DEAR NATALIE: I recently started seeing a great guy. We've gone out on a few dates (where I've met him at the location). He asked if he could pick me up last week for a date (we were going to dinner on Mount Washington). He arrived in a very, very luxurious car. I won't name it because there aren't that many zooming around Pittsburgh. Ever since that date, I feel like I like him even MORE now that I know his lifestyle. Does this make me a terrible person? Am I wrong for feeling excited that he is financially stable AND a great man? My friends think he's awesome, too, but they keep telling me to lock him down as he is a "good catch" in every respect of the word. But I feel badly about this. Should I keep seeing him even though part of the turn on is his cash flow? I liked him before I knew, but I've never dated anyone WEALTHY before. I'm all confused. Help! -- ACCIDENTAL GOLD DIGGER
DEAR ACCIDENTAL GOLD DIGGER: It's true what they say, money can't buy me love (but it can make me a heck of a lot more comfortable). Wait, is that how the saying goes? In any case, having stars in your eyes is understandable. Here you are, falling for this great guy, and then you find out he's Mr. Moneybags! You probably feel as though you've hit the jackpot (yes, pun intended). But, take heed. The bloom on the rose may fade and while financial stability is great, nothing in life is guaranteed, so take your time getting to know him. Work toward your own sense of financial independence and never give that up for anyone. Being able to walk away if things get rough and know that you will be OK is the key to living life safely on your own terms. Enjoy the perks of dating a man who lives in a world of privilege, but don't let yourself get swept up in the fancy things and forget what's important. If he truly makes you happy and you see a future together, that's fantastic. But, if you start making excuses for him because you are seeing dollar signs, pull back and re-examine what kind of person you want to be. Yes, financial stability is important, but having personal integrity and self-worth should never be up for sale.
Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)