What Would Zula Do

WWZD is where we answer submissions from our readers, from queries to confessions or even recurring dreams. While we are no experts in this thing called life, sometimes all you need is a listening ear from your e-BFF, anonymously.

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WWZD: My Wealthy Boyfriend Is Too Calculative

My boyfriend and I have been together for more than a year and he comes from a pretty wealthy family. He doesn’t hold any part-time jobs or anything and he’s about to graduate from university soon.

Whereas I’m from a not so well-to-do family and have to work part-time to sustain myself and I’m just about to enter university. Whenever we go on dates, he will pay the bill first and ask me to pay him back. Frankly speaking, I don’t mind. But unlike my other exes and dates, they would get the bill and I’d offer to pay next and etc. Not only that, he doesn’t really get me gifts and etc.

I’m not the kind of girl that expects [the] guy to pay for every single date and buy me expensive gifts. And I certainly didn’t date him because of his family background. But I just feel that he’s a bit too calculative given his background.

—Jaslyn, female, 21

Zula says

Dear Jaslyn,

We all bring our family history and baggage to our relationship. As you mentioned, he’s from a wealthy family. So they probably amassed their wealth from guarding their wallets extremely tightly.

However, I also recently heard Saffron Sharpe mention that guys who are too calculative, for example, those who ask for $7.50 back after a McDonald’s meal, really irk her. So I can understand why it’s turning you off.

In Singapore, money is a taboo subject and I think we all suffer from the shame and silence of being able to discuss finances openly. So find an opportune time to discuss this with him. In so doing, you will understand the values and thinking behind his stinginess. I believe he was just brought up that way.

Whatever it is, don’t expect him to change quickly or immediately. In healthy relationships, couples grow to align their values and habits, but only over the course of time.  

After all, if feminism advocates for gender equality, then going Dutch is part of the deal. I’m sure you will get by with or without him.


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Dear Jaslyn,

I get where you’re coming from—every girl dreams of being treated like a queen. Although we’re proud of the fact that we can be independent, let’s admit that we still want some chivalry in our lives sometimes.

Unfortunately the world doesn’t work that way, nobody—even if it’s a guy you’re dating—owes you a free meal. It’s a pity he’s a calculative dude, which can get pretty annoying especially if it’s over a couple of cents, but perhaps he was just brought up that way.

After all, not everyone who comes from a rich family is frivolous with money. Also, the treats should go both ways: Do you buy him gifts and treat him to meals? Do you go out of your way to surprise him?

If this really bothers you, you need to sit down with him and voice it out. There’s no point in bottling up these negative feelings if he’s unaware of it. You will then see things from his perspective and understand why he’s like this.

Hope you’re able to gain some clarity!


Also read:

Why I Never Let Guys Pay For Me On The First Date