When Love Hurts (Financially): 4 Women Tell Us Their Stories

They say falling in love is the best feeling in the world.

But is it, really?

Four women share their bittersweet experience with LiveOlive, in the hope that more women can learn from their heartache.

Beauty that Broke the Bank

For Alya, finding a boyfriend is not easy. She went out on a date for the first time when she was 22, while she was completing her internship. “I was not a person who cared so much about looks. I liked shopping for clothes, but not for makeups and treatments,” she tells LiveOlive.

Having a boyfriend changed everything.

Suddenly, she felt the need to be prettier. To be more trendy. To be more sophisticated.

“Somehow I had the urge to look better, to please my boyfriend,” says Alya, who even took makeup courses to educate herself. “I bought makeup tools that are usually used by professional makeup artists. I ended up not using many of them,” she says.

She became more addicted to “upgrading” her look. “I began trying many treatments,” she says. Alya, who works as an accountant for a private company, spent more than half of her salary for skin treatments, spa and other treatments at the salon.

“By the time we broke up, I only had Rp 50,000 (USD 3.73; 1 USD = 13,380 IDR) left in my savings,” she confesses.

Ignoring the Warning Signs

During courtship, there is no harm in informally doing a background check on your loved one, either through friends or family. Renata, who was 21 at that time, learned this the hard way.

“The first few months, everything was normal,” she says. At that time, Renata had established successful online fashion store. Her boyfriend was fully aware of that. “He knows how much I earned because we were open about each of our financials,” she says.

The problem started from small things like lending him money to replace his broken mobile phone. Then things escalated. One day, her boyfriend borrowed such a huge amount from someone that he could not pay back, so she had to borrow from her friends in order to pay for his “bail”. All his lies were disclosed when one of his family members broke the news to Renata.

“His family took him back and gave me a letter stating that he will pay all his debts by the end of month,” she says. However, none of the debt was paid. "Before the month ends, he ran away!”

After they broke up, Renata found out that she was not the only victim of her ex-boyfriend.

Trusting Too Much, Too Soon

Sharing personal belongings like bank accounts, ATMs and credit cards can cause problems. Natalie remembered that she used to lend her credit card to her ex-boyfriend.

“I was still naive and stupid at that time, I had so much faith in him. Apparently that was the beginning of a disaster, because once the credit card got handed over, his ‘action’ started and I was blinded by love,” she explains.

Her ex always asked for a treat every time they went out on a date. “At first, he would borrow money but he never returned it… Since I was quite established and totally head over heels in love with him, I did not mind,” she says.

Unfortunately, Natalie chose to hold on to her boyfriend, even when things got worse. She kept on forgiving her ex, until the debt collectors started showing up.

Once she managed to escape from her ex, she needed about two years to pay off all her debts which amounted to Rp 50 million (USD 3,736.92; 1 USD = 13,380 IDR)– including getting back a motorcycle she bought for the boyfriend.

[Watch video: How to Discuss Financial Matters with Your Spouse]

Lavish Treats After Breakup

Caroline’s friends were just trying to cheer her up when she broke up from her childhood boyfriend – a month before the wedding.

In addition to the heartache, she lost the down payment she paid for the wedding venue.

Fortunately, she had good friends who took her out and made her forget all her problems. Unfortunately, she became used to being surrounded by her "entourage".

“I treated five friends to go on a holiday with me,” Caroline says. “Since then, my friends kept askingme out for dinner or shopping more frequently.”

Her consumptive lifestyle lasted for the next 4-5 months. “I never calculated or shared the bills whenever I paid for something, so suddenly my credit card just reached its limit. To make matters worse, my savings were drained because of the down payment,” she says.

These situations are more common that we think. It could even have happened to you or someone you know.

Falling in love is still the best feeling in the world.

However, even when everything seems beautiful, it is often necessary to exercise logic and common sense to make sure that one does not make fatal decisions in the name of love – especially those that could jeopardize one's financials.

Read also: How to Deal with Partner’s Bad Money Habits

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