A person who tries to buy your love may want to “own” you. A person overly impressed by another’s status, stuff or bank account will often be unable to recognize their true nature. If you let them, they use money and power to control you.
Men often spend money to impress or seduce women. Women frequently spend time and money on their hair, clothes and makeup to attract a desirable man. It’s easy to understand why men and women would want to date and marry a person who is attractive and financially stable.
However, some people flash cash to charm their potential partner during the courtship phase and once the relationship is cemented, they will use money in an effort to exert power and control over their partner.
My client David (not his real name) met a woman through a social group. He looked like a ‘regular guy’ but was by all appearances a charming and successful doctor. He was worldly, experienced with travel, wine, cuisine, antiques and art. He managed his image using expensive clothing, expensive jewelry, and a very exotic car. If you stood still long enough he would tell you about second home in in the Hamptons. He bragged about his medical practice, his overseas speaking engagements and his flex jet account. He gloried in the tale of a $1 million wrongful termination settlement from his previous medical group like it was a badge of honor.
David eagerly pursued Stephanie. He knew she had a good job and that she was accustomed to a fashionable lifestyle. Stephanie made no secret of the fact that she only wanted a man with intelligence, ambition and loads of financial security. David was likely the most enchanting, attentive, entertaining man she had ever known and with his social connections and references, not to mention his impressive John’s Hopkins medical resume, she considered him to be a better than safe relationship prospect. And he seemed so nice.
Wrong, wrong, wrong—
I learned that their first date was at a casino in New Orleans. Once they arrived and were ready to play, David reached into his pants pocket, pulled out a thick wad of one hundred-dollar bills, (you know the kind like in the old movies) and peeled off five of them, handed it to Stephanie as if it were an everyday occurrence, and said, “Here, go have some fun girl!” David referred to the five hundred as “a chunk change.” Stephanie thought of it as it a car note. She gambled cautiously with David’s money that night, lost one hundred dollars and at the end of the evening handed David back the remaining $400.
As time passed, David seemed to work overtime to wow her. He always showed up at her house with unexpected gifts and flowers. When they traveled they only stayed at the best hotels, ate and drank the finest of foods, and when they shopped together he was quick to pull out his credit card to pay for a Birkin Bag, a Chanel Suit and from time to time Christian Louboutin shoes. All she had to do was ask, and sometimes not even that. On the occasions that she got out my credit card to pay, he would say: “Put your money up; you don’t pay when you’re with me.”
In the fifth month of dating David, he surprised her with a fabulous engagement ring.
Everything that David said and everything that David did made her think that he felt it was his “job” to take care of her. Stephanie was pretty sure that she had found the man of her dreams. They talked about marriage in exotic places and she soon moved into his house.
Within months though, their relationship began to change. She began to see him as the most irrational, controlling, pathologically lying and verbally abusive man that had ever crossed her path. It was getting late.
They ingratiate themselves to you with their generosity.
They draw you in with charm,
gifts and adulation.
David used his money as a weapon to control, and punish
When they were dating David portrayed himself as someone who enjoyed nice things and had the ability to afford them. Cohabitating, he began to try to control Stehpanie’s spending. David snarled at her when she wanted to buy a new outfit for his upcoming talk. He punished her for days with his disapproving, silent treatment when she asked him to buy new outdoor furniture before his big holiday office party. He criticized her when she hinted for a nice watch for Christmas. He complained that the slow economy had ridiculously lowered his earnings and that they had to conserve a bit.
David was a showoff in a cheap suit. He bought his jewelry and clothing on eBay. His home in the Hamptons belonged to his ex-wife and she soon learned that the big lawsuit never actually happened. And that exotic car was just a short-term lease that he was unable to renew.
The reality was Stephanie let David’s boast of money, possessions and status blind her to the fact that he was a manipulative, deceitful sociopath who lacked any sense of compassion, moral values and social conscience.
Recognizing the warning signs of a person who tries to seduce you with money is the first step to avoiding the situation. Here are some things to look for to avoid finding yourself in the kind of relationship Stephanie found herself in:
They are ceaseless braggarts.
Braggarts are often shrewd liars.
They ingratiate themselves to you with their generosity. They draw you in with charm, gifts and adulation. They are often extravagant with their dining out only going to fine restaurants. They give you inappropriate surprise gifts, both large and small. They will send you flowers and cute cards at strangely inappropriate times. They pay for your shopping trips and talk about your wonderful future together. The money they spend on you makes you feel special, adored and secure.
Their lifestyle doesn’t match up: Pay attention to their spending habits. Do they pay cash for everything? They may be over limit with their credit cards. Do their belongings look neglected? Do they make excuses for their tattered sofa or failure to fix the nasty dent in the car fender? It may be because their not as well-put-together as they pretend to be.
They are ceaseless braggarts. Braggarts are often shrewd liars. They aggrandize their stories and overstate their financial worth only to electrify you. Listen carefully to what their friends and family say about them—they will usually unconsciously reveal the truth about their friends attitude regarding money and their past relationship behavior.
Here is a big one, the try to equal the playing field with money. Money can be the “great equalizer” for the less desirable people. People who use money to boost their slumping ego will usually bring emotional issues into a relationship.
Does he ever ask you for money? He never seems to have cash. He asks you to grab dinner “this time,” movie tickets “this time”, groceries and wine “this time”, pay for a cab or parking “this time” as he hands his Range Rover keys to the valet attendant. Is he cheap, or is his checking account is overdrawn?
When a person tries to buy your love and commitment, if their claim to success, possessions and bank accounts seem pretentious and if they seem TOO good to be true—it probably is too good to be true, and that is your sign to restrain your emotions and check on their authenticity before you find yourself in the same situation as Stephanie who learned that they use money and power to control you.
SEE A LIFE COACH IN BATON ROUGE
Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.