Socialize Your Relationships

April 26, 2024 • Louie Mantia

In almost every friendship I’ve had as an adult, there has been at least some wealth disparity one way or another. I used to think the fairest way to split a bill was by what we each of us ordered. I later began to split bills evenly. But I am not satisfied with either approach.

In the absence of addressing wealth disparity on a larger scale, I think the best method on a smaller scale is to determine how much is paid relative to what each person has and needs. It’s not convenient to measure, but I think while too many people would shy away from paying more than half or less than half, we should be doing it more.

We should socialize our relationships, ensuring that they’re not bound by how much one of us can’t afford, but rather what we can afford together.

I don’t want to limit what we can do if one of us can’t afford to pay for it. All things equal, the important part is being able to do these things together.

If you can afford to pay for your friend and it affects you very little (if at all), why wouldn’t you? What does it say about your friendship if you don’t?


Pride will get in the way. That’s something the friendship is going to have to cope with. And this kind of gesture cannot be done with the expectation of repayment. It isn’t a loan. It isn’t a gift, either. I don’t think it should even be expected to thank the person who paid more. This is a hyper-local solution to a global issue. It has to be something each of us does because we recognize the problem is bigger than us, but we want to address it on a small scale.

This is not a value assessment, and should not be treated that way.

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