Who pays?

If this is all you have, then let's take a walk to a fountain. It's ok. Really.

First date: He pays.

That’s my thought.

It has recently been brought to my attention, though, that this is archaic and anti-feminist of me. And what about the poor guys’ deflating wallets?

Well. I never said he had to shell out three months salary on the first date. That’s for the engagement ring, right ladies? [insert inside-joke cackling]

I’m kidding. I’m not even a diamond kinda girl. Give me a simple wedding band and a ridiculous honeymoon and call it a day.

But really. I think he should pay on the first date–but it should be something he can afford if money is an issue. A cup of coffee. Happy hour drinks. A walk in the park (free!). Whatever. Just take a sister out. Make her feel special.

I should note, it’s not a deal breaker if a guy doesn’t pay. But it is a red flag. Think of it this way: when you combine going dutch with men who don’t ask for a real date anymore or otherwise let their intentions be known—rather it becomes “when do you want to hang out?”—and there are no traditional social cues like the opening of doors or walking on the street side of the sidewalk, it’s enough to make a woman wonder “so was that a date?”  Before we know it, we’re in a relationship with someone who never had any sort of intention of a relationship beyond friends who have sex. But maybe I’m so out if it that’s all relationships are anymore??

I just always thought that when a guy truly likes a girl, he will pay, no questions asked. It’s part of impressing her, of showing her he can take care of her. As my dad said last weekend and every other time this topic comes up at the family dinner table, the man paying is S.O.P. Pops is talking about all the time. I’m just talking first, maybe second date. Then I can pick up the check. Then he can. Then I do. Then … . See where I’m going with this?

I won’t go into the egalitarian issue until the pay scale for men and women is evened out and women aren’t [generally] the ones footing the monthly bill for birth control without even blinking an eye. I dare a woman to ask for 50 cents each time she has sex, which is roughly half the daily rate for the monthly prescription of birth control pills. (I did have one boyfriend that took family planning into account. Of course, this was when he put us on a budget and we each payed the percentage of the bill based on our salaries. I think I got an extra 3 percent off because I paid the BC prescription. This made me feel super special because he really understood the extra moolah I was spending while he was nickel and diming me.)

I’m sure I will catch some flack for this post. I’m open to other opinions and understanding the issues facing men better because this is the one thing that always confounds me. Shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

11 responses to “Who pays?

  1. The matter is flexible depending on the tenacity of desire. When one truly is in to someone, reciprocity isn’t at the forefront–it’s how you make them feel that counts.

    If a woman is really feeling a guy, hell, she’ll pay for a condo if necessary–however, that’s when manhood should take over.

    • The Single Scientist

      Arius: There have been two guys I’ve wanted to buy condos for. I think I made them dinner instead. But you’re right. You can make someone feel special without paying. So I guess the issue is less about money and more about being willing to extend oneself. And that is an entirely new blog post. Book perhaps.

  2. Total deal breaker if he doesn’t pay and it doesn’t count if it’s “free”. Don’t waste your time on the guy if he doesn’t pay – he is not into you. Move on. If he is not into you, he is a looser and why pursue a looser any further? Even when married and everything is joined – the man still pays for taking his wife out. Feminist or not – men like feeling like they can take care of their women, and women like feeling taken care of.

  3. one more thing . . . . stop dating men that can’t afford dinner or lunch between $45-$60. If he doesn’t have the money, it means he is struggling to take care of himself and probably can’t handle a relationship.

    • The Single Scientist

      x2: Well there it is! I guess my standards haven’t been high enough. Maybe I will start asking for pay stubs from the last three months before I go out with a dude. Just kidding. I’m still okay with cheap, creative dates because anyone can take me to a four-star meal and charge it on a credit card. I’d rather have frugal and thoughtful than swank and in debt. But seriously. Thanks for your comments. I want more opinions!! Anyone who thinks the women should pay ALL THE TIME??

  4. How does it work if 2 women are in a relationship?

  5. The Single Scientist

    x2: Two girls. Hmmm. From what I hear from lesbian friends, lesbian women generally move in together on the second date. Seriously, I consulted about.com and they say, whoever asks pays. And whoever asks should take the date to a place she knows she can afford. http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbiandating/f/WhoPays.htm

    • I am a straight male, and that is my words. But it is rare for a girl to ask a guy out though. But any ways I would still be expected to pay, or feel I have have to since I am the guy.

  6. This post is so spot on. I have fallen in to wayyy too many relationships (honestly more than one is too many) where I thought “well, him paying isn’t really that big of a deal” and fell into a lame relationship where I felt like I was desperately chasing after him to ‘hang out’, in a sort of exclusive friends with benefits situation.

    • The Single Scientist

      Lia: Me, too! Though I have to say, I had a similar situation with someone who paid all the time. He was VERY confusing. I’ve come to realize it’s less about paying and more about what he (and you) are willing to put into the relationship. Having to chase someone just to “hang out” is redonkulous. And we always know when we’re doing it. Luckily, I am way too old to “hang out” anymore.

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