I am in a relationship with a partner who is significantly better off than I am, and I am struggling to come to terms with the financial differences.
To set the scene with some of the issues:
She is currently a student doing her masters (After working for a while) and not only does she have enough money to afford tuition fees, but her weekly rent is more than my monthly rent, and she is still paying a mortgage on a house in another city, and she still has more spending money than I do.
She regularly travels the world with work and friends, while I have only left the country once and simply cannot afford that kind of thing. For example work proposed I have a business trip to a different country and without thinking about it she said she could come with me. My immediate thought was that if the situation was reversed I couldn't do that, and ended up being quite sad rather than excited at the idea.
We are also both looking at new laptops, I am looking at a loan for mine, while she just paid cash for a laptop 3 times as expensive as my stretch budget.
I am not in a badly paid job, and earn slightly over the average wage here, but even before her masters degree she earned more than double my current salary, and taking into account other benefits from work I would say it worked out as closer to triple. Any new job after graduation will likely earn 4 times what I do.
Her immediate family are all well off, they own property, businesses and seem to have no problems travelling the world etc. On a recent trip here her mother bought a handbag for £3000 as an impulse purchase.
I am developing an inferiority complex in some ways, and also find myself fairly jealous.
To make matters worse in my past relationships I have never actually had a partner who worked and / or had much money. From day 1 in previous relationships I have been provider, bought partners anything I could afford, paid off their debts and split everything I had 50/50 (actually mostly I gave more than I spent on myself, and as a direct result I have no savings or property and am actually in slight debt).
I find it really hard to tell her this, and my first attempt at talking about it she said we do need to be clear on money such as putting property in her name etc, and that just made me feel worse because it is clear she thinks of her money as hers and not ours.
I think what I am looking for is to ensure that we are equal in the relationship. If she wants a house in her name and pays for it then I don't mind, but where we share things it takes a greater portion of my 'free' money and I don't have the money to keep up with her lifestyle.
Question: How do I approach her about this topic without coming across as asking for handouts?
Note: The relationship is fairly new (4 months) but has become very serious for both of us (I have moved in with her, albeit still paying my own rent because I have a daughter who I take to my house when I see her). I am not expecting us to combine finance now, but I need to know not only how to handle the feelings as they are now, but how to move forwards so that when we get further into the relationship this stress doesn't drive us apart.
Note 2: I am from England, my partner is from Indonesia and is studying over here.