Friday, October 20 , 2017, 10:26 am | A Few Clouds 66º

 
 
 
 

Louise Palanker: Cheap Date — Literally, More Than a Family Friend, Interracial Dating

Question from Bianca

Hey, so I need advice. I’ve been with my guy for a year now and he’s already planning for the future, which is really great, but there is a problem. He is cheap — cheap in the sense he won’t pay for parking and is always complaining about prices on things. He won’t pay for something if it is more than $10, and he is always talking about prices.

He’s even gone to the extent of shopping for things as cheap as possible. Like he bought me hand cream and I am feeling the effect as my hands are starting to peel. Even with the future he wants me pay for the wedding.

I don’t know what to do. Do I break up, or how do I confront him about this? Call me shallow, but am I in the wrong?

Weezy

I won’t call you shallow because you are not wrong. You are just different than him, which within a romantic partnership is critical. We each have a basic personality, and within that personality we have a relationship with money. You have yours. He has his.

Neither is going to change very much as you continue through life. A person who has trouble saving money or staying out of debt can work on his or her money issues, but unchecked, one’s money personality will only become more firmly entrenched with time.

Two people in a dating relationship may be falling more deeply in love even as they discover that they are not compatible. For example, you may find out that he wants seven kids while you want a pony. You may learn that he steals toilet paper and coffee pods from work and rationalizes it by saying that his boss is a jerk. You may discover that he watches Fast & Furious 1 through 7 all day, every Sunday.

Or you could learn that your money personalities are not a match. Any of this could be deal breaking.

I once dated a guy who could easily spend a weekend comparison shopping underwear. I do not know how much money he spent on gas to save $4 on T-shirts. I’m not that good at math. But he should be with someone who enjoys a good bargain as much as he does. So should your guy.

You don’t have to confront him. You can just ask for a conversation, explain what you learned here, talk this through and reach a compromise. Or you can come to understand that dating is designed to help two people see if they should throw in together for life.

Wildly different money personalities is not a good sign. I think you can find a guy who is a better fit for you.

(MeristemNigeria video)

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Question from Gabrielle

This guy, he’s a family friend and we’re basically best friends. We do a lot of fun things together and spend a lot of time together. I tell him everything and vice versa.

Recently, I’ve started to develop feelings that I’ve been denying to myself and ignoring for the past year. But then finally I confessed them to him.

Long story short, he said we’re better off as friends because we could be together longer where as when we are in a relationship and we break up, it wouldn’t be the same. I thought about it and agreed, but afterward he started giving me mixed signals. I catch him staring at me, always wanting my attention, and the way he looks at me is different from the way he looked at me before I told him anything about liking him.

I don’t know what to do.

Weezy

Your relationship with this kid IS complicated because you are growing up together. Your families are friends. You are interacting with the familiarity of siblings, but you are NOT siblings and you both know it.

Romantic attraction is very natural, but it is fraught with emotional strings and traps. You have dabbled in revealing your feelings and he has drawn a line. That’s OK. In fact, it is very wise because it is too early in your lives for anything firm to be established. Officially dating each other could lead to breakups and tension and general un-fun drama.

Be patient. Be a friend. You can continue to flirt and enjoy each other, but if anything romantically lasting is going to blossom from this friendship it SHOULD wait until you are both ready for it.

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Question from Alisa

Weezy, I am a white girl with a very nice black boyfriend, but the problem is my dad is old and racist. He claims he’s not, but he always makes racist remarks. I’m under 18 so I feel like I have nothing to do but break up with him even though I love him. He wants to meet my dad and I keep making excuses. He wants to take me to homecoming. It really just sucks.

Weezy

First, you should be honest with your boyfriend. Most people who date outside of their own race will understand that this may be a problem for some parents. Don’t make excuses. Just tell your boyfriend the truth. I know that you feel responsible for your dad’s feelings and behaviors, but you are not. He is him. You are you.

So first, honesty with your boyfriend about your situation, and then you have a choice. You can either tell your dad that this boy would like to meet him and take you to homecoming and risk your dad saying that you can no longer see this boy. Or you can keep this relationship more private and not go to homecoming.

Generally, I am not a fan of secret boyfriends, but sometimes a level of unreason-ability on the part of the parents inspires me to advise you to use your own very best judgment. You will have your entire adult life to do exactly that and date whomever you please. But there are consequences to every decision we make.

People can be tribal, and so when parents feel strongly about your marrying within your own race, creed and/or religion, your doing otherwise will force some difficult sacrifices, adjustments and conversations.

Life really is a series of choices. And at a certain point in time the children start teaching the parents.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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