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A restaurant receipt | Source: Getty Images
A restaurant receipt | Source: Getty Images

My Boyfriend Demanded That I Give Him My Card to Pay Our Restaurant Bill

Prenesa Naidoo
May 20, 2024
08:28 A.M.

When Lisa earns her much-deserved promotion, she wants to go out and celebrate with her boyfriend, Troy. At the restaurant, Lisa learns that Troy just wants to put on a façade and be the 'man'—disrespecting her and her hard-earned role. But when he gives his number to a waitress, things take a turn, causing Lisa to embarrass Troy and walk out of their relationship.

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It was meant to be a night of pure celebration. After six months at my new job, I had finally earned a significant promotion and was eager to share the joy with Troy, my boyfriend.

A happy smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

A happy smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

He suggested the new upscale restaurant in town, famous for its ambiance and gourmet menu.

"Let's just get dressed and go out, Lisa," he said. "We don't do this very often, so let's make the most of it."

I had to agree; we rarely did this—we rarely decided to go out and indulge in anything.

The interior of a restaurant | Source: Unsplash

The interior of a restaurant | Source: Unsplash

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"Fine," I agreed. "A night out is exactly what we need."

And I believed that we needed it. Mainly because, as much as I wanted to believe that Troy and I were supposed to last forever, I had begun to see some cracks in our relationship. Something just felt different.

I was happy in my job, but Troy wasn't happy in his.

A couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

A couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

"I do so much, but nobody bothers to recognize me," he said grimly one evening when he came over for salsa night.

Troy sat on the couch and dug his chips into the salsa and guacamole, complaining about work the entire evening.

Salsa and chips | Source: Pexels

Salsa and chips | Source: Pexels

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It was because of his moods regarding work that I didn't tell him anything good about my job.

"Maybe you just need to give it more time," I said, handing him a frozen margarita. "You just started there a few months ago."

"Lisa, please," he said. "You wouldn't understand. Let me be."

A frozen margarita on a table | Source: Pexels

A frozen margarita on a table | Source: Pexels

But when I had gotten news of this new promotion, there was no way that I was going to keep it to myself. I wanted to celebrate and be celebrated, and I hoped that Troy would want to do just that.

To my surprise, he seemed really excited about it, and he told me that he was proud of me.

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"Really, babe," he said when he came over to my apartment to pick me up. "This is a big deal, and I'm proud of you."

A smiling man | Source: Unsplash

A smiling man | Source: Unsplash

The evening started beautifully. Troy showed up with a bouquet of flowers, and he sat down and waited while I got ready. Usually, he wasn't pleased if I was still getting ready when he arrived, but this evening was different.

"Come on," I said. "I'm ready!"

A person holding a bouquet of flowers | Source: Unsplash

A person holding a bouquet of flowers | Source: Unsplash

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Troy put his phone away and stood up, leading the way out of my apartment to where his car was waiting for us.

We drove in silence, but for once, the silence wasn't tense—it was peaceful, and I felt that maybe Troy was changing. That he was becoming someone who wanted to be here and be present with me.

A man driving | Source: Unsplash

A man driving | Source: Unsplash

The soft lighting and the stunning view of the city skyline from our table set a romantic backdrop for our evening. We toasted to my success, with Troy raising his glass of champagne high.

"To the most amazing woman I know," Troy cheered, clinking his glass against mine. "And to many more successes to come."

Two glasses of champagne | Source: Unsplash

Two glasses of champagne | Source: Unsplash

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"To us and to the future!" I echoed, suddenly caught up in the moment.

We went through the menu and ordered our meals while Troy spoke about the shared dreams that we had—from the Bali holiday that we had been speaking about for a long time, to wanting to move in together soon.

"I just think it's time," Troy said. "And now that you have your promotion, it will be much easier for us."

A person looking at a menu | Source: Unsplash

A person looking at a menu | Source: Unsplash

Everything went along well, until the waitress brought our food over. Troy kept glancing at her, hoping to catch her eye—he winked at her twice.

I didn't want to make a scene about it—Troy did this whenever he had something to drink. He behaved as though being a flirt was second nature.

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A meal on a table | Source: Pexels

A meal on a table | Source: Pexels

But then, as we neared the end of our meal, I noticed a change in Troy. His usual easy smile tightened when the check was brought to our table. He smiled at the waitress as she stepped aside.

"You should let me pay with your card," he said, a strain of insistence in his voice.

A smiling waitress | Source: Pexels

A smiling waitress | Source: Pexels

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I was surprised. On the one hand, I didn't mind paying for the dinner because it was my promotion and I was making a lot more money than I had before. But at the same time, I had also hoped that Troy would want to spoil me for the night.

"Why can't you use your own card?" I asked, surprised by the frown on his face.

Troy's irritation was barely concealed.

A close-up of a frowning man | Source: Unsplash

A close-up of a frowning man | Source: Unsplash

"Clearly because you're the one who got promoted, and I don't have enough money for these fancy dinners, Lisa! You know that, and yet you act like you don't."

I was confused by his logic.

"I'll just pay with my card," I said, putting my handbag on the table. "It's not a big deal."

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A black handbag on a table | Source: Unsplash

A black handbag on a table | Source: Unsplash

My boyfriend's face hardened as he took a sip of his whiskey—he had switched from champagne halfway through the meal.

"It's embarrassing, Lisa," he said. "It's like you're actually trying to humiliate me by not letting me be the man who pays."

I didn't know how to react to Troy's words. It didn't make sense to me. And I couldn't understand what the waitress had to do with who was paying for our meal.

A close-up of a slightly frowning woman | Source: Unsplash

A close-up of a slightly frowning woman | Source: Unsplash

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I would have retaliated and stood up for myself, but I could feel my energy being drained by Troy.

I felt cornered. And because I wanted to avoid making a scene, I reluctantly handed over my card.

Troy smirked and picked up my card, signaling for the waitress with an exaggerated flourish, presenting my card as if he were performing a grand gesture.

"I'll be right back with the card machine," the waitress said.

A person holding a card machine | Source: Unsplash

A person holding a card machine | Source: Unsplash

Feeling uneasy, I excused myself to the restroom. I just needed a moment to be myself. Troy did this all the time. But I thought that the evening was going well and that he was changing.

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Of course, I was wrong.

Before thinking it through, I pulled my phone out and logged onto my banking app. With a few swipes and clicks, I had blocked my card.

Let's see him pay now, I thought to myself.

A woman holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

A woman holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

On my way back, I paused near the bar, my attention caught by Troy's laughter from across the room.

He was flirting openly with the waitress, scribbling something onto a napkin—presumably his phone number.

He handed it to her with a wink. I was stunned. I was hurt. A rush of indignation surged through me.

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I returned to the table as the waitress spoke.

"I'm sorry, but there seems to be a problem," she said. "Your card was declined."

Troy's confident façade crumbled as he stammered, turning away.

A man facing away from the camera | Source: Unsplash

A man facing away from the camera | Source: Unsplash

"What?" he asked. "Surely that can't be right."

Feigning concern, I suggested that Troy call the bank.

He sat back in his chair and pulled out his phone, dialing the bank and putting the call on speaker.

The representative asked for the card number, which Troy read off my card, followed by a request for the account password.

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Finally, Troy hesitated. He was at a loss.

A man holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

A man holding a phone | Source: Unsplash

"Okay, Sir," the person said through the phone. "If you can verify the last three transactions, it would help."

The waitress hopped from one foot to the other.

"I can answer that," I said. "A lavender-scented candle, some skincare products, and a new book. And Sir, the name on the card is Lisa Simmons."

The waitress's expression cleared with understanding, and Troy was left floundering for a response.

A person holding gift bags | Source: Unsplash

A person holding gift bags | Source: Unsplash

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I then pulled out another card and paid the bill myself.

"Lucky I have two cards," I told Troy and the waitress. "But babe, since you enjoyed the service, I think you can get the tip."

Troy, red-faced, scrambled through his wallet, pulling out only expired coupons and a few small bills.

I stood up, waiting for Troy to say something—anything, but he sat there tight-lipped.

"Hey, I didn't take his number," the waitress said, a smirk playing on her lips. "I just threw the napkin away."

A woman laughing | Source: Unsplash

A woman laughing | Source: Unsplash

"I'll find my own way home," I told Troy as I walked out into the night.

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As I walked outside, I didn't know if I had made a mistake. But at the end of the day, no relationship should make a person second guess themselves or make them feel like celebrating themselves is wrong.

Which is something that Troy did all the time.

I think I'm finally done with him.

A woman walking away | Source: Unsplash

A woman walking away | Source: Unsplash

What would you do?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one |

When Kyra discovers, by accident, that her boyfriend, Henry, has been cheating on her, she goes completely numb. Until he sends her an invoice for everything that he had ever spent on her. Fueled by her anger, Kyra fights back, exposing Henry for who he is and asking for her monetary rewards in return.

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Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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