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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Ashlev Offline
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Question Am I being shallow? - January 27th 2014, 02:06 PM

I'll start off with a bit of background. I met this guy my freshman year in college (I'm a second semester sophomore now). We didn't become friends right away but I'd say that he's probably one of my best friends now. He's always asking me to buy him things (I.e. Food, movie tickets, skate decks, etc) and I mostly do buy him things because I'm nice. I'd say all together I've spent over 100$ on him.

Well a few weeks ago I had to leave all my luggage at home because of some flight issues (they ran out of space). I was kinda broke I had about 30$, but again my friend needed my help so I put all my money into his gas tank. And I admit I was using his car but I didn't drive 30$ worth of gas off by myself.

Also I should mention I was sleeping at his house while I waited for my mom to send my things over.

So I had no money besides 10$ my mom had sent me after I told her I spent my money. My friend has no food in his house, but he gets paid every week so he usually goes to get fast food. I asked him to buy me food once (this was after all he'd already spent about 20$ on me) and he said no when I knew for a fact he had at least 60$ left from his paycheck.

I felt as if he'd swindled me in some way. I spend down to my last dollar on him but he refused to reciprocate. And I wasn't asking for much. My meal would have come out to like 5$. I feel as if he doesn't see our friendship in the same way as I do, but I also feel bad because it's just money right?

I really just want someone to help me put this into perspective because I really don't know what to think or feel.
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Re: Am I being shallow? - January 27th 2014, 03:00 PM

Hey there,

I can see why you feel this way and why you're annoyed that you spend money on him but he's not willing to do the same but in this situation I think I can understand how your friend might see it so I'll try to explain so you can get an idea of how he feels.

Basically I dislike spending my money on other people. I earned it, it's mine so unless it's for a special occasion then I won't give it or offer it to other people. This may be how your friend feels about his money so even though you say he did have some spare perhaps he doesn't just like to give it to other people and he doesn't see anything wrong with this. Also, he could have some financial business that you don't know about that he needed the money for.

It seems to me that you, on the otherhand, don't mind sharing your money when you have it and will happily lend/give it to friends. This is fine for you but perhaps not for him.

Ultimately I don't think him not giving you money is a problem with the friendship at the moment, it's probably more of a case of you both seeing money differently. I'd say that if it bothers you a lot then just stop giving him as much money as you do currently and see how he responds to that. If he seems to get upset or angry that you've stopped giving him so much money then that could be an indication that he's taking advantage.

Also, this is a bit off topic but even if he is your best friend and you want to help him out (and other friends you may have) I'd really advise not spending ALL of your money on him. I'm sure if you were struggling with money then he'd understand that you couldn't give him any.

I hope this helped, I'm going to go ahead and move this to the Friends and Family forum since you may get better responses there
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Re: Am I being shallow? - January 27th 2014, 08:13 PM

Hey there!

I don't think you're being shallow. To me, this isn't necessarily about money - it's about knowing your friend will support you in times of need. In that moment, it didn't seem like your friend was going to support you, so naturally, that would hurt your feelings!

I've only had one friend who asked me to buy things for them. I also felt like I was being taken advantage of, so one day, I said I didn't have enough money to buy us both drinks. That friend flipped out and sulked for the rest of the day... over what was essentially a $4 drink. Not surprisingly, our friendship steadily worsened, as I began to notice a pattern of behavior I didn't like (she would treat me very well whenever I did something for her, but if I didn't have money/time to help her with homework, she would sulk... and she never, ever reciprocated).

As Cara said in her post, you could stop paying for your friend's things and see how he reacts. He had to make ends meet before he met you, so he should be able to work something out again. It's certainly not fair (or right) for you to spend all your money on him. He needs to learn how to be a financially independent adult. Lending a friend money every now and then, or treating them to a drink/meal every now and then, is fine... but when you're spending everything you have on their various costs (some of which are not necessary, like movie tickets), that's going a bit far.

Alternatively, you could talk to him about how your friendship isn't balanced when it comes to finances. You could ask him if he'd be willing to help you out financially, just as you've been helping him out financially. If he refuses or doesn't follow through with his reciprocation, then you can either draw a hard line and stop paying for his things, or you can find other ways for him to reciprocate. For example, if he doesn't want to reciprocate with money, perhaps he'd be willing to reciprocate by fixing things for you, making meals for you, or helping you out in other ways.

Ultimately, this all comes down to establishing appropriate boundaries and utilizing effective communication. If you can improve those two areas, then you'll either have a stronger friendship or know this isn't a healthy friendship (and you'll learn from the experience!).

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Smile Re: Am I being shallow? - January 27th 2014, 11:26 PM

Thanks. I really appreciate the feedback. I think I'll try not spending any more money on him and see how it goes. Maybe we'll talk it out.
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