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How to Spot a Gold Digger

Have you ever been suspicious that the person you are dating is more interested in your money than in you? If you are concerned about this and want to find out, here are some ideas to accomplish this and protect yourself before it is too late.


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    Understand what a gold digger is, and is not. There's nothing wrong with a person being concerned about your financial stability. A long-term partnership means depending on each other through the ups and downs, and being financially reliable does help with that to a degree. The difference between a gold digger and someone who values your role as a provider is that the gold digger would deride and perhaps leave you if you lost your ability to provide for them financially. A good person can appreciate your financial resources, but a gold digger appreciates only that, and will not see the relationship as worthwhile if you're not well off.
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    Gold diggers drop hints that they're having trouble paying their bills (sometimes they might even ask you directly for a "loan" to tide them over). They know that you don't want to see them get an eviction notice, or get their car repossessed, and you're a good person who's in a position to help. But there's a difference between a gold digger and someone who's just fallen on bad times. What you should be looking for is if, despite their situation, this person is making poor financial decisions. Do they buy a brand new car with luxury features when they're struggling to pay rent? Do they buy $300 shoes or watches when their phone service is at risk of getting cut off? Do they go to expensive restaurants when their credit cards are maxed out, because they "work hard" and they "earned it"? Many gold diggers know better than to ask you to fund their more luxurious tastes, at least in the beginning; they'll tap into your desire to help them afford the things they need (food, shelter, transportation) so that they can spend their own money on the things they want.
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    When they discuss their financial woes, suggest ways in which the suspected gold digger can make money fast. When you mention the possibility of them selling their luxury car, video console, guitar, diamond bracelet, or any other expensive item that could keep them from becoming homeless or having their utilities cut off or car repossessed, how do they respond? The average person will be saddened and may even become angry or upset, but a gold digger will be appalled at the very idea that they should have to give up their prized possessions in order to meet their own basic needs. They'll treat the idea as ludicrous. More often than not, their dismissal of the idea will be accompanied by anger or even rudeness. This is a very subtle pointer that would give you a very good sense of their sense of entitlement.
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    Look for a sense of entitlement. Gold diggers feel that they deserve to be treated well, and that includes knowing that someone is willing to spend money on them. Maybe it's because they had a bad childhood or relationship, and they feel they deserve to be happy (and it just so happens that their joy carries a high price tag). Or maybe they feel it's their right to be able to pursue their big dreams at the expense of financial stability, and, coincidentally, haven't considered who will foot the bill of their soul-searching. Have you noticed unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment? This sense of entitlement is one of the symptoms of narcissistic behavior, which has other symptoms that a potential gold digger might harbor:
    • grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    • preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    • believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    • requires excessive admiration
    • lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    • often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
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    Ask them meaningful questions.
    • What is the best gift they've ever gotten? Gold diggers will almost always cite an expensive, material object, not a uniquely personal and thoughtful gift.
    • What's the biggest thing you ever had to give up to do or get something you really wanted? What you're searching for here is evidence of delayed gratification - the ability to give up something now so that you can achieve something greater, later. Gold diggers are notoriously spoiled or sheltered, and have never had to really wait, work, or struggle for what they want because somehow, someone was always there to help.
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    See what questions they ask you. Certain questions which might seem harmless might really be an attempt to judge your ability to provide. None of these questions, alone, should get you worried but all of them on the first date should definitely send up a red flag:
    • How much do you make a year? Why would she/he ask this question? Because a gold digger is a mobile calculator, therefore every question that relates to money is calculated to determine the percentage of the total amount that she/he believes she/he "deserves".
    • Are you a homeowner? And what type of car do you drive? They are trying to determine your overall worth and whether being with you is a profitable investment for them.
    • How many kids do you have? Your answer to the question will help her/him determine (calculate) much of your income and attention goes to your children and how much time you can devote to her/him. A gold digger is a needy individual that will take up a lot of your money, time and energy.
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    Search for signs of generosity and gratitude towards you. After having gone on several dates, has this person ever offered to pay? When you do pay, does he or she say thank you? Do they ever offer to help you in other ways? (And no, physical intimacy doesn't count); do they cook you dinner when you've been out working late? Fix your computer? Run an errand for you when your schedule's especially tight? If these character traits are missing, is this really someone you want to get involved with? A person doesn't develop gratitude and generosity overnight...
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    Indulge in a pipe dream. A pipe dream is basically a long shot. Take one of your childhood fantasies and run with it. Tell the person you're dating that you're thinking about becoming the mechanic, farmer, supermodel, writer, [insert dream career here] you've always wanted to be. Explain how if you were to ever do this, it would require a significant lifestyle change; you'd have to go back to school, relocate, or whatever would make it clear that your standard of living will go down dramatically. How does this person respond? Do they seem concerned? That's normal. A good person will encourage you to follow your dreams while simultaneously helping you think of ways to do it practically and responsibly. A gold digger will look horrified or disgusted and say things like "You're not really serious, are you?" OR they are ready to call it quits and leave because you are paying attention to "you" instead of "them".
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    Watch yourself. It feels good to help people, whether you just helped someone avoid becoming homeless, or you're helping an aspiring artist or entrepreneur launch his or her career, but you have to be careful that you don't fall into a pattern where your help become the norm, so much so that without your financial assistance, the relationship would crumble. If you're the kind of person who has trouble saying "no", or who is intensely sympathetic and compassionate, you're more likely to bump into a gold digger. You might also face the feeling that this is one of the most attractive or intriguing people you've ever dated, and you don't want to ruin your chances, but don't be fooled by a good looking exterior. It could cost you.
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    Listen to the types of questions you are asked. Even seemingly innocuous questions like "What do you do?" and "Where do you live?" can be loaded questions, asked in an attempt to ascertain your net worth and lifestyle. In any case, do not answer these questions directly - but start out by explaining your life story. What things happened to you as a child/teenager that shaped the life you live today? A person truly interested in who you are will listen intently and ask questions of a more personal nature - whereas a gold digger will not have the patience to get to know you first; they will only want to find out your current financial position before investing any time in you. Gold diggers in a social situation will work the room and are "on the clock". The longer you can delay telling them what you do, they will be unable to size you up and you stand a better chance of weeding them out.


  • Protect yourself by maintaining your financial independence. Keep your own bank accounts and approach joint accounts and credit cards with extreme caution.
  • Watch other people's reactions when they hear you've been out with someone or spending time with someone. Often, others will attempt to subtly let you know through reactions and comments that the person is a gold digger.
  • If this person complains that you don't ever do anything nice anymore, think of 2-3 inexpensive dates and one expensive one and see what your date says. A gold digger will reliably pick out the most expensive one, every time.
  • Once a physical relationship has started, a gold digger will usually not engage in "physical" activities unless given incentive i.e. taken on a date, given a gift, etc.
  • Most people don't want to be obliged or beholden to others for large sums of money. A gold digger doesn't have to be prompted twice to take a "loan" from you. Think about what makes sense: would you open up to someone you just met about your financial woes? Would you take a loan from a guy or girl you've been out with once? Probably not, but a gold digger is looking for his or her next "sugar daddy/mama" at all times.
  • A gold digger often has few credit cards and avoids you looking at their wallet or purse. Watch their eyes as you comment about the cost of something or open your wallet or purse.
  • It's always a good idea to check court records to see if the gold-digger has been divorced. You can learn a lot by reading their complaint, motions and responses, etc. Don't simply rely on 'their side' of the story.
  • Have you met their family? You can learn a lot from people close to them.
  • Gold diggers tend to name-drop and it's a red flag.
  • In a healthy relationship you'll only have to reveal your income when you plan to live together.
  • Gold diggers can be business partners as well.
  • Give them a piece of rope and see if they "hang themselves" with it. The next time you go out, give them a credit card so they can purchase a nice outfit. Gold-diggers will "hang" themselves by purchasing more than an outfit with the credit card you have given the[1]
  • A gold digger on the other hand would like to know this as fast as possible.


  • Anyone can be a gold digger, male or female, rich or poor. Sometimes they will try to put on a show that they lost everything and are in a state of depression.
  • Don't become overly stingy in an effort to spot a gold digger. The above steps all involve getting to know the person, and observing their behavior. You don't have to pretend to be a total cheapskate in order to judge someone's character.
  • If you find yourself dating gold diggers more often than you'd like, think about where you meet people, and how you present yourself. If you look like you could be somebody's "sugar daddy" or "sugar momma" (successful, with a high standard of living) then guess what kind of crowd you're going to attract?
  • Many gold diggers won't let go of one relationship until they have a more lucrative one on the line. Watch out for the guy or girl who grows close to you, and more dependent on you, but won't let go of the unhappy relationship they are in. They may be working both ends against the middle, wringing the last drops out of their current relationship, while setting you up to be their next.
  • Watch out for people who frequently change jobs, or go long periods of time unemployed. Be careful when there is always an excuse to explain their unemployment, especially when the reason is always someone else's fault (I got laid off, my boss hated me, they wanted me to work all the time, there was no room for advancement, they kept shorting my paychecks, etc.) Stuff happens, but when it happens to that person over and over, it's a red flag.

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