To Pay or Not to Pay?

Hi everyone,

Although this is only my first post, I figured I might as well hit the ground running and potentially piss off a few readers.  This particular subject has bothered me for a while.  Please feel free to comment—I’m curious to know your thoughts when it comes to dating and money.

Ok, here it is.  

Some of you guys are totally cheap.  You know who you are. 

I’m a fair and equal girl.  When I am asked out on a date, I do offer to pay for dinner, drinks, whatever.  I know that many members of my gender feel that the guy should pay, especially when he is the one extending the invitation, but I’m all about fair and balanced.  Not in a Fox News way, though.

But I am continually surprised by the guys who practically leap out of their chairs to grab my credit card.  I may offer to pay, but you, as gentlemen, should tell me no.  I know we are in tough economic times, but if you have no money, don’t ask a girl out to dinner.  Take a picnic to a park, or invite her to go for a bike ride.  In other words, do something cheap.  Don’t act as though you’ve gotten a get out of jail free card when she hands you some cash to cover the meal.

And for you girls who never pay, you’ve got some apologizing to do.  Guys feel burnt after paying a bunch of money for your dinners, flowers, and jewelry with nothing in return, only to be dumped when things get too serious.  Then they feel all girls owe them.  That’s where my credit card comes in.

So girls, offer to pay for dinner sometimes, or treat your date to drinks or a home-cooked meal. And guys, treat a girl when you ask her out.  Money is a touchy subject for everyone.  Let’s reciprocate.


9 thoughts on “To Pay or Not to Pay?”

  1. Thanks so much for your post. I am the guy who always pays. I am comfortable and happy in that roll. After a date or two, I’m happy to let my date buy me a drink. To me it really isn’t about the money. It’s about the sentiment.

    A heartfelt thank you for your comment about the women who never pay. I feel guilty, when I feel burnt after paying for everything for several dates, only to be told, “I just thought we were friends,” or “Oh, I didn’t know these were dates.” It’s not like you ladies owe me much for my time and money. All I want is your honesty in the matter.

    If women are honest with guys about where things are headed, then we guys can have our expectations in order. If our expectations are in line with your thinking, it’s hard for me to feel burnt.

  2. Volumes have been written on this, but the reason it is so complicated these days is because dating has become so ambiguous. If you stick to the old-fashioned rules, the question of “pay-or-not-pay” becomes easy:

    If the man has asked the woman out on a date, the man pays. If the woman suggests or hints at a date, and the man then acts on that suggestion, the man pays. If a woman directly asks a man for a date (rare), he pays or they split. If they are not on a date, they split. A woman will not accept a free meal from a man she is not interested in, as that would be unseemly.

    Nowadays, both men and women work, there’s a lot of “hanging-out” involved, and group-activities rather than one-on-one dates, creating confusion.

  3. I admire in you Josh and Tristan this attitude. Take it from me, this is the right attitude towards dating. I personally never had a date with a man who would ask me to pay for his meal directly or indirectly, in which my impression is, the same type of men that Josh and Tristan belongs to that does not let the woman pay for their meal especially if he initiated the date. Paying for dinner is not only generous in terms of money but rather symbolizes how much of a giver the man can potentially be, in which can be a rather significant issue for the woman to decide whether or not she would feel safe and loved with the man or not.
    generoisity with material things relates somehow to the generousity of sharing our emotions and souls and indicate to what extent the man will be willing and capable of investing his emotions and open his heart to the woman, that’s my opinion.

  4. Okay so it’s my opinion entirely that paying should be split pretty equally between both people. If a man asks for the woman to go out than he should pay for the meal. Then women should ask the man out for another date and she should pay for the meal. In the beginning of the relationship. I personally think too, that as you become more comfortable with one another, than maybe it’s something that should be discussed on how it’s going to go. I have dated a few men in the past where when we went out for dinner…if the man paid for the meal than I would tip the waitress/waiter and vice versa. In my situation this seemed to work out very well. I’m a waitress, so I always tip A LOT. Sometimes leaving 35% or more of whatever the bill is and this can cost a lot if the meal is costing $40 or more. It’s an equal situation and then the other doesn’t have to feel guilty for not helping out. Now if you two are planning to go to an amusement park for the day or a concert. Then maybe one person should pay for the tickets while the other pays for the gas and the food for that day. I’m a very independent woman and I don’t like the feeling of someone trying to take care of me! what if the relationship doesn’t work out and at the end when your kinda bitter with the other person and arguing, “well I did this for you that one time and then I did this for that other time….what have you ever done for me??” This way if your both contributing to the relationship with money (because money will always be something that no one likes to talk about) then at least that part won’t be something to argue about!
    hope this helps…this is my first response to any of the posts

  5. Flirty girl,

    I admire your very liberated point of view, and I am typically attracted to independent women. I like a woman who has a successful career, and speaks her mind. I don’t much care for traditional gender roles, either. Growing up, my father and mother did the laundry, my mother tended to do the day-to-day cooking, but when something special needed to be made, my Father was the chef.
    However, there are some things that shouldn’t be messed with at the beginning of a relationship. As a man, I like to provide for my date. It’s not that she can’t provide for herself, she most certainly can. I don’t think I would be attracted to someone who couldn’t pay for dinner. It’s not that she can’t open the door for herself, she most certainly can, but I like to do these things for her. It makes me feel good to make things easier on her. I don’t do these things because I am a chauvinist pig, but rather, these are the things that I do to show her that I care. If she respects me, then she should graciously accept these gestures. Not accepting them says, I don’t respect your efforts regarding your care for me. It’s demoralizing and emasculating. You said you don’t like a man to take care of you, and my first thought was that you likely get a TON of dates. Why wouldn’t you? There are plenty of men who would like to take you out, enjoy your company, and not have to do diddly-squat for the pleasure.
    My suspicion was confirmed when you wrote, “what if the relationship doesn’t work out and at the end when your kinda bitter with the other person and arguing, ‘well I did this for you that one time and then I did this for that other time….what have you ever done for me??’” This leads me to believe this has happened to you before. That is unfortunate, because a gentleman wouldn’t have this reaction. A gentleman is happy for your company, and as long as his expectations are set properly (and that is his responsibility, by the way), he knows that the date is just a date. His paying for dinner isn’t a down payment on a long-term relationship or sex. His paying for dinner is his way of saying that he enjoys your company, nothing more nothing less.
    After a few dates, I have no problem letting her pay for me, or splitting things down the middle. Obviously money is an issue, but in the beginning of any relationship it is important for the woman to let the man provide for her. If a guy has a problem paying for dinner on the first date, what does that say for his desire to do anything for a potential long-term relationship?

  6. It’s not my job/obligation/duty to feed or entertain a woman who I am interested in sexually. Buying meals/movies/drinks will not get you laid. Charm, charisma, and confidence will get you laid. I am interested in attracting and seducing her versus entertaining her.

    Example #1: I met a woman and spent $4.63 on coffee for both of us. That’s it. I had sex with her on 5 different occasions. Oops, one time I ordered a pizza delivery.

    Example #2: I have been hanging out with another woman for 9 months; I took her to coffee once and to drinks another time. I have not bought her dinner or any gifts. And yes, she is a very pretty, great shape, sane woman.

    Are all women like this? Probably not. But all woman will follow the ground rules you establish. If you start out buying/paying for everything… that’s the way it’s going to be with her. If you take turns paying, then you are on solid footing.

  7. Pay or Not to Pay.

    Interesting discussion I must say and one that I have experienced and spoken about with numerous men and women.

    Let makes something real clear from the out set before we continue and this is purely my opinion, but I do believe it is the opinions of many men and women out there, as far as dating is concerned. On a first date it is courteous for a man to pick up the bill at the end of the night. It is a cost which should be absorbed with the biggest smile of appreciation on his face of enjoying a woman’s company. I know it is hard to conceive and trust me I struggled with it in my earlier dating phase but once I realised why it bothered me so much I could deal with it and then budget according and not make the mistake of experiencing a jaw dropping bill.

    However Ladies because we are in a sense obliged to pick up the bill it does not excuse you for taking advantage of this. I say no to the delibrate act of ordering expensive items your date knows full well she would pay for herself.

    Can I just make the point that I appreciate the cost and effort some women do go through to prepare for a date with a guy in some cases. This includes, a trip to the hairdresser, getting nails done, and in some cases a fresh new dress and shoes & bag. Some women are capable of assigning that much effort for their date to impress and it does not come cheap for them. I guess what I am saying is overall their bill and effort tends to out weigh the dinner bill that the man will pick up. Not in all cases but some case.

    It is true at many times men have paid for expensive meals and jewellery etc only to get nothing in return. Most often then not those are the guys who can afford to do that without crying buckets for their loss. For the average Joe out there we are not going to be so foolish with our money like that. At least I hope not.

    My advice for you and women is if you do not expect or rather not to pay a portion of the bill DO NOT…

    a. Extend your credit card, let the guy receive the bill because even in most decent restaurants the waiters will go by tradition and place the bill closer to the guy than the woman.

    If you extend your card the guy has the option of thinking you either want him to reject your offer to pay, or you are an independent, self sufficient woman who is more than happy to pay her way. Don’t play mind games keep things black and white. Men appreciate that.

    b. Do not over kill you order so the guy thinks he will struggle with the bill and as a result see you credit card as a life line for a mind numbing bill.

    For Guys

    a. K.Y.C – Know Your Costs. Know the restaurants you would like to take your date to. Call and enquire for a price list and menu list. Since you are going to be the one paying you should be choosing the restaurant you feel comfortable paying the bill. Don’t feel shy about taking some lead, this will impress her because you will show an ability to organise a great date & venue and pick up the tab as well. Don’t be cheap and buy a happy meal at Mc D’s.

    b. Not all women are the same and be on the look for those who are simply serial daters out for a free meal with nothing to offer. I know a few.

    c. Men never bite of more than you can chew to impress a woman. It always backfires and you simply will regret. Don’t pose as something you are not, be honest with your date and yourself, a lady will respect you for that. If you are not loaded with cash and she wants a guy who is then don’t pretend to be. You hurt yourself in the long run and your date annoyed in the process once you can’t pay your way.

    Remember don’t be a dater be a Smarter Dater.

    Best Regards

    Smarter Dater Team

  8. im sorry for not leaving the comments that take half the page but i have a date in 10 minutes so no time. first id like to say good run for ur first blog.second id like to thank u for reminding me that 20 might not pay for a dinner in a expencive restaurant. third it does make me a little ticked to spend quite a bit of money then be dumped.

    8 minutes so g2g once again nice job for ur first blog

  9. Hi Speed dater,

    I completely agree with you. Men who do not offer to pick up the bill are just too cheap. Every women likes her partner or date to be a gentleman and for me splitting the bill is just not good enough.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *