"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Is My Man Mean With His Money?

by Jennifer
(Texas, USA)

I'm in a long-term relationship with my boyfriend. He makes more money than me, much more, but we always go halves on everything. (And he only bought me a $25 voucher for my 40th birthday!) I'm wondering, after so long, what this financial frugality means for the health of my relationship...

QUESTION: Who Pays For The Date Whether The Man Makes More Than The Woman?

MORE FROM Jennifer...

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6 years. He is a cardiologist and I am a nurse. He makes much more money than me, although I don't know how much. He lives in a 4,000 square foot home (alone) and drives a G-Wagon.

For my 40th birthday, (a milestone) he gave me a $25 gift card to Whole Foods. We go halves on all our dates.

I recently told him I was gonna pay a higher car payment ($433 instead of $273) to get my car paid off sooner. He expressed his worry that I wouldn't be able to keep paying my half of our dates because I was gonna do this. I was wondering if it's worth my while to stay with him.

This pattern is going to go on for 5 more years or so, then our plan is to retire together.

He has taken me on many trips though, even to Thailand. But that was many years ago.

Now, the trips we go on are mostly car trips. I have heard "a man puts his money where his heart is." I wonder if you have any input.




"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -- Alice Walker

I don't mean to be flippant, I really don't, but here is a much better question for you (anyone else reading this) to ask, and then answer:

  • Who makes the rules in MY relationship?

  • Does HE make the rules, do I make 'em, do we come to some kind of mutual (adult) arrangement between ourselves (as and when), or...

  • Do we follow the rules dictated to us by others - society, tradition, values or "the way it's always meant to be done"?

In short, whose relationship is it anyway?

So, specifically, to YOUR relationship and the money issue. YOU could pay if you earned the most, if you earned the least, or if you earned the same amount.

Similarly, HE could pay.

Or you could go DUTCH and take turns.

Despite claims to the contrary, THERE ARE NO RELATIONSHIP RULES but the ones that you (both) decide for yourself.


Personally, I prefer to go Dutch, irrespective of income. I also like to treat my partner, and I occasionally like to be treated by my partner.

But I've had a few dates with women who kind of expect me to pay for them, just because I'm a man. And, that's cool. For them. But it's not cool for me.

Personally, I think your man is far too frugal for his own good. But - ahem! - maybe he's thinking you're only there for his money, and he's over-accommodating this particular belief.


Really, so many of the questions that get asked here in this 'relationship advice forum' are being asked to the wrong person.

Ask HIM, the other party in your relationship, and work it out for yourself.

Your ability to talk about this, to listen to and also be heard, is going to tell you an awful lot more important things about your 'relationship healthiness' than just finding out the answer to a specific bugbear problem.

Do you get me?

Hope so. :)

And I apologise if my answer came across as a little impatient (or even hostile) - sometimes I get a bit exasperated with the assumed powerlessness and non-wisdom within someone that never seems to get questioned.

Believe me, YOU GOT DA POWER, no matter what!


Comments for Is My Man Mean With His Money?

The Mean Man
by: Janet Stead

Good response Steve, just one point the person didn't say why she was upset by the small amount for her 40th birthday. Is there a history of this, and did she agreed to the relationship rules?

Often couples go on for years accepting a situation in their relationship that they are unhappy with but have not addressed, leading to misunderstandings and resentment.

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