Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Going Dutch Goes Too Far

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I am with a woman who always insists on paying her part of any date we’re on. At first, I didn’t have a problem with it, but now that we’re getting deeper into the relationship, I sometimes find it bothers me that she is so adamant about keeping it all separate. There are times I would like to treat her, because I think it’s okay to do something nice for someone you care about.

Am I wrong to be bothered by her reluctance to let me treat once in a while? --- JUST WANT TO TREAT SOMETIMES

DEAR JUST WANT TO TREAT SOMETIMES: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to treat once in a while. But there are also many people who fear feeling obligated to another person financially, or that someone is trying to buy their affections or exert control by always picking up the tab.

It’s time you mention your concerns openly to her. It would give her an opportunity to share her motives for keeping it Dutch. Depending on her response, you might suggest doing a switch-off ─ you pay for the movie one time and dinner the next, and vice versa so that you’re both contributing, but also opening the door to an occasional treat by one or the other of you.

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