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Your_Majesty's avatar

Should I feel ashamed if I ask my friend to pay his/her part?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212 points ) July 21st, 2010

Ok folks,here’s the story;
I usually pay for my friend if I ask him/her (a ‘him’ usually insist to pay for our food)to go out to eat with me,I really like to invite my friend to eat together somewhere else so we can talk about interesting thing/or to know each other better but I don’t always have much money for constant feast invitation and I feel that I’ve been used since I always pay for our food and I suspect that the reason she(and other friends,we usually go as duo/trio) wants to go to eat with me because I offer “free food” for her. I feel guilty since I’m the one who invite her and I’m the one who suggest that I should pay for our food.

My SO usually the one who pay for me if he invites me to eat outside and for other entertainments but sometime I pay for him in return.

Can someone here know what’s the best solution in this situation? I really want that we pay equally for our part if I invite someone with me.
Even if there is a solution,don’t you think it would be awkward if I suddenly ask each of us to pay for our own since I have been paying for them from along time ago.

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13 Answers

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

This is a hard one.

I would just write it in an email…it’s easier and it will allow you to say exactly what you feel.

“Dear (Name)...

You know how much I value your friendship and always enjoy going out with you. I am writing because when we go out, I usually pay for our lunches/dinners and I have truly enjoyed being able to do that. With my economic situation now, I will not be able to pay when we go out together, but I still enjoy your company. Rather than not go out anymore (and that would make me sad) would it be possible for each one of us to pay our own dinners or lunches when we go out? Or perhaps, one time I will pay and the next time, you can pay and we can take turns? I hope that you understand my situation and how much your friendship means to me. I look forward to hearing from you. Love….Doctor D”

Austinlad's avatar

I’d add to what @DarlingRhadamanthus says and suggest that you keep such an email very simple and to the point. I’ve found that the more you try explain something like this, the more difficult it becomes. You have every right to ask that your friend share the expense.

In past lives I was always the one to pick up the check (part of my need to be liked) but nowadays I just set the rule early on by saying, “Let’s make this dutch.” No one has ever pushed back.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus That is such a good idea! I don’t know how she will react,I suspect that she will think about me in a bad way. I have an experience where someone I used to invite to eat together with me decline to go with me again since after our last feast I try to suggest that she should pay for her part. That person will usually decline my invitation most of the time for many excuses,unlike when I used to pay for her.

BoBo1946's avatar

Depends on the relationship. Intimate relationship, yes! ...casual friend, no!

@DarlingRhadamanthus vote for this answer!

anartist's avatar

Maybe offer “would you like to come over for dinner and Netflix? Going out has become too expensive for me. Or would you like to go out “Dutch?” You may not feel like cooking and all that, but I think your friend would probably rather go out even if it is “Dutch” —- How did that term come into the English language—Niederlanders, any comments?

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Doctor D….......If your friend cannot understand your situation…and gets upset…then was he/she a true friend? It’s possible that your friend does not have the money to go out, either. So, perhaps there is another solution? You make a date to meet at a park and bring a picnic lunch from home? Or you meet in the afternoon to go to a museum and you don’t go to dinner? Or something that does not involve dinner? There are lots of things to do with someone and you don’t have to pay? Or go to have simply coffee and cake? That’s not as expensive.

If you explain WHY…“It has become much too expensive for me to go out to dinner and treat my friends…I hope you understand and do not think badly of me. I truly enjoy our time together and just am asking that perhaps until my situation improves, you might consider sharing your part of the expense? Thank you so much.”

I wish you all good things….you seem like such a considerate and generous friend.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@anartist I don’t really have the passion for cooking,I can cook but not really that good. Your suggestion sounds good but I don’t even know what “Dutch” means,I only know it’s how they call Netherlands people.

@DarlingRhadamanthus Thank you for you reply! Great advice! I think I’m going to do that,rather than keep wasting my money for them. I can use more money for my own if I do that.

perspicacious's avatar

When you ask him/her to go out, just say “it’ll have to be dutch.” He/she will almost assuredly say “that’s the way it should be.”

anartist's avatar

Actually your friends should feel ashamed of the prolonged free ride. But I know how you feel, even if I can’t afford it, it’s what I grew up with seeing people do and I try to also. Trouble is, if you are filthy rich, likely most of your friends are too and this is not an issue, but if you are strapped, you probably have a lot of friends in the same boat . . . that ‘birds of a feather’ thing…

“Dutch treat” is an Americanism meaning “split the check—you pay yours, I pay mine”

YARNLADY's avatar

My definition of a friend is apparently different from yours. I would feel quite comfortable saying “I would love to ask you to go….....with me, but I can only afford one, can you go if you have to pay your own way?”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Don’t feel ashamed. It’s usual for the person who invites to pay and super nice if the guest returns the favor now and then if they like one another’s company. Is your friend really financially strapped. If so then maybe that’s why she/he hasn’t offered in return and thinks since you keep inviting then you’re also okay with continually paying.

In your shoes I’d bring up wanting to go dutch/share the bill in order that you two might keep enjoying talks and noshes out. They should get the hint you’re no longer good with footing the bill each time. If pressed then say you really like going out but aren’t able to afford to pay all of it anymore.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’m very much a “I’ll pay today you pay tomorrow” kind of gal. The few times I’ve had friends take advantage of that I’ve just requested a separate bill before the ordering takes place.

Do you really want a friend who would ditch you because you are no longer paying their way?

laurenkem's avatar

I’ve learned the hard way that, if I invite a friend out for lunch, that person expects me to be paying the bill, since I invited them. I’ve also been on the other end – dated a few guys who would invite me to dinner and then expect me to pay (and not just for mine, theirs too). So now I ask someone if they want to get together for lunch/dinner/whatever, and I make it clear that we’ll each pay for ourselves. I got very tired of people taking advantage of me. Especially the men who were asking me out on “dates” with no mention of the fact that they expected me to pay for the meal.

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