Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spending For Your Boyfriend

Is it okay to spend for your boyfriend? This is the question that was posted over dinner of an Italian pasta in an Ortigas restaurant together with some of my gay men neighbors.

Well, the answer during that evening is a resounding yes. Straight people spend for their partners. So why should it be different for us, gay men?

But there are some variations in perspective on this matter.

At one point, the idea is if the other one earns less than the partner (which is the case most of the time, as it is impossible to find a boyfriend to earn exactly like one does), the partner with the less income should at least purchase something that he can afford for both of them. i.e. The wealthier partner pays for the dinner while the less wealthier partner pays for the movie tickets. There should be at least a palpable effort from the other partner to show that he himself is an “investor” in this relationship.

On the other hand, the other camp says it should not matter whether the other partner actually spends or not as long as the amount that you pay for is something that you can always afford to lose. And I must admit, I belong to this camp. I don’t want to bother myself with the democratic process of financial contribution between partners. If I know that this person is worth my time and I don’t mind losing money that I can afford to lose, then why bother with “equality” of financial contributions?

How about you? What is your stand?


Anonymous said...

I'm gay, but I'm also a man by gender. I guess I was raised to follow some of the traditional conventions of the gender. I don't like accepting gifts that I don't believe that I can ever pay back with something of equal or greater value, and can't help feel permanently obligated when I accept a gift that I can not return in kind.

I dated an older man for awhile who made a lot more money than I did and who refused to ever let me pay for anything. I started to feel like a kid who couldn't provide for myself and I was already almost 30. I was making a fairly good salary at the time, but not nearly enough to keep up on my own terms. I was flattered that he loved me, but I couldn't get past the insecurity. Even though I probably could have seen the world with him, I had to pass. I felt a little bought, to be honest.

While I don't sit down with my current partner and go over the spending rules, I am much more comfortable that I contribute financially to the relationship.

line of flight said...

The first camp sounds like they are on the path to financial responsibility and not allowing financial issues to destroy intimacy and trust in a loving relationship. The second camp sounds like they don't have a strong intimacy skills and use financial matters to reinforce that. Intimacy involves risks that extend beyond the zone of "writing off".

Money is symbolic of our issues of value, risk, and worth.

I myself don't think having a bakla fund a macho and his family is really a sign of healthy self-worth, but financial differences between partners don't spell the end or unhealthiness generally. Its really how we meet the challenge that counts.

Ryan Fernandez said...

My boyfriend is straight; therefore, ako ang puso at pitaka by default.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. You go on a date not thinking of who is going to spend because you always look forward to a perfect one. It is indeed not a matter of who can spend more between the two of you, it's a matter of enjoying the date and in the process lose some money for that kind of enjoyment. Anyways, if you don't enjoy it, i'm sure you'll stop seeing each other. Should you , after the date, find that your date isn't worth the second date, then why bother?