When it comes to picking up the tab, it's about education, not manipulation...
Recently, the advertising agency, Leo Burnett, conducted an exhaustive study on the state of relationships today and one of the items caught my eye. According to the study, only 68 percent of men treat on the first date. Now before I explain exactly why this is a problem—and how we can shift that dynamic for the benefit of both parties—I want to examine the big picture on this issue and hopefully contribute to a useful dialogue on the topic.
How Did We Get Here?
If 32 percent of men are letting women pick up the tab, I suspect there are several contributing factors beyond just players and lonely women. For some, it's an economic issue—especially for men rebuilding financially after a divorce. For many women, they find it more comfortable to reach for a check than to have an awkward conversation. Plus, in some respects, people are still finding their way in a world where the women's movement has come a very long way in a relatively short time and many women actually out-earn the men who would seek to date them. In any event, it's factors like these and many more that add up to a lot of confusion and gray area.
Let's Clear Up Some Confusion
As a Relationship Coach who works with clients all over the world, I'm frequently asked about who should pay on a date. However, regardless of the country, the language spoken, or the customs, my answer is universal. This is because it's not based on the laws of finance, geography or culture. It's based on the Universal Laws of Polarity and they're always at work whether you know them, like them, or even agree with them. So with that in mind, I'd love to definitively answer the question once and for all—and as promised, I want to help set up both women and men so they can actually win.
A Man Only Has Two Gifts
When it comes down to understanding the Laws of Polarity, masculine energy only has two gifts to offer the feminine. Simply put, it's his job to protect and provide. In order for feminine energy to relax into a relationship and let her guard down, she absolutely must feel "safe" and if she doesn't, it's game over.
In order to feel safe, she probably has to be in the company of a man who is confident, relaxed and grounded. He has to not only take care of himself, but also take care of her. This means she has to feel protected and safe in his company—both from outside forces—and from him. She also needs to feel like he can provide for her needs and look after her. Obviously, the easiest and most symbolic way to demonstrate that is by providing the meal you are sharing.
So, what is the woman's responsibility here?
If a man's responsibility is to protect and provide, the gift of the woman is her ability to nurture and have her man's back. In addition, when a man is providing these gifts, she should know she is being evaluated on at least nine different criteria, which I outline in my ManMAGNETICS Formula,™ but there is one that is critical on a first date.
Simply put, a man is looking for a woman who will gratefully receive his gifts and appreciate his generosity. The fact is, a man can be with anyone else at any given time and when he invests his time, talent and treasure with a woman, he simply wants it to be acknowledged. Those who seem less than grateful or have an attitude of entitlement should realize how distasteful that is and not be surprised when a good man finds it to be a deal-breaker.
Here's How You Both Benefit
By understanding the underlying energetic laws that are in play whenever two people meet for a date, you must understand that polarity is everything. Ideally, that means the man is in his masculine energy as the pursuer or hunter while the feminine is pursued and feels desired. People decide within minutes of meeting if there are "sparks" of attraction and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If a man is uncertain or lacks confidence and a woman is pursuing him or picking up the tab, the best you can hope for is reverse polarity—and over time, when you're living in anything other than your core essence, eventually it adds up to pain and disconnection.
Okay, as promised...how do you get a man to pick up the tab?
As I've explained, it really serves both men and women to start out a prospective romance by putting their best foot forward. So with that in mind, here's how you can handle it the next time you have that awkward moment when the check is sitting on the table and no one is grabbing for it...yet. Ladies, I want you to simply say something to the effect of this:
"Hey, listen...about the bill. I'm happy to split that with you or even pick up the tab myself, but I read this article once (the one you're reading right now, by the way) where it said that men actually take a great deal of pride in protecting and providing for a woman. It also said that it's demeaning and disrespectful to a man to not give him that opportunity or accept his gift gratefully...so how would you like to handle that? I would never disrespect you..."
In most cases, it will be his idea to do that for you and you will have educated him gently in case no one has ever shared with him why a man should be a provider. However, if Romeo still doesn't take the hint or at least have an authentic and vulnerable conversation on why he can't, you've probably still found out everything you need to know about him on the first date.
And guys, if my suggestion is a problem for you, just make it a "policy" to make all your first dates a quick coffee or tea to see if there's chemistry. You don't need to provide a $100 dinner to decide if you want to continue getting to know someone when a $3 coffee will do the job. Good luck to both of you!
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