It's not that I feel like a charity case...

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It's not that I feel like a charity case...

Postby stripedwine » July 2nd, 2009, 2:46 pm

But I just have this problem with people buying things for or spending money on me. Every single time it happens I get pangs of guilt, especially since I don't have a job. I've been this way my whole life (probably a product of growing up poor), but I've only recently come to the realization just how guilt-ridden the action can make me feel.

I'm currently in a long distance relationship with someone in another country. I'm flying up to Vancouver to spend a week with him at the end of July, but because I go to school in New York, I probably won't see him for 12 months after this trip. So needless to say, we want to milk this shit. Anyways, I'm financing this excursion by myself (which makes me feel good) by doing commission after commission. I told him that I'd only be able to stay for X amount of days because of my limited funding, and he basically said that I could stay for like, 4 more days (until the end of the following weekend) or really however long I wanted to, and he'd pay for everything for me.

Needless to say, the idea of this makes me feel really uncomfortable. He also buys me other stuff already... comics, toys for my collection, and other things. I try to pick little things up for him whenever I can, but that only makes me feel a little less like a horrible person that's taking advantage of him. (This probably wasn't helped by my last "relationship" in which the guy was a selfish asshole and didn't do jack shit for me.)

At first I thought it was because I was subconsciously convinced that he'd be happier spending on himself, but I think it's because of my low self esteem and the fact that I don't think that I'm worthy of being the subject of gift-giving. But apparently gift-giving happens a lot in (good) relationships. Especially for girls with generous boyfriends. xB

Anyone have any ideas of how I can remedy this? Or is it something I'm just going to have to suck up and deal with? (that totally didn't sound right in this context, but I hope you know what I mean x: )
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Re: It's not that I feel like a charity case...

Postby Falconer » July 2nd, 2009, 4:01 pm

I can relate a little bit to what you're saying. My boyfriend always wants to pay for everything, and it always bugs me because I want things to be 50/50. Needless to say, who will pay for the check is always a battle of who has the quickest hands. (Though he has the advantage that they usually put it closer to the guy...! *shakes fist*) I try to argue why he shouldn't pay because, for one, I'm more financially secure than he is (my parents are paying for my tuition, and he's paying for his own and is going to have a ton of loans to pay off)...and also just because I don't like it. If I'm very insistent he'll let me pay for dinner to just to make me happy haha. But I've found he finds it easier to let me pay for small things than dinner, so if nothing else I'll rack up on those purchases until we break even. XD

So I understand you not liking people spending money on you, but people tend to do it, so you'll have to accept it. But you can always find ways to repay them, like my sister's boyfriend who left money hidden at my Aunt and Uncle's house to repay them for meals and everything before they left...that way they'd find the money and couldn't make him take it back because they'd be gone haha. So instead of feeling guilty (which you shouldn't be feeling anyway; it is their own choice to do these things), just plot how you'll pay 'em back! :D
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Re: It's not that I feel like a charity case...

Postby eddygazilion » July 7th, 2009, 2:00 am

Hey, guess what? Did you know that it's common tradition for the guy to pay for things? (i.e. dinner, movie, drinks, cab, etc?) It's true! Don't worry about it unless you ask him to buy you a car or an iphone something. That is milking it.
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Re: It's not that I feel like a charity case...

Postby Gibson Twist » July 7th, 2009, 3:24 am

All you really need to do is ask yourself one question. If the situation were reversed, if you had the money to spare and they did not, would you do the same for them? If the answer is yes, then you should think about how much you wouldn't want them to feel bad about something you're not only happy to do, but makes you happy doing it. Most people are like that, they give because what they get from giving is worth more to them than what they are giving up. Speaking as someone who has been in your boyfriend's position more than once, it's likely that all he wants is to have you with him and see you smile, and compared to that, the money is as important to him as the dust in space. Him paying for you to stay longer is probably as much for himself as for you, maybe moreso in his mind. The only thing money is good for is buying the things that you want, and if he wants you with him, then he's buying what he wants. Think about how you'd feel if he was scraping together enough money to come see you and think about how you'd feel if you could pay a little extra to keep him with you longer, then keep that feeling in mind when you start to feel guilty. I'm sure that won't fix it all for you, but it should help steer you to a clearer mindset.

One other thing, unless he says that what he is spending on you is a loan, don't ever say anything about paying him back. That kind of thing is actually quite insulting in response to a generous act. Besides, if the relationship is one that you want to turn into a kind of forever thing, keeping a tally of who pays for what can cause problems...in fact, this thread proves it already is for you. As long as one person isn't paying for everything and the other pays for nothing, then the best way to look at it is that you both pay what you can to have what you need.
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Re: It's not that I feel like a charity case...

Postby stripedwine » July 7th, 2009, 2:47 pm

Falconer wrote:So I understand you not liking people spending money on you, but people tend to do it, so you'll have to accept it. But you can always find ways to repay them, like my sister's boyfriend who left money hidden at my Aunt and Uncle's house to repay them for meals and everything before they left...that way they'd find the money and couldn't make him take it back because they'd be gone haha. So instead of feeling guilty (which you shouldn't be feeling anyway; it is their own choice to do these things), just plot how you'll pay 'em back! :D


The prospect of this makes me feel better. |D
(And whew, I'm glad you know how I feel!)

eddygazilion wrote:Hey, guess what? Did you know that it's common tradition for the guy to pay for things? (i.e. dinner, movie, drinks, cab, etc?) It's true!


I learn something new every day! Nah but srs... I guess I honestly forget that chivalry is still around. Or maybe I'm such an equal opportunity kind of person that I think it should go exactly both ways all the time. Eesh, I gotta work on this.

Gibson Twist wrote:All you really need to do is ask yourself one question. If the situation were reversed, if you had the money to spare and they did not, would you do the same for them?


Goddamnit, you are so right. x:

Gibson Twist wrote:That kind of thing is actually quite insulting in response to a generous act. Besides, if the relationship is one that you want to turn into a kind of forever thing, keeping a tally of who pays for what can cause problems...in fact, this thread proves it already is for you. As long as one person isn't paying for everything and the other pays for nothing, then the best way to look at it is that you both pay what you can to have what you need.


Argh, right again. I need to stop being such a Capricorn about this.

Thanks for the advice guys. D:
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