Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Should I pay to see my girlfriend?
    • #1
    • 9th Nov 12, 12:48 PM
    Real-life MMD: Should I pay to see my girlfriend? 9th Nov 12 at 12:48 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay to see my girlfriend?

    My girlfriend's recently moved away to study. Though I want to see her on weekends, it's not cheap to travel. I've suggested we go halves, since I normally pay the fare to go to her, but she thinks she shouldn't contribute as I'm earning and she's not. However, I don't earn much and while I know she's worse off than me, I think it's a little unfair I should effectively pay to see her.

    Click reply to have your say

    Note: Please remember that these are real-life Money Moral Dilemmas and while we want you to have your say, please remember to be nice when you respond.

    Previous MMDs:
    View All

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 13-11-2012 at 4:41 PM.
Page 2
  • sultryabyss
    I also moved away to study, I see my fiance every other weekend, most of the time he comes to see me (he is in a well paid job though) but I still make the effort to go back and see him. It shouldn't 100% be on you but remember that whilst your there she has to cater for two which costs money.
  • bear_it
    Man up
    Jesus, some people

    The basis for your relationship is how much she costs you?

    If I were her you'd be toast, dude. True love doesn't ever count the cost

    Man up . . . . .
    • lazer
    • By lazer 14th Nov 12, 10:22 AM
    • 3,230 Posts
    • 4,519 Thanks
    I know that when i started work after uni - I actually had less money than I had when i was at uni and making 25 on a saturday.

    So it depends - does she get full loan/grant - and/or have a part time job?
    Does she have lots of money to spend socialising - do you?

    Who pays for food & drink when you are visiting?

    I think you need to talk about it with her - the key is communication.
    Weight loss challenge, lose 15lb in 6 weeks before Christmas.
    • TopQuark
    • By TopQuark 14th Nov 12, 10:29 AM
    • 442 Posts
    • 1,064 Thanks
    As others have said, if you are both concerned with having to spend money to see each other, you have bigger problems. Perhaps this is a wake-up call as to whether you are in the right relationship?

    I've spent around half of my relationship (~ 4 years) living in different countries to my OH. Some of these were far away (Philippines) and other less so (France, Switzerland). We saw each other every couple of months and it always involved airfares and often time off work. I never once counted the cost and neither, I hope, did he.

    I'd have a serious think about your future with this person....
    Remember Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

    32 and mortgage-free
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 14th Nov 12, 10:43 AM
    • 409 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    Why are you asking the question ? If you love her you will go to see her no matter what, or you may risk losing her to someone else in her new life.
    • londonlydia
    • By londonlydia 14th Nov 12, 11:03 AM
    • 423 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    I dont think we should all come down on this guy because he's acknowledged that seeing his girlfriend every weekend is costing him a bomb!

    To be honest, seing her every weekend is excessive, and lots of couples dont do that even when they're close to each other.

    I stayed with my then boyfriend throughout university, and we were at different universities, about 100miles apart or so. We took it in turns to see each other, which was at most every 3 weeks or once a month. (Dont forget there are half terms and xmas/ easter holidays when she will be back). We ended up splitting up after university actually, once we spent all our ime together, what had been keeping us together was not living in each others pockets.

    So, set a budget as to how much you can afford to spend on travel. Maximise the amount of journeys you can get for that (coach: I've travelled 350miles home for 3.50 on Megabus before, train ticket splitting, booking ahead, go very early in the morn). If that's less than every weekend, that will probably work out better, both of you can go off and develop friendships outside your relationship, or develop hobbies.

    And you can regualrly email/ Skype/ chat in the meantime....
    • Kitty Wren
    • By Kitty Wren 14th Nov 12, 11:07 AM
    • 744 Posts
    • 418 Thanks
    Kitty Wren
    I have to agree with other people. If you really liked her, the cost wouldn't matter to you.

    And why are you trying to hog every weekend of hers while she is at uni? Let her experience uni life a bit! Goodness. Every other weekend should be fine, no?
  • Habibiboo
    I have to say I agree with the others. If you're not happy to pay to go see her and she's not happy to contribute to see you then there are deeper issues than the money one.

    My boyfriend and I lived and worked over an hour apart for the first two years of our relationship. Plus I didn't drive. We did a LOT of back and forth, sometimes I would be doing a 1.5hr bus ride after a 12hr night shift to go and see him. Likewise sometimes he would drive across at 5am to pick me up from work, spend 2hrs with me then drive back to go to work! I was flat broke (paying off 16k of debt) but I never once resented the money to see him. Likewise he sold his beloved car to buy a more economical diesel because of the miles he was doing coming to see me.

    Compromise and sacrifice for the greater good (ie. Seeing each other) should come naturally to you both. I would be wondering why you feel resentment about spending money to see her, rather than wondering whether she should pay.
    Originally posted by dreamdreamer

    Is it just because I'm a total romantic that I could almost hear Simon Bates's 'Our Tune' music playing in the background as I read your story Dreamer? Thanks for the reminder that romance is still out there!
    OP, I totally agree with everything Dreamer said: resentment is the key factor here ~ in the words of Joy Division "resentment rides high, but emotions won't grow" ~ ask yourself what compromise and sacrifices you're happy to make with a willing, not resentful attitude?
    The more you resent the situation, the greater the chances that it'll be the emotional, rather than geographical distance which will spell the end of your relationship. If compromise and sacrifice aren't forthcoming (from either of you) or any you make serve only to add to your resentment in this situation, then you're in a stalemate, not a relationship and very sadly it would seem that Joy Division may have already summed this one up for you. Hope you can work it out.
    Stash busting 2014 45 / 60 (balls of yarn)!
    2014 Sealed Pot #2136 ?/500
    House: Decluttering 322 / 365
    Original mortgage 149,000117,750;112,500 MFW 2014#69 GOAL 1: 109 K April GOAL 2: 103 K by Sept GOAL 3: < 100k by end of 2014 MF goal: Nov 2020 - 4 years early
    • jazzali
    • By jazzali 14th Nov 12, 11:19 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    My best friend at uni regretted his first year as he was with a girlfriend who took up all his free time and he never got to enjoy uni life. I'm not saying you're a waste of her time, but seeing her slightly less often would ease your cash issues and give you both time to form your own friend circles and enjoy your lives apart as well as appreciate your time together more.

    You need to work at relationships, but if it's meant to be, seeing each other a little less often for a year or two won't be what breaks you up. If you're worried about not spending every weekend together, then you have bigger issues.

    As for the actual cash issue, does she pay for food etc when you're visiting? Trains are expensive, but don't forget to take the other hidden costs into account too.
    • cats2012
    • By cats2012 14th Nov 12, 11:30 AM
    • 1,175 Posts
    • 1,279 Thanks
    Answer = make it every 2 or 3 weeks.

    We did this through 2 years of my uni and we're getting married in March.
    Officially Mrs B as of March 2013
    TTC since Apr 2015, baby B born March 2017
  • robynprincess
    If you are worrying about money over seeing your girlfriend I fear this is a relationship that won't last. I would have paid my last penny seeing my now husband when we lived miles apart and he the same.
  • Baniel20
    Food for thought
    A tricky situation and, having two sons away from their girlfriends at Uni, can sympathise. When you go and stay with your GF, does she supply your meals? Am assuming that you also stay with her? Then how about offsetting the cost of your fare against 'board and lodging costs'. It is difficult, but arguments about money are always destructive. Try to reach a happy compromise. Coach travel is normally pretty cost effective and there are student fares available on most rail journeys. Good luck - hope it all works out. PS
    • jackieb
    • By jackieb 14th Nov 12, 11:57 AM
    • 26,983 Posts
    • 78,788 Thanks
    Give up now as money is obviously more important than anything else to you. It doesn't bode well if you decide to live together or get married. You'd probably be one of those couples where 'mine is mine and yours is yours' and you'd end up with his and hers post it notes on the food in your fridge.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 14th Nov 12, 11:59 AM
    • 296 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    Sad to say, but it looks like your relationship is coming to a natural end, if neither of you thinks it's worth forking out to see the other. Why not have a month off from seeing each other (or wait till the holidays), and see how you feel then?
    • susi360
    • By susi360 14th Nov 12, 12:08 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    If you stay for the weekend and she has to buy extra food, & maybe wine or beer for you then you should take this into consideration. Your visit isn't "free" for her.

    As others have suggested - find a cheaper way to travel, or visit less often.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 14th Nov 12, 12:13 PM
    • 12,049 Posts
    • 8,191 Thanks
    Maybe she could come home and see you now and then?
  • vavavoom
    The first year that I was with my boyfriend he was still at Uni and I was back living with my parents and working full time on a very low wage. It was a 2hr train journey that cost about 35- 40 return (in advance) but I went up nearly every weekend. Paying to visit him on my tight budget meant that I was on packed lunches all year.... but I didn't think about it for one second because I would have been miserable if we'd not seen each other. Bottom line is that she's a student and if you're not prepared to make any financial sacrifice to see her this is not destined to last.
  • madanna
    Great minds think alike ...
    Why are you asking the question?! Is this love! Seriously, if she;s away studying I'm sure every week will eventually become too much for both of you as she tries to get the best out of her time away. Presumably, she's away to improve her chances of a decent job in the future with greater earnings etc. So you being there every week will be a distraction. If you want to see her I suggest you pay, indirectly this shows committment. Then on the other side I'm sure you'll get a decent meal in or out and some jolly good memories along the way as you go through this experience together. Money is tight when you're trying to balance work and study, so work out what's a good routine and affordable - stick to it and you have something to look forward to and the time off you both get should kick start some good old fashioned love.
  • Purplejenster2
    Pay your own way
    When my husband and I first met we were both 16 and lived almost 300 miles apart. We always paid for our own fares, even though we only had Saturday jobs. This meant that we usually saw each other once every 4-6 weeks, but we spoke on the phone every night, texted, e-mailed and even wrote to each other.
    When it came to uni, my husband, who was my fiance at the time decided to apply for univesities closer to me as I had got a job, we were then able to see each other every weekend, but usually alternated and paid our own fares.
    So, what I find interesting about your situation is if there was any discussion beforehand with your gf over where the relationship is going, do you have long term goals together or is the distance the test? You really need to be completly open with each other, if you're not then this is probably the beginning of the end, especially if you aren't willing to put the effort or money in. If you resent shelling out the cash, maybe you don't love her as much as you thought you did.
    Personally I will pick happiness and love over money any day, maybe that's why 11 years later my husband and I are very happy, but generally broke! It's all about priorities.
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 14th Nov 12, 1:11 PM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    I spent two years travelling between London and Cardiff to see my student boyfriend, if you don't want to pay to see the one you love then don't be with them. You have a job, spend it less on booze and more on her!
    Diary: Getting back on track for 2013 and beyond
    DEBT FREE 13-10-13
    Beautiful daughter born 11.1.14
    Mortgage: 399,435.91 377218.83
    Deposit loan from Dad: 900010000
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,135Posts Today

7,242Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • I've decided my weekend starts here while the sun's glow is still baskable. So I'm signing off. Have a great weeke?

  • No not correct. The big six do, but you can get fixed tariffs guaranteed not to rise and about 25% cheaper. Just tr?

  • Baaaa! Scottish Power has bleated and followed the herd, today announcing it's putting up energy prices by 5.5%. R?

  • Follow Martin