#parent | #kids | I Don’t Want to Fall into a Daddy/Boy Dynamic Accidentally


I’m a 31-year-old queer person living in Europe. I recently met a 46-year-old man. We were visiting the same city for work and met on an app and went on a series of amazing dates. We have a lot of similar interests and work in parallel fields. Now we’re planning a trip to see each other. It’s partly a work trip for him, but we will take a vacation together after the work part of the trip for him is over. To get to the point, he makes a lot more money than I do. He has offered to cover as many of the costs as he needs to. I feel like I’m out of my league here! I really like him and he seems to really like me but I’m struggling to fight feeling like this is a “Daddy and His Boy” situation. Do I need to fight that feeling or lean in to it? It’s not a dynamic he said he wants. I don’t mind if we agree that’s what we are doing. But I don’t want to fall into a Daddy/Boy dynamic accidentally because of money and “status.” How do I date him like I would someone closer to my age and income? —Knowing Economic Position Tenuous

If the Daddy/Boy dynamic isn’t something you want (if it doesn’t turn you on and/or you worry it’ll make things weird), and it isn’t something he wants (assuming he didn’t just say that because he thought it was what you wanted to hear), then you definitely shouldn’t “lean in to it.” Instead, you should handle the expense of this trip the same way committed couples with large income disparities split the rent. If you were making 50K a year and he was making 150K a year and you wanted to move in together but weren’t ready to merge your finances, you should pay a quarter of the rent and he would pay three quarters of the rent. Same goes for utilities, food, and other expenses. 

But you’re not moving in together, KEPT, you’re just going on a vacation, so things can be a little looser. If you can afford to fly coach and he wants to fly first class, he should cover the difference between coach and first-class fares. If he wants to cover the hotel (a major expense), you should cover meals—maybe not all of them, particularly if he wants to eat in fancy places, but enough of them that it will be clear to you, to him, to your waiter, and to the angels and saints watching from heaven that you aren’t a kept boy. (Nothing will make you feel less “kept” than pulling out your own credit card.)



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