Dear Abby: Why won’t friend ever allow me to pick up the check?

DEAR ABBY: I have a colleague who has become an amazing friend over the last few years. We plan dinner dates or work conferences periodically, and we also try to book spa appointments together when we have vacation time.

”Sandy” is everything a person would want in a friend. However, when we go out to eat, she usually insists on paying for my meal. She has also prepaid some of my spa appointments. When this pattern first started, I was a little put off, but I appreciated her generosity — maybe a little selfishly — because it saved me money. But now I feel constantly indebted to her because I can never seem to return the favor.

When I insist on paying for myself, we argue and bicker. Sandy says she wants to show her appreciation for my partnership at work. She also explains that I have children (who are assumedly expensive) whereas she is childless. She justifies it by rationalizing that her husband makes an impressive salary. They are comfortable, but not extravagantly wealthy.

Lately, I have come to resent the situation because I don’t want to feel like a charity case. Not only am I more than able to pay for myself, I also don’t want to feel limited when ordering food. Knowing she’s going to foot the bill makes me reluctant to order the food or beverage of my choosing.

How do I approach this without tarnishing our professional work relationship and the friendship we have built? Is this the altruism of a selfless person and my ego getting in the way? Or is there a deeper motive I haven’t considered? — TREATED TOO WELL

DEAR TREATED: I am going to assume that you have already communicated to Sandy that this dynamic makes you uncomfortable, and why. If …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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