What is a freeloader? It’s someone who attaches themselves to a person and essentially bleeds them dry. Whether it’s money, a place to stay, friends, or food; this person is a major drain on you and your resources.
So, what if you find yourself in a relationship with a freeloader? What do you do? It’s not like freeloaders out themselves when you first meet them. As your relationship progresses and your roles become more pronounced, you start to see the cracks. Ultimately, this relationship will be tainted by this behaviour, and you will feel used.
Here are some tips on how to deal with a freeloader in your relationship.
Lay Down Boundaries
When your boyfriend and girlfriend first ask to borrow money, you may not think twice about it. They promise at the time to pay you back, but as the days go on there is no mention of money, and they have no intention of paying it back.
They certainly didn’t forget about it, but they are hoping you did. It’s important you lay down some boundaries. You need to give them a timeline upfront, and when you expect them to pay the money back. If you didn’t initially say this when you lent them money, bring it up with them. Make sure they understand your expectations clearly.
A problem you may run into with freeloaders is that they may act upset, hurt or indigent when you ask for the money back. It’s important that you keep your cool because if it delves into a blowout you run the risk of never getting your money back.
Tell Them Your Side
It’s important they hear from your side of this. Even if they don’t internalize it or care, they need to hear how their freeloading affects you mentally and financially. Try to eliminate blame or shame when you confront them. After all, you love them. But, their behaviour simply cannot be sustained, for the health and longevity of your relationship.
Eliminate the Guilt
You may be guilted or feel guilty confronting the freeloader in your life. But, please try to remember that guilt is a useless emotion and should not be given the time of day. Yes, easier said than done, but the longer you hold onto to guilt, the less you will be able to accomplish.
The freeloader might also try to guilt you for voicing your concerns. This is something that you will have to work hard to swallow. Again, nothing can be accomplished when guilt is involved. This is also a tactic that freeloaders use to keep getting away with what they have been.
Assess the Relationship
At a certain point, you need to assess if the relationship is still beneficial to you, and brings you joy as it once did. A freeloader relationship can muddy up a relationship because you cannot just forget about their behaviour. If you think you would be better off without him or her, know that the money or things you lent them you might not get back. But, it may be worth it to just cut your losses, and move on.
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