Woman goes viral asking if higher-earning man should pay more in relationship

A woman's question went viral when she complained her older, higher-earning boyfriend expected her to pay half of everything. (via Debt.com)

What is a fair way for a couple to split their bills? Should it be based on who earns more? In Thailand, an expat man earning significantly more pay than his Thai girlfriend or wife is common, making this a pertinent question.

But the UK website Mirror tackled the issue when they covered a woman who is dating a man whose insistence on equal paying of expenses, despite earning significantly more than her, was enough to drive her up a pole.

The woman, in her personal account, outlined her interactions with a man who is approaching 50 years of age and brings in three times her income. Despite the substantial financial disparity, he still expects her to contribute exactly half of all financial outlays.

“He always makes sure we pay even amounts but this sometimes ends up as me paying more. For example, he will pay for dinner but I have to pay for two lunches to make it up. We recently went away in a tent and he asked for half the petrol. I always drive to his and never ask for this plus sometimes I treat friends and don’t expect anything in return.”

Perplexed by her boyfriend’s actions, she reached out to online communities for insight, posing the question of whether this was a red flag or if she was being unjust in expecting a more lenient arrangement due to her lower earnings.

The ensuing thread garnered a considerable response, with numerous individuals expressing their thoughts on the matter. Many respondents deemed the man’s conduct unusual and indicative of potential issues within the relationship. Particularly concerning was the man insisting she pay for petrol, an act that struck many as tightfisted.

Forum participants resonated with her concerns, overwhelmingly siding with her viewpoint. The consensus was that the man’s behaviour reflected an undue degree of financial frugality and was potentially a harbinger of complications in the future.

Respondents mostly expressed support for the woman’s viewpoint and warned her to get away from this Cheap Charlie.

“He’s tight with money. Just don’t get in too deep because if you were ever to rely on him he’d charge you. It wouldn’t be a loving and giving relationship. Doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship. I’d walk away asap, to be honest. Meanness is not an attractive trait.”

Paying for petrol was a major red flag for many readers, suggesting that they would never ask that and that the man should be coming to her as well.

“It sounds a bit tight, depends on his demeanour/attitude about it a bit. It should be a more casual and trusting feeling than a regimented who pays what. I wouldn’t expect him to chip in to pay your petrol to visit him – but why isn’t he making the effort to come to you sometimes?”

“I have never in my life asked for petrol money from someone. That is really tight when he earns a lot more than you.”

Another response was much more blunt, telling him to chuck the cheap, older man if he doesn’t compromise on who spends in their dating.

“In the bin with him. Honestly, if someone earned three times my salary I’d expect them to pay more than me on the dates. Like they cover the restaurant food, I pay the coffee and he pays the cinema ticket, I bring in juice and snacks for us. Dunno how a self-respecting man could form the words to ask for petrol money.”


World News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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