Crazy Rich Relationships

This weekend I saw the movie Crazy Rich Asians. While it’s not the best Asian-led romantic comedy I watched this weekend (Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” takes the crown), I still really enjoyed it.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the premise is that a woman is dating a man who turns out to come from an incredibly wealthy family in Singapore. They travel together to Asia for a wedding, and hijinks ensue.

Well, some hijinks. The movie is much more drama than romance or comedy. Much of the drama centers around wealth, particularly in relationships where there’s a huge wealth disparity.

In the movie, this disparity is shown to the extreme. There are several relationships where one person is incredibly wealthy–like, hundreds of millions of dollars wealthy–and the other person is in the upper-middle class (so it could have been even more extreme).

It’s interesting to see how the characters respond to the wealth gap. I want to avoid spoilers, so I’m trying instead to think if I’ve ever been in a relationship where there was a disparity that made a difference. I’m comfortable, but I’ve certainly never been on the “crazy rich” side of a relationship.

On the other side, I can only think of one example: I had a brief fling in my early 20s with a woman who I’m pretty sure was incredibly wealthy (or at least came from wealth). She had a huge apartment and an huge second bedroom that served purely as a closet–it was filled with designer dresses and shoes.

I recall her treating me to a few fancy meals, which felt a bit odd. Even then, when I had hardly anything in my checking account, I was accustomed to taking care of the check.

There was one small incident that stuck to my memory. During one visit to her apartment, I broke a wine glass. I apologized, but I didn’t think much of it–I figured she would just buy a new one.

But she actually brought it up several times. To her, it wasn’t about the money–it was common courtesy. In hindsight, I agree with her. Whether you’re rich or poor, if you break it, you buy it.

Have you ever encountered this type of wealth disparity in a relationship (or know someone who did)? Was it a non-factor, or did it create some tension? I know that’s quite personal, so I completely understand if there are no comments on this post!