Stop Expecting Men To Pay For Things. SERIOUSLY.

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): BringHimBackLove-and-money-300x225

Comment: Just over 2 years ago, my boyfriend of 7 years (!) up and left me, and quickly married someone else.

I am still getting over it, but in the meantime, have met another guy who is very nice, warm and kind. We had been dating for 6 months when we went on a month-long vacation to Europe.

Originally when we spoke of going on vacation together, I asked if he was going to pay. In my mind, part of my ex BF’s lack of commitment was the fact that he didn’t pay for most things, and so a guy treating me is important to me.

Although my new BF always pays for our dates,and even picks up groceries now and then, he said no. I then told him I was a bit short of cash, so he said he’d charge the hotels. I assume that meant he isn’t expecting me to pay him back.

Anyhow, since I’ve made it clear I’m looking for marriage, it seemed clear to me that he’d propose in Europe, but he didn’t.

Once we got back he still didn’t propose, and since we’re both in our late 30s, I was a bit surprised as he can understand my fears, not to mention the pressure my parents are putting on me now 8 months in. Plus we already spend so much time together…

But this is his first long-term relationship so he said he needed a bit more time.

As a compromise, we decided to open a savings account together in which we’d each put a small sum of money, as a sign of our commitment for the future. After that I was sure the proposal was coming, but a month later when I asked him what’s going on, and reminded him that he’d promised me this relationship was serious, his response was “I never promised you anything”.

He then left me a week later. Just came to my apartment, took his stuff and left. A week later he sent a break up text saying he needed to rethink this relationship and we could talk in a few weeks. But it’s now been 3 months and no sign.

I don’t get it. Why would he go on a long vacation with me when he knew what I wanted? Or make attempts to prove seriousness if he was going to up and leave just two months after we got back?

Was he always planning on leaving or did I pressure him too much?

He was paying for all the dates, talked about his dreams, introduced me to his family, spent all his free time with me, shared his financial prospects, and took lots of pictures of me (which shows how proud he was to be with me). I in turn did all the cooking and cleaning,  gave him emotional security, and encouraged him to learn towards a degree. That all seems like some pretty serious commitment to me.

I’m sure I was the love of his life (before me no girl lasted more than a few weeks). I feel like maybe if I’d dropped the wedding pressure for another couple months he would have asked. Or maybe he was just scared by finally meeting the one. There’s simply nothing else that makes sense after all that we did for each other.

Do you think there’s any way we can work this out? I’m devastated by this.
Age: 37
City: Pittsburgh
State: Pennsylvania


Uh. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this guy to come back. The fact that two – count ‘em, two – men up and left you should tell you that you drive men to the brink with your expectations concerning money and marriage.

First off, pay your own god damn way on that trip. Who the hell do you think you are expecting this guy to shell out thousands for a trip to Europe??? You’re “low on cash?” Stay home. I was just having this very conversation with a friend about traveling with a man you’re dating. I would never in a million years expect someone to pay my way on a trip. You split the costs as best you can depending on what each of you make.

Once more I will point put how, when it comes to dating, all common and social decency goes out the window.  In no other instance would we expect anybody to foot any bill where we contributed to the amount owed. That’s a baffling sense of entitlement. But because it’s dating and dating encourages and perpetuates outdated gender roles, this grotesque brattiness continues to exist. Men pay for things because they know there’s a social expectation placed upon them to do so. Trust me when I tell you that they grit their teeth ever so slightly when they pull out their credit card and lay it down. But nothing will make them fill with contempt more than, as they make this gesture, the woman just sits back quietly and lets him do it. The expectation is one they have grown to accept. It’s the entitlement that makes them want to whip out a calculator and circle what the woman owes with a big red pen. Men are more than happy to pay for things when they know the woman appreciates it. It’s when they begin to feel like a walking ATM card do they become resentful.

There’s simply nothing else that makes sense after all that we did for each other.

Really? There’s nothing else that you think might have driven this guy away? Because I can think of one or two reasons. Such as  your utter lack of emotional maturity and your stunning capacity for self-absorption. Then there’s the fact that not once in this letter did you mention having any kind of feelings for this man. That’s extremely telling. You don’t say that you love him or even care for him deeply. It’s one long temper tantrum because you didn’t get what you wanted when you wanted it. This whole letter is about you and your fears and your expectations and what he promised you and all about how you like being treated. But, hey. You cook and clean. BHB, he can get a maid for that. That’s not why people get into relationships.

The only reason you’re “devastated” by this is because you’re that much further from your goal of getting married. Grow up, tell your parents to calm the fuck down and get off your back, and stop thinking everything is about you. Oh, and get a job that pays you enough where you have the right to expect to land a man who can pay your way through Europe.



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46 Responses to “Stop Expecting Men To Pay For Things. SERIOUSLY.”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    What was he supposed to say? “BHB, I’ve always dreamed of meeting a girl whose parents pressured her to get married, making my proposal a foregone conclusion in her mind…”

    I think she’s subconsciously trying to even the score with the guy who dumped her and then quickly married someone else. This latest guy is just a player in that narrative for her. I’m sure they connected a bit and had some fun times and all, but yeah, she sounds pretty controlling and like she cares more about the status of being married than who she is married to.

    • Chris Says:

      The term “player” might not be the best choice of words in this context, “victim in that narrative” would suit better, no?

      • fuzzilla Says:

        I just meant “player” in a neutral sense, like a list of characters playing a role in a drama (the hero, the villain, the supporting character, etc.), not so much “play on, playa…”/someone getting tons of action.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        From her point of view, he’s neither a “playa” nor a victim. From her point of view, he’s not a fully formed person at all, just sort of an object to move around a game board.

  2. Ishtar Says:

    I. Just. Don’t. Get it. Can someone explain to me why some seemingly self-sufficient American women expect men to pay for everything? Because I am absolutely gobsmacked at this woman’s attitude.

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      I have to thank this woman for being so frank. Many women are much better at feigning interest, concern and affection, until such time as the financial entitlements are legally guaranteed and the facade becomes too much effort to maintain.

      “gave him emotional security”

      I doubt it was secure in the least.

      And this fellow is much wiser then I. Good for him.

  3. HammersAndNails Says:

    I’d like to pile on but Moxie knocked this one out of the park.

    I think this was my favorite part: “Or maybe he was just scared by finally meeting the one.” Simply amazing.

  4. ATWYSingle Says:

    I would also like to add that that “he was afraid because he met the one” thing? IT’S NOT A THING.

  5. BTownGirl Says:

    “I know he really loved me, because he paid for a bunch of sh*t!” – The 37 (37!!!) year-old woman that wrote this letter

    “Help me Jesus, stop me Jesus. Money isn’t love and it isn’t commitment.” – A 33 year-old woman with a killer jewelry collection, courtesy of one ex-boyfriend, who impregnated a stripper during his free time.

    Want to be a lifelong partner? Act like one. Girlfriends and wives don’t get paid to love, that’s what escorts are for.

    • bbdawg Says:

      Yeah I was going to suggest Sugar Daddy websites but I realized the OP might be a bit too old for that type of arrangement.

      • BTownGirl Says:

        I laughed out loud hahaha! Seriously, I wanted to be like, “Does this woman think she’s walking around with the VS Angel Wings or some sh*t?!”. (We’re terrible)

    • Greg Figueroa Says:

      What annoys me is that she says that he paid for all the dates and some groceries and that’s not enough.

      Then hounding the guy month after month about marriage. How about bring it up once or twice and if the guy seems vague or nowhere near your ultimate goal of getting married, you leave and move on.

  6. myself Says:

    Couldn’t even finish her letter. There really are women out there like this? Wow. How entitled.

  7. Jenny Says:

    Um, the opening a savings account bit has me a little confused. She seems like a leach, so why get more vested? Kind of reaffirms her treatment of him. Why do men act like this?!?

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      It was an attempt to pacify her without really rocking the boat too much. He didn’t dump.

      It was a stfu gesture.

    • Greg Figueroa Says:

      I wonder how that was brought up. “If you’re really serious you will put money in a saving account NOWW!!”

  8. Mark Says:

    “Do you think there’s any way we can work this out? I’m devastated by this.”

    Sorry, but I really don’t think this is in the cards.

    Moreover, unless you take the time to address some fundamental issues, I seriously doubt you will find who you are looking for.

    Not trying to be mean spirited, but your fundamental outlook on a person you might be interested in and what you might expect from them is seriously flawed. That seems especially true given what you have shown you can offer them. As things stand, the gap between the two is a deal breaker in the making. That applies to the past two guys, and very possibly to those men in the future.

    Sorry to be blunt about it, but I’m calling it as I see it.

  9. Nicole Says:

    I think this letter provides a lovely counterpoint to the refrain that 30 and 40 something women are too picky and refuse to settle. This women is still hung up on her ex but is ready and willing to marry the first guy who came along who paid for stuff, introduced her to his family, and took lots of pictures of her.

    Love? Compatibility? C’mon, we’re in our late 30s, there’s no time to worry about that shit. Let’s open a joint bank account and make my parents happy already.

    This is what settling looks like, and it’s not pretty.

  10. bbdawg Says:

    The OP sounds like every man’s worst nightmare to be honest. Sorry but WHO would put up with that?

    • Jenny Says:

      That’s my point. Seriously Moxie, maybe you can shed some light onto how a man would continue dating such a woman, and further entrenching himself with something as serious as a bank account. Then I’ll meet this bitter burnt guy onlIne and have to hear about his ex? Why didn’t he just say fuck off and do all of humanity a favor?

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “maybe you can shed some light onto how a man would continue dating such a woman”

        That’s simple: she was better than his other options at the time. Of course, that only lasts until a better option appears–and in this case, one obviously did, and then he was history.

        • D. Says:

          In my experience, it’s more like until he believes he can do better.

          Even the most easy-going, ready-to-please types of guys will still reach a breaking point where they’ll decide that whatever good they’re getting out of such an arrangement is no longer worth it, because they think they can do better. That may also involve their definition of “better” changing from something like “Is hot, loves the interests I love, etc.” to “Isn’t a demanding pain in my ass.”

        • Eliza Says:

          Being alone is a “better option” than being with someone this self-centered and demanding. Better being alone, than in bad company. Similar to a man spending 99% of his time over my place, eating all my groceries, staying over, and NEVER contributing to ANYTHING. I wouldn’t stand for even 8 days of that crap….let alone 8 months! We all work hard for a living, so NOBODY (man or woman) likes to be taken advantage of. Cooking and cleaning is NOT a way to meet a man halfway. When you care about someone–you WANT to treat them here and there…and if you can’t afford the type of vacation he is suggesting, speak up and communicate you have a financial limitation/budget…he should respect that – and cater and meet somewhere in between, compromise and come up with vacation plans you both can afford.

      • Gabi Says:

        Maybe she’s really good looking. Maybe the sex was good. Maybe the guy had no other options. Regardless, he came to his senses and peaced out. It kind of reminds me of the type of guys who write in to; the kind of guys drawn to borderline personality types and get put through the wringer and then manipulated with guilt, threats, etc. by these type of women.

        Maybe this guy had a very demanding mother and when he met the OP something about her demanding behavior reminded him of his dear old mom. Who knows, we’ll never know the answer to this question. The only thing that matters is some sort of accountability and self-awareness on her part, which at age 37, seems rather unlikely.

      • Steve from the city next door Says:

        As I read it, this was the guys first “relationship” past a few dates…I assume he is about the same age as her (late 30s) so I think that says something there.

        I don’t know about that area, but around me there are very few available in the 30s & 40s age group…and they know it…and this type of attitude is common…perhaps not quite this bad. Just a couple of months ago I was BS’ing with a waitress on an incredible slow night. I mentioned I had ended up changing my travel plans because the single supplement was too much and that I also had a family thing in the spring in Hawaii to go to. She suggested I take her along instead and that mom’s love her and she is a good travel companion…at first I thought she was joking around but I realized she was actually serious. I had never talked to her before.

      • Eliza Says:

        Thank you Jenny. Why not walk away from a self-absorbed all about me, woman?
        Why invest 8 long months?!

        • Joey Giraud Says:

          She’s probably revealing more in this letter then she ever did to him. It took him awhile to figure it out.

    • Eliza Says:

      Apparently–there are men out there, that are willing to invest 8 months + on women like this. And then they complain, there are no quality ladies out there.

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        That’s an easy complaint to say, and just as easy to forget.

        There’s never enough quality to go around.

    • Nicole Says:

      “But this is his first long-term relationship so he said he needed a bit more time.”

      He may have taken so long to see all the red flags because he lacked relationship experience…

      Also, if he’s also in his late 30s and this is his first LTR, he might not have had much in the way of other options.

      Just glad he made it out when he did!

  11. BringHimBack Says:

    I think I’m being judged a little harshly as you do not know the full story.

    The reason I was short of cash is that I recently bought my own condo. The same condo my BF would have lived in when we got married. That’s bringing a lot to the table. Not every woman has her own place.

    Plus, in the meantime, he stayed at MY condo every night. Never at his, which means I was the one paying all the living expense bills.And when I mentioned he might want to contribute to these things, he said no. So I paid for water, electricity, building maintenance, for our joint life, i.e. contributed my share just as well.

    Many men understand that if you want to keep an attractive, ambitious woman by your side, you need to treat her well.

    As you were not there, you cannot appreciate the special love we had between us. But believe me, I am perfect for him.

    You don’t just get up and walk away from the best thing you ever had. If paying for dates bothered him, he would have said so long ago.

  12. Marshmallow Says:

    I was kind of hoping he took all the money in their joint account before he left. Because unless she’s Ina Garten, I doubt her cooking skills in anyway match the amount of money this man put out to date her.

  13. BostonRobin Says:

    Ugh. He’s “very nice, warm and kind.” And he pays for things. She’s not even into him! Still hung up on the ex, willing to settle for this guy, who THANK GOD saw the light and dumped her ass.

  14. mjd Says:

    “Originally when we spoke of going on vacation together, I asked if he was going to pay” seriously??
    WOW. and then you wonder why he left? not only were you putting intense pressure to lock him down after 8 months of what sounds like casual dating, you expected him to be a walking atm for you? if you went on vacation with girlfriends would you expect them to pay even if they had a lot more money than you? moxie is right, why does manners and common sense go out the window when it comes to dating? a man you are dating is NOT your atm unless you are a sugar baby and you have an agreement which doesn’t appear to be the case. you never mentioned that HE was “the one” or that you loved HIM, you are making it sound like you are the prize and he should be grateful to be in the same room as you. this is exactly what happens when women are so desperate to show off to their friends at any cost. congrats you roped an innocent idiot into paying your way through life and then expected a diamond just to update your facebook and tell your friends. you didn’t care one bit about this guy. this letter is unbelievable. its one thing if the guy OFFERS to pay but even then, you either fight him on it or you treat him too. he paid for plane tickets? pay for dinners and hotel. cooking dinner a few times a week isn’t anything he can’t do on his own. i can’t imagine in this day and age, a woman in her LATE 30s asking a man to pay for her. we have jobs and careers and are more than capable of paying our own way. you give single women in their 30s a bad name

  15. Julie Says:

    The OP sounds traditional and equates commitment with a man’s willingness to pay. Men pay for escorts and mistresses for the purpose of avoiding commitment so payment in and of itself means nothing.

    I suspect this guy left because of the self absorbtion. The pressure to get married all fit under the self absorbtion umbrella.

    I didnt follow the logic of how two guys leaving her in and of itself is a sign that she drives men to the brink. The last guy hung around for 7 years. Based on her description, she certainly drove the new guy away….yeesh!

    • Jenny Says:

      I think it’s in the suddenly up and left. Neither guy seemed to bother to even break up with her. Both just wanted to get the hell away. In my experience, desperate daters also exaggerate their LT relationships. 7 years may actually be 6 of them spent being dumped and begging to be taken back, with brief spurts of “togetherness” in between. 7 years or 8 months – they’re just numbers she sells to sound desirable. For all we know she demanded the guy take her picture as physical proof for the next one, that someone actually “wanted” her, when all he was thinking was “you sad cow, get your own damn camera or a selfie stick.”

  16. Allbets Says:

    Am I the only one to actually feel sorry for the OP? She is so focused on getting married she can’t see the forest from the trees and much of it probably has to do with how quickly her boyfriend moved on. In fairness to the OP, I can imagine that the end of a 7 year relationship where the boyfriend immediately marries someone else could seriously undermine one’s self esteem and that’s why she seems so obsessively self-involved because she is focused on getting to the finish line and proving nothing is wrong with her. I have been there – felt that way after several relationships just seemed to fail. One where the guy got with someone else just a few weeks after we broke up and seemed to ratchet up the seriousness of that relationship immediately. The things I did and said after that relationship to the next bf I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me for. Once I realized I had nothing to prove it really transformed things for me and helped me relax in the next relationship I got in (which was coincidentally with the guy who left me and got into a relationship immediately). She will learn.

  17. Jordan Says:

    The guy should have paid for her vacation to Europe……and then just left her there.

    She can find a way to pay her own way home.

  18. Eliza Says:

    It’s amazing what nonsense men put up with. They were dating like 8 months! From the post, I gather this pressure, and level of “self absorption” and entitlement has been going on since inception of the relationship. Yet, the guy stuck around, introduced this woman to his family, and even took her on a vacation. It’s women like this that give others a bad name, and men more cynical about ever meeting someone genuine, and good-hearted, not someone that is all about “me me me” and taking. I had a friend once tell me that a woman can give back by cooking and cleaning! WTF?! Are we living in the stone age? That’s not giving back. When you are involved with someone, treating them out once in a while is nice, it’s something you should want to do, within your means of course. I dated a guy that earned like 8x what I earned…and paid my own way to a European vacation. I couldn’t go for more than 10 days (he proposed a 15 day vacation). I don’t have a corner office, can’t do that. He understood. I have a travel budget–unlike someone that earns well over $100K a year. Again–it’s about compromising and understanding the other person’s financial limitations. But to expect someone to pay for a vacation?! wow. It’s not wonder some men are so sour about women in general.

  19. AnnieNonymous Says:

    Okay this email is freaking insane. Even if a woman expects a man to pay for the dates and dinners while in Europe (which is iffy but not the point), she should still be paying for her airfare and half of the hotel charges. The intense pressure she placed him under is a whole separate issue. She’s lucky he stayed as long as he did.

  20. Howard Says:

    When I read letters like this, I look in the mirror and ask myself, “am I also self-absorbed in even a little way?” Then I say a prayer that I never get to even 1/10 of the self-absorption of someone like this. What gets me is not that she is self-absorbed, it’s that she is so unaware to the point of being mad at this guy.

    I believe most women are aware of the outmoded nature of men footing the bill, but gladly accept, because “Hey, who doesn’t like a freebie?” Some other small segment of women do entitlement. Then there are the rare few like this chick who are oblivious, obtuse and lost.

    One thing that also struck me was the “upset at one’s ex” thing. I hold nothing but love in my heart for anyone I spent any time with, so I just try to avoid people who hold these negative thoughts about other people. I quickly tell myself, ‘That’s where I am going to windup too” in their heads.

  21. Fyodor Says:

    “Once we got back he still didn’t propose, and since we’re both in our late 30s, I was a bit surprised as he can understand my fears, not to mention the pressure my parents are putting on me now 8 months in.”

    I’m going to join the pile on and say if I were a single guy and dating a 37 year old that allowed her parents to intervene in major life decisions this way, I would run run run run run away. Actually being married to someone like that sounds like a nightmare.

  22. Logical Says:

    Clearly this lady was in the habit of using guys for free stuff….her most recent bf did not oblige so she left and then found this generous guy.

    Most men expect date costs to be voluntarily shared – say by taking turns.

    Most men also feel its a bit petty to ask someone to pay and just “grit their teeth” make a mental note and pay anyway. They make a mental note that they are essentially paying for a “lay” and delete such a woman from any long range plans.

    All relationships must be two-way if they are to last and that includes financial responsibilities and sharing costs – anyone who thinks otherwise has to be delusional in the 21st century.

  23. Sarah Says:

    If what OP says about the housing situation is true, then her expectation that he pay for the vacation makes *a little* more sense. A little. Very little.

    What doesn’t make sense is to have expectations, fail to communicate them (except for marriage — OP made that crystal clear), and then act out in resentment when they are not met. We all want someone who can anticipate our needs and meet them ahead of schedule. But that’s a fairy tale. So, I guess I don’t understand why the big money talk didn’t happen when dude started basically living with the OP. I mean, “Are you homeless?” seems like a pretty good starting point. And then: “What do you think would be a fair way to divide expenses?” could follow. It’s really not that difficult, as long as you’re a rational, well-adjusted adult.

    I have to believe there is more to this story (#betterthanserial); the OP here is too one-dimensional and villainous to be real. Still, buying property does not exempt you from contributing a proportional amount to any given scenario. Stop acting like buying property at 37 is a monumental achievement. It isn’t. Know what else isn’t? Being married. Get over that. It will happen, or it won’t. But it’s not entirely your decision to make.

  24. JonDo Says:

    I dated a woman who was so cheap she wouldn’t buy me a cup of coffee. At the same time, within six months she was absolutely hounding me for a proposal. I was like “sweetheart, you want to spend the REST OF YOUR LIFE with a man who you don’t find it worth investing $2 in?!?” seriously. Women and their priorities can be pretty fucked up.

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