I Make $40K And My Girlfriend Never Offers To Pay For Anything

My Girlfriend Never Offers To Pay For AnythingHello Evan. I recently started dating a girl. I really enjoy her company and she enjoys mine. We get along fine, we’re really into each other and we share many commonalities. There’s only one issue – money! I have absolutely no problems taking her out on dates and footing the bill 100% but we’ve been on about 5 dates and we’ve hung out with mutual friends on numerous occasions, but she never even offers to pay – not even a disingenuous offer. I understand that if we are happy, then money is a small price to pay, but I barely finished college and only make $40,000 a year. I cannot afford to spend $200 every weekend. I mean, even when we’re not on dates, she expects me to pay. I don’t know how she got this old fashioned mindset, but it’s really starting to bug me. Personally, I work just as hard as she does for my money and I don’t find it fair but at the same time, I find it too early in the relationship to bring it up. I just don’t want her getting the idea that I’m ok with it or that she can take advantage.


I don’t even expect her to pay half. If we go out to dinner, I’ll pay for the date and the dinner, but the least she could do is pay for our ice cream or maybe buy me a single drink? I want to have that feeling, like if we’re at a bar and my girl comes up to me and asks me what I want. It’s like she has my back. It’s not about the cash- it’s more about being appreciated and not taken advantage of. I do not know how to approach the situation. I know she is going to explode if I bring it up, but how much of this should I take? I am not cheap, but at the same time, I am not made out of money. Does it make me a bad person to be thinking this way? I am somewhat of a liberal, progressive thinker, and her traditional mindset seems backwards to me. Advice? –David

We’ve established that men and women are equal.

Thank you, David, for writing a question that addresses the very hypocrisy of modern-day dating.

We’ve established that men and women are equal.

We’ve established that women are more highly educated and (often) make more money than their male counterparts.

We’ve established that the concept of men paying for dates came from a time when women didn’t work and therefore men HAD to pay.

Which leads this blog to receive comments that read like this:

“In our society, it has always been customary for a man to pay for a woman’s dinner. Men are wired to protect, and take care of a woman. If he doesn’t want to pay for dinner that is a glimpse into his character and/or how he was raised. Any self-respecting woman should steer clear of such a man. It doesn’t matter if she has decided not to see him again before she even picks up her fork. If he is a gentlemen, he will gladly pay and expect nothing in return.”

Anyone who feels that way should go back and read David’s letter.

Stop acting like you’re six-years-old and don’t have a purse with cash and credit cards in it.

This is a liberal, progressive thinker – a good man of modest means – who is trying to do the “right thing” and pick up the check as the anachronistic rules of chivalry still dictate.

He’s not railing against the concept of picking up the tab while he’s courting her – he’s just annoyed that he feels taken for granted. And when a woman never reaches for the check, offers to split, or insists on picking up the tip, the cab, or the coffee afterwards, it can really start to wear on a guy.

I am a man. You are a woman. You are not poor or helpless or dependent.

So stop acting like you’re six-years-old and don’t have a purse with cash and credit cards in it.

Stop acting like he should be thrilled to drain his account in hopes that he might procure a good night kiss.

Stop acting like you’re not really his equal when you want to be treated equally in every other respect.

As I said here, if we can agree it’s in good form for a man to pick up the check while courting you, we should also be able to agree that it’s in good form for a woman to offer to split the check and/or insist on picking up the check while he’s courting you.

If you think it’s rude when men don’t pay, we think it’s rude when you assume we will pay.

It’s basic golden-rule stuff, y’all.

I’m not expecting much dissent on this one, but if you’re brave enough to explain why the original poster David is wrong, cheap, or short-sighted, have at it.

Personally, I think he speaks for just about every man I’ve ever met who got sick of being an ATM.

Here was my breaking point – when some woman intimated that she was my “sugar mama” after I allowed her to split the check on our fourth date.

And you think that women are the only ones who get burned out on dating…





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  1. 331

    Women want the best men ,not a jerky gigolo who think her girl has the obligation to give something in return For the way he treat her.

  2. 332

    I agree that a woman should let a guy pay for the first date or two but after that should regularly kick in, significantly. 
    I’ve always found it hard, though to figure out financial in long-term romances. I always have more money than the men I’m with and so once we’re in a relationship, I pay more… as I think is fair.  But it’s funny how these guys can become increasingly comfortable with my money as time passes (yes, I know that men have to put up with this in relationships, too… I’m not saying that one gender is more inherently likely to take advantage than another).   But while women who expect men to pay can become entitled and ungrateful, I’ve always found that guys who expect their woman to pay become not just entitled and ungrateful, but also harbour an underlying resentment bc they don’t “feel like men.”  It’s pretty exhausting, actually.

  3. 333

    You sound like a fair person. You are a treasure because you do not take others for granted. I also appreciate the word “Entitled.” That is what I have a problem with is a sense of entitlement and ungratefulness. Not just in this case but in general. I am ALWAYS a grateful person and never take someones else kindness for granted. I can cook, do laundry, iron, the lawn,  and clean also. There is nothing wrong with switching it up on occasion. I was raised to believe that no one HAS to do anything. I truly respect and appreciate the things a person does for me. There are also those who prey upon others and will take advantage of the situation. They take a persons kindness for weakness.  My ex and I made a good income. She made more at one point and than i made more in the end. I have seen situations where it seemed to be a competition. Two people should be a team and not resent the other for doing better. It would be perfection to be with another person that is equally involved in our happiness and relationship.

  4. 334
    Synchronize Your Dogmas

    This was one long read, it took me almost one full day. Anyways, my thoughts on the matter:
    “Thuy-An @292 and Philly Ashley @299
    This is just me my thought. (…) If he shows that I deserve all and no matter what he’s not cheap with me in any way, that make me feel special.”
    Special? I’m not sure how you people date, but when I date I always assume that we both find each other interesting and special enough to go on a date. You’re not doing me a favor by showing up (and if you think you’re, please decline in the first place). You honestly think that I’m an interesting person that you would like to get to know better. As such, you’re not entitled to assume that I need to jump through hoops to impress you with anything (paying for the date) that I don’t intend to keep on doing forever. I’m not buying your company. We’re enjoying each others’ company. So I think that your approach rules out a lot of nice guys, that just don’t think a women that shows up for a date is to be put on a pedestal (which rules out all the great guys, who are not players, that have no problems finding dates). I always pay for the first, second, and third date (upper middle class), but by then I assume that you know me enough, and enjoy my company enough to maybe think about offering to split the bill (and I’ll probably decline, but note to myself that you don’t take me for granted and you’re ALSO a generous person). If you’re not even suggesting, or making any other meaningful gesture (maybe bringing me that nice book we were talking about in date two, that you thought I should read, or something that you got while walking around that reminded you of me), then you’re probably not meant for me. Because if I’m looking for someone to share my life with, I want her to be able to share too.
    One last thing: my (very) limited experience has showed me that women with such rigid traditional mentality tend to be rigid in other parts of the relationship, often using sex as leverage or reward for good behavior. 

  5. 335

    I have to admit that I have stopped seeing a few women due to them looking the other way when the bill comes.
    I was dating this one woman for about 3 months and she never offered once to pay but she made more than I did. It was interesting that we would go out and then the next day let me know how much money she spent on herself the next day at the mall.
    Gentlemen, if the woman you are dating does not at least offer to pay for something on the 3rd date then they have no respect for you and you should let her go.
    Think of it this way: Each date will cost a minimum of $100.00 and if you go on 3 then it’s $300.00 and of course you may get a kiss. That’s expensive prostitution.

  6. 336
    Sparkling Emerald

    Robert @ 348 – “Think of it this way: Each date will cost a minimum of $100.00 and if you go on 3 then it’s $300.00 and of course you may get a kiss. That’s expensive prostitution.”
    Robert, you have NO imagination if you can’t think of a way to go out and have fun for under $100.  I prefer the early dates to be low cost, or no cost.  I would rather go for a walk in the park, a bike ride, or a hike up a mountain, than to some fancy schmancy pricey venue.  I don’t think I am the only girl in the universe who feels this way. I prefer the early dates to be about getting to know each other, rather than some guy trying to impress me with what’s in his wallet. 
    I would prefer to go to a free Sunday concert in the park, and only expect to enjoy each other’s company, than to be taken to some high priced 5 star restaurant, and then be expected to pay for it, either by splitting the bill, or giving the guy sex.

  7. 337

    I would suggest kissing a woman at the end of the first date. If you are upset at how slow things move physically you can change that. Also, you definitely do not need to spend $100 on each date.

  8. 338

    He should tell her as soon as possible about his concerns, so that she could stop wasting time with him and find a real man. You don’t have to spend 200$ a week, just don’t date women you can’ t afford to take on a date. Find somebody who puts up with less and be happy.

  9. 339
    Sparkling Emerald

    Musya – She is being a spoiled brat.  There is no reason for her to demand such an extravagant lifestyle from him.  If anything, in the case, him being a “real man” would entail him putting his foot down and not putting up with her nonsense.

  10. 340
    David K

    I’ve been seeing this woman for about a month now. Every time we go out to eat I always end up paying. When the bill comes, she just smiles, checks her phone, or sits back. She does thank me but that’s not the point. I don’t mind paying here and there. But the fact that she doesn’t even offer to pay or contribute irritates me. I think women should offer. It would be a real cool gesture. To me as a man if she did that I’d feel like she appreciates me…

  11. 341
    faded jade

    David K @ 340 – Does she contribute in other ways ? Has she ever provided tickets for anything or cooked for you ? Ever brought a dish to a pot luck party ?

  12. 342

    I always foot the bill when I take my girlfriend out. Notice, I’M taking HER out, thus, I foot the bill. If a woman were to ask ME out, then SHE’D be responsible for the bill.

  13. 343

    My boyfriend and I split everything 50/50. If one of us pays for something for the other, we save the receipt and and add it all up every so often and he usually ends up owing me money so he writes me a check. We have been dating 6 months and we have been on two dates to see theater shows, and on those nights he payed for dinner and tickets. I’m always picking up little things for his house that I feel weird asking him to pay me back for and sometimes I cook for him too. I’d say on the whole I have probably spent more money and time doing things for him than he has for me and I probably make a lot less than he does. I’m not sure if he realizes it though. For example, I made him a special custom tree-topper for his Christmas tree and I paid for the crafting materials to make it and spent my own time on it. Then again, he probably drives us places slightly more than I do so that’s his gas money. Just asking if there are other things she is contributing that you don’t think about.

  14. 344

    Hahaha- how many comments are here- and I shall add one more. This dude sounds like a sweetie and his girl is either totally blinded by her ego or upbringing…or indifferent to his generosity, which is sad and plain mean.
    I definitely spend the most money in my realtionship with my guy and it has nothing to do with my income as I have a very small one…his is larger but he has child support which I know is a big chunk of his income. If I have money in my pocket, I suggest a dinner out at a ‘nicer’ place and am quite honest about it, saying ‘I have cash today, let’s go out’. He has rarely paid for dinners out. What he does do, which I consider just as important, if not more, is give his time when I need it, such as pick up things in his truck or do errands I don’t have time for etc…a type of giving that isn’t picking up a cheque. It works well and we both appreciate each other.
    And I am quite happy with a ‘date’ that involves eating ice cream in bed- which is often my choice too- where we both make a huge effort to put out well- which makes for a great realtionship, both physically and emotionally.

  15. 345

    I read in a Miss Manners book that while men have traditionally paid for meals, drinks, etc., women have also traditionally reciprocated by inviting men in for drinks, making dinners/desserts at home, offering up tickets that are already paid for, etc.  I think the problem is that sometimes women forget to look for ways to contribute to the date and a result, the man feels like he is being taken advantage of.  I’m a proponent of finding ways where men and women can be equal partners in dating, but at the same time take on distinctly masculine and feminine roles.  

  16. 346

    Well, I’m pretty easy going about this stuff.  I like my guy to pay of the first few dates and then I absolutely either take turns with bills and show my guy just how much I appreciate him in small and thoughtful ways.  But I need advice on what to do with the male gold-diggers.  Since I online date I’ve taken to lying about my earning and position just so that I don’t attract those guys but I’ve come across too many men who start out great and then really start taking far more than they’re putting in, monetarily or otherwise.  Obviously, it doesn’t last long but I’m sick of it.  Where on earth have these Gold Digger guys come from?  It’s pathetic.

  17. 347

    Just got Evan’s “Do you equate money with love” blog entry and really wanted to respond to that, but can’t see a way to do so. This looks like the next best thing.
    First of all, I myself feel a little weird having someone else pay my way consistently, UNLESS they are bidding for that position in my life. That doesn’t happen often.
    That being said, I make little money myself, which for me adds to the weird effect. I think it is perfectly fine to split the check initially BUT this should be cleared in advance of selecting the locale. I went on one date, I thought, where the gentleman selected the locale and told the waitress to write separate checks when ordering. Fine, except this place was out of my league and I was not consulted in advance. We are still friends, and now he often picks up the check!
    Worse, my ex started out by treating me to everything. He even took me clothes shopping, which was completely new to me. I didn’t think he was rich, but he did seem to want to take care of me, which I was ready for at that point. Fast forward to post-marriage and come to find out he wasn’t even keeping up with his basic bills! My take: he had totally misrepresented himself and put my financial future at risk at the same time.
    I would much rather know up front who I am dating. I don’t really have a need to go out for dinner. Anyplace which offers a chance at conversation is a good start. And if you pull out a coupon, I can deal with that. I did think the guy who took the doggy bag home on the first date was less than suave, but appreciated that I knew who he was and did see him again. Unfortunately his story about bouncing a check because the bank didn’t recognize the same holiday schedule as his personal software – so it was their fault – did throw up a red flag regarding fiscal discipline.
    Now here is the catch. I often hear and read that I am a low-value catch because I don’t demand a man just hand over his wallet. In fact, most seemingly decent guys seem to buy into this, too, as they can’t do enough for those women who take it all as their due while their guys put in yet another extra shift to pay for it all. So is that what the good guys really do prefer?

  18. 348

    Women that always expect the man to pay are gold-diggers. I have a former roommate that takes advantage of people thus way and can afford ten vacations a year. But she must have no self-respect. It’s sad, because there shouldn’t be any rules about who pays, just like there shouldn’t be any rules about sex being owed. I’ve dated several girls that made way more than me. Sometimes they paid, sometimes I paid.

    Also, whomever makes the plans could offer to pay. If the girl asks the guy out, why’s it his job to pay for the first date?

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