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Kudryavka

He doesn't pick up the tab. Does he value me?

126 posts in this topic

INFP here.  I have been seeing a man I strongly believe to be an INTJ romantically for a few months now.  It evolved from a long-standing friendship so it didn't go the typical way that relationships usually go, where the man falls for a lady and asks her out.  We sort of found out we had feelings for each other on accident, it was tentative in nature at the beginning and got a little bit romantic/physical before there was an official "status" in place.

Something that's been worrying me is the idea that because he never pays when we go out to restaurants, that maybe he isn't that into me.  I am aware that in this modern age not all men feel they should have to abide by old rules and I think that is fair.  I have just known other men who were very willing to pay at least some of the time we went out.  I am wondering if this is a simple difference in love languages or if it is a reliable indicator of the degree of "wanting".

I should note that I have been in situations where because the guy paid for things, there was an expectation that I would act or feel a certain way.  This makes me very uncomfortable because I can't choose how I feel, so even though of course I would like to be treated, if it means there are uncomfortable expectations placed, then I don't want to be.

I know there are some women out there who are greedy/princess complex and expect their SO to pay for everything - I'm not that way, but I do want to manage my expectations of how much he cares about me because I can tell I am already getting really emotionally invested in him.  After a failed relationship with someone (also believed to be INTJ) who seemed to be just saying what they thought I wanted to hear and "going through the motions", I value honesty even if the reality is unfortunate.  Especially with INTJs and tertiary Fi, I know that the romantic feelings are not always there.  I don't want him to act in ways that he doesn't feel in his heart, or else I will have a skewed sense of who he is.  I just want to know the perspectives of INTJ men on how I should interpret the lack of paying - is it normal, healthy or does it mean something's off?

Several additional facts:

1.  He makes slightly more than I do.
2.  It is his first adult relationship.
3.  We haven't done any proper "fancy" dinner dates, just grabbing something to eat at fast casual places on days where we go places together.
4.  "I love you" has been said on both sides (in a sincere way).
5.  I don't want to ask him about it because I don't want him to feel that I expect it of him if he doesn't want to do it.

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Firstly expecting a man in your relationship to pay for everything doesn't mean somebody has a complex.

 

Secondly is he asking you out on these dates and not paying? Are these dates your ideas?

 

He might not pay for dates but that doesn't mean he doesn't love you. It just means he's cheap.

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So you've been seeing someone for a few months and he's told you he loves you ... but you're not sure if he's all that into you because he doesn't pay for your meals?  I'm assuming you're an adult with a job, right, and that he is aware that you're an adult with a job?

Paying for someone's meals doesn't mean they're any more into you than not paying for meals.  Plenty of people go on dates, and even pay for the other person, when they're not into them.  If he continues to see you, and verbalizes his interest in you, then you should rely more on that than whether or not he pays for your meals. 

 
 
...... added to this post 5 minutes later:
 
13 minutes ago, MissKat said:

He might not pay for dates but that doesn't mean he doesn't love you. It just means he's cheap.

Does she pay for his meals?  If not, does that make her cheap?

Not everyone agrees with following outdated, stupid cultural traditions and practices.  It doesn't always reflect their character.  It's not fair that if a man disagrees with them, he's labeled as "cheap".  I don't agree with them as a woman, but I'm somehow not labeled?  It's bullshit.

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Clarification needed. Do you pay for his meals? In which case it could be an issue because he'd be taking advantage.

Or does he pay for his own meal, and you for yours? This is a basically non-issue. It could mean he's cheap and that's up to you to decide if that's a character flaw you can tolerate or not. If you've never paid for one of his meals yet, do so. Then see if he offers to reciprocate the next time around. It should clear up the question of whether he's stingy or actually wanted to keep things fair/equal.

There is no reason why a man (who is about your age, and makes about as much as you do) should automatically express his affection through gifts and money. Some men would spontaneously want to do that because gift-giving would be their "love language". Many other men wouldn't feel that way and wouldn't do that, or would do it out of benevolent sexism. And as you've discovered yourself, benevolent sexism (such as a man paying for his date's meal for no reason other than their respective genders) rarely goes without straightforward sexism (expectations of how you should "reward" them for it). That means that to stop putting up with sexism in your life, you've also got to root out the benevolent sexism, and that might mean some uncomfortable moments when you learn to change your expectations of how men should demonstrate their interest/love.

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11 minutes ago, Seablue said:

Clarification needed. Do you pay for his meals? In which case it could be an issue because he'd be taking advantage.

I do not and he has never asked me to.

19 minutes ago, Holli said:

I'm assuming you're an adult with a job, right, and that he is aware that you're an adult with a job?

Correct on both counts.

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I agree with Holli that there are other clear indications of his affection and paying for meals shouldn't be what you rely on.

I would say though, to be fair, that I value generosity in a mate and it's on that basis that his never offering would concern me.

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You also mentioned you've been seeing each other a few months.  Were you involved during Christmas (assuming you celebrate, but this may not apply depending on your religion/location) and did he give you any sort of gift?  Has he ever shown generous qualities?  Has he ever given you something he could have kept for himself ... even like the last bite/piece of something?  Outside of this particular situation, has there been anything to suggest that he's selfish, greedy, not thoughtful, etc...?

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47 minutes ago, Holli said:

 

 

Does she pay for his meals?  If not, does that make her cheap?

Not everyone agrees with following outdated, stupid cultural traditions and practices.  It doesn't always reflect their character.  It's not fair that if a man disagrees with them, he's labeled as "cheap".  I don't agree with them as a woman, but I'm somehow not labeled?  It's bullshit.

If their relationship is at a point where she's questioning whether he loves her because he never pays for anything its a lot more likely that he's a cheap than some sort of non-traditional conformist of non gendered whatever thing.

 

I didn't say anything was wrong with being cheap. There's something wrong with making your partner feel unloved though.

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3 minutes ago, MissKat said:

I didn't say anything was wrong with being cheap. There's something wrong with making your partner feel unloved though.

Not if it's your default setting. It's not like he's trying to make her feel unloved. He might not attach any importance to who pays and isn't aware she is giving it greater meaning.

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40 minutes ago, Seablue said:

There is no reason why a man (who is about your age, and makes about as much as you do) should automatically express his affection through gifts and money. Some men would spontaneously want to do that because gift-giving would be their "love language". Many other men wouldn't feel that way and wouldn't do that, or would do it out of benevolent sexism. And as you've discovered yourself, benevolent sexism (such as a man paying for his date's meal for no reason other than their respective genders) rarely goes without straightforward sexism (expectations of how you should "reward" them for it). That means that to stop putting up with sexism in your life, you've also got to root out the benevolent sexism, and that might mean some uncomfortable moments when you learn to change your expectations of how men should demonstrate their interest/love.

Thank you Seablue, this is really helpful to me.  The concept of "benevolent sexism" is good for me to keep in mind.  I certainly do not want to be one of those women who rejects straightforward sexism but insists on still receiving the benefits particular to it.

9 minutes ago, Holli said:

You also mentioned you've been seeing each other a few months.  Were you involved during Christmas (assuming you celebrate, but this may not apply depending on your religion/location) and did he give you any sort of gift?  Has he ever shown generous qualities?  Has he ever given you something he could have kept for himself ... even like the last bite/piece of something?  Outside of this particular situation, has there been anything to suggest that he's selfish, greedy, not thoughtful, etc...?

Hmm... it's complicated.  Yes, we exchanged Christmas presents and yes, he gave me a really nice kitchen appliance that cost significantly more than I expected him to spend on me.  Of course he did the INTJ romance-subversion Te thing where he followed that up with "Well, I figured it was OK to spend that much because I'm going to benefit from it too" (I cook dinner when he comes over, which is often, and this would improve the quality of those). 

Yes, he shows some generosity like buying me a water or a donut occasionally.  Probably the biggest mark of not being stingy that I've noticed is that even before we were going out, I would always try to pay him for gas when we went anywhere far away, and he would sort of discourage me by saying "I don't know how many miles to the gallon my new car gets yet".  It's not that he never accepted money for the fare but he wasn't insistent on it either.  (I haven't offered since we started dating.)

As far as your last question - yes, because he straight out told me he can be a selfish person.  (But, I reasoned, can't everyone?  I know I can.)

9 minutes ago, MissKat said:

If their relationship is at a point where she's questioning whether he loves her because he never pays for anything its a lot more likely that he's a cheap than some sort of non-traditional conformist.

I don't question whether or not he loves me, only the degree to which that love will go.  It is still early in the game and I want to know what I can realistically expect from this person and if that is something I can live with.  That being said, he is a fairly non-traditional person (as I would expect an INTJ to be). 

As to the question of being cheap - he is selectively so.  He really loves going to thrift stores and finding good deals, but he also makes unnecessary "fun" purchases all the time that can get a little pricey.  He spends money on the things that are important to him.  I find myself wondering, "Shouldn't I be one of those things?"  But then, I don't want him to think of me as a "thing", because I am a person.  And if he thinks of me as an equal, then I'm happy. 

I guess I just want to be reassured that it's normal and healthy for a man who thinks of a woman as his equal, not to do the expected chivalrous things for her that our society conditions us to expect.  Since I know that if I told some of the girls I know this, they would say things like "That seems sad" or "You deserve better".  But they are not men and they don't understand how men think, nor are they in the position of actually paying for someone.  So I wanted to get men's perspectives on this.  :nice:
 

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He's a strong feminist and should be lauded for his socially progressive mind.

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Not a man and I know you'd like some of them to weight in, but I think I can relate to his behavior regarding money and gifts. I don't live above my means, I try to find good deals, but occasionally I indulge myself. I also love making gifts, but I'd rather make them when I actually have a good idea than just because the calendar/norm tells me to. It seems like he would (occasionally) demonstrate affection through gifts or financial gestures but you're still a fairly new relationship so it's not surprising that he wouldn't be going overboard with it, imo.

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Your boyfriend's behavior indicates to me that he lacks social grace....but then, I'm from another generation so, there's that.

The part that disturbs me is that even in a non-romantic friendship,  at the very least the parties concerned would establish an agreement of some sort that each would pay their own way.  This would be to done to avoid any possible hurt feelings.  I mean - it's a simple matter of communication.  In my day - we called it "going Dutch" - or "Dutch treat" and we typically communicated this before we even went to the restaurant. 

 

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That depends on whether he is a traditional man or not. If he is and expects you to act in traditionally feminine ways, then yes, it shows lack of caring. If he isn't very traditional, then it means nothing.

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I'm the only guy I know my age who consistently offers to pay for dates if I'm the one asking her out.

I've heard plenty of women my age complain about it and how it makes them feel like the interest in them is lower.

I think even among the women who end up paying because they insist/honestly want to pay for themselves, they'd like to initially be offered before turning it down. It is more romantic. Assumed Dutch from the get-go is very business-like.

If he's not paying, he's very oblivious to how most women think (you included). Or is aware and just cheap. If he's frugal, you have to decide if gifts and money spent and such are important to you in a relationship. If not, don't sweat it. He can still love you and be a tight-wad.

Edited by GrayGhost

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10 minutes ago, lor6 said:

That depends on whether he is a traditional man or not. If he is and expects you to act in traditionally feminine ways, then yes, it shows lack of caring. If he isn't very traditional, then it means nothing  he's a clueless wanker.

FTFY

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49 minutes ago, Kudryavka said:

Hmm... it's complicated.  Yes, we exchanged Christmas presents and yes, he gave me a really nice kitchen appliance that cost significantly more than I expected him to spend on me.  Of course he did the INTJ romance-subversion Te thing where he followed that up with "Well, I figured it was OK to spend that much because I'm going to benefit from it too" (I cook dinner when he comes over, which is often, and this would improve the quality of those). 

Yes, he shows some generosity like buying me a water or a donut occasionally.  Probably the biggest mark of not being stingy that I've noticed is that even before we were going out, I would always try to pay him for gas when we went anywhere far away, and he would sort of discourage me by saying "I don't know how many miles to the gallon my new car gets yet".  It's not that he never accepted money for the fare but he wasn't insistent on it either.  (I haven't offered since we started dating.)

As far as your last question - yes, because he straight out told me he can be a selfish person.  (But, I reasoned, can't everyone?  I know I can.)

Kitchen appliance?  :loveeyes:  Well, he would have certainly won the heart of this girl!  <---- Joking, but I AM a huge kitchen appliance nerd.  My mom, on the other hand, would have been disappointed to receive anything kitchen-related as a gift and forbids it from my dad.

Yeah, I don't think someone saying they're selfish really counts.  I say it, too.  I think it can often be a realistic thing, as to say "I value myself".  We should all be selfish in some ways.

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If you're expecting him to do or offer you something where you have never offered something to him and he has never expected it from you, it would be a double standard, no?

 

Maybe I missed something but if him never offering to pay for you so far makes him cheap, then wouldn't you never offering to pay for him so far make you equally cheap?

Edited by holdyourhead

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Male here.  He could be trying to be cautious about stepping on your independence or making you feel obligated.  Traditional vs modern norms can be a minefield for men dating today.  When my wife and I were just starting out we did Dutch a lot.  If it was a date I suggested I paid.  When I was unemployed she paid more often.

He could be stingy or he could view food as more utilitarian rather than an expression of caring.  Oblivious is always a possibility.  If you want to know if he is cheap eat out at a nicer restaurant and even if he doesn't pay for you, pay attention to how he treats staff and tips.  If he tips well and is nice to staff it could just be that meals are a blind spot for him.  

Trust me, you are thinking about this a lot more than he is.  For some reason women like to assign subtle meanings to men's actions that just aren't usually there.

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14 minutes ago, Holli said:

Kitchen appliance?  :loveeyes:  Well, he would have certainly won the heart of this girl!  <---- Joking, but I AM a huge kitchen appliance nerd.  My mom, on the other hand, would have been disappointed to receive anything kitchen-related as a gift and forbids it from my dad.

Your emoticon was my face when I opened it.  I like cooking, so kitchen stuff makes me feel excited.  And he knew it was something I wanted.  :)

44 minutes ago, Swamp Yankee said:

Your boyfriend's behavior indicates to me that he lacks social grace....but then, I'm from another generation so, there's that.

The part that disturbs me is that even in a non-romantic friendship,  at the very least the parties concerned would establish an agreement of some sort that each would pay their own way.  This would be to done to avoid any possible hurt feelings.  I mean - it's a simple matter of communication.  In my day - we called it "going Dutch" - or "Dutch treat" and we typically communicated this before we even went to the restaurant. 

 

He does lack social grace.  But I don't mind - I do too.  (And it's reassuring to be with someone who isn't going to judge me for that.)

49 minutes ago, lor6 said:

That depends on whether he is a traditional man or not. If he is and expects you to act in traditionally feminine ways, then yes, it shows lack of caring. If he isn't very traditional, then it means nothing.

He is definitely not a traditional type of guy, but he still has a dominant/likes to be in control of things type of energy.  So part of the difficulty for me is knowing what to expect from him.  Men of dominant natures often act as providers as well, but I assume that's more of an ISTJ role than INTJ. 

He does not expect me to act in traditionally feminine ways at least from what I have noticed.  He appreciates that I dress up but laughs when bad words happen to come out of my mouth.  He doesn't say things that make me feel like he has a picture of an ideal woman in his head.  The only real behavioral expectation of me that has been discussed so far has been keeping Ne silliness to a respectable level in public. 

7 minutes ago, Undead Bonzi said:

Trust me, you are thinking about this a lot more than he is.  For some reason women like to assign subtle meanings to men's actions that just aren't usually there.

Heh, he and I have already had conversations where he would basically say the above.  I am a nervous wreck when it comes to giving my heart to someone.

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1 minute ago, Kudryavka said:

He does lack social grace.  But I don't mind - I do too.  (And it's reassuring to be with someone who isn't going to judge me for that.)

 

 Just because he lacks social grace does not mean he'll automatically turn a blind eye if your own lack of social grace ends up hurting his feelings somehow.

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If someone is willing to tell you something negative about themselves during the dating phase, believe it. He's told you he's selfish so expect selfish behaviours.

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1 hour ago, GrayGhost said:

I'm the only guy I know my age who consistently offers to pay for dates if I'm the one asking her out.

I've heard plenty of women my age complain about it and how it makes them feel like the interest in them is lower.

I think even among the women who end up paying because they insist/honestly want to pay for themselves, they'd like to initially be offered before turning it down. It is more romantic. Assumed Dutch from the get-go is very business-like.

If he's not paying, he's very oblivious to how most women think (you included). Or is aware and just cheap. If he's frugal, you have to decide if gifts and money spent and such are important to you in a relationship. If not, don't sweat it. He can still love you and be a tight-wad.

No.  I would prefer assumed Dutch.  No matter who asks, the situation, or who it's with.  I don't think it's "romantic" to offer to pay.  I think it's shitty that someone is expected to pay for the meal of someone else, especially when they're labeled "cheap" if they do not.  I also HATE that women continue to encourage this tradition and shame men if they disagree with it.  No one should go on a date expecting that the other person should pay or offer to pay for the meal THEY consumed, especially when it's usually women benefiting from it.  It's so inconsiderate to that other person.  Both parties should be there to enjoy the company of the other.  Pay for yourself, don't have expectations of others, and questions like this won't have to arise.

If you want to offer to pay, great.  If you want to accept someone else's offer, great.  That there's this much being read into the practice, and what it means of the person, suggests that it shouldn't even exist at all.  Egalitarian approach should be the way to go.  No one should be attacking the characters of anyone else for promoting personal responsibility in this situation.  And people should be grateful for offers, not expect them or even think about why it isn't happening.

If he's not paying, maybe he just doesn't care what most women think ... and is actively fighting against entitled attitudes.  I think all men should band together and put a stop to the manipulative practices of women who insist that men pay for dates.

/triggered  :laugh:

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1 hour ago, Swamp Yankee said:

FTFY

Haha, some people are socially clueless though, and it's not out of ill intention. This is definitely a cultural norm, and some people today haven't been raised with as much gendered behavior, so he may not see a difference between going out with a girlfriend versus going out with a guy friend. I don't think that overall this one instance of behavior is the most elucidating regarding his character and intentions. He can not do this simply because he disregards tradition, but still be a selfish person who doesn't value her. The fact that OP feels a bit unappreciated is at very least a red flag. And considering that he makes more money than her, gender aside, it should have occurred to him to bear more of the cost.

5 minutes ago, Holli said:

No.  I would prefer assumed Dutch.  No matter who asks, the situation, or who it's with.  I don't think it's "romantic" to offer to pay.  I think it's shitty that someone is expected to pay for the meal of someone else, especially when they're labeled "cheap" if they do not.  I also HATE that women continue to encourage this tradition and shame men if they disagree with it.  No one should go on a date expecting that the other person should pay or offer to pay for the meal THEY consumed, especially when it's usually women benefiting from it.  It's so inconsiderate to that other person.  Both parties should be there to enjoy the company of the other.  Pay for yourself, don't have expectations of others, and questions like this won't have to arise.

If you want to offer to pay, great.  If you want to accept someone else's offer, great.  That there's this much being read into the practice, and what it means of the person, suggests that it shouldn't even exist at all.  Egalitarian approach should be the way to go.  No one should be attacking the characters of anyone else for promoting personal responsibility in this situation.  And people should be grateful for offers, not expect them or even think about why it isn't happening.

If he's not paying, maybe he just doesn't care what most women think ... and is actively fighting against entitled attitudes.  I think all men should band together and put a stop to the manipulative practices of women who insist that men pay for dates.

/triggered  :laugh:

That's possible, but I think that if he were this^ type of person, it would be pretty obvious and OP wouldn't need to ask the question. This^ attitude is fairly rare among both men and women, so it's unlikely to be the case.

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20 minutes ago, Distance said:

If someone is willing to tell you something negative about themselves during the dating phase, believe it. He's told you he's selfish so expect selfish behaviours.

I completely agree with the feeling, however, the specific sentence was; "he said he can be selfish".

I would think that "I can be selfish" =/= "I'm selfish", and the first option might just mean he's been accused of being selfish by some people who were actually the ones trying to pressure him to do/buy something. Or that he's aware of a shortcoming that he's trying to change. Hopefully the OP can put it in context.

If it was a straightforward "I'm selfish" then again, yes, definitely believe it and expect it.

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