My Guy Pays For Literally Everything Because I’m Broke & I Feel Weird About It

Among many other things that suck about being broke as hell, consistently having less than three figures in your bank account while you’re dating is probably the most awkward. My boyfriend foots the bill more often than not and it makes me feel like crap because there’s nothing I can do about it.

  1. I haven’t paid for my own drinks since the night we met. I met my partner the night after my birthday at our neighborhood bar where I was treating myself to a nightcap with some birthday money and trying to get some writing done. That was six months ago and also the last time I paid for my own drinks there. I hooked up with him that night and he asked to take me to dinner the next night as a “real” date. While I’m very much the type of girl who always offers to split the check, I won’t protest more than once if he insists on paying. He did and that was that.
  2. He has a deep-seated belief in chivalry. He has four sisters so he knows how to treat women well. I quickly found out that he not only still values chivalry but also recognizes that there are few ways left to display this that won’t offend some people. He insists on opening doors for me and constantly picking up the check so I let him because it makes him happy.
  3. I’m a feminist, so I struggle with being financially dependent on him. I’m the type of feminist who puts the seat back up if she pees in a majority-male household. I’m the type of feminist who thinks that if women want to be treated equally in life, we should be paying our own way. This is a whole other rant I could go on, but for the sake of brevity, let’s just leave it at the fact that I don’t expect to or want to be financially taken care of. I want to live as independently as I possibly can, and since my current financial situation doesn’t allow this, I seriously struggle.
  4. Since I’m unemployed at the moment, he bankrolls my social life too. I started to feel weird a few weeks into our relationship when I realized that my job prospects weren’t looking up and we’d started spending every day together. I have friends and I like hanging out with them, and since he was eager to meet them and they got along so well, him paying for my food and drinks then turned into him also paying for 80% of my social life. I’m not proud to admit that sometimes I invite him just because I want to go but know I couldn’t afford more than one cheap beer. Is that terrible?
  5. I know he knows I can’t afford to go dutch but we never talk about it. It became this glaring elephant in the room, at least for me. Being a gentleman, he never said anything about the fact that I was too broke to contribute any cash to our outings. He knew I was looking for work and that the money I was making babysitting was all going straight to my bills. I started going to the bathroom or getting “distracted” by something on my phone when the check was about to come but he’s too sweet to make a big deal out of it.
  6. When he started struggling for money, that’s when the guilt really hit. This past winter, a pipe burst in his basement and he also found himself in a financial pickle that left him in a small amount of debt. That’s when we started talking about going out less, hanging out at home more, and cooking our own food. This never really happened, but we made a valiant effort. Of course, I felt guiltier than ever when we did go out even though he didn’t seem nearly as stressed about his situation than I am about my own.
  7. At least I wasn’t spending money on anything else, right? I used to take solace in the fact that he knew I wasn’t spending money on frivolous stuff and letting him foot the bill for everything. I mean, it wasn’t like I was going on shopping sprees every day and then expecting him to pay my way.
  8. When I did get money, I did something for myself instead of paying him back. I got a random paycheck for a freelance gig that came about six days before a dozen of my friends were going to Cancun for a bachelorette weekend that I’d given up on trying to finagle a way to afford to go on. Suddenly, I had the cash to go, so I left him in gloomy Pittsburgh for a week and went to spend over $400 on a vacation with my friends. If I was a better person, I would’ve done something with that money to benefit him, but instead I spent it all on myself like a selfish a-hole.
  9. I feel stuck and I don’t know what to do about it. Six months in and I don’t even want to know how much money I technically owe my boyfriend. He’s been kinder and more generous to me than I deserve. I feel both figuratively and literally indebted to him and I don’t like it. I don’t feel like an equal, I don’t feel independent, and sometimes, on those days when he’s driving me insane, I feel trapped. After all, how much of a bitch would I be if I just broke up with him after all that he’s given me? Not knowing when or if I’ll ever be able to make it up to him doesn’t help, but most days, I just grimace to myself as he figures out the tip, say thank you, and feel lucky to have someone to touch my butt and buy me pizza.