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What if your boyfriend is cheap with you?

What if your boyfriend is cheap with you?

How was your first date with your boyfriend? Did you have a ‘proper’ date? Maybe you two skipped the standard meal and kept it more relaxed. Perhaps you grabbed a coffee and chatted over the comforting scent of ground arabica beans and warm pastries. 

If it was the latter, you might have bought your own drink before he arrived. And I’m guessing he made a good impression, or you wouldn’t be reading an article about your boyfriend. 

So, what changed and when?

If he suggested splitting the bill a couple of times, that’s not necessarily a red flag, is it? In a world where recessions are always on the news and the cost of living is skyrocketing, plenty of couples prefer to keep their finances separate. And many women feel more in control of where the date ends if they pay their way. 

But when do smart financial decisions turn into a cheap boyfriend? 

Maybe it’s best to break down what cheap really means. 

What do we mean by cheap?

The most obvious answer is someone who is excessively frugal. I’m not just talking about getting a good deal. I mean, who doesn’t love a freebie? I’m talking about someone who gets irritated at the thought of spending ‘unnecessary’ money on things like dates, gifts, or tokens of affection. 

In other aspects of life, it’s a good idea to watch where your money goes. And I’m not advocating for women to demand their partner showers them with designer items or splurges on luxury vacations, but there has to be a line. If your man resents the idea of ‘wasting’ money on flowers or even something as small as your favorite order from Starbucks, you might have a cheap boyfriend.

It doesn’t always have to relate to money, either. Your boyfriend might be cheap in other ways that damage the relationship. Maybe he’s stingy with physical contact, kind words, or emotional availability. 

In my opinion, emotionally cheap would be more damaging to my relationship than financially cheap. But we all have different love languages, and it’s important to analyze yours. 

What’s your love language?

There are five main love languages, and you don’t just have to speak one of them. Your partner may not know which one makes you the happiest, and without open and honest communication, resentment can creep in and destroy your relationship from within. 

So, maybe it’s time to figure out what your love language is.

1. Acts of service:

“Hey, honey, sit back down. I’ve already done the dishes.” 

For some women, this is the pinnacle of love. Having a partner who will go out of their way to do little or large acts to make your life easier. 

2. Receiving gifts:

“I saw your perfume was running low, so… surprise!”

This is a manifestation of their feelings for you, presented in a bottle, a bouquet, or any number of other packages. 

3. Physical touch:

“You look stressed. Do you want a cuddle?”

Anything from holding hands, to snuggling up on the couch, to back rubs, and any other activities that make you smile. 

4. Quality time:

“Do you want to spend the day together?”

This isn’t just being in the same room on your phones. Quality time is time spent where you both focus on each other. 

5. Words of affirmation:

“I love how passionate you are about your hobby.”

These can be verbal words to support, comfort, or uplift you. But they can also be sweet texts or an unexpected card that brightens your day and lets you know they’re thinking about you. 

So, you know your love language; Now, where is your boyfriend cheap?

You’ve probably identified at least one of the above as a love language you need in a healthy relationship. 

If you need physical touch and words of affirmation to feel content in your relationship, and your partner gives you that, it shouldn’t matter too much if he pinches the pennies when it comes to gifts. 

But if you need tokens of affection and he’s too busy haggling with utility providers for cheaper rates, it might be time to have a conversation. No relationship will pass the test of time without effective communication, so bring it up calmly and keep an open mind. 

Find out his reasoning:

Is he financially cheap due to a poor childhood? If so, you should offer reassurance and discuss how it makes you feel without casting judgment. 

Is he struggling financially? Bringing up the topic could shine a new light on something he might be deeply worried about. If this is the reason, though, it might be wise to talk about trust as well. You’re supposed to be a team, and keeping things from you isn’t healthy in the long run.

Maybe he assumed modern women would feel insulted by having a man swoop in and pay for everything.

Or maybe he’s just cheap. You’ll never know unless you start the conversation.  

Explain how his behavior makes you feel:

Does his cheapness make you feel unloved, uncared for, or irritated? Tell him. Explain in a calm, considerate way how it affects you. There’s no need for name-calling or mudslinging. You’re both adults, and you can have a conversation about how his behavior hurts you without it turning nasty. 

By giving your boyfriend all the information, you’ve given him the tools to treat you the way you want to be treated. Hopefully, he was just oblivious to the way his cheapness affected you, and from here on out, he’ll do better. 

But what if he has no intention of changing?

If your boyfriend doesn’t see a problem with his behavior, you have two options; make peace with it or leave. 

Perhaps he’s stingy with buying gifts, but he never forgets to send a ‘goodnight beautiful’ text, and he’s always ready for a cuddle. In this scenario, consider the positives and negatives of the relationship.

Can you get over the fact that he won’t surprise you with roses? Or will it start to make you resent him? Think about the long-term, would you be happy to accept a cheap boyfriend for five years, what about ten, or forty?

If he’s cheap in more ways than one, maybe you’re just not compatible. You’ve probably seen the extreme coupon clippers on TV, there’s a lid for every pot. Maybe this guy just isn’t your lid. 

And that’s okay, your lid is out there, and he will understand the way you want to be loved. 

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