I have a problem I hope you can help me deal with better. I have three best girlfriends, and we go out together for Happy Hour on Fridays or out to lunch or dinner on Saturdays and have a lot of fun together. We are all single and in our 30s.
The problem is more times than not, when we all go out together I end up paying the full bill. I make about three times what each of them do, and I believe they feel like I can afford it, so they just wait for me to take the bill and pay it. I’m not trying to be cheap or insensitive, but I’m starting to feel used by it.
We were all friends in college, and they didn’t act this way toward me then; so, I know it isn’t they only like me for my income. But, this has now become a pattern, and it is really starting to bother me. I know I should just bring it up to them, but I am hesitant, because I think it will lead to a fight and hurt feelings.
Last week at Happy Hour I went to the waitress privately and paid my portion of the bill and left without saying good-bye to my friends. I know this is not the way to handle it. How can I approach the subject with them in the most productive and sensitive way?
Diane in Miami
This is a great question, because I know many people are experiencing this same trap. I can remember many years ago our house used to be the choice for everyone to join on Friday night to have a few beers, and it was always our beer they chose!