My boyfriend doesn\'t pay for everything always and i dont know how to feel.

posted 6 months ago in Finances
Post # 31
Member
2459 posts
Buzzing bee

While I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with hoping a guy will offer to pick up the tab, I do think it’s totally unrealistic to expect that when you’re dating someone in college. In college most people do not have much if any income, and are either living off loans, living off parents, working to put themselves through school, or some combo of the above. None of those situations translate to having disposable income to buy others’ meals. I actually disagree with PPs that your bf will “never change” – while it is possible he just doesn’t believe in guys paying for dates, it’s also very possible that he would like to be more generous if he were in the financial position to be. 

There are certainly guys out there who will pay for the majority of dates, but they tend to be gainfully employed. My husband paid for the majority of meals & travel when we were dating. But he was in a much better financial position than me because I was in grad school and he made easily double what I did (now triple). So it was largely because he tended to suggest date ideas that I couldn’t really afford to split with him. He paid for our first date and then we alternated paying for early dates, but he eventually started picking up all our tabs and I didn’t protest. His generosity and desire to take care of me was absolutely a plus for me. That said, if I had been in the better financial position I would have done the same for him. Now that we’ve combined finances it’s all our money anyway. 

Keep in mind that the reason guys have traditionally paid for dates was that they were paid far better (or the only wage earners), and the origins of dating go back to when women couldn’t afford to eat out without a man paying. IMO since there’s still a significant wage gap and women often date men at least a couple years older who have more working years behind them, I think there is a valid feminist argument that it’s perfectly “fair” for guys to pay more often (assuming their financial situation allows). But men who firmly believe in paying for everything on principle are in the minority these days (especially in metro areas), and they may come with more old school values, which may or may not be what you’re looking for. 

Post # 32
Member
1477 posts
Bumble bee

Simple question: can he actually afford to pay for you? If he is in school and doesn’t have a car and needs you to drive him, sounds like money may be tight. 

Post # 33
Member
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

My first question is, have you talked to him about this? If you’ve been dating for a couple of years, I hope that you two have an open line of communication where you can express your concerns. Does he know that you appreciate traditional gender roles when it comes to dating? If you’ve never had this conversation, for all you know, he could be thinking that you prefer splitting the bill every time. Communication is so important. If you talk to him about it and just sort of see where his mind is and let him know where yours is, you’ll know if you are compatible. You don’t have to just outright tell him “Hey, I want you to pay.” But maybe start a conversation about gender roles and see if you can hint at your preferences. And then see how he reacts. If you can’t find the confidence to have this conversation, then maybe he’s not the right guy for you. A good guy should have been building your trust to feel safe in bringing up issues within the relationship.

My husband paid for most of the meals when we were dating, and he knew that I preferred the traditional gender roles. He preferred them as well. We talked about it, we knew where we both stood, and it allowed us to build a stronger relationship knowing we were compatible in that way.

Good luck!

Post # 34
Member
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I have no patience or respect for people who are 50-50 only when it benefits them.  If it were really about wanting to be fair then he wouldn’t mooch off of you for transportation. Either he would offer to pay you for gas and wear and tear, or he would do whatever he would’ve been doing to get to places if he weren’t dating you.  In my experience guys who are convenient 50-50’ers turn into husbands that don’t believe in you being a Stay-At-Home Mom because you’d be “mooching” but if you both work then he still lets you do all the housework and childcare.  

God I hate hypocrites. 

Post # 35
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

This is definitely a nuanced concept, and I’m glad that viewpoint has been represented in the later comments.

I make more than my boyfriend does, so I pay more of our rent. Eventually I’d like to get to 50/50 but I’m just in a more lucrative field. He did pay for our first date and will occasionally pick up the tab for important occasions but usually we split 50/50. I’d like him to pay more but again, he doesn’t make much money right now (a year out of college).

I do think the man should pay or offer to pay at least half the time. It says to me that he’s willing to step up and be the provider if need be – even if, realistically, I will contribute more $ to the household. I used to think the guy shouldn’t have to offer to pay, everything 50/50, but I found that the type of men who don’t offer to pay are also the ones who don’t know how to step up and lead when needed, and that is a very important quality in a man. I think him offering to pay signals responsibility, and that’s important.

Post # 36
Member
7462 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I had a boyfriend sort of like this. We’d either split or I’d treat (I made slightly more money so sometimes I’d want to do something he couldn’t afford and offer to treat). The problem wasn’t that it was unequal to start, it’s that he then got a job that doubled his salary and he was far outearning me….and it was still 50/50 or my treat. He NEVER treated. It’s one thing to be broke, it’s another to not be generous. I realized he was not generous and we broke up soon after. 

Post # 37
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee

You guys are honestly so hypocritical on here, a woman posted a while ago saying her fiancé was upset that she didn’t want to take his name when they got married and the guy got flamed massively, with people saying that it doesn’t matter about tradition he’s sexist and she should break up with him. A woman is now posting saying despite working and them both being in college she expects her boyfriend to offer or pay for the majority of their dates purely because she has a vagina, and people are defending this in the name of “traction” and being “gentlemanly” and telling her to break up with him. 

You guys cannot have it all ways, either you want tradition or you don’t, you can’t use tradition when it suits you then cry “sexism” when it doesn’t. I actually thought this was a troll post originally as I can’t believe any woman in the western world would think this way in 2019, yet a lot of you do. 

Post # 38
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m not a traditional person when it comes to gender roles. I don’t want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, my husband and I split all household chores 50/50 and I once dumped a guy after he told me his ideal wife would “stay home and support her man in his pursuit of his goals” lol. HOWEVER…. OP, this would bother me too. While I do think it sounds like you’re taking it to an extreme — hoping to never have to pay a dime for anything — I do understand where you’re coming from. It’s about generosity! Your boyfriend simply isn’t a generous person. That’s not a quality I could deal with. My Darling Husband and previous boyfriends have always mostly insisted on paying for dates, but I tried to make up for it in other ways, with thoughtful little gifts and gestures and sometimes sneaking the check before they could stop me lol. Generosity to your partner is important in a relationship, IMO. It’s strange to me that he never treats you on a date — even an inexpensive one! That would bother me. But you could also treat him, and maybe he’d follow your lead. Going 50/50 is fine some of the time, but I wouldn’t feel like it was a “date” if I had to pay my own way every single time. I’d rather take turns treating one another. It just feels more generous and less selfish. I don’t know. 

Post # 39
Member
315 posts
Helper bee

Ask for what you want, if he refuses and this is more important to you than your relationship then maybe it’s time to move on. I knew a couple like this that did this for 7 years then they broke up. My hubs and I used to take turns paying and eventually pooled our finances. I paid for everything for a couple years when he went back to school, now he makes more than me but we don’t keep track.

Post # 40
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee

I really think the key here is in the heading “doesn’t pay for everything always”. It’s one thing to want to be treated every now and then and then returning the favour. It’s also totally ok to want him to contribute to the car costs. These are thing that can potentially be agreed. But wanting him to change to be more of a provider is something that is not going to happen. I have met guide  a few guys who really want to be the provider. But then there is the other side of the coin which is that they expect something in return such as taking care of the house and kids. There is nothing wrong with this as long a with are happy with the arrangement. But it sound alike this might not be the relationship for you.

Post # 41
Member
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I didn’t read all of the comments, so maybe this has been said. It’s just small, but would it help if maybe one time he paid for the whole meal, and then the next time you paid for the whole meal? I know it is still splitting it half and half, but then the times he does pay, you get to feel like you are being taken care of etc. and you feel like more of a unit paying together instead of asking for 2 seperate cheques!

Post # 42
Member
5185 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Don’t forget that “nickle and diming” is something only men can do – he shouldn’t nickle and dim her by asking her to pay for half of dinner but at the same time it’s not nickle and diming when she wants $4 for gas. 

 

ariesscientist :  

Post # 43
Hostess
3812 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

zzar45 :  This.  D.H. and I were both raised very traditionally and started dating in college.  If I remember correctly, we always went back and forth paying for things since we were both poor.  If we went to the movies, he’d usually buy the tickets and I’d buy any food/drinks we wanted.  That being said, I’m the breadwinner now and have no issue paying for things (we’re also 30 now, so we’re in a completely different financial situation) but it sounds like that’s not what you want.  

If you’re wanting the man to always pay, you’re going to have to move on from this relationship.  You’re also likely going to have to date men who are more likely to want you to be subservient.  I have friends in relationships like this, and while they liked their man taking the lead when we were younger, they’re now pretty miserable because they have very little say in their lives.  I know it probably sounds dramatic, but it’s likely that a man who is big on gender roles is going to expect you to capitulate to what he thinks a woman “should” do.  Not my cup of tea, but if that’s what you want, start looking for that type of guy.                                                                                                 

Post # 44
Member
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

missinthecity :  Wow- I think that is so far from the truth! The part about having a man pay is going ot equal you being subservient in the relationship. I’m sure there certainly are men out there that are like that, but there are also probably men that expect you to be subservient and pay for half! My husband and I have had combined finances for a long time even before we were married, and he makes significantly more than me, like 5-6x (so technically yes, he always pays for basically everything, and he is the one who physically hands the card) and just a couple nights ago I told him I wanted to go back to school and he couldn’t have been more excited for me! I don’t think you have to find a dictator for a guy to pay for stuff; there are plently of decent, loving men who want the best for you and your life while still wanting to treat you to things.

Post # 45
Hostess
3812 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

sollyb :  I’m sure that’s true for some men, I am just sharing my experience.  I have quite a few friends and family members who have marriages like this and they have all been shut down when their husbands disagreed with them.  E.g. one’s husband has had them relocate multiple times for his job.  My friend finally was very happy in her dream house close to family after relocation #3 and despite her telling him it was really important for them to stay, he accepted job #4 out of state and told her it was happening.  

I’m not saying a good loving man won’t treat you.  D.H. treats me to things as well, I just don’t expect him to pay for everything just because he’s the man.  Each couple has the right to decide together what financial setup best works for them; if OP wants a man to pay for everything, she has the right to find someone who fits that bill, but she shouldn’t try to force her current partner to be who she wants if that’s not what he wants. 

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