Once upon a time the question of who should pay on a date was not up for debate. Plain and simple it was taught that a man should always pay for the date. It was on him to take that initiative and that was simply how it was. Nowadays, not so much. More and more people have opened the door to the idea of women taking on some of the financial responsibility in dating. Good or bad, I wanted to take the time to give my view on this topic and allow you the reader to jump in and share your thoughts.
I believe the argument that both men and women should pay on a date is absolutely fair. I think to put the entire financial burden on men when it comes to dating may be asking too much. I mean, he doesn’t fully know you and he is taking the full financial risk of this process. If there was some sort of guarantee of benefits he would receive (talking to you for a couple of hours and being out with the woman is not a damn benefit) then maybe it would justify the investment. The reality is, many women are simply running a “Dating Scam”. Yes I said it, a “Dating Scam” where they have no interest whatsoever of entertaining this man past a free meal and a free outing. They are taking full advantage of this man’s desire to want to impress them and court them (see Emotional Pimp), while knowing the entire time when they are done they will probably be calling the next man to actually give some “benefits” to. So with that said, it isn’t fair for men to constantly put themselves in a position to be taken advantage of because you never know where this woman’s head is really at. By going Dutch, or alternating who pays for which date, you definitely decrease the chances that this woman is just running game because she was bored, hungry, and that man was available to satisfy those desires at the moment.
I do think splitting the cost is fair but I have to admit that personally I wouldn’t let a woman pay on the date. Maybe it was how I was raised, or some level of pride, or just an extension of how I view the role of men in relationships. I just know that for me, I am always prepared to pick up the check regardless of the circumstances. To me if I can’t afford to pay then I am not taking any woman on a date that I can’t afford. If money is that big of an issue, then I say get creative and find inexpensive ways to find entertainment and get to know the woman. Men have to start thinking past just dinner and a movie, and start looking at other options. Try a picnic in the park, a walk on the beach, going to a museum, or anything else that can minimize your cost while increasing your interaction with her. One way or another going on a date that won’t break your pocket can be achieved. You will be able to impress her with your creativity while still showing her that you are always willing to handle the costs. You also won’t be committing the dating mistake of selling this woman a dream of fancy restaurants and lavish living when you know damn well the 99cent menu is your best friend, and you can’t even pronounce the names of the food in some of these fancy places.
All in all, I vote that the man should pay but I totally understand the “we are equal” approach to paying for the date. I also understand that if the two people are going on a date and the woman offers to handle it this time, then to me that is ok. Personally I would decline the offer a couple of times before I allowed myself to accept. It will all boil down to what works best for that man and that woman. Just be mindful that whichever route you take, you could potentially be setting the stage of what will be expected of you down the road. A woman who keeps paying for those dates may find herself with a man who always has his hand out and is not pulling his own weight. A man who goes over the top on his dates can find himself with a woman who expects nothing but the finer things, and will give you a hard time when you fall short of that. In my opinion the best way to approach it is to be honest about your expectations and your limitations up front. The right person will embrace it and you both can be happy regardless of who is paying for what. Let your first impression on that person be an honest one. This will set the stage for better dates and possibly a better potential relationship with them.