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About dating this pretty wealthy man?

(29 Posts)
NearlySpring Thu 06-Oct-11 08:54:06

I've met a guy who Ive been dating for a while now. He is lovely and we really get on well. He's funny and charming and we have lots in common, except that he probably earns about 10 times what I do (at a guess I don't know exactly).

I have a decent job and work hard but as a single parent with a house to run I don't have a lot left at the end of the month. He has no idea how much I earn as I work in sales and the salary for my job can vary massively. I'm not desperately short of cash and have money for nights out, nice meals etc but obviously no where near as much as he does. He likes fancy restaurants and expensive wine, designer clothes etc- all things I cannot really afford.

AIBU to have a chat with him and make him aware that my income doesn't stretch to his expensive tastes. I hate discussing money but as we are seeing each other quite a bit I feel like it's very close to me having to say "we can't go there I can't afford it". I don't like the idea of him paying for me (he always tries to but I always pay half.) But at the same time I think I need to be honest with him.

hairylights Thu 06-Oct-11 08:58:12

Yes, talk to him.

Yes. I think that is sensible.

I think it is important to pay your own way in life but also to be realistic about what you can afford and not go beyond that. I think you are being very sensible. I'm sure he'll understand. And if he doesn't -he's a plank.

Pagwatch Thu 06-Oct-11 08:59:45

Yes. You said he is nice. Talk to him.
Why would you not just communicate openly with someone you like?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 06-Oct-11 09:00:26

YANBU to say 'I can't afford it' if you're not comfortable with him treating you.

biddysmama Thu 06-Oct-11 09:01:04

i think thats sensible smile

afishcalledmummy Thu 06-Oct-11 09:04:26

When I met DH I was in a fairly similar position, and I felt really awkward to start with when we went to places I couldn't afford. The issue was that he wanted to go to nicer places and not the cheaper places I could afford and he was perfectly happy to pay for me when we went there - and the best thing I could do was get over it and let him. I would pay when we went somewhere more within my budget, or I would pay for drinks in a bar and he would pay for supper so I was paying my way but not bankrupting myself. I didn't discuss it explicitly with him until much later (the advice to just let him came from my boss) and he was totally aware of the income disparity and that's why he would insist on paying when we went somewhere smart and was happy for me to get drinks/lunch or similar. I'm glad that I didn't have the very awkward conversation and we just did it naturally.

Grumpla Thu 06-Oct-11 09:05:54

Lots of people have long, happy relationships with people who earn far more / less than they do. I think it can be a MAJOR source of friction when people don't talk about it and set some 'ground rules' that everyone is happy with.

I'd think about what you would / wouldn't find acceptable first. TBH I would never be comfortable with someone (say) spending lots and lots of money on me, so are you going to say "I can really only afford x amount" and then be prepared for him to pick up the tab every time, or are you going to say "I can only afford x amount, so I'd feel more comfortable going to (modest eatery) rather than The Ivy, as I prefer to pay my own way / be able to treat you occasionally."

His reaction to this will be a good indicator of his priorities, I should think! Is he more concerned with wealth / status or spending time with you? Is he generous, or will he expect certain behaviour in 'return' for his spending?

planetpotty Thu 06-Oct-11 09:06:34

I dont think this is that big an issue - he will know you dont have the same spare cash as him (ha wish this was a problem of mine ;)).

I would say that rather than a whole formal chat, when you are discussing where you are going/what you are doing if he suggests somewhere swanky and ££ just say "hey megabucks! I cant keep up with you and the spending and theres no need to go to such expensive places all the time I like just spending time with you how about....pizza express instead?" If he really insists on treating you I dont think you are wrong in accepting but do things on your terms everynow and then and pay half when you are in places more suiting to your budget.

Think its good to not be a gold digger after his ££ but also he will probably want to treat you as anyone would when they find someone they lluuurrrrve ;)

lubeybooby Thu 06-Oct-11 09:07:12

I would just let him pay, he clearly wants to, so what's the problem? By all means talk to him but it seems daft to insist on only going to places you can afford... why should he be nudged into something that isn't his taste or stay in when he has the means and has worked to be able to go elsewhere? I bet he will plead with you to just let him pay. I would if I were him! grin

ShroudOfHamsters Thu 06-Oct-11 09:08:17

Yes have a chat - make sure you're bright and breezy about it and not the slightest bit 'apologetic', mind... most normal people don't have massive disposable incomes, he's the unusual one and there's nothing here to be ashamed of or make you feel that you're somehow the 'lesser' partner. But if he's as nice as you say I can't imagine that this would make any difference to him or change your dynamic.

Perhaps you could suggest having the odd evening where you take turns to treat each other. If there's somewhere he loves to go which is too expensive for you, perhaps you could use this as a way of letting him have a splurge if he wants to!

redexpat Thu 06-Oct-11 09:11:12

If you don't tell him he'll never know.

MilicentBystander Thu 06-Oct-11 09:12:30

God yes, have the chat then marry him sharpish! wink

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Oct-11 09:17:08

Please talk to him. A good friend on mine is in EXACTLY the same position as you. He exDH was so nasty to her, she can not accept that the new chap is good enough for her or should "treat" her. It is doing her head in and she is struggling to keep up with him. Just speak to him!

SardineQueen Thu 06-Oct-11 09:18:09

Sounds like a great idea. Just talk to him.

Be prepared to think about what you are going to do if he wants to "treat" you a lot though! Maybe you could take it in turns to pay and you can take him to places in your price range and he can take you to places he likes? He may not want to stop eating at the places he likes because you can't afford it IYSWIM and it would seem like a shame TBH.

SardineQueen Thu 06-Oct-11 09:19:21

Or he can pay for meal and you can pay for drinks?

There are lots of ways to arrange it so you are both paying for stuff and according to your means without having to split it exactly IYSWIM.

Can you tell I'd love to go out for a posh meal and want you to have them for me?!!!

slavetofilofax Thu 06-Oct-11 09:19:54

Definately talk to him about it. He will think you are being very lovely.

screamqueenrollo Thu 06-Oct-11 09:25:28

Talk to him.

It was different for me because I wasn't earning at all when i met DH. I had to explain that I felt awkward with him spending so generously when I couldn't contribute at all. He just wanted to treat me, and it was hard for him to hold back on doing that - but he did because he cared about how it made me feel.

Pseudo341 Thu 06-Oct-11 09:25:33

Just be straight with him about it. I'm sure you can find a compromise, I wouldn't insist on going dutch all the time it will just make the situation difficult when it doesn't need to be, let him treat you to a special restaurant once in a while if he wants to. In return if you're any good as a cook and feel comfortable having him over to your house you could treat him by cooking a nice fancy 3 course dinner for him, much cheaper for you and also very flattering for him that you've gone to all that effort.

aldiwhore Thu 06-Oct-11 09:29:18

Just talk to him, don't make him feel bad for earning more though, keep it simple. You like to pay your own way, but times are tough for you and now you're seeing more of each other you need to watch your cash flow. He should understand, he'll probably want to treat you even more, so agree to allow him to ocassionally...

Oh yes and marry him quick sharp wink

When DH and I met I was stoney broke (still am), he had a fair old amount of expendable income (much less now!) due to being single and housesharing... we had to have this chat too and it was rather a turning point in our relationship.

chandellina Thu 06-Oct-11 09:32:24

why not just say - ok, i will let you pay because i can't afford it! In a light hearted but honest way. And then add that you are happy to go to less-posh places that you can afford to pay halves on. (or as others say offer to cook.) I also support the I pay for drinks, you pay for the meal method.

I don't go for the whole paying your way when the other person makes so much more. Even with friends this quickly wears thin. I always (at least try to) pay more if my companion is on lower income/skint.

NearlySpring Thu 06-Oct-11 13:33:52

afishcalledmummy Thats my worry. He has a great social life and lots of friends who earn similar salaries. I don't want him to have to go to less exoensie, less posh places etc when he can afford the better lifestyle and obviously enjoys it. I know that if he's a decent bloke (Im sure he is) it won't make a difference and perhaps like someone else suggested I can pay when we go cheaper places or pay for drink.

It just makes me feel uncomfortable allowing someone Ive only known a short time to pay for me and buy me things. Guess I need to get over it.

Unsure about the marriage just yet to those who said "marry him" smile I think he probably finds it a bit odd as we were talking the show top gear and he mentioned what car he had and I just looked blank. Apparently it's a top of the range sports car but I had no idea so couldn't look impressed, he found it funny!

soandsosmummy Thu 06-Oct-11 13:42:33

happened to me.

We talked about it and agreed we'd take it in turns both to choose the restaurant and to pay. He got to discover lots of good feed at reasonable prices and I got to eat in places I'd only have managed on a very rare and special basis.

We were happiest though walking in the hills and sitting down to a pub lunch afterwards!

We were both happy and still together 12 years later with a lovely daughter. He still earns more but it works for us!

So do talk to him and make the position clear

valiumredhead Thu 06-Oct-11 13:45:02

It just makes me feel uncomfortable allowing someone Ive only known a short time to pay for me and buy me things

Really? Sounds fab to me wink

Talk to him sooner rather than later.

Pagwatch Thu 06-Oct-11 13:46:15

Can I just say that you are probably thinking about this an awful lot more than he is.

If I want to go out with a mate and she can't afford it, I am hugely grateful when she let's me pay.
Because I know she would do the same if it were the other way around.
If on the other hand she feels awkward and we have to split the bill and go somewhere else I, of course respect her feeling.
But it does then get to be an endless assessment of how I pitch an invitation, should I offer to pay for wine, should we have gone somewhere else have I offended her.
All things I am keen to do because I like her and respect her feelings. But it is hard work tbh

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