This letter comes from Dear Prudence at Slate magazine, which you can read here.

I’m a college student who, a little over a month ago, broke it off with a guy I’d been in a relationship with for 10 months. There was no spark, and I felt like being single and exploring other options. My ex is completely, unabashedly in love with me still and has been taking it really hard. He calls and texts me constantly asking for me back.

I’ve been broke lately, and I mentioned to him off-hand that I’m worried about funding my study abroad this summer. He then offered to pay me to go on dates with him—just a couple dates, until I leave next month. No sex, just “hanging out, the way we used to”—dinner, movies, etc. I’m not worried about the ethics of being paid for something like this (before his offer, I was considering using a get-paid-for-dates service, but I’d rather do that with someone I know); the problem is that I can’t shake the feeling that this is wrong for me to do with him and would only exacerbate things. I feel sorry for him. It seems pragmatic and makes sense in theory—he misses me, so he gets to date me, and I get money for my travels—and he’s a grown man who can make his own decisions about what’s best for him, but I feel like it’d be crazy for me to take him up on his offer. Thoughts?

Dear LW,

This is a very bad idea. Very, Very BAD. If he’s hounding you now, what do you think he’s going to do if you start hanging out with him again. Not to mention that he will be paying you.  He knows you need money and will use that to get what he wants. You need to cut him off completely.  He is a grown man who needs to just move on.  Block his number.

Furthermore, why are you even considering dating for money? Why not just get a part-time job in retail or something? Find a job on campus. Dating for money is a gateway to prostitution. I would be very cautious.

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