The Moneyist: ‘He is financially secure and owns two homes’: I finally met the man of my dreams, but he treated our waitress like dirt and tipped her 10%. Am I overreacting?

Dear Quentin,

I’ll keep this short, as I don’t take any pleasure in reliving it. I have corresponded with a man for two months on a dating site that shall remain nameless (except to say it starts with T and ends in R). He had a very strong and decisive personality, which I liked, and he was punctual and flew to Austin, Texas for the weekend to meet me. (He lives in Tucson, Ariz.) 

He is financially secure, and owns two homes, and is divorced with one adult child. He was the man of my dreams, or so I thought. I too am divorced (with no children). We’re both in our late 50s. He was charming to me, and asked questions, and remembered things I had told him when we FaceTimed during our early acquaintanceship. 

“‘He wants nothing from the waitress.’”

Of course, people say time and again in studies that they would prefer to meet someone who is financially stable and who does not have a lot of debt. Understandably, they want to find a partner who is fiscally responsible, especially if they have worked hard to build their own finances. He spent money to come see you, you split the bill, and he tipped 10%. 

People are more reluctant to tip 20% due to inflation, nervousness about a looming recession and an end to the pandemic-era overtipping of service. People also have tipping fatigue, and they are tired of being guilted into digital tipping everywhere they go. That said, if he can afford to eat out in a fancy restaurant, he can afford to tip a waitress 20%.

Silicon Valley has commodified our personal lives: We pay for services on sites like Tinder, OKCupid, Bumble and
and scroll profiles as if we are looking for shoes or real estate. The fact that you could both afford to eat at that restaurant suggests that you have a similar socioeconomic status. But as you discovered, that’s a low bar for compatibility. 

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

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