My boyfriend is old school: Even though we’ve been dating for two years, he always insists on footing the bill. And while he’s generous with me, he is perhaps the worst tipper the service industry has ever seen. Forget 20%—he barely matches the tax! Should I slip our waiters something extra on the sly or confront my man about his tightwad tips?
Your man needs a wake-up call. Proper etiquette is to tip 15% for fine service, 20% when it’s great. That said, you don’t want to get all in his face about his poor tipping habits. Instead, teach by example. Later on, get into a deeper conversation about his ways.
Teach By Example
The next time he attempts to tip with a wrinkly $5 bill at the end of a $50 dinner with fantastic service, insist that you’d like to leave the tip, since he’s always so generous to pay for the meal. Then, as you lay down $10 (make sure he watches), respond to his raised brow by explaining why you think it’s important to tip at least 15%, unless the service was awful. If he doesn’t get it, remind him that servers live off their tips and that without them they only earn a measly few bucks an hour.
Next, Allow Him To Respond And Listen To His Point Of View
This way, you’ve turned the problem into a conversation, not a confrontation. Who knows, through this dialogue you may gain a great deal more insight into your partner’s financial perspectives.
Be Prepared For A More Heavy-Duty Conversation
Keep in mind that talking about money has the tendency to bring out personal insecurities, fears, and doubts. So, there’s a chance that the conversation could turn more emotional. But, this is important if you envision your relationship eventually heading toward something long-term. Talking about money now will leave you far better off than most couples that discuss zilch about each other’s financial viewpoints before saying, “I do.”
If You Think This Is A Sign Of Something Broader, Have A Bigger Money Talk
Open and honest communication is the best way to manage financial conflicts in a relationship. Research shows that fighting over money can spell disaster for any relationship, which is why I suggest dealing with this issue gently (but firmly) and as soon as possible. Jeffrey Dew, faculty fellow at the National Marriage Project and assistant professor at Utah University, found that couples that disagreed about finance once a week were over 30% more likely to split up than couples who disagreed about money a few times per month.
You and your boyfriend won’t agree on every financial issue—and that’s to be expected. Believe it or not, research shows that humans are hard-wired to fall in love with their financial opposites. So, when money gets between you and your partner again, remember to explore and understand why that is.
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