Comic: Having a Girlfriend isn’t THAT Expensive…

comic amwf cartoon 3 money for girlfriend

My husband and I have this “thing.” He pays for everything when we go out on dates (food, drinks, clothes, tickets, etc) – we used to try to split things, but he felt judged. Especially in Japan.

He used to cover one meal; I would cover the other. But when I paid, people looked at us funny.

So he pays.

And once a week, I slip money into his wallet. Some weeks it is more than others (it depends on how much I made and how much we spent that week). We have an unspoken agreement, he never asks me about the money and I never try to pay for stuff (especially food) while we are out on dates.

It’s weird – but it works for us.


If you want to read more comics, check out my comic books (on Amazon):

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book


My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

21 Comments on Comic: Having a Girlfriend isn’t THAT Expensive…

  1. that´s sexism doe.. you can teach them to be more accepting of financial support.

  2. Jane Doe // 15 March, 2015 at 9:15 am //

    Hello Grace,

    A friend recommended your blog and I am reading my way through it (love it!!)
    I remember a huge faux-pas I made when my husband and me went to buy wedding rings together. As he was already paying for our wedding venue and food, I wanted to contribute a little bit by paying for the rings, so after we decided on the rings, I handed over my credit card – big mistake! :( He later told me that the sales assistant probably thought he was some rich woman’s boytoy… Since then, I also let him pay when we are in Japan :)

    • Hahahaha, I accidentally did the same thing when we were getting an apartment! Because the yen is “down” right now, we decided to do the down payment on our apartment via my credit card (since I still have quite a bit of USD leftover from when I lived in the states). I handed my card over, and my husband whispered “Great. Now it looks like you’re my sugar mama.”
      I was impressed he knew that in English.
      It was pretty funny, though.

  3. I did something similar with a friend who would never let me pay (he had a job and I was a student); stuck 10,000 in his bag and called it even~ He never asked me about it or asked surprised when I ultimately told him.

  4. That’s adorable. Another example of finding your own way within society and its expectations, not having to fight against yourself or the world. Very sweet.

  5. This is genius!
    What I often do with Matcha-kun is hand over a few bills (discretely), before he goes to pay. He gets to keep his pride, and I get to pay my share.

  6. Aubrey Marshall // 17 March, 2014 at 11:27 pm //

    Hahaha this is the cutest under the table deal ever.

  7. Anonymous // 17 March, 2014 at 10:09 pm //

    I think having a wife is expensive, period lol. No matter where you live and go! I been with all race and there really no difference, some girls what too much, some don’t want much at all (those are the good one). I’m in my 30’s now still single and don’t plan on having kids. I lived in California, Georgia, and Michigan. I travel across America and been oversea when I was little. I enjoy my life as a single person and I am not in a rush. Sometimes I think I maybe too expensive for the girl, lol.

    • Fair enough. Marriage is rather pricey – not to mention weddings, insurance, paying for both people to live (eat, travel, etc). And don’t even get me started on kids – I love them to DEATH, but they are little money suckers. We can’t really afford to have kids for another five or six years. It’s just… too expensive.
      Even before dating my husband, I was always very pushy when it came to paying for a date. I really had to pay my own way, otherwise it just didn’t seem fair. Even during my engagement period, I still wanted to pay for my own stuff.

      Now that we have a joint account and pooling our resources, it doesn’t matter. The money comes from the same account. But I guess it depends on the person.

  8. the general rule of thumb is that they go dutch when the woman is NOT interested in him… therefore she is not “leading him on” by assuming that him paying for her will result in her getting closer to him.

    • Yeah, I kind of agree. Or, I mean I always wanted to go dutch regardless of who I was dating. It just seemed more fair that way. We were both working somewhat crappy minimum wage jobs while in school, why should he spend his hard-earned money on me and not the other way around?
      And then there were no weird expectations at the end of the date. I can’t count how many of my girl friends have had nasty end-of-date encounters with men who paid their way, hoping for a bit of sugar at the end of the night. Awkward…

  9. Anonymous // 17 March, 2014 at 5:20 pm //

    I enjoy reading your posts a lot! I also introduced this site to my mum, for whom I wrote a post expressing her thoughts about relationships. Thank you for your reply back then!
    but…today I feel like saying, please people don’t hate me. I am totally happy about my Japanese boyfriend spoiling me in everything.
    From day one! and I am not ashamed to say it.
    Back in Japan, I dated for a very short time, a guy who asked me to split the meals, pay for this, pay for that…- I was a student in Tokyo and having to meet ends was hard some months.
    I didn’t have any scholarships.. So you can imagine.
    But I managed brilliantly surprise. Just those extras, were at times a way too much.
    and in all honesty after all that commuting hard work I preferred to spoil myself..rather than paying a meal, sometimes not that tasty either.. with a guy I was not really interested..-.-. Yes, my fault here as well.
    I have some very good Japanese friends, and I shared about this thing, namely he wanting me to pay…and especially one said to me: He is not a gentleman at all, he should pay!
    lol especially as he had a decent working salary.
    My employer, a Filipina Godess of female wisdom, when told about this story:
    You are stupid! Which guy asks you to pay?
    I am reporting her words as they sounded…

    Well, girls out there, I agree its nice to be independent but when a guy wants to treat you why opposing?
    We are living together and still the same rules apply..he doesn’t ask me anything and doesn’t want me to pay for anything at all. Our salaries are just not comparable. He simply can do it, thats it…and I was happily surprised about him saying that even if I earned more than him, he would not dare to ask me to pay for something, unless that was my desire..

    So maybe I am old-fashioned. But I like it! thats what matters. At same time I admire the fact you are putting money in his pocket late at night lol. Lovely.

    I recall my father’s words when I was 14 chasing a guy…- He said to me: A man should be the one one caring about you.

    Obviously I care about my boyfriend not financially, but in other infinite little ways. This is our unspoken agreement.

    Interesting scary news as for the Chinese girlfriend lol..and scary at same my brother is planning to marry his girlfriend, who happens to be Chinese…

    • Thanks for the comment :)
      I remember your mother! I’m glad what I wrote helped. I didn’t want to offend anyone.
      And I’m glad to hear you’re still with your Japanese boyfriend and things are going well~

      I think it really depends on the person and the circumstances. Before my husband, I never let a man pay for my half of the date because I didn’t want him to have weird expectations for how the end of the date was supposed to go, if that makes sense.
      Even while he was my fiance, I felt a bit guilty letting Ryosuke pay for things for me – but that is my own personal opinion. Sometimes when I was making more money, I would pay for both of us; when he was making more money (like now), he would pay for both of us. But what works for US doesn’t necessarily work for all other couples :)

      I know plenty of men who simply LOVE showering their girlfriend/fiance/wife with presents. And I think that’s really sweet – especially if the man is making much more than the woman is. To each their own :)
      I’m glad your boyfriend is so nice to you!

  10. that’s really clever! :) I love the system you have!
    for me I tried to pay but my husband keep mumbling how he loses his face and I am actually forbidden :) I know a couple where he paid for both of them and the girl just gave him money back later, when they were alone.
    but having wife in China is expensive! have you heard about ‘naked marriage’? if no you should – it’s interesting how often guys are required to have flat (at least the first payment), car etc. to get married. not to mention some of them need to pay money to bride’s family! so having a girlfriend might not be that expensive but getting married is way more different haha :)

    • I’ve read a couple articles about that! Where the guy is supposed to have a flat and a car – otherwise he’s not a viable marriage candidate. I was really surprised. Dating in China sounds tricky…

      Oddly enough, my husband was kind of touchy on the money issue for a while. I was lucky enough to graduate college without any loans and a bit of money in the bank (he has loans that can easily be paid off in a year)… so he felt kind of bad that he couldn’t pay for stuff as much as I could (wedding, flights, etc). I think it’s so strange how there is such a stigma against the women paying for dates. Oh well.

  11. ElizabethB // 17 March, 2014 at 1:54 pm //

    That is such a smart way to get around the judgment! How did you two begin the “tradition”?

    • Back before we got engaged, we would always argue over who paid for what. I felt awful that Ryosuke always wanted to pay – and he wouldn’t let me even pay for my own half of a meal!
      I started putting money in his wallet at night when he stayed over. I think he didn’t realize I was doing it for the first five or six months, but one time I put a ichiman en (100$) in his wallet – when he only had about 2000yen (20$) and he kind of caught on. It’s kind of funny, thinking about it now :)

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