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Parallax - Advice

October 21, 2002

Weekend rules

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I have been dating a guy exclusively for a month—his offer. We discussed maintaining this relationship for a year and then making a decision about whether to move in together or get married. He's all for it and I am too. We live 240 miles apart and the weekends are all we have together. I asked if that meant our weekends were spoken for and he said, 'Absolutely.' Yesterday, he told me he was going to spend Labor Day weekend at a party in another state and he can't afford to take me. (He has spent a lot of money on our dates.) I make my own money, can afford to contribute to these weekends and generally do. But it's a little late for me to make arrangements to join him. He's made the plans for himself knowing that I'm not going. I feel he's reneging on the original agreement. Am I being unfair? Or am I seeing this for what I think it is? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Ms Smother,

Oh dear, do grow up. It is one weekend. Frankly, if you so desperately want to go, find some cheap Internet fare and work it out. Or next time, preemptively plan a little better so these snafus don't occur.

And if he is taking on the bulk of the financial burden of your dating, I don't blame him for not taking you on another expensive outing. You should really be evenly sharing your dating expenses: I do believe we have turned that corner.

Also, 'all weekends spoken for' is a bit extreme. Certainly, I could see it used as a default but there's no need to be so literal. It does not mean every weekend, every hour. It means weekends in general. That means, some weekends you can spend with the girls or wherever you like. It's nice to have other options, too.

Long distance relationships require flexibility. If you cannot work around simple planning issues and get angry over schedule changes—calling them violations of initial agreements—this weekend is just the start of all your upset.

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His view:

Dear Ms Smother,

You may want to rethink the weekend rules, since they were a bit unrealistic to begin with—a bit too tight.

I think you are reading too much into this misunderstanding. He probably felt awkward about telling you he couldn't afford to pay for you. He didn't then want to ask you, on top of that embarrassment, to pay for yourself. You think he doesn't want you there? He probably feels bad enough about not inviting you because of money issues.

Tell him you are willing to contribute financially to the relationship. Tell him he should be open about when and where he needs your help. And then offer to pay sometimes, especially for big things, even if he doesn't ask.

Also, relax with this 'weekends spoken for absolutely.' Yes, try to spend as many weekends as you can. But you both should be able to have a weekend on your own here and there—even if they are all you have together.

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You Vote! 73% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 27% with HIS VIEW.

33% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 67% with HIS VIEW.

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