“Reading all the recent posts on girls expecting gifts from their boyfriends really makes me feel very blessed that my girlfriend is a very down-to-earth person who doesn’t expect anything from me.
I grew up in a low-income family where my dad earned only $1200 as a factory worker. When I was 13, my mom divorced my dad and soon remarried.
When I was 18, my dad suffered from a hereditary brain disease that caused him to be paralysed. As a result, he wasn’t able to work. Fortunately, NTUC income gave him a sum of insurance payout which helped us to handle our bills and expenditure. My dad’s medical bills were also highly subsidized. But we had to hire a helper to take care of my dad.
Soon after I got enlisted and had to contribute most of my allowance to the household expenses. After NS, I found a temp admin job before starting university.
I then met my first girlfriend, who works in the same department. She was a fresh graduate. She’s also from a low-income family so we could relate to each other.
She had to pay for her own tuition loan, household expenses and even the mortgage for her parents’ house. Despite all of that, she always offered to pay for our meals. Of course, we could only afford to eat at coffeeshops. Once in awhile, we would spoil ourselves with a big cup of gongcha and a movie at the cinemas.
I often felt very insecure during the early stages of our relationship because we had to keep our rs a secret. Afterall, office romance is frowned upon. It didn’t help that there were a few permanent staff who tried to pursue her. They would often buy drinks and breakfast for her and ask her out for dinner.
The worst thing was those permanent staff were seniors who earn at least four times of my salary. I often felt very relieved whenever I see her rejecting their advances.
Sometimes I would feel very insecure and ask her if she would go for those rich guys at the office. She would always reassure me and tell me, “It doesn’t matter if a guy is rich or not. What matters most is the guy loves you or not.”
Fast forward to today, I have graduated and found a job which pays well. I credit all of my achievements to my girlfriend. Because of her constant support and encouragement, I managed to do well in uni and secure many internships, and therefore able to secure a good job.
She could have chosen to be with those rich guys who pursued her but she chose to be with a poor guy like me. Sometimes I really feel very lucky that I found such a great girlfriend.
Despite her own financial struggles, she always offered to pay for all our expenses. At times, when we share a plate of cai png, she would purposely give me all the meat and lie to me that she is on a diet.
Even till today, whenever I ask her if she wants me to buy a bag or clothes for her, she would call me crazy for wanting to spend money. She always say old clothes are more comfortable and as for bags, one or two bags is enough already. Even on her birthday, she would make me promise her that I won’t buy her a gift. How silly of her. I really feel thankful to her for enduring all these years of hardship with me and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.”