There’s a gender battle of social mores in our midst.
A male friend of mine is constantly regaling me with his personal dating injustices. One such injustice is the question of who picks up the tab. He claims that 95% of the time, his dates not only expect him to pay, but they almost never make that feeble attempt (you know who I’m talking about Tatiana) of taking out their wallet.
I haven’t been in the dating world for some time (thank you Jesus, well, actually, thank you boyfriend) but based on what my friends and other people tell me, there’s a gender battle of social mores in our midst. Still. I’ve heard many arguments, for and against, when it comes to who should pay.
Women now earn their own money (unlike in the early 1900’s, when this whole tradition started) so why does the man continue to pay? I asked my friend why he didn’t simply suggest going dutch and he looked at me like I had spinach in my teeth. In fact, I did have spinach in my teeth, but he thought it was a crazy suggestion nonetheless. He’s been so conditioned by societal constraints, that he doesn’t know how not to pay. I told him that nothing was going to change, unless he changed it, and that he might be filing for bankruptcy (dating is expensive) if he waited for society to give him the green light.
If both parties are financially flush and can afford their own Chicken Fricasee, then why shouldn’t my friend and his date split the bill? Except maybe if he’s dating someone in their early 20’s, for example, and she can’t afford toothpaste, then maybe he could pay. But wait, I don’t want my 40-something friend dating a 20-something because now he seems like a dirty old man. But that’s another topic.
People are afraid to go against the ‘rules’, so let’s examine those rules. Do we mean the rules laid down by the so called dating experts, who are, if you read their bios, single?
When the man pays, it makes the woman feel like a lady. In my opinion, that’s giving the opposite sex a whole lot of power. Geez, isn’t that what the boobs and cooter are for? To make us feel like ladies? Please, shaving my legs, tweezing my eyebrows and bathing is all it takes for me to feel like a lady.
When the man pays, it tells the woman that he respects her. Really? And by the woman not paying, she doesn’t respect the man? Respect? How about not cursing like a Longshoreman in front of her? Or ogling lasciviously at other women when you’re out on your date. That’s being respectful.
If the man pays, it shows the woman that he’s interested. Crappy crap. If the man’s interested, he’s going to engage her in witty repartee, not pick his nose at the table and compliment her on her gold tooth (even though it sort of scares him). And for the record, I’ve been on dates, where the man paid and I never heard from him again. And no, I did not pick my nose at the table.
If the guy doesn’t pay on the first date, then he’s cheap. Judge off! It’s one action, in one instance, and you’re going to think that you know the guy’s financial portfolio? There’s no guarantee that this guy isn’t going to get all frugal on your ass on your second date. Men want to impress and show off. So he pays for dinner and dancing, and then a few days later, you see him begging for food outside your favorite Starbuck’s, all because he thought he should pay, so you wouldn’t think that he was cheap.
If he’s generous with his wallet, he’ll be generous with his heart. Seriously? Because I see money as being very different from the affairs of the heart. One is paper and the other is emotional, fragile and raw. Maybe his wallet generosity is masking a hardened and selfish heart. I bet you never thought of that. You’re welcome.
Men pay because in their minds, they still think that dragging a woman by her hair proves their power and virility. That actually sounds kind of hot. Sorry, different article.
There are women who never pick up the check and there are men who won’t let the woman pay. I hope these two find each other. But if this man dates a woman who gets offended when he insists on paying, then please, ladies, accept his gesture with grace. Don’t make a federal case out of it. It’s not just another way that the man is keeping you down. I’d look into those ‘daddy’ issues of I were you. And if a woman doesn’t pantomime reaching for her wallet (you know who I mean, Coco) and you were hoping to split the bill, then nut up and speak up.
My friend has decided to take a dating hiatus (was it something I said?) He’s processing the above and replenishing his bank account. But when he does get back into the ring, a speed walk around the mall, or a moonlit chit chat on the beach, it’s going to be his new first date activity.