A young couple struggles to share their expenses


Dear Amy,

My boyfriend just graduated from college. I’m working and looking for a better job, while juggling college classes and living alone in an expensive city.

We have always been very flexible about sharing expenses and generally take turns paying.

After a series of unfortunate events (unplanned car repairs and subsequent unemployment), I’m at rock bottom!

On the other hand, now that he’s out of school, my boyfriend makes a lot of money. He also receives gifts amounting to thousands of dollars from family members.

He expressed that he was happy to help me through these financial difficulties, but recently he has been strangely stingy about sharing expenses. For example, while splitting a grocery bill, he was hesitant to split the cost of a $1.99 jar of lemon juice because he was going to be staying at my house.

He reminds me to Venmo him for little things like coffees and sandwiches. Meanwhile, I’m definitely spending more money on him in little ways he doesn’t realize — and I kinda don’t care.

I feel uncomfortable confronting him and demanding that he be more generous with his surplus, even though I feel like I’m spending more of my limited funds on us and haven’t complained , while he has recently been extremely picky about me paying him back.

The real problem is that I’m hurt that he doesn’t want to be more generous, when I’ve always been happily generous.

I don’t know how to deal with this problem and I don’t want my resentment to build up and hinder my love for him.

— Student in financial difficulty

I would like to tell you that it is a simple matter of communication and negotiation, but generosity is a quality that is difficult to quantify. Generosity also does not depend on income. It’s about being kind to others.

You’re generous to your boyfriend, and he’s not generous to you.

His refusal to pay $1 for the cost of a consumable because it will reside in your refrigerator could be a very costly saving for him in the long run, as it could cost him the relationship.

Talking about finances is hard to do, but navigating through it will be a big task. Did he provide funds for some of your larger expenses that he thought were loans, but you thought were gifts? Find.

Don’t approach this as a confrontation, but as a conversation. Mention that you have noticed tension around this topic and ask him what his expectations are regarding expense sharing. Listen to him, don’t get emotional, and pay close attention to what he says.

And then – pay close attention to what he does.

Keep in mind that not only is it important to love someone, you should love them too.

Should she confess to having kissed her ex?

Dear Amy,

I have been with my partner “J” for several years. We’re both happy and healthy – one of our best qualities is that we’re really honest with each other. It helped us in good times and bad.

My problem is that at the beginning of our exclusive relationship, I kissed an ex. Honestly, it meant nothing to me. Plus, I believe it actually helped me fully commit to J. That kiss provided me with that moment.

I fight the urge to tell my partner about it. I’ve felt guilty over the years, and I think I’d feel better if I discharged myself.

Your advice?

– A

You have to ask yourself the eternally perfect question, “What good would that do?”

The way you describe it, confessing would relieve you.

The way I see it is that you would primarily transfer the burden from you to your partner.

What good would it come out of it?

The high cost of a relationship with a sex offender

Dear Amy,

“C” wrote to you, saying she’s in love with a sex offender.

I wonder if C has children?

I wonder if she is willing to be excluded from all family gatherings that include children? Because she will be.

She should also be prepared to exclude herself from neighborhood gatherings or, really, any group activity once her neighbors find out her partner’s identity.

She should also consider that she is being lied to about the circumstances; Sex offenders are notoriously gifted manipulators.

– Concerning

The letter “C” raised a number of serious red flags. She had already lost friends and family members because of this relationship.

You’ve raised a few more — and thank you.

Write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068, or email [email protected]


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