Would you break up with your partner because he is cheap?

My friend wants to breakup with her high-profile boyfriend because surprisingly, he is not a generous person.

Okay, so that’s me becoming more diplomatic and politically correct.

In Bonita’s wording, he is cheap.

Yes, cheap.

“My friend’s sex buddy treats her out to nice dinners like every three days of the week,” she complained. “My boyfriend don’t even try to do it that often.”

Though I do not agree that we should all aspire to be sex buddies (no, there is no pride in doing that), I told her that by nature, sex buddies and mistresses in general do get treated better than regular spouses. Take it from me: they do. Free trips, luxurious dinners and gifts — I don’t know with you but my friends have received it all from their sex friends.

And yet, that’s what they are: just people you call when you’re horny. No more, no less.

So anyway, I told her to focus more on the character than the amount of money he pours into her. Note that we are all just students and cannot really afford to treat women to dinners outside campus on a regular basis.

Hell, even Trader who HAS a job still put limits on his spending with me. If he could have his way, he would rather spend a lot lot less than he does at the moment.

Don’t worry, Trader is the same,” I laugh. “He’s pretty cheap too. In fact, my father had warned me about Trader’s tight-fisted ways…”

“But he treats you so well…?” she bemoaned.

Actually, we fought about money all the time in the beginning,” I replied. “In the end, we both train each other: him to be more generous and me to be more accepting of less luxurious things.”

Whereas I could’ve been happy with a branded bag with an ex, Trader has given me a Coach bag instead. Holders of luxury bags know that Coach is a bit lower in the branding food chain.

It’s the thought that counts and I use his gift on an almost daily basis: not because I’m a big fan of Coach (because I am not – except their recent designs are actually quite good), but rather because he gave it to me, and gifts should be treasured.

In the end, it was all about compromise.

My friend wants to break up with her boyfriend because it’s too much work. “Why constantly ask for things all the time? It’s too hard… I’d rather go out with a guy who can pamper and treat me to nice things.”

“Just be careful that you’re looking at the guy’s character instead of the amount of money he spends on you,” I warned her. “Any idiot who makes okay cash can treat you… for a time being.”

I don’t ever brag I have the better end of the deal. Trader and I do have issues, but I do value the fact that we try to work it out. I think in the end, this is more valuable than any nice dinner at Amber, which we know that we can always afford but not spend on.

That’s why we work hard — to earn money.

If I wanted a nice bag, I buy myself a nice bag. No more no less.

And if Trader is cheap, so long as he values ME more than his money, then he’s still worthwhile to be with. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Would you break up with your partner because he is cheap?

  1. Maybe some cross-cultural differences here, but while I think breaking up with someone because s/he’s cheap my definition of cheap would be different. Before coming to Asia I actually used to think a girl that relies on the boyfriend for financial gestures, awaits expensive presents and measures a guy’s “cheapness” by the things he buys her is cheap. Especially with some of the local girls I’ve come to know, the ‘brand’ issue makes zero sense to me, being the foreign male that I am. Obviously, things here in HK and maybe Asia (Taiwan/Singapore) are different, but if you think about the core exchange – it’s quite disturbing.
    I’m really for buying each other gifts (both ways), being romantic, buying flowers and taking out to dinners, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable with one way exchanges (sometimes, as you so nicely put it, for sex) were there are already high set expectations and overly materialistic near-spoiled type of attitude.

    Cheap, to me, would be someone that would not spend the money needed to meet basic needs, cutting off costs to create obvious discomfort, overly obsessed with money and costs of things, measuring everything by the cost, and most important – overinvestment in work and saving money over personal life and pleasure.

  2. Thanks Fili for your comment. Yes, I do agree with you. I really think it’s a balance. If you try to scrouge to the point of ultimate discomfort, then what’s the point right? 🙂

  3. Yes I would! Yes, I recommend you do the same. Cheap men have bad or let’s say less than kind character. Do you want to be with someone that has unkind character? Cheap men won’t treat your family, and your kids well. Cheap men are selfish. They believe resources are scarce, and only saving the best for themselves. Generous people believe resources are unlimited and should be shared. When one day you meet a generous man, and you see the comparison, you will be enlightened and realize why didn’t you leave that cheap man behind earlier!!!!

    1. Wow I wholeheartedly agree with you, BonGirl. I’m currently going through a situation where I’m constantly asked how I’m going to pay for my tea or coffee when we meet at a Starbucks. It’s been a few months of this type of dating and I couldn’t make head or tails put of it until I noticed his levels of ‘cheapness’ wasn’t just in the areas of material good. It has been on a number of other levels. And yet he still claims he’s madly in love with me. WTH?!😨

  4. Haha, cheapness is a habit, usually coming from his family values. If his dad is cheap, chances are, he is cheap too. Now, I know you love him but when you marry the dude, you marry him and his family, cheapness and all. They will frown if you go to TWG for tea and if you drink coffee at Starbucks, so you better ensure you have enough discretionary income to pay for more frivolous purchases. Cheapness will not stop when you get married.

    Personally, ex-boyfriend was cheap. I felt judged every time I have to make a purchase. Husband is less cheap, and spoils me by letting me get what I want. He even buys me designer bags as a surprise from time to time. We are not rich people, but he doesn’t make me feel like a “gastadora” every time we go out. It’s a nicer feeling. And it makes me glad I married him instead of my ex.

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