Recently, my coworker sparked a major debate in my office. He asked the ladies, what our thoughts were regarding women offering to pay on dates. He felt that if the guy is dating a woman for a certain period of time, that she, at some point, should offer to pay for dinner or offer to tip. Of course, the men in my office had to chime in on this topic. They all agreed. “Women are making more money than men are, yes, they can pay for dates sometimes”, “Women who pay for dates show independence, they are boss bitches”, “Yes, we are tired of women dating because they are just hungry”. I mean the guys went on and on about their experiences and giving their opinions. I must say I was flabbergasted and honestly a bit taken aback by these responses. There were mixed responses from the women in my office. “If the woman asks the man out on the date, she should offer to pay”, “Surprising my man by paying the bill makes him happy” and “I am equal opportunity dater, I will reach for my purse to pay. But if I pay, I am going to ignore him for the rest of my life!”.
Am I the only woman living in the stone age??
As a single woman, I never paid for anything on a date and I never offered. It was never even a thought. I have always had it in my head that the guy should always pay. I’m not sure if it was because I was raised that way or because I was spoiled or simply because it’s the Golden Rule! I believe that even if I asked the guy out on a date (which I’ve never), he should still pay. It’s reflective of his character, its polite, and it definitely fits with the Golden Rule. Right?
According to most men, I’m wrong. This revelation had me questioning my thought process. When my husband and I were dating, was he annoyed that I never offered to pay? Was having sex following the dates a form of payment? Did I just have bad manners? I mean, we have babies, we have periods and have to buy tampons and pads and makeup. Do we really have to pay on dates too?! All these questions in my head had me spinning!
During a date with my husband, I asked him about it. He felt that each situation is different and believed that because he was pursuing me and wanted to spend time with me, that money and me offering to pay for dates was never a thought. This was accurate to me.
My thought process is definitely generated from the golden era where gender roles in society dictated that the man should pay for all dates. If you look at it closely, it is actually an unrealistic expectation that a man should pay for all dates. It would be nice, but is that fair? What I learned through debating this topic with people is that we live in a totally different world now. A world where women feel that possibly allowing a man to pay for dinner is giving up power or allowing a man to have control. A world where men would like to save some money sometimes and feel treated by a woman. We haven’t even acknowledged the fact that not all couples are heterosexual, and that for many people dating in the world, traditional gender roles that have historically suggested that a man pay for a woman do not even apply.
In conclusion, when I have this discussion with my son and my daughter, I will explain to them that regardless of which approach to paying for the first date you prefer, you should know that it has very little to do with gender roles or even who did the asking. If someone asks you out on a date and you agree, don’t assume that they should automatically pay for everything. You’re not doing them a favor by being there and to be honest, this logic wouldn’t make you all that different from the person who feels entitled to a second date just because they paid for the first.
I’m a Taurus and as stubborn as they come, but, I learned a valuable lesson here, Guys!
My new Golden Rule perspective of paying on a date is this: Always offer to contribute, but be willing to take no for an answer.
Do you agree or disagree?