Dating someone with a significantly different income level

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 12:53 AM GMT
    Have you ever dated someone with either a significantly lower or higher income level? What are your expectations? Is the person of higher income always expected to pay when going out, regardless of the type of venue? Where is the line drawn? Does it mean that the higher income earner is essentially "paying" for love?
  • laguna07

    Posts: 124

    Oct 21, 2010 4:43 AM GMT
    I'm older and make much more than all my friends so I usually pick up the tab ot treat...i don't mind as long as friends give back in some other ways, which they almost always do. just them being there for me when i need someone or need a favor is payback.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    One of my bf's used to make over 4x my annual income, then lost it all due to illness.
    It never was an issue for us, though, because I already enjoy what I do as long as it supports me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 5:07 AM GMT
    This was a thing in my last relationship. I made about 3.5x my ex. He contributed in other ways. He loved to cook. I did the dishes, he was a great travel agent for our trips. Made sure the bills were paid, etc.

    It somewhat pains me that he will be on his own with his income, and the lifestyle that he 'wants'. I'm leaving him all the furniture and I'm just taking my clothes on my side of the closet, and about 2 small things. Including the dogs, he cannot afford them either.

    Do what you can and communicate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 7:04 AM GMT
    When I was in school my ex would pay when we go out since I was a broke college student. He was older (3 years) and had a full-time job. I was working part-time too but it was only enough to pay for rent and stuff. He was Chinese and generally with the Chinese culture the older person, if they have a reasonable amount of income, picks up the bill. He paid for almost everything when we went out. I just made sure I limit my expenses when we went out.

    When I was with my more recent ex-bf, I was working full time and was making as much as he was so we just took turns paying for dinner. Altho he did pick up the tab more often than I did. I think he felt that because he was older (4 years) he was obligated. He was irish/italian so I guess they have similar values in terms of who picks up the expenses based on age.

    This doesn't apply to big ticket items like airplane tickets. That I paid for on my own.

    I've followed the practice of my two ex-bfs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 10:22 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidWhen I was in school my ex would pay when we go out since I was a broke college student. He was older (3 years) and had a full-time job. I was working part-time too but it was only enough to pay for rent and stuff. He was Chinese and generally with the Chinese culture the older person, if they have a reasonable amount of income, picks up the bill. He paid for almost everything when we went out. I just made sure I limit my expenses when we went out.

    When I was with my more recent ex-bf, I was working full time and was making as much as he was so we just took turns paying for dinner. Altho he did pick up the tab more often than I did. I think he felt that because he was older (4 years) he was obligated. He was irish/italian so I guess they have similar values in terms of who picks up the expenses based on age.

    This doesn't apply to big ticket items like airplane tickets. That I paid for on my own.

    I've followed the practice of my two ex-bfs.

    is that saying there's a lower chance that you would date someone younger ?icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 11:25 AM GMT


    It depends what type of relationship you have. There are alot of straight couples that have the same issue, and think of the classic 'housewife' scenereo where the husband pays all the bills.

    Each person just contributes in their own way, and money becomes secondary.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 12:21 PM GMT
    Having experienced this firsthand with a previous bf. I felt like I was the ATM. I am SURE it was just the situation but when we would go out to dinner as an example. He would usually order like a kid in a candy store (appetizer, lots of drinks, dinner and dessert). I made it very clear during several conversations that when I felt like I was being used it was over. As you can see he is a FORMER bf. I am not hung up (as I am sure most are not) on what someone makes just that they are respectful, appreciative and give back in their own way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 3:27 PM GMT
    But specifically, what would you do if you only started dating someone of a different income level? I understand that under boyfriend or husband scenarios, the reaction could differ as many of you have already noted.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    My bf is a Dr...I do pretty good, but he makes 3 times what I do.

    If it works out that we can share a home, we'll prolly split things based on a percentage of income, but while we're dating it's 50/50.

    (He offers to pay more, but I decline.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 3:38 PM GMT
    With guys that make more money and with guys that make less money I probably pay for more things when we first start to date. However, my big mistake probably is doing things in the beginning that don't represent what I would do in the long term.

    In the beginning of a relationship I might spend more money on different things like expensive dinners or going out and then I tend to dial back on things later in the relationship.

    I don't think its the case that I am trying to impress them in the beginning. I think that it is more likely that I am going along with their suggestions. However, the pace of spending may be more than I am willing to do in the long term.

    Although I make a pretty good living, I find that I have a different attitude towards money than most guys. I like to live below my means whenever possible (well below).

    Other people have remarked on my way of living. Even if they don't know how much I make, they have a pretty good idea of the general range and they don't understand why I don't spend more money than I do.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 21, 2010 3:43 PM GMT
    Interesting discussion. My bf and I have different incomes... I making more than he (and this is totally a role reversal for him). I make about 3 times his income, although his does vary.

    We split our "play" expenses equally. If "we" have agreed on new furniture for the house or something of major expense, I pay (he usually offers to contribute, which I generally don't accept).

    I never view the money thing as an issue and it generally isn't, but we don't make it a problem... and when we are out eating (or spending a little money on non essentials), he more than pulls his weight. No issues.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    Would anybody here date a guy with NO income because of unemployment? Would that be a hindrance or it doesnt matter?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 6:11 PM GMT
    I am.
    He makes about 4 times was I do since he's a high seniority factory worker (which still, isn't amazing...but when you're part time retail, almost everyone gets more hours and has more money than you)


    I am practically a scrub since the only things I can pay for is rent and car insurance.

    /shrug.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    I dont have an income but Im a college student with a 24 credit/semester course load. So, I really have no time to get a job.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 9:14 PM GMT
    laguna07 saidI'm older and make much more than all my friends so I usually pick up the tab ot treat...i don't mind as long as friends give back in some other ways, which they almost always do. just them being there for me when i need someone or need a favor is payback.


    Your the Man!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    Not really an issue with me so long as they contribute back in some other way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 9:58 PM GMT
    I like to try to keep it on an even keel, no matter the income levels. Even if I had a higher income, and expenses ended up heavily on my side, I would still want my lover to pay often enough that they remember how it feels to hand over that bank card. Not to mention.. it's just good manners.

    But some folks are insistent that they pay. In which case... let them. They want to.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 21, 2010 10:39 PM GMT
    I've been on both sides of this issue at different times in my life
    when I was younger and in school I dated men who were a little older and more established in their careers
    while most of the time I paid the same as the other guy but for big ticket items they paid more

    and the same thing happened later on when I met a few guys who didn't make as much as I did
    you need to play it by ear
    depending how much of a disparity there is between you two and how involved you are together as well
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 11:05 PM GMT
    I have been on both sides of the fence, and I am still deciding how I feel.

    When I was 26, I dated a guy who made 100K and I was making about 25K. We had a general rule that if it had a drive-through, I would pay - otherwise, he would pay. He liked to go out often (almost every night) and I could never do that 50/50 on my salary.

    My problem with people saying "as long as they make it up in another way". Well, we both worked the same amount of hours - I actually worked more come to think of it. However, I think it was the same thinking... anytime we didn't go out, I was cooking...and baking. It was a year and half relationship - and in that time, he never once cooked or baked for me. Me having to 'make it up some other way' seemed to imply that he was paying for those things - he was paying me to bake, he was paying me to clean up - you get the idea.

    So I don't know how I feel about the whole "make it up another way"- something about that seems ... unfair.

    Now - I am 10 years older, and I make significantly more than my current boyfriend of 5 months. When we met, he had no car, no job, and he expected me to take him out and pay for him all the time. When I would, I would get annoyed if he forgot to say thank you. Perhaps that is wrong to expect that (i am sure some would argue) but sometimes he would forget to say it and I would totally notice. He thought I was loaded, and I actually had to sit him down and explain that I am not rich even though I have a nice job, and I am trying to save for my future. I - like another poster - like to live beneath my means, not over it.

    After the first 2 months, he must have felt I was ready to walk, because he made an effort and got a job. He still doesn't have a car, so I am always driving him around. Strange - I still cook and bake for him, but he has never cooked a meal for me. Partly - I think I don't trust what he would make (grin). At least he is paying for a meal here and there (even if its just a soda - him grabbing the bill is nice). Oh, he is 40 - he decided to quit his job, give up his car, and go back to school a year before I met him.

    We have worked it out for now, but finances is always an issue for me ... this is the first time in my life where i am actually making money and not 'barely getting by'. I welcome any thoughts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 21, 2010 11:15 PM GMT
    I feel like you are dancing around your question.

    "Is it okay if I am only atracted to wealthy men?"
    "Is it okay if I judge my friend who is only atracted to wealthy men?"

    What is the situation you are looking for advice on? These hypotheticals are pretty abstract so you wont get a good answer.