It can be quite concerning when you think your son is dating a gold digger. Identifying women that are after money is getting harder and harder. Regardless there are still signs that a woman is with a man because of his money.
It’s going to be tricky to find out the truth without hurting your relationship with your son. Just like any man, the more you tell him not to do something the more he is going to want to do it.
There are really two philosophies to this kind of situation. The first (and the one I subscribe to too) is that you should let things run their natural course. 9 times out of 10 when a parent tries to get involved with their children’s relationship it only drives the parent and child further apart while driving him and his girlfriend closer together.
The other school of thought is that it is your responsibility to protect your son from those kinds of women. Of course, this is dependant on your son’s age. If your son is 15 and he’s spending all his weekly allowance on his girlfriend, you may want to get involved. On the other hand, if your son is 25 and working a job, it’s really none of our business what or who he spends his money on.
This article is for those parents that would rather take action.
This is really difficult for most parents to accept. In just a few short years we went from dictating most decisions in their life to having little to no say.
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify if he is actually dating a gold digger or not. There are a few red flags that he just might not be seeing.
How To Know If Your Son’s Girlfriend is a Gold Digger
Identifying a gold digger is not easy. There are things to look out for but you will never be 100% sure a woman is or is not with your son for his money.
It can be easy to confuse a girl that likes spending money with a gold digger. Some girls out there are just high maintenance. They’ve gotten used to nice purses and cars and your son chooses to buy her nice things. This is most commonly seen when a woman comes from a wealthy family. She may have gotten used to spending $100+ at a restaurant. From the outside, it may look like she is taking advantage of your son but in reality, this is just the world she knows.
1. Does Your Son Have Money?
The first a most obvious question you need to ask yourself is, does your son have money? Gold diggers go after men with money or men who will son run into money (like students in medical school or men with an inheritance on the way).
If your son is still early in his career and not yet earning significant wages, chances are he is not dating a gold digger. A gold digger is not going to dig for gold when there is no gold to be found. No offense.
Even if your son has money, this does not necessarily mean she is a gold digger.
2. Is She Asking for Expensive Things?
This is probably the most difficult red flag to really identify. Many times parents label their son’s girlfriend as a gold digger because they see their son spending lots of money on her.
The reality is men like buying nice things for their girlfriends. It could really just be that your son wants to buy her stuff. I’ve seen men shower their girlfriends with gifts without them asking at all. This may be the case if your son really likes this girl and thinks that will be the way to keep her around.
On the other hand, she could be asking him to spend an unreasonable amount of money on her. This is a difficult question to answer without having intimate knowledge of their relationship.
3. She Never Pays
A fairly quick identifier of a gold digger is a woman who never pays for herself. This does not immediately mean she is a gold digger but it is a sign you’ll want to take a closer look at.
My husband was telling me about something he used to call the “reach test”. On the first date, if the woman does not at least “reach” for the check when it comes, she failed the reach test and he would be wearier of a potential gold digger. Luckily I reached for the check.
Spend time with your son and his girlfriend together. When it comes time to pay, is she suddenly quiet? Is it just presumed that your son is going to be the one pulling out his wallet?
Now to look at it from the other side, not paying does not necessarily mean she is a gold digger. She may be going through financial hardship and it would be unfair to label her as a gold digger if she does not have the funds to pay for dinner.
Also, there are some old-school men out there (like my husband) who still subscribe to the idea that men should pay for dates. If your son insists on paying, we can’t blame his girlfriend for that.
The Pitfalls of Trying to Identify a Gold Digger
As a parent, you’ll have no definitive way of knowing if your son is dating a gold digger. Even your son can’t be 100% sure his girlfriend is with him for his money. There are things you can do to get an idea but you’ll never know for sure.
So you used the 3 criteria above and are fairly convinced that your son is dating a gold digger. What then? The reality is, this is where things get even more difficult.
Depending on how good your relationship is with your son, you may be able to speak with him about your concerns. Chances are, he won’t take it well and you’ll just drive them closer together. That’s why I personally subscribe to the notion that you should just leave it alone. Let their relationship run its course. Chances are they’re not going to get married and like most relationships, it’ll end.
This is also heavily dependant on the age of your son. The younger your son is, the more involved you may want to be. A 14 year old working all summer to buy his girlfriend the new iPhone is a lot more concerning than a 26-year-old buying his girlfriend dinner.
Like all concerns we have with our children, we need to pick our battles. Personally, unless the situation is severe or you have a really strong relationship with your son, I’d leave it alone.