Dear Amy: My boyfriend just graduated from college. I am working and looking for better work, while juggling college classes and living on my own in an expensive town.
On the other hand, now that he’s out of school, my boyfriend is making good money. He is also receiving gifts amounting to thousands of dollars from family members.
He expressed he was happy to help me through this financial hardship, but recently he’s been oddly stingy about sharing expenses. For example, while splitting a grocery bill, he was reluctant to split the cost of a $1.99 jar of lemon juice because it was going to stay at my house.
He reminds me to Venmo him for little things like coffees and sandwiches. Meanwhile, I definitely spend more money on him in little ways that he doesn’t realize — and I haven’t cared one bit.
I feel uncomfortable confronting him and demanding that he be more generous with his surplus, even though I feel like I’m spending more of my limited funds on us and haven’t complained, while he’s recently been extremely nitpicky about me paying him back.
The real issue is that I am hurt that he’s not willing to be more generous, while I’ve always been happily generous.
I’m not sure how to confront this issue and don’t want my resentment to build up and get in the way of how much I love him.
— Financially Hurt Student
Student: I would like to tell you that this is a simple matter of communication and negotiation, but generosity is a quality that is hard to quantify. Generosity is also not dependent on income. It is about being kind toward others.
You are generous toward your boyfriend, and he is not generous toward you.
His refusal to kick in $1 toward the cost of a consumable because it will reside in your refrigerator might be a very costly saving for him in the long run, because it could cost him the relationship.
Talking about finances is hard to do, but navigating through this will be an important task. Has he contributed funds toward some of your bigger expenses that he thought were loans but you thought were gifts? Find out.
Do not approach this as a confrontation, but a conversation. Mention that you’ve noticed tension around this topic and ask him what his expectations are regarding splitting expenses. Hear him out, don’t get emotional, and play close attention to what he says.
And then — pay close attention to what he does.
Keep in mind that it is not only important to love someone, but you have to like them, too.
Dear Amy: I’ve been with my partner “J” for several years. We are both happy and healthy — one of our best qualities is that we are really honest with each other. This has helped us through good times and bad.
My problem is that early on in our exclusive relationship, I kissed an ex. Honestly, it meant nothing to me. Furthermore, I believe it actually helped me to commit completely to J. This kiss provided that moment for me.
I am struggling with an impulse to tell my partner about this. I’ve felt guilty about it over the years, and I think I’d feel better if I unburdened myself.
A: You need to ask yourself the perennially perfect question: “What good would come of this?”
The way you describe it, confessing would unburden you.
The way I see it is that you would mainly be transferring the burden from you to your partner.
What good would come of that?
Dear Amy: “C” wrote to you, saying she is in love with a sex offender.
I wonder if C has children?
I wonder if she's prepared to be excluded from every family gathering that includes children? Because she will be.
She should also be prepared for exclusion from neighborhood gatherings, or really any group activities, once her neighbors discover the identity of her partner.
She should also consider that she’s being lied to about the circumstances; sex offenders are notoriously gifted manipulators.
Concerned: “C’s” letter raised a number of serious red flags. She had already lost friends and family members due to this relationship.
You’ve raised a few more — and thank you.
©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency