Lesbianing with AE! What to Do When She Owes You Money

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Dear Lindsey,

I’m in a new relationship and my girlfriend and I have bought tickets to see this concert to celebrate it. When we bought the tickets online, I offered to pay for them first and she said she would pay me back. But when we met up again she didn’t bring up the issue and it seemed like she has forgotten about it. The tickets were $100 each and since I’m a student I really do sort of need the money back? How can I let her know without sounding too petty?

Need cash

Hey Need Cash,

You should definitely ask your girlfriend to pay you for the concert ticket, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it!

I know it can be so awkward to talk about money with anyone, but especially within a new relationship. Ideally, your new girlfriend would have picked up the cost of something else equal to the concert tickets by now or handed you cash the night of the show, because she agreed to go with you and she keeps her agreements. But that ship sailed, and you need the money now.

Think of this as practice. Throughout your life, you will need to ask for money back from people who aren’t forthcoming with it, and this is a great opportunity to notice how uncomfortable that makes you feel and to work through it. It’s your money and you have a right to get it back, and there is nothing petty about that.

Throughout your life, you will need to ask for money back from people who aren’t forthcoming with it, and this is a great opportunity to notice how uncomfortable that makes you feel and to work through it.

I might remind her about the $100 casually before you’re going to see her again. If you’re worked up about this, text might be a good way to go. Keep your message casual, with something like “Can’t wait to see you this weekend! Hey can you bring cash or Venmo me $100 for the concert tickets?” Slip the amount in there, in case she forgot the ticket price.

The text ahead of time gives you easy entry into the topic where if she’s not forthcoming with $100 on the date, you can make it happen in the moment using Venmo or your preferred instapay technology.

Like, whip out your phone and request that cash from her, right them, in Venmo. And that’s not rude, rude is owing someone $100 and not repaying them when asked, more than once. So you don’t seem petty, just be casual about your ask, like, “Hey my credit card bill is due and I super need that cash, here why don’t I Venmo you right now so we can take care of this? Got it? Great.”

And if she doesn’t send you the cash, then you can start debiting the price of that ticket from your dates. That looks like, you don’t split the check next time you have dinner out or see a movie. You smile and say, “How about you pick this up since I covered  you for the concert ticket?” Then you do it the next time you go out and say, “I think if you get this we’ll be even for that concert I covered last month.”

And you brace yourself for the discomfort that will come up. It’s your money and you’re entitled to its repayment by your girlfriend.

If she ducks all these opportunities to pay you back — for instance, if she claims she can’t afford it when you ask her to pay, and won’t do it — then you know that she’s not a person who keeps her word — at least, when money is concerned.

How you deal with that fact is entirely up to you.

If she ducks all these opportunities to pay you back — for instance, if she claims she can’t afford it when you ask her to pay, and won’t do it — then you know that she’s not a person who keeps her word — at least, when money is concerned. How you deal with that fact is entirely up to you.

Maybe she’s not living within her means because she didn’t learn budgeting skills, maybe she’s a mooch. I don’t know…but by observing her behavior when you hang out and when you bring up the concert tickets, you can evaluate her character. If it’s a red flag amidst many others, then you should get out before you’re taken advantage of any further.

If you really like her and you don’t think it’s a breakup worthy offense, then you eat the cost of the ticket and keep seeing her because you get more joy from seeing her than the financial sting of the concert ticket. And you don’t put yourself in that situation by paying her way again, unless you want to treat. This means, the next show you go to, everyone gets their own ticket. Good luck!

Do you have a question for Lindsey? Write to the editor with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line. memoree@afterellen.com

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