Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickie: “My Boyfriend is Too Stingy”

Much money 07

My boyfriend of nine months is a bit tight with his money. He paid for some of my dinners in the beginning of the relationship, but nowadays we pay separately. This is fine, I guess, but he rarely buys me any gifts — not even a single flower. What really upset me was that the other day his cousin invited us to dinner and, even though my boyfriend and I paid separately, I saw his cousin reimburse my boyfriend for both of our meals. I asked him why his cousin was giving him that much money, and he said that his cousin owed him money. I know for a fact that he didn’t because my boyfriend didn’t mention this before and he always mentions when he is being owed money. So what upset me the most is that I have strong suspicions that he lied to me and that his cousin indeed paid for us but my boyfriend didn’t reimburse me for my meal and took all the money for himself.

I asked him why his cousin didn’t pay and he said because another person joined us — which is true — and he didn’t want to pay for that person too.

I’m confused. He is not a bad man, but his stinginess is not a good quality. — I’m With Stingy

You say that, in the beginning of your relationship, your boyfriend treated you to a few dinners but that he has stopped doing that and he never buys you gifts. Have you ever bought him any gifts or dinners? If not, it sounds like you’re as guilty as he is of being stingy (this being 2014, after all, when women can and should be equal to men in as many ways as possible). And if the best thing you can say about the guy is: “he is not a bad man,” then perhaps his not buying you a single flower isn’t the only issue in the relationship. Bottom line: if you’re a woman who wants a man to pay for most, or all, dates and you want gifts and you’re with a guy who isn’t interested or able to be that guy for you AND you can’t find a more compelling argument for staying together than “he is not a bad man,” then you are probably not well-matched and should find someone who’s a better fit for you. After all, you probably aren’t a “bad woman” either, but that doesn’t mean you’re the best fit for your boyfriend.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

27 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite October 1, 2014, 8:50 am

    He’s clearly not a gift giver or is going hard after some financial goal where wining and dining isn’t possible or he’s just broke. Either way, if you are a gift giver you need to think of some tangible non-monetary gifts to suggest to him. Or stop going out to eat. Or MOA. These are all viable options. Making him spend money on you is only going to lead to resentment.

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  • avatar

    MissyC October 1, 2014, 8:53 am

    You asked your boyfriend why his cousin didn’t pay for your dinner? Just because someone suggests that you go to dinner together does not mean that this person is required to pay for your meals.

    Either way, it seems that your personal attitudes about money do not match those of your boyfriend. It’s not a judgment on each of your personalities, but it seems that in this regard you are likely not well matched.

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    • avatar

      Spark October 1, 2014, 10:20 am

      I think she meant that after seeing her cousin reimburse BF for dinner, she asked her boyfriend why the cousin didn’t just directly pay for the meal.

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      • avatar

        MissyC October 1, 2014, 11:20 am

        Ah I definitely didn’t read it that way but that makes so much more sense.

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      • avatar

        kali October 1, 2014, 2:23 pm

        Sounds like the whole family is screwy about money.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra October 1, 2014, 9:02 am

    I don’t know if I necessary classify this as “stingy” LW. He could be trying to pay down debt. He could be trying to save some money. He could be saving up to buy a new car. Going out to dinner is a luxury — not everyone can afford it all the time.
    .
    In all honesty I usually bring up money and money management with a boyfriend pretty early on in the relationship because it is very important to me. Having been with a guy in the past who was a HUGE spender (think $15k in credit card debt), I refuse to go through that again. If you’re not ready to break up with him right now, sit down and talk to him about money. You’ve been together for 9 months, I think it’s ok to start that kind of discussion. Different views on money in relationships more often than not will end the relationship.

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  • avatar

    j2 October 1, 2014, 9:10 am

    WWS!

    My initial reaction was even more along the “tough love” lines than Wendy’s, but her reply convinced me otherwise.

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  • avatar

    Jane63 October 1, 2014, 9:20 am

    He took his cousin’s money that was meant to reimburse you for your meal & kept it? Uh, no.

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    • FireStar

      Firestar October 1, 2014, 10:49 am

      That’s how I read it. This is less about being stingy and more about theft.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover October 1, 2014, 2:13 pm

      Yes, this is messed up. I agree with Wendy’s advice so far as it goes, but the guy was definitely in the wrong here, and crossed the line from stingy to asshole.

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  • niki

    niki October 1, 2014, 9:28 am

    So he’s either a liar, or you think he is a liar. Either way, this doesn’t sound like it is going to work out.

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    • avatar

      ktfran October 1, 2014, 9:57 am

      Perfect response.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeys mommy October 1, 2014, 9:29 am

    That was what struck me as weird too.

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  • avatar

    Lily in NYC October 1, 2014, 10:01 am

    I say this as someone who prefers split everything equally with my boyfriend and I don’t really care about getting gifts. There’s frugal, and then there’s cheap. This guy sounds like a cheapskate and if it bothers you now, it’s only going to bug you more as time goes on. My BIL is super-frugal, but only with himself. He will wear the same pair of pants until they fall apart, but he realizes it’s his own issue and is not remotely cheap with my sister and their daughter.
    .
    On the other hand, It doesn’t sound like you are looking for extravagant gifts – more like a token of his feelings for you. And you aren’t even getting that from him. Does he show his affection in other ways? He doesn’t seem like a great fit for you.

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  • avatar

    LW October 1, 2014, 10:26 am

    Hello,

    I am the lady who posted this comment. I forgot to mention Wendy that indeed I buy him constantly gifts and he was the one who told me that his cousin has invited us for dinner and he will pay for it.

    I am questioning whether he lied to me or not? And whether he did this out of stinginess.
    I am not expecting him to pay for everything but I would appreciated being treated sometimes.
    He is not a bad man and of course I am not a bad woman ! I am just expressing my concerns and I wanted to see another view.

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    • avatar

      Firestar October 1, 2014, 10:58 am

      It sure sounds like he took the money meant for you and lied about it. Someone wanting to not spend their own money is stingy…which he is if he doesn’t treat you on occasion given you treat him. Someone not wanting to return someone else’s money to them is thieving. And I don’t know about you – but that’s bad.

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      • avatar

        MissyC October 1, 2014, 11:23 am

        It also sounds like you two express your feelings in very different ways. You buy him gifts “constantly” and it seems that this is the way you want to feel his affection for you. Someone else also said this, but perhaps he’s showing you that he cares but in different ways. Although pocketing money meant for you is a jerk-face move.

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    • avatar

      j2 October 1, 2014, 10:59 am

      If you buy him things and he does not reciprocate for any reason other than financial distress, I would treat that dinner case as a decisive insight into his true character. MOA.

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      • avatar

        Sunshine Brite October 1, 2014, 11:37 am

        I agree that the dinner was insightful and she should probably MOA since they don’t match financially, but I disagree that the only reason to not reciprocate is financial distress. I’m not a big gift giver, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the people who give me gifts. Frankly, I would be stressed out if someone constantly gave me gifts for no reason and I certainly wouldn’t be racking my brain on how to constantly reciprocate.

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      • avatar

        j2 October 1, 2014, 5:42 pm

        I agree with your “constantly” but the LW said “rarely.”

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  • avatar

    lonemirage14 October 1, 2014, 10:48 am

    I agree with Lily in NYC – there’s a difference between a cheapskate and being frugal. Any relationship, whether its romantic or not, is balanced by the give and take on both sides. I have a friend who I help out on the side for free and in return he refuses to let me pay for anything when we go out, and while I always offer to pay (and am prepared to pay) he doesn’t let me and that’s kind of our deal. On the flip side, a good friend of mine has taken advantage of my kindness one too many times and I will no longer put in as much into the relationship because I don’t get enough back to make it worthwhile, whether its financial or not.

    I was raised in a family that believes the man should pay, and while I am totally fine with splitting or picking up the tab on an equal basis, I do find that I tend to be turned off by guys who don’t at least offer to pay. It may be considered old school, but I don’t see as controlling, like some do, or insulting as some others do, to me its just the proper thing to do.

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  • avatar

    jilliebean October 1, 2014, 4:37 pm

    Aside from the possible stinginess of your boyfriend, I think you need to push the issue to find out if the cousin paid for your dinner. If he did for your dinner, and you didn’t thank him (because you were told he did not), that sure makes you look rude. Is it possible for you to ask the cousin if he treated for the meal?

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  • avatar

    Wendy (not Wendy) October 1, 2014, 11:33 pm

    Way more concerned that the LW doesn’t feel like she can take his word re: who paid for dinner than anything else. If you can’t trust him on this relatively minor matter–whether that’s because he isn’t trustworthy or you’re unreasonably suspicious–how can you trust him about anything?

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  • avatar

    AJ January 3, 2017, 12:33 pm

    This seem like a problem I have been faced with my on and off boyfriend. We met in our early 20s and at the time he was very broke n a student so I thought he wasn’t in any position to support me but, I was der for him through thick and thin, without any conditions. Sometimes I would support him from the little I got from my parents and one time bought a parcel for his mum on mother’s day on his behalf. To cut a long story short, he made it through school n started earning good money but guess wat? He didn’t do anything to show how he appreciates me. I visited him couple of times n he will give money for his family n just give me something dat could only cater for my transport and those were the times I needed his support most cos I was tite with money too.

    We eventually broke up upon hearing he had other plans which I confronted him over n to my surprise he confirmed what I heard was true. Speed up to 8 months ago after 5 years we hooked up again n he talks how big he has made it n how he regrets letting me go buy guess what? He always gives me excuses anytime I ask for a support , I lost my job few months before we met again which he knows very much. The final straw is wen he jokingly told me to steal money because I had asked him to pay for after morning pill.

    I think am leaving him again n dis time for good.

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  • avatar

    onkiki February 10, 2017, 2:04 am

    Im facing the same problem , dating a bf for 8 months who will goes on dutch for most meals after we confirm as couple. He is a frugal person who also dont spent on himself only if necessary. He will only buys little stuff like drinks or snacks. I have chatted recently with him on wanting him to pamper me occasionally and not buying me for every meals. He didnt give a firm a yes or no answer on my expectations.

    Im just as confused and really dont know to write him off or not..

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  • avatar

    Anonymous March 20, 2017, 11:05 pm

    Women have to pay bills buy clothes. Buy house supplies. Get something for herself only if she can get the whole household something .
    I want a man who does as much for me and the family just as much as I would. . But gurl he’s just saving his money. Hell if i didnt have bills,kids to clothe and feed and finacial responsibilty. I would save all my money 2. But no Im busy buying everything need alonr????

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  • avatar

    R July 3, 2017, 8:27 pm

    Leave this kinda man… Woman deserve to be treated like a queen. Got lots flowers even when not Valentine’s day if he really love you he will give all he have for you.. although flowers.. he might give you diamond rings.. holiday trip…. Etc. U just need to be brave to leave him. He is worse. Trust me.

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