Should I break up with boyfriend to start dating wealthier restaurant owner?

By Ha Huong   April 24, 2024 | 03:28 pm PT
I’m uncertain whether to leave my boyfriend, who earns 2,000 euros (US$2,140) a month, for a wealthier man who owns a restaurant in Paris and earns tens of thousands of euros monthly.

I am an attractive woman with a monthly salary of 3,000 euros and am currently residing in France

I met my boyfriend, who is my age, three years ago during a trip. He hails from a rural area and his family struggles financially. Holding a master’s degree, he was employed by a non-governmental organization in Spain at the time, where he earned a net income of 2,000 euros and lived a minimalist lifestyle.

He has an average appearance, speaks softly, and possesses deep thoughts. He abstains from alcohol, gambling, smoking, or frivolous spending. He is extremely caring and kind-hearted, having spent multiple summers engaged in charity work in Africa.

He frequently donates to the impoverished, always offers his seat on the train to the elderly, and is willing to help carry luggage for others if needed. I know he performs these acts sincerely, not for appearances.

He also consistently strives to do the best for me. He buys me flowers and gifts, albeit inexpensive ones, and writes cards for me on holidays and anniversaries. Despite his family’s economic hardships, he still used his savings to help me clear my personal debt, providing me with 15,000 euros for this purpose and continuing to assist me in repaying the bank, as I took a loan to purchase land in Vietnam.

Like most couples, we occasionally argue, and he usually is the first to apologize. Our disagreements never escalate beyond verbal arguments. Even during those hard times, he addresses me politely and never resorts to physical violence.

Because he wanted a long-term commitment, he moved to France to be with me last year. Facing certification requirements, he was unable to secure office jobs and had to take up manual labor. He had to rebuild his life almost from scratch, adapting to a new language and culture and making new friends.

He has expressed a desire to marry, but I found myself hesitating. I acknowledge my boyfriend is a good person, yet he lacks the ambition to become wealthy. He was content with a modest salary of 2,000 euros after tax in Spain. I once teased him about it, and he responded that he was content with his job and income because it provided him peace of mind and allowed him to contribute to society. He stated he was not interested in pursuing wealth at any cost, as he was satisfied with his current lifestyle.

He also conveyed that he had endured considerable hardships, and now simply desired a peaceful life focused on doing good.

While I recognize his virtues and his wholehearted love for me, I am not satisfied with him settling for his current income level. Given our combined incomes, we would struggle to afford a house and live comfortably in Europe, whereas I have always dreamt of owning a spacious home and having sufficient financial security to live comfortably without concerns.

Recently, another man has started pursuing me. He is more good-looking than my current partner and, despite his lesser educational achievements, is highly sociable and owns a restaurant in Paris which brings him a monthly income of tens of thousands of euros. Having French citizenship, he owns a house here as well.

He is very eager in his pursuit of me, though he is unaware that I am currently in a relationship. Due to his wealth, he leads a lifestyle typical of the affluent, engaging in smoking, drinking, and exhibiting a somewhat lavish demeanor, unlike my current partner who is more understated and gentle.

Given these concerns, I am contemplating returning the money my boyfriend has contributed towards my and my family’s expenses and then ending our relationship. I am unsure if this decision would be a mistake, so I am seeking opinions on my situation.

Would I be in the right if I did so?

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