DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 19-year-old daughter has a boyfriend of the same age, who claims not to believe in giving gifts because they are materialistic. I could understand this point of view, except for a few things.
First, he is majoring in finance in college. He spends his hobby time investing in the stock market and buying and selling bitcoins. He traveled to Europe last year using his own money, but stayed at five-star hotels paid for by his parents. He has told my daughter that if he isn’t making $100,000 his first year out of college, he will feel that he has failed.
My “mommy senses” are flaring, telling me this guy is a jerk. My daughter says I don’t understand.
What do you think? How can I explain this to her? I won’t risk our relationship, but I hate to see her taken advantage of. This guy could make a million dollars someday, but every penny she sees will come at double the cost. Is there anything to be done here?
GENTLE READER: Rather than cause a rift with your daughter -- who seems to be perfectly fine with the situation -- Miss Manners suggests that instead you should be putting your efforts into encouraging her to be independent and make her own money.
That this young man is selfish and ungenerous will either prove to be irksome to her or it will not. But if his attitude persists and the relationship evolves, at least she will be able to pay for her own engagement ring and visits to five-star hotels.