Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Should The Financially Better Off Person Always Pay?

I have a male friend, DV, with whom I occasionally go to a wine bar to chat and catch up. Since I can only drink a glass or two without falling out of my chair (I’m a cheap date!), our after work, wine-bar meetings usually only cost about $25 (incl. tips) for the two of us. But since I’m on a tight budget, I can only afford to do this once a month or so.

Last week, I went out with DV and he suggested we do this every week. When I told him about my financial situation, he said he said he’ll be happy to pay for these outings since he wants to see me more often.

I want to stress that there’s nothing romantic going on between us and our relationship is purely platonic. (He has never made any sexual or romantic overtures. He’s also married and substantially older, and I certainly have no desire to become romantically involved with this gentleman.)



I declined DV’s offer. I told him about my friend, KM, for whom I had previously always bought meals, due to her financial hardships. KM gradually became so accustomed to this arrangement that she expected it all the time. I started to resent KM although I’m partly responsible for making her into a moocher.

DV responded that he knows I'm not a moocher so he'll be happy to pay for more frequent wine bar outings.

There has to be a better option than not seeing my friend to save money or letting the financially better off person always pay. I'm just not sure what the other option is...

5 comments:

moneymatekate said...

Oh my, an issue close to my heart. I've cut off a number of fake friends who were just using me for free lunches, and I would never want to be perceived as one of these.

There is one woman I've been friends with since the first day of college, and we've both experienced the ups and downs of personal finances (lay-offs and such). We pick up each other's slack a bit, but not totally because neither of us would feel right.

I think some of your feelings on this stem from the thought that "if I had to pay for this myself, I wouldn't have it". In your position, I'd try to shift the venue from wine bar to coffee shop, cutting your drink prices by at least two-thirds. You're hardly going to feel funny about letting him treat you to a $2 cup of coffee because you know you don't mind paying for that yourself.

Penny said...

I agree with the above comments. Perhaps you could go get coffee or tea,which is much cheaper!

evgren said...

I think coffee is an excellent suggestion. Keep your once a month wine bar appointment, but make the others coffee or tea (or just people watching at a local cafe or park). If he picks up the tab for that, it's not that much, and you can always reciprocate the next week.

Many museums also have 1 day a month of either free, or greatly reduced, admission. You could set up one of your "dates" (in the purely platonic sense) there, forgo the refreshments altogether, and still enjoy each other's company.

Shtinkykat said...

Coffee/tea it is! Thanks for the input!

Donna Freedman said...

I was going to suggest coffee but you guys beat me to it.
So how about on nice spring or summer evenings you each buy an ice-cream sandwich from the convenience store or an ice-cream cone (one dip) from Baskin Robbins and take a stroll? That is, if you can walk and eat at the same time...