What is a Gold Digger?

Last Updated 04.02.2022
11 min read

You have definitely heard of a number of songs that mention this term and you probably have an idea of what is a gold digger. If you're inexperienced in dating or you're suspecting someone you've met online might be a gold digger, you probably want to be sure before you call them out on it.

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If you're looking into more info on how to identify a gold digger and who exactly could be a gold digger, then look no further. Here are some more things you should know about gold diggers and their presence through the years.

The Definition of a Gold Digger 

While you might not find this in the dictionary, the term "Gold Digger" is used for a person who pursues a romantic relationship with another person in order to benefit from them financially. A gold digger is not truly interested in the person they are with and their only goal is money rather than love. 

In most situations, gold diggers are expected to be women, and this association sets its roots way back in the past. The term gold digger was a slang term that was first used between chorus girls and sex workers in the early 20th century. 

The term started rising in popularity after 1919 through the play of Avery Hopwood called "The Gold Diggers". Due to the popularity of mining, gold-digging, and the gold rush at the time, Hopwood was urged to change the name of his play by various Broadway producers. This led to the term gaining an increase in popularity as more people learned what the term was all about.

Signs a Person is a Gold Digger

When it comes to identifying a gold digger, things can be tricky if you don't have a lot of experience in dating. As you expect by the definition, this person will show more interest in your financial potential, expensive gifts, and wealth than the potential of your relationship.

“The reason gold-diggers trivialize relationships is because they do not know love, they only know money.”

Moffat Machingura, How I Kissed Heartbreak Goodbye

Here are some things you can start looking out for, so you can save yourself the heartache and potential financial issues later on:

  • They have expensive tastes and really enjoy receiving expensive gifts. 

If you give a gold digger something handmade or inexpensive, they are most likely going to reject it. Why would someone interested in you, and not your money, not want something that you got them with good intentions? If their feelings were honest, they would treasure it no matter how small. 

A gold digger will want to go on shopping sprees and have access to your wallet, with no consideration of your finances. This can pose a threat to your financial situation and it can make you face tough times ahead. They will make up for these expensive tastes through giving sex, saying yes to marriage, or presenting as your perfect one.

At the same time, you should keep in mind that exceptions do exist. For example, getting your beloved one expensive things for birthdays or an anniversary is great. If this becomes a frequent occurrence in your life then this is when it becomes suspicious. 

  • They have a sense of entitlement and act like they have a right to your finances and to special treatment. 

Just because you are seeing each other or are in a relationship doesn't give anyone the right to feel like they deserve any privileges. If their love for you doesn't come first but material things such as gifts do, this is a classic sign of a gold digger.

If your partner takes everything you do for them for granted and gives nothing in return, this is not a positive thing. It goes without saying that something as simple as a "thank you" can mean a lot sometimes. 

Another common act of entitled people is that they always want to feel superior and are obsessed with showing off their status. They might be rude to anyone from family members to waiters. This is something that can make you feel uncomfortable and you should not tolerate it.

  • They tend to overreact and are very jealous

Jealousy is oftentimes used as an excuse for love for a gold digger. For example, a person who acts like that might explain that she just cares about you too much and she's scared to lose you from her life. She's possibly using sex to keep you close and presents herself as a girl with true feelings for you. 

While jealousy can be healthy to a certain extent, it can also create problems in a relationship and hide other issues behind it, making your life with them problematic. Make sure that the person you are with is jealous of things that make sense.

For example, if you got a gift for a family member and she's complaining that you didn't get her one too, this could be a clear sign of her overreacting. Presenting such behavior to guilt-trip you into getting them something expensive is something you should not overlook, especially in an earlier stage in the relationship. 

  • They want to take things faster with you

Spend time learning about them and that they show equal interest in you. Relationships that come with instant attraction can happen but in order to keep your heart (and pocket) safe, make sure you take things slow. 

A gold digger will do anything they can to keep the money to themselves.  Many achieve this through marriage and they oftentimes see an older man as their ticket to wealth and a rich lifestyle. They might alienate you from your friends and the family you are usually surrounded by.

  • They appear to be out of your league

While this might not be something you wish to accept, sometimes it's best to rip the band-aid off in one go. This is something you can frequently see on the 90-day-fiance show, where beautiful women with expensive tastes get married to rich men and use marriage as an excuse to spend their money.

If someone is out of your league or they haven't had enough time to explore your personality and fall in love with you, for who you are, something might be fishy. There's no reason to keep someone like that in your life. If she's presenting herself as your dream girl, there's reason to suspect she's lying.

  • They never offer to split bills with you.

While it is a polite thing to do if you decide to treat them to a few meals or on your first or second date, this bond should be based on equality. 

Many gold diggers will go on expensive dates just for the food or the experience. They might let you do most of the talking during the date, pretend to enjoy your company, and order a lot of expensive dishes and in the end, make up an excuse as to why they can't pay. 

If this happens more than once, it is definitely a warning sign that they might be using you for your money. A gold digger will use all the right words to make sure you are not angry or noticing the signs and will continue to pay for their needs. 

  • They accept gifts as an apology

Another thing you can look out for is how they tend to be satisfied after an argument. In a healthy loving relationship, arguments end up with conversations and communication about how to identify issues and move on.

If the person you are dating agrees to let things go if you take them out on a shopping spree, they are probably not emotionally invested in the relationship. These are signs that might make you angry when realizing it but can be a gift that can save a marriage that will fail. 

  • They are too interested in your family's background and your finances

While it is good for a partner to be involved in your finances and show care about your family, it can also be a red flag that the person is a gold digger. If you are financially well off and come from a family of successful people, there are people who would consider this a perfect opportunity to raise to a society of fame or money.

Make sure that when you show interest in their family, they are just as open and honest as you. This can be a form of them verifying your financial situation and can prove they are a gold digger.

One last thing you need to take into consideration is that a gold digger can be a woman, a man, or someone of any gender. Just because more women are associated with the life of gold diggers doesn't mean that every female that exhibits a similar behavior is innocent.

While it is not against the law to be a gold digger, it is certainly not natural to engage in such forms of emotional manipulation. Using sex as a way to become someone's wife so you can pay for your expensive lifestyle will end up dealing more harm than good to everyone included.

Tip: You can check out the book "The Relation Equation" by Stephen Rosenberg if you're looking for tips on understanding challenging aspects of relationships.

Are Sugar Babies the Same as Gold Diggers?

This is yet another question that might pop into your mind when you think about gold diggers, but the truth is that these two terms are not equal. The reason why is because they spark from different motives. A gold digger is someone who will manipulate someone else into a relationship by pretending to have feelings for them. 

This individual is interested in their wealth, and will easily go from being a girlfriend to being married to them just so they can live an expensive life and not have to pay for their extravagant lifestyle.

Most of the marriages between gold diggers and their partners end in divorce as their partners eventually see the signs over the course of the wedding. 

On the other hand, a sugar baby has agreed to spend portions of their time with someone in exchange for money. This is a relationship that primarily relies on communication and making sure both parties understand their boundaries.

A sugar baby is not necessarily a gold digger as they are not actively seeking an emotional relationship. The terms of the relationship are clear and money is the main motive. They offer their time, and potentially sex in exchange for money, gifts, and other material things. 

Most of the time the sugar daddy or mommy they are spending their time with is in need of closeness or has few friends. Of course, there are situations where they can go from friends to a more serious relationship and even marry but this doesn't mean that this was the intention all along.

How to Deal with a Gold Digger

Knowing what signs to keep an eye out for in a new relationship can help you a lot when dealing with a potential gold digger. All the characteristics mentioned previously can help you better understand who you are in a relationship with. It is equally just as important though to be objective. Even if someone fits certain criteria, they aren't necessarily gold diggers. 

Finally, before you confront your partner about something as serious as this, make sure you are certain that their behavior is suspicious. Even though breakups are always tough, following your gut feeling can save you from emotional harm and a relationship with no future.

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