Breaking up really isn't that complicated -- you just tell the person you're breaking up with that you don't want to see him anymore, and it's done. The hard part is convincing yourself you really need to do it and getting up the courage to have what is likely to be a very unpleasant conversation. When your boyfriend is using you for money, thinking about what that really means can help you make up your mind.
Almost everybody runs into a financial problem at some point in life, and some people are always going to make more money than others. If you have a good job and a steady paycheck and your boyfriend is struggling financially, that doesn't mean he doesn't contribute his fair share to the relationship in other ways. However, some guys don't just need a little extra help but a constant stream of financial support. For them, living off of a girlfriend's money is not a temporary embarrassment but a long-term survival strategy. If you're putting a lot more into the relationship than you're getting out of it, the problem isn't just money. The whole relationship goes one way.
It's Not Always Just Money
You might tell yourself that if your boyfriend is financially dependent on you he's not going to mess it up by cheating on you. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. According to a 2010 article on CNN, a Cornell University study found that men who were financially dependent on their romantic partners were actually five times more likely to be unfaithful. That certainly doesn't constitute evidence that your boyfriend is cheating, but it's worth giving some serious thought. If you really feel that he's just using you for money, it might not be the only way in which he's taking advantage.
The Quick Way
The fact that you feel taken advantage of doesn't necessarily mean that your boyfriend is deliberately trying to use you for money. He might just not have all of his life skills figured out to the same extent you do. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter -- if you've made up your mind that you need to end it, the only question is how. You'll never regret being kind and respectful of his feelings if you can manage it, but there are two ways to go about it. If you've only been involved with him for a short time, you don't need to explain anything. Just tell him the relationship isn't working out for you and that you'd like to end it. If you're more seriously involved, you'll need to talk.
The Hard Way
Explain to your boyfriend that you need to be with someone who can contribute as much to the relationship as you do in every way, not just financially. Tell him that you felt taken advantage of by his requests for financial support, but avoid any personal criticism or insulting language. He's not going to like what you have to say, but if he takes it seriously he might be able to avoid making the same mistakes with his next girlfriend.
Scott Thompson has been writing professionally since 1990, beginning with the "Pequawket Valley News." He is the author of nine published books on topics such as history, martial arts, poetry and fantasy fiction. His work has also appeared in "Talebones" magazine and the "Strange Pleasures" anthology.