Would you date this guy?

After reading this thread about married couples who charge each other for the food they eat, I was thinking about a former co-worker and the guy she was living with. I thought I’d offer up their situation for your opinion.

When I met Miranda, she had been living with Bart for a year or two. They had two dogs, and were in the process of buying some new furniture, and their situation seemed to be progressing towards permanence. Then one day, a comment she made seemed odd for a couple supposedly in love, and when I asked for a clarification, I realized that this man, in the two years they had been together, had never bought this woman a morsel of food.

Bart made a lot more money than Miranda, and since they were not married I had assumed that they kept some finances separate. But one day she was complaining about being broke and not having enough money to buy her dinner when she and Bart went out with friends, so she had to stay home while he went out alone with the friends. When I asked her why Bart couldn’t just pay for her meal, she revealed that they always paid for their meals and groceries separately, even when they were out on a date. If she didn’t have the money, she either had to borrow it from him and pay him back promptly on payday, or she didn’t go. If he bought take-out and brought it home, she had to pay her share or not have any of it.

I asked her if he had ever offered her any of the extra food (Hey, I brought home Big Macs, want one? No, I’m broke. Okay then, I’ll put this one in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow) and was appalled to hear that he would sit there and not offer her any unless she could pay.

When I first expressed my dismay about the situation, she said he had always been that way with her and she was used to it. But when I questioned her a bit more, it turned out that he had never taken her out to dinner, even when they were first dating. He had never bought her so much as a drink. They had pretty much fallen into bed the first week and moved in together soon after, so he had never had to really even date her. But still, the thought that he would not even offer her sustenance just unnerved me. Here was a man who said he loved her, bought furniture with her, adopted two dogs with her, and he had never given her so much as a single dinner roll without expecting to be paid back.

I was so shocked by this that I told her that just the mere symbolism of that behavior was enough to make me cry. Here she was, deeply in love, giving him her body and her soul, and he wouldn’t even buy her a candy bar. I think that she was a bit surprised by my reaction, but she also admitted that once she started thinking about it, she was troubled also. I don’t know why she thought this was normal behavior. And it wasn’t as if he was ignorant of the fact that he had never bought her food…he always made a point of reminding her if she was late in paying him back.

When I related this story to the guy I go out with, (who has always paid for the popcorn at the movies and taken me out to dinner, even though we are not romantically involved) he too was shocked that any woman would go out with a man who was sending so clear a signal, much less sleep with him. He felt that a man who loves a woman will always want to provide for her and basically keep her healthy and alive.

Now the good news is that Miranda and Bart have since broken up, and the last time I saw her, she told me she was dating someone new. Of course, the first question I asked her was “Has he bought you dinner?” and she laughed and said that yes, this guy had no problem with paying for a meal for her, or sharing the cost of and the groceries themselves!

So would you have stayed with Bart as long as Miranda did? Would you have ever gone out with him in the first place? Have you ever dated someone who was that …well, I was going to say cheap, but that really wasn’t his problem. It wasn’t really the money, it was the symbolism of the whole thing. He never really committed to building a life with her. He always held back, even when he said he loved her.

My roommate and I don’t even keep our groceries separate.

Wow. Just wow :eek:

I’d like to take this opportunity to bitch about the fact that there are food-hoarding jackoffs like this guy getting laid and guys like me who try to be generous and not overbearing get left in the dust.

I guess some women do go for the jerks :frowning:

Matt, I was thinking along the same lines as you.
My first thought was slightly different:

When I have leftovers, I give them to the dog. I don’t even expect some fancy trick in return. I just give it to him, no strings attached.

That Bart guy sounds like a real cheapskate.

None of the people I’ve shared apartments/houses with have ever kept groceries separate, and I’ve never slept with a one of them. Heck, we’d pay for pizza deliveries, etc, based on vague recollections of who got the last one. I can scarcely imagine keeping separate groceries with a live-in girlfriend, and I absolutely cannot imagine not assisting a live-in girlfriend with more than my share of the grocery bill if she was a bit short.

I hate to say it but it sounds like she kind of let that happen. People can really only walk on you as much as you let them, if you know what I mean. Which doesn’t take away from the guys’ complete jackass-edness one iota.

I knew a married couple (now divorced) who were somewhat like that, but with everything not just food. Everything had to be split completely evenly. Since he made more money, she was of course short sometimes. But he generously allowed her to make it up in trade via sexual favours of his choosing. Nice, huh?

That marriage was a short one but I don’t know how she put up with him for as long as she did. They met and got married over a very short period of time, too. Not sure what if anything that would have to do with it though because you do hear about other whirlwind-type things that work out a lot better.

As for the above or your former co-workers situation, I don’t know what they called it, but I sure as hell wouldn’t call it love.

Gah! No, I absolutely would not date this guy.

Speechless. Just speechless.

And no. I wouldn’t ever date a man like that. For exactly the reason you said. That it’s a symbol that he wasn’t committed and was really just holding back, and that was his way of withholding.

Ugh. Poor girl, I hope she RUUUUUUUNS.

This guy is a real creep. If one is part of a couple in love, moving along towards permanence, wouldn’t it make sense to at least begin “sharing” one’s life together?

Maybe I’ve been too fortunate to have always had more money than I really needed. In all of my relationships, I’ve always been “handicapped” by a partner that made nowhere near the kind of money I did. It always meant, to me anyways, that it was part of my responsibilities to make up the slack. How is it possible to be a functioning couple when one member is living a less priveleged life? You can always make money. Love is priceless.

I’m also speechless. Gah! I’ve given food to people I don’t give a shit about. I’ve given food to coworkers and people that I hardly know at all. I sure as hell have given food to loved ones. This guy is beyond bizarre.

my mother dated a guy who made over 250,000 a year yet wouldn’t buy her a birthday card because it ‘wasn’t in the budget’ he was also very excited for her to move to TX to be with him so she could get a job and help with the house payments (my Mother is an English teacher so that should give you the info you need on how much she makes!) He’d then go out and tip waitresses $40 when they were out.

Years later when she married a guy up here he called her up demanding to know why she married the guy up here and not him. I happened to be in the room when he called and I yelled out “Because he can spare 3 bucks for a card” My mom started laughing and totally ruined this guy’s “oh how could you do this to me” BS.

With all due respect your female friend sounds borderline retarded or mentally challenged in some fashion. I pay for meals with all women I’m taking to diner or lunch even if it’s just business. The man’s behavior you describe is absurd, unbalanced and/or socially autistic.

He sounds like a complete cad, but she sounds slow on the uptake. It’s no wonder they got together. He must have thought he hit the jackpot with her.

I’m female and I would certainly NOT date a guy like this! And hell, I like to treat my friends all the time.

To me if you’re friends with someone, let alone LIVING with them, you provide food for them.

Shit, making her stay home or bringing something home and not at least OFFERING her a bite? That’s just beyond rude!

Would never date a guy like this. When I take guys out, I always try to pay the bill.

I can’t imagine such a situation. No one I’ve ever shared a living space with has ever tried to separate groceries, food, etc.

To answer the question: I wouldn’t have anything to do with this guy after a week, no mater how good he was in the sack. But: this isn’t about food, or money.

The reason why it wouldn’t occur to most people to ever be in a romantic relationship (or even a close friendship/roommate relationship) that was separate to this extent is because part of the process of becoming that intimately connected – as one would expect that a “permanent” situation such as extended cohabitation or marriage should be – is taking on a demeanor of concern about your partner’s life. Keeping track of every penny spent, refusing to buy food or shared household items together, acting as if your life is not attached to someone else (bringing home takeout and not sharing) are not behaviors conducive to deepened and strengthened intimacy.

Someone who acts this way would set off every warning bell I have. This isn’t someone who is ready to commit and be in something for the long haul, no matter what other overtures they’re making. This is someone who is keeping an emotional and financial distance and therefore, someone who is ready (and probably willing) to cut and run at the first sign of a problem that they’re not up for dealing with.

Hopefully the OP’s coworker learned her lesson, and will not let herself get into that kind of situation again. It’s a one-way ticket to nowheresville.

Wow. That’s just… cheap. I would never date a guy like this. I can’t imagine any resonable man acting in this way.

This goes way beyond cheap. It’s cruel and sick.

I don’t see it as “cheapskate.” There is some serious underlying hostility going on here. Someone who would withhold food from a loved one has sociopathic tendencies that are far-reaching and frightening.

Generosity is one of the first lessons we learn as children. It is a trait I find important. No, I’m not saying everyone has to be a human soup kitchen or have bottomless pockets for everyone in their life, but there has to be an obvious willingness to give and share. Someone who cannot bring themself to support another person has some borderline issues that are flat-out chilling.

I wouldn’t have gotten as far as a phone number exchange with Bart. I’ll bet it was apparent at their first meeting that there was something wrong with this guy, but for whatever reason, the woman couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see it.

Two years?!?!
Was he really good in bed?
Was he charming in any other sort of way?
I’ll bet that the times he went out and she stayed home he told the friends that she was sick. I can’t imagine him tell the real reason and still having friends.

Good Lord, no, I wouldn’t date a guy like that if he was the last one on Earth!

I do try to have enough money on me to cover a meal if I’m going to a restaurant with somebody, because I don’t want to look like a leech making a guy pay for everything for me. But if I started dating a guy who insisted I pay for everything for myself all the time, I wouldn’t be dating him for long. I don’t want to be dependent, but I don’t want to be pushed away, either.