Dear E. Jean: I’m a 31-year-old woman with a solid career as an investment banker. I’m dating a handsome, loyal, sincere 34-year-old blue-collar musician. He’d do anything to make me happy, but I have a problem being the breadwinner. I like chivalry, tradition, and the man to be the one with the higher salary. (I don’t know how much he earns, but it is significantly less than I do.) So let’s get down to basics: When we go out, who should pay? I don’t ask for much. I appreciate the finer things as well as a slice of good pizza.—Don’t Want to Be a Sugar Mama
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Sugar, sugar : Huh? I always think pizza is the finer thing; but let’s not quibble. Miss Don’t, I sympathize, but, darling, come on. If you can’t grok that you should pay about half the time—not as a manifestation of power, but because it’s an ineffable joy to treat someone you love—then no matter how hard the poor brute endeavors to “make” you “happy,” you won’t be.
This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.