Here’s 5 things I learned about money, racism and girlfriends
by Anna Foga
I have always been somebody who doesn’t care about money, living most of my life on a budget. I am a traveler and I usually try to stay away from the money-focused society, preferring to spend my days lazing away in a hammock with other backpackers. When I met my now-boyfriend on Tinder, I thought he would be just like any other random Tinder match. Even when we had our first date, I did not recognise the signs that he could be ultra-rich. Sure, he paid for everything and picked one of the most expensive restaurants in town, but for all I knew he was just trying to impress me.
As our dating life evolved, I started to realise he was not just the average Joe (or Juan). We always stayed in the fanciest hotels, had the nicest dinners and our weekend getaways were dripping in luxury. His gifts consisted of the newest Apple products to $3,000 plane tickets and even a car landed on my doorstep at one point.
Mexico is infamous for narcos and cocaine, and for a while I wondered if his money came from those sources. Was I starting to develop feelings for a drug-trafficker? During the course of our relationship I realised that was not the case and while I know now that not every Mexican rich guy is involved with Cartels, I did learn five other important lessons about dating a Mexican millionaire.
Here is some of what I have learned:
1. Most Rich Mexican Men Have Multiple Girlfriends
I don’t know if this has something to do with the Latino macho culture dominating this side of the world or if it is a common thing for rich people, but I have yet to find a wealthy Mexican who is faithful.
I know this might sound as if I am generalizing, but it just seems to be part of the high-class culture here. While my own boyfriend also has a wife and decided to open up his marriage, almost all of his (married) male friends have multiple secret girlfriends and/or fuckbuddies.
There is separate time reserved for the family and then there is time for their alter-lives and the additional girls. The men all know the wives of their friends but encourage each other to invite more girls and even share fuckbuddies between them. It is not uncommon either to celebrate birthdays with gifts in girls — your buddy organises a luxury party for you with many girls involved. Most men have a wife plus one or two girlfriends (mostly in other cities/countries) and numerous friends with benefits.
2. The Mexican Upper-layer is Miles from the Poorest
With the top 10% of the Mexican population earning more than 42% of the national income, it is no wonder that there is a massive wealth inequality. Only seven other countries in the world have a bigger gap between rich and poor than Mexico.
For me, navigating alongside the top rich layer meant I could clearly see how big the differences really are. It makes you think twice when you are sitting at your dinner table sipping away on a $500 bottle of wine and wearing a $1,000 dress, while a few meters away from you a poor mother is begging for five pesos to feed her child.
It seems that most of the rich stay miles away from the poor, only using them as their staff while paying them an average Mexican wage — which is as low as $10 a day, making the gap even bigger.
On top of that, the Mexican tax law is flexible towards those who earn profits from capital and dividends, making the rich even richer just by being wealthy. Combine that with a corrupt government that also profits from that same structure and you have a country that will make it to the top 10 richest nations with the biggest number of poor people.
3. Cash Needs to be Spent and This is How They do it
As a budget traveler, I have never spent much time among the rich and famous, and tried to stay away from the upper class. But when I fell in love with my boyfriend, I was bound to get a fair amount of time in this societal layer of Mexico.
I noticed that many of them have a lot of cash and avoid paying with credit cards, probably to avoid getting taxed on their income.
So how do they spend that cash?
They buy the best, most expensive things. Whether it’s cars, holidays or clothes, they don’t blink twice at the price tag and buy the first thing they see.
Some of them spend up big on properties, others on toys like private planes, yachts, jet skis, sports gear, etc. Or they spend it on boob jobs or other gifts for their girlfriends. They go to the best restaurants and buy the most expensive items on the menu, pay their high-class escort girls and always have a few private assistants around to help them with daily chores. Luckily, some of them also spend it on charity or (private) non-profit foundations.
I don’t think that I will ever get used to the amount of money that is flowing around them. Even after spending almost a year together with my boyfriend now, it still amazes me how easily the cash gets exchanged. Luckily, he is also generous with sharing his wealth with the less fortunate, mostly tipping almost twice the amount of the bill to the workers and never failing to give some notes to the beggars in the street.
4. Racism is More Real Than Ever
Generally speaking, in Mexico being white means being privileged. These people are most-likely born into Spanish heritage; their families gained status and wealth long before they first opened their eyes. White Mexicans have more access to education, healthcare and jobs, live in the wealthier parts of the country and generally have a better future ahead of them.
Three-quarters of the indigenous people live in extreme poverty and Mexico’s poorest regions inhabit the most dark-skinned people.
Most commercials only display white Mexicans; politicians and academics are mostly white; expensive houses are owned by light-skinned Mexicans while the housekeepers and gardeners are dark. Construction workers and restaurant staff are mostly dark-skinned, and they are serving mostly white people.
Spending time with a lot of wealthy Mexicans, I experienced first-hand that indeed the richest layer consists mainly of light-skinned people and their staff is dark. They all seem to accept this is part of their reality and both groups generally don’t hang out with each other. Many of the rich white Mexicans expect the dark Mexicans to work for them for a low wage and this creates another massive gap between the rich and the poor and the white and dark-skinned.
5. You Will Get Spoilt, But Only if You Listen to Their Rules
Being the girlfriend of a Mexican millionaire is not always easy. You need to commit to their time schedule because they are always busy, expect you to join their high-class parties and mingle with the other girlfriends, and they want you to always be available to them.
After all, the little time they do have left generally can’t be matched to your personal schedule. You need to hide the fact that they have wives, have to always protect their privacy and spend a lot of time waiting for them when they take you out because there is always something important coming up. You will have your dinners while they are on the phone most of the time. You are probably being cheated on and you are most likely not the only girl in their life. You have to listen to their rules, which was particularly hard for me as an independent, free traveler.
Need new clothes? They give you a whole new wardrobe.
Of course, there are also the perks. They will spoil you, treat you like a princess and nothing gets too crazy. Joining a last-minute business trip to Bali? No problem! Getting your rent paid? Of course. Want to buy that new MacBook? Sure, why not. Need new clothes? They give you a whole new wardrobe. Learn a new sport? You will get a private instructor.
It’s like having a sugar daddy, but with actual love.
But maybe the biggest lesson that I have learned from dating a Mexican millionaire is that love has no boundaries.
My life completely turned around after meeting him (and not just because of his money), and we are both learning the advantages of our different lifestyles. He realised that spending quality time together with the people you love is even more valuable than earning a 7-figure income, and I learned that earning money to spend that quality together is also invaluable. And even though we are opposites in how we live our lives, in our core values we are exactly the same.