Is This Petty? He Wants Us To Go Dutch — On Everything

September 2, 2016  |  

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I really wish I was a more frugal person, but with the way I shop (both for grocery and retail), that’s just never going to happen. My fiancé, on the other hand, is pretty good with his money and will often chide me when I come home with yet another shopping bag. Granted, that can be annoying, but it’s nice to have someone in your life who can help you make better financial decisions and who understands the importance of pinching pennies.

However, there’s a difference between being good with your money and being cheap.

I was reading a woman’s story online about trying to make it work with a guy who rarely took her out and paid for things, but rather, wanted them to split things 50/50. As blogger Eva Finn stated, an ex-boyfriend tried to argue that because she was an “independent woman,” she should be okay with the idea of putting up some cash for expenses when they go out. She tried to roll with the punches, likely not wanting to give the impression that she was expecting him to pay for everything. (And really, there is no good excuse why a man should pay for everything, every time.) But she found herself at her wit’s end when they went on a ski trip together, she had split the cost of everything with him, and yet, he opened his hand and asked her to give him gas money as well. Their relationship ended soon after.

And while one could listen to her story and walk away with the lesson that cheap men are clearly not where it’s at, Finn also came to the conclusion that being cheap is a sign of a major character flaw.

“But here’s what I also have found about men like these: when they aren’t generous with their money, they won’t open their hearts either,” Finn wrote. “It’s weird how this behavior seems to go hand in hand. My dad, a very wise man, says, ‘character counts.’ The way a man treats his money and how he spends it on you (or doesn’t) is a key insight into his character.”

Well, that’s deep. After asking a co-worker of mine if she agreed that being cheap is a sign of a major character flaw, she said yes.

“I just think it’s an extension of selfishness in a way. Being frugal and being cheap are two different things,” she said. She felt that in a relationship with a cheap man, he would hold you back from having certain experiences because the focus would solely be on money. “50 DOLLARS?!” she yelled, laughing while imitating a cheap man on a date. “It would just completely take you out of the moment.”

I don’t know if I agree with the idea that a man cheap with his money is just as stingy with his heart, but I can see the selfish aspect of it all. I think when a person goes out of their way to make it clear that they want to save money, it can be tacky. Splitting expenses when you go out is fine, but more so in a way of, “How about I pay for dinner and you take care of drinks?” Or “Let me take care of the bill this time.” In this day and age, I think it’s important that no party get too comfortable, and that people getting to know one another give each other the opportunity to pay for things. But that doesn’t mean that when you pull up to a gas station, you should have your hand out ready for someone to drop gas money like you’re giving high school friends a ride home.

All in all, I do agree that how a man looks at money and treats it in regards to you is important. But a character flaw? That I’m not so sure about. To me, it’s more of a sign that you’re just not a good match. He clearly needs to be with someone who values money, in terms of holding onto it with a death grip, as much as he does. And trust me, there are plenty of people out there who do…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? Is being cheap a sign of a major character flaw? And if a guy you were getting to know wanted to go Dutch on just about everything, would you be okay with that? 

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