11

Background

I've been in a relationship for 8+ months now, and the trip I'm referencing will be past our 1 year date. These numbers don't matter to me any more (as opposed to 1-2 months into the relationship), but just here in case it helps answerers.

My friends and I are taking an international trip in December for a special occasion, and I would really like my SO to come with me. I told them about it and they said they would look into it.

Due to some recent unfortunate circumstances, they are not going to be able to afford the ticket and prices are climbing every day.

I have already bought my ticket and I know I can buy theirs too, and I would like to, but I don't know how to bring this up.

I know I should be able to talk about anything with them and for the most part I can/do. However, money is usually a tenuous subject1 - regardless of people/circumstances. I don't want them to think I'm trying to show off or that I expect anything in return, or anything of the sort. Nor do I want to add unnecessary pressure to a relationship with a person I'm completely in love with.

Question

How can I go about asking this person if they would be ok with me buying the ticket, with the above thoughts in mind?


1. tenuous subject reason - This has been my experience with a friend and some family before, though not with any previous partners or with this SO.

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    You say "money is usually a tenuous subject." Are you just repeating a general truism? Or is this based on some experience in this relationship? Has money come up before and it's ended poorly? And if so, can you edit a description of that situation into the question? – scohe001 Jul 5 '18 at 16:04
  • @scohe001 It is from a couple of previous experiences, although those included a friend, and some family, not any previous partners. – Sagar Jul 5 '18 at 16:42
  • Added this to the question, but don't know how to superscript a "1", so used an asterisk instead. – Sagar Jul 5 '18 at 16:45
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My partner hates being supported financially, and doesn't like when I pay for anything for them. It makes them feel guilty and like a bum.

When we run into a situation like this, where the options are either me paying or them not coming, I like to phrase my pitch along the lines of:

"This trip is going to be so much better with you there, so would you let me buy your ticket as a sort of anniversary gift for the both of us?"

The key is to not focus on the financial aspect of it so much as the benefit you're going to receive from their presence. Focus on the value you receive from them allowing you to pay their way.

If they are hesitant, reinforce with something along the lines of:

"The cost really isn't a burden to me, and I'd much rather have you there with me having a good time."

or

"If it bothers you, some day you can pay me back. I just know I'd have a better time if you were there with me, so I want to cover it for us this time."

By addressing any concerns they have with reinforcement of the value of their presence being more important than the value of the cash you're going to use to buy their ticket, you're setting yourself up for a greater chance at success in persuading them that it really isn't about the cash value.

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    Ask them "if you had the money and I didn't, would you pay for me?" Hope the answer is "Yes" :-) – gnasher729 Jul 7 '18 at 23:28
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In my experience, where money is involved, you need to make sure to communicate the nature of the transaction and what's expected of both parties. In this situation, I'd focus on the fact that you're giving a gift and expecting nothing in return and that this is a one time thing.

You could approach them with something like:

I don't think I'd have as much fun on this trip in December without you. I know it's a little selfish, but I'd love to get you tickets to come with us as a gift.

The only thing missing here is emphasizing that this is a one time thing. For that I think it depends on your relationship. If it were me, I'd use some humor:

Just don't don't get used to it, I'm not your sugar daddy/mama!

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