Dr. Susan vs. Dr. Laura: Can girlfriends pay bills?

Anybody want to take a guess at what Dr. Laura thinks about splitting checks? Here’s a hint: it’s absurd. This week’s “advice” comes once again from Dr. Laura’s YouTube channel.

The question: I’m a hard-working man. I make a good living. I live by myself and have been dating someone for a year now, with the intention of getting married someday, two to three years down the road. Is it wrong of me to ask for my girlfriend to be reasonable and help me with splitting the checks and bills from going out and taking trips together? She is also doing well financially and it really bothers me that she expects me to take care of everything financially. I do not want to hurt her feelings. I think I made a mistake not telling her from the beginning that I would like her to help out as well. Now she expects me to take care of everything. What should I do?

Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura: living a life made possible by feminism, and then bitching about feminists.

Dr. Laura’s answer: If you were dating me, you’d be having the same issue. You’re courting a woman. That’s a man’s job, to court a woman. I don’t think you should be going on vacation, that’s called “getting married have a honeymoon.” A honeymoon should be your first vacation. So you’re acting like a married couple, expecting there to be one pot where everybody puts in and we enjoy from it. You’re acting like you’re married. You’re courting. Your expectations are unreasonable. You date a woman for about a year and a half, you get engaged, you get married, and that’s when you coalesce resources. Until then, did I say it three times yet? I’m going to say it four. You’re courting. You’re the man. You’re trying to win her. I know you didn’t like this answer. But, it makes sense. Don’t expect what you should only expect when you’re married, when you’re not.  Thank you very much for writing. Oh, gosh, the men didn’t like that one, did they? I’m Dr. Laura Schless–that’s because the guys these days are not brought up to be men in the classic traditional old style. There was a time when a guy would throw himself off a cliff if his wife had to work and couldn’t be home to take care of the babies. Now there’s the expectation that he can put his feet up and she’s going to clean the house, take care of the kids, and have a full time job, and be a sex kitten for him. It’s a very different world, and it doesn’t work out as well.

My answer: You’re kidding, right? Right? Oh no, you’re not kidding, because you’re Dr. Laura.

You know how Dr. Laura is always saying that feminism ruined everything for everyone ever? Especially for the men, who now have to deal with their wives hating them and treating them like sissies? This right here is evidence to the contrary.

Your girlfriend is making good money. You’re going on vacations with her. Ask her to share in the cost. I can see somebody getting upset if they think that their boyfriend should bankroll all “dates” (although I personally find that to be ridiculous) – but vacations? Really? Unless there is a huge discrepancy in income, which it doesn’t sound like there is, she should be paying her own way.

Women are not some prize that men have to “win.” Women are human beings. If, as a part of this romantic partnership, you think that she should be pulling more of her own weight financially, you should say so. The key to a good relationship is communication, and letting resentment build is never a good idea.

She may balk at this – particularly if she is a Dr. Laura listener. Think about this carefully, though – what kind of a marriage do you want to have? If you want to have a marriage in which everybody does their prescribed roles and never strays from them, follow Dr. Laura’s advice. If you want a marriage based on equality and compromise, talk to your girlfriend. If she balks, she’s not the one for you, and it’s better to find that out now.

See? Feminists aren’t man-haters. They are equality-lovers. And the good old days of men jumping off cliffs instead of watching their wives go to work were rife with domestic violence and restricted options for everybody. It was a simpler time, and a worse one. “It worked better” is code for “figuring out duties within the household was less complicated.” Simpler isn’t better. It’s just easier.

If you are prepared to have this kind of relationship forever – and this involves her quitting her job and relying on you while she takes care of the home, i.e. you will be responsible for everything forever – follow Dr. Laura’s advice. But my guess is that you don’t.

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Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

22 thoughts on “Dr. Susan vs. Dr. Laura: Can girlfriends pay bills?”

        1. ‘Cause I mean, you clearly know so much more about feminism than us poor actual feminists. Thank sweet baby Jesus you came here to tell us what to believe. Heaven forbid we think for ourselves and make our own decisions. Lordy, Lordy do we ever need more men’s opinions.

        2. Ha!

          Based on the comments you post around the internet, it’s clear you a) have a hangup with feminism, b) think feminists are man-haters, and c) don’t understand feminism at all. This isn’t about facts, it’s about your ~feelings~ and this weird need to take on feminism.

          “As mentioned in my initial comment, in feminism, there is no expectation or desire for men to do any more or less for women than women are desired or expected to do for men. Equal generosity and equal courtesy.”

          That’s not exactly true. This isn’t factual based on feminism principles – it’s how you, a non-feminist, imagine feminism to be. Feminism is not the same thing as being gender blind. Many feminists enjoy stereotypically feminine actions, just as many feminists enjoy stereotypically masculine actions. Feminism is about equal opportunity between the sexes, sure – but it’s also about dropping conventions just because they are conventions. This doesn’t mean that men can never open the door for women (even feminists!), it’s that men shouldn’t be expected to open the door simply because they are men and simply because there is a woman near them.

  1. Dear Dr. Laura:

    Patriarchal relationships are not the ideal, regardless of whatever religious or ideological basis you have. Balance and equality are much better. If you have to lift a heavy box, it’s easier when both people contribute equally than the stronger person doing the work and expecting all the appreciation. Collaborative relationships are better balanced that Man Leads, Woman Obeys relationships.

    Sure, I’m contributing less money-wise right now, but Fella and I do lots of cook-at-his-house (he doesn’t have roommates, I do) in which I both help with the cooking AND with cleanup (and when I can, I buy part of the groceries involved). And I don’t expect pricey fancypants dinners or paid events that I can’t reasonably contribute to. We both like the “hanging out together” aspect and both like cooking, he likes saving money, I like not feeling like a freeloader. Sure, he tends to pay when we do go “out”, but he also has a full-time job with a steady paycheck and I’ve been on temp and freelance jobs since December. (We also go dutch if we’re doing more than one pricey thing — like dinner without a BOGO coupon and a movie, we’d each get our own food or movie ticket.) Sharing expenses isn’t just a married-thing, it’s a balanced-couple-thing.

  2. I’m Dr. Laura Schless—that’s because the guys these days are not brought up to be men in the classic traditional old style. There was a time when a guy would throw himself off a cliff if his wife had to work and couldn’t be home to take care of the babies. Now there’s the expectation that he can put his feet up and she’s going to clean the house, take care of the kids, and have a full time job, and be a sex kitten for him. It’s a very different world, and it doesn’t work out as well.

    Why is she going off on a tangent about something that has nothing to do with the question?  The listener doesn’t sound like he’s the type of man described at all.

  3. That’s a man’s job, to court a woman.

    So lesbians are never courted? They just ..agree on having a relationship after meeting the first time? And gay men, how does that work? Does the courting never end? Thank the Gods that Dr. Laura never thinks past the heterosexuals. It might cause her head to explode and I wish that on very little people.

    1. Yeah, that’s pretty much how I remember it. And really, if he’s too afraid to mention money to his girlfriend, then they shouldn’t be thinking marriage yet. It’s really hard to make a marriage work if you never talk about finances.

  4. It seems that there has always been an income discrepancy in my relationships, and I still paid as much as I could. Sometimes that meant that SO would get the airfare and I would take care of the hotel. Or I’d pay for food.  I have issues about not contributing as close to equally as I can, though.

  5. This is my reaction every time someone mentions how much better it was in the “good ol’ days”. And really with the jumping off the cliff? Really? How in any circumstance is a dead husband better than a live one in between jobs when there is a family to take care of? How? How does that even remotely equal “manly” in anyone’s head? Just STFU Dr. Laura, STFU now damn it.

    (edited by Selena to embed .gif)

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