Friendships should be mutually beneficial. You enjoy each other’s company, support each other, and even occasionally treat each other.
But it should go both ways.
One woman came to Reddit asking if she was wrong for cutting off a friend who refused to give back to the relationship.
Treating for Lunch
The Original Poster (OP) began by sharing that she met a new friend, Millie, and as a single mom, she was stoked to have someone to enjoy restaurants with.
She invited Millie out to eat with her on a few occasions and chose to treat as she was doing the inviting.
Not Returning the Favor
When the tables were turned, and MIllie invited OP out, she was shocked to discover that she was still expected to pay.
“One day, Minnie invited me somewhere, so since I’ve paid for her in the past, I thought she would cover me,” reported OP. She added that out of respect for someone else treating, she got a cheaper meal and chose water. Her total bill was about ten bucks, while Millie ordered $40 worth of food.
OP was in for a surprise when the bill came.
“When the check comes, she hands it to me and tells me that she only have $11. I was so confused. If you only have $11 why order almost 4 times the amount in food?” she asked.
Ultimately, OP covered the bill and hoped to move on, but Millie continued to pull the same stunts.
Millie said she’d take OP out for her birthday but demanded OP pay when the check came. Millie invited OP over for dinner but sent her to the store to purchase the food.
The Final Straw
OP finally had enough when Millie and her husband showed up when OP was dining solo. They invited themselves to join her, and when the check arrived, they asked the server to split it 50/50.
OP, who only spent 20% of the $100 bill, refused.
“I immediately said no because I only order $18 worth of food and plan to use the rest of my $25 gift card for a tip,” said OP.
Millie Feigns Anger
OP’s refusal enraged Millie and her husband. How dare OP refuse to pay for their meals?
“She was shocked & asked me how she was going to pay for her almost $90 order,” reported OP.
Clearly, that’s not OP’s problem. Millie had to use a credit card, and both she and her husband got mad at OP over her refusal to pay.
Millie Asks to Go Out Again
Millie had the audacity to ask OP out to lunch again the following day. OP declined, telling Millie that she wasn’t comfortable going out anymore because she didn’t want to have to pay.
“I told her I won’t go anywhere else with her until she actually has her own money,” OP reported.
Millie’s been ignoring OP since she refused to subsidize meals, but Millie’s husband had the audacity to contact OP and tell her how “mean” she was to Millie.
“Her husband messaged me and told me that I was an **** for hurting her feelings and that friends treat friends,” shared OP, adding that the husband called her rude and said she only valued money.
Was OP Wrong?
OP knows she was right for refusing to pay, but she wonders if she was too harsh. She outright said she wouldn’t hang out with Millie anymore unless Millie paid her share and wonders if she should have been nicer.
Most Reddit users came to OP’s defense, saying Millie was never a friend in the first place, and OP isn’t responsible for coddling her feelings. Calling OP mean and suggesting she only valued money were manipulation tactics to keep their meal ticket.
“She’s not your friend, she’s your sugar baby, without benefits,” stated one user.
“This woman is a user. I’m so glad the OP saw sense and dumped this ‘friend,’” said another.
Play on “Niceness”
One of the problems with this scenario is the expectation that women be nice. The “mean” label must be avoided at all costs.
Some Redditors commented on OP’s reluctance to be “mean” and reassured her that it was warranted.
“You were way nicer than you should’ve been. Time to get to rude!” replied one user.
Another said, “I’m glad you put your foot down, and you didn’t need to be nicer about it.”
Being nice is lovely, but only when others deserve it. We don’t need to be friendly to those who don’t earn it.
We’re allowed to say no to users, reject unwanted advances, and be “mean” to those who won’t take no for an answer. No one is entitled to our time, money, or “niceness.”
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.