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bookish1's avatar

How do I balance out this friendship?

Asked by bookish1 (13062 points ) July 31st, 2012

I’ve just made friends with another North American who is traveling in Paris this summer. We hit it off really well and have hung out about five times in the past couple of weeks.

I’ve been developing an inferiority complex, however, because I am at the end of my means here, I can’t even buy drinks anymore, and he just arrived here and is spending money like a drunken sailor. He’s 10 years older than me and has a good job and genuinely seems to enjoy treating me, but it’s still making me feel bad. He’s bought me dinner (and I have never even eaten out at a restaurant here because I’m on such a tight budget) and countless drinks.

I know that friendship is more important than money, but at the same time, I really like to share as well, I am used to buying my friends drinks, treating them sometimes (or at least being able to split a restaurant tab!) etc., and I was wondering what I should do, if anything, to let him know how much I appreciate this. My only thought is giving him a standing invitation to visit me back home in the States, and I’ll put him up and take care of his food and drink, but my area’s not exactly a tourist destination, haha.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.

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15 Answers

minnie19's avatar

Is he straight? Just saying. Of course friends can do that but still.

bookish1's avatar

@minnie19: No, we’re both gay. And attraction doesn’t factor in, that is clear to me (for once!). We went to a club together and both went home with different guys on Sunday night, haha. We’re just both glad to have a nice English-speaker with some things in common to hang out with in a foreign city.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would invite him over for a meal and cook for him or pay for coffee when you are out. I was dating this guy who was earning a fortune while I was broke and had financial responsibilities that took priority over everything else. So, I cooked for him at home and he took me out to dinner. Different situation I understand but you could invite him over to watch a movie, listen to music and cook for him. I also like the idea of an open invitation to visit you when he is back in the US.

zenvelo's avatar

Be honest with him, tell him you are traveling on a very tight budget. Let him know that you enjoy his company so much, but you can’t treat him like he is treating you.

If the friendship doesn’t survive that honesty, it wasn’t as strong as you hoped. But you can’t create money out of thin air, so just be honest and straight forward with him.

bookish1's avatar

@Bellatrix: Very good idea! I wish I could do that, but the place where I’m staying doesn’t allow visitors >_> Although maybe I could offer to cook him dinner at his place! I’ll think on it. And he’s a Canadian, which makes it much less likely that he will be in my area of the States anytime soon, but I’m definitely giving him that open invitation regardless; it only seems right.

@zenvelo: Excellent point. I thank you for it! I’ve already been upfront with him about my situation, which has made him even more eager to buy me food and drinks, haha. So I guess he’s just a genuinely nice guy, who happens to have a lot more funds than I do at the moment.

minnie19's avatar

Bookish, Wow I was not expecting that :) I think you should show him your intellectual and artistic side, and then you being not ok with spending crazy won’t be an issue. I think all your interests can eliminate the aspect that youre careeful with money. and also he wont think youre any less. he will value you more.

Shippy's avatar

I can’t really add to the lovely answers and ideas here, except to say, some do enjoy the pleasure of giving. I know it can get uncomfortable though, but like the others said offer things you can do or show him, to make is a memorable journey for you both.

Perhaps also take some amazing photos and have them framed or fancied up ready to send to him after the vacation. With a special thank you.

And as someone suggested cooking him a meal maybe together so you can both enjoy the fruits and vegetables in season there. That all goes to making holiday memorable not just money.

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marinelife's avatar

Suggest doing things that don’t cost money like walking around a park or other public space.

Tell him frankly how you feel.

bookish1's avatar

@minnie19 : Thanks, good idea. We do have great conversations and we value each other’s company. And I’m not all that careful with money, haha, it’s just that if I’m not careful this week I won’t have enough to get home with!

@Shippy : Thank you for two great ideas! I’ll take some nice pictures of him and us and be sure to ask for his address so I can mail them to him.

@marinelife : Excellent suggestion as well, there’s lots of public parks and the weather is beautiful now. And I can let him know about some of the secret non-touristy places I’ve found in Paris, so he can enjoy them too!

gailcalled's avatar

Thank him and when you get rich, be generous to an impoverished student.

Tell your friend that he is a wonderful role model.

(Carry him over puddles?)

mowens's avatar

@bookish1 I hav elots to add, but I am at work. :(

flutherother's avatar

Just tell him that you will find a way to pay him back someday. Someone said that to me once and I forgot about it and years later, unexpectedly, they did find a way to repay me.

laurenkem's avatar

He’s probably enjoying this as much as you are. If I find myself with a surplus of cash, nothing makes me happier than taking out a good friend for a night, all on me! It just makes me happy to be able to do that for someone.

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