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Dating Question Am I Being Unreasonable?

Fablegirl posted 6/8/2019 06:56 AM

I am trying to decided if I have unreasonable expectations. Have been dating BF for 10 months. We get along very well and DD likes him a lot too. He lives in a lovely home just up the road. He recently decided to retire and seems comfortable financially. He's divorced with no children and spends his time volunteering for causes and working on his property. He cooks a lot for me at his home when I come over and stay (most of our interactions are in his home because I still live on XWH's family property). When we eat out there is no system for paying -- though lately I have been picking up the check more. I earn a decent salary and he knows this. Recently he invited me to a music festival out of town and asked me to take care of the hotel reservations. My response to him was that I was happy to pay my fair share but I wanted him to take care of it because he knew the area and I spent my whole marriage "taking care" of things like that. So he made the reservation and when we got home I was going to write him a check for half the room. He responded that he thought I was going to pay for the whole room since the tickets to the festival were $150. The room was only $80 so I went ahead and did so but I felt stung. When we were first dating we stayed at a luxury hotel in the country and I paid for the whole thing -- he never offered to cover even half. He is a very frugal person overall and I respect that (I am not). Now lately when we eat out with DD he has expected me to pay. He sits back when the check arrives and waits for me to get out my purse. I am not sure how to raise this without sounding like I am score-keeping. He is a generous person and has picked up the check sometimes. He looks after my dog when I am out of town and cared for me several days in his home when I was injured in an accident.
However, I financially supported WH throughout our marriage while he pretended he was a rich country squire. He never had any money and worked a free lance job. Am I being petty? What is a reasonable expectation here? I think there should be more shared decision-making on who pays for things. But also, there's a part of me that just wants to be taken care without having to worry or negotiate. Any advice?

barcher144 posted 6/8/2019 08:18 AM

Am I being petty? What is a reasonable expectation here? I think there should be more shared decision-making on who pays for things. But also, there's a part of me that just wants to be taken care without having to worry or negotiate. Any advice?

I don't think that you are being petty. You have a open wound on stuff like this. There is a big difference between those two descriptions of what you are doing. Go easy on yourself.

I do think, however, that you are keeping score a little too closely. If he paid for tickets and you paid for the hotel, then that's "about even." If it's about even, then I think that you need to let it go as an issue.

If it is too one-sided, then you need to have a difficult discussion with him. Say that you are a modern woman and you are willing to pay your fair share, but only your fair share.

p.s. In my relationship, I try to make sure that it's "about even" but perhaps tilted so that I pay a bit more. I would rather pay extra than appear to be a free-loader.

WithGrace posted 6/8/2019 08:41 AM

It sounds like things have been close to even so far but may be starting to shift. This is bothering you so I would bring it up with bf for discussion. It would be okay to explain you are sensitive to division of costs due to an experience in a former relationship and want to ensure things stay fair.

You are still early on in the relationship so could suggest that you each pay your own way for now. This means he pays for his dinner, tickets and half of any share of hotels etc. and you pay for yourself and DD. This takes a little more effort via split cheques and paying each other back for half of things but will give you some peace of mind.

I had a bad experience with XWH, he refused to pay for anything so he could buy alcohol and luxury items beyond his means while I paid 100% of the bills and household expenses. I was absolutely not okay with this but was stuck with this arrangement until I divorced him.

I went through the same experience as you when I started dating my bf. I was worried I would allow myself to end up in a situation where I would be financially exploited again so I took a proactive approach. I decided to be open with bf about my concerns and we agreed to each pay our own way. We have been together almost two years now so it's naturally relaxed a little (we alternate paying for meals out rather than getting separate cheques) but we both continue to pay for our own expenses. I enjoy getting him gifts but feel no obligation to take on his share of regular expenses. This is working well for us and will likely continue going forward. I have no plans to marry again and can take care of myself so I expect the same from my partner.

Open a conversation with your bf about your financial concerns and negotiate something you can both live with.

hopeandnohope posted 6/8/2019 09:24 AM

You are a single mother. Even though you make a decent salary, it's tough being a single mom. I remember those days well.

Now lately when we eat out with DD he has expected me to pay. He sits back when the check arrives and waits for me to get out my purse.

This^^makes my blood boil!!! Huge red flag!

Maybe the best thing is to say 'separate tickets' before you order and accept his company as a friend instead of a partner...or limit your activities to what you are willing to pay.

My mom and her partner (she is 83, he is 91) live together, are comfortable but are both very conscious of who pays and keep track of any perceived slight. We usually pick up the tab because they act like they are broke...which they are not. Their cheapness is annoying and embarrassing so we avoid going out with them. After 20 years they each have their own food and complain when the other drinks their orange juice! Money seems to be their only thorn. The keeping track to keep it even is damaging when one person feels cheated.

Anyway you should not pay for his dinner unless it's his birthday. Maybe asking for separate tickets will help and maybe he'll say 'I got this'.

I've also been exploited financially by my ex. Sometimes being too generous makes it easy to feel used too.

[This message edited by hopeandnohope at 1:10 PM, June 9th (Sunday)]

inconnu posted 6/8/2019 09:47 AM

I think you need to talk about this with your bf. It seems like maybe your communication styles aren't in sync.

For example -

Recently he invited me to a music festival out of town and asked me to take care of the hotel reservations.

I think he was saying that if he got the festival tickets, would you pick up the tab for the hotel? But because of how he worded it, you felt like it became an expectation or obligation. Especially since, as you said, sometimes you just want to feel taken care of. I get that. When you've been the "responsible one" it feels great when someone else steps up and takes care of everything for you.

It's also possible that he's doing a bit of "score-keeping" himself. If you're frequently at his house and he's doing the cooking, maybe he's comparing the cost of the groceries and meal prep for that to the cost of the meals eaten out at restaurants.

Maybe you both just have different perceptions of what "fair share" looks like. You need to talk about it with each other.


Phoenix1 posted 6/8/2019 13:53 PM

I get it. I, too, was financially exploited and sucked dry by Xhole during the M. It's a bit of a touchy area for me as well.

My SO and I just take turns covering costs. If I am inviting him somewhere (we travel quite a bit), I cover costs. When he invites me, he covers costs. When one if us says, "Hey, can you take care of XXX?" It is understood between us that includes all aspects - reservations, costs, etc. Sometimes he will surprise me and buck our understood system. For example, last month I invited him to a live show. I bought the tickets. We had dinner before. I was pulling my purse out to pay for dinner when he grabbed the check and paid. I told him I wanted to pay for it but he just smiled and paid anyway. Sometimes I will do the same for him. Overall, it is distributed fairly evenly, but we don't really keep track.

If I thought SO was taking advantage of me, I wouldn't be silent. After what Xhole did, never again.

Bottom line, this is bothering you. Address it or it's going to keep eating at you. Either talk to him about it or walk away.

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 1:54 PM, June 8th (Saturday)]

Furious1 posted 6/8/2019 16:55 PM

I was also financially abused and exploited in my past relationships. I believe it is more than reasonable to expect the inviting party to pick up the entire tab unless another agreement has been reached beforehand. It sounds like you need to find out who is going to pay for what before you accept any invitations from him in the future or whenever the two of you make plans together to go somewhere to do something.

F1

Charity411 posted 6/9/2019 08:13 AM

If you don't mind paying your fair share, then I would start asking for separate checks. Because it seems to me your discomfort is about having things sprung on you in this regard at the last moment. Separate checks would solve it. Then you can enjoy your evening out without wondering about the awkward moment at the end.

With regard to the concert situation, I get that you don't want to be the one who always takes care of things. But if I hear you right, he got the tickets. He had already taken the initiative. He might have wanted you to pick the hotel because he wanted to be sure it was to your taste and expense level.

HalfTime2017 posted 6/9/2019 17:40 PM

But also, there's a part of me that just wants to be taken care without having to worry or negotiate. Any advice?

Would it be okay if a "man" said the same thing?

StillLivin posted 6/10/2019 01:32 AM

I think that if a man cooked often for me without me contributing to the groceries, that it would be ok if I paid the check, so long as it wasn't us eating out way more than him cooking. I dated a guy once who ALWAYS came over to eat my cooking without contributing for the groceries. He took me out twice and both times it was to places where my meal came up to less than $15. After about 3 months, I told him he needed to pick up some groceries. He balked, I lost his number.
If you cook for him as often as he cooks for you, then that changes my advice. Then, he should have paid for his own meal when he goes out with you and your daughter. You dont specify how often you eat out, so hard to assess how much he is reciprocating.

StillLivin posted 6/10/2019 01:32 AM

I think that if a man cooked often for me without me contributing to the groceries, that it would be ok if I paid the check, so long as it wasn't us eating out way more than him cooking. I dated a guy once who ALWAYS came over to eat my cooking without contributing for the groceries. He took me out twice and both times it was to places where my meal came up to less than $15. After about 3 months, I told him he needed to pick up some groceries. He balked, I lost his number.
If you cook for him as often as he cooks for you, then that changes my advice. Then, he should have paid for his own meal when he goes out with you and your daughter. You dont specify how often you eat out, so hard to assess how much he is reciprocating.

IrishGirlVA posted 6/10/2019 12:40 PM

To play devil's advocate, it is possible that things in his past has made him feel as though you are financially exploiting him. KWIM?

If reimbursing for half the room seemed fair, wouldn't reimbursing for half the concert tickets be fair too? 50/50 on everything? But you paying for only the entire hotel room bill, you are coming out ahead than splitting it all down the middle.

I'm not trying to diminish your feelings on the matter, I'm just trying to show you a different perspective. Don't 'punish' him for what your WH has done. That's not fair to BF.

I will agree that him never picking up the tab when your daughter comes along is just childish. He should be ordering from the kids menu, too. But seriously, just don't invite him to go out with you and DD. Problem solved. If he does go then separate checks is the way to go.

[This message edited by IrishGirlVA at 12:41 PM, June 10th (Monday)]

IrishGirlVA posted 6/10/2019 12:40 PM

**duplicate post**

[This message edited by IrishGirlVA at 12:40 PM, June 10th (Monday)]

Cheatee posted 6/10/2019 12:52 PM

One thing I am learning (finally!) in my current relationship, is the value of sitting down and hashing out things like finances. Not waiting until they become grievances, but saying,

"Hey, we seem to have misunderstandings about who is paying for what. What do you think we should do, to establish a framework, so we're not having misunderstandings going forward?"

My current (and final, I hope) GF has taught me to look at small grievances as opportunities to discuss the larger guiding issues, including money, but presumably other things.

He seems to assume you'll pay for joint meals and travel expenses. You seem to want more equity. Sounds like an opportunity to discuss.

HappyTree posted 6/11/2019 08:44 AM

If the two of you are spending alot of time together, maybe it is time you had a joint account. Each month you each put a set amount of money into the account and that is your fun "date money." As long as the two of you are being equal about your spending, then that might work out.

Fablegirl posted 6/11/2019 16:32 PM

Thank you everyone for the great advice. Your feedback has given me a new framework to think about this. BF does cook all of the meals for us and I should take that into account-- but really it's a conversation, not a nonstarter.

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