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Paying on a date. Am I making this too big of a deal?

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 August 2015) 8 Answers - (Newest, 1 September 2015)
A female Poland age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Am I making this too big of a deal?

I have been seeing one guy for about 3 weeks now. Everything is good and I really love to be with him, he wants to be with me, we have fun together and everything is easy and we just click.

He is very caring, he cooks dinner for me etc. But one little thing bothers me.

So, the other day went to to the movies. He got the tickets for us, I got the popcorn.. After we went for coffee with his friends, and when we went to pay to the counter, he only paid his.

Maybe this sounds horrible, but I just think it's not cool at all..

It's just one coffee, I cant understand how a guy would not pay that.. Im not used to this, always when I went out with guys we pay together, and I dont assume that he will pay everytime for me..

The first few times when we went out he got me a drink, but now this just didnt make me feel good..

So am I making this too big of a deal? If I would have been the first one at the counter I would for sure had paid for his and mine..

I know its not the end of the world, and as everything else is good about him I should not maybe think about this...

But I dont want it to be like this, how do you bring this up? And is this normal for you?

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (1 September 2015):

CindyCares agony auntPoor guy, is nobody willing to cut him some slack ?:)

I mean, maybe he was just distracted, or preoccupied with something, his mind was somewhere else, he forgot. Maybe it was an automatic gesture, he is so used to pay for himself only, that just it did not come natural to pay for you too.

Or, more simply, he had paid for the movie tickets - and he thought he had already done his part for the night. Not super generous, OK - but not so wrong or cheap after all. We are not in the 50s anymore when a gentleman taking out a girl had to give her even the 10 cents for tipping the restroom attendant- because girls did not , and weren't supposed to,bring along cash on dates.

I mean, if he were such a cheapskate , he would not be cooking his food for you,he would not even have offered movie tickets, he would have insisted for splitting up everything to the cent. Maybe he does not mind paying, he just does not want to HAVE to pay for every little thing. Mind you, I am an older woman and ,as such, perfectly comfortable being invited out or offered things if it happens - at the same time, I do not think that men just because they are men MUST shell out always and everywhere. A " long " date may involve a lot of stuff, - a dinner and then a show and then a drink and then coffee and a cab ride etc.etc.- it's quite some money for two people, why would he have to pay everything ? He is not the father or the tutor of an underage girl,- he is an adult with an income, just like you.

If I had been in your shoes, I probably would have appreciated that he had already made his token effort , and act of homage so to speak, with the tickets, and I would have been cool with that ; anything else would have been welcome ,but not owed or expected.

Of course that's just me. If you feel differently, who am I to say you are wrong.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 September 2015):

Not paying for your coffee is weird in the context that you describe, of him sometimes buying you a drink.

Possibly the cinema tickets were more expensive than the popcorn so he felt "owed"? Or maybe because there was a group of you getting coffee he just felt everyone should get their own.

But overall I think what's missing here is either one of you setting a ground rule early on. Personally, I always do something to indicate to a man very early on that I'm happy to go halves on everything. I don't believe men should pay for women. BUT I am not one of those people who will get a calculator out at the end of every meal etc. to work out half of the cost. I just am happy to get the extra drink for someone sometimes and hope they will do the same and/ or don't mind paying a bit more sometimes if we get into a general pattern of doing this for one another. But the general 'rule of thumb' is 50/50.

It may be that this guy has no idea what your 'rule of thumb' is, because you haven't indicated it. So his approach seems rather random and unpredictable - and possibly 'mean' because you want something different. If you believe men should pay most of the costs of dating then you will have to find a way to communicate this. I don't think it's at all unfair for a man NOT to assume that he has to pay for everything. Why should he? Some men WILL assume they should pay for everything but others won't. It's really up to you to indicate what you want and what you're happy with.

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A male reader, Roboaxe United States +, writes (1 September 2015):

Roboaxe agony auntExcellent pieces of advice from everybody here. My own two cents is that yes, it is off putting that he did not pay for your drink. That is what a gentleman does.

There may be reasons for it, playfully bringing it up next time it happens may give you a better perspective as to what is going on.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (31 August 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with Notsohappy.

I would just PRESUME that he pays for his, you pay for yours. If you don't like it, maybe he isn't for you.

If he knew you got a coffee but went and paid for HIS only, I think he is a bit on the stingy side - I'm normally all for paying my own way and for women to pay for themselves, but he is making a point BY not paying for your coffee. And that... is well, petty in my book.

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom + , writes (31 August 2015):

Denizen agony auntThis seems a tiny point on which to raise a post on this site. Is it the only thing bothering you? It could have been an oversight. He could have been distracted and just paid for his own.

There are all manner of reasons why this didn't go the way you expected.

And why didn't you speak up at the time and say: "Hey, what about mine?"

I wouldn't get upset about one isolated incident, but if it happens again don't lose a minute in addressing it.

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A male reader, dougbcoll United States +, writes (31 August 2015):

dougbcoll agony aunt i am very old school , i believe a man should be a gentleman and open doors for a woman. pay for everything. walk beside her, give up a chair ect...

this younger generation needs to have mentors to learn from. sad we live in a me first world of self centered people with no idea how too treat a lady.

to me yes it is a big deal when a guy will not buy a movie ticket or coffee. he needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

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A female reader, MSA United States +, writes (31 August 2015):

MSA agony auntIf you are serious about him and consider him boyfriend material, why not just be open and honest and ask him. Say: "Honey, how come you only paid for your coffee and not mine? Did you forget about me?" Or something along the lines of that.

It's best to start open and clear communication than to guess. Just ask and see what he says. If it's his preference to pay his own then you will know and either accept or see if you can work out a compromise.

Don't let this upset you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 August 2015):

My advice is not to bring it up. His male ego is already not feeling the best after not paying for you. Three weeks is very soon for you and him to be going dutch. There is a possibility that he is not financial secure to date you. And if that is the case then you should decide NOW if you are ready to engage in a relationship with a guy of that caliber.

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