m not used to getting letters and phone calls from various companies all the time re overdue bills or owe money to any of my friends/family, which also spiked my anxiety quite badly. 

I’m embarrassed to admit all that to him - I sort of casually mentioned parts of it but never actually sat him down and told him straight.  What should I do? I feel like it’s not fair on him not to being able to progress now that he has beaten his mental and financial struggles. 

thank you in advance. 🙂

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46 minutes ago, BrownHairedGirl77 said:

I met his family and friends, he met mine.

Ok it seems to be going well. 20weeks is a good time to observe and get to know someone.

Right now he's just talking about one day this one day that.

He's met your people so he knows they are not all doctors from University of Oxford living in Château de Versailles.

He doesn't need to know your financial history at this early stage.

However, it seems to be dogging you, whether you are dating anyone or whoever you date, so you need to  simply address it.

Maybe he thinks you're a fine women and is attracted to you. That's more important than your credit score.


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Your insecurities are sinking your own ship for no good reason.

In terms of your current financial situation and it's you and millions of others. Here is the important part - you are doing what you can to get out and move forward. You have a job and a work ethic. Be proud of that instead of beating yourself up for your life being less than perfect at the moment.

You know about your bf's less than stellar past how? Because he shared. Why can't you share where you are at the moment instead of making things awkward. Be honest with him about where you are and what your goals are going forward. When you are in a relationship, you do need to be honest about what you can and cannot do and let the other person decide how to handle that on their end. Relationships are about partnership rather than extreme independence, everything 50/50. Sometimes it's 50/50, sometimes it will be 10/90 and other times 80/20. Life happens and one or the other needs to step up more.

Sometimes when people are terrified of being judged, it's because they judge others harshly. Is this your case? Rethink your attitude because nobody lives a perfectly together life. Nobody. Sooner or later life kicks everyone around like a football. It's not that it doesn't happen, it's how you respond to it. Your bf and you are actually alike in that you get up and keep going. Think on that.

As for degrees, no degrees, professions, etc.... Again...drop the attitude. You can have the highest degree and be a pos human being or have none and be not only a fantastic person but highly successful to boot. Lots of PhD's out there are broke because they are good at studying and terrible at working. Point I'm driving home is don't get enamored with degrees and think that someone is better than just because of that. It is not true.

Overall, work on your self worth and don't let your bank account define who you are. People are so much more than their bank balance and a degree. 

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3 hours ago, BrownHairedGirl77 said:

My boyfriend has never made me feel like I’m less intelligent than him (due to lack of a degree in my age) or he’s better than me because he’s got money. 

That's a good sign. 

3 hours ago, BrownHairedGirl77 said:

every now and then he brings up that we should go somewhere on holiday this summer, or we could go out to eat and I have to dodge the subject and it’s starting to get awkward.

Have you explained your situation to him? I bet he would understand. 

3 hours ago, BrownHairedGirl77 said:

I won’t start my dream career till at least three years from now, then will be able to start saving proper money.

Just so you know degrees (with the exception of medicine, dentistry and law) do not guarantee dream careers or stable jobs or proper money (here is where we laugh lol). I would gladly give you my degrees if I could, they didn't help me at all. What makes ALL the difference is ambition, also known as internal motivation to improve yourself which seems that you have it. You have the gene 🙂 it's a good start 🙂

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You can lead into a more meaningful conversation about your goals (personal and professional) when he brings up vacation plans or other things to do in the relationship.

You seem to have him on a pedestal because of his background - don't do that. He's a regular guy like anyone else. Nip that insecurity in the bud and have your eye on your goals and your vision of what you want for your future. It's easy to lose sight of that or get overwhelmed by someone else's plans and propositions especially in the early stages.

If going on a vacation doesn't sound appealing to you, be vocal about that you'd rather save the money or pay down your debt first. You do not have to agree to everything he suggests or feel pressured to go along with it. He may not have the money to do that in the first place and the only person being realistic is you. You're taking his word for it which is very serious and noble of you but take it with a pinch of salt.

Ultimately you have to feel comfortable with the person you are dating. If you don't feel like this is a space you can grow in or feel comfortable, move on. You very well may be at different life stages. If that's the case and it's inhibiting you or you don't like the dynamics (or don't find he's very realistic or matches you in your goals), leave it and move on to pursue your dreams. 


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I dont think he minds that you are different in that way. Heck, he probably even prefers it after his ex bled him dry lol. She probably asked for stuff, you work for yours. He sees the difference and probably likes it. 

There is nothing wrong with you in that way. You work and educate yourself and that is crucial. Because it seem to me that you have a problem with that more then he do. So its good that you are working on changing that. But again, that is your blockade, not his. From what you told he would probably even help you with that debt and wouldnt mind. I wouldnt reccomend some "big talk", keep working on yourself, get rid of that debt and just enjoy your time with him. He wouldnt be with you if he does mind. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, is best to be honest.  Communication is necessary. As you have no idea what he thinks about any of it.

You are not his ex.

You will not hold him back.. His future is his own.

You have only truly been involved 5 months. You two have a while to go before he even looks your way on considering getting a home 'together', so don't even look at all of that.

One step at a time.  Explain to him your life situation & why you are where you're at.  is not your 'fault', especially in these times 😕 .

So, he may take it very well.  I can't see him pulling away just because you're lacking in funds.

And I do agree that he not even think on holidays.. yet.  And yeah, that you be able to pitch in on occasion for a nice meal, but don't think you need to avoid it every time.. And this is why you NEED to explain it to him.


Edited by SooSad33
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I agree with what others have said. Your own insecurities seem to be getting the best of you. Don't give up on yourself. And don't give up on getting a degree, because achieving one will help you get past this illusion that you are on a lower level.

I also think that this is a red flag:

6 hours ago, BrownHairedGirl77 said:

I also feel like he might start to think that I’m materialistic or like his ex girlfriend solely focused on his money (she left him in a pretty bad debt)

It's the Are You Better Than His Ex? game.

It's been my experience a guy who badmouths his ex girlfriend(s), and/or who portray himself as the victim in his previous relationship(s) is trouble. His game is to set up a dynamic where he gets to be the judge of whether you're better than his ex. 

Look at what's happening here already: He's told you that his ex was materialistic. He told you that she took advantage of him. And now you don't want him to think you're like her....

So, tread carefully.



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I am on the exact same page as Jibralta.  I would handle it exactly that way.  And be cautious for the reasons she said. Also didn't you say he was going through a rough patch in the past ?So wouldn't he even more strongly understand? 

I am a huge fan of getting a degree -and a grad degree if you can- in an field that is practical and that you also enjoy.  I did so.  Because I did so I was able to start saving (after paying off grad school loans), wen I was in my early 30s.  By the time I got married and had a baby 10 years later I was able to feel perfectly fine about being a stay at home mom for years because I knew I had my nest egg and assets and investment to fall back on plus a background in a successful career that would help me get back into the workforce some day (and yes it did -and I returned at age 50).  It meant I was financially independent starting in my late 20s.  It meant that I felt confident seeking out a partner who also was educated, who also was successful because I brought that to the table too.  And i don't mean financially successful. I mean career-oriented and ambitious and passionate about his work and wanting to make a contribution.  Financially stable for sure but I didn't look for wealth.  I didn't have to.  i had my own money.  

Not everyone needs or wants a degree.  Some prefer a trade school or similar, some are good with their hands and/or artists or a businessperson whose business does not require a degree.  I strongly believe with rare exception a degree greatly improves financial stability and marketability.  I'm glad you want to get a degree.  My maternal grandparents didn't even finish high school,  My parents did have college and my father had an advanced degree.  I completely admired my grandparents -my grandpa had a commercial window cleaning business and my grandma raised their children!

Good luck and again I echo what Jibralta wrote.

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