Relationships are built on give and take. While you shouldn’t keep track of every little thing that you do for your partner or your partner does for you, it should at least feel equal.
And it definitely doesn’t for Lanky_Specialist7138, a Redditor who’s having issues with their boyfriend. The original poster (OP) seems to feel like they’re paying for dinners and dates when the boyfriend wants, not a more even division of responsibility.
So OP decided to do something about that which might have made them the bad guy. They asked for Reddit to judge what went down and the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit is more than willing to provide that judgement.
OP took a stand over their boyfriend’s spending habits.
“AITA for refusing to pay for my boyfriend’s meal, and simply buying my own?”
But is OP being too harsh?
“I cannot tell which one of us this issue is stemming from.”
“Since we got together 3 years ago, he was full of empty promises.”
“Promises to ‘take me out somewhere beautiful for dinner’, which I got super excited about but never came to fruition. Promises to ‘buy me something beautiful’ from a designer shop, which again I was super excited about but he just never did.”
“I like money to be fair and square. If he takes me out for dinner, I sure as hell make sure that I organise a dinner in the near future, and dinner is on me.”
“But somehow, we have ended up in a confusing dynamic of resentment.”
“Rather than communicate and take turns, he just decides when he does want to pay, and when he doesn’t want to pay. He will get his wallet out when he does, and won’t get his wallet out when he doesn’t want to.”
“I’ve always just followed his lead, but it’s becoming more frustrating. I feel like I’ve been paying for a lot more than he has recently, and it’s causing me to feel a lot of resentment towards him when he simply expects me to pay and doesn’t even offer.”
“I recently book our hotel and transport costs for a mini break for us both. We arrived, and we decided to go for a cheap quick dinner.”
“We both sat waiting for the other to offer to go up and order + pay, but neither of us did. In the end, after the tension had risen for at least a few minutes, i simply told him I was going up to order my food.”
“He told me what he would like, and I told him he can go up after me.”
“It felt like a dick move, but I’m just fed up of being forced to pay based on what he decides he should pay for.”
“He has a definite sense of entitlement – when we go to the theatre and have booked two seats, he will take the seat with the best view, and the same for when we go for dinner. He will hog the shared arm rest when we are on a flight.”
“He will put himself above me and it’s little things like this that make me feel worthless.”
“AITA for refusing to pay for his food?”
OP thinks that their boyfriend needs to pay for things a little more often, probably taking turns to ensure a more even split. But rather than communicate that, OP just refused to pay for a meal.
Was the way OP went about it right or wrong?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to pay for their boyfriend’s meal by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
It’s painful to watch someone go through a one-sided relationship. OP is doing what they can, but the lopsided nature of their dating life is a little too prevalent.
The stand they took wasn’t going too far, and some questioned why OP is dating this man in the first place. It seems like they should get out while they can, but if they want to stay, they need to consider how to approach the situation going forward.
The board decided that OP is NTA just for refusing to pay for a single meal.
“NTA – but WHY are you dating this AH?”
“He’s full of ‘empty promises,’ clearly doesn’t communicate, has a ‘definite sense of entitlement’, doesn’t want to pay but gets mad if you don’t, etc… WHY waste one more minute of your life with this guy?” – beeeeeebee
“it’s wild right? OP must be hella afraid of being alone or something cause I can’t imagine why else anyone would willingly be with such a tool.” – Dull_Razzmatazz_6333
“NTA I used to date a man full of empty promises. Promises we’d go out for a meal to celebrate my birthday and then making it a meal I cook (and pay for) at his house etc.”
“One day I’d got a new job and he told me we’d go out for a meal to celebrate. When I arrived at his house, he was stoned to hell with a load of uni friends he’d ‘forgotten’ he invited for a reunion.”
“Boyfriend at the time told me to go to the bar on my own.”
“As it happened The only guy there who was not stoned offered to walk me to the bar and grab a drink with me so I didn’t have to sit alone (he’d travelled for 2 hours and didn’t want to sit in a crappy flat smoking weed, he wanted to see the old haunts).”
“Boyfriend sneered the guy was doing him a favour getting the nagging ball and chain off his back ammarightguys??? Huhuhuh…. Yeah split up with bf right after.”
“The guy that took me for the drink though? I married that guy 15 years ago. We have two gorgeous kids and are still going strong.”
“Ex bf is a 48 year old stoner who’s wife works to support them while he deals weed on the side.” – Naughtyspider
“NTA. You are right about the sense of entitlement.”
“BUT you both need to have a clear and direct conversation about finances. If you feel like things are not equitable, tell him so, and let him know that in future everything will be split evenly.”
“Making assumptions in a relationship is an easy path to the end of that relationship.” – strangespecies
Not everyone agreed that OP was blameless however. According to them, OP has not done enough to communicate with the boyfriend and set expectations.
As with many relationship issues, taking time to communicate can go a long way.
“Words will help. Stop following his lead and establish an understanding of who pays when.”
“Somewhere in the YTA – E S H range, but I’m putting the blame on OP and OP is the one with the issue, but not taking initiative.” – Ok_Two_8173
“ESH, although frankly, that’s only because I’m taking you at your word he’s actually being a mooch.”
“You know why the dynamic is confusing? Because you’re just stewing in resentment instead of communicating.”
“Tell him you’re tired of paying all the time. Tell him you feel like he hasn’t followed through on his promises.”
“Or just go ahead and break up, because if you’re at the point where you’re taking note of how much of the arm rest he’s using to add it to your private mental file on what a selfish jerk he is, it’s really not clear what you’re trying to save here.” – mm172
“Exactly! I don’t get all of the NTAs, because they both should be capable of open communication after 3 effing years together!” – iliumada
“I’m a little puzzled at all the NTA comments tbh. It sounds like OP has literally not said a damn word about all of this but everyone is saying it’s only his fault?!” – codeverity
“It’s really the him only thinking about himself part for me. Does he really need to be told that making empty promises is not nice?”
“That he should be equally offering to pay? That he should not only be thinking about himself all the time?”
“If he really needs to be told all these common sense things then he is not ready for a relationship.” – piemakerdeadwaker
“Of course, but that doesn’t mean that OP gets to sit around saying nothing, being resentful. Communicate or break up.” – codeverity
“NTA for refusing to pay, but ESH for you both not communicating with each other. Why are tensions rising at all? Why are you not discussing anything such as why you’re frustrated or why he feels he deserves the best of everything?”
“Or maybe you have talked and he’s still doing all of this, in which case why are you even together?” – ShadyVermin
OP can consider how to approach a conversation on this matter. They feel like they’re at the whims of their boyfriend when it comes to paying for things, but they don’t have to be.
Sit down with the boyfriend and have an honest discussion about finances and expectations.