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ezraglenn's avatar

How do I get my girlfriend to pay for things?

Asked by ezraglenn (3454 points ) January 12th, 2008

Every time we go out, I pay for everything, becuase she takes no initiative. It really bothers me. I don’t believe in chivalry. How can I make it clear that we should be equal partners in the relationship?

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49 Answers

glial's avatar

Next time she asks if you want to go out; tell you you are broke from the past 10 times you went out.

ezraglenn's avatar

that is probably not the most sensitive way to handle the situation…

vanguardian's avatar

well the problem is that you already developed that trend. So its more difficult now to present this to her without it being uncomfortable. There isnt a sure fire answer… But, next time you are making plans, tell her that you’re saving money for something (it doesn’t matter what, make it up) and if she wouldn’t mind splitting or contributing a little since moneys tight. For example…tell her “I’ll get dinner you take care of the movies”. If she gives you attitude, either don’t go out and show her you are serious about it or move on. Remember you created this situation, so if you really want to, you have to fix it. It will definitely be awkward, so do it gracefully.

Emily's avatar

Why don’t you just ask her? Seems like if she responds in any way other than to say “Of course. I’m so sorry that I haven’t offered to do that sooner” she’s probably not worth it.

zina's avatar

why don’t you just talk with her about it? there’s no reason to lie or have to say you’re saving $—- just ask her what her thoughts are on financial contributions within a relationship. no reason to convey that you’re holding a grudge from the past times, but have a conversation about how to deal with this from now forward.

vanguardian's avatar

Well if it is a borderline lie, he could always say he is just trying to save money…it doesn’t have to be something material. It could be for his savings or future. But obviously, if he doesn’t want to spend it on her, he wants it for something else or himself. So in theory, he does want to save it.

Poser's avatar

What do you mean you don’t believe in Chivalry?

vanguardian's avatar

plus, sometimes honesty doesn’t have a place in a relationship.

For example; a girlfriend has a big butt, you know she does, its a fact. She asks do you think my butt is large. Even though it is, if I say “no” I’m lying. If I say “yes” I’m in trouble or could hurt her emotionally. Yes there are ways to answer that tastefully and not be a jerk about it, but a good ole honest “yes” wouldn’t work. So there are lies and slight of reasons that are warranted in some situations.

vanguardian's avatar

*poser… Unfortunately “chivalry is dead”

I am a student of chivalry, that’s how I feel and how i was raised. Many don’t follow that path anymore.

Poser's avatar

So if you were raised to be chivalrous, and I myself am chivalrous, and many men I know are also chivalrous, how is chivalry dead?

figbash's avatar

There are ways that you can use simple, nonjudgmental statements without embarrassing her or making her feel bad. You can say just what you stated about being equal partners in the relationship.

When it comes up that you’re going to go out, say “My finances are getting tanked, and I don’t think I’m going to be swing it tonight.” Or “Great, let’s do grab dinner and movie – you mind getting the movies and I’ll cover dinner?”

You do this once or twice and she’ll get the hint. Most women don’t expect that guys are going to pay for everything, all the time, unless a pattern has already been established.

gailcalled's avatar

Ezra; we all have conflicts to deal with; this would be a good situation in which to learn how to talk about something that is obviously bothering you. There are simple ways of discussing this in a non-threatening manner.

She is your g/f and you are, indeed, in a relationship, and you want to be equal partners, so talk about it. (And not when the $200 bill in an expensive NYC restaurant is staring at you from the table.)

Figbash has very good ideas, but I would forget about the hints and just tackle the subject head-on. Zina says it perfectly. You have set precedent, but I hope that you will learn from it.

@Vanguardian: for the apocryphal man-thinks-that-woman-will-ask-him-about-her-big-butt question*, we had a really long and interesting discussion (in spite of a few dim bulbs) on the subject of absolute vs. relative truth, thanks to Kevbo. (I cancelled mice delivery. BTW)

*truth and lies

figbash's avatar

I have another interesting perspective on this from a male friend of mine.

He’s always been really pragmatic, and he has a very well-thought-out system for dating.

He said that in the beginning of the dating game, he always pays for dinner. He feels this is only fair, because women and men are not paid equally and also, the brunt of hidden expenses that a woman bears in preparation for the date in terms of hair, clothes, makeup, lingerie, perfume, manicuring, birth control etc. He feels that a woman can easily spend hundreds in a month, simply on looking good alone, whereas men have the benefit of simply showing up for the date with clean clothes, combed hair, and brushed teeth.

As they move toward a more long-term relationship he lets her pay for the smaller things like movies, drinks, concert tickets, the beer and pizza dinners – which he feels equalizes things more.

Once it’s clear they’re going to be together for even longer, he starts going half/half.

gailcalled's avatar

@Fig: How does he know that the woman he is dating for the first time is not the one with the higher salary?

ezraglenn's avatar

The problem with most of these answers is that we are seniors in high school, without jobs, and so do not have incomes.

figbash's avatar

@gail: oh, i don’t think he sizes them up, income-wise before the date. He’s a medical professional and assumes that with all things being equal, she’s still spending a lot more on the date, on the back end.

Poser's avatar

Then where do you [both] get your money from?

ezraglenn's avatar

parents?

Trance24's avatar

You simply need to talk to her about it. Explain your situation, and that you can not pay for everything in the relationship. But that you would like to pay for things equally. She should understand this if you explain it to her.

skfinkel's avatar

If you two are going out as a regular thing, and your parents are paying for the dates (??) then it would make sense to have a conversation with her about what is bugging you. She might be a bit embarrassed, but why shouldn’t her parents help out as much as yours? If you are asking her each time, on the other hand, then maybe she sees these dates as your initiative and thinks you should pay. If you wouldn’t go out if you didn’t ask her and you don’t pay (ie she wouldn’t dream of paying), then maybe you should rethink the relationship.

ezraglenn's avatar

@sfinkel, she often suggests the going out. also, it isnt that our parents pay for dates, but rather, we garner cash from allowance, birthdays, etc, most of which comes from our parents.

skfinkel's avatar

If she is also suggesting going out, then I do think she might enjoy treating you as much as you enjoy treating her. I would just talk with her about it openly. As I have said in other conversations, communication is so important in all relationships—and when you have an issue that is a concern, it gives you both a chance to learn how to effectively communicate with each other.

curtaincall's avatar

when my wife and I were dating we did things a coording to our financial situation. I made a lot more money she did so therefore I would pay more often. She would pay sometimes and we would establish who was paying before hand.

P.s. There is no way in he’ll chivalry is dead. During the sixties and seventies women alienated men from the idea of chivalr, therefore most men think chivalry is dead because there is some hardass woman walking around saying ” I dont need a man to do shit or me” and although that may be they still want the treatment.

Eleanor's avatar

Just sit her down and tell her that you’d really like it if she would pay for some things, like a movie or a dinner. Obviously don’t expect her to pay for every time you go out, but have a compromise, you go out to a movie she buys the tickets and you pick up the pop corn and assorted candies. Or Vice Versa. Just be a team about it. If she says she can’t, then ask her why, maybe she’s horribly in debt or something. But if she just says no I don’t want to then dump her ass. She just wants to be waited on hand and foot.

gcross's avatar

Lots of great answers.

Ezra, if you are both teenagers and without much dating experience, two possibilities come to mind. Either she is naive and inexperienced and doesn’t realize that sharing the costs is the right thing to do for a modern and independent young woman… or she is using you and, when asked to start sharing the cost, she’ll dump you and go looking for some other yahoo who will pay her way. It would be wise, if potentially painful, for you to make that determination early in your relationship, rather than later.

Additionally, relationships begun in high school seldom survive past graduation. In fact, most adults of my acquaintance choose not to think about their high school years, they were that bad/embarrassing/miserable. I know of only five couples who married right out of high school. One was a beanpole tall male and a petite female – they eventually divorced. One was a couple with two kids – they were hateful, backstabbing individuals, although their marriage was still going on during the period I knew them. One couple was a jerk who went back home one weekend and married his 16yo sweetheart, then threw out her birth control pills the first week in their mobile home, and got her PG immediately. He was a redneck jackass, treated her like a servant, made her wait on him and his drinking buddies hand and foot (yes, barefoot and PG) during his frequent party weekends. As soon as he obtained base housing, and she delivered a daughter, she filed for divorce and kicked him out of the house. (Aside: ugliest baby girl I’ve ever laid eyes on.) Two of them were my twin aunts. Both conceived their senior year in high school, married the fathers and dropped out of H.S. I don’t know if they ever completed H.S. but they both had four kids and are still married today.

The final couple are my niece and her H.S. boyfriend, who were married last summer. Both have jobs, and they have been living together since their graduation a few years ago. That relationship looks solid, and at least they waited and saved up some money and tested themselves by living together a few years.

skfinkel's avatar

@across: I have a different tale about high school sweethearts: my parents are happy and celebrating 64 years together. They met in kindergarten, and after some bumpy years through middle school, began going together in late high school. I also was married to my hs sweetheart, and the marriage only ended with deep sorrow with his death, after 33 years of marriage (and 39 years together). It depends on the people, the kind of love you find, and what you put into the relationship.

artemisdivine's avatar

Depends so much on the situation. Like do you work and she doesnt? Do you have a better job than her? Most girls will take any free stuff they can get. If she wants to do something, she might OFFER to pay if you say you are a little short on cash so maybe she can pay.

I think the person doing the asking should pay. So if you cannot AFFORD to take her out, just invite her to do something free etc. And sometimes girls are just oblivious. But most just wanna be spoiled.

By the way i am MUCH more of the belief you should share expenses (not always if you are dating but sometimes).

MsJBossy's avatar

Communication is the most important part of any relationship, you have address the issue from the start. Times have change and more woman are becoming independent and need to realize that it would be nice to offer to pay sometimes.

nerfmissile's avatar

After dating women for ten years, I realized that it wasn’t for me. Heterosexual males get a kick out of spoiling women and subjecting themselves to them. Most heterosexual men must crave Amazonian mastery, or else we wouldn’t have the congruency of majority-female and majority-male cultural perspectives that allow the myth of the Patriarchy and the very negative portrayal of men in the media to persist. Doubt me? Think about the following headline:

“Asteroid hits Earth, destroying everything; women and children especially affected”

Because so many heterosexual men enjoy chivalry and sacrificing themselves and their prerogatives for the greater glory of females, we have ourselves a country where women get superior education, health care and legal representation, don’t have to be drafted or risk themselves in combat, don’t have to pay for dates, often have the choice of whether to work or eat bonbons… and men are content to die 7 years earlier without ever considering the facts.

What a waste, to believe that only one sex is “fair” and the other expendable.

kisses88's avatar

be honest with her point blank.

Oz_1's avatar

Just have a chat with her about it….be honest and communicate (key words!)...and if she has any sort of understanding…she will come around. If she doesn’t….this will give you an indication of how she will be in the future, and you need to start thinking about where your relationship is heading. It’s always 50 / 50 in a relationship these days (”,)

Oz_1's avatar

ezraglenn – sorry…just realised you are a bunch of youngins. If that’s the case….still sit down and have a chat with her….but don’t worry too much about my advice in terms of the “where is your relationship heading” line. Take it easy and best of luck (”,)

gailcalled's avatar

@latecomers; good comments but Ezra ended the relationship a month ago.

Ezra’s breakup

ezraglenn's avatar

haha, thanks Gail.

nocountry2's avatar

“Oops! Forgot my wallet babe!”

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

you the guy, you’re supposed to pay

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

Don’t blame me. Blame society

deaddolly's avatar

Ask her to or go dutch.

gailcalled's avatar

Best to read earlier answers before answering. See Ezra’s Breakup.

He has started his freshman year in college and has already been there for a month.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Say something like “You’re treating me today! :P”

gailcalled's avatar

^^Curiouscat. See the answer directly above yours. Ezra has now completed three months of college.

Welcome, but do check the date of the question asked.

TheFonz_is's avatar

talk about it.. or be cheeky and ask her where she is taking you. Maybe she doesnt like you paying all the time and is just humouring you..

Dont let it eat away at you because then you will just grow to resent her for it and it can cause problems.. be cheeky, ask her what present shes bought you today :)

gailcalled's avatar

@TheFonz_is: I repeat:

”^^Curiouscat. See the answer directly above yours. Ezra has now completed three seven months of college.

Welcome, but do check the date of the question asked. And read the responses, please, before answering in order to avoid repetition.

matius's avatar

To everyone who says that a guy sets a precedent early on by paying – are you on crack? Society says guys pay for the first few dates, so by default then a precedent is set… any girl who sees this as an ongoing pattern is nothing more than an opportunist and/or idiot. At the very least, inconsiderate and rude. Precedent my arse.

Thunderbomb82's avatar

I agree with matius. She needs to realize that she needs to pay for things too without having to have a talk about this. This should not even have to be said. I think it is rude and inconsiderate of her. Rather Chivalry or not is believed in, a guy is not “against chivalry” if he doesn’t want to pay for everything.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^: PLease note that this question was asked in January of 2008. The OP hasn’t checked in since early 2009.

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