Adapted from a recent online discussion.
If you're hoping he'll change, he's not the right one for you
Little Ferry, N.J.: I really love my boyfriend, but I'm sick of waiting for him to grow up. He's 27 years old, but I can't get him to stop going out and drinking excessively, sometimes missing work because of it (although he works with his dad, so there are no serious repercussions).
I am ready to settle down and get married, and he says he wants to marry me, but how much longer can I wait for him to mature?
Carolyn: Please, listen to yourself. You're waiting for him to become someone else, which means he isn't the one you want. Time for you to grow up and recognize that.
Being a couple means wanting to be together; rest is details
Denver: S.O. has a wedding that he wants me to attend that requires a flight in order to get there.
His family also lives in the city of the wedding, so he sees it as a family visit, and thus, justifiable to ask me to pay my way.
I don't think I should have to pay to get there, since I don't ask/expect him to go to my friends' weddings on his own dime, nor do I ask him to pay to get to my parents' house.
On the flip side, the weddings of my friends and my parents' house have been within driving distance, but I have picked up the tab (for gas and hotel) every time.
Carolyn: This one's goin' the distance!
If you don't want to go, then don't go. If you do want to go, then go. The details are a consequence of this main issue; they're not themselves the issue.
Anonymous: What did you mean by what you said to Denver? Were you suggesting that the relationship is doomed if they're fighting about this kind of stuff? I'm not Denver, but I'm still confused.
Carolyn: It had the air of bean-counting about it. People who work well together tend to make being in each other's company their top priority. In this case, that would mean the one inviting the other would pay if he could afford it, and if he couldn't, then the guest would pay, and if neither could afford it, then the guest would reluctantly stay home. It would never come close to a fight.
Denver Again: I'm not sure this is a problem of bean-counting — more of an issue of his asking me to do something I wouldn't ask him to do. Or vice versa: my unwillingness to do something he would very willingly do for me. It is the reconciliation of this that has me confused — not the $250 for the flight.
Carolyn: This is important; you're right to want to reconcile it — and it is bean-counting. The issue has migrated from the very valid ones you raise, to who pays for what. Please talk to him about what's confusing you, a la: "It's not about the money. It's that you're asking me to do something I wouldn't ask you to do, and I'm feeling slighted by it."