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Six warning signs that your boyfriend may be a gold digger


It’s not common for Singaporean men to be gold diggers, but it can happen. Here are the warning signs you might be dating one. There are a lot of articles for men on spotting gold diggers, but not the reverse. And thanks to the way Singaporean society works, they can be even harder to spot. We feel a need to amend that. Call it the dark side of evolution, but over the years many men have learned to use their own version of gold digger tactics. Because society tends to expect men to do the paying, this poses an extra challenge to the male gold digger. It’s trickier for them to worm their way into your heart using your wallet. Nonetheless, gender stereotypes also work to their advantage.

If you never considered the prospect of a male gold digger, then they have the advantage of stealth. Here are the red flags to watch out for:

1. He has no Job and isn’t Interested in finding one

Some archetypes are favoured by male gold-diggers: the anti-establishment poet, the “before his time” entrepreneur, or the quintessential bike riding bad boy. There is a kind of edgy appeal to these archetypes, and the image costs little to pull off. Being in such a relationship can be exciting, not least because you are defying social norms. It can even feel liberating. The problem starts when your partner begins to lean on you for everything. They want you to pay on dates, and you’re the one buying gifts for parties. You’re also the one paying for plane tickets on vacations, or buying their wardrobe for them. After all, you “understand” right? There’s no need to talk about money – the whole reason they love you is that you’re “above” such things. Beware: there are plenty of guys who will leverage off their funny personality, or good looks, to deprive you of what you’ve earned.

2. He experiences constant emergencies

Like their female counterparts, male gold diggers seem to keep running into emergencies. There’s always something unexpected that seems to need money. Favourites are:

  • Need to “fix” something of yours for you (e.g. I need to fix your TV for you, spot me $200 bucks while I lug it to the store myself. I’ll do it while you’re at work).
  • Need you to pay for this date because the paycheque is in next week, or else “we can’t go out, that would be sad.”
  • Need money for “medicine” (e.g. I have the worst migraines, I’m really dying. But it’s alright, I don’t want to waste money at the doctor’s. I’ll only go if you give me $200 and insist).

Notice that male diggers tend to be a little more subtle (and a lot more manipulative) when asking for money. Expect a lot of reverse psychology – they want you to insist on buying something for them.

3. He has no ambition

Gold diggers of both genders are rarely driven. Most of them just want to enjoy life now. There is no grand plan to start a company, or reach senior management, or change the world. Why would they want to? It suits them fine the way it is – they are already getting what they want without work. If your partner leans on your for money and doesn’t want that to change, you probably have a gold digger on your hands.

4. He encourages you to buy things for “us”

Male gold diggers often encourage buying behaviour. They’re the ones prodding you to go ahead and overspend on a new bag or shoes, and maybe buy “us” a new car or TV while you’re at it. They’ll always encourage you to spend because “there’s more to life than money”. If you ask them to handle the buying though, the response is usually “I would if I could.” But they never can. Also, most of the purchases they encourage are things they will also benefit from (e.g. House, sports car, golfing equipment). Rest assured, they have very little interest in how much you like it.

5. He asks too many questions about your family’s financial background

Some male diggers are willing to invest in order for a payoff. One example is not being a male digger for years – they’ll be happy to buy your meals, your clothes, take you on holidays, etc. Because what they want is your family’s wealth. This can be hard to hide, such as if you live in a bungalow or your parents drive a BMW. This kind of gold digger is “going long” – doing everything to look respectable until they can lay hands on your inheritance. Common signs are prying questions about how much your family has, what they own, or who really makes the spending decisions. They may want a lot of details on who owns the family house, and how much is left on the mortgage (because they know a guy who can help). Beware this breed of gold diggers. They are especially malign because they will go so far as to marry you and then dump you.

6. He does a sudden 180

Some male gold diggers are charming and don’t exhibit any such tendencies. For the first few dates at least. Once you are emotionally invested, they will make a 180-degree turn and start leaning on you for money. If you find that you are suddenly paying a lot more, you should be suspicious. After all, he has exhibited the ability to look after himself financially; it shouldn’t be necessary for you to bleed cash over him every month. You may receive an excuse, like a sob story about him losing his job. These relationships are especially hard to leave because you’ve already invested in it (we don’t money, we mean in terms of emotion). But don’t defy your instincts when you sense it’s happening. is a financial comparison platform for credit cards and personal loans in Singapore. Subscribe to its weekly newsletter to find out how you can make personal finance decisions.