Recently I met someone who is great. We’re both in our 40’s, no kids and are ready for a relationship. Trouble is that he has debt from his 20’s and is still paying off law school. While I have accrued student debt, too, I have paid it off by sacrificing and making tough choices by living with my parents for a while. I’m trying not to judge the fact that he still has student debt that’s been around for 20 years (I paid mine off in 13, undergrad and graduate school, plus associated credit card debt). I’m in a better financial position now than ever before. I know that debt is neutral, but I can’t help feeling like he didn’t move aggressively enough to pay off his debt and it’s lessening my attraction to him.
C: J told me he has debt from law school
T: It is crazy that he still hasn’t paid off that debt
A: Wonder if I really want to date him, think about my own debt, worry that he wouldn’t be able to contribute enough financially to a relationship, worry that he is not financially responsible, think about dating other people
R: Shy away from developing a relationship with him
T: It’s possible that he has a plan to address his remaining debt
A: Ask him about his debt when appropriate, explore my own fears about potentially having a partner that may not be able to contribute too much financially, try to enjoy him and put off any big decisions about exclusivity until I have a better picture of his financial situation
R: Stay open to learning more about his relationship to his finances