Gransnet forums


Dating someone who is richer than you are

(65 Posts)
Spottedscarf1976 Mon 11-Mar-24 14:42:04

I’m dating someone who is much better off than me. I want to split cost of all things we do such as concert tickets and meals out. I don’t really know why but I feel I should. He knows the difference in our financial situations and says he doesn’t mind and I believe him when he says this. He is a lovely respectful man who expects nothing back. I’ve recently said I want to split everything but this means that we can only do things that I can afford to do as well. So for example a meal out once every few months is all I can afford and if it’s something I can’t justify the cost of then we can’t go but we can do sitting else like a walk and coffee. He says he doesn’t want to do this and wants to be able to pay for things for me and doesn’t think he can be in a relationship where I won’t let him pay for things. At first I let him but after a while it feels I should not let him do this. I know this comes from the fact that my last relationship which ended 15 years ago was one with coercive control in and I’ve got used to looking after myself but I do also have a strong belief that women should pay their way. I know by budget and I want to be self sufficient. I do also have some fear that if he pays for everything he will start to lose respect for me and or think I’m a gold digger. I want him to know I’m not money driven which is true. I’m poor but I don’t mind poor. To can be happy and poor. Is anyone in a relationship where there is a big difference in finances and how do they manage this?

Urmstongran Mon 11-Mar-24 14:49:33

We have a big difference in our private pensions but we’ve been together for 50 years now and so I don’t think Himself thinks I’m ‘in it for the money’.

You are in a new relationship so you have to navigate this as its new territory. I can see both sides but compromise in any relationship is key I think.

Good luck!

Happygirl79 Mon 11-Mar-24 14:57:10

You both sound to be lovely respectful people. If there is love there between you both just enjoy life together and don't limit your enjoyment by refusing his offer to pay now and again.
I am divorced after being coerced by my ex husband in many ways so I understand your hesitation but if you've got mutual love between you don't let the financial differences spoil what you have together. Good luck to you both. You deserve to be happy.

Siope Mon 11-Mar-24 15:05:04

Could you split costs proportionate to your discretionary income (so how much you each have left after essentials?)

Shelflife Mon 11-Mar-24 15:07:21

I think your past relationship is colouring your attitude towards this man , the phrase ' once bitten twice shy' springs to mind and I fully understand how that can happen. I am in agreement with Happygirl, don't let this damage your relationship. Try to relax just a bit about this situation, you say he is ' a love respectful man' trust to our instincts and enjoy his company. Good luck !

Sago Mon 11-Mar-24 15:35:29

Just accept the difference, we have some super rich friends with 3 homes, boats etc, we can’t afford to entertain them the way they entertain us but after we’ve been to stay with them we will have them over for dinner or Sunday brunch.
I suggest you allow your friend to pay for the odd concert, meal out but for example you then you plan a walk and make a picnic.

pascal30 Mon 11-Mar-24 15:36:52

If you feel that the relationship has a future you will have to learn to be a bit more accepting of his generosity.. It is very frustrating having more money than the other person and not being allowed to share it. Look at it from his point of view as well.. Why not trust him and see where it goes?

V3ra Mon 11-Mar-24 15:41:12

Could you contribute by cooking him a meal at home, obviously cheaper than going out, then next time you go to a restaurant and he pays?

If he's a decent guy he'll get pleasure from being able to treat you, so don't deny him that just on a principle.
Relax and enjoy some of the finer things in life, it sounds like you deserve it 🥳

NotSpaghetti Mon 11-Mar-24 15:46:05

I would do as others have said.
Cook now and then, put a little picnic together.
Take him for a walk with a promise to let him buy dinner on the way home.

As others have also said, if you become a full-time couple you can't expect him to not want to treat you both.
Be thankful and gracious and show him you care in other ways.

Good luck.

Jewelle Mon 11-Mar-24 15:52:47

I am and have been for the past almost 18 years now. Big difference in income. You are worth more than money and he wants to be with you, not your money, he already has enough of that. You will enrich his life in other ways.

TinSoldier Mon 11-Mar-24 15:57:10

I’m comfortably off and have been in this kind of situation twice, once with someone who pretended to be better off than he was; another time with someone who didn’t have much money but was open about it.

With the first, it started to become more and more apparent that he was expecting me to pay for everything and I didn’t understand why. He had told me he was comfortably off but then admitted he had lied. I ended things as I don’t like liars under any circumstances. With the second, I was paying from the start but we both started to feel embarrassed about it and the friendshp just fizzled out.

My question is, what’s the future is you continue to feel this way? If you ended up living together, how would you divide household finances or make decisions about things like cars or holidays or any major expenditure?

I think we have gone beyond the era of the kept women, that women do expect to pay equal shares. Personally, I think it’s rare for unequal relationships to work whether its to do with social class, education, jobs or money.

Having said that, I don’t know how old he is or what his past relaionships have been. Much older men might have a different attitude as they come from an era where it was common for women not to work outside the home and have income of their own. Or he may not be so old but had a stay at home partner so is used to paying for everything.

At the end of the day, if the disparity in your respective incomes is making you feel uncomfortable (or even controlled) then I doubt the relationship has much of a future other than as friends who meet up occasionally to go to a concert or out for a meal.

Visgir1 Mon 11-Mar-24 16:15:58

Really don't worry about it, it's you he's keen on... Its aways been a standard joke between DH and me, that I only married him as he owned his own house, had x2 cheque books, America Express card plus RAC membership.
40 years later..he's still telling that story.
Just be yourself and happy together.

V3ra Mon 11-Mar-24 16:19:15

Jewelle what a lovely post, such good advice 😊

OldFrill Mon 11-Mar-24 16:29:33

Jewelle is absolutely right.

TinSoldier Mon 11-Mar-24 17:08:32

The most striking words in your opening post are:

He says he doesn’t want [the compromise you have suggested] and wants to be able to pay for things for me and doesn’t think he can be in a relationship where I won’t let him pay for things.

That would ring all kinds of alarm bells for someone who has experienced coercive control because he isn’t taking your wishes into account. It is he who is making this about money not you else why would he object to doing some things together that cost nothing or very little? Surely, that’s a natural part of a loving relationship; going for a walk, enjoying a coffee in the park, watching a film at home. By insisting on doing expensive things that you cannot afford he is making you feel uncomfortable. To me, that is a big red flag.

It’s irrelevant whether some women here are happy in long-term financially-unequal relationships.

It is something that is worrying you about a new relationship where you may not know this man very well and are wondering about what the future might hold if you get too involved with him.

How long have you known him and how much do you know about his past relationships?

Katie59 Mon 11-Mar-24 17:11:51

4 yrs ago I moved in shortly after my divorce he is a widower 10 yrs older, I knew him and his wife socially so I had a head so I head start. I knew he was wealthy but as with many like that he is thrifty as well, he’s got a nice car but doesnt waste money. I had my divorce settlement and work pension which is in my name and he transferred £500 a month for general housekeeping. I work 3 days a week so my account grows month by month.

I’m massively better off, we share a lot of the same interests and he likes to travel as I do so we got along well right from the start and we married last summer.

Whether your man is rich or just secure what matters is that his lifestyle matches yours and you are a good match intimately. Ideally you should get along with his family a hostile family can spoil it all. When you think you have a good prospect date him for while go on holiday with him, meet his family, don’t commit until you are sure.

Then make sure he values your companionship and understands your wants and needs, if he doesn’t do that walk away because neither of you will change easily in later life.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 11-Mar-24 17:12:30

I agree with TinSoldier. The discrepancies between financial situations may be too great to transcend. Unless the OP is willing to compromise she is effectively expecting this man to share, descend to, her level of poverty. A meal out every few months. What of holidays? Gifts? I can’t imagine a man willing to make such a sacrifice, live as though he were as poor as his partner. Pride is to be commended, but it can be taken too far.

Allsorts Wed 13-Mar-24 05:56:41

Put yourself in his position! He want to share experiences with you that you can't afford just accept gracefully. Invite him for a meal, organise a day out thatvdoesn't have to cost hardly anything, be thoughtful thats what matters.. Don't spoil things for him out of pride.

Suzieque66 Wed 13-Mar-24 11:08:52

Take him to Art Galleries, Museums, Historical walks , pack a sandwich and let him buy the coffee ...

She777 Wed 13-Mar-24 11:12:13

If you can change your mindset from the money to the fact that someone wants to share experiences with you and make memories.
Don’t miss out on concerts, theatre etc because of your financial pride, as everyone has said make him dinner, take him for a picnic, do movie night at home with nibbles. All these things are experiences for you both….enjoy them and good luck with the relationship.

grannyro Wed 13-Mar-24 11:18:34

I compared this to a situation with me and my sister. When we go out she won't let me pay (although I have a lot more money than her). Because my situation is better I am happy to sometimes treat her but she feels she has to pay her way and I know she struggles financially to do this. I don't think your man is being controlling but he just realises he is in a better position. If things were the other way round would you not treat him now and then?

mlynne239 Wed 13-Mar-24 11:20:04

Consider what the difference in earnings sre between men and women, the relative inequality in the workplace and the time out women spend having and raising the next responsible tax paying generation who pay for our pensions and enjoy a man who is generous enough to share his advantages....

TinSoldier Wed 13-Mar-24 11:24:15

Are people reading what OP has written?

OP is saying that she wants to do a mix of things, some that are free or that don’t cost a lot e.g going for a walk and a coffee and the occasional more expensive thing … but he says he doesn’t want to do that and doesn’t think he can be in a relationship where she won’t let him pay for things. That is making her feel uncomfortable.

My concern for her is that he is not taking her wishes into account. That would be worrying for someone who has been in a relationship where they were coerced and controlled.

Using money to control a woman - we must do it my way with my money or I don’t want to be in a relationship with you is coercion.

He may just see himself as generous but a good relationship is also about finding someone to just sit quietly with and do nothing.

readsalot Wed 13-Mar-24 11:26:43

If I had had your attitude when I met my second DH I would have missed 45 years of happy marriage and our two wonderful children would never have been born. Allow him the pleasure of treating you and stop restricting your life with him. Get over yourself!

BazingaGranny Wed 13-Mar-24 11:27:42

You’ve had some fabulous replies, and there is also some good advice for many of us regarding inexpensive outings etc.

Your chap sounds lovely, please don’t let the difference in finances put you off going out with him.

My husband earned about 3 times my salary and we worked out a way that I didn’t and don’t feel ‘beholden’ to him, whereas some women friends of mine are very happy to have someone else pay for everything and in fact insist on it!