Are You Playing The Wife Role For The Girlfriend’s Salary?


If this offends someone. Good.  That means you’re doing something wrong and should read the rest to make sure you’re not making dumb money moves that typically lead us to Judge Mathis’ or Judge Judy’s court room.

Seriously, I can’t tell you how many women show up on a judge show begging to be compensated for something they should have never done with a recent paramour.  Read on to find out if you’re one of them:


Please Don’t Buy Him Furniture

If you’re not engaged to be married then you have no business buying a guy furniture that you don’t or won’t live with in the near future.  Why?  It’s just common sense.  He gets the benefit of a large purchase that you won’t enjoy, especially if you’re not in a committed relationship.

Personally, I’d need to be engaged or married to make such a large purchase.  If he’s able to have you making large purchases at an early stage in the relationship then you can be sure that every time he looks at you there’s a huge SUCKER sign on your forehead.

Stop Lending Money You Can’t Afford To Lose

I dare you to watch any of the judge shows and not find a woman on there that lent money to a lover who then stiffed her on the repayment claiming it was a gift.  Lending money to a new boyfriend is a surefire path to end up on a judge show.   You’re not a bank.  If Bank of America won’t take a risk to help him buy rims then why should you?

Don’t Share Bank Accounts If You Don’t Share His Last Name

As a boyfriend he has no responsibility to you.  Husband, yes.  Boyfriend, no.  Mixing money before marriage is another way you might be playing the wife role with no real tangible benefits other than subsidizing his life with your paycheck.  This all sounds harsh and it might even hurt to see yourself in some of these examples but it’s better to hurt reading this than to have your actions hurt your wallet later while being humiliated in court.

There’s nothing wrong with being a kind girlfriend but understand that making life financially easier for him isn’t your job.  That’s his.  Continue to live your life and resist the urge to play a role that he hasn’t made official in your relationship.


  • Scared and depressed

    My husband took my name off of joint account. I am stay at home mom. I am upset, depressed and fearful. What if I need money in an emergency? He even cancelled life insurance. I get a small allowance. He has become very controlling. Is there anything that I can do legally?

    • Catherine King

      Did you ask why? sound fishy . Get a lawyer . Prepare to go back to work and get a baby.sitter

    • Debra

      he is treating you like a child instead of a life partner. go and get a job asap. and your bank account, NOW.

  • Comaletha Stevenson

    Hello, Ginger! Can you create a workshop based on this post, “Are You Playing The Wife Role For The Girlfriend’s Salary?”? Too many females do not quite understand your
    statement, “As a boyfriend he has no responsibility to you.” I have heard numerous stories and seen tears galore after relationships have ended! It seems that bitterness often creeps in over the low returns on their investments (emotionally and financially). When I read this post, the first person that I thought of was Lauryn Hill. I recently wrote a post about her situation (tax evasion conviction and former boyfriend marrying someone else after 5-6 kids).

    I also agree with your response to AbigailP, “The reality is that men naively DO expect those “gifts” back sometimes if the relationship doesn’t work out.” After I experienced a guy requesting a “gift” back, I discovered this was quite common! In 2011, former NFL player Roy Williams sued his ex-girlfriend for a $76,600 engagement ring. This year, NFL player Mario Williams is suing his ex-fiancé for a $785,000 engagement ring. I wonder if Roy and Mario are related. Ginger, do you think couples should sign some type of contract (similar to a prenup)? Do you think a contract (including a prenup) would affect relationships?

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      LOL! *high five*

  • Eric

    I have to say, it is a two way street! Just as many girls give money to deadbeat boyfriends, many guys share their finances with girlfriends.

    But I think it is smart for anyone in any relationship to be conservative with their finances and keep things as separate as possible until married.

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      *nodding in agreement*

      I think regardless of what stage you are in the relationship both parties should understand the potential consequences. I think when you give GIFTS in expectation of something in return (secretly) then you set yourself up for trouble.

  • AbigailP

    Okay, two thoughts.

    You’re right that you shouldn’t get too financially invested in just any relationship.

    But I have a slight problem with the overall premise of this piece. Stereotypically, it’s acceptable, if not in some cases expected, for men to invest in large gifts like jewelry or taking the gal shopping. (No, not all women are like this. I’m guessing lots of frugal women are, like me, uncomfortable with overly lavish gifts. But in society it’s pretty much the norm.)

    Men can’t expect the clothes and jewelry back if the relationship ends. So why is it okay to tell women not to buy their partners nice things? I don’t like double standards. I think the litmus test should be: Are you okay with losing the “investment”? Most relationships don’t work out. If your purchase/loan is contingent on a relationship working — or else you’ll get litigious — then yeah it’s not something you should do. Basing it on anything else makes me a little uncomfortable.

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      Your comments are based on the assumption that I am OK with men buying women large, unwarranted even inappropriate gifts early in the relationship. This isn’t the case and as such no double standard applies as it relates to my position on both sexes on this topic.

      The reality is that men naively DO expect those “gifts” back sometimes if the relationship doesn’t work out. Expectation doesn’t mean it happens if the case goes to court but it does happen.

      I think that I’ve laid out in the article clearly – are you OK with losing this investment because you have no foundation in which to justify it.

  • Emily Chase Smith

    Great article! Another piece of advice – before you do, buy or sign anything, picture yourself telling Judge Judy about it in open court. If it sounds stupid coming out of your mouth – it is! 😉

    • Ginger Dean

      Great suggestion! I always think about this when buying anyone something I think may be inappropriate early in the relationship. It would be nice but nope.