General Question

bearfair's avatar

Money and relationships- etiquette advice?

Asked by bearfair (403points) July 28th, 2008

I just started seeing someone who has a lot more money than I do. Like, a lot. He pays when we go out, and really? I haven’t offered to even once, because there’s no way I could afford to. So instead of doing that, I try to do things for him that only I can do and that don’t cost, things like making dinner, giving massages and awesome blowjobs, teaching him how to play cribbage, bringing him to new places I know about (secret river spots, new restaurants, tequila tastings), etc.

Is this enough? Should I be offering to pay sometimes? I’m not really concerned about the gender issue thing, by the way.

Have you ever been in an economically inequal relationship? Any insights for me?

Thank you!

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29 Answers

whiteowl's avatar

i know what you feel! really!
I was in such situation :)
Believe me, if he will be happy with you even if there will be no “payment” from your side at all (i mean all kinds of paying,even blowjobs and so on) then he is worth of seeng you! you do not have to!
Unless you want!
Man should know how to treat lady with not leaving her a feeling of guilt, even if it is the whole state :)
my subjective opinion.

kevbo's avatar

Don’t keep score. Instead be gracious about the gifts you are receiving from this person, and continue to give things that you think he will appreciate. You are each teaching something about life to the other. Hopefully, that’s the center of your relationship.

Don’t let the money prevent you from expressing your needs in the relationship, even if they might be negative. (That being said, you may decide to pick and choose your battles more judiciously.)

I’m in an inequal relationship in this manner. I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t love the person, and she does it not because I demand it, but because it gives her immense pleasure to treat me well. The best reward for her is my appreciation (or honesty if it’s something I don’t want or need).

Pay every once and a while if you feel you can afford it, and if it’s acceptable to him (with or without a little arguing on your part). On the whole, though, don’t worry about it. Just make sure you both are enjoying the relationship.

I should add one thing. Don’t relinquish your independence completely. Even if you put it on a shelf, at least know it’s on the shelf and that you can take it down, dust it off, and use it again someday.

wildflower's avatar

If you’re compatible and want to be together, the money won’t matter.
However, as long as your’re giving blowjobs as repayment for expensive dinners, I don’t think you’ll make it work in the long run.

gooch's avatar

If he does not want to pay then he would not be taking you. Don’t worry about it. As long as you are not using the guy for his money let him do. I know he can see and appreciate all the little things you do.

augustlan's avatar

If he asks you, he should pay, if you ask him, you should pay. Why not take him to dinner sometime, at a place you CAN afford. If you truly can’t afford any extra expenses, then just be honest with him (including the fact that the money situation makes you a little uneasy.) Look at it this way, I’m a stay at home mom, with no income…and I’m not even a good housekeeper! Hubby says as long as I rub his back as he goes to sleep, that’s all he needs from me:)

scamp's avatar

Just enjoy your time with him and don’t worry so much about it. It sounds like your are contributing everything you can to the relationship, and since he isn’t complaining, you shouldn’t worry. I agree with augustlan . Offer to pay at a place you can afford from time to time, but otherwise, unless he complains, just have fun! Good Luck and keep up the good work!!

poofandmook's avatar

I was in this situation for a while, and I dealt with it by never suggesting we go anywhere unless I was confident I could foot half of the cost. If it was suggested that we go somewhere I knew I couldn’t afford, I would say something like: “I don’t feel comfortable going there because I can’t afford my half.” Then the ball is in his court. If he still said he wanted to go there and he would pay, I would ask if he’s sure, and then leave the rest to him. But then I’d be sure to make a really nice meal the next time.

marinelife's avatar

I would say offer once in a while. Perhaps you could take him out to breakfast. I think if you at least offer, you will feel better. He can always insist.

bearfair's avatar

Thanks for your feedback everyone! The most reassuring point that almost everyone made was that if he didn’t want to take me places/pay, then he wouldn’t do it.

@wildflower: I’m not trying to single out blowjobs as repayment for dinner, expensive or not- that’s reductive. What I meant to express was that they are just one part of the delightful, interesting, fun-to-be-with and giving person that I want to be for him in return for being so generous(and not just with the money thing) to me. Know what I mean?

gailcalled's avatar

I like the idea of paying back in kind, but sex for money has another name where I come from.

Talk to him. It is impossible to read someone’s mind..

wildflower's avatar

Don’t keep score! And even if you’re compelled to compare the extravagance (sp?) of the gestures you show each other, don’t compare sex with nights out, it’s just not healthy.
Instead of thinking about how much money either of you spends, why not consider the effort and thought gone in to it.
And, if the money really bothers you that much, talk about. Explain how you feel about it. Chances are, he’ll arrange something just as thoughtful that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg :)

paulc's avatar

So your less generous/wealthy boyfriends have only got “average” blowjobs? Raw deal for them.

It sounds to me like you think that being extra nice is a worthy exchange for someone spending lots of money on you. I would be more concerned about how often he cooks dinner for you or gives you “awesome” cunnilingus as expressions of how much he likes/cares for you. If all the guy does is drop cash that doesn’t mean a damn thing except that he’s got lots to spare.

bearfair's avatar

@ paulc:

1. I give awesome blowjobs to all my generous boyfriends whether they’re wealthy or not.

2. He doesn’t know how to cook.

3. He does give me awesome cunnilingus.

We’re both generous to each other in every sense- attention, affection, orgasms, jokes, sharing new things, backrubs (not just me, him too), whatever- all except for money. I also think it’s important to note that I weight all of these things equally- money isn’t more important than backrubs aren’t more important than making dinner isn’t more important than blowjobs, etc. My concern is that he can be generous in a way that I can’t; sometimes I’m afraid that the only way I CAN reciprocate is to be extra nice.

At the same time, I would be this nice to him anyway, because I really like him.

After reading and appreciating all the above comments, I guess my working theory is that as long as we’re both as generous as we can be, then I shouldn’t obsess over the money thing. If I had money, I would spend it on him just as he spends it on me; at bottom, it’s not a question of money, but of generosity.

marinelife's avatar

@bearfair I thought of another idea. What about making a sensuous, wonderful picnic for him when you show him those special places?

lindabrowne1's avatar

Enjoy the relationship, be at one with him. . .let it evolve. For sure don’t keep score and certainly be yourself.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

enjoy, be happy and don’t put a price tag on it.

chaosrob's avatar

I know this is a radical idea, but you might consider talking to him about the disparity between you. At least ask if he’s noticed it, and if it concerns him that your situation hasn’t left you with the disposable income he has.

Financial disparities like this can also reflect major differences in social background and status, long-term life goals, education, etc. You should put some effort into understanding where you’re different from one another across the board, not just economically. That’s just normal communication in a healthy relationship.

(The blowjobs are good, though, I’d definitely keep that up.)

scamp's avatar

Wait a minute. I thought this thread was about dating etiquette and money, not who sucks on who. I really don’t care to know about how many dicks you’ve had in your mouth, or how proud you are of it.

bearfair's avatar

Tell that to paulc- he’s the one who’s fixated on all the blow jobs I’ve given.

scamp's avatar

If I had noticed this
I try to do things for him that only I can do and that don’t cost, things like making dinner, giving massages and awesome blowjobs

in the question, I wouldn’t have participated in the thread. Comments were made because you invited them with that statement.

bearfair's avatar

So quit participating- your words are violent, disrespectful and not helpful.

scamp's avatar

Violent? What did I say that was violent? I did offer some help earlier. I’ll give you disrespectful tho. Respectable woman don’t blurt such things out in public. That my dear is your etiquette advice.

bearfair's avatar

I didn’t ask for your opinion on what makes a respectable woman- please keep it to yourself.

The question was about romantic relationships and money- for me, sex is an important part of that kind of relationship, and an important part of the question I asked in the context in which I asked it. I wasn’t offended by paulc’s comment about the relative quality of my blowjobs- I thought I was being funny. Apologies if that didn’t come across how I meant it.

This comment: I really don’t care to know about how many dicks you’ve had in your mouth, or how proud you are of it is an attack on me- if you don’t care about how many dicks I’ve had in my mouth, then why would you bother to tell me about it unless you wanted to chastise or shame me? That, from a stranger I had asked for help, is a violent act.

bearfair's avatar

1: marked by extreme force or sudden intense activity

marinelife's avatar

Can’t we all just get along here? I think things have gone off topic quite a bit. Different people have different values about discussing sexuality.

What the main point of the question is is money inequality and relationships and how to deal with that. The questioner made that pretty clear.

Facade's avatar

My babe makes more money than I do (I’m unemployed). When we were together (in the same state), he’d always pay for everything. I’d offer to pay, and he’d turn it down. This works for us now, for both gender and monetary reasons. When I have a paycheck, we’ll share the load.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I think he knows that, that is the reason why he never asks you to pitch in. I would say don’t feel entitled to the goodies. Do not get settled in it either, if he one day just wanted to go to the batting cages etc. and when it does do not be annoyed and such. And suggest to him but don’t tell him how to spend his money. :-D

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Unless he is brain dead or as sharp as a sack of bowling balls he knows what you can or is more likely to afford and what you can’t. If you drive around in a 6 year old Ford compact and not a Mercedes E class, your clothes come mostly from Fashion Bug, or Marshalls than Macys or Neman Marcus, and you shop at Winco and not the organic deli, he knows you can’t afford to dine at the places he dines at. If you eat mostly at Dennys or Chilies he knows you could not afford to pay $70 or more a plate except on very special occasions.

If I were him I would know that. I would appreciate being treated like a “king” if I felt she truly done it because she had feelings for me and appreciated what I do for her. If I felt she was doing it out of duty (such as bring it up to show how she did that because I did this etc) it would not last long. Same way I would not say “we are eating at chez Megabucks so I can get one of your awesome BJ later”. If I have to suggest affection from a woman I am with be I spend $300 dollars on a night out with her or $13 bucks she is not the gal for me.

You can’t equal his money but you can surprise him with experiences he may never have had that is within your budget. Take him out on a pic nic and to the batting gages, or best 2 out of 3 at the go cart track. Blind fold him and tell him not to look then dribble different things on his body and sensually lick it off and dare him to guess what it is you are pouring on him. Maybe a kite flying contest where the loser has to give the winner a back rub. Take him out garage selling or flea marketing. I think he will appreciate you making an effort to do interesting activities even if on a budget.

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