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

My Girlfriend Never Offers To Pay For Anything

Hello 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. 381

    Why are we pretending that women are incapable of paying? This isn’t 1960, they’re graduating at higher rates and making more money than us men now. To expect us to pay for a date with a stranger that we might not even like just because you think it shows interest is asinine. You’re not an escort, you don’t require a tribute. Maybe you should pay to prove you’re interested in us.


    Traditionalism and radicalism regarding relationships is nonsense. There has to be a healthy median in which we all act as adults and pay our own way. That’s equality, that shows that he takes you seriously and doesn’t think you’re incapable of providing your own basic needs like some infant, or maybe you ladies just don’t take yourself seriously and want to be treated like adult retards.

  2. 382

    Although I come from a family where the men usually take care of their wife/girlfriend. I do not make as much money as my partner. He   believes in taking care of his lady. From the beginning he told me he will pay for our dining and outings. I have been independent since I was 18, so I was a bit embarrassed about this,   whenever we are out, I offer to pay, sometimes we are in the store and I need something, I don’t like to pick it up when he is with me, because if he pays I feel dependent. (HE ALWAYS WANTS TO BE INVOLVE IN EVERY AREA OF MY LIFE, SO WE ARE ALWAYS DOING MOST THINGS TOGETHER)..It is nice of him to treat me this way.. I am not complaining… I do feel by offering..it is a way of letting the other party know you are not a loafer or too dependent. Regardless…if he refuses your offer…you still showed interest in sharing.

  3. 383

    People don’t get it. See, if someone invites you out, its common sense that the invitee will assume that the inviter will pay the cost. This is not about gender bias. I wanna ask everyone who thinks the woman is a gold digger, that, if you are “INVITED” for a wedding would you offer to pay for the free meal you are getting? And mind you some weddings are “no gifts please”, so no give and take here. Just take. Its common courtesy that the inviter pays. Why do we make thing complicated? Its not about gender equality at all. You could be just friends and the inviter pays. Unless the inviter is an “asker” and asks you out then probably you have to share the cost if you are willing to. If not, then just refuse the “asking out”. Inviting is more about loving and giving unconditionally, in return for the other persons time. People have forgotten how to give unconditionally. No wonder 3/4th’s of all relationships are in the dumps these days. Selfishness rules the roost in the modern world. People have gone crazy and chivalry is obviously dead! My point is if you cannot afford to pay someones plate of food….then dont invite them out. DONT WHINE! Its a perfect LOSER CHEAPO attitude.

    1. 383.1

      Right, but women also refuse to invite men on a first date.

  4. 384

    I think David needs to  speak plainly with his girl and tell her that how much seems reasonable for him in his situation to afford. She might then either offer to participate in the costs or choose dates within the budget.

  5. 385

    I’m struggling with this one.   Because most alpha men get offended if you try to pay.   Could it be she thinks he wants to pay?   Maybe it’s just a lack of proper communication? I don’t expect men to pay for everything.   I always offer to pay on the first date for myself.   But I will admit that in the 100s of dates I’ve been on over the years only two men took me up on it and I viewed them differently but it’s not why you think because of some archaic view.   It’s because if you are a woman making over 6 figures you are used to doing certain things, not overly fancy things but things that people making 40k a year can’t do.   I think nothing of going out to eat every night or taking two or three vacations a year, traveling internationally.   And so if a man can’t afford to pay for dinner we are not a match.    I want an equal partner.   So if I dated a man making 40k I would have to totally change my lifestyle or pay for the man everytime which I can assure you is more of a problem for him than it is for me.   That just does not work.   Men have no issue   if they outearn women and women are okay with men footing the bills.   I don’t see the problem here being that she’s old fashioned it’s that it’s a mismatch.   He can ask her to pay because he does not make that much and see how that goes over.   I don’t think it will go over well though.

    1. 385.1

      “And so if a man can’t afford to pay for dinner we are not a match. I want an equal partner. ”
      How is it equal if he has to pay and you look down on him if he’s not able to pay but the reverse it totally acceptable (to you)? Just another case of “I want equality but I also want chivalry.” You are a hypocrite.

      1. 385.1.1

        You missed the point entirely. I want someone that can afford to pay but I did not say they have to pay and this is more for the man than for me. If I like to eat out 4 times a week I want to continue doing so so I want someone who is a partner who can afford the same for himself. The problem that arises is when a woman has a certain lifestyle that she’s used to providing for herself but the man can’t afford to pay his own way (not hers) and becomes upset if she offers to foot the bill. A 50 dinner 4 times a week is a lot for a guy that makes 40k a year but nothing for a woman that makes 250k a year. They just tend not to be compatible.

  6. 386

    So far, my boyfriend has made more money than I have. He is single, no children, and I am a single mother raising 3 children mostly on my own. He mostly pays for our dates but I definitely offer and pay for things like cabs and museum tickets and other smaller items. It seems fair and I like the balance.

  7. 387

    I think people should maybe communicate, and find out what works for them.

    What – we can get physically intimate and also allow our hearts to connect and be vulnerable, but we can’t speak openly about money, with a curious playful attitude, a desire to find what works —- just as we (hopefully) do in the bedroom?

    really, people.

    I dated a man who would yell at me if I expressed a desire for a date –    Not often, even just once a month.

    I cooked for him; he’d come over frequently and have meals, and never offer to bring anything, even though he made far more than I did, and I was struggling.

    This man was shocked and hurt to the core when I broke up with him.

    But I had tried to communicate a need – of being taken on a date- not talking expensive here. It makes me very happy. To make an effort, feel feminine, look my best, and be taken out once in a while.


    This is guy who screamed and yelled when asked to do that little thing, was seriously upset when I met a man who:

    asked me to dinner.

    Told me, at that dinner, that he was my king, and was building for me. (We had been friends for quite some time; this wasn’t a stranger, don’t worry 😉 )

    this man wants to be a provider for me. You may all call it “old-fashioned,” but it works for us.

    i contribute – I take us out too! – and cook him meals. He has also cooked me meals.

    since I don’t make much money, my main contribution is another kind of support. I believe in his work, and in all that he does, and I stand by him.   I listen – I REALLY listen to him. I don’t interrupt — which is not being subjugated or oppressed — it’s being interested in him, and loving him.

    when I express a need (and I am NOT greedy or doing this on some kind of whim) — he listens. He does his best to provide.


    We are a team. We have found, and are still finding, what works for us. I have never opened a door for myself since I have been with him… except if I am driving, of course!

    he opens the passenger side of the car door if he is driving, then goes around to his side. It’s how he was raised. I thank him every time.

    we’ve been together a while now, and I still feel a glow when he does it. I feel cared for.

    we both work out together –he’s not insinuating I am “weak” by opening the door for me- he is choosOmg gentlemanly behavior …

    it suits us… I am with a man who revels in being a strong masculine man, which allows me to access my femininity more. I am gentle, not as much of a leader, and this feels so good to me.

    the point of all this rambling is: it really works for us. This thing that is being scoffed at and put down as an old-fashioned and even harmful model… really works for us.

    I am happier than I have ever been. He feels cared for, too.

    Communicate. If they aren’t able to have the conversation, maybe they’re not ready for a deeper relationship.

    Guessing games are a ridiculous waste of time.

    If paying and money needs don’t match, it’s better to find out rather than waste time hiding what you need.

    Everyone’s needs are valid, and if they don’t match, let them go and they’ll find the person that fits.


    “You just want to be treated like a Victorian Princess!” The Ex-guy shrieked at me, when I asked if he’d take me on a date once a month– (even just to a movie and we’d bring our own popcorn or I would cook at home.)

    That’s when something in me snapped. “Yes, Maybe I do,” I said, finally not giving in to his shaming tactics.

    “Actually, I want to be treated like a queen, and I will meet the man who does. And he won’t regret it- because he will be treated like a king.”

    and it came true. 😉


  8. 388

    We don’t know what his girlfriend’s financial situation is. That being said, why are all his dates over $200?   You can’t do anything lowbrow? You’re in your 20s. I’m in my 40s. I can think of plenty of things to do that don’t cost anything or less than $15. I also get sick of the expensive dinners. Change it up.

  9. 389

    I was raised by a Southern woman, who went to a lot of work to teach me Manners. She was also a second wave Feminist and taught me that if I invited someone on a date, I paid. For a very long time, if I invited someone out, so paid or attempted to. Many men raised in conservative or Southern cultures, even if liberal people, still insisted on paying. I could sometimes pay the tip or buy a desert or drink.

    Then I became disabled and now live on a very small amount of money a month. I’ve never hidden this from people I’ve started to date since this happened, because it does seriously effect my ability to contribute. I, however, am amazing at finding cool free or inexpensive activities – something the current guy I’m dating is super impressed by – so I am always busy and frequently invite him along. (He’s working on his doctorate and isn’t making six figures either.)

    I have had to make some serious adjustments to my ideas about independence and comfort with regards to others paying for me. I do try to share and give as much as possible in non-financial ways. In this relationship it means finding cool events, new inexpensive places to eat, movies he hasn’t seen, being patient and supportive of his work schedule. In past relationships, where I dated men who made a lot of money, I did other things – planned dinner parties, cooked fancy meals, found shows they would be interested in – I enjoy doing social planning and can do that within whatever budget and was happy to do that as my part of the relationship work. We had nights at home on the couch with takeout too. It’s all about balance.

    I suspect that lw needs to have a chill word with this lady, and be clear upfront going forward. And people clearly need to have clear expectations and understandings with people they’re dating – I’m not trying to “mooch” off anyone but if you want to do things with me, I don’t have money to spend. *shrug* I’ve stopped feeling guilty about it.

  10. 390

    My income is substantially more than David’s. I can certainly afford to pick up the tab anytime I wanted without feeling it. However, this situation triggers guys like me too, because- It…really…isn’t…about…the…money! It’s about basic human courtesy.

    David, if you’ve wined and dined a woman FIVE times and she hasn’t offered you so much as a cup of Folger’s coffee…RUNNNNNNN! Do it now. There’s nothing more frustrating for a man, during the initial dating process, than the realization that you are nothing more than “free meal guy”.

    Fortunately not all women have this defect but I can assure you this is a thing with women now, especially where I live in Los Angeles. This economy hasn’t turned around for everyone and some women are blissfully exploiting the traditional rules of dating to collect free meals and entertainment.

    No  woman who claims to desire gender equality should be ok with how this woman appears to be using David’s wallet.

    Not sure if this is what’s going on here, put it to the test. Invite her out a time or two for things that don’t cost money. If she’s not free for any of those but she’s free for dinner, or the game, or the concert…yeah, you know what’s going then. You’ll know she is into YOU when mere time with you has as much value as whatever it is you happen to be doing. At that point, you should man up and tell her what’s on your mind. No texting. Speak! There may be a reason why she hasn’t offered- laid off, taking financial care of a family member, whatever. Good communication always wins.

    David, you should be looking for a partner in crime, someone to create great memories with, not a Stepford wife. Those days are over.

    Best of luck!

  11. 391

    If the woman is expected to offer to pay even for little things, by definition it is no longer a courtship, it is companionship. If that’s what you want, great. However, for those of us who enjoy & appreciate being courted, pursued & desired, just because we expect it, doesn’t mean we feel entitled or we are demanding it. Of course we can pay our own way and we love to pick up the whole tab with our girlfriends, but I find It emasculating a man to pay. A woman is the prize. He needs to make her feel taken care of emotionally & financially. Once they are married she can pay if she wants, but doing so early on creates resentment & an unromantic dynamic. It’s a huge turn off. Sure, I have and can buy my own house & car, but if you are complaining over drinks & ice cream, you are not ready to be anyone’s provider & should step up your game & make more money. Get motivated. Stop being a feminine man. Date woman lower than your socio-economic status. If we are accustomed to a certain lifestyle & can afford it for ourselves, why wouldn’t we expect that from the man we are dating? He chose to pursue & date us.

  12. 392

      A cost/benefit analysis is the way to go with regard to Davids situation.

    COST VS BENEFIT of Dating
    C) Endless hours of talking/texting every day/week
    B) None, it’s expected  
    C) Monthly Entertainment Expenses $$$-$$$$  
    B) A smidgen of respect coupled with the expectation for greater, more lavish adventures, gifts and swooning
    C) Opening/Closing automobile, residential   and commercial doors
    B) None, it’s expected, duhh
    C) Rent, utilities, other monthly bills $$$$
    B) None, it’s expected  
    C) Providing for her emotional needs
    B) none, it’s expected  
    C) Double dating/meeting her friends and family
    B) none, it’s expected
    C) Protecting her
    B) none, it’s expected  
    C) Fixing her car or anything that breaks
    B) none, it’s expected. After all, her daddy would do it for her if you didn’t  
    C) Cooking Dinner
    B) a few minutes of attention before she focuses back at her social media empire  
    C) Clothing/ furniture, monthly $$$
    B)   none, it’s expected

    Please note, this is a cost vs benefit analysis of intelligent, highly attractive American woman.

    In conclusion, as you can see, the cost far outweighs the benefit. Very few analysis are as lopsided as this one and thus, my advice for any man like David is to abstain from dating altogether until he finds a woman who doesn’t possess such high expectations. If you feel as if not dating is outrageous I suggest doing a cost vs benefit analysis of not dating an intelligent, attractive American woman, the results are shockingly refreshing and insightful.


  13. 393

    Questions you should ask a potential date such as: Do you have a car? Do you live in a room, Apt or house? Do you live off a pension, work or not working? Do you have a criminal record? In your previous relationship did you and your partner split bills or did you or he pick up the entire tab?~and if she says the guy should always pay then it’s a no go~Honestly, it’s that simple-ask questions. Of course, many women will be turned off by this question-who cares-why waste time or money~but then again others will understand~you are looking for only one woman. Right? Ask away!

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