Charlotte Hannah
August 13, 2013

Should a Man Be the One to Pay on Dates?

You’d think when it comes to all this gender equality business, one of the easiest outdated views to eradicate would be the one that dictates that the man should always pay for the woman on a (heterosexual) date.

It’s significantly less relevant than it was 50 years ago when women were less likely to have their own money and needed to ensure their prospective partner could afford to support them. Men should be all about getting rid of it, because who likes paying for stuff when they don’t have to? And women should want to do away with it because, y’know, equality.

Yet here we are, in 2013, and new research from Chapman University suggests dudes are still paying on dates.

Based on a survey of over 17,000 people, 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say it’s usually the guy shelling out for dates. Furthermore, 57 percent of women offer to pay, but 39 percent admit they secretly hope their man will take the check anyway. And, even though 44 percent of men say they’d break up with a woman who always expects him to pay, 76 percent say they feel guilty accepting a woman’s money.

Come on, you guys. Get it together. This can’t possibly be that hard.

Ladies: Be willing to pay for your own damn self. Yeah, even on the first date. Is it not incredibly awkward to just sit there, waiting for some dude you may not even know that well to whip out his wallet and pay for your carbonara?

Dudes: Ditch the ego and be willing to let a lady pay for her own damn self. Believe me, when a woman’s got her credit card out at the end of a meal – no prompting, no awkward silence, no painfully extended period of digging around in her purse – it’s a very good thing. It means she takes responsibility for herself and doesn’t expect you to handle everything. I fail to see how that’s a negative quality. (Side note: it could also mean she had a terrible time and is ready to GTFO ASAP. You’ll find out soon.)

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

It’s time we relegate this “men should pay on a date” thing to the weird, pre-progress past and just start being humans who sometimes do nice things for each other and always try to be responsible for ourselves.

For example, in my opinion, it’s nice if the one who does the asking is willing to take the check if they can afford it. This goes for most types of outings, whether it be lunch with a parent, a casual drink with a friend or, yeah, a dinner date.

So if you ask a dude on a date (which you should), you should grab the tab if you can because it’s cool to treat someone when you’re taking them out. Plus, it’s kinda romantic.

In general, I think the expectation should be that each person pays their own way, or some sort of “I get this one, you get the next one” deal is struck. Maybe one person pays for dinner and the other buys them a few drinks afterward. Perhaps one person picks up this meal and the other person picks up the next. Maybe they just split the cost of every meal down the middle. But whatever neat egalitarian solution we come up with, let’s just be cool about it, OK?

Do you expect a guy to pay for you on a date? If so, why? Let’s talk in the comments.