Dating somebody with a different income level

  • jackthejock

    Posts: 395

    Dec 21, 2011 1:49 AM GMT
    I was just wondering what are some of the ways you make things fair in your relationships if one of you makes significantly more than the other. I am pretty much broke and living paycheck to paycheck and dating somebody who is pretty comfortable (six figures). A lot of the time it doesn't seem to matter at all, we go to the beach, go hiking or biking and things like that. Other times though when we want to go out it's hard because I can't really afford to go to the places he goes to with his friends unless he pays for me, and I've never been one to want/need a sugar daddy.

    Personally I try to even things out by paying for both of us on a cheaper date or if he takes me out to a nice dinner I try and make it up by cooking a good meal next time.

    Other thoughts and ideas?

    The holiday's are already here, how do you work out gift giving? Setting a budget for gifts seems tacky LOL
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    Dec 21, 2011 3:52 AM GMT
    It's sweet that you think about this stuff, but if you're both in love it's really a non-issue. A homemade dinner means more to me than a 5-star meal. And the gift you give, if thoughtful and considerate, will be way more significant than the sum of money it cost.
  • Relyks132

    Posts: 80

    Dec 21, 2011 3:54 AM GMT
    huhwhat saidIt's sweet that you think about this stuff, but if you're both in love it's really a non-issue. A homemade dinner means more to me than a 5-star meal. And the gift you give, if thoughtful and considerate, will be way more significant than the sum of money it cost.


    well put
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Dec 21, 2011 4:00 AM GMT
    huhwhat saidIt's sweet that you think about this stuff, but if you're both in love it's really a non-issue. A homemade dinner means more to me than a 5-star meal. And the gift you give, if thoughtful and considerate, will be way more significant than the sum of money it cost.


    Couldn't agree more.
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    Dec 21, 2011 4:10 AM GMT
    I understand completely where you're coming from. Just because I make six figures doesn't mean I expect something nice in return. I dated a guy who expected me to pick up everything for him because of my income, and he was unemployed. Sorry, but until we're coupled, I don't have an obligation to spend my money on extravegent gifts or far off places. Its the thought that means more to me than the gift itself. I continued to remind him of this, but he thought I was cheap when I took time to create special gift for him, to call him, to just be there for him. To me, someone's time is the most treasured gift one can receive. Unfortunately, after a year, we parted separate ways.
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    Dec 21, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    jackthejock saidI was just wondering what are some of the ways you make things fair in your relationships if one of you makes significantly more than the other.

    I was in such a relationship, and it nearly bankrupted me trying to keep up with him, because I would not let him pay my way. Yet he continued his rather spendy lifestyle, from which I benefited merely through his contacts and entrée into a social set that would have been otherwise out of reach to me.

    So I tried to compensate with a sort of "barter" system. I'm very good mechanically, so I would do repairs on his restored vintage car, and his several contemporary cars, saving him thousands. I also did his household repairs, shared garden work with him (he personally planted an extensive flower garden each spring). And while he introduced me to his circle of wealthy friends, I brought him into my rather more modest circle of gay men, which was a novelty for him at that time, being heretofore deeply closeted.

    And yet it was never a strict quid pro quo arrangement, where I said I'll fix your car if you'll take me to dinner. Rather I always just did things for him as he needed them, and the "trading" aspect was never discussed. It just let me feel like I wasn't taking advantage of him, that I was contributing my share in my own way, that it wasn't all one-sided.

    I think if you can rationalize your relationship with him in terms other than money it might solve your dilemma. I did it in more tangible ways, but in your case it might just be the warmth & comfort of your company & friendship that you contribute, that he finds with no one else, regardless of their money.
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    Dec 21, 2011 4:38 AM GMT
    jackthejock saidI was just wondering what are some of the ways you make things fair in your relationships if one of you makes significantly more than the other.


    I think the best way is to truly accept the fact that you have different income levels and not make a big deal out of it. What you are doing is already very commendable.

    I've been in such a situation a few times. I've once dated a guy who has too much pride he wouldn't let me pay things for him which can be very frustrating because I couldn't to do things that I enjoy with him.

    We couldn't travel for a vacation, go to a nice fancy restaurant, sometimes not even watch a movie because he doesn't have the budget for it. It was difficult for him to understand that I'm willing to spend money for him because I want to experience things with him. I eventually ended up feeling missing out on a lot of things. Needless to say that it was what ended our relationship.

    So I'd say accept the generosity. But never abuse it, of course.
  • jackthejock

    Posts: 395

    Dec 21, 2011 4:52 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said.

    And yet it was never a strict quid pro quo arrangement, where I said I'll fix your car if you'll take me to dinner. Rather I always just did things for him as he needed them, and the "trading" aspect was never discussed. It just let me feel like I wasn't taking advantage of him, that I was contributing my share in my own way, that it wasn't all one-sided.

    I think if you can rationalize your relationship with him in terms other than money it might solve your dilemma. I did it in more tangible ways, but in your case it might just be the warmth & comfort of your company & friendship that you contribute, that he finds with no one else, regardless of their money.


    Thanks, that is some good advice. I think it just feels harder for me because I like going out and spending money at nice places, I miss it (as horrible, materialistic and selfish as that sounds). About a year and a half ago because of changes in the economy and the industry I was working in my job was cut, so instead of looking for another job I decided to pursue my acting career. That was something HUGE for me, something I've wanted my whole life, so I packed up my shit and moved to Hollywood. I have never regretted it once, but that being side it is very different to be a struggling actor in LA instead of having a good paying job and living in a much cheaper city in the Midwest.

    The irony is that if I had a guy I loved as much as him at the time I probably wouldn't have felt the desperate need to follow my dreams, despite the financial stress they cause.
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    Dec 21, 2011 4:53 AM GMT
    Words of advice: Don't date "conservativejock" lol. sorry, couldn't help it.
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    Dec 21, 2011 4:54 AM GMT
    It says a lot that you're aware of this and that you're showing some concern so you must be a pretty nice guy!

    One way to deal with this is to know and expect that this will change. I've seen the circumstances flip many times in many relationships. Your partner will change jobs. You'll find a new one. You'll get new degrees. One of you will fall into a great career. One of you will stop working. Everything is temporary.

    You can apply this to picking guys to date also. Body's change - both yours and his.

  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Dec 21, 2011 5:00 AM GMT
    jackthejock saidI was just wondering what are some of the ways you make things fair in your relationships if one of you makes significantly more than the other. I am pretty much broke and living paycheck to paycheck and dating somebody who is pretty comfortable (six figures). A lot of the time it doesn't seem to matter at all, we go to the beach, go hiking or biking and things like that. Other times though when we want to go out it's hard because I can't really afford to go to the places he goes to with his friends unless he pays for me, and I've never been one to want/need a sugar daddy.

    Personally I try to even things out by paying for both of us on a cheaper date or if he takes me out to a nice dinner I try and make it up by cooking a good meal next time.

    Other thoughts and ideas?

    The holiday's are already here, how do you work out gift giving? Setting a budget for gifts seems tacky LOL
    Funny enough, I have friends like that and I do the same exact thing. However, it is different when you two are dating. I would say just buy what you can afford. I do not know about you but I live in DC and we have a Filene basement here. I can get some really nice expensive stuff for really cheap. I mean you can go to burlington, TJ Maxx, and other places that you can get really good deal on expensive clothing. Listen, do not try to keep up with them. Just try and contribute when you can
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    Dec 21, 2011 5:03 AM GMT
    jackthejock saidI was just wondering what are some of the ways you make things fair in your relationships if one of you makes significantly more than the other. I am pretty much broke and living paycheck to paycheck and dating somebody who is pretty comfortable (six figures). A lot of the time it doesn't seem to matter at all, we go to the beach, go hiking or biking and things like that. Other times though when we want to go out it's hard because I can't really afford to go to the places he goes to with his friends unless he pays for me, and I've never been one to want/need a sugar daddy.

    Personally I try to even things out by paying for both of us on a cheaper date or if he takes me out to a nice dinner I try and make it up by cooking a good meal next time.

    Other thoughts and ideas?

    The holiday's are already here, how do you work out gift giving? Setting a budget for gifts seems tacky LOL


    Is your bf much older than you? He may be more established too that way.

    I don't think it really matters. If he loves you...money is not a big issue unless you are mooching which it does not sound like you are.
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    Dec 21, 2011 5:04 AM GMT
    GOLD DIGGERS, UNITE!
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    Dec 21, 2011 5:50 AM GMT
    I'm thinking it may be healthy to not do everything together. Separate vacations if incomes don't sync up etc. I haven't put this to any big test yet.
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    Dec 21, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
    it's pretty obvious if the partner with a higher income wants to do stuff that requires a lot of money he has to pay for it. If he feels offended that he has to pay for lower income partner, then the 2 are not meant to be together.
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    Dec 21, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    Fitspeedo saidIt says a lot that you're aware of this and that you're showing some concern so you must be a pretty nice guy!

    One way to deal with this is to know and expect that this will change. I've seen the circumstances flip many times in many relationships. Your partner will change jobs. You'll find a new one. You'll get new degrees. One of you will fall into a great career. One of you will stop working. Everything is temporary.

    You can apply this to picking guys to date also. Body's change - both yours and his.

    Some very wise observations. I've known lots of couples who "seesaw" back and forth between who's the principle "breadwinner." Sometimes it's unplanned, like during our current volatile economy, other times it's a deliberate strategy toward some goal, like additional education for one of the partners.

    Once you accept yourselves as a "team" (which admittedly may not apply to early dating relationships), then you function as a team, with the team's objectives coming before individual ones. Imagine in contrast a sports team that wins a championship, but only the highest-scoring member gets to wear the winning ring, not the rest of his teammates. If everyone is doing his role to the best, then no one is lesser, no one should be ashamed, and everyone should share in the rewards.

    This concept is also known as "bootstrapping" where members of a community assist each other, usually to achieve economic, political and social goals. That lead assistance role may change hands many times among the members, as circumstances change.

    In effect, the members form a safety net for each other, and that concept works for a 2-person couple, as well. That is in fact one of the greatest strengths of making a partnership or marriage, versus remaining single. And one of the most beautiful things to see in a successful gay relationship.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Dec 21, 2011 6:25 AM GMT
    Alpha13 saidI'm thinking it may be healthy to not do everything together. Separate vacations if incomes don't sync up etc. I haven't put this to any big test yet.


    Separate vacations?? LOL. What's the point of dating someone if you can't enjoy an adventure together? Sorry, but this comment just got filed under "shallow and ridiculous."

    Kudos to the OP for actively considering the issue, which really is a non-issue.
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    Dec 21, 2011 6:27 AM GMT
    A difference in incomes wouldn't matter to me. It should be whatever works for the couple.

    I know a couple where this works very well. They have been together for quite a few years, and are in their 40's. One guy works in v.c. (venture capital) and the 2nd guy is a stay-at-home mate. While the one guy works regular hours, the other keeps the house, gardens, plays tennis in a league, and generally takes care of everything for the first guy and the house. The 2nd guy has no income and they share the one salary. Their situation is like a marriage where the wife doesn't work. Nothing wrong with that. In this case, the guys have enough income from just the one salary and investment income. The one guy likes the fact that the 2nd guy takes care of a lot of things for him, so when he comes home - everything is running smoothly.

    I could be happy in a situation like these guys, and I'd be happy to share my income with a mate who was dedicated to me (us) and who provided so much organization at home - - making things easy for me to enjoy my time off to the fullest.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 21, 2011 6:31 AM GMT
    If the relationship is solid and the chemistry is working, no one should be keeping a tally on who is spending what. Obviously, the one with the higher income may have to contribute more if they want to do some costly things as a couple that the one making less money can not really afford -- and the one making more money should be sensitive to that. On the other hand, the one making less only needs to just contribute what they can -- put some thought into it. Sometimes the best times, and most significant moments can cost little or nothing at all.
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    Dec 21, 2011 6:31 AM GMT
    who. fucking. cares.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Dec 21, 2011 6:39 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidIf the relationship is solid and the chemistry is working, no one should be keeping a tally on who is spending what. Obviously, the one with the higher income may have to contribute more if they want to do some costly things as a couple that the one making less money can not really afford -- and the one making more money should be sensitive to that. On the other hand, the one making less only needs to just contribute what they can -- put some thought into it. Sometimes the best times, and most significant moments can cost little or nothing at all.


    Completely agree.
    And let me add something:

    I've seen a couple of posts here that mention that the person making less money should be "thoughtful" with his contributions.

    Well, the same goes for moneybags.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 21, 2011 7:06 AM GMT
    danisnotstr8 said
    CuriousJockAZ saidIf the relationship is solid and the chemistry is working, no one should be keeping a tally on who is spending what. Obviously, the one with the higher income may have to contribute more if they want to do some costly things as a couple that the one making less money can not really afford -- and the one making more money should be sensitive to that. On the other hand, the one making less only needs to just contribute what they can -- put some thought into it. Sometimes the best times, and most significant moments can cost little or nothing at all.


    Completely agree.
    And let me add something:

    I've seen a couple of posts here that mention that the person making less money should be "thoughtful" with his contributions.

    Well, the same goes for moneybags.



    Absolutely! When there is a disproportionate income level between two boyfriends, it's a delicate balance finding that middle ground that works so that both parties feel they are making a contribution in their own way.
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    Dec 21, 2011 8:23 PM GMT
    Whomever can afford it pays--no questions asked, no guilt, no tallies. Money is easy to find, but a good man isn't.
  • jackthejock

    Posts: 395

    Dec 26, 2011 7:59 AM GMT
    Well I am happy to say that he was thrilled with the scarf and hat set I knitt for Christmas even more than the other gift I bought LOL
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    Dec 26, 2011 8:39 AM GMT
    Just tell him you apprechiate all he does and when you can try to do things for him. You'd be surprised how far that goes. For the person that loves you... rain/shine broke or not... he's not going to give.