My boyfriend always claims to be broke

Thursday July 30 2020

Dear Heart2Heart, I am in my second year at university and I have been dating this man since our first year. In February, we had a misunderstanding. You see, my boyfriend always claims to be broke and asks me for help which I gladly offer. However, when time comes and he has some money and I also ask for assistance, he tells me that he is broke. So, in February, another man asked me out on a date. Although he is in his first year, he cares about my welfare and even provides when I do not have. Since my family is not wealthy, I need someone to take care of me but I also do not want to hurt my boyfriend’s feelings. Please advise. Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You are likely to be going through an emotionally draining game of love. Dating is fine while trying to find out which man will work for you in future, if you contemplate a more permanent relationship. However, you seem to also be stuck between two boyfriends. You mention that you accepted another date because your longtime boyfriend is mean and yet you support him where necessary. The most important reason is that the new catch supports you financially even when in a lower class. This sounds tricky because you have not completely left the previous relationship officially and informed the older boyfriend.

My advice to you is first, as a young person get to learn what is really important to you in these relationships. Campus relationships usually give birth to fruitful marriages if people know exactly what they need from another person. It is true that love is giving but if the main aim is to sustain you while in school, time will come, after school when you will be able to take care of yourself without the need of a man and the ultimate goal should be you becoming more independent.

Decision making becomes much easier when we look at the bigger picture, say five years from now, where do you see this relationship? Like you suggested that your former boyfriend is mean, how does learning about red flags in a relationship help?
Your fear of hurting him might mean that you need time to heal from one relationship before you start another. Be sure about your decision by testing it through writing down the good things that can keep your relationship going and the bad ones. Compare the list and see what weighs most. Talk to a trusted friend about what you are going through, especially someone much older than you.

Make sure you truly understand what relationships are all about. At university level, it can be true that one is broke but because of the male ego, they fear coming out right. Communicate how you feel about him not sharing his money with you and listen with an open mind too.
If you decide to move on, then take your time to heal. I can understand you coming from a low income family but you need to find sustainable survival skills like may be learning a skill you can use to earn extra pocket money while still at university. Depending on a boyfriend or sticking to one due to financial support will soon land you in a vulnerable situation which involves risky behaviour. Keep a relationship for values such as respect but not just money alone.


Seek counselling to get extra skills on how to maintain a balanced life. Learn to keep calm and listen to your heart. You will get constant information that help you analyse your decision.

Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, Counselling psychologist

Reader advice
Who do you love?
Allan Ssekyobe. First thing you should ask yourself is who do you actually love? Secondly, is your boyfriend genuinely broke or just claiming to be? Verify this; if he is genuinely broke, then you have to be understanding and stick by and support him until things get better. Otherwise, if it is just a claim, then you need to hit the road because he is not being honest or caring as a good partner should be.

Be honest with both
Carol Mukisa. A part of me says you should two-time but a part of me says you should be loyal. If you really love your boyfriend, tell the other guy that you are in a committed relationship, then have an honest conversation with your man and let him know how you feel. If you find out that for sure he has the money and just does not want to give you, then you should also stop giving him. Money can be a good tempter but be careful.

Stop helping him
Nampa Patience Natie. I think currently you are more interested in a man’s pocket rather than love. However, that boyfriend of yours must be a selfish person. Instead of always helping him, tell him you do not have money and see his reaction. Probably he is just in it for the money. Please focus more on what is good for the relationship rather than you being in it for the money because money is the cause of all evil.

Avoid this behaviour
Bishop Oma. My dear, you are not looking for love at the moment. Instead, you are looking for a parent figure in a man. It will be easy for you to fall for the wrong man as long they promise to give you money. If you continue with this mentality, you will end up with multiple heart breaks.

Take care of yourself
Ramji Krishna. Learn to take care of yourself other than waiting for a man to take care of you. Being pretty or in a relationship should not make you think me men owe you money.

Be responsible
Oteky Aj Camboo. You are not searching for love but a man who can take care of your needs. In today’s terms; a sponsor. Learn to be responsible for your own affairs including finances.

The second man cares
Flo Rence. Truth be told, if you are helping him out and then he does not help back, please stop caring about his feelings. We all look for ways of survival and if this man is not concerned about yours then you should maybe seriously think about other options. However, in all this, take care of your health and your heart.

Choose wisely
Henry Kiramba. It seems these two men have different goals and if you do not open your eyes, you might end up with the wrong one.