The date: who pays anyway?

26 Jan

At the end of a long, romantic dinner together, inevitably some one has to pay. It’s a fact that books, movies, and plays have ingrained in women the thought that the man should pay. This is not terribly fair, but that’s just how the world is (Just for the record, we at Men’s Guide prefer to split the check or alternate who pays. Expecting the man to pay all the time is silly and old-fashioned). The chivalrous Yale man will automatically want to pay, and on a first date, he probably should. However, we recognize that dating is expensive and that you shouldn’t have to pay all the time. If she pulls out her wallet and asks to pay, you should refuse the first time she asks (sorry, but that’s expected of you). If she asks a second time and is insistent, you should relent but say something along the lines of “But I would like to treat you!” (and sound like you mean it). You do not want to have paying turn into a long-drawn out argument, because then it just becomes uncomfortable and completely unnecessary. Finances can sometimes be difficult, and we therefore advise that in the beginning of a relationship, you stick to cheap places where paying is not a financial burden. All you can do is hope that she’s sensible and does not order the Very Hungry Caterpillar Dinner at Miya’s ($38.75 per person) or a Venti peppermint mocha Frappuccino light with extra whipped cream (these days, that might be $10). Hopefully, she won’t take the fact that you paid for granted – she definitely should thank you very politely and mean it.

Paying for coffee can help clarify the “is this a friend-thing or is this a polite-thing or is this a date?” question. In order to achieve this skillfully, you must be ahead of her on line when ordering. Once you have placed your order, turn to her and ask, “What would you like?” This makes it obvious that you assume that you’re paying for both coffees. Simple, natural and gallant (read: the perfect way to behave). You certainly don’t have to pay for both your coffee and her coffee, but it is a nice gesture.

Since we’re living in the 21st century, there is also the possibility that she was the one to ask you out (which is a perfectly acceptable, good thing that demonstrates that she’s independent). If this is the case, it’s probably best to split the check. If she asked you out, you’re not required to pay the whole thing. We know – it’s a total double standard, but that’s just how the world works and it’s completely unfair.

In the future, according to certain statistics anyway, she’s going to be making 70 cents to your dollar, so it’s all going to balance out anyhow. Don’t get us started on income inequity. Once women are earning the same amount as men, maybe this stupid thing about paying will no longer be an issue.

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