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Dating While Unemployed

Group Therapy: I Want to Chip In on Dates but Can't Afford To

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I recently met a really great guy, right around the same time I lost my job. While I'm fine with a guy paying for a first date or two, I like to either split, chip in, or at least offer to pay.  

I am searching for a job, any I can find, but until that happens, it's going to be a struggle financially. I've had him over, cooked and baked for him in an effort to make up for it (thank god for grocery coupons), but there are only so many nights we can stay in.  


He knows that I don't have a job, but since he's never been in the same situation he doesn't really grasp just how tough it is. I feel so guilty every time we go out and he foots the bill, and I feel like he expects me to offer. I really like him and feel like we have a lot of potential, and I don't want this to be an issue. What can I do in this situation?

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testadura67 testadura67 6 years
As long as you've communicated your interest in helping to pay, but your inability to do so at the time, if he insists on the two of you going to things he knows you can't afford, he should pay and not be upset about it. Once you find a job though, it would be great thank you to take him out for a night on the town or a concert or something and foot the bill.
katialoves katialoves 6 years
Next time he suggests X fancy place say "I can't really afford that, can we do Y?" thats great advice aslo give him updates on your job search so he doesn't wonder if its just an excuse
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Agreed with Aquadave. Guys are generally more than willing to pay, as long as they have enough money themselves. They love being providers and getting credit for showing you a good time. (Sure, you could consider it a last vestige of old fashioned patriarchy, but why not take advantage of that when it works in your favor?) This whole problem is due to pressure you're putting on yourself. And you can let up on that pressure at any time. You need help. You're unemployed. Take whatever generosity you can get. Let this man show you a fun time and take your mind off your financial problems for a little bit. They'll still be there when you get back. ;)
KeLynns KeLynns 6 years
Why not tell him what you told us? Next time he suggests X fancy place say "I can't really afford that, can we do Y?" - then he'll know that you don't expect a free ride, but that you can't swing it financially. He'll either say "sure let's do Y instead" or he'll say "I'm happy to pick up the check." If you say that every time he suggests something expensive, he'll start to get the idea that you feel guilty about him paying all the time and he'll either tone it down or reassure you that he's happy to pay.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Aaaalso, this is not a permanent situation. You both know that once you get a job again, you'll be able to split the bill, as you want to. Good luck with your job search!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
I would definitely bring it up, just so he knows it's important to you to offer to share. He probably won't mind very much anyway. I don't know why you say you can only stay in so many nights.. how about you do a google search for free things to do in your city? Or search for "free/cheap date ideas" or something. And even if you do go out, find places that have drink specials or things like that, so that even when he does pay, it won't be much. He will surely appreciate that as well.
atraditionalist atraditionalist 6 years
Most guys I've dated are uncomfortable if a woman pays in fact even my guy friends cringe when we split the bill insisting that they pay (i don't let guy friends do that!). Is he actually expecting you to chip in more or are you just feeling that way? Anyways there's nothing wrong with a man paying for dates (I'm a traditionalist after all!) and if this one is whining about it then find another because down the line this guy is going to whine about everything financial
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
Just talk to him about it! It's great that you're already trying to make up for it by cooking/baking for him. And, as already mentioned, there's lots of free activities out there you can do. If you guys get along well and you're seeing great potential, there's nothing wrong with letting him know what's going on.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
Does he actually expect you to chip in more, or is that the guilt talking? You should talk to him about it, maybe he doesn't mind footing the bill for now. Brainstorm cheap date ideas. You don't always have to stay in to keep it in budget. There are outdoor activities, parks, some art galleries are free. Be creative.
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 6 years
I understand what you mean because I too wanted to split the bill or offer to pay when it had been a couple of dates. I think that whoever invites must expect to pay, but I would always offer to pay my share. Where I'm from it is common to split the bill (I'm from Québec) and we don't always expect for guys to pay just because they are guys. Anyway, I think you should just talk to him about the situation, how being unemployed is a very tough situation and you have a tight budget. If he really likes you and he's worth it, he will understand and accept to do less expensive dates or foot the bill for the expensive ones. Explain to him where your money goes right now and that you are left with X amount of dollars for dates. If he's never been in this situation, explain it to him. I don't see why he wouldn't wanna keep dating you.
Aquadave Aquadave 6 years
The guy pays for the date!!! He should understand you have no job and can't afford to play much but There are still a lot of things yall can do without money. I say again the guy pays for the date.
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