General Etiquette > Dating

Dear bossy, paying for own birthday dinner

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I would be interested to see how other E-Hellions view this one.

I think if it were me, I'd say no to the fancy restaurant he expected me to pay for, and ask him to cook me a special meal instead.    The cheek!

NB try not to read too many of the comments, some serious trolls there!

I get it. When you're dating, falling into the going out to dinner routine is easy. But it seems far easier to find a few ways to go out that don't cost much. Dinner at home, movie from Redbox, flying a kite, there are lots of cheap options.

rashea beat me to the punch.  I was about to mention the idea that they should discuss what they can afford and work something out, and I found it odd that "Bossy" didn't mention that possibility.  I agree that the LW should put aside the resentment about paying for her own birthday dinner because I agree that it sounds like he won't pay because he can't afford it, not that he doesn't want to do it.  That said, I also think he should consider that and try to come up with cheaper ways to celebrate without going someplace "cheap".


I think her suggestion that they go ahead to the $$$ restaurant on the LW's dime and she should suck it up and have a good time is a little preposterous. I think the LW should talk to the boyfriend in advance, maybe say that she would love a homecooked meal from him for her birthday.

It's one thing for him to be poor. That's not a character fault. But he appears to expect that, since she is "rich" (comparatively), she will pay his way for everything.

What bothers me is that he's already taken her to an expensive restaurant, and after eating, announced that he had no money. What if she didn't have any either? At best, this is poor planning - at worst, it sounds like he's learning his mooching skills, presenting a front of "just because I suggested we should go to Chez Trop Cher, doesn't mean I ever intended to pay for it. That was a very unwarranted assumption on your part."

If he can't afford to eat out, he should let her know what he *can* pay for, and let her be at least a 50-50 partner in the decision, even if she's paying 100% of the bill.


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