How do I tell my other half that he’s a total tightarse?

How do I tell my other half that he’s a total tightarse?

tightarseHow do you tell your other half they are tight without them thinking badly of you? He is really nice person … but tight as!!! It drives me crazy to split a bill, I’d rather take it in turns, but can you advise me on how to approach the subject? Mary

If there’s one thing that drives me crazy, it’s meanness. It’s a highly unattractive trait in a person, male or female. And nothing works quicker to turn you off a potential lover than when they insist on splitting everything 50/50, would think twice before paying for your icecream along with theirs or would never, ever, slap their credit card on the table ‘just because’ they want to treat you. I’ve known men like this, and they are doing themselves NO favours on the dating scene. On the flip side, I hear from men who feel that the women they date want them, nay, expect them to pay for everything, and the guy insists on splitting everything so he doesn’t feel like he’s been taken for a ride. I know women like this too, who think it’s A-OK for the guy to pay for everything and actually believe, wholeheartedly, that he should. I’m not down with this princess mentality either. I believe in fairness in dating, and if there’s a bit of give and take on who pays for what (you bought the picnic stuff so he brings the wine; you paid for dinner so he gets the movie tickets etc etc), I reckon everything comes out in the wash eventually.
The thing is, people are funny about money. It’s all tied up in so many things – how we’re raised, our parents’ attitudes to it, whether there was too much or not enough when we were growing up, our own financial experiences as adults. It’s probably why most of us would rather hide under the doona than open up a dialogue about a partner’s less-than-awesome attitude in regards to paying for stuff.
In your case, you just want those bill-splitting moments to become, well – less awkward. So don’t confront; just be cool. Offer to pick up the tab and say casually, ‘Hey, this one’s on me. You grab the next one” and if he really is All About Fairness, he’ll make a mental note and he WILL pick up the next one. Then you insist on paying for the one after that, and so on. Steer him away from splitting everything, just say you prefer taking it in turns. If you guys are meant to be, he’ll hopefully come to the party eventually and it’ll become a habit.
For some couples though, they’ll never get to the ‘what’s mine is yours’ free-for-all. There’ll always be a non-sharing mine / yours dynamic, which in my opinion sucks total balls and erodes good feeling in a relationship. But each to their own. Ways around this? A joint credit card you use for eating out, going to gigs or movies or whatever you do as a couple is a great idea. You’re both responsible for paying half off each month, and it sure beats divvying up every single restaurant bill or bar tab.
Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

1 Comment

  1. Lola 8 years ago

    I was in a relationship with a tightarse once. He was otherwise a really nice person. He would SPLURGE only for my birthday, which was really puzzling. The best gifts I ever received from a guy came from him, and his taste was impeccable. His family and friends gave him hell on his stinginess (which of course, wasn’t a good way of getting him to change his mind).

    I believe that the “my turn / your turn” philosophy is the ticket for a relationship to go a long, long way. Shared credit cards aren’t; I disagree with RC on this one. Togetherness means taking turns, not only to pick up the tab. Sometimes, in our self-absorption, we fail to see that perhaps we should put ourselves aside for a bit, and rally behind our soul mate. Best of luck, Mary.

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