Who Pays For The First Date?

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A few years ago, I went out with a woman three times in a couple of weeks. We had great chemistry, and despite the fact that I was a customer service representative at JDate pulling in barely $30K, I’d paid for everything. First date was $60. Second date was $90. The third date was brunch the morning after the second date. She’d ordered a dozen bagels and then realized she’d forgotten her wallet. No big deal. An innocent mistake. She generously offered to pick up our next date.

She called me at work the following day to tell me of a play that sounded like fun. She said she was busy at work and asked if I could find out if there were tickets available. No problem. I called the theater and learned there were only six left. What’s a guy to do? No big deal, I bought a pair of tickets and figured she’d pick up dinner before we went out.

After our $40 meal, she put down her credit card and went to the bathroom. When she came back, she noticed that I didn’t put in my credit card to pick up or split the check. Upon which she glared at me and said, with a ton of venom and not a shred of irony: “What am I, your sugar mama?!”

Being generous, especially to someone you care about, is an incredible feeling – right up there, I’m told, with having everything paid for by someone else.

Yeah, being a guy isn’t always the most rewarding thing in the world. But what are you gonna do? I’ve stopped wondering about what’s “fair” and have decided to embrace the system I’ve inherited. In this system, a guy pays unquestionably, and if a woman offers to pay, he is supposed to say no. At least on the first few dates. Or as long as she’s being courted. Or maybe always. It depends on the woman. We can never know unless we let down our guard and allow her to pick up a check. And by then, it’s often too late to justify your behavior.

This is a quandary all right and there is no one right answer. Until now. As your friendly neighborhood single dating coach, I’m going to give you the definitive rulebook on how to negotiate this tricky territory, once and for all….

WHAT PEOPLE SAY:

HER: He should WANT to pay for me.

Yes, and, generally, that is the case. Being generous, especially to someone you care about, is an incredible feeling – right up there, I’m told, with having everything paid for by someone else. The one time I forgot my wallet on a date, she gracefully picked up the check and told me not to worry. This was both extremely classy, and extremely appreciated.

HIM: She EXPECTS me to pay for everything.

Yes, and that’s the precedent that was established way before you were born. Don’t fight it, just do it with a smile, ’cause if you don’t, you ain’t getting another date.

HER: He SHOULD pay, especially at the beginning.

This logic is a little dicier. Why should a man pay? Because it’s chivalrous? Consider that chivalry started at a time when men worked and women didn’t. Women, literally, could NOT pay. Thus, men picking up the check sprung out of necessity, not out of kindness. It has since been codified into a gentleman’s code, which is considered in very poor taste to question. I’m not questioning, but see how angry you are that I’m even bringing it up?

HIM: But SHE asked me out.

So what? If etiquette says that you pay for the first date, and she expects you to pay for the first date, and you can afford to pay for the first date, then pay for the damn first date.

HER: It doesn’t matter what he makes. A gentleman always pays. It indicates how he feels about me.

If you offer to split, and he lets you split (or even pick up) the check, he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

If a guy makes a ton of money, I can assure you, it’s his absolute joy and pleasure to spring for every last drink and spa treatment. But there’s a big difference between being cheap and being poor. Cheap means the guy asks the woman to pay for the fish when he ordered the less expensive chicken. Poor means that the guy has trouble making rent if he has to pay for five dates in a month. Put yourself in his position: it’s hard to blame him for wanting to alternate checks.

My solution is, not surprisingly, an equivocation. Let’s all try to understand one another.

Guys, be as generous as possible, not only because she expects you to, but because it’s genuinely rewarding to “be the guy” and make life easier on her.

Women, be sympathetic to the grad student or schoolteacher that doesn’t have the means to be as chivalrous as he’d like. You may not be our sugar mamas, but please don’t take it for granted that we’re your ATM’s, okay?

Postscript: A version of this article was written five years ago. Since that time, I find myself in a much greater position to be generous. I remain sympathetic to men who can’t blindly pick up every single check.

My slightly revised position for who pays on a first date is this:

He grabs the check immediately.

She does the “fake reach.”

He waves her off and insists on paying.

She thanks him for his generosity.

End of scene.

Presuming the man can safely afford it, this script should play out on every date during the courting phase.

HOWEVER:

You, as a man, can’t get mad if she doesn’t make the offer to split. If you offer to take her out, expect to pay for the whole thing, and be pleasantly surprised if you don’t have to.

You, as a woman, can’t get mad if he accepts your reach. If you offer to split, and he lets you split (or even pick up) the check, he has done absolutely nothing wrong. It’s not a game or a test, unless you treat it like one.

One final, overriding note for men: It doesn’t matter if it’s coffee or dinner, whether you make more or she makes more, whether you asked her out or she asked you out. You can never go wrong by paying.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    sheseizereason

    Was belledujour for real? If so, the lady’s a liability for the rest of us gals (and fellas please know she’s just ONE type of female on the dating scene, and a vaguely racist and illiterate one at that). I don’t understand why ‘belle’ even stayed in the relationship long enough to last thru 2 holidays and invest in a Gucci belt if the guy was so repulsively “Chinky” to her.

    I’m the first to admit that finances are a genuine measure of longterm compatibility. A well-earning woman (or man) has the right to limit her dating choices to only those partners who won’t interfere with their financial goals. But with silly stuff like token gifts and who bought the coffee last time? If you’re serious about the guy, and especially if you’re in a lower tax bracket than him, it’s really not fair to judge him on his generosity.

    Bottom line: you can’t fashion your relationship into a perrenial game of tit-for-tat. If you do, then you deserve a guy as shallow as you (which means it’s fair game for him to dump you when someone younger and hotter than you comes along).

    You can have a nurturing relationship where the two of you grow from each other and like being in each other’s company for better or worse. Or you could be in constant “what have you done for me lately” mode, adding up the cash value of his gifts and focusing on what YOU’RE getting out of the deal. You can’t have both.

  2. 22
    Miss Julie

    Obviously there’s a lot of variation on this one, but my feeling as a feminist is “if I asked, I expect to pay.” So if I contact the guy and say “let’s do something” I expect to pick up the tab. If he wants to, that’s very kind of him and will probably let him (depending on what I judge to be the sincerity of the offer), but I wouldn’t be upset if he didn’t offer to pay. Now, if he asks, I expect him to pay, and I wouldn’t be thrilled if I were expected to contribute. After the first couple dates back and forth, this issue seems to iron itself out, but that’s how I start out with a new guy.

  3. 23
    BeenThruTheWars

    I’ve always been interested in the argument that letting the guy do the asking out, the pursuing, and the paying — at least in the early going — while the woman graciously receives what the man has to offer while evaluating whether to continue seeing him — is somehow incompatible with the goals and ideals of feminism.

    I consider myself a feminist to the extent that I acknowledge with extreme gratitude the sacrifices our foremothers made so that we daughters of the revolution could truly do with our lives whatever we wanted and succeed according to our own gifts and determination; and that I view men’s and women’s worth in the workplace, legal system, and other such venues to be equal and worthy of equitable compensation. (Notice I didn’t say “equal” because our society is closer to a meritocracy than a true democracy.)

    But… when it comes to dating and romance… men are different from women. This is worth repeating: Men are different from women.

    This viewpoint isn’t about sexual politics; it’s about biology and instinct and hundreds of thousands of years of human development. So if a woman is all about ideology, that’s cool — ask guys out, pay for the dates, do the calling and pursuing, lavish him with trips and expensive gifts, and feel great about being “equals.” But then please don’t scratch your heads later and wonder why he stopped calling, or suddenly got REALLY busy at work, or dumped you for someone new (and more mysterious and elusive), or just didn’t seem to be that into you and won’t commit.

    By being the romantic and sexual aggressor, you took his job away. Men are all about what they do/accomplish/conquer. When you usurp their natural role in the romantic scheme of things, they either get lazy and put it in park and happily let you provide everything until you feel sucked dry and totally taken for granted; or else quickly lose interest and seek that challenge that gets their motors humming elsewhere.

    Why? Because men are different from women.

    It just depends on what your goal is, ladies: to feel like you are being ideologically correct, or to be happily married or partnered up with a man who feels like he went out and worked hard and earned himself the catch of all time, and treats you accordingly. To be a success in the workplace requires a completely different set of skills and strategic behaviors than being successful in the search for a compatible life partner. Take it from me, I learned this the hard way (and it only took me 35 years)!

  4. 24
    Susan

    Very interesting discussion. As a modern woman, I have often wondered why men are still expected to pay for all dates. This seems ridiculous now that women are earning salaries too–albeit at 70 cents on the dollar. That said, I think it’s a really classy gesture if a man offers to pay for a first date. Still, I will always offer to contribute. (But, yes, I have to admit it impresses me more if he refuses my offer.) After the first date, I think it’s entirely appropriate to alternate picking up checks casually. (Not keeping fanatical track of who spent what, in other words.) I’d much rather do that than split checks, which is just tacky.

    Oh, and we ladies really should get credit for other contributions we make. When I started dating my ex, many of our first dates were lush picnics which I shopped, paid for, and prepared the food, brought wine, etc. Even though I wasn’t taking him out someplace fancy, there was real expense involved, and more importantly time, consideration, and effort.

    I also agree a bit with the woman who commented on a man’s financial generosity reflecting his emotional generosity. I’m quite poor, and to be perfectly honest I’ve VERY uncomfortable with men spending money on me. So I truly don’t want any big gestures. But little ones really do mean a lot to me. You picking up coffee equals me baking you cookies. We appreciate little gestures; it doesn’t have to be painting the town red.

  5. 25
    Lisa

    If someone resents the cost of dating, perhaps they should think of different types of dates. Some of the best dates I’ve had were simply sitting on the couch watching a movie on cable, talking, going to a party, having friends over for a pot luck. Sure it’s fun to go to a restaurant once in awhile, or a concert, or an event, but is it really necessary to do something that requires a cash outlay just to spend time together?

    I don’t pay for dates. But I also don’t expect to be “treated” to something pricey every time either.

  6. 26
    Miss Julie

    For me it’s more important that I be true to what I think is right and fairly represents me than it is that I tantalize a guy. My personal brand of feminism tells me that if I initiate contact with a guy, then it is my responsibility to be able to pay for that contact. If this turns a guy off, well, then he and I weren’t going to last for very long anyway. In other words, yes, it is more important to me to be ideologically correct (according to my personal ideology, not some dictate by the media about “Feminism”), than it is for me to have a boyfriend. Fortunately, I have the luxury of having both, at the moment.

  7. 27
    PORTIA

    It took me a long time to come around to this – 17 years of living in the South – but if its a date, the guy pays. Men in this part of the world can get pretty offended if a woman even offers to pay.

    Having said that, as a public interest lawyer, I’m sensitive to how expensive it can get if the guy isn’t living off his trust fund or Google stock. I eat out a lot on my own, so I don’t need to be taken to a restaurant that runs $100 a piece for dinner. The guy should, at least in the beginning, pick the place, so it should be somewhere you can afford. If for some reason I’m picking, I generally go with something on the nicer end of what I could afford if I were paying. And any woman who starts ordering lobster and a bottle of the most expensive wine on the list doesn’t deserve a second date.

    My attempt at reciprocity is that after several dates, I will offer to cook dinner or pickup takeout if that’s appropriate. I also think if the relationship gets to the point where you are traveling together, its good to split. I will offer to pay for the hotel if he pays for food. This seems equitable, but doesn’t embarrass someone who doesn’t like it when a woman pays.

    BTW, I would never think of having a date get expensive theatre tickets unless I knew he could really afford it or he offered. That chick needs to be kicked to the curb.

  8. 28
    JuJu

    Not children (and the related expenses) and being blessed with hair that does not require professional intervention to look stunning, I still have to reiterate the point on the sheer expense of being presentable, for a woman. A man can have three pairs of shoes (sneakers, dress shoes, and sandals) and a single suit (if his job doesn’t require him to wear them) and be content. If I, however, wear some dress to an event where all (or some of) my friends are present, I will not be able to wear it again, as everyone’s already seen it. And should I even mention shoes? Truly, no amount is ever enough!

    I disagree, Mrs. Vee. Yes, indeed I like it better with the Brazilian, for myself, but a lot of expenses are purely dating related (impractical sexy lingerie comes to mind – by the way, I briefly dated a significantly older man of 42 who was astounded to hear that an average bra costs around $45), and I am sure some of the self-maintenance procedures I would not have undergone if it weren’t for their sex appeal value.

    There is also the factor of most men I meet making upwards of $100k a year (it’s just that a disproportionately large number of Russian Jews [who happen to be my target audience] are computer programmers ;), which is incomparably more than what I earn. If on top of all my other expenses I had to pay for going out, I’d be downright broke.

    But then, I don’t mind going out for just coffee or drinks when we first meet, or even an entirely “free” date, like going to a park. I realize that a man who is seeing me for the first time in his life does not owe me anything.

    All the points made above about generosity are indeed valid, just a small note to Jared: of course it’s all about it being “worth it” (and so many of my dates just felt like a waste of make-up), but before you meet someone for the first time, how can you know whether you’ll like her? Just suggest something inexpensive so you don’t feel so resentful afterwards. It is truly her problem if she deems you a cheapskate for doing that.

  9. 29
    JuJu

    Not having children, I meant to say.
    Sorry. 🙂

  10. 30
    Nick

    There is definitely an answer to this, and I have it for you, I’m officially closing the case. The day women and society wanted equality and started working is the day I started paying for a woman. Why on earth should I pay for someone who has two hands and two feet, and earns their own money? Sorry, but this is NOT the 18th century anymore. Only suckers pay for women. I don’t need to “buy” a woman to get a date. I don’t care what you guys say, this is the way it should be for all, I don’t care how blindly traditional you are. Paying for a woman was done when she didn’t have a job, and she stayed at home ironing my underwear, and taking care of my children all day. You stupid stupid stupid guys who are paying for women. You will only attract gold diggers that way, and women who appreciate you for you’re services not for you. If she really likes you, she doesn’t care about who pays or not! That woman who this guy talked about in the beginning should be put to sleep. Rape isn’t any worse than what she did. Guys stop paying. I never pay for dates, and I get laid plenty.

    1. 30.1
      menotyou

      There’s that classic “gold digger” argument again. It seems completely lost on you idiot men that when you expect sex from a woman that makes you a “flesh digger”. No difference, except that what you want from a woman is irreplaceable.  

      1. 30.1.1
        Jeannie

        If a man ever pressured me for sex because he spent $ on me (it is rare that a man drops a huge amount on a date unless we are in a serious LTR & it is HIS IDEA) I’d put it to him like this: prostitution is legal at The Chicken Ranch in Nevada. I googled their going rates & the best info I could find out is that as of a few years ago, it was $500 per hour MINIMUM (not including oral or anything other than missionary) + the cost of travel to & from Nevada, & that is just for 1 hour of no frills sex. And plenty of men are willing to do this. Taking that into consideration, why would any man who was not an idiot expect a woman to drop her drawers for a $4 latte @ Starbucks or a $20-30 dinner @ a chain restaurant? I understand that some women are more sexually aggressive/open, but I am talking courtship mode! There should be NO PRICE SET ON SEXUALITY, but if a man is a “flesh digger” & that is HIS MENTALITY then he should be aware of the going rate, & so should women. I am not promoting that women have a meter on their vagina either. I’m just saying if a man or woman is going to view it as a financial transaction of sorts, they should be aware of “The Dow Jones” ;0P

      2. 30.1.2
        MikeTO

        i don’t expect sex.   So you’re wrong.

    2. 30.2
      Dee

      Thanks Nick but unfortunately most women have these expectations. I am also fed up with the entitled attitude. Every once in a while I run into a woman who is different. This is the type of woman that will at least offer. This seems to be a woman with some empathy and understanding.   I have set limits. I will pay for the first date which I have narrowed done to a cup of coffee for the most part. Why should I take someone out on a first date and plop down $30-$60. I am still trying to figure out if we even have chemistry at this point. If by the third date she has not at least offered to pay the tip than this will be expected.   I have seen enough. You set precedence in a relationship. If a man continues to pay than that is what will be the rule. If I get to know the woman and I find that she is not looking at me as a meal ticket than this is where I will become more generous. No one wishes to be used or taken advantage of. Just like a woman does not want a guy to like at her for sex a guy does not want to looked at as a meal ticket. I don’t feel that I have to pay a woman for their time whole dating.

  11. 31
    sheseizereason

    I say Nick and belledujour oughtta get together just so we can watch the battle royale that ensues.

    And Juju, sorry, but mrs.vee had it right. Your $45 bra is not for anyone but you; it’s what YOU feel you need to wear on a date. One’s dresses, hair, makeup, and other prettifications are optional. Plenty of women don’t need expensive items or preparations to feel ready and sexy for a date. It’s YOUR choice to part with the cash.

    Oh well. All I can say is that often women who rationalize, “I spent $50 bucks getting ready, so he now owes me dinner” will end up with men that think “I spent $50 bucks on dinner, so now she’s gotta blow me.” And thus the world stays in balance.

  12. 32
    Livvy

    I feel that in this day and age, it is important to gauge each situation individually. I am very happy to pay/go dutch but I would like to refer to one date I experience.
    I was a university student and he was a fast rising city bussiness man. He new of my situation and invited me out to dinner when I was next back from university. He chose where we went, which turned out to be a rather expensive restaurant in London (England). He was charming, interesting, very attractive and I had a fabulous time. Until the bill came; it was placed on the table and he pushed it over to me and said “There you go.” He was serious. I couldn’t belive it. He knew there was no way that I could have afforded it, and he didn’t mean just splitting it. I stood up and walked out.
    I would like to stress that if we had gone somewhere else, less expensive, or I had picked the restaurant I would have been happy to contribute (as he invited me) or if I had invited him I would have picked up the cheque.
    It is about give and take. We nolonger live in a society where women can not earn any income, we are financially independant. But it is nice to be looked after.
    Take each date individually, and be sympathetic, this goes for women too.

    Good luck

  13. 33
    Alison

    Woah,
    Nick sounds like a guy who has learned to take advantage- and not someone who knows how to show appreciation and generosity- He may get laid. That seems to be his objective as he bragged about. Most of ‘his’ women eventually may also perceive that and be happy to move on.

    Many women (and men ) wish to be loved and adored. How can we show it? It can be with an expensive meal and travel, or simple desert bought on the spur of the moment. How about having a loved one’s car washed and offering a homemade meal, take someone on an impromptu hike – or for a ride in a private jet? There are many ways to attract another, and show attention towards winning affection.

    So much of what you feel comfortable with is effected by where you come from, and then dependent on what you hope for, want to show about yourself, and are able to do to attract and enagage a prospective partner.

    I think most men and women like to know/feel they are worth the effort and attention. Asking a woman out, treating her, shows her YOU think she is worth it- the time AND expense. And yes, as BeenThruTheWars says- there is biology and years of socialization at work here.

    The emotional meaning goes beyond the factual that many women CAN indeed pay and take care of themselves. Yes – and many men want to feel capable and able – with right to choose- so give them a chance!?

    Many of the women here have expressed it just fine. We will show our gratitude and ‘giving’ natures in other ways or when we do the inviting…..

    I think much of what is given and offered (and accepted) may have to do with whether we feel we have a ‘choice’ or not. It can all be negotiated with good communication.

    Not every woman or man has the same standards. (Culture is at play too)

    That said- I was asked and sought out by a 50+ year old man (from an online site) who arranged to meet inexpensivley for coffee and then did not even offer to buy me a cup. He showed no consideration while waiting on line, no inquiry as to whether I’d like desert with it or not, no helping to find comfortable seating for our conversation, no interest or regard as to my tastes at all.

    Needless to say-this was a clear sign to me that this was not a man to be interested in or bet on. ( In additon to the facts that he had never had a very long term relationship and still seemed attached to his mother – focused on only his own creative interests)

    IF I had invited him out or into my home, I would have offered to treat, and appreciated it if he picked up some of the tab or brought something as a sign of giving- sharing- acknowledgment. Good manners can help things along. I would hope for this from friends. Why not a potential companion?

    Another time one man and I agreed to meet for breakfast, also a relatively low ‘investment’. When he took a break and went to the bathroom (?) 2 checks showed up on the table. I assume he must have asked the waitress to divide the bill. As it was busy- I doubt she would have done this on her own, and especially as we seemed engaged like a couple in conversation. I took it as an immediate sign of his lack of interest and knew there was no go. His behavior certainly diminished my potential interest.

    For $5 I still think it would have shown some generosity and class for him to pick up my tab, even just for the time I took to come out and meet him , regardless of what the future would hold. I could have thanked him, offered to contribute anyway – or not. There still would have been time to say – “hey- nice talk- but don’t think we are a match” – but with some consideration and respect. This way he sort of sleezily slipped away without being direct- and I felt disregarded and taken advantage of and certainly he gained no respect from me. It was not the $5 I had to pay, it was the attitude, that led me to conclude “Cheap and Inconsiderate”. I felt more objectified and devalued since it seemed that as I was to be of no ‘use’ to him, I was not worth his time or even little money.

    There was no sense that this was done out of respect for women’s equality – What hogwash-

    Feminism is often used as an excuse now for men to put in little effort towards their continued effort to get booty. (And for some women to remain hard, in control, unforgiving, and distant in relationships).

    Feminism and the sexual revolution, and much of the 60’s values- – failed by allowing bad behavior to go unexcused. (See HAIR, Alice’s Restaurant) Believe me I lived through it. We learned the hard way that some of the old Rules evolved for GOOD reasons.

  14. 34
    Nick

    If the old rules evolved for good reasons then please prove it by staying at home, and take care of laundry and wash my bedsheets while I bring home the bacon. Then you are justified to be treated. Put yourself in a man’s position. How the heck do we know, if the woman knows she will be treated that she is out for us, or for the food? Im not prepared to spend money like that on a total stranger. If she doesn’t want to see me unless I’m paying for her, then screw her, I don’t want a gold digger. If you say you are independent, then BE independent. And also guys who buy drinks for women in bars, you will never EVER get laid that way, they will drink your drink and leave. Don’t be a pussy.

    1. 34.1
      menotyou

      Nick, you are an obvious misogynist. You have white-hot hatred towards women and you need to get your cowardly a$$ into some therapy and figure out why you hate your mommy so much. You may get laid a lot, but what you do not have from a woman is love and a relationship based on trust and respect, and with your attitude, you never will, and you know what? That’s just sad.  

      And I want to thank you for all your stupid, insensitive comments here because they have helped me to change my mind about the issue. I started out saying I would never allow a man to pay for me on a date. I feel the opposite now. The women on this board have made it clear – generosity, whether it’s $100 for a nice dinner or it’s $1.50 for a cup of coffee – goes a long way to establish good-will between the sexes, so from now on, I’m more than happy to allow a man to pay for me (with reciprocity, of course – that’s a big word, you might want to look it up) and if a man doesn’t want to or expects me to pay before we are in a monogamous relationship, the proper response is to get up from the table, leave, and never speak to him again. Women have been treated like sh!t long enough, and men no longer believe in courtship because as another commenter mentioned, feminism has allowed them to not have to.

      Thanks for helping me reach that decision with all of your dumb “golddigger” comments!

      1. 34.1.1
        MikeTO

        Being fair and reasonable isn’t being misogynist.

  15. 35
    Collins

    Nick thinks much like I do on this issue. (Is he a reader/listener of Marc Rudov, as am I?) I agree that the 1st few dates should be dutch, since at this point the parties are still strangers & screening each other. I also agree with Nick’s sentence, “[G]uys who buy drinks for women in bars, you will never EVER get laid that way…” A woman’s libido is activated by TALK, not money. (Of course, it’s gotta be talk other than pickup lines & cliches.) The likes of Elvis & the Beatles could, with their voices alone, sexually arouse millions of girls they didn’t even know, much less buy dinner for; in fact the GIRLS paid money to see THEM! Whatever dynamic is established during dating, will be the same dynamic that comes into play during divorce (assuming a r’ship gets as far as marriage in the 1st place, then ends in divorce in the 2nd place). I could go on & on, but if enough men would realize all this, we as a gender could gain respect, both among ourselves & from women, & the M-F r’ship dynamic would be a lot more balanced.

  16. 36
    Sam

    I have another question for the women on this site . . .

    Let’s say you had a $40-$50 first date. If you offered to pay and your date refused to go 50-50, but said he would accept a $10 bill or let you pay the tip, would you think he was cheap? (assume that his income is merely above average, assume that you picked the restaurant yourself or you picked it out together.)

  17. 37
    chiara

    Nick-
    I can’t help but wonder about one thing: if, you “never pay for dates, and … get laid plenty.” what are you doing on a blog called “Advice from a single dating expert?”. Surely you have a great system that works for you, and you need no pointers, right? 😉

    What I look for the most in men is FLEXIBILITY. I like ones who are cool about paying or don’t mind going Dutch. Clearly anyone who lives intransigently by a rule against paying for women has a chip on his shoulder. I like to see a certain generosity of spirit. I like buying meals for my friends, so I expect a guy who likes me to do the same.

    1. 37.1
      MikeTO

      I don’t have a chip on my shoulder.   Women work so they should be paying their own way.   Men aren’t even asking women to pay for the entire date only their share.

      If a woman can’t do it in the beginning she will unlikely to be able do it later on.   No man wants to be an ATM for a woman.

  18. 38
    Francisco

    I don’t get the whole dinner thing for the first date anyway. I’d rather do something simple in order to get to know the woman by focusing on her and not on what we’re doing.

    Besides, in a world where men are expected to do the pursuing, unless he finds a woman where there’s mutual chemistry in a short amount of time, a guy can get into major financial trouble over the course of a year.

    If he goes out just three times a week and only spend $50 each time it adds up to almost $8000 a year which could equate to a year’s worth of car payments, rent or student loans. Add it up, you’d be shocked.

    The money could be considered well spent if you end up finding “the one” but how often after 3 or 4 dates it’s realized that the chemistry isn’t there and the each has to start over from square one, but each start over for a guy costs him around $200. Heaven forbid they go out more than 4 times.

    So I say stay away from the dinners, movies and concerts until after each of you determine that there’s enough chemistry that both are willing to put forth an effort which lasts more than just a couple of weeks. After that, why not show appreciation for each other? Why not take turns taking one another out be it out to a restaurant or one preparing dinner at home for the other; still better yet, together?

  19. 39
    Rusty

    Wow, hot topic! It’s no wonder than most divorces happen because of financial troubles. Money represents quite a bit here, doesn’t it?

    The year: 2008.
    Equal Rights Amendment: Ratified.
    Womens’ salaries: Equal to (hopefully) or better then Mens’.
    Fairy Tale Romance: A Fairytale.

    -If I ask a woman on a date, I’ll pay. But I guarantee I won’t be stupid enough to set up a first date at a 5-star restaurant. And, I won’t ask too many women out too often so as to drain my bank account.

    -If she offers to help pay after a dinner, I will refuse or allow her to get the tip. I think thats fair. Sometimes I’ll let her grab desert later on. My experience is, that women like to be treated equal. If she is insistent, then Yes, I’ll let her pay whatever she is comfortable with.

    -If she asks me on a date, especially if its to a show or movie, I’ll let her pay. But, I will usually pay for some part of the evening whether she “lets” me or not.

    -If she is a single mom who is not independently wealthy then I will take into account the cost of a sitter and the effort that goes into creating time to be with me. Even if she asks me, I will more often than not pay for more than half, if not the whole thing. Again if she wants to pay I will let her get the tip or dessert, etc.

    -If the first date includes a woman asking me out or a woman wanting to go to three or four different places that require me to spend money without so much as an offer to pay anything, then that is our last date, if I don’t end the date early. She obviously has trouble with empathy.

    -Going Dutch is also perfectly acceptable at any time. After all, I am not trying to buy a woman’s affection and attention. I am trying to find out if our personalities match enough to continue seeing her and/or become exclusive with her. This can become an expensive endeavor in the dating potential matches phase.

    Its about mutual appreciation. There should never be any “money memory” going on. If money is tight, then make the date for one of the hundreds of things you can do with little or no money. Be creative. Its more fun and often more rewarding. My best and most fun dates have been when the woman planned an inexpensive but memorable date with me. We had wine while watching a meteor shower on a blanket with light from a large candle in a hurricane vase one time. My girlfriend surprised me and came to my work at lunch for a small picnic in the car. Some of my dates have hand-written or crafted thank you notes to me. The thoughtfulness of the action makes the time spent more valuable than a $50 dinner, a $100 show or a $2 cup of coffee.

    For the writer that talks about “being treated like a lady.”
    What makes you think you should be treated like a lady? What does being treated like a lady mean? Is there a book on being a lady and how I should treat her that I must have missed reading?
    Women also talk about “being treated like a Princess” and how much they appreciate it. Well, do you not think that a guy likes to be treated like a Prince? Does money factor into a woman treating a man like a Prince as it apparently does for being treated like a Princess?

    Post#14 cracked me up, mostly because a woman wrote it.
    Post#38 makes a lot of sense.

    1. 39.1
      Jeannie

      For the writer that talks about “being treated like a lady.”
      What makes you think you should be treated like a lady? What does being treated like a lady mean? Is there a book on being a lady and how I should treat her that I must have missed reading?
      Women also talk about “being treated like a Princess” and how much they appreciate it. Well, do you not think that a guy likes to be treated like a Prince? Does money factor into a woman treating a man like a Prince as it apparently does for being treated like a Princess?
      It is way EASIER for a woman to get sex than it is for a man, therefore her vagina holds more value than his penis, sorry to state it so crassly!

      IF a woman is a LADY, she will only be around men who see it, & value it, & treat her accordingly.

      There is a t-shirt store on the boardwalk in Atlantic City that sells T-shirts w/ all kinds of crazy sayings, but one of them does resonate: “I have the PU$$Y so I make the rules” – sorry crass, but to the point!          
        

      1. 39.1.1
        jeremy

        Jeannie, you wrote “It is way EASIER for a woman to get sex than it is for a man, therefore her vagina holds more value than his penis, sorry to state it so crassly!”

        If the woman’s value is through her vagina, and through its value she expects monetary compensation, she is not a “lady” but rather a “prostitute”.   And the man who pays is not a prince, but rather a john.
          
        Do you want a princely man?   You will have to realize that you will have to treat him as well as you expect to be treated, and not value yourself above him.   You are not entitled to his money/attention any more than he is entitled to your sex.
          
        FYI, most men run like crazy from women with entitled “princess” attitudes.   And if they don’t, they are sorry later.

        1. Jeannie

          I do treat any man I am with well, very well. But it doesn’t negate what I stated- & sorry that I used the t-shirt saying to illustrate my point. But it is true: a woman’s vagina does hold more power than a man’s penis due to “the law of supply & demand”- initially it sounds vulgar, but once you start thinking about it, it makes sense.
          I never said a woman’s value is ONLY through her vagina, it it the sum of all of her, but men don’t date just to hold hands…deep down, they date for sex, some want companionship, etc. along w/ the sex, but sex is the driving factor.

          The horrid selfish woman in the original story is not a “princess” she is a b1tch. A “princess” IMO is a woman who is kind, to others AS WELL AS HERSELF. She engages in healthy self-care & part of that is she only spends time w/ kind, respectful people, as she is that way herself. Yes it can get lonely at times sitting on the throne ;0P but it is worth the wait for the prince who always seems to arrive. And a true “princess” treats her prince like a KING!  

      2. 39.1.2
        hunter

        ….Jeannie,
        …..I agree with you,………………… it is easier for a woman to get sex than it is for a man…yet, studies have shown, at a certain time in their life,  women get sensitive, and   go months without a partner………hhhmmhh…the longer one stays single, the more work one gives therapists…..

        1. Jeannie

          @hunter, the same goes for men, esp. in middle age. At that point we get very selective about who we want to spend our time with, as we develop a sense of “mortality” & our tolerance for BS & drama goes down!

          In all my relationships, if I do not get the same level of kindness & respect back as I give out, I withdraw from the relationship. (men I have dated as well as female friends) THAT gives LESS WORK to therapists ;0P  

    2. 39.2
      MikeTO

      Most women aren’t “ladies”.   Those days are long gone.   Women are no longer virgins until marriage.   I only have 1 sex partner in entire life purely by choice.   But most women will have at least 12 sex partners before the age of 35.

       

      Women have devalued themselves by sleeping around and they don’t follow what the traditional women had to offer.   Women are fine dating men and sleep with other men at the same time.

       

      1. 39.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that if you’re a MGOTW, you want women who put out for zero effort/money – and, at the same time – judge women for doing so. So which is it: be a 1800’s virgin who has never dated anybody but you? Or get some action for no effort like the alpha guys? You get to choose one – otherwise you’re just a hypocrite.

  20. 40
    verbosity

    This thread brings up other sentiments in other threads (Women Who Make More than Men). However, I would like to point out some philosophical points and real-world ones. Keep in mind my points speak in generalities. There are of course exceptions to nearly every statement.

    If I understand Nick’s posts correctly, his POV is that since women can do everything men can do, they are hypocrites for expecting men to pay for everything in the dating arena. I think the unsaid message is, “If she can and/or does make the same as me, why do I have to shoulder the financial burden of dating? If you want equality, be equal. Don’t seek to have your cake in the career and other fronts and eat it too on the relationship end.”

    OK…Not the best turn of phrase, but I think it makes the point, which is that guys find it hypocritical that women can do everything men do (and earn more doing it – see http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0334472920070803 and http://www.forbes.com/ceonetwork/2006/05/12/women-wage-gap-cx_wf_0512earningmore.html) but still expect men to pick up the tab for everything as if it were 1946 and women did earn 1/10th what men earned.

    I also think many ladies made some terrific points. Portia mentioned making dinner (buying groceries and wine), others mentioned alternating picking up tabs, etc.

    Here is where the philosophical ideals crash into real world realities. I think Nick’s philosophy is that everything should be ‘dutch’ or equal given their equal work and often greater income. (Philosophy). However, the real world experience that most men have is that the VAST majority of women find this off-putting at best. Several posters above commented on this (Real World). So if Nick lives in accordance with his philosophy he will likely have far fewer relationship options as a result of this issue on the first date.

    The reverse also occurs. Women who kick back and expect men to do all of the paying for not only the first date, will likely reduce her relationship options.

    As a side note, I would note that many men have a very strong argument it is offensive that women insist men pay for everything, in that this practice values her companionship, personality looks, etc. as somehow worth more than his.

    The reality is that it is a pay to play game where men must pay up front to maximize their chances of success. It appears that many lady posters above do recognize some of the inequities above and act accordingly. Kudos. One can only hope that such a paradigm spreads, and that the challenges surrounding this issue diminish.

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