The first observation to make is that you're placing a lot of weight on the money thing when there's no practical need to.
You both earn comfortably more than you need from the sound of it. This question should only be an issue if :
- One of you was relatively poor (or actually poor)
- Your boyfriend has his ego attached to his wallet
The first one would be important as a simple matter of practicality.
The second reason is something I'd find unacceptable in a person I was in a relationship with, but YMMV. It would, in your case, make money a source of tension in a relationship and I doubt it would work out if he was like that.
I make about ten times what my boyfriend does. He's also a professional and makes good money himself.
An obvious suggestion is to tell him the same way he told you the same information.
Or a simple remark like "Just so we're being straight with each other, you told me your pay and you should know mine." Glass of wine over dinner, waiting for the meal in a restaurant.
We've discussed money before but I've always just avoided the subject.
He often offers to pay for things and I try to go halfsies with him because I feel bad, but he sometimes insists because he's the guy.
I see no problem here.
If he was poor or on welfare or something that would be different. There is simply nothing to worry about in your or his case.
We've been dating for three months now
A drop in the ocean of time, believe me.
and I don't like hiding things from him. Like this week I did contract renegotiations with clients and it was stressing me out and it went so well and I couldn't explain all the details why I just had to be really vague.
Based on this I wonder if you actually do feel comfortable with him.
A life partner is someone you share everything with. You seek comfort from them. You expect support. Not being able to say "Jeez, these contract negotiations are driving me nuts !" and vent to him is a sign of not trusting him. Maybe he's not someone for the long haul if you feel that way.
My biggest fear is that this will change things.
Everything changes something.
What if he treats me differently?
Easy. Dump him.
He should not be dating your wallet and if it's a problem now it's better to dump him after a short time than after you become deeply invested (emotionally !) in the relationship.
What if he doesn't like that I earn more than he does? "Guys must look after girls" and all that.
Then he's an idiot. Dump him. Quick.
And call me. :-)
I know that I'm probably over reacting to this
and it'll probably be fine but I am really stressed about telling him about this
Again I suspect you have a sense that his ego will be in the way.
But hiding this will simply get you both deeper involved (presumably) and if it's a problem when you announce it, e.g. a year from now, you'll be even more hurt than you will if you do it now.
Get. It. Done.
Let the cards fall where they may.
Because they will anyway.
and how it will go and if it's the right time. I don't want to make a big deal of it either, I just want him to know and then we go back to normal. How do I do that?
Normal ? Never heard of it. Normal is whatever works for both of you and doesn't cause you or your loved ones harm. That's pretty broad.
But I wonder what's not normal about your current situation?
We're in our 20s, in the United Kingdom.
You are kids. :-)
If it works out, you'll look back on this in twenty years and laugh.
If it doesn't, you won't remember his name in five years. You probably don't believe that, but I bet there are a lot of older people reading this and nodding their heads. :-)