In 1950’s, 80’s or even in 90’s who pays on first date was not even the question. It was simple, the man pays. Gender lines have blurred since then. Women are more financially well off and independent. Men are now allowed to be more emotionally open. This is of course a good thing. When it comes to dating, the gender norms are still intact but quickly changing. Are we ready to rewrite the dating rules more apt for 21st century? Is it the right time for old tradition to change when a woman was considered the property of man?
There are two aspects at work here- financial and emotional. Lets analyze these financial and emotional factors of dating from both men and women point of views-
Who Should Pay on a First Date? Lets Evaluate
It’s the tradition- Man pays
It is common belief. Women have been fighting for more than a century against patriarchy and male chauvinism. We can’t let the old tradition of ‘man pays’, let us bogged down. The tradition was established at a time when women were not allowed to work, and couldn’t pay for themselves. Women are now much more capable of opening the doors, pulling the chair and putting a credit card on the table.
It might hurt ego of the men
When we first look at this argument, it sounds valid. As we dig deeper, the pre-assumption of men having such a big ego, that a woman offering her fair share of meal is hurtful to them feels awful. This is something women should think about more seriously. It is the man right for her? What are his views on women being independent? Does he like to be in traditional relationships or egalitarian one?
Everybody likes to be treated, including men. In the current age of Tinder, OKCupid and PlentyofFish going on dates frequently and paying every time can be a lot expensive. It’s okay for men to find it okay and go dutch.
Third- This is how a woman know the man likes her
If you equate the amount of money the other party is willing to spend on you with liking or love, you are doing it wrong. I can attest, majority of men will resent a woman, who loves him for the material comfort he can provide. Men want someone who can love them for who they are and not for what they can provide. Treating them as a walking ATM or free meal ticket will make them run for hills. Even though that was not the intention, it just never ends well. The worst thing a woman can imagine is being classified as a gold digger, though she is not.
Women still earn 77 cents for a dollar men earns
Yes, women spend a lot. As a woman, I love shopping. I have a whole collection of shoes and bags that if I put on sale, I can pay my rent for next one year. I don’t believe there is any wage gap. At least not in the USA. Though the official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.” It does not mean that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. Men work more hours, men work at riskier jobs such as construction and mining, their choice of occupation and majors differs from traditional female choices like English literature, gender studies, nursing, physiology and hospitality which offer comparatively lower paying jobs. Inspite of the statistics ‘77 cents for a dollar’ is not a valid argument. Men do indulge in grooming and shop for clothes and accessories for dating. The argument doesn’t feel right and is practically flawed.
The One who invites pays
This is quite fair, and I totally agree whoever extends the invitation should pay. Anyone who stands by this rule should follow it. There is nothing inherently wrong in it. The glitch is, the rule should also extend to friends and colleagues, and not exclusively on men while dating. If you are suggesting your friends to go watch a movie, or a dinner and are willing to pay since you extended the invitation and made the plan, you are not wrong for expecting the same when invited on by others, including men on dates.
The best relationships are egalitarian. Expectations kill the joy of being with someone. So the next time you go on a date, go open minded. Be willing to go dutch. Appreciate the gesture if someone treats you. Be your real self and accept the person for who he or she is. Accept, don’t expect. Expectations are bitches anyways.
Emily is an INFP who believes that people should always live their lives to the fullest everyday. She loves her dog JiJi. Emily has graduated from University of Michigan and is a passionate relationship blogger who is looking forward to her career as relationship and dating coach. She is an avid book reader with special liking for romance, horror and sci-fi genre. You can find her on Tumbler.