We all have our fair share of questions when it comes to dating: How do you start up a conversation with the smoking hot woman you just made eye contact with? Should you text a guy to thank him for a great date? How long do you wait to invite someone you’re wildly attracted to over to your place? One of the most common questions I'm asked — and one that can be the most uncomfortable of all — is who should actually be paying for dates?
We've all been there — your head is buzzing from wine and too much forced conversation. The waiter comes and sets the bill down between the two of you and it sits there smoldering on the table like it's radioactive. You're not sure you want to see the person across from you again, but you still want to do the right thing.
If you're guy, you probably picked a place that was nice enough (and expensive enough) to impress a woman, if all went well. If you're a woman, you might assume he chose a place he could afford. Or, you might also be traditional and think that men should treat. The question is: In 2014, should men still be expected to foot the bill for dating?
Let's look at some facts. In an online study of more than 17,000 single heterosexual men and women, Janet Lieber, a Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, found that while men are covering expenses 84% of the time, 64% of them expect their partner to chip in. Guess what? 44% of the women surveyed said that they were bothered by that expectation.
Ladies, sit down and do the math! An average date cost is $75-$100, even when you decide to keep it simple with something like dinner and a movie. A movie ticket is an average of $10 a pop. Two drinks and a snack will add about $15 more to your tab. Then, there's parking (with those horrible validating machines). If you have dinner afterwards, there will be drinks, appetizers, a main course, a tip, and even more parking. If a man is dating actively, imagine how much money he is spending a month on dates — even if he's only dating you!
Many modern women earn as much, if not more, than the men they’re dating — so why shouldn't they at least offer to contribute? Younger less traditional men will probably accept the offer and older more traditional men are likely to refuse, but they will still appreciate the gesture.
A Naked Dater® knows that offering to get the bill is a great way to really impress your date. If you go to a movie, you might offer to get the popcorn and sodas, split dinner, or put the drinks on your tab. Not only is dating extremely expensive these days, but the gesture of offering to cover even part of the tab will make you seem appreciative and thoughtful. And who wouldn’t want to be seen as considerate and generous from the very first date?
My advice? Communicate openly about paying, even on the first date. You don't have to do each other's taxes at the dinner table, but offer to split the bill or pay for valet. It's a great way to show you appreciate his generosity and it will set you apart from the pack.
Recently, my client, Emily, declined an all-too-passionate kiss from her date after their third dinner together. His response? "If you weren't gonna give me some, why did you let me pay for dinner?" Up until that moment, Emily had thought the date was going well, and she felt blindsided by his accusation. "Did I lead him on? I have no trouble paying for myself, but I've been reading all these dating books that say that the 'feminine' thing to do is to be receptive and let a man pay." There's no question that Emily’s date was out of line, but she agreed that in the future, she would offer to pay, so that there is no question in a man's mind that she isn’t trying to get something for nothing.
That is just one unfortunate situation but regardless, it's always polite to offer. He will appreciate the gesture and you will feel good knowing you're not just using him for a dinner, especially if you're not interested in more.
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