Question: I’ve been dating someone new for about a month. Recently I’ve noticed that he makes a lot of comments about money, how much things costs, etc. For example, I joined him at his apartment one night. I mentioned that I had taken a cab from his place to mine. He suggested that next time I should take the subway because “it’s less expensive.” Over dinner he spoke about where he buys his food and how inexpensive it was to make the meal. We met on OKCupid. On our first date he mentioned that he would never pay for an online dating site. He has never skimped on dates when we go out, paid the bill, etc. We take the subway most times. When we eat together it’s usually at his place. Not in a restaurant. He recently bought his apartment and has been at his job for over two years and appears financially stable and responsible. I can’t tell if he’s fixated on money, having money problems, is cheap or trying to be helpful. What are your thoughts?
Typically, if comments like this get under your skin, there is a reason. Maybe it’s a past experience with an overly frugal partner or your own personal financial shortcomings. Rarely do these statements stay with or affect us for no reason.
Only recently (in the last 2 years) have I really become more educated on certain financial issues. Financial management has become a huge priority in the wake of my Dad’s surgery and subsequent passing. His constant question “What are you going to do when I’m gone?” haunts me. Maybe it was part of my grieving/bargaining process, but I spent a good chunk of the last 2 weeks getting certain things in order and establishing new relationships with financial advisors. So, if a guy made comments like this to me, I’d probably internalize them, too. But that’s about me.
My thoughts about your situation is that none of this should concern you at this point. If he doesn’t like to spend his money on cabs or restaurants, that’s his right. It’s his money. If he just bought an apartment, I’m sure he probably had to invest quite a bit of his earnings or savings to do so. Now, if he begins to deny you things citing the cost, that’s when you have reason to be concerned. If you want to take a taxi and can afford it, take a taxi. If he continues to bring up how cheap the subway is, gently assure him that you understand the cost but sometimes prefer a cab. Or just lie or keep certain things to yourself until more is revealed. Seriously, folks. It’s okay to not be 100% honest all the time. You know who says that people should never lie to their dates? People who barely date or can’t get past the first date. Honestly, at this point, how you choose to spend the money you work hard to earn is nobody’s business.
Some people just don’t know what’s appropriate to discuss and what isn’t. He might assume that everybody that lives in Manhattan knows how expensive things are and so therefore it’s open for discussion. What you could do is ask him why he makes these comments. You don’t have to be pointed or accusatory. Just start the conversation some night when things are relaxed or the next time he makes a similar comment. Say to him, “It’s sweet that you worry about how much money I spend.” Open the door and let him walk in. Maybe things are tight for him. Maybe he’s trying to do the best he can with what he has to impress you. Start the conversation if this is something that concerns you.
Even if he is frugal, is that really such a bad thing? I was reading this amusing exchange between two women about why the man should pay for the first date. Guys, you want some Intel about how we dissect your spending habits? Take a look. And that’s the funny thing. We women make comments like this all the time. Maybe not to the man’s face, of course. But many of us scrutinize how a man spends his money.
Look, if you want a tropical vacation or expensive dinners or to be wooed at some uppity bar, pay for that stuff yourself. There’s no rule that says he has to do it for you. If things like that are important, then why don’t you bring them to the table? Don’t get stuck on antiquated rules about what a man should or shouldn’t do. We ladies want the freedom to do what we please without judgment. Why can’t men be afforded the same right?
Ooh..disclaimer time, kids! Here’s the skinny. Just because I link to a blog in a post doesn’t mean I’m “attacking” the blogger. As you can see, there was nothing negative said about the blogger. I’d be more than happy to leave my assessment of what they make public on the internet in the form of a comment on their blog. But since that doesn’t appear to work for many of them, I’ll be writing it here. Should anybody take issue with that, feel free to contact Management or file your Butt Hurt Complaint Form.