Alright, I’m just going to throw this out there and see what you guys think. When on a first date, who should pay? But, consider this from every angle before chiming in with your thoughts.
For those of you out there who are traditionalists, the guy should pay for dinner. The concept is pre-historic, dating back to even the caveman days where men provided food and shelter for their woman. Throughout time this process has become more refined, but the basic principle is still the same. Innately speaking, women are drawn to men who can take care of them, financially and otherwise.
Despite the fact that many women are feminists and enjoy their independence, there is still something completely moving to us about a man who pays on the first date. It’s not that we can’t necessarily go Dutch, but if you want a second date, don’t do Dutch on the first. Buck up and pay. At least, that’s what studies are currently showing.
I have a friend who has recently decided to give online dating a try. She’s having a hard time finding anyone she considers worthy of a second date because she’s very traditional and wants a gentleman. In her eyes, a gentleman doesn’t ask to go Dutch on the first date. But, she wars with herself on this because she thinks about the number of people who’ve lost their jobs and the economy at large, and she wonders if perhaps she’s being too hard on these guys. But, in the end, her desire for a gentleman outweighs any concern she has over their financial well-being. That’s a harsh way to put it, I realize, but it’s the truth. She’s not necessarily looking for a rich guy, but at least someone who can spring for the first date.
From the feminist perspective…
There are some women out there who just do not think a man should be the one to pay for everything. These women don’t like their doors held open either. As far as this woman is concerned, she is equal to a man and can pay for her own food and open her own doors.
At any rate, in this case, some women may become offended if a man insists on paying for dinner. He may think he’s doing the right thing, but in reality this type of woman is seething internally because how dare a man think he is better than she is.
I have a friend that tends to run along these lines and it’s always interesting to get friend number one and friend number two together. Their views are so different and neither really understands the other’s point of view. To my feminist friend’s way of thinking, having a guy pay for her meal is rather archaic and only serves to further the divide in gender inequality. Nothing in her thought process runs to the financial aspect either way.
A middle ground…
For most women there is a middle ground, one that falls between the two extremes of my friends above. The middle ground is pretty simple: whoever invites is the one who pays. Most women in this category feel that if a man invites the woman out, he should pay and vice versa. That’s not to say that these women do a whole lot of inviting; however, the option is still out there should they invite someone to dinner.
Personally, I tend to fall into this category. I’m appreciative of a guy who pays for dinner on a first date and find that I’m more attracted to a man who does as opposed to a man who doesn’t…unless I invited him. I’ve never asked a guy out before, so I haven’t really put this theory to the test, but I’ve gone Dutch on the second date and been ok with that. So I don’t think I’m as particular about it as my first friend.
The financial repercussions…
It’s no secret that dating can get expensive. I’d actually go so far as to say relationships in general – whether dating or just friends – can get expensive. But, is it fair for women to let the man shoulder all the financial burden of dating? In many cases, the man is expected to pay for the meal and any other activities for the evening, he is usually expected to pick the woman up and drive her which is a cost in gas, and he definitely scores points with flowers on a first date. That stuff doesn’t come cheap.
Ladies, how do you feel about first dates? Should a man expect to pay? What about subsequent dates…at any point are you ok going Dutch, or just paying for him?
Guys, what’s your take on this? Should women start picking up some of the cost, or at the very least, pay their own way on a date?
Finally, do you guys think a recession will play a role in how we view dating?