Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Girlfriend's vacation takeaway? Her boyfriend's cheap.

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.

I think cheap would be trying to get away with paying less than half.

I'm concerned that she and I have fundamentally different attitudes toward money, and also that we have fundamentally different attitudes toward communication, as I think she should have spoken up when I first proposed splitting 50-50, not waited until after the vacation was over.

Do you think this is a major problem? We have talked about marriage, and now I'm starting to think we're not as compatible as I thought we were.

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-- First Vacationer

I'm definitely with you on the communication problem. Yes, it would have helped for her to say something beforehand -- if in fact she had doubts then. But even if she wasn't sure till she actually saw what you meant by "50-50," then speaking up on the spot would have been the more productive thing to do: "Hey, when you said 50-50, I thought you meant we'd share expenses -- but I wasn't expecting that we'd split every meal down to the loose change."

You can have widely varying attitudes on money or faith or nutrition or whatever else, but it's hard to get by contentedly unless you're able to talk to each other when you're bothered by something.

She did eventually speak up, though, so you have that. Use it by responding honestly with your concerns. Say you wish she had said something as soon as this bothered her -- and ask if there's a reason she didn't.


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