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Should Couples Split Bills 50/50?

by Danielle Wright

The topic of going 50/50 in relationships has long been a debate among men and women—mostly African American men and women, and understandably so.

Image Credit: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

However, since the rise of "influencer and content creator" culture, this conversation has only increased, with lines now clearly drawn on which side men and women fall. Many women are perfectly fine with splitting the bills, while others are completely against it, citing it as a roommate dynamic versus a romantic partnership.

The men who deem this setup as appropriate and necessary for their household do so by justifying it as "Relationships shouldn’t be all about the money." But what if women said, "Relationships shouldn’t be all about sex"? Would men share in their sentiments? Security is to women what sex is to men; one cannot exist without the other, and now that women can provide security for themselves, men seem to resort to manipulation tactics such as:


Moving the goalposts is a metaphor derived from goal-based sports, meaning to change the rule or criterion of a process while it is still in progress. Men have seamlessly managed to trick women into believing that having sex without a relationship, children without marriage, and splitting bills are all forms of love and the criteria for being considered a good woman.

They say if a woman does all of this, she will be marriage material, and then when she does, the goal moves again; she is then to emotionally support him, handle everything in the household, parent his children, allow him to be unfaithful, and forgive him for his transgressions. Then she will have proven that she is ride or die and worthy of marriage, that is until he thinks of another reason to not give in to her "demands." All unbeknownst to her that he never intended on marrying her in the first place.


Love-bombing is the starting phase of many abusive relationships. The manipulator, usually a narcissist, bombards their partner with love, attention, and gifts to gain control of them. Usually, by the time this wears off, the victim will stick around hoping for their partner to return to being this kind, gentle, and loving person they were in the beginning. The victim is usually trapped in the relationship at this point, whether they've become financially dependent or have a child. Either way, the other partner has taken control.

Dating and marrying a traditional man are not synonymous with control. Women oftentimes believe that if they do not contribute financially to their household, they are taking a risk of not being able to have a say or being left with absolutely nothing if their relationship or marriage were to dissolve. But this is the furthest from the truth.


Guilt tripping is often designed to manipulate other people by preying on their emotions and feelings of guilt or responsibility. Many men have collectively made it a point to make women feel bad for wanting to be a SAHW, SAHG, or a SAHM. Asking questions like, “What do you bring to the table?” and before you know it, women are changing their tune to adjust their way of thinking, believing men to be right, “Women shouldn’t bring nothing at all to the relationship.”

Here is the cold, hard truth: stop listening to such men. They have no table, and the ones who do have it by the skin of their teeth. They are not looking for someone to share their table with; they are not proud of their accomplishments. They have not worked hard a day in their lives, they are struggling at best and need help. They are one paycheck away from homelessness and despise the fact that some women can be destitute on Tuesday and marry a rich man by Friday. These men are jealous of women.


Triangulation happens when a third person is brought into your communication, instead of keeping the issue between you and your partner. Oftentimes, this third party is a friend of the manipulator. Very often, men will bring their friends and/or family members into their relationships to have an opportunity to gang up on their significant other.

This tactic is used to create doubt in your mind, leaving you to believe that what you say or feel is incorrect and unjust. But always remember one important quote, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are...” Naturally, we want to hang out with like-minded people. This is evidenced with men who prefer to be around their friends more than their partners.

Men like this seek validation for their thoughts because they crave control, and being right means more than being happy. Some will go as far as cheating on you and allowing you to find out so you will become more susceptible to their suggestions, ideas, and tactics. When dealing with infidelity in your relationship, some women will resort to blaming themselves; their partners will also help fuel this self-blame which leads to the other partner being more open to change.

This change can be the family dynamic, your physical appearance, your personality, and more.


Coercion involves compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner through the use of threats. A man forcing a woman to split bills or a woman forcing a man to see his child, even though he has advocated against wanting said child, are all abusive tactics. You cannot force anyone to do anything; both men and women can be guilty of coercion, but accountability on both sides seems to be lacking. Today, men have taken to online platforms to force women to settle for 50/50 relationships, threatening that if they choose not to, they are destined to be alone with cats.


“You should be ashamed of yourself!”

Men who find it suitable to shame women for wanting to date or marry for security are the same men who would say they wouldn’t date or marry a woman based on her personality alone; she must be physically attractive and conventionally beautiful if he’s to show her off. I once read a comment, “You’re not pretty enough to not go 50/50.”

Men equate your standards to your beauty, so prepare to be shamed for your standards if you’re unattractive. However, here is the kicker: men who are poor still want access to women who are conventionally attractive. If, according to men, only pretty women get to be gold-diggers, then why aren’t only rich men supposed to have access to them?

Men from all walks—broke, rich, sad, happy, etc., want a beautiful woman. That is the only common denominator here, so your goal is not to strive for a 50/50 relationship but rather to strive for a level of beauty worth being supported. Ignore men who want to split bills because it’s merely an insult to your beauty. Why would you want to love, fuck, or care for a man who doesn’t even find you beautiful?


Gaslighting means making the victim question their subjective reality and sanity. It consists of denying or minimizing the victim’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Lisa shares the perfect example of this, “A man and a woman are splitting bills 50/50; the woman then expects her man to split the house chores. On the nights when it’s the woman’s turn to do the chores, her partner will watch her—the way she cleans, how she meticulously places things, the order in which she does things.

The woman believes he is doing this to emulate her actions in an effort to keep her happy when it’s his turn to do the chores. Men do not perceive time as women do, so, sure, at first, he will do this, perform the chores the way she likes it, and then he will stop. He will deliberately begin messing things up, leaving things where they don’t belong, forgetting to clean certain spots in the kitchen or the bathroom. This will eventually lead his partner to take over, citing, ‘I don’t like how you do it babe. Don’t worry I’ll take care of it.’

Thus, all of the chores become her responsibility. If ever she argues that he is no longer helpful, his rebuttal will simply be, ‘Well, you told me you didn’t like how I did it and that you were going to do it. I do help, but you’re the one who has a problem every time I do something.’ And just like that, your 50/50 relationship has become 80-20.”

It's obvious men have spent more time learning ways to trick women into liking them or lowering their self-esteem/standards versus actually doing the very thing that will help women to like them: become actual good human beings with ambition.

Should couples split bills 50/50? No. It's not about the money, it's about his feelings for you.


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