Posted by: Shar & Mare | November 1, 2010

DATE FOR PAY – But Who Pays?

I hate guys who are cheap with the dollar. There, I said it. I can understand careful and responsible. But, when it comes to paying for dates, I think the man should pay. It is the gentlemanly thing to do especially if he initiated the invitation to go out.

Yes, I understand it is the 21st century and woman and men are equal. But are they? Recent reports show that single women earn 82 cents to every dollar earned by a man. And, if you are a working mother then it is even less. So, perhaps we are still not as equal as we all had hoped. And yet, when it comes to intellect, capability, sense of humor, athletic ability, and talent … yes, we are equal.

But, the fact of nature dictates that men and women are different. And, when it comes to dating, it is not about equality. It is about respect, courtship and understanding the differences.

Men, by nature and gender, take a leadership role in society. And, I think it is OK to let a man pursue you. Let him earn your time and respect and affection. It is OK for them to work for it, but then again, men do like a challenge.

A woman allowing a man to pay for dinner does not mean she is weak or not independent. A woman offering to pay for a date does not mean she is controlling or wants to take the lead. It is purely about reciprocating kindness or generosity.

I, by nature, have been told that I am too generous. This is true. I have to fight myself to not grab the bill. I also realize that I cannot take away that treat of a dinner or drinks from the man.

It is hard to find a delicate balance in these times to determine who pays for a date and when.

For me, someone who is cheap can also mean they are cheap with their generosity and heart and I don’t want that. I also don’t want someone who squanders their money as they will waste their money, time and heart on unimportant things.

I want a man who is going to honor me, respect me, want to show me that I mean something important to him and he is willing to work for it. I want a man who knows his place and is sophisticated enough to know how to handle a situation with subtlety and awareness. This is not a one sided relationship. Women have their own ways to show men that they are interested, do care and have love to share. Again, not equal but different.

After awhile, it ceases to become about who pays for a date or not. It is about kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, sincerity and wanting to please the person you love. And, in showing this, the reciprocity of how you do that is what leads to the delicate balance in the relationship.

But, starting a relationship can be tricky. So, I have a rule. I let the guy pay for the first 2 dates. If I like him, I will pay for the 3rd or make the invitation to do something which would result in me bearing the financial burden of the invitation.

I keep on that cycle for a couple of months and then I just let things progress organically.

I don’t need someone to pay for me but if someone is always willing to let me pay and does not want to reciprocate kindness, then that person is not for me.

I had an experience once where I dated someone for a couple of months. We went to a pricey dinner show in the city around the holidays. I said I would pay for the ticket portion of the evening. Leaving my date to pick up the dinner. We arrived all dressed up and ready for a fun evening. My date told me to order the pricey price-fixed instead of the cheaper a la carte. He ordered me a lot of champagne. When the check came, the waitress gave it to him. He looked at it. I said, “I have it … the money ….” And he promptly handed me the bill and said, “Well thank you very much.” Not one more glance. Not one offer to help. Not one offer to even pay the tip. What I was about to say was, “I have the money for the tickets.” I was holding the cash ready to give it to him. He had to have noticed that I then had to go searching for my credit card and paid in a combo of cash and credit card. I was so stunned and shocked and did not know how to react. Clearly my generous nature was taken advantage of for sure.

I guess what really bugged me about this was that he should not feel that comfortable letting me pay such a high bill without at least offering to help in someway. And, he also knew there was a real possibility that I would lose my job the following month and that to pay such a hefty “night out on the town” bill was a burden. But he did not have the awareness or the concern or sensitivity that is needed in keeping that delicate balance in a relationship.

Here is the kicker … he called me a year later (we had broken up shortly after that evening) and told me he bought his new girlfriend a watch that was on sale for $1600. I wanted to yell, “Look #&@!, you owe me $450 for the dinner from last year.” Obviously, I did not. But, I was relieved to not be in a relationship that did not have all the elements it needed to work and find that delicate balance.

How do you handle dating, who pays, when and how do you let that progress? Any great stories to illustrate there are true gentlemen out there? Any funny or horror stories we can all identify with in our own dating life? Please share … we love your feedback!




  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon & Mariann, Sharon & Mariann. Sharon & Mariann said: Who pays for the date, Him or Her? Mariann (no surprise here) has an opinion […]

  2. I say that both parties pay for what they ordered, it’s not me being cheap, but I was raised [by my mother] that all people are equal and that people should pay their part.

    Now, I’m not saying that a man [or woman] can’t treat someone else every once in a while, but a free shouldn’t just be expected because you turned up for a meal.

    That’s just my opinion

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