Ask Demetria: Is a BF Responsible for Covering Emergency Bills?

Your boyfriend is not an ATM Dear Demetria:

My best friend, who lives with her boyfriend, got into a car accident. Via mass email, she asked all her friends for money to help with the expensive repair. I said to her privately that her boyfriend should be handling that, not us. She called me judgmental and unrealistic, then we fought about my high expectations. In this instance, was I wrong? —Anonymous

It depends. There are two separate issues here. One is your response to a friend who was asking for help; the other is whether her boyfriend is responsible for covering her repairs.

Your response to a friend in need wasn’t wrong per se, but it also wasn’t right. Your girl is in need, and what you were supposed to do as a friend was let her know whether or not you could help, period. Telling her that her man is responsible for her finances wasn’t really your place. It sounds as if you didn’t want to cough up any money—and it’s your right to say no—but instead of just being honest about that, you tried to pass the buck to your friend’s man. That was overstepping the boundaries of your friendship.

Your friend may have asked her man for money and he didn’t have it or didn’t have enough to cover everything. Or maybe he said no to her request, too. After all, as a boyfriend, he isn’t obliged to cover her car repairs—just as you aren’t. The only person financially responsible for the car is your best friend, along with her insurance company. Speaking of which, why aren’t they covering the expensive repairs for her car? (If there was any question to ask your friend, this was it.)

But back to her boyfriend. I find many people these days have husband or wife expectations of their boyfriend or girlfriend. Covering or contributing to a major bill is a spouse duty, not a significant-other obligation. It’s nice when a boyfriend wants to pitch in to help, even though that can come with its own headaches, but he certainly shouldn’t be your primary option for bailing you out of a financial mess. Your man isn’t your personal ATM or a financial plan.

Your friend’s situation is a little tricky in that she and her partner live together, sort of like husband and wife, but without the primary benefits of that commitment. Their situation is a gray area, one in which couples get to pick and choose which traits of a spouse they will take on. This is one of the complications of living as husband and wife without actually being such. It seems that the boyfriend here has chosen not to cover the cost of the car repair as a husband typically would. And that’s fine, since he is, in fact, not a husband.

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Ask Demetria: "I Didn't Buy Her Kids Dinner. Was I Wrong?"

  love jones:  Darius x Nina

There’s been a Facebook photo floating around lately in which a man details an odd occurrence on a date:


QOTD: Should he have paid for her meals?

I have no idea which group was asked this query, and in all my years—10-plus—listening to dating anecdotes from thousands of people and advising or coaching people through various mishaps, I have never heard of anything like this (and I’ve heard horror stories). But alas, and sadly, there is a first time for everything.

I hope the participants in whichever group received this man’s questions gave him the only correct answers, which are, respectively, “Heck no! You weren’t wrong!” and “Heck yeah! She was asking for too much,” now and in any future situation where the guy isn’t living in the house and/or isn’t officially the stepdad of the children in question.

There’s no way around it: This woman was terribly out of line for thinking this man was her family’s meal plan for the evening. And bless this gentleman’s heart, because he must have really liked this lady to continue the date after she asked that question, and even to contemplate whether he was in the wrong when she line-stepped by catching an attitude.

I’m preaching to the choir, though. I saw this query posted in multiple status updates and various other places around the Internet, and the consensus was, “No, ma’am!” in response to the woman’s behavior. That, and an overwhelming curiosity about why the children weren’t fed dinner before Mom stepped out with a new boo.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that it’s hard to date as a single mother, but every parent—married or not—that I saw a response from in my timeline agreed: There’s no excuse for leaving your kids hungry while you go out for a good time. Furthermore, if the state of your children’s stomachs is of concern, after he said, “No,” why didn’t Mom pay for the dinners so the kids could eat? If she didn’t have the money, why did she stay on the date with an attitude instead of asking to be taken home to whip up some food for her children? There’s so much about this story that doesn’t make sense.


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