- Gender and Relationships
To Pay Or Not To Pay? -the question some men ask when dating- Stephanie Bailey
You meet and connect with a guy you like and he asks you out on a date. You wear the perfect outfit and meet him at the restaurant you agreed on. The conversation is organic, he makes you laugh and by the time you're done with dinner—you are hoping he asks you on another date. Then...the bill comes.
Should a man be responsible for paying when he has asked you out?
Since this is a topic that can be a touchy one, I conversed with several close friends (women and men) on their various opinions. Conclusions are as follows:
Men should pay...
1. If a guy asks a woman on a first date he should Absolutely pay.
2. If a guy asks a woman on a date during the "dating" level of the relationship he should pay—this is "courting" a woman. No, I'm not stuck in ancient eras; however courting (wooing) is putting in the effort to win the woman over.
3. If a guy asks a woman out and did not say they would be “going Dutch,” then he should pay.
If a guy is taking you out on a date and trying to make you feel special, the last thing you want is to hear on a first date or during the "dating" stages of the relationship is, "next time you pay" or "I got it this time" or even "I'll pay, but can you put in the tip?" Seriously?! A guy like this is definitely not trying to woo you.
Also, a guy should definitely not take your money if you are politely offering on the first date. Yes, you should offer to be polite and to show your appreciation, however he should never accept. If he hesitates, or looks surprised while looking over the bill, this gives room for unneeded tension. Your date knows his own income—you do not (unless he is really that tacky and has told you). He should be smart enough to take you somewhere that you both will enjoy, but at the same time, staying in a price range that he is comfortable with. Letting you see the bill...not classy. And if he claims it's because he needs help figuring out the tip—Really, he’s never figured out an appropriate tip before?!
Dating is not about a guy taking you out to an expensive restaurant or venue that he can't afford, and then resenting you after the bill comes—even though he had insisted that you order the dozen oysters for an appetizer, lobster & steak for dinner or the expensive bottle of wine/champagne (or possibly all three)—which he ordered for the two of you to enjoy. Is he really impressing you and making you feel special if he can't afford the bill when it comes? Guaranteed the answer is No. This will cause an uncomfortable situation and makes a guy less attractive. To prevent this, a guy should stay within his budget.
Ladies, it's not about how extravagant the date is, it's a guy showing that he cares enough about you to plan a date(s). He can still plan great dates without you knowing how much he's comfortable spending (or can afford)—and with online discounts ie; Groupon, Living Social, there are even more ways to be creative, while staying on a budget.
There are many fun things that can be done if a guy is on a budget; he could make you dinner (of course for safety reasons, I wouldn't suggest going to his home or having him at yours until you have gotten to really know and trust him), putt-putt golf, bowling, museums, outdoor physical activities, free outdoor concerts or sharing a picnic in a park.
When a guy dates you, it's important that he figures out in advance what your tastes are and the type of activities you enjoy, as well as any allergies or food restriction you might have. This way he can make a true effort to plan something special around your interests, as well as his own. The biggest frustration is when a guy doesn't make an effort to plan a date, expects the woman to choose the restaurant and then gets an attitude when the bill comes. Again, not an attractive attribute.
So, when should a man not be expected to pay?
1. On his birthday when she has offered to take him out.
2. When she makes a statement, "let me take you to...."
3. Possibly, when you are no longer in the dating stages and she is your girlfriend. You have openly had the talk about finances, respective salaries of both parties, and know what will work for you in your relationship.
4. You talked about “going Dutch” before going out.
Ladies, if a guy can't put forth the effort and time into planning dates with you, or if the dates consist of you going to his place or him coming to yours to watch movies and eat Taco Bell—then he's definitely a lazy dater and isn't worth your energy. Men who make the effort show that they care and want to be with you, and that says a lot. It's not about the money, it's about feeling appreciated. Don't go out with men that you are not interested in—no one likes to feel used or feel like a meal ticket. Have some gratitude. Say, "thank you" after a guy takes you to dinner—every time, not just the first or second time he takes you out. Men like to be appreciated, especially if they are going out of their way to make you feel special.
Remember men, do not ask a woman out on a date you cannot afford, or expect the woman to pay on a date you have initiated unless you have spoken about it before the actual date.
And remember ladies, it's not necessarily that you need the guy to pay, but at the end of the day it's nice to know that he's not only interested in you, but also wants to put in the effort to make you feel special. Chivalry goes a long way.
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