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Need some relationship advice (1 Viewer)

NutterButter

Footballguy
Been dating a woman for about a month now.   Things are going really well and I see some long term potential here.   She checks all the boxes and then some except for her financial situation.  She currently has a small clothing business (mostly handmade hats, scarves and other accessories) that she owns with another woman.  She has a daughter (13) and rents a house with her brother although it sounds like that might be just for the next year and then its unknown what she'll be able to afford after that.    I get the impression that she's essentially living paycheck to paycheck.   Don't know anything about her long term financial plans (paying for college, retiring, etc) and I hesitate to ask b/c I think we're just living in two different worlds.   I have no problem paying full fare for all of our dating excursions as I'm having a good time but I don't think I'm looking to support someone and possibly their kid in the long term.  I'd hate to call it off as its been slow going finding someone that's a legitimate 8 and 5 (so far) on the hot crazy matrix, but the pragmatist in me is concerned.   Talk some sense into me.  

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
  I have no problem paying full fare for all of our dating excursions as I'm having a good time but I don't think I'm looking to support someone and possibly their kid in the long term.  I'd hate to call it off as its been slow going finding someone that's a legitimate 8 and 5 (so far) on the hot crazy matrix, but the pragmatist in me is concerned.   Talk some sense into me.  
If this is the honest truth then the answer is in front of you.

Call it off before real attachments start to happen between you, her and that child. 

 

Captain Cranks

Footballguy
Been dating a woman for about a month now.   Things are going really well and I see some long term potential here.   She checks all the boxes and then some except for her financial situation.  She currently has a small clothing business (mostly handmade hats, scarves and other accessories) that she owns with another woman.  She has a daughter (13) and rents a house with her brother although it sounds like that might be just for the next year and then its unknown what she'll be able to afford after that.    I get the impression that she's essentially living paycheck to paycheck.   Don't know anything about her long term financial plans (paying for college, retiring, etc) and I hesitate to ask b/c I think we're just living in two different worlds.   I have no problem paying full fare for all of our dating excursions as I'm having a good time but I don't think I'm looking to support someone and possibly their kid in the long term.  I'd hate to call it off as its been slow going finding someone that's a legitimate 8 and 5 (so far) on the hot crazy matrix, but the pragmatist in me is concerned.   Talk some sense into me.  
Knee-jerk reaction is to agree with the posts above, but let's dive into it a bit. Why would you be opposed to the bolded? 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
Lol...mom and pop craft/fashion accessory business is a gold mine, Jerry....solid gold.

Maybe I've been too long out of the game, but IMO either you love her or you don't. If the financials are more important, I guess you don't love her.
the backsplash generation - accessories over acceptance

 
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Nathan R. Jessep

Footballguy
I understand the difficulty of finding potential, particularly in our demographic. It's a #### show, to put it kindly. But. Money is a major point of contention in many relationships. If you think she has real potential, you have every right to and SHOULD have an honest conversation with her about finances and the future. What she says in that conversation should give you all the info you need to make your choice. 

 

Captain Cranks

Footballguy
the backsplash generation - accessories over acceptance
I got into business with a guy about 10 years ago who was dating a girl he really enjoyed being around. Later, he cited her lack of motivation to have a high paying career as the reason he later broke up with her. He had it in his mind that he wanted them both to make a lot of money.  Fast forward a couple years, she gets married and he mentions to me that she probably should have been the one. Fast forward to today and he's about to turn 40 and still doesn't have a long term partner.

 

Hastur

Footballguy
If this is the honest truth then the answer is in front of you.

Call it off before real attachments start to happen between you, her and that child. 
Gotta go with this.  

There are a lot of people that have just grown up with no real financial sense.  It is nothing against them, they just happen to live in a capitalistic culture.  If all the other boxes are checked, maybe think about being able to support the two of them.  However, be prepared for fights about money.  They will not understand why you are concerned about spending money in a way that is reckless to you.

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
Knee-jerk reaction is to agree with the posts above, but let's dive into it a bit. Why would you be opposed to the bolded? 
I think it really depends, but in general I highly value financial security (I live very modestly but have this most likely irrational desire to be financially secure even to the point that I'll more than likely have more money than I'll even know what to do with knowing how I live)  and I'm concerned that being in a relationship with someone that in the worst case scenario depends entirely on me to support them financially would jeopardize that.  Being in a relationship with someone that has a stable career, this would never cross my mind.  But someone that really has no financial security (no retirement, no emergency fund), I become that financial security for them.   Keep in mind that some of this is just me trying to navigate around my own issues which I'm well aware of.   I need some advice whether this is just me being me and I need to work through this, or whether this is something that normal person would be concerned about.  

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
I think it really depends, but in general I highly value financial security (I live very modestly but have this most likely irrational desire to be financially secure even to the point that I'll more than likely have more money than I'll even know what to do with knowing how I live)  and I'm concerned that being in a relationship with someone that in the worst case scenario depends entirely on me to support them financially would jeopardize that.  Being in a relationship with someone that has a stable career, this would never cross my mind.  But someone that really has no financial security (no retirement, no emergency fund), I become that financial security for them.   Keep in mind that some of this is just me trying to navigate around my own issues which I'm well aware of.   I need some advice whether this is just me being me and I need to work through this, or whether this is something that normal person would be concerned about.  
and what is it that would keep you from saying exactly that to her?

 

TripItUp

Footballguy
I think it's a tough situation.

I personally wouldn't mind helping support a kid and potential wife, especially if I thought she graded out high on the crazy/hot matrix.    But I don't know your financial situation.  If you think you can find a better situation for you I'd probably part ways and get on with finding that situation.

As I enter my middle ages, I greatly appreciate having a companion and partner for even the stupid things like dinner and travel etc....if you would have asked me 10 years ago, I would have said run far away from this situation but that's because I didn't value the companionship.

Something I would be mindful of is, does she like you because of your money?  Some women don't seek this out consciously, but in my experience a woman that seeks financial stability and sees you as a means to having that, doesn't make for the ideal relationship, but opinions vary on this quite a bit.  I'd just make sure she likes you for who you are, which can be tough to ascertain in some relationships.

If you like her enough, I would just communicate your concerns?  The answer might suck, but at least you gave it a try.

 

Zow

Footballguy
Okay, so my incredibly qualified dating advice after an impeccable dating career where I never made any mistakes, would be as follows: 

1. You're a month in. It should all be sunshine and rainbows at this point. If you're having reservations at this point that's probably a serious red flag in of itself regardless of what issue(s) gave rise to the reservation. It doesn't sound like she's pressing you at this point to support her past paying for your dates - which is reasonable behavior from her. So, at this point, this does seem like a you issue. 

2. The above comment notwithstanding, you're a month in. I would strongly encourage you to keep it casual and fun and not worry about long-term until at least the 4 month and probably 6 month mark (even seeing each other daily it probably takes ~6 months if not longer to get to know a person). If you're still into her at this point then consider your concern. FWIW your concern is valid and rational, but I think you're worried about it too early and don't have enough information to run the necessary cost-benefit analysis (enjoying her company v. cost). 

3. Of course she's looking to a prospective significant other for financial security. I would imagine many women (and probably a lot of men) are if they aren't in the few top percentages of Americans who are actually financially secure. This is especially true if she's got a kid. If you hit a point down the road where you're not willing to be the financial security blanket, then tell her/be up front with her. But know that if you do become serious/long-term with her that her child is part of the package and, at best, her child may tolerate you while you spend money on her child. It's just part of dating at your age. 

4. You're a ####### month in.  Relax and enjoy the sechs for now. 

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
and what is it that would keep you from saying exactly that to her?
Nothing and I'd like to have that conversation, but I didn't know if this is the right time or maybe if there was a more subtler way of going about that.   I think I'm also unsure about how I should respond to what I hear.   My heart says that I like this person and I could see her giving me the one thing that's missing in my life, but my head (big head :)) might say there's just too much risk and you could potentially wind up worse off.

 

Zow

Footballguy
Nothing and I'd like to have that conversation, but I didn't know if this is the right time or maybe if there was a more subtler way of going about that.   I think I'm also unsure about how I should respond to what I hear.   My heart says that I like this person and I could see her giving me the one thing that's missing in my life, but my head (big head :)) might say there's just too much risk and you could potentially wind up worse off.
I think it's way too early if she's done nothing to press the issue. See comments supra

 

msudaisy26

Footballguy
This goes both ways, but if your money and possessions are more important than the person your with then it isn't the right person. 

 

shader

Footballguy
It's hard for me to comprehend thinking you may have found the one, but not knowing if you want to support her. I say that as a single guy who got divorced a year ago.  I can't imagine the above scenario playing into my decision-making process at all.  

Do you have teenagers?  You may just need to have a reasonable conversation if it worries you.  You don't have to pay for her daughter to go to Harvard.  The fact that she doesn't have a college fund puts her in the same boat as likely 99% of single moms out there.  Not sure why that would even be a factor.  

I'm recently divorced (not my choice) and I'd love to find someone.  I joke with my friends about wanting a "sugar mama" that's loaded.  But the reality is, that isn't a factor at all.

The one word of advice I would give is to have a serious conversation around debt.  Finding out about 50-100k in CC debt could actually be a game-changer.  But assuming she's just a struggling mom, what's the problem here?

 

Hawks64

Footballguy
Okay, so my incredibly qualified dating advice after an impeccable dating career where I never made any mistakes, would be as follows: 

1. You're a month in. It should all be sunshine and rainbows at this point. If you're having reservations at this point that's probably a serious red flag in of itself regardless of what issue(s) gave rise to the reservation. It doesn't sound like she's pressing you at this point to support her past paying for your dates - which is reasonable behavior from her. So, at this point, this does seem like a you issue. 

2. The above comment notwithstanding, you're a month in. I would strongly encourage you to keep it casual and fun and not worry about long-term until at least the 4 month and probably 6 month mark (even seeing each other daily it probably takes ~6 months if not longer to get to know a person). If you're still into her at this point then consider your concern. FWIW your concern is valid and rational, but I think you're worried about it too early and don't have enough information to run the necessary cost-benefit analysis (enjoying her company v. cost). 

3. Of course she's looking to a prospective significant other for financial security. I would imagine many women (and probably a lot of men) are if they aren't in the few top percentages of Americans who are actually financially secure. This is especially true if she's got a kid. If you hit a point down the road where you're not willing to be the financial security blanket, then tell her/be up front with her. But know that if you do become serious/long-term with her that her child is part of the package and, at best, her child may tolerate you while you spend money on her child. It's just part of dating at your age. 

4. You're a ####### month in.  Relax and enjoy the sechs for now. 
:goodposting: Shockingly solid advice from the ole Wozzer here.

 

shader

Footballguy
Nothing and I'd like to have that conversation, but I didn't know if this is the right time or maybe if there was a more subtler way of going about that.   I think I'm also unsure about how I should respond to what I hear.   My heart says that I like this person and I could see her giving me the one thing that's missing in my life, but my head (big head :)) might say there's just too much risk and you could potentially wind up worse off.


For me, the bigger risk is losing out on someone I love, rather than a financial dollars and cents risk calculation.  But that being said, unless you find a woman that is well-off, a spouse will be expensive over the long haul.  Amazon, shopping, dinner parties, clothes, shoes, vacations, additional medical expenses...the list goes on and on.

If you know going in that you never want to be that guy that supports all that - then keep things from escalating to the point where you hurt her.

 

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
I think it's kind of weird the people who are telling you to walk away from a one-month relationship based on a one paragraph description that almost certainly left out lots of relevant details. But maybe that's just me.

I agree with those who say one month isn't the time to worry about this stuff if you're having a good time with her and everything else seems to be going well. So I would definitely see how things play out over the next few months. You'll learn a lot more about each other, and for all you know this issue will resolve itself during that time. (Or maybe one of you will decide to end the relationship for other reasons).

If you get to the point where you do need to have that convo, my advice would be to a) broaden it to be about your respective financial situations and approaches to money, and b) put the emphasis on your beliefs and your needs, not what you suspect may be hers. Let her tell you that. You focus on all the stuff you said about financial security being very important to you, and maybe how you think it's important for both sides in a relationship to pull their weight (a more feminist spin than "I ain't sayin' you a gold digger ...") Hopefully by that point you'll have gotten to know each other better and you'll have a better idea of how to broach subjects like this.

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
Nothing and I'd like to have that conversation, but I didn't know if this is the right time or maybe if there was a more subtler way of going about that.   I think I'm also unsure about how I should respond to what I hear.   My heart says that I like this person and I could see her giving me the one thing that's missing in my life, but my head (big head :)) might say there's just too much risk and you could potentially wind up worse off.
well, it sounds like youre at the point in the relationship that has passed the passion test and is now about planning & perpetuation (did i spit on you there?). this is a great time for the honesty, my friend. not confessional, just upfront - i'm letting you know who i am so youll know i like you enough to show you who i am. no catharsis, no promises, just the first part of sharing. make a good start of it. truth is always a good start. GL, GB

 
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jvdesigns2002

Footballguy
You are overthinking things imo. You guys have been dating for a month.   Are you guys even technically a couple yet?  I doubt it.  You’re two adults that happen to be dating and enjoying each other’s company.  I say you continue dating as long as you guys are both enjoying each other’s time and get to learn each other more. The first few months of a dating relationship is not the period of time to make long term relationship decisions.  Both sides are on the best behavior in the first few months of a dating relationship. As time goes on and you learn more about each other, learn about each other’s nuances and idiosyncrasies, and learn more about each other’s long term wants/goals/expectations in a natural way—you then start thinking about these things.  I think this kind of thinking this early in the relationship is basically almost guaranteed to be destructive.  Either you are trying to make really long term relationship decisions based on too small a sample size of dates and not enough information, or you go “all in” and freak her out with how quickly you might be appearing to be pushing things along.  

 

Captain Cranks

Footballguy
I think it really depends, but in general I highly value financial security (I live very modestly but have this most likely irrational desire to be financially secure even to the point that I'll more than likely have more money than I'll even know what to do with knowing how I live)  and I'm concerned that being in a relationship with someone that in the worst case scenario depends entirely on me to support them financially would jeopardize that.  Being in a relationship with someone that has a stable career, this would never cross my mind.  But someone that really has no financial security (no retirement, no emergency fund), I become that financial security for them.   Keep in mind that some of this is just me trying to navigate around my own issues which I'm well aware of.   I need some advice whether this is just me being me and I need to work through this, or whether this is something that normal person would be concerned about.  
I don't know your background, but it sounds like these money concerns go beyond having to pay for someone you may end up calling your wife. It also sounds like you're acutely aware of this issue and perhaps that needs to be addressed before you get into a serious relationship with anyone. 

 
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Pigskin Fanatic

Footballguy
 or whether this is something that normal person would be concerned about.  
i don't have relationsihp advice, but on this, absolutely yes. there is nothing weird about questioning this because the question isn't necessarily about money or the willingness to support her and her kid when you're sitting on a pile of cash. you said it, it's about long term financial security for you and those around you. you are anticipating that dreaded financial downside and the added stress of being tied to being a breadwinner where your partner may not be capable of helping. been there, it's not fun.

at some point you just need to have an honest conversation with her about it when the time comes. my only two cents is don't end up ruining something good just to avoid this conversation. maybe too early after only a month though. good luck!

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
The one word of advice I would give is to have a serious conversation around debt.  Finding out about 50-100k in CC debt could actually be a game-changer.  But assuming she's just a struggling mom, what's the problem here?
The problem is that if i had to pay for certain things behind the day to day such as even college at a state school for instance which would be well beyond 50k in cc debt, certain tradeoffs would have to be made in the life that I had planned for myself.  I don't think I'd want to make those tradeoffs.  I don't want to have to get a higher paying job that I may hate, or postpone when I intended on retiring, or not being able to pay for a nice wedding for my kids or to help them out financially if necessary early in their career.   I do have teenager daughters which has helped me immensely with breaking out of my frugal ways and I realize that a lot of moms are in this same boat, but when you've spent most of your adult life living in a way that puts you on very strong financially footing, its difficult for me to jeopardize that stability by taking on someone else's precarious financial state however justified.  

 

zamboni

Footballguy
You are overthinking things imo. You guys have been dating for a month.   Are you guys even technically a couple yet?  I doubt it.  You’re two adults that happen to be dating and enjoying each other’s company.  I say you continue dating as long as you guys are both enjoying each other’s time and get to learn each other more. The first few months of a dating relationship is not the period of time to make long term relationship decisions.  Both sides are on the best behavior in the first few months of a dating relationship. As time goes on and you learn more about each other, learn about each other’s nuances and idiosyncrasies, and learn more about each other’s long term wants/goals/expectations in a natural way—you then start thinking about these things.  I think this kind of thinking this early in the relationship is basically almost guaranteed to be destructive.  Either you are trying to make really long term relationship decisions based on too small a sample size of dates and not enough information, or you go “all in” and freak her out with how quickly you might be appearing to be pushing things along.  
Extremely spot-on post IMO.

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
Okay, so my incredibly qualified dating advice after an impeccable dating career where I never made any mistakes, would be as follows: 

1. You're a month in. It should all be sunshine and rainbows at this point. If you're having reservations at this point that's probably a serious red flag in of itself regardless of what issue(s) gave rise to the reservation. It doesn't sound like she's pressing you at this point to support her past paying for your dates - which is reasonable behavior from her. So, at this point, this does seem like a you issue. 

2. The above comment notwithstanding, you're a month in. I would strongly encourage you to keep it casual and fun and not worry about long-term until at least the 4 month and probably 6 month mark (even seeing each other daily it probably takes ~6 months if not longer to get to know a person). If you're still into her at this point then consider your concern. FWIW your concern is valid and rational, but I think you're worried about it too early and don't have enough information to run the necessary cost-benefit analysis (enjoying her company v. cost). 

3. Of course she's looking to a prospective significant other for financial security. I would imagine many women (and probably a lot of men) are if they aren't in the few top percentages of Americans who are actually financially secure. This is especially true if she's got a kid. If you hit a point down the road where you're not willing to be the financial security blanket, then tell her/be up front with her. But know that if you do become serious/long-term with her that her child is part of the package and, at best, her child may tolerate you while you spend money on her child. It's just part of dating at your age. 

4. You're a ####### month in.  Relax and enjoy the sechs for now. 
I like what you're saying here.  I do think I'm overthinking it at this stage, but I needed someone else to tell me that.    I have limited experience in the dating world.  I do think I need to gather some more information though just to assuage my worst fears or hopefully at least come to some understanding.  Part of me hates postponing what inevitably might be a challenging conversation, but I also just want to enjoy myself.   

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
I understand the difficulty of finding potential, particularly in our demographic. It's a #### show, to put it kindly. But. Money is a major point of contention in many relationships. If you think she has real potential, you have every right to and SHOULD have an honest conversation with her about finances and the future. What she says in that conversation should give you all the info you need to make your choice. 
It really is man.  It can be exhausting.   I feel that conversation will need to be had at some point, but I'm gonna follow the advice of some of the others to postpone it for a bit.   

 

SoBeDad

Footballguy
Have you addressed the topic of breaking wind? There was a huge thread about it years ago, with the consensus that if you're holding it in, then it's not an honest relationship. 

NPR has had frequent shows about the role of finances in relationships. Discussing money can lead to a better relationship, but it's hard to get the conversation started. At some point, you should address the topic and your concerns. Here's an 18 minute listen from a financial counselor on NPR:

If you want to get closer to your partner, start talking about money

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
I think it's a tough situation.

I personally wouldn't mind helping support a kid and potential wife, especially if I thought she graded out high on the crazy/hot matrix.    But I don't know your financial situation.  If you think you can find a better situation for you I'd probably part ways and get on with finding that situation.

As I enter my middle ages, I greatly appreciate having a companion and partner for even the stupid things like dinner and travel etc....if you would have asked me 10 years ago, I would have said run far away from this situation but that's because I didn't value the companionship.

Something I would be mindful of is, does she like you because of your money?  Some women don't seek this out consciously, but in my experience a woman that seeks financial stability and sees you as a means to having that, doesn't make for the ideal relationship, but opinions vary on this quite a bit.  I'd just make sure she likes you for who you are, which can be tough to ascertain in some relationships.

If you like her enough, I would just communicate your concerns?  The answer might suck, but at least you gave it a try.
I wouldn't necessarily either up until a point.   She's had a bit of a rough background, but has persevered which is something that I really like about her.  But the finances aside, I'm doubtful that I can find a better situation just from my experience in the dating world.   Not that I don't think that there might be other women that grade better on the more traditional metrics, but this woman she seems like a great fit for who I am which is very important to me.   She doesn't even realize that I have money b/c I live so modestly unless a small ranch house and a hyundai santa fe is enough of a step up from her circumstances.   We've lightly touched on the topic a few times and she was pretty adamant that she can take of herself although I question how realistic she's being.   I think its a lot more just living in the moment with a lack of long term planning which is more of the opposite of how I've lived although I'm slowly coming around to enjoying the moment a lot more.   

 

Chaz McNulty

Footballguy
Been dating a woman for about a month now.   Things are going really well and I see some long term potential here.   She checks all the boxes and then some except for her financial situation.  She currently has a small clothing business (mostly handmade hats, scarves and other accessories) that she owns with another woman.  She has a daughter (13) and rents a house with her brother although it sounds like that might be just for the next year and then its unknown what she'll be able to afford after that.    I get the impression that she's essentially living paycheck to paycheck.   Don't know anything about her long term financial plans (paying for college, retiring, etc) and I hesitate to ask b/c I think we're just living in two different worlds.   I have no problem paying full fare for all of our dating excursions as I'm having a good time but I don't think I'm looking to support someone and possibly their kid in the long term.  I'd hate to call it off as its been slow going finding someone that's a legitimate 8 and 5 (so far) on the hot crazy matrix, but the pragmatist in me is concerned.   Talk some sense into me.  
Just relax and play it by ear.  No need to make any long term plans or commitments (or break-up).  If you're having fun, just keep dating her.  

If you feel that she's starting to pressure you for answers and a commitment level, then you will have to re-evaluste.

 

offdee

Footballguy
As others have said, it's only been 1 month....waaaaaaay too early to be worried about any of this stuff.   Just enjoy getting to know each other more, enjoy the honeymoon period and eventually things will come more into focus (including confirming the 8/5 matrix....LOTS can change in the 3-6 month range)

With that said, I think the kid should be your jumping off point of when you need to start having the conversations like this.  Just make it clear that you're not comfortable meeting the child until seeing each other for 6 months (that is the healthy time to meet anyways) and over the next 5 months you'll probably become pretty clear what she is truly like and what her lifestyle and finances are truly like.  If you still have questions, make sure to have the tough discussions and decisions made before any kid intros.

Until then, just bang away, relax and have fun.  Life's too short to be worried about these details so early on in dating.   

ETA: this is coming from a very financially secure guy who's one year removed from a 7 yr relationship with a solid 8 with three kids, no baby daddy financial support and was a hair stylist.   So, I've lived this scenario.

 
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Terminalxylem

Footballguy
Lol...mom and pop craft/fashion accessory business is a gold mine, Jerry....solid gold.

Maybe I've been too long out of the game, but IMO either you love her or you don't. If the financials are more important, I guess you don't love her.
Although I agree with your basic sentiment, he’s only been dating her a month. It’s too early to be worried about love or finance imo.

ETA I see others agree.

 
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TripItUp

Footballguy
NutterButter said:
I wouldn't necessarily either up until a point.   She's had a bit of a rough background, but has persevered which is something that I really like about her.  But the finances aside, I'm doubtful that I can find a better situation just from my experience in the dating world.   Not that I don't think that there might be other women that grade better on the more traditional metrics, but this woman she seems like a great fit for who I am which is very important to me.   She doesn't even realize that I have money b/c I live so modestly unless a small ranch house and a hyundai santa fe is enough of a step up from her circumstances.   We've lightly touched on the topic a few times and she was pretty adamant that she can take of herself although I question how realistic she's being.   I think its a lot more just living in the moment with a lack of long term planning which is more of the opposite of how I've lived although I'm slowly coming around to enjoying the moment a lot more.   


This is good intel.  If you don't think you can do much better, I think I would continue on and when the time is right be fortchcoming about your financial situation and your financial expectations.

I'd give it a shot based on the above.

 

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