Dear Miss Emily:

I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over a year, now, and it seems like we always argue over finance. We live separately. What complicates matters is I am a student and my parents give me a monthly budget while he is now working making 40 Gs, with a quarter mill debt from school. For a month, period, he was short on money and lived with me (normally lives with his mom) and ate at my place. Fine, but the problem is he agreed to pay me back half, around $200, when he has money. When I ask him about it he always dodges the question and blames his student loans. Whenever we go out I usually end up paying (especially if its my idea). For example, we went to a movie and he bought tickets, said he wanted popcorn and soda, for which I ended up paying. Now, as things are, with him getting paid, I feel like he needs to 'catch up' as I've invested more money into this than he has. I'm okay with going dutch afterward. I have also approached him about being so cheap (not the word I used of course) and he blames his student loans, car payment, phone payment. He has no living expenses, as he lives with his mom still (he is 25). He said he would start paying for more things when he got a job and started working (now for 3 months) and things have improved but hes still stingy. He doesn't spend money on himself at all (that I know of) and insists that I buy him clothes. My theory is that he knows my parents are wealthy and tries to guilt/trick me into buying him things, dinner and so forth.  Is there any way to resolve this? What steps can we take to move forward? I talked to his Mom about my feelings and she was very surprised, and remarked, "Well maybe he;s just spoiled."  I've had several successful relationships in the past that were in no way plagued with money arguments. Often the guy would pay so freqnently, I got sick of it and insisted on buying. I guess I need to know, bottom line, if this is something that can be salvaged. Thank you in advance. Another note, we have talked about moving in together but I'm petrified of him moving into my place (owned by my parents) and that he'll expect to get away with rent, groceries and expect me to do it all.

---------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------


This isn't a rare problem.  Money is often at the heart of relationship issues, and especially when one person is more capable of assuming the financial load -- but it's wrong for all the reasons you mentioned.  He should have a budget, and not expect you to foot the bill for the bulk of the dating expenditures. It's a matter of integrity. His $250,000 school loan debt is not your responsibility and, although a harsh reality (and typical for American students who just want to get ahead in life), it's one he cannot expect others to shoulder -- you aren't married to him.  Do not let him move in with you until you get this settled. It's a sensitive topic, I know.  But you are feeling used and that's why you need to work this out with him.  If he takes umbrage, too bad.  He had a speck of my sympathy concerning his financial plight, until you mentioned he expects you to buy him clothes and his cavalier attitude. That smacks of  a "sense of entitlement," and would not bode well for a permanent future with this man. As well, I'm sure you are trying to balance your responsibility to your parents' considerable generosity.