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Seeking Sensibility: Picking Up The Tab

Morgan Summers |
October 20, 2013 | 2:55 p.m. PDT


I recently started dating this girl, but two months in she won’t stop complaining about how I don’t always pay for everything when we go out. My previous girlfriend and I split the tab 50/50, and it worked for us. My new girlfriend claims in previous relationships the guy always paid for everything. It might be a deal breaker for her. How should I react?

Every couple operates differently when it comes to finances. (kevin dooley, Creative Commons)
Every couple operates differently when it comes to finances. (kevin dooley, Creative Commons)

I had to double check my calendar before I replied to this question... Okay, good, it’s still 2013 and women still wear pants and can show their ankles in public. Phew, reality check over. Now I can actually answer your question.

I don’t think she’s a gold digger, nor do I think that the art of chivalry is completely lost on you. It’s a gray area. However, I do think that she’s being completely unfair giving you an ultimatum over something like paying for movie tickets and a few drinks.

Every couple operates different when it comes to finances, and it’s a touchy subject for most. So, you and your new lady friend clearly don’t see eye to eye? Whatever. There’s not a whole lot you can do to change each other’s outlook. Neither person is wrong; it’s just what each of you isaccustomed to.

You’re not going to want to hear this, but my boyfriend almost always pays for me. It’s possible we are the exception, and not the rule. It makes him feel manly and like he’s taking care of his woman, and I don’t mind because I’m a broke college student.

And it doesn't mean I am unwilling or don't like to spend money on him. I still buy him nice gifts for anniversaries and birthdays, although in the end it’s the thought that counts with us.

My favorite gifts he has ever given me are an old jacket, a stuffed animal won from a 50 cent claw machine and a postcard. His favorite gifts he has received from me are pricey season football tickets and a designer watch (okay, I haven’t bought that one yet but it’s not gonna be cheap).

It’s a win-win: it works for us because our financial situations allow for it, and neither of us are keeping tabs on who spends more money on who.

So even though my man usually pays, the point is money doesn’t matter... at least it doesn’t when you just start dating and don’t have kids. If my boyfriend decided that everything was going to be 50/50 from now on, I would say okay and get over it.

Is it truly impossible to come to an agreement about sharing the cost of dating? Is there no room for compromise on either your end, or hers?

Dumping a guy when he doesn’t pay for everything does seem a little childish, so maybe you’re dodging a bullet by breaking up now if this is causing legitimate strain.

If you are both strapped for cash, find cheaper things to do together. The fact that she expects you to pay for EVERYTHING is a little ridiculous.

If you’re the kind of guy that likes to pick up the tab every once in a while, awesome. I doubt many ladies will complain. And I’m not going to lie, paying for the first couple of dates is bound to impress most women.

But if you’re all about equal gender roles in a relationship and think it should be 50/50, then that’s your perogative. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you that you’re wrong, including your girlfriend. Compromise or move on.


"Seeking Sensibility" is a weekly relationship column by Morgan Summers. Going through relationship problems? Just got into a fight with your best friend? Caught in the middle of an awkward situation? Morgan wants to hear about it! Write in with stories or questions and you may be featured in next week’s column.



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