This is a story of a close friend, who broke up with her partner because he had no money and status.
Cindy (not her real name) came from a family of doctors. Her dad is a general practitioner in a clinic, her brother is practicing medicine in Melbourne, and her sister is a dentist. So, she’d always had a privileged life.
I remember the first time going to her house; it was a huge bungalow overlooking a golf course and a land to die for. In other words, it was posh.
Ever since she was a young girl, her parents insisted that she become a doctor. Cindy never disobeyed her parents, because she knew that being a doctor would give her the comfortable life she was used to.
I knew Cindy from secondary school, and she was always competitive. Getting B’s was unacceptable for her and her parents. She would have panic attacks from sitting examinations, because she just HAD to do well. After all her reputation, and her parents’ reputation, demanded it.
I always counted my lucky stars I wasn’t pressured to get good grades like she did.
In our early 20’s, Cindy went off to study medicine. It was then that she dated multiple guys, all of whom she never told her parents about because they never would have approved. Her parents were traditional, which meant that she could only date someone of equal status, who had a good job and had the same religion as her.
Obviously, finding a guy like that was equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack. Even if she did find that guy, there’s no guarantee that she’d like him and vice versa.
Again, I thanked my lucky stars that my parents never dictated who I dated.
Then one day during her housemanship training, she met a guy named Jay (not his real name). Jay was a great guy, who treated her well. He’d bring her flowers and buy her breakfast whenever she had a night shift at the hospital.
When she told me about Jay, I’d never seen her that happy, and I knew that this guy was different from the rest. I listened as she told me that he was also a doctor, and that they were getting quite serious.
She also told me that she was extremely worried.
She’d never mentioned Jay to her parents yet, but she knew that they would not accept him. Although he had a good profession, he wasn’t of the same wealth status as she was. His parents had no wealth, no job, and he was working hard to support his sister through college. Safe to say, their families were worlds apart.
So what did I do?
I advised her to come clean to her parents on how she felt and tell them that they should meet him first before they judged him. After all, Jay has good character, which is something money can’t buy.
Eventually, Cindy spoke to her parents, and they were not happy at all. Her mom argued that she did not want Cindy to marry a boy who will spend his whole life supporting his family. Which meant that he will not be able to give Cindy a ‘comfortable’ life.
Her mother also mentioned that he will not be able to give Cindy the ‘wedding of her dreams’, and she’ll have to settle with mediocrity for her whole life. As a mother, she was only thinking of what’s best for her daughter.
Remember, Cindy never disobeyed her parents. Hence, she broke up with Jay.
Interestingly, she agreed with her parents. She knew that she lived comfortably now, and she feared what would happen if they ended up together. But more importantly, Cindy wanted her parents’ blessings and acceptance. She simply couldn’t disappoint them by dating someone they didn’t approve of.
The last I spoke to Cindy, she had split with Jay, and promised not to date him until her parents change their minds. He still sends her flowers and talks to her sometimes, and she hopes that one day, her parents will accept him.
After hearing this story, it’s easy say that I would have walked out on my misguided parents and chosen love instead of money. But again, is it really an easy decision? Being raised in a close-knit family, I don’t think I could marry someone who my parents disapproved either. Sometimes, reality isn’t the rom-coms that you see in the movies.
Cindy had been conditioned since young that money, status, and comfort is everything. It was everything she knew.
I’m just thankful that it’s not everything to me.
For more articles by Kimberly, read 5 Ways to Handle an Emotional Boss, and 5 Thoughts Which Goes Through Your Head When You Are Single AF.