Are you with a male gold-digger?

So lacking in ambition that he could rival anna nicole smith, the new gold-digger is male and decidedly manipulative. Ryan ong lists the telltale signs that he’s only in it for the money.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

So lacking in ambition that he could rival anna nicole smith, the new gold-digger is male and decidedly manipulative. Ryan ong lists the telltale signs that he’s only in it for the money.

Call it the dark side of evolution. But in recent years, some men have cultivated their own gold-digging tactics. And as women rise up the corporate ladder and start raking in the bucks, this exploitative tribe of men may be on the rise. While society still expects men to be the providers, the most stealthy manage to worm their way into your heart (and wallet) by appealing to your sympathy and kindness. Read on so you learn how to spot them:

RED FLAG #1: He Has No Job and Isn’t Interested in Finding One

Male gold-diggers fall under certain archetypes: the anti-establishment poet, the “before his time” entrepreneur or the quintessential bike-riding bad boy. There is a kind of edgy appeal to these types, and the image costs little to pull off . Being in a relationship with such a man can be exciting. It can even feel liberating. The problem starts when your partner begins to lean on you for everything.

He wants you to pay for dates and buy gifts for parties you’re both invited to. You’re also the one paying for plane tickets and vacations, or buying his wardrobe for him. After all, you understand, right? There’s no need to talk about money – the reason he loves you is that you’re “above” such things.


RED FLAG #2: He Does a Sudden 180

Some male gold-diggers are charming and don’t exhibit typical tendencies – for the first few dates, at least. Once you are emotionally invested, they make a 180-degree turn and start leaning on you for money. If you are suddenly paying a lot more, be suspicious. After all, he exhibited the ability to look after himself financially at the start. You may hear an excuse, like a sob story about him losing his job. These relationships are especially hard to leave because you’re already emotionally invested. But don’t ignore your instincts when you sense this happening.

RED FLAG #3: He Constantly Has Emergencies

When you’re dating a male golddigger, unexpected “situations” that require your cash will keep cropping up. These may include:

• Needing to “fix” something of yours (“I need to fix your TV. Spot me $200 while I lug it to the store. I’ll do it while you’re at work!”).

• Needing you to pay for this date because his pay cheque is in next week, or else “We can’t go out”.

• Needing money for “medicine” (“I have the worst migraines, I’m really dying. But it’s all right, I don’t want to waste money at the doctor’s. I’ll only go if you give me money and insist”). Male gold-diggers tend to be subtler than women (and a lot more manipulative) when asking for money. Expect reverse psychology – they want you to insist on buying things for them.

RED FLAG #4: He Has No Ambition

Gold-diggers are rarely driven. Most of them just want to enjoy life now. There is no grand plan to start a company, reach senior management or change the world. Why would they want to? It suits them fine the way things are – they are already getting what they want without having to work.

RED FLAG #5: He Encourages You to Buy Things for “Us”

Male gold-diggers are the ones prodding you to go ahead and overspend on a new bag or shoes, and maybe buy “us” a new car or TV while you’re at it. They’ll always encourage you to spend because “there’s more to life than money”.

If you ask them to handle the buying, though, the response is usually “I would if I could” – but they never can. Most of the purchases they encourage are things they will also benefit from (for example, a house, sports car, or golfing equipment). Rest assured that they have very little interest in how much you like what you’ve bought.

RED FLAG #6: He Asks Prying Questions About Your Family’s Financial Background

Some men are willing to invest in you to enjoy a payoff in the future. One example is being on their best behaviour for years – they’ll be happy to buy your meals and clothes, and take you on holidays. What they want is your family’s wealth, and they’ll do everything to look respectable until they can lay their hands on it. Common signs are prying questions about how much your family has, what they own or who really makes the spending decisions. They may want details on who owns the family house and how much is left on the mortgage (because they know a guy who can help).

A version of this story first appeared on ,Singapore’s go-to personal finance comparison platform. It guides consumers on the best money habits with its credit card comparison tool and real-time personal-loan comparisons.

My Reading Room

“He threatened suicide and asked me for almost $20k”

Health-care worker Clara*, 30, was shocked when her previously attentive boyfriend lied, cheated, and extorted loans from her.

“I never suspected anything was wrong with Leon*. We met through work and got together after hitting it off . At the start of our relationship, Leon was the perfect gentleman. He was attentive, caring, and never once asked me for a cent on our dates. Things unravelled after a few months. On impulse, he resigned from his job after some unhappiness at work and stayed unemployed for seven months.

When I urged him to find a job, he claimed that he couldn’t due to his low educational qualifications and the fact that he was a non-Singaporean, and he couldn’t do business here without ‘contacts’. For the next few months, he was moody and distant, even ignoring my calls.

When I finally confronted him, he moaned that he was having a hard time making ends meet. He told me that he was depressed ever since leaving his job and was contemplating suicide. He then asked if I could spare him $12,000. I was only making $3,500 at the time, so that sum represented a significant chunk of my savings.

He assured me that he would sell off his house to pay me back. To be honest, I didn’t question him on the specifics, including what he wanted the money for. He merely said he needed it to service his ‘loans’. He seemed so depressed that I didn’t dare probe. I was also afraid that he would harm himself, so I agreed.

This sparked off other requests for money. He would always begin with a sob story, saying how he felt like ending his life, or lamenting how he had lent money to a friend who didn’t pay him back. I always felt compelled to help out. He asked me for $6,000 over a few months. I finally grew tired after one too many suicide threats.

There were also the lies. To convince me to give him more money, he lied that he had found a job and merely needed some extra cash to tide him over (I later found out there was no job). He even claimed that robbers had broken into his house and stolen the money meant for me. Another warning sign was his tendency to fault others for his problems.

He blamed his ex-boss for forcing him to leave. He blamed his mother for being unsupportive and nagging him for being unemployed. He even blamed his ex-girlfriend for casting ‘black magic’ on him, and causing all his misfortunes! I eventually cut off contact with Leon and never looked back. My advice: Be wary if a man comes with too many ‘hard luck’ stories and never takes responsibility for his problems. Run away quickly!”

*Names have been changed.