He makes more but wants us to pay equally
October 10, 2011 10:22 AM Subscribe
How to fairly split expenses in a relationship?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (50 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
My current boyfriend and I have only been dating for two months. Basically everything is great-- it's by far the best relationship I have ever been in: we get along very well; he's completely sweet and attentive; we have similar senses of humor, values, and goals; we communicate well and hanging out with him feels like hanging out with one of my best friends. He's smart, stable, mature, and has his sh*t together. I'm 24 and he's 25.
Here is the only issue we've run into, and one that I'm not sure how best to approach. When we began dating, he paid for basically everything (like 80-90% of dinners, movies etc) but made it clear that he thought a relationship should be 50/50. I'm not the most generous person ever, and I currently don't have a job despite aggressively searching. I'm not running super low on money ( I have some saved from my last job) but it makes me nervous to spend money with no source of income.
He makes what is, in my mind, a lot of money (far more than any of my friends my age). He is making enough that he could theoretically support a family on his income. I completely agree that he shouldn't be expected to pay for everything, but I guess I don't think 50/50 is completely fair either, given how disparate our incomes are.
We discussed this and he basically said he couldn't be expected to pay for everything (I agree) and he couldn't afford to go out all the time. I definitely do not expect to be taken out all the time, I don't have expensive tastes, and I don't need to be spoiled in that sense or have a lot of money spent on me. I like that he is frugal/careful with money, and he is generous with people in general and a good sharer/compromiser.
We started off being more lighthearted/joking about it but it's gotten a little more tense. We've recently become long-distance (cross-country) and we've discussed flying to see each other every two months or so. I asked him if he'd split my ticket out to see him in two months and he said yes, which I'm happy with. But if he flies out to see me, he wants me to split the ticket with him as well. It's a big expense for me and I logistically don't know if I can afford to maintain long-distance if I have to split the cost of airline tickets for both of us.
Although I hate to admit it, I think even more it just bothers me because I don't think it's totally fair for it to be 50/50 when he is earning so much more. On the other hand, I understand that my lack of employment isn't his problem. I've been in a relationship where my boyfriend expected me to pay for everything because I had more money and it really bothered me, so I understand his point of view. I wouldn't want to date someone who expected me to foot the bill every time either.
I know this, yet I can't stop being somewhat bothered when it comes up. We have a perfect relationship in every other sense, and he is such a kind-hearted and sweet person and as far as I can tell we are compatible in pretty much every way. How can I change my thinking about this/stop being bothered by his unwillingness to pay more in proportion to his income? I hate to feel this way because I feel like a bit of a spoiled brat, and I really don't want it to come between us or cause tension in an otherwise great relationship.