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Dating info and advice for widows, widowers, divorced men and women and people never married

Note from Tom: This article appeared in September, 2003, in response to the article about sharing dating expenses from the week before

Readers sound off about sharing dating expenses. Man who broke up over sharing expenses finds both support and criticism

In last week's column, Ben, 50, of Dana Point broke up with his 46-year-old girlfriend because she wouldn't share expenses and wouldn't share in the driving between their homes. Readers responded in droves, the majority of them women.

Barbara, San Juan Capistrano, a 53-year-old widow, e-mailed, "Decent guys appear to be as few as Angels World Series pennants. Ben sounds like a decent upright guy who was being taken advantage of; the kind of guy a lot of single women would like to meet and be willing to share expenses with."

Robin, 47, Buena Park, said, "Perhaps Ben's girlfriend doesn't listen wisely. There are a lot of women who feel the man should pay for everything and do all the driving. Fortunately, there are also women out there who are more in tune with the times."

Ben received advice from Mary, Costa Mesa: "Be up front at the beginning of a relationship about what you will and won't compromise and you might find that we are very receptive to your honesty and being open and up-front. If you run across someone not open to discussing these things, leave by the closest door."

Former Orange County resident John e-mailed from Washington, D.C., "The weird accommodation with her ex-husband and priority of casino over Ben seems that the outcome was meant to be."

Julie, Wisconsin, e-mailed, "In my singles group, men say they're offended if a woman offers to pay; they like to be 'gentlemen' and 'do the right thing.' Once you're committed to only going out with each other, I think financial and other areas (driving) should be split more evenly." Ben got bashed by three women.

Mickie, Newport Beach, said, "This guy seems like a real tight wad. I don't mind sharing expenses, but don't make it a mandatory part of the relationship, please." (Attitudes about who pays in Newport Beach are a little different when compared to other parts of Orange County, Calif.)

Nancy, San Clemente, shared, "Wake up! Quit whining. I went on a cruise with a gentleman friend and got his check ‘before’ I booked the cruise."

Two readers felt Ben should have discussed the situation early in his relationship. Ann, Huntington Beach, said, "Ben should have talked to her as issues came up. We cannot be so enamored of being in a relationship that we sell ourselves out."

Patrick, e-mailed, "It's best to be honest on the front end with what expectations are."

Dolores, Temecula, was happy for Ben. "Congratulations for finally getting smart and expecting better for yourself."

As for Ben, he's moving on to other dating avenues. Ben wrote, "I have joined four Internet personals sites. I've gotten 13 matches." Give Ben credit. Not many single men have the guts to air their dating laundry to the readers. If more men would speak up, get involved and be more communicative -- as Ben was -- the singles situation around here would dramatically improve.

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