Have you ever felt your boyfriend expects you to pay for everything when you go out or do things together? If so, you’re not alone. Many girlfriends experience this frustrating situation at some point in their relationships.
It might start slowly at first, with him “forgetting” his wallet or being unable to cover his half of dinner. But over time, you realize it’s become a pattern. Before you know it, you’re not just picking up the tab sometimes when he’s low on cash. You’re entirely funding all your dates, activities, trips, and lifestyle.
This complete financial dependence on you is problematic for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s unfair. You’re not his mother – you’re his partner. A relationship should be equal. Both people should contribute and carry their weight. He’s expecting you to pay for everything, which likely signals deeper issues of irresponsibility, immaturity, or taking advantage.
If you’re nodding your head in exhausted agreement, you’re probably wondering – why does he expect me to pay for everything? And what can I do to address this inequality? Stick with me; I’ll dive into the possible reasons behind this behavior and give you tips on handling it. You deserve an equal partnership – let’s make that happen!
Reasons Why He Expects Me to Pay
1. He is unemployed or underemployed
One of the most straightforward reasons your boyfriend relies on you financially is because he doesn’t have a job or doesn’t pay enough to earn the income to cover his expenses. If he’s unemployed, between jobs, or working part-time, the math is simple – he doesn’t earn enough to cover his expenses.
While understandable, this doesn’t make it okay for him to default to depending on you. Having ambition and making responsible choices to support himself should still be a priority if he wants an equal adult relationship.
2. He is irresponsible with money
On the other hand, he might have an income but blow through it irresponsibly. Does he make impulse purchases? Spend frivolously on wants rather than needs? Fail to budget or save?
Financial irresponsibility is a major red flag. He may expect you to pick up the slack for his poor money management. But you shouldn’t have to compensate for or enable his lack of responsibility.
3. He lacks financial independence
Some boyfriends remain financially dependent on family into adulthood. If his parents still cover most of his costs, he may view your income as an extension of his family safety net.
But allowing this dependence to shift to you sends the wrong message. He needs to learn financial independence and pay his way in the world. You’re not there to bankroll him.
4. He feels entitled to be “treated”
Does your boyfriend have expensive taste and feel entitled to a lavish lifestyle? Some guys believe the woman’s job is to treat and pamper them.
This outdated belief of being “spoiled” by a girlfriend enables his irresponsible and unfair behavior. But you’re not required to fund an entitled lifestyle just because you’re dating.
5. He is immature
Immaturity could be why your boyfriend leaves you all the adult responsibilities like bills and expenses. Financial maturity involves independence, budgeting, and providing for yourself.
If he still has a childish mindset about money or thinks it magically appears, he may expect you to play mommy and handle the grown-up stuff. But it’s not your duty to subsidize his immaturity.
6. He is a narcissist
Narcissists feel overly entitled and lack empathy. A selfish boyfriend may see you as an object or accessory meant to improve his status and lifestyle.
So, he compulsively exploits your generosity without considering how it impacts you. Recognizing narcissistic traits like ego, arrogance, and lack of reciprocity can help you identify if this toxic mentality is why he takes financial advantage.
7. He has addictions or vices to fund
Does your boyfriend spend frivolously on drinking, drugs, gambling, video games, expensive hobbies, or other vices? Addictive behaviors drain funds quickly, causing dependence on you.
While addiction explains his actions, it doesn’t excuse them. You deserve a partner who can manage their vices responsibly and not rely on you to finance them.
8. He wants to maintain an unsustainable lifestyle
Maybe your boyfriend became accustomed to an unsustainable lifestyle he can’t afford – designer clothes, bottle service, lavish trips, etc.
Rather than adapt to live within his means, he may expect you to maintain his unrealistic lifestyle. But you shouldn’t go into debt or sacrifice your financial health to fund your costly habits.
9. He thinks I’m “rich” compared to him
Does your boyfriend see you as the “rich” one in the relationship? You may have a comfortable income and savings. But “rich” is relative to someone with less, and financial stability can be perceived as wealth.
This perspective breeds unhealthy entitlement. Just because you have more discretionary income doesn’t mean you should pay for everything to even out the playing field. You each pay your fair share based on what you have.
10. He has debt or financial issues
Money issues like debt, low credit, or past financial struggles can deter your boyfriend from financial independence. Rather than tackle these problems head-on, letting you pay is easier.
But allowing this dynamic means his issues never get addressed. Avoid enabling this behavior – he must take responsibility for his financial baggage.
11. He is selfish or self-centered
Self-centered or selfish mindsets mean your boyfriend feels entitled to rely on you without considering your needs. He won’t bat an eye at you covering dates, activities, or bills because his comfort comes first in his mind.
This me-first mentality is toxic for a relationship built on compromise. You shouldn’t have to fund his selfishness or be taken for granted.
12. He takes advantage of my generosity
Some people look for kind-hearted others to take advantage of. Unfortunately, your natural generosity as a girlfriend makes you the perfect target.
Your boyfriend may capitalize on your giving nature purely out of opportunism, not necessity. It’s manipulation, not partnership. Don’t let people use your goodwill against you.
13. He is not serious about our future
Finally, relying on you financially could mean your boyfriend isn’t seriously invested in a future together. Money attitudes often correlate with relationship attitudes.
His dependence may indicate he’s just passing the time with you, not seeing you as his life partner. So, he doesn’t care about pulling his weight or establishing mutual responsibility. You deserve someone who takes your relationship as seriously as you do.
What to do if your boyfriend refuses to pay for anything
Have an open, honest talk about finances
First, schedule a calm, open discussion about finances in your relationship. Express how you’ve been feeling taken for granted. Highlight specific examples of imbalance. Ask him to explain his perspective, listening without judgment.
Financial transparency is necessary to align expectations. Plus, his reaction can reveal if he’s open to change or defensive about using you.
Stop paying without discussion
Then, stop covering joint expenses without agreeing on it explicitly first. When the check lands, don’t default pay it – ask to split it evenly. If he assumes you’ll fund a trip, activity, or purchase, speak up that you need him to contribute his share.
This was decided out of habit and into an intentional discussion each time. If he doesn’t participate unless you pay, don’t give in – let natural consequences like not going out motivate change.
Insist on splitting all bills 50/50
Take it further by insisting all bills and shared costs be split 50/50. Venmo requests, alternating turns, or separate checks can help enforce this.
Discuss an equitable percentage split if this ratio doesn’t work with your income. But some ratio is critical – otherwise, he will return to old habits. Stick to your boundaries!
Encourage him to budget responsibly
Help your boyfriend see the value in budgeting, saving, and spending mindfully. Send him articles, show him your system, suggest financial apps – and provide tools to improve his habits.
With time and practice, he can learn to fund his lifestyle independently and contribute equally to your joint expenses.
Support him finding a job or improving his finances
If he needs income, offer support in his job search. Help update his resume, connect him to your network, prep for interviews, and suggest companies to apply to.
Don’t enable perpetual unemployment; be a team player in empowering real financial change. A stable job can inspire maturity and equal partnership.
Set boundaries and expectations
Be clear your expectations moving forward are 50/50 contributions from both partners. If he agrees in words but not action, enforce boundaries by refusing to pay his share.
Stick to your standards – it’s better to miss an event than enable the imbalance and misplaced entitlement. Consistency creates change.
Take a break from the relationship if he refuses to change
Consider taking a relationship break if he responds defensively or refuses to discuss changing the financial dynamic. Time apart provides perspective and interrupts the status quo.
Make it clear you can’t move forward without an equal partner willing to carry their load. With space, he may realize the gravity and try to compromise.
Evaluate your compatibility and dealbreakers
Finally, use this to reflect on your compatibility and relationship dealbreakers. Financial attitudes often reflect deeper personality traits.
Consider if his financial dependence reveals irresponsibility or immaturity you can’t abide long-term. Don’t stay with someone who takes advantage to hope they’ll change. Know your worth – and that you deserve better.
If you feel you’re constantly expected to pay all the bills and cover the cost of everything in your relationship, this imbalance needs to be addressed. Try to have an open conversation about paying for things and insist on more equality.
If he continues taking financial advantage, reflect on whether this matches your compatibility needs long-term. Even if you can afford to pay, you deserve a partner who pulls their weight and doesn’t depend on you to fund their lifestyle.
You’re worth so much more than your wallet – don’t let anyone treat you otherwise.