The traditional approach has always been that men are expected to pay for dates, but times have changed. In this day and age, should men and women share dating costs?
Over the years, I’ve heard women say that they invest a lot before the date to make themselves look as good as possible. They may get their hair and makeup done, along with a new dress and even some new shoes. This of course can add up to a pretty hefty chunk of change. This is all done in the hopes of dazzling the guy and hoping that he likes her…therefore, it should be on the man to pay for dates.
Now that logic seems crazy to me because most men make some effort on their part as well to look good, but they don’t make a big deal about it (although there are certainly exceptions!) If a woman’s worth is tied into impressing a man on the exterior, they’re in for a big problem. Besides, to single out the pre-expense of a date doesn’t seem fair in my book anyway… I mean, a guy might have to drive an $80,000 car to impress a woman, does that count? (I’m being rhetorical on that one)
Some might say that real gentlemen are happy to pay for the date because men have traditionally made more money than women in the workforce. This shows a man to be a provider as well as a leader. But realistically, women now outnumber men in the workforce and nowadays there are many women who make more money than the men they’re dating… so does that logic really work?
So here’s what sparked my post. Yesterday I was speaking with a woman who was sharing her philosophy of dating, mating and relating with me. Here are a few of her thoughts about the cost of dating:
- First, she stated that she views a relationship as a two-way street. If she were in a committed relationship, she would naturally want to contribute equally because that’s the fair thing to do.
- Secondly, she believes a man will actually appreciate a woman with this philosophy because she’s demonstrating right from the beginning that he’s valued for something other than how much money he’s going to spend on her.
- Additionally, she feels that a man who wasn’t ready for a long term relationship would probably avoid pursuing sex because he actually respected her (or maybe even felt guilty.) Therefore, with both the man and the woman each taking turns paying for dates at the beginning, the relationship would have to stand on the important merits of compatibility and shared values and interests.
She said that she shares her thoughts about this from the very start (in a very kind and loving way) because she knows some men find this to be controlling and thus a potential turnoff to them. She wants to communicate that she believes in equality when it comes to the dating process. Thus, if a man gets overly offended by her approach to dating, then chances are he has control issues anyway and he isn’t very accommodating as a person. And if they can’t see eye to eye on this basic issue, then they will most likely experience conflict about other issues as well.
Personally, I believe that much of what she stated has merit. Many believe a man won’t value a woman unless he’s the one in charge and doing the pursuing. But let’s face it, this is what most single men do anyway and yet they will still bail shortly after sex or if he decides she’s not the one, so paying for dates isn’t a true measure of valuing a person. To me, valuing someone comes from mutual respect which has nothing to do with paying for dates.
Additionally, I also believe the one who does the asking should be the one who is paying. However, I also believe a woman can do the asking after the first or second date as well. If a woman happens to earn (or has) more money, then it’s only fair that she should cover more of the social entertainment for a committed relationship. This is why I believe the one who earns more should contribute more to the relationship from an economic sense if all things are equal.
Many statistics state that since about half the divorces in America cite money issues as the reason. That being said, I feel that it more sense for potential couples to discuss their thoughts and feelings about money early on in the relationship to avoid issues later as the relationship progresses.
By striving to approach things with more equality during the dating process, it will probably serve women positively in the long run.
I’d love to hear my readers’ thoughts on this issue. Do you agree or disagree?
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Hmmm…this is a good topic! I admit, I have struggled with this since I’ve started dating again. I have always made it clear that I am willing to pay my fair share for dates, but all of the men I have been out with wouldn’t hear of it. Of course, I live in the South, and Southern men are more traditional, so maybe that plays a part. 🙂 I usually end up reciprocating by offering to cook a meal for someone after we have been out on a few dates. This is a labor of love for me, because although I am a good cook, I don’t do it that often because of time constraints and picky kids! LOL. But I have found this to backfire on me. Men seem to really enjoy and appreciate it at the time, then they seem to take me for granted or else get freaked out because it is too “domestic” and then bail. Any insight there, Jonothan? 🙂 Oh, well, keep the good conversation and topics coming!
I like for the man to pay on the first date. It establishes that the date *is* a date and not a hookup — and that he is the man and I’m the woman as far as roles in courtship. After the first date, I don’t mind splitting the check more. If you split the check on the first date, and then he just pays every time after that, it’s still not really a partnership – it’s actually more unbalanced than my method. I think the first date sets the tone for the relationship: setting him up as protector and provider, and activating his masculine energy is very important. I tend to date younger men who are less established in their careers, so if they can pay for coffee on the first date, I don’t actually expect them to pay for dinner after dinner after dinner thereafter. It seems to be working. The guy I’m dating now told me he loves how I’m independent and not needy, but at the same time I inspire him to feel protective and wanting to do things for me (even though I’m in my 40s and he’s in his 20s).