Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

Who pays on a romantic get-away?? My boyfriend of 8 months asked me (several weeks ago) to accompany him on a romantic weekend at an Inn. Two weeks ago he made the reservation on his phone with me there.... he picked out all the add-ons and extra amenities to go with the room -- like breakfast, bottle of wine upon arrival, hot tub. I was so excited! and he seemed exuberant while doing so. I kept hugging him and said thank you so much. As the day approached, he even forwarded me their website. Then a couple of days before, he said, things like, "I just want to let you know, there's a fridge in the room... there's coffee... bring your swim suit. etc etc. "and he still sounded really happy to be taking me.

Well, it was this past weekend. He texted me an excited confirmation in the morning, picked me up, held my hand in the car. All seemed normal. Then when we went to have dinner in their dining room, all was normal then, too. I was happy and relaxed. Then the bill came..... the server asked if we wanted it billed to the room, he said no. After she walked away, he said very sternly to me, "I thought you were getting the dinner." I thought he was joking... so I laughed it off. but he looked serious and I was like, "what?.." He said it again, in a barking tone, I THOUGHT YOU WERE TAKING CARE OF THE DINNER! I was flabbergasted and embarressed. I said "We didn't talk about that." He took care of it, reluctantly and with an attitude. On the way back to the room I was close to tears. This was supposed to be our romantic weekend. If I were to pay for that dinner, that would have been a third of what the entire thing cost! I am so confused, he acted so excited about taking me, but then must have changed his mind. I am still so angry at how tacky he treated me at the table, it ruined the whole night. We got in an argument and I kept telling him that he didn't make it clear at any point in our planning. And I don't even trust his "happy" inviting moods any more. Is this a deal breaker? Any thoughts on what to do from here on out? The whole thing was just really weird.

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    While it would be a nice gesture for you to offer and pay for dinner, he shouldn't assume you were going to unless both of you agreed on this ahead of time. He made an assumption that he neglected to share with you and reacted badly when you didn't read his mind about who would pay for dinner. Perhaps an old girlfriend never used to pay for anything and he's reacting to an old script. However, if that's the case, you shouldn't be punished because of something someone else did.

    It's ironic that the people closest to us get the least amount of information from us. It's assumed that they know enough about what we want, what we're thinking, etc., and because of this, we assume a level of understanding that's unrealistic without telepathy. That's why most relationship guides put good communication at or near the top of the list of what's important.

    So... If you want to continue this relationship, you two need to talk about this - pronto. As in both of you need to get behind telling the other person the plan ahead of time rather than assuming. Also, if this is a one-off rather than a recurring motif, I'd give him a pass on this. However, if he continues to assume you're telepathic and treats you badly when you don't read his mind, I'd say pass on him.

    reply to Jill
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    I agree with Jill. Sit him down and talk it out, and don't approach it with hurt feelings or like a victim. He acted like a jerk, so find a tactful way to call him on the fact that you cannot read his mind.

    And if he invites you anywhere again, nail down every detail. I have a feeling that having to do so every time is going to get a little boring, but we all mature socially at different rates. Maybe he's a jerk, and maybe he just needs a little help growing up.

    Only time, and some effort on your part, will tell.

    reply to Robynne
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    Yes, he handled this badly!

    Basic rule of thumb: the person who makes the invitation pays -- unless it's discussed at the time the invitation is made that you'll go dutch, or one party will pay for the food while the other pays for accommodation, or whatever.

    I will say that it would have been nice on your part, during the lead up to the event, to offer to help pay for the trip .... at least to whatever extent your financial situation would allow. BUT as it was his idea, and he made the bookings, etc., he was pretty clearly trying to take charge and even show off a little bit, and I can appreciate that you were happy to let him do so. He wants to be a bit of a big sure, why not let him?

    Right, then. Is what happened a deal-breaker? Not necessarily. But it IS a jumbo-sized red flag. You are right to be wary, and going forward you will need to ensure that you hash out all potential financial understandings in advance...

    And after the pre-event financial discussions? If anything changes between the planning stages and the actual event -- or if he has grandiose plans he INSISTS you help pay for -- or if the picayune bickering over nickles and dimes becomes life-sappingly tedious -- then it's time to move on.

    reply to Kal
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