DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to visit my boyfriend in college for the weekend. My cheapest option is to catch either a bus or a train down and back. Even though this is the “cheapest” option, it is still pretty expensive, and out of my budget. My boyfriend knows that I don’t have money coming out of my ears and that I work hard for the money I do earn, yet he has not offered once to put some money toward the travel. I would usually not mind paying for expenses like this, but every time I travel to see him, I always end up paying.
Is there a way I could kindly ask my boyfriend to pay for a portion of my transportation? And if he says he can’t afford it either, should we just decide not to pay for transportation any longer, and wait until we are both home? -- Broke Girlfriend, Cincinnati
DEAR BROKE GIRLFRIEND: The red flag is waving right now! Beware of the precedent that you are setting. Since the visit to see your boyfriend is beneficial to the two of you, you both should be discussing how to afford it. The cost should not rest solely on you. It could be that your boyfriend is oblivious and just hasn’t thought about it. Or he could be manipulative. Either way, you must say something to him. Be direct. Tell him that you cannot afford to pay to visit him and that the two of you need to figure out options. Request that he share in the cost of the trip or that you agree to wait to see each other until he comes home. The way he responds to this will be important for you to evaluate. You don’t want to be with a partner who is selfish and insensitive.