I Make $40K And My Girlfriend Never Offers To Pay For Anything

My Girlfriend Never Offers To Pay For AnythingHello Evan. I recently started dating a girl. I really enjoy her company and she enjoys mine. We get along fine, we’re really into each other and we share many commonalities. There’s only one issue – money! I have absolutely no problems taking her out on dates and footing the bill 100% but we’ve been on about 5 dates and we’ve hung out with mutual friends on numerous occasions, but she never even offers to pay – not even a disingenuous offer. I understand that if we are happy, then money is a small price to pay, but I barely finished college and only make $40,000 a year. I cannot afford to spend $200 every weekend. I mean, even when we’re not on dates, she expects me to pay. I don’t know how she got this old fashioned mindset, but it’s really starting to bug me. Personally, I work just as hard as she does for my money and I don’t find it fair but at the same time, I find it too early in the relationship to bring it up. I just don’t want her getting the idea that I’m ok with it or that she can take advantage.


I don’t even expect her to pay half. If we go out to dinner, I’ll pay for the date and the dinner, but the least she could do is pay for our ice cream or maybe buy me a single drink? I want to have that feeling, like if we’re at a bar and my girl comes up to me and asks me what I want. It’s like she has my back. It’s not about the cash- it’s more about being appreciated and not taken advantage of. I do not know how to approach the situation. I know she is going to explode if I bring it up, but how much of this should I take? I am not cheap, but at the same time, I am not made out of money. Does it make me a bad person to be thinking this way? I am somewhat of a liberal, progressive thinker, and her traditional mindset seems backwards to me. Advice? –David

We’ve established that men and women are equal.

Thank you, David, for writing a question that addresses the very hypocrisy of modern-day dating.

We’ve established that men and women are equal.

We’ve established that women are more highly educated and (often) make more money than their male counterparts.

We’ve established that the concept of men paying for dates came from a time when women didn’t work and therefore men HAD to pay.

Which leads this blog to receive comments that read like this:

“In our society, it has always been customary for a man to pay for a woman’s dinner. Men are wired to protect, and take care of a woman. If he doesn’t want to pay for dinner that is a glimpse into his character and/or how he was raised. Any self-respecting woman should steer clear of such a man. It doesn’t matter if she has decided not to see him again before she even picks up her fork. If he is a gentlemen, he will gladly pay and expect nothing in return.”

Anyone who feels that way should go back and read David’s letter.

Stop acting like you’re six-years-old and don’t have a purse with cash and credit cards in it.

This is a liberal, progressive thinker – a good man of modest means – who is trying to do the “right thing” and pick up the check as the anachronistic rules of chivalry still dictate.

He’s not railing against the concept of picking up the tab while he’s courting her – he’s just annoyed that he feels taken for granted. And when a woman never reaches for the check, offers to split, or insists on picking up the tip, the cab, or the coffee afterwards, it can really start to wear on a guy.

I am a man. You are a woman. You are not poor or helpless or dependent.

So stop acting like you’re six-years-old and don’t have a purse with cash and credit cards in it.

Stop acting like he should be thrilled to drain his account in hopes that he might procure a good night kiss.

Stop acting like you’re not really his equal when you want to be treated equally in every other respect.

As I said here, if we can agree it’s in good form for a man to pick up the check while courting you, we should also be able to agree that it’s in good form for a woman to offer to split the check and/or insist on picking up the check while he’s courting you.

If you think it’s rude when men don’t pay, we think it’s rude when you assume we will pay.

It’s basic golden-rule stuff, y’all.

I’m not expecting much dissent on this one, but if you’re brave enough to explain why the original poster David is wrong, cheap, or short-sighted, have at it.

Personally, I think he speaks for just about every man I’ve ever met who got sick of being an ATM.

Here was my breaking point – when some woman intimated that she was my “sugar mama” after I allowed her to split the check on our fourth date.

And you think that women are the only ones who get burned out on dating…




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  1. 181

    Nathan, #187

    “But I have to ask those of you who speak about dating men who always pay, how long does that last?”

    Current relationship has been on-again-off-again for almost 2 years. He’s never allowed me to take a penny out of my purse. I’ve bought groceries for special dinners, I’ve bought gifts, I’ve bought other food and snacks for us to take out on the lake, but I’ve done those things out of his presence, LOL, because he won’t let me take out my wallet in front of him ever, I have tried so therefore I know.

    He does not spend wads of cash on dates as we are both easy going, low key people but he pays for everything. The first time he came with me to run up to the drugstore for my sick son’s medicine and other goodies, he bought that! I was flabergasted and tried to fight him saying it wasn’t his responsibility and he refused. It’s just how this guy is. He was raised to believe he is a provider.

    My other two relationships each lasted 9-12 months and both men paid for everything the whole time. I would offer and they would refuse, I would offer to get the tip and sometimes I’d be allowed to do that.

    In those two relationships my monitary giving came in me buying food and making dinner at home, sending them home with food: pot of chili or chicken noodle soup, baking desserts, or renting a movie to watch at home, or inviting them to lunch at home and having take-out already there that I went and bought. I also pick up gifts as I run across things I think they’d like….

    The inbetween men that have lasted 4 dates to a few months never let me pay more than the tip or after dinner drinks. All of the men I’ve dated long enough to make dinner for told me they’d rather have a home cooked meal than have me take them out to dinner anyway.

    “Honestly, I’ve never had a long term relationship where a woman expected me to foot the bill for more than the first few dates.”

    You still seem to think that these men do this begrugingly because I “expect” it? Honestly, there are men out there who think differently about this issue. Some men would rather cut off a finger than let a women pay.
    You’re not wrong for wanting a woman to contribute to the dating tab, but they are not wrong to NOT want that either. For me and my traditional values, it’s actually hot. Because of the inner place it comes from.

    I will add, that when I dated the man I was married to for 10 years, we split everything and the entire relationship was very equal. So much so that I cut the grass, took out the garbage, knew my way around all the power tools. Our masculine/feminine lines were so blurred. He didn’t treat me like a lady or help me on with my coat, or open my door, or lift something heavy because I could do all that myself. I didn’t bother to cook anything special, or offer that back rub because I worked just as hard as he did! I was slaying my own damn dragons because he wasn’t gonna do it. He didn’t go the extra mile to make me feel like a woman and I didn’t make him feel like a man. We were so equal in our partnership it became passionless.

    I was raised to believe in all this equality and I have found it to result in nothing but power-struggles over who’s getting their needs met more and with no guide for anything. I believe when so much focus is placed on “equality,” the people become consumed with keeping score.

    I’ve never felt more sexy, desired and womanly than when I chucked all that and became more traditional and started dating traditional men. They want to provide, protect, treat me like a lady, and are way better in bed. My femininity flourished, I don’t feel the need to compete or prove how smart and on-the-ball I am, and I enjoy my playful, lusty side in a whole new way. Just my experience. 

  2. 182

    Nathan #187

    It’s a lifestyle more than anything, there is no “time limit” lol. The guy who paid for my glass of wine and appetizer on our first date, was still paying for my glass of wine and shrimp-on-the-barbie 5 yrs. later. But by then we had lived together for the majority of those years, shared a life, shared bills, and most of our “dates” involved all the things I listed in #153. It makes me smile to imagine any of the men who loved me saying, “We’ve been together a year and half now Selena, I think it’s time you buy my $2 beer at the free beach festival. ” My parents have been together over 53 yrs. and my Dad is the one who still pays the check – do you think that’s weird? For over 50 years it’s been “their” money he’s spending on “them” – though I doubt either of my parents give the “who pays” thing even a passing thought. Or ever did even when they were dating.

    It’s been my experience (and observation of others) that when people become “a couple” they start thinking more in terms of “us” and what “we” can afford, how do “we” want to spend our disposable income. Especially when they start living together.  In a “traditional” relationship the man might pay the check at the restaurant, but the woman knows it won’t mean the electric bill goes unpaid. A couple works out what feels fair, equal, whatever, for themselves – by the time they actually become a couple I’d think they’d have a pretty good idea of each other’s values and expectations – otherwise why are they together?

    Like other women have said on this thread, having a man pick up the tab makes me feel romantic, sexy, feminine- even if it’s that $2 beer at the free festival. Going Dutch or taking turns does not feel like “a date” to me, it feels like going out with a buddy.

    So I’m a little mystified by this advice that a woman should start paying after the second or third date. I’m not “a couple” with a guy after just 2-3 dates – that’s ridiculous. And why would either party want to kill the romance when it’s just getting started? Why not just find inexpensive ways to spend time together so neither person feels “burdened”?

    Anyway it’s what has worked with me and the men who’ve loved me. And I suppose that’s all that matters.

    1. 182.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Selena – Women should start to OFFER after 2 or 3 dates. The same as YOU feel “romantic, sexy, feminine” when he pays for you, WE feel a lot better about you when you don’t take us for granted.

      That’s all that this entire thread was supposed to be about. Teaching women how effective it is to appreciate men, not telling men how to spend less money on dates. God, this job is exhausting.

      1. 182.1.1

        But we appreciate your doing it. Props . . .

  3. 183

    RE: Nathan‘s #187

    My #15 explains my past experiences.  Like Gem’s boyfriend, my husband really didn’t like me to pay for anything, and if he was with me when I was paying for my own personal items, it was a struggle for me to get to pay for them myself.  He wasn’t even fond of me picking up the tab for his birthday dinner at a restaurant (the first year, which was about 10 months into our dating relationship). 

    But as I said in my #15, I would have been willing to help pay and it would not have affected my views of him.

  4. 184

    Otherwise, I’ve never encountered a man in real life who doesn’t strongly insist on paying, let alone one who lets out an audible sigh of relief when I suggest that he doesn’t

    This isn’t due to any particular desire to pay on the man’s part.  Instead, it’s a result of traditionals masquerading as progressives.  The traditional-in-disguise offers to split the bill, but penalizes men who actually accept their offer by not going out with them again.  This is a clever ploy by traditionals, as it makes it harder to differentiate between traditionals and progressives.
    In an ideal world, these types of people could just be ignored, but it isn’t, for two reasons:
    ◆ Traditionals still outnumber progressives.  My informal estimate is that there are two traditionals for every progressive, so it’s in a progressive man’s best interest to try and work with traditional women for numerical reasons, and,
    ◆ The exact reason for not getting a second date is usually unknown, so if a progressive man accepts a woman’s offer to split and then doesn’t get a second date, it increases his uncertainty.  He won’t know whether he was dating a progressive woman and just made a mistake or got duped by a traditional-in-disguise. There’s no comparable deceit on the progressive side, so insisting on paying reduces uncertainty, even if he hates it.
    So yeah, the insistence on paying you’re seeing from men is just defensive dating 101.  Most of us secretly resent the status quo.

  5. 185

    #192 EMK

    But apparently you only register appreciation, not be taken for granted, in the form of women offering to pay for dates – nothing else.  

    1. 185.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Selena – try not to put words in my mouth. You know better after all these years. Offering to pay isn’t the ONLY form of appreciation; it’s just an essential one.

  6. 186

    Node 3# 192 (?)

    Why is it a “progressive” man’s best interest to try and work with “traditional” women for numerical reasons? That man DOESN’T WANT a traditional woman. Are you hoping such women will “change their ways ” if you lure them by pretending to be what they are looking for? How often does that work out?

  7. 187

    #196 EMK,
    Offering to pay isn’t the ONLY form of appreciation; it’s just an essential one.”

    Is it? That hasn’t been my experience with the men who’ve loved me.

    1. 187.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Don’t you ever stop? This is my blog. What is your excuse for being so doggedly tenacious? You know it’s really hard to date people like us, right? 🙂

  8. 188


    Dude, if you really wanted this to end you’d stop popping up and egging me on now wouldn’t you?  😉

  9. 189

    “So yeah, the insistence on paying you’re seeing from men is just defensive dating 101. Most of us secretly resent the status quo.”
    So… would the truly equitable female response that circumvents this  resentment-building situation be to eat before she leaves the house for a date or on the way to meeting with him, notify him that she’s already eaten and then accompany him to a free event, so the pay question is eliminated? What’s the solution for progressive women?
    #195 Because they don’t want them, except for the times when they do. 🙂

  10. 190

    Node 192,

    This isn’t due to any particular desire to pay on the man’s part. 

    Really? And you know what every man out there thinks and feels? How so?

  11. 191

    Maybe EMK as a sideline, could start a dating site specifically for those who prefer sharing dating expenses. Could call it progressivedaters.com.  That way all the progressives would have an outlet in which to connect and wouldn’t have to muddle about with traditionalists and traditionalists-in-disguise.

  12. 192
    Katarina Phang

    Selena, I’m digging your posts.  And it’s clear that most of us agree with Evan that we need to chip in (the way I do that by paying for his french press and fried chicken, milk, my cooking, etc).  But the “traditionalists” in us want to make sure we feel romanced because without that, there is no passion as #188 very succinctly summarized.  Getting wined and dined for us is one way to feel romanced.  

    The right guy who sees our efforts to give back won’t think we take them for granted just because they pay when we eat in a restaurant.  And if we do those things rare enough and we keep seeing each other because he’s so into us, the cost is pretty minimum and it’s not really an issue.  It’s only an issue if he’s not that into us (in which case then he just needs to stop seeing us). 

    When we are more settled into the relationship, of course we can discuss this monetary thing.  I, for one thing, will never let a guy pay a horrendous amount of money for us doing things together without making sure he’s okay with that.  I will feel very uncomfortable knowing that money is tight with him and he’s trying to blow his cash on me.

    So yes,  I’m obviously not the type of woman that David is dating.  And I think most women here are not either.  Problem is, he needs to man up and speak up.  If he feels uncomfortable of telling her how he feels and he still wants to see her, then no longer going out for them.  Stay home and watch movies and start cooking together.  Or go to free events as many have tried to suggest.

  13. 193
    Katarina Phang

    But the “traditionalists” in us want to make sure we feel romanced because without that, there is no passion as #188 very succinctly summarized.  Getting wined and dined for us is one way to feel romanced.  

    Oops, I mean #189 by Gem.  So bottom line is, guys, until you’re sure you like to keep exploring your feeling for the girls (and vice versa), make the dates as cheaply as possible so when they don’t offer to chip in, it won’t break your bank.  And if you two become a regular and it’s obvious you’re so into her, bring the subject up if she seems so oblivious about the need for reciprocating.

    For most women, I believe, giving comes natural.  It’s how we are wired.  If she’s not very giving, you really have to start wondering if she’s really functional as a woman.  That’s probably a red flag.

  14. 194

    @Jadafisk #200
    So… would the truly equitable female response that circumvents this  resentment-building situation be to eat before she leaves the house for a date or on the way to meeting with him, notify him that she’s already eaten and then accompany him to a free event, so the pay question is eliminated? What’s the solution for progressive women?
    This isn’t optimal, but it’s a pretty good alternative.  I actually do this somewhat, since there are about eleventy billion festivals around here in the summer.  I’m going to a lot of them anyway, so why not take a date?  One caveat, though.  The events need to be “non-captive,” this is, allow people to talk freely and leave anytime they want.  Concerts and plays are thus not ideal.  Inviting to festivals also seems to work better offline.  Women online seem more reluctant to meet at these kinds of events for some reason.  When it works, though, it’s great.  It takes the focus off of finances and puts it on the non-material factors that actually predict long-term relationship success.
    #195 Because they don’t want them, except for the times when they do.
    I know this is a flippant comment, but it’s actually spot on.
    For testing purposes, I just did an online dating search for my “dream woman,” that is, atheist/no kids/doesn’t want kids/non-smoker/master’s degree/income ≥$25K/politically liberal/all non-overweight body types/age range of ±5 years
    Two matches.  In a a major metropolitan area.
    The lesson here is that people who pass others over because of one trait they don’t like are pretty certain to have one trait themselves: single.  As a result, I’m only totally inflexible on two traits: smoking and kids.  Everything else is negotiable, including traditionalism.
    How negotiable?  The Compromise Quotient (CQ) in each trait is an interaction of (importance x prevalence).  If we rate importance (I) on a 1-10 scale, and the prevalence (P) of the trait is between 0 and 100 percent, we get:
    CQ = (10-I) x P (0 = totally inflexible, 10 = doesn’t matter at all)
    For me, the importance of non-traditionalism is about a 7, and I estimate the prevalence at 65%, so we get:
    CQ = 3 x .65 = 1.95
    Which means I might put up with traditionalism in people who are otherwise excellent, but maybe pass over traditionals who are just good.
    What’s more, traditionalism is usually a hidden variable, so even if I wanted to completely avoid traditionals, it would be pretty much impossible.

  15. 195

    Many women on this thread have spoken about how having a man treat makes them feel  –  respected, taken care of, sexy, feminine, romantic , grown up, cherished, valued and valued as more than something “casual”.  We can blanket this and say for many women when a man asks/plans/pays (without resentment) it makes them feel special.  Men (and other women) can question this and say, “Why can’t you feel just as special if you pay for some things/ your own way/ insist on picking up the check sometimes?”  This is logical and most women have considered this, if not operated that way at one time or another.   But for some it just doesn’t feel the same and they will choose the man who makes them feel special over the one who doesn’t.  
    In the same vein, a man who doesn’t feel comfortable paying for the woman on dates (all the time, most of the time, any of the time) can come up with numerous logical reasons why he feels this way.  And no amount of explaining to such a man how women feel when they are treated is going to change his feelings of unfairness about it.  One is not going to make a man or a woman feel differently no matter how well he/she presents their position.
    Why don’t we arbitrarily set the 3rd date as the point where people decide whether or not they want to continue getting to know one another? Men follow Evan’s advice and pay for those 3 dates without getting into the fairness issue. Women do not offer to split those checks as some kind of little “test” on the man. After the third date, and before the fourth, the man initiates the conversation about sharing the costs of dating. What feels comfortable to him? What feels comfortable to her? Maybe they are on the same page – if not, they move on without any more money, time, and emotion invested.
    For those women who do not like the man to pay for them period, you can go ahead and say so at the end of date of date 1.  Perhaps you will find the guy relieved. If he finds it an insult to his masculinity, you know right off he isn’t a man you want to date anyway right?   Men who don’t want to pay for a woman period can also say so at the end of the 1st date and hope for the best.  Since women who are willing to share costs of dating often find that off-putting on a first date, Evan’s advice to pay for the first 2-3 dates is more effective with them.

  16. 196

    After the third date, and before the fourth, the man initiates the conversation about sharing the costs of dating. What feels comfortable to him? What feels comfortable to her? Maybe they are on the same page – if not, they move on without any more money, time, and emotion invested.

    Sounds resonable to me.

    I wonder is David is sleeping with this girl yet. Reading this blog and many others, it seems for many, the trend out there is to be getting naked and sharing their genitals with virtual strangers on date 3,5 or earlier. Condom or not, they are risking sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. 

    They’ll take that risk, but God-forbid, even when it’s obviously an important issue to them, they can’t broach the subject of what’s comfortable with regards to how they will share the cost of dating. Better to assume this or that, act against their own true desire because it’s defensive dating, and resent the other party. Good Plan 😉

  17. 197

    BeenThereDoneThat I want to acknowledge the challenge that you and other women do face with not knowing how men will react to offers of paying on initial dates. It’s the opposite end of the same difficulty that many men have.
    I think it’s fine if men want to pay, and women want to be receivers in that kind of relationship – it’s the assumptions that this is either the best way or the only way that grate on me.
    Node’s point about male actions vs. how men think about these issues is key.
    No doubt, some men feel that offering to pay and finance a relationship is a main source of generosity for them, and/or they just feel it’s the right thing to do. However, I do think the number of men that fall in this category has gotten smaller as more and more women are having good jobs and making good incomes. One of the reasons I argue that fewer men internally are driven to be the relationship financier is that it’s not really about “providing” anymore. Most women have their own money, so notions of showing that you can “be a good provider” don’t make sense.
    Some of the women here are saying that men spending money on them, even a small amount, makes them feel sexy and feminine. But you seem to forget the practical reasons why men in the past were financing dates. When women weren’t in the workplace, men had much more of a need to demonstrate financial capabilities. Being able to pay for dinners or movies showed, on some level, that the guy had an income and might be a good provider in a family. Maybe women still got some “sexy” out of it all, but I’m sure many were cued in on the long term practicalities as well.
    The way I see it, plenty of men are – given the lessened focus on men as providers – simply pay and keep paying out of a sense of duty, obligation, or because they feel it’s what is expected. They know things have changed, but don’t know how to approach the money situation because the narrative around money and dating isn’t clear anymore.
    I don’t, personally, think coming from a place of obligation or trying to fulfill another’s expectations is the kind of ground upon which a great relationship is built. In a lot of ways, I see it as similar in spirit to women who feel pressure or obligation to sleep with a man who spends money on them or gives them fancy gifts. It’s not about love, respect, and appreciation – it’s mostly a form of exchange to “prove” you’re “worthy” of being the others’ partner.
    The difficult thing about all of this is that  – in the beginning – we rarely know where the other person is coming from on financial issues. Furthermore, and probably more importantly – we don’t know how the other person understands generosity and giving.
    That’s where a lot of the conflict here is really coming from.

  18. 198

    No one should ever have to do anything for which they do not feel appreciated when in a relationship.  Common sense has to play in there too: can he afford to pay for his dates (regardless of the cost)? Can she afford to pay for their dates? If she can’t afford to pay for the dates, can she chip in or help out financially in other ways, including being economical in her choices?  Do they say thank you?  No man (or woman) should be stuck with a person who expects everything and gives nothing.

    One recurring theme I have seen is men complaining about planning the date.  That concerns me.  Frankly, if the gentleman expects me to pay half, then yes, I want to be in on planning the date because it needs to be something I can afford.  But it seems like common sense to me to allow whoever is paying for the date to plan it.  Really, would you let the other person plan a $200 date when your budget is more in the range of $50?  To me, it’s just practical.  After all, if I am inviting my boyfriend to my house for dinner, you better believe I’m doing all the planning.  Ditto if I ask him out – I can occassionally afford the baseball tickets and concessions, but I’m not so likely to be able to afford Theme Park tickets.  So, I’m planning for the baseball game.

    Reciprocity is a character trait, and one should be looking for in a date.  Yes, I expect a man to pay on the first date.  That’s just part of the courting process in the United States and is an indicator as to how much he values dating me.  How much he spends is up to him.  If I don’t begin doing my part in the relationship, he should dump me like a hot rock.  If the only thing he ever does for the relationship is occassionally pay, then I should dump him.

  19. 199

    Hey Node, I was kind of with you about your situation and always having to pay. But after reading some of your further comments, I am less sympathetic. Your comments offer insight into not just a problem you are trying to fix within your own dating dynamic, but an attitude you seem to have about women in general. 

    You said:
    “Women have expertly manipulated social norms so that men bear most of the burden of a failed pairing. ”

    “Since most pairings will fail, men waste $millions every week while women are largely protected from the financial consequences of failed dates.  Nice little racket women have going on.

    ” Instead, it becomes just a tax that must be paid to continue seeing her  Most men will reluctantly pay the dating tax because enough women impose it that it noticeably reduces a man’s dating options if he doesn’t play along.”

    Welcome to dating! One gender expects the other to play by their rules to maximize their return. The rules women have to play by might not have anything do with money but are often and sometimes just as costly for us. I wonder if you even care about those.

    Now, I do NOT think your orginal question is a bad one. But you have the ability to control what you do on a date but what you suggest you two do. Yes, some women are not going to stop evaulating you based on the money you are willing or not willing to spend. Just as some men are not goint to stop evaulating us women based on the bodies we do or don’t have. Yes, some women will not go out with you again if they do like your stye of 50/50 payment. Just as some men will not go out with a woman again if she doesn’t engage in kissing/petting/sex in the allowe time *he* desires. If these women rejected you based on these factors, they are clearly not the right women for you. And that is okay. It requires that you pay more attention to the type of woman you are dating and to put more of an effort to come up with fun and inexpensive dates rather then the classic dinner one. And believe me, most women are ITCHING to do something new and fun on a date then just once again going out to dinner. If you can’t charm women with your wallet, then charm them with your mind and romance. Some part of you NEEDS to be some amount of charming. And that has nothing to do with your wallet. I can guarentee you having the atttidue that women need to pay 50/50 even-steven with your arms crossed over your chest and talking about how much “women” have “manipulated” the system is about as far from “charming” as you can come and I am sure that attitude might dip into your dates. 

  20. 200

    I have been reading a lot of this debate and it’s very interesting! I run an introduction service in Chicago (Stef and the City) and I will comment on what I notice with dating in different age groups. 

    When I set up introductions, I let both sides know that both have paid to meet the other person. However, I do give “16 Rules” out to let each side know the expectations. One of the rules is that yes, men pay for the first date. This way, no one feels that there is any confusion. I point out its only a rule I require for the first date. I also expect that both sides COMPLIMENT each other it’s free!)- something I hear a lot of complaints about- on both sides.

    My neighbor is a widow and is 60. She started online dating and had great luck- to her, she is looking for companionship- and yes, she has met someone who pays for her most of the time, but that wasn’t what matters to her. As she pointed out, at her age, a lot of people are looking for someone to go with them to things they enjoy.    She did turn down a guy in the beginning of her dating- because he expected her to pay 50/50 and to him- he made it sound like she was lucky that he would invest in her because he was some great catch.

    Look, part of what you have to do is clarify the type of date you are going on. If it’s a match.com online type of date or fix up- most people seem to feel that coffee or drinks if appropriate. It’s inexpensive (and if a guy or girl decided to drink a lot on the date- that obviously should be concerning and not because of the cost) and is just a “get to know if I want to invest in spending more time with you”.

    If you are meeting someone that you’ve already interacted with- yes, I think that ups the type of date you invest in. It’s not just about the money- it’s about the investment period. If you want to meet this woman or guy- if you are a guy you call, confirm, and plan something that is fun that you consider the other person’s location. If you are a woman, you primp- nails, hair, outfit, whatever. I still talk to more women who buy a new outfit or spend more time and money in looking good than women- that hasn’t changed.

    One of the biggest complaints I hear is that since guys don’t pick women up anymore (and in Internet dating and city dating, I think this changes the rules) is that they don’t consider how much time and/or money it costs them to get there before a dime has been spent. 

    There still are rules I hear that guys will walk away from women if they don’t get sex in x number of dates. I know that’s a reason that women at least in the beginning place a lot of value on if a guy will spend money on her. We’re still in the age that men still do the asking on various things in a relationship. It’s still supposed to be that a man asks the women to marry her and also women still wait to see if a guy asks her out.

    Here’s what I do hear from the 30’s and 40’s who don’t date every weekend- they sometimes want to go out with a date for the simple fact that there is something they want to attend- and they don’t always have the friends to go with. The date is not to “gain” anything- and an added bonus is if it turns into something more serious.

    You shouldn’t be spending money to impress someone, if you are not willing to deal with the simple fact that they might be using you or after two months, just simply not be interested.

    While I believe that men should pay for a few dates- that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t expect that someone chip in for other things- I would consider it rude not to in this day and age. People should be generous to be generous. There are plenty of unemployed people right now, and it’s not about how much you can spend- it’s about how much you invest in a person timewise and considering THEIR schedule.  

    Nathan- I’ve read your posts and it’s clear that you are in a position where your money will always be tight in your profession. However, it’s like a guy who is shorter- some don’t even get phased when someone says “You’re only 5’5″!” and some get insecure about it. If you know that a certain type of women isn’t for you- don’t get upset about it- just be prepared that you have a different group of women that work for you.

    Everything isn’t equal. It won’t be- ever. But it still means that you have to know what you are comfortable with and communicate in a non defensive tone. I know that I have cousins that are much lower income than my family. I can’t stand being around the ones that see me as a piggy bank. I then alligned myself with the ones that seemed to value me- and I have never expected them to pay for me because of their financial situation- but they do- and that makes me want to do more for them. The others ones that expect me to pay for them- well I avoid them. 

  21. 201

    Don’t these 200+ posts just go to show there’s someone out there for everyone? Whether you are a “tradionalist”, a 50/50, or a “if he pays this/she pays that” person – there are other people, both genders, who like the same model. Why not just date them? 

  22. 202

    Nathan @208
    One of the reasons I argue that fewer men internally are driven to be the relationship financier is that it’s not really about “providing” anymore. Most women have their own money, so notions of showing that you can “be a good provider” don’t make sense.

    Not necessarily. It depends on what the woman in question is looking for and what the man is also seeking in a woman.
    In my case, I knew that I wanted to have kids. I would not get seriously involved with a man who didn’t want children. Nothing wrong with anyone choosing to be childfree, but that wasn’t for me. So as Node mentioned above — but in the opposite sense — a dealbreaker for me would be a man who didn’t want children.
    Now, moving on… I also wanted to have the option to stay at home/work at home while our children were very young. I was not going to get involved with a man who was not open to this option. So, by nature, if I was going to stay at home for a few years, possibly more, to raise children, guess what kind of man I needed? A provider. Someone who would be perfectly willing to support an entire household on one income (or 1 1/2 incomes — I can work part-time or do some consulting work while at home).
    I know Evan said in another thread that I “predictably” did not take into account that men didn’t have this option. I would love for my husband to take some time off after our children are born (and actually, he does have a career with decent flex time), BUT… no matter how equal we want to be, my husband can’t breastfeed. I was one of the lucky kids of my generation to be breastfed (it was so not the rage in the 1970s), and my mom said she was so glad she got to do that. My husband said he really wants that as well, so… once again, that is much easier to do with me at home.
    So regardless of the fact that I make a reasonable salary, for me to have the type of marriage that I wanted, it was an absolute necessity for me to find a man who believed, unequivocally, in taking on the provider/breadwinner role, regardless of what I also made, salary-wise.
    For women who don’t want kids, this is less of an issue. A relationship/marriage that is child-free likely won’t have such concerns. But for the type of relationship/marriage that I wanted, I had to have a man inline with those goals. And I was pleasantly surprised to meet so many men who were actually thrilled to meet an educated career woman who wasn’t so driven by her career and actually wanted to put motherhood and taking care of the home above all other objectives.
    And let’s not mention if a woman has a difficult pregnancy, has to go on bedrest, has to take more time than expected off work to recover or to deal with a baby with health issues (all of these situations happened to friends of mine), it was a godsend that they were able to take as much time as they needed to get through these situations because their husbands worked and brought income into the home.
    So, in terms of my dating efforts, it was CRUCIAL for me to find a man to show that he was capable of being a good provider… otherwise, I moved on to someone else.

  23. 203

    Selena @212
    Exactly! You’ve made so much sense in this thread!
    Isn’t this whole dating/marriage/relationship thing about people finding the right people for them? And yes, it can be harder depending on what qualities we say we must have versus which ones we say we’d like to have, but for those “must haves,” then we have to keep dating until we find someone with those values, or redefine our list.
    So, traditionalists need to seek traditionalists, 50/50s should seek 50/50s, hybrids should seek hybrids. There will be some missteps along the way and trial and error, (as there are with any must-haves), but that’s life.
    There’s no need to continually get frustrated because traditionalists exist and you aren’t one! Or vice-versa!

  24. 204

    SS – these days, being a stay at home parent for any decent length of time (more than a few months) is a privilege. Even those who want to do so, often financially cannot. That’s why I said “fewer men,” not all. And of course, it’s also the case that more men are choosing to be the primary caregiver parent, so again, that lowers the number of men thinking in terms of “provider. I totally get that you what you wanted meant finding a man who wanted to be the breadwinner. My point here, which I know I have stated before, is that societal changes are driving more men to think differently about money, dating, and relationship structures.

  25. 205

    Nathan, very true. I have no idea what will actually happen when we have children, but I at least wanted to find a man who was open to the concept of being the sole breadwinner and would work toward that goal with me. I know a lot of men simply can’t as well, so I knew that I was purposely limiting my dating pool with this concept in mind.
    And my point was simply to say that for men who do want this type of lifestyle (and for whatever reason, I met a lot of them — maybe our wavelengths attracted each other), it makes total sense that they would want to show a woman that they could be providers and stick with the traditional dating/paying model.
    All that being said, the twist for me is that I would eventually like to start a small business… and if it does well, I would be the breadwinner! I joke with my husband that I’ll take care of him and he can spend his days writing after the kids are grown if he does the providing when they’re babies and young children!
    People can want different things at different points in their lives as well. If I was a divorced 50-year-old with grown children, I might have a different mindset. Who knows… but as a mid-30 something, my reasons for desiring certain mindsets and traits in a man have been well thought out.

  26. 206

    Sometimes I think men don’t want to take on traditional gender roles because they don’t want the responsibility of having to think of other people (women) other then themselves. That way, they can treat women like one of their guy friends with the benefits of getting all the sex they want.

  27. 207
    Katarina Phang

    Just watched a video by Matthew Boggs, in which he said that when a woman gives back/reciprocates a man’s effort too early in relationship, he views it not as a contribution but as a competition. He wants her to just receive, enjoy being treasured and appreciates and thanks his efforts because it ignites his sense of manhood.

    So we got conflicting messages from men here.  

    I think the first 5 dates are really early in relationship.  The first few months are in fact early.

    I guess it very much depends on how much an alpha a man is (and of course his upbringing and cultural factors).

  28. 208

    #217 Jersey,

    This is why some women have come to feel that the men who treat (without overt resentment) are the one’s who are the most “into them”. Some have had experience with guys who insisted in going Dutch as only interested casually – sex included. Becomes a weed-out factor.

  29. 209

    Go back and read Zann’s #46. She nailed the feeling on that one.

  30. 210

    Well i have to eat the words I posted a few days ago.

    i thought it would be a turnoff to pay on the first date but I had a date on Sunday where I paid half and actually was going to pick up the whole thing — and it wasn’t a turn-off at all.

    The best part was that it was a great date and I’m a little smitten.

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