Woman Pays for Boyfriend's Meals in Restaurants

Elle Silver

Though this may sound like feminism, it's actually abuse.

A woman recently took to Reddit to complain that when she and her boyfriend go out to dinner, he always makes her pay for his meals. He claims he can’t foot the bill for his own food in restaurants because he’s going through a “rough patch,” financially speaking.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of women would turn up their noses to such an arrangement. A survey conducted by Money.com and SurveyMonkey found that 78% of both male and female respondents believed that men should foot the bill at least on the first date. Even diehard “modern women” often decide they’re traditional when it comes to who’s paying for dinner at a restaurant.

And yet ironically, this is also exactly the kind of situation that feminists have seemingly fought for for years: one in which a woman not only makes more money than her male partner but can pay for her own dinner–and his too if need be.

Nevertheless, it’s hard not to sense that this man is taking advantage of his girlfriend. Apparently, he began to demand she pay for his meals after she started working a second job.

Worse, he decided to invite his parents along on one of these dinners out, telling them his lady friend would pay for their meals, too. When she found out she also had to cover the tab for her boyfriend’s parents, she didn’t like this very much. She protested being expected to pay for everyone's food.

Her man used the same excuse: his parents were also going through a “rough patch.” But this woman finally decided she’d had enough. She wasn’t being a feminist by paying for all of her boyfriend's meals–she was being a doormat.

She stormed out of the restaurant, leaving her man and his parents to pay for their own food. Still, he couldn’t understand what the problem was. He later confronted her, claiming she’d been disrespectful. All he'd asked her to do was pay for his and his parents' meals!

Her boyfriend refused to speak to her until she apologized. Confused about what to do, this woman took to Reddit for advice. After recounting her story, other Reddit users applauded her for walking out of the restaurant.

One user said, “Glad you stood your ground.”

Another said, “This is NOT a man you want or need in your life!”

I concur. She’s better off finding someone whom she can at least split the dinner bill with. Her current boyfriend is clearly using her for free meals.

Foodie calls… for men?

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the phenomenon of women who date men just for a free dinner. Women meet men on dating apps like Tinder, and even though they aren’t romantically interested in these guys, they still accept their offers to dinner, but only because they want a free meal.

This practice has become so rampant, there’s even a term for it: a “foodie call.” Foodie calls are all the rage in cities like New York, where the cost of living is so high that many young people can hardly afford to live.

I’d say the woman from Reddit is being used by her boyfriend for “foodie calls.”

Dark triad personality traits in those who use others for free meals.

It should be noted that a 2019 study found that women who commonly go on dates with men just for free food often have dark triad personality traits. Dark triad personality traits can be defined as narcissism (entitled self-importance), Machiavellianism (entitled self-importance and strategic exploitation and deceit), and subclinical psychopathy (callousness and cynicism).

The boyfriend of the woman from Reddit certainly sounds like he exhibits dark triad personality traits. Only his needs are important and he lacks all empathy when it comes to his girlfriend.

Someone with empathy would never force their partner to pay for all their meals. If it’s a question of not having money, they’d simply decline the dinner out. That and they’d find a way to make their own money to pay for their own dinners and sometimes their partners' dinners, too.

It’s perfectly fine for women to pay for meals on dates sometimes. But being constantly expected to pay for your partner’s meal sounds like abuse.

It's unknown at this time whether this woman and her partner ever reconciled.

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA
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