The dinner was romantic; the wine was fantastic. But once again picking up the tab for your boyfriend? Far from priceless, say the growing number of chicks who are footing the bill. “Girls earning more than their husbands or boyfriends is the best antidote for domestic violence,” says Brigadier Dr S Sudarsanan, Consultant in Psychiatry, Indraprastha Apollo Clinic, Vasant Kunj.
“But the social construct of men as breadwinners still influences the way some couples interact, and some women struggle with the idea that their guy is not stepping up.” Regardless of the fact that many 20 and 30something females are perfectly capable of paying their way, their annoyance is often more on principle. “We’re more independent than ever, but many women today still want to feel taken care of,” says Susan Axtell, Psy.D., therapist in Beverly Hills, California, US.
John’s a lucky guy…
Okay, hold on. Before we all come off sounding like shallow, money-grubbing girls, who only want to date guys with big bucks, there’s more at play psychologically than simply the amount of cash a dude has in the bank account. “If you’re always leading the charge, you may not feel that you’re cherished or desired,” Axtell says.
Sometimes money can also function as a lightning rod for deeper problems, according to psychologist Christine Whelan, Ph.D. A woman may focus on her guy slacking financially when she feels neglected emotionally or senses that he is not being supportive about her career. The key to addressing the problem, experts agree, is to avoid emasculating your man. Tell him that you value his work and your relationship and need to feel you are both contributing as much as you can—not just in money but in emotional support and caretaking. After that, it’s up to you to decide just how much size (in this case, his paycheck’s) really matters.