Equal pay for equal work is a great idea in the workplace. Do you also believe in equal pay for equal good times on the dating scene? It’s a question that bothers many women. Do you offer to pay for your own dinner or movie ticket?
If you do pay, is it really a “date” in the traditional sense – or just hanging out like you do with friends? When a man invites a woman for a date, he usually plans to pay the check. If he isn’t going to pay, then he needs to make that known up front.
Maybe if you decide to go on an extreme sports adventure or attend a pricey live show, then buying your own tickets can work. Even when you only carry a tiny purse for the evening, you certainly know it’s smart to bring cash and at least one credit card.
After all, if the date turns sour and you’re ready to go, you don’t have to ride home with a drunk or a jerk. You have enough money to take a cab home. That’s hoping for the best while being prepared for the worst.
If all through dinner, he leaves less than subtle hints that he’s only picking up the tab because he expects you to be dessert later, then by all means summon the waiter and get separate checks. Having that credit card in your purse shows him that you aren’t falling for that old line.
On the other hand, if you rush to ask for separate checks on a first date, you don’t find out how he intended to treat you. Is he generous and willing to please you or a skinflint who complains and sends back food hoping to get the bill comp’d?
You won’t know that unless you find out how he handles paying the check. In the early weeks of dating, most guys go all out to impress you and show you a good time. He wants you to think he’s a guy with good taste and makes the extra effort to please you.
If he starts out taking you to a diner and splitting the order while asking for a credit on the check if you don’t want the fries, then that tells you he’s either cheap, boring or both. A woman who is adamant about paying her own way from the first date needs to do this without acting overbearing.
A guy can feel like you’re cutting down his masculinity if you immediately start arguing over the check before the waiter even brings the drinks. He may receive your independence as an insult to his ability to provide for you on the date.
If you’re double dating, you could make him feel very uncomfortable in front of the other man. Better to have a private conversation about paying the check so that he’s not embarrassed in front of other people in the group.