Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 6 months ago

Eating at someone's house and paying them - what is the etiquette?

My boyfriend and I argue a lot about this, and he is extremely cheap and want things to be fair all the time. If I eat at his house, he will break down what I eat (for example, "you ate 5 dollars worth of food" - actually breaking down specific item costs). So he expects me to return that and be completely even and fair when he eats at my place.

He told me this is how all his friends do things, which I find a bit extreme. I am all for being 50/50 as much as we can in a relationship, but not to that extreme at all. He told me his friend who is rarely sees asked him to pay 7$ for the food he ate at his house where which he was invited. I visited his mothers house for a weekend after being invited and he said I ate 20$ worth of food there, so now he expects that from me.

I cannot tell if this is normal? He tries to tell me that is IS normal and most people are just subtle about it. It's having an effect on us for sure. I have never seen the need to be that tit for tat when it comes to eating at someone's place.

Update:

I have come to some sort of conclusion that he has a burden complex and lacks generosity and selflessness. He is so mechanical that he does not expect or understand how others can be generous in any way.

28 Answers

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Unless this guy lives hand to mouth and is barely surviving this is all very weird. Generally speaking if you invite someone to dine in your home you don't make them pay for the experience. But if you end up eating at his house far more than your own it would be nice for you to chip in for groceries every once in a while. However, his breaking down each meal to the absolute cent is pretty OCD. This probably points to some deeper issues he has. It's definitely not something most people would tolerate in a relationship.

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  • 6 months ago

    That behavior of keeping financial tabs on every bite of food is not normal, not normal at all. I have never, never in my life, and I am much older than you are, I have NEVER been charged for food I ate at ANYONE's house, EVER. And, I have never asked ANYONE for money who has eaten at my house.

    There was a time we went on vacation where two couples rented a house, and during our initial shopping trip, we split the food bill for our kitchen supplies. But other than that, we all made various contributions and in the end, everything evened out.

    I would be embarrassed, mortified and even somewhat angry if my food consumption was measured in a dollar amount that I was expected to pay when visiting with my boyfriend, of all people. My god, something is wrong with that guy.

    People date for a reason and that is to find out more about themselves as a couple to see if there is a future for them. If I dated your boyfriend and he treated me with dollars and cents, he would be my exboyfriend sooner than later.

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  • mom
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    something is real wrong with him and I would break up with him

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    This is ridiculous. I would have dumped him the first time it happened.

    No time for this.

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  • GEEGEE
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    It seems extreme. I can understand going "dutch" it eating out, or some sort of split, but when eating at someone's houre? Not so much. If you invite someone for a meal, it's generally implied the host pays.

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  • susan
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Whether his behavior is normal or justified is beside the point. Stop arguing about it, and carefully consider this question: is this how I want to live, yes or no?

    You don't get to decide how he treats his girlfriend. But you do get to decide whether you are willing to continue being the girlfriend.

    Edit: I'm still thinking about your question, and I hope you are still thinking about the question I asked you.

    By the way, I believe your bf's behavior is emotional abuse. I didn't say it before because unless you arrive at that conclusion yourself, others saying it to you won't make any difference.

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  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    This is not normal behaviour. He is making Ebenezer Scrooge, at the beginning of "A Christmas Carol", look like the greatest philanthropist of all time. One way of looking at this is that if the boyfriend expects you to pay for the food you eat when you are a guest in his home then you might just as well go to a restaurant. This behaviour should set off the alarm bells as it indicates his true nature.

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  • Eva
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    It is not normal to be that obsessive. When you are invited as a guest, you are not expected to pay. Normal people do not keep track of what their friends consume when they are visiting. It is good manners to offer to bring something once in a while if you frequently are there. Your boyfriend is a cheapskate. This will spill over to other money matters. Pretty soon he'll start keeping track of how much toilet paper you use.

    • John P
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      Nobody should be keeping meticulous track of how much their romantic partner "costs". If, over the course of several months, it seems that one partner is always paying lots, and the other partner is always sponging off him/her then there should be a heart-to-heart conversation. Dump him!

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  • 6 months ago

    Go to eat at a mutual friend's house at see if he offers to pay.

    I agree with you, things should be about 50/50, but if you invite somebody, it is inhospitable to keep track of the food and itemize a bill. There may be exceptions, like if they are ordering in some VERY expensive dish, But being generous is part of being a host

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  • Iam
    Lv 6
    6 months ago

    It is weird and not at all normal. I would never try to add up what my guests eat [or don't eat]. The whole idea of entertaining a guest is to share with them in return for their companionship, and if they return the favour it might become friendship.

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