THE BLOG
06/06/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Breaking Up Over Money

Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

By:Summer Sewell

A year ago, Emmanuel Ricketts lost his job and steady income. Soon after, he broke up with his girlfriend.

"It was weird," Ricketts said. "We would get into a lot of fights on the weekend, because there's an expectation to do stuff."

He says he couldn't afford his girlfriend. He had no extra money for dinners or movies.

"When I lost my job and I had to slow things down, I don't know if she got, like, the real memo about that."

And that's just a fact of life for a lot of young people. No job, no relationship. Frank Blaney is the Director of Youth Development at Peace over Violence. That's a non-profit organization in Los Angeles. He works with high school students.

"It's a lot of internal pressure and I think sometimes that may cause them to step back, or out, of a relationship, just because they know they don't have the resources to make this whole thing roll."

There are no hard statistics for teen breakups. But money experts say financial problems in relationships can start young. Blaney says parents often don't realize that their children worry about having enough money to date.

"I think a lot of them are unaware how big of a factor that is, since they're not seeing how young people socialize."

He says economic anxiety plays a key role in teen breakups-just like adults. And experts say more than half of married couples get divorced because of financial problems. Still, Emmanuel Ricketts says he's a long way off from getting hitched. For now, dating is on the backburner because of his money woes. But he says his current situation will help him have a healthier relationship in the future.

"I feel I did the wrong thing in building up this expectation that I couldn't keep up throughout the entire relationship," Ricketts said. "And, it's going to make me analyze who this person is, what their motives are, beforehand, because I'm not established yet."

He's waiting to find a partner who is a little, or maybe a lot, more understanding.

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