Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is my boyfriend tight?

(313 Posts)
pippilongstockinglondon Mon 10-Dec-12 12:39:48

Firstly, apologies for the long message!

I?ve been dating with my boyfriend for two months. The first date was in a fairly expensive restaurant (he invited me out and booked the table). Despite the fact that the venue was my choice I was actually expecting to stay in the bar area as I?m struggling financially. He ordered a drink, one of the mains (£18), I ordered a starter only (£6.50) and we shared a bottle of wine of which he had more than half. At the end of the evening he asked what we should do with the bill. I offered - just to be polite - that we split it in half; however I was expecting him to pay a bit more as he had the lion?s share. But he gladly agreed and I ended up paying half of the £52 bill. Fair enough, he paid for the wine at a pub the following weekend (£10), so I thought it was actually fine. Only recently I have started thinking about the old saying ?mean with money, mean with love??Maybe I have watched too many Hollywood romcoms, but shouldn?t it be the case of a man making an effort when he?s dating a woman?!

We spend around 3 days/evenings a week together and he always stays at mine. I do the grocery shopping, spend time cooking and generally put quite a lot of effort into pleasing him. We have gone out for breakfast twice (local caff the first time and a bit more upmarket café the second time) and he has paid for it, but on both occasions he kept on complaining how expensive it is to eat out. We once went grocery shopping together for which he paid (£12). He has also paid for a takeaway twice: pizza and Chinese. When I go shopping I always try to buy healthy nutritious food, because this is what I am used to and I genuinely love cooking. I usually make my meals from scratch: casseroles and stews, steak and salad, roast chicken and potatoes, soups. I don?t eat crisps or £1 frozen pies. Yes, I sometimes have a cheeky takeaway pizza and chips, but it doesn?t happen often.

He never brings any food or anything else with him, except for the last weekend when he decided to bring some of his own items, after saying that ?you never have any food at home?. So he brought a pack of frozen waffles, a frozen pie (the kind of products you can get from Iceland for £1) and a tin of baked beans. However, in the evening after realising my food was so much better (chicken fajitas and green salad), he decided not to eat his but indulge in mine. I don?t always have the items in the fridge that he would like (for full English), but I have always made him coffee & toast, omelette or a bacon sandwich. Except for the two breakfasts mentioned earlier and a couple of times when he has woken up before me and gone to eat in a local caff. So I think it is unfair to say that I never have any food at home. What about all the dinners I have prepared for him?

As a side note, I am a secretary on a 23k salary (plus stuck in a dead end job) and he is a financial analyst in the City. Not sure how much he is earning, but perhaps around 50-60k?!

I feel that he is not making much effort and is generally a tight person. Am I unfair?

caramelwaffle Mon 10-Dec-12 13:32:48

That is something an ex if mine would have said.

Note the ex.

caramelwaffle Mon 10-Dec-12 13:33:47

Do you actually know where he lives? Works? His family? Friends?

pippilongstockinglondon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:34:20

That's a good point. Something's not right. I need to find out why he's never inviting me to his place.

Tamoo Mon 10-Dec-12 13:34:43

Why are you washing his clothes??

Viviennemary Mon 10-Dec-12 13:35:51

He certainly is not what you would call generous. But you seem a bit obsessed with the price of things. It sounds like there are faults on both sides. I'd be insisting on going to his place to see how the land lies there.

Beamur Mon 10-Dec-12 13:36:09

He's expecting you to do his washing....
Run like the wind.
Or set out your boundaries now. Do you want to be a 50's housewife?!!?

perceptionInaPearTree Mon 10-Dec-12 13:36:57

'He sent me a text a couple of weeks ago if I had found his £2.50 that had fallen out of his pocket in my bedroom.'

Really? How bizarre! Unless someone was absolutely broke I don't see a reasonable defense for that!! If I were you I would move on, definitely. People who are tight with money are such a bore.

QueenofNightmares Mon 10-Dec-12 13:36:59

Actually to be honest you sound tighter than him you remember all the costs of things spent out. Perhaps he's just more frugal than you and prefers different food he could well be living with a flatmate to save for his own place hence not spending a fortune on dates.

I also agree with Showtunes statement here "FWIW, I don't believe that the guy should just pay and I think it's quite a sexist and out of date attitude."

Teeb Mon 10-Dec-12 13:37:34

Something does seem fishy, are you certain he isn't in a relationship with someone else?

pippilongstockinglondon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:40:36

I know the postcode/area, but that's all. Haven't met any of his friends. I also know the company where he works. Well, he claims to be working there, but I cannot be entirely sure.

Maybe I wanted to be a good girlfriend, so have done all these things to please him.

LaQueen Mon 10-Dec-12 13:41:22

He certainly doesn't sound very open-handed to me - and I can't really think of a less attractive trait in a person.

Plus, if he is like this - likes to count every penny, eat cheapy food, eat in cheapy cafes... then he will never change. I can promise you that.

He sounds exactly like my ex...there was nothing I could really put my finger on, just a foreboding sense that I was always, always expected to pay slightly more than my fair share, and that there were a 101 tiny remarks/gestures which showed he wasn't a generous person.

I only realised how mean he'd been when I met DH, who was always open-handed (even as a poor student)

perceptionInaPearTree Mon 10-Dec-12 13:41:23

I don't think the OP sounds tighter than him. You shouldn't expect the man to automatically pay but he is earning enough to make the effort and I would consider that if he didn't he probably didn't like me enough - he should have offered! He is not a student.

Notmadeofrib Mon 10-Dec-12 13:42:02

8 weeks in and basically you're asking: is he a keeper?

In short: No.

If it seems wrong so early on, it is wrong. Imagine 10 years down the track.. you'll wish you'd have kicked him to the kerb now.

If it ain't really right, stay single! !

pippilongstockinglondon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:43:42

Thank you for all your replies. I understand now I'm a bit weird too by remembering all these details. Will try to be less money focused.

Corygal Mon 10-Dec-12 13:44:17

He is tight - and you're being unjustly accused of being 'money focused' because you have noticed.

2.50? change on floor? chased by text? How romantic.

Meanness is a deal-breaker for a lot of people, including me.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 10-Dec-12 13:44:42

So really, you know NOTHING about this man who spends three nights a week at your house, let you cook for him and do his washing, yet ask you to search for £2.50 in dropped coins?

You need to dig a little deeper...

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 10-Dec-12 13:45:23

I dont think you are "money focused", but your alarm bells are clearly ringing, but you are as of yet unsure why!

caramelwaffle Mon 10-Dec-12 13:48:27

There is nothing with focusing on money. It does not make one weird, after all bills always need paying.

However, you know nothing of this man really. My advice to anyone in a similar situation to you is do not get deeply involved with someone unless you know the basics of their lives. Name. Address. Status. Work. Children etc.

He asks you to wash his clothes? After eight weeks??? shock

Bin.Him.Now.

OhWesternWind Mon 10-Dec-12 13:49:36

And just because he earns more, doesn't mean he has more disposable income. On paper I should be able to afford all sorts of holidays, meals out, weekends away etc etc but because of my circumstances I am counting pennies by the end of the month if not sooner. In mh case, this is due mainly to the financial fall-out from when a LTR broke up a couple of years ago, but it's easy to see that although someone "should" be able to flash the cash, in reality they can't.

Having been on the other side of the fence, I would one thousand times rather be with someone who's frugal/cautious than someone who spends their money like it was going out of fashion and end up with the bailiffs on the doorstep, CCJs and in danger of having the house repossessed. There are far worse things than being careful with money.

pippilongstockinglondon Mon 10-Dec-12 13:49:53

I agree with Notmadeofrib. Yes, this is exactly what I am asking myself. I know it's still early days, but I guess he's not going to change.

Please note that I am not expecting him to pay for everything, I only want things to be more equal. It's not really about the money (although it might sound as it is), it's about the effort.

As said in my previous post, I will need to take a harder look at myself and analyse my own behaviour and values.

MariaMandarin Mon 10-Dec-12 13:50:10

I think you know something isn't right. Reminds me of a situation a friend was in. It turned out he didn't own the house, didn't have the fantastic job he claimed to have and didn't have a car because he couldn't drive, among a ton of other flights of fancy. I suppose she was lucky that he was at least single.

Tamoo Mon 10-Dec-12 13:50:48

I'd be very surprised if someone earning 50-60K was living in a flat share, similarly if someone earning 50-60K felt the need to chase up £2.50 in loose change.

His reason for not inviting you over is strange too. Hating his flatmate's GF would be a valid reason not to go out on a double date, not to never invite you to his home.

SomethingProfound Mon 10-Dec-12 13:52:41

Ditch him after two months of dating you should be in the honeymoon, butterflies in the stomach stage! Not washing his clothes and stressing out that he is not paying his fair share.

Not meeting his friends, never going to his place are all massive red flags! Either he is hiding something or he doesn't see you as long term enough to bother bringing you into his life.

izzyizin Mon 10-Dec-12 13:52:49

You're accusing pippi of being 'shockingly money focused' with a name like yours, Scrimper? hmm

If a well-heeled beloved turned up with offerings from Iceland I'd not ony remember every meal I'd lovingly cooked for them, I'd also be counting every ice cube/tea bag they'd consumed in beverages.

This one sounds tighter than the proverbial gnat's arse, pippi, and I'd dump him for the frozen waffles alone as your culinary skills are obviously wasted on his non tastebuds.

Book a table for 2 in a fine dining establishment, eat lightly on the day so that you can do justice to 5 or more courses the meal, be sure to savour a selection of the most expensive wines, leave your purse at home, and give him the boot after you've left the restaurant or the following morning (if you fancy a little something by way of an extra dessert with your usual nightcap).

In view of his profession you'll have opportunity to use the immortal words 'analyze this' as you kiss him off grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now