Love Stories

My Man Doesn’t Always Have to Pay My Way & Here’s Why

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Many people say that a lady shouldn’t reach for her wallet when she’s with her man. True…to some extent. If the man pays on the first couple of dates, that’s part of the good ol’ courtship process. After you’ve truly gotten to know the guy, it’s time to split that check.

Take Stephen and I. We began dating when we were only 17. He went away to college and I stayed in the city, where I landed a job at AMC Theaters while participating in work-study at my college. They weren’t the highest paying jobs, but they helped me get things done and take some pressure off of Mami. Stephen, on the other hand, had so many things on his plate. Going away to college was supposed to be one of the best experiences of his life, but it also required spending money. If he wanted a ride to WalMart, he’d pay his classmates for a ride. When he’d visit home during holiday breaks he’d tell me stories about surviving on Ramen Noodles and tuna.

We’d also spend lots of time together. Our usual plan was to go to dinner and watch a movie. Sometimes I’d notice he wasn’t as excited to go out, or he’d say he was tired. “Can we just chill for today?” he’d ask. I’d nod but I knew exactly what was going on. Stephen didn’t want me to constantly spend money on him because he couldn’t spoil me in the same way.

PLUS: Women Are Paying for Their Own Engagement Rings 

When we’d go out to dinner he’d look at the menu and say, “I don’t know what to order.” In reality, he was considering my feelings and looking for the cheapest meal – even on his birthday at Red Lobster! Stephen didn’t want me to feel like he was taking advantage of me. But I knew he wasn’t. I love treating him, I love seeing him happy. And, if the tables were turned, he would do and want the same for me.

Well, it happened. The tables have made a tremendous turn. I graduated college with an Associate in the Arts and now I’m pursuing my Bachelor’s. Unfortunately, I’m only receiving a small amount of financial aid and I wasn’t approved for work study. Finding a job is taking quite a while so I’m not doing as well financially as I’d like. But one thing’s for sure: Stephen is there for me just like I was for him. He doesn’t hesitate to pay for dinner and a movie. He reminds me that I took care of him when he was struggling. And it feels amazing to know that your partner acknowledges your efforts and does the same for you. I still don’t like that he pays for almost everything, but I suck it up.

So yes, women should treat men once in awhile, especially if said man praises you and makes you feel like a Queen. In the end, we all love to feel treasured and provided for…when the check comes.

Alanna is an aspiring writer and editor. Currently a student at Lehman College pursuing her degree in Media Communication Studies, she spends her leisure time hopping from beauty shop to beauty shop, comparing natural hair products for curly gals. The proud Afro Latina was often told she had “pelo malo” (bad hair) and she wants to put a stop to the damaging idea that straight hair is the only hair that will land you a dream job or man. A promoter of self-love, Alanna also encourages women of all backgrounds to love themselves and to not conform to patriarchal norms.