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.
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. 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.
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. He’s now mad at me saying I emasculated him and made him look bad in front of my friends.
I think he’s overdramatizing 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?"
Nta! And it sounds like he didn’t have the money to afford it, and he just didn’t know how to tell you. Super weird.
NTA. I don't understand him taking credit for you paying. This is not normal.
NTA. Ben has an outdated and sexist vision of how couples should work in terms of who pays for what. And he is too focused on his public image. You probably need a deeper conversation with him about this.
NTA I dated a guy like this and he would get so mad that I didn't let the servers think he was paying. I told him to man up and get himself a decent job and he could pay all he wants, but that I wasn't putting on a front to make him look better.
NTA. If we wanted to pay the bill so badly, he should have done it. If he didn't have the means at the moment, he should have kept quiet and accepted the gesture from the friends. His insecurities aren't your problem to solve. If he felt emasculated by someone else buying his dinner, that's his problem.
NTA. But is he much for grand gestures and expecting you to be so grateful for everything he does / buys you? Sounds really exhausting if he expects you to be impressed or wants to impress you…