Bar none, the second a man starts having trouble with both a) going out and b) paying but also c) finding equitable solutions to pay, you’re in a lose-lose-lose situation and it’s not going to get any better.

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You will start to WORRY about dates you go on, you’ll start wringing your hands for suggesting things like “eating out”, and he will never, ever find a solution to let this issue stop being a problem.

Hopefully u/throwawayfreedinner heeds this advice because her question on Reddit’s AITA falls straight into this category of “run, girl”.

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OP and her boyfriend have been dating for 8 months but come from very different income brackets. He is also very insecure about it.

I (24f) have been dating “Ben” (26M) for eight months. For context, Ben and I are from different income brackets, and Ben has expressed that he sometimes feels a little bit weird about this because he is a gentleman at heart but he says it’s hard to treat me since I’m not really impressed by his gestures. I’ve said many times that I’m not concerned about these kind of things either way, but it comes up periodically.

OP went to dinner with her boyfriend and friends; two of her pals offered to get the bill, which is normal in this friend group. Her boyfriend wasn’t comfortable, so OP offered to pay.

Last night Ben and I went to dinner with 6 of my friends. There were 3 men in total and 5 women. At the end of the dinner the two guys “Max” and “Harry” said they would get the bill, as the guys usually do when we’re out. Ben quietly said to me that he wasn’t really comfortable with the guys paying for his dinner so I said I’d chip in with the bill.

Then in a real weird move: this guy said no, he’ll pay but then OP should pay him back after.

Ben said thank you but could he chip in and then I could pay him back afterwards because he didn’t want them to know I was paying.

OP saw this for the weird that it was and told him no. She returned to her friends and offered to pay a third of the bill, everyone was fine… except her now-sulking boyfriend.

This struck me as totally absurd because firstly, it’s an unnecessary step, second even split the cost was something I wasn’t sure he would realistically be able to cover, and third I felt like he was trying to enter a pissing contest with my friends which was just childish.

I said no I would just pay and then turned to everyone and said I’d chip in a third of the bill. No one batted an eyelid, but Ben was sulking.

And then my favorite word, “emasculated,” pops up and OP wants to know: was she wrong to not let him “save face”?

He’s now mad at me saying I emasculated him and made him look bad in front of my friends. I think he’s overdramatising it because my friends couldn’t care less and he needs to get over himself.

Am I in the wrong for not letting him “save face”?

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*First Published: November 20, 2023, 1:13 pm