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Senior dating issue: Sharing dating expenses

Tom P Blake

A year ago, Ben, 50, of Dana Point asked for my opinion about his 46-year-old girlfriend sharing dating expenses.

I told him that was for them to work out.

He recently e-mailed, "I finally brought up sharing expenses and she agreed. Well, we went on a cruise and I paid for all of the expenses. She still hasn't paid her part, about $520. I also pay most of the time when her two sons go out with us. A friend suggested I give her an invoice.

"The other problem that's beginning to get to me is she NEVER drives to my place. She lives 33 miles away. So, I have to bring her to my house and take her back, a total of 132 miles. She claims her car will break down (her car has 40,000 less miles on it than mine). I even gave her an extra remote for the front gate, which she's never used. I care for her but don't think she respects me."

I asked him why he allowed something that bothered him so much to continue. Ben said, "I got stuck with paying and driving because I felt a connection with her and wanted to see her."

In an e-mail sent a few hours later, Ben wrote, "She just called from a casino and said her sister won't leave (meaning their date that day would be

delayed). That was the nail in the coffin for our relationship. I may be sad for a while but the eternal search for the right woman will go on!"

When she returned from the casino, Ben drove to Santa Ana to tell her he wanted to break up.

"I left but forgot the extra remote to the front gate of my complex, so I called her to tell her I'd pick it up on Sunday." Oops, another trip to Santa Ana.

Ben said she thought he was joking about sharing expenses and that she also said he should have warned her about the breakup.

"I told her I don't give warnings or threaten breakups. I don't live my life that way. I guess I didn't get angry enough for her. I shouldn't have to. My second wife would rarely listen if I was angry."

In an even later e-mail, he wrote, "I should mention her ex-husband has a key to her house so he can watch the kids after school. I could never figure out why he just didn't pick them up from school and take them to his house. One time she and I came home and he was upstairs. Their sons weren't home. That part was just weird."

So, Ben broke up and signed up for two Internet dating services. He said, "I think one of the questions should be whether a person is willing to share expenses. That would cut my responses from women by 90 percent, but at least the 10 percent would be what I'm looking for."

If Ben also insisted one of the questions should be – willing to drive to his house – that would cut the response even more.

Ah, finding love after 50 – such a picnic. Sharing dating expenses can be a touchy question. Who pays? But,if a couple is going to be exclusive, each much contribute in one way or another.

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