This Woman's Boyfriend Was Shocked When She Offered to Split Their Living Expenses — Here's Why

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Dec. 13 2023, Published 6:54 p.m. ET

I have always made more money than my partner in every relationship, except for my current one. In previous situations, I was not in a good enough mental space to openly discuss finances. My self-esteem was so low that I was willing to accept any behavior and felt as if the least I could do is pay for everything. That is no longer the case. Not only do I like myself very much, but I am addicted to boundaries and thoroughly enjoy sticking up for myself.

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My current boyfriend and I are very transparent about money and we balance things out in a way that makes sense for us both. This is something I had to learn, and I'm sure it's what one TikToker will also learn once she moves in with her person. Colleen Wile took to social media in order to share how shocked her boyfriend was when she fold him their living expenses would be split down the middle. Let's get into why he was so confused.

A man and woman look at bills - a couple works on their budget
Source: Getty Images

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This woman thinks she should have kept her mouth shut.

Colleen, who goes by @queenxxcolleen on TikTok, is pushing her relationship forward in a big way. She is moving in with her boyfriend and, as such, Colleen let him know it's only fair they split their rent evenly. His reaction was rather odd.

"We're sharing an apartment, so we're splitting the rent," explains Colleen in her TikTok. Apparently this is not what everyone decides to do and Colleen is pretty confused by what she discovered on social media.

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"I just watched a video where this girl was essentially saying in her relationship, she pays for absolutely nothing," she says. As if that wasn't shocking enough, many women in the comments revealed they have the same setup. "There are so many girls that don't pay for anything," says Colleen, who kind of regrets her offer.

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Obviously Colleen shared this information with her boyfriend, fully expecting him to react similarly. He was very familiar with this scenario as his last girlfriend didn't pay rent when they lived together. What year was that, 1955?

This has changed everything for Colleen, who is wondering if this is the norm. Are gals the world over simply not paying when living with a boyfriend? What I personally don't like about that deal is the potential for an imbalanced power dynamic. I'm sure Colleen's boyfriend is very nice but that doesn't mean he won't get angry and remind her who is paying the rent.

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Another sticky wicket is the fact that Colleen will be paying rent but her boyfriend's ex did not. Unfortunately we don't have all the information here. It's possible Colleen is more financially stable, but should she have to literally pay for being more together? Again, I could never feel like a kept woman. It sounds like Colleen is the same way.

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I do think a change should be made in how much they each contribute to their living expenses. I doubt very seriously they make the same amount of money, which means splitting bills 50/50 will leave one of them with far less disposable income. They should contribute what they can, based on their incomes.

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I hate to reference a bank here but this is a solid example of what I'm suggesting. According to Chase Bank, here's how you split your bills proportionately. "If Partner A makes $6,000 per month and Partner B makes $4,000 per month, their total income is $10,000. Partner A earns 60% of that, while Partner B brings in 40%. Now, imagine their total shared expenses are $4,000. Partner A would cover 60% of that — which is $2,400 — while Partner B would pay the remaining $1,600." See how that works?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention emotional labor. This "refers to the invisible and often undervalued work involved in keeping other people comfortable and happy," per The New York Times. This often falls to women more than men. It stands to reason that Colleen will be doing a lot of unpaid emotional labor that could be somewhat balanced out by paying less rent. Just a thought!

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