I fell for a co-worker who was younger than me and had a junior position in our office, so he earned less money than me.
When we started to date, he said he had a lot of financial responsibilities to keep his parents and siblings secure.
So I paid for most of our expenses together – dining out, weekend trips, and some expensive items I bought him when he admired things he couldn’t afford.
We broke up when I discovered that he was seeing someone else during times when he said he was at “family gatherings.”
I was devastated.
Since then, I’ve also learned that he lied about his finances because it’s become obvious that he takes long travel vacations away.
Also, I see him wearing new costly items to work.
I’m left in debt from what I know was my mistake and my responsibility for over-spending.
It grates on me and makes it hard for me to get past my anger and move on.
Is there any way I can try to make him accept some guilt for using me financially? Will that help me put this behind me and ever trust a man again?
Used and Upset
Paying off your own debt is the surest way to never get taken advantage of again.
Since he was purposefully exploiting you, he’s scum. Avoid him as much as possible at work.
You’re far better off without him, and have certainly learned to be more wary in a future relationship.
You will be able to trust and love someone again, because you’ll recognize and appreciate an honest person with integrity.
FEEDBACK Regarding the possibility of identity theft and other computer-based scams when you’re online with a stranger, e.g. through a dating site (Feb. 27):
Reader – “For someone to see or search your contacts, online accounts, banking, etc., there MUST be a link, usually a hyperlink that must be clicked on, to permit a third party access to information that’s on your computer.
“If you do not click on that link, it is usually impossible for any information from your computer to be delivered to a third party.
“The process of clicking on a link permits installation of a program (a virus) on your machine that transmits data from your machine to a third party.
“Do NOT click on the link, do NOT say Yes to permit the install, and no data is transmitted.
“There is a very rare, sophisticated technique where a one-pixel virus link can be embedded in the email.
“This virus link can transmit data but your default security setting will prevent this virus from transmitting any data from your machine without asking permission.
“You would have to say yes to permit the virus to transmit its information to a third party.
“Practice safe computing: Run an antivirus program all the time, almost any will do. The differences between them are small. Run the updates as they become available.
“NEVER click on a link that you did not expect, that you did not intentionally trigger.
“Read your dialog box before clicking on the Yes box. Did you really want to do what the box is asking permission to do?
“Were you really planning on installing software, making changes to your computer?
“If you were just intending to go look at a site, a picture, a web page, then you probably did NOT intend to install software to look at that page.”
In our circle of friends, some have a sense of entitlement.
Several are well off, but never donate to any charitable organizations.
Some only travel or attend functions when they can write expenses off as related to their work (not really), and claim a tax receipt.
Some, who could well afford to pay their true income taxes, create offshore bank accounts, family trusts, etc., mostly to avoid taxes.
There are legal loopholes in the system, but I’m losing respect for these schemers.
Since much of this column refers to human integrity – present or missing – it’s obvious that people differ widely on this score.
If you have it, then it’s hard to completely accept those who don’t.
For friendships to last, you need more than some similar interests and shared history. You need to feel respect.
Once you lose it, it’s hard to fake it.
You’ll likely choose to distance yourself from some of these people.
Tip of the day:
When someone’s used you, be aware of how you let him or her, and then close that door.