Let me start off by saying that I pay on the first date pretty often. It's just one of those things that society expects of us men. But is it right? I'm not saying men shouldn't pay on the first date. That's completely up to them. What I'm saying is that men shouldn't be expected to foot the bill. Let's talk about some of the reasons behind that.
Photo credit: creativedc, Flickr
A lot of men feel a compulsion to pay for women and a lot of women expect men to pay for them. Why is this? As I'd mentioned in a previous article about gender roles, back when women were kept from receiving an education and going into the workforce, men acted as the providers and women acted as the care-takers. This dynamic is still prevalent in some ways, but not nearly as relevant.
If women are our equals, then why aren't they expected to contribute equally? And even better, if women don't believe they've reached equal status but want to, then aren't they perpetuating that inequality and stereotyping by allowing themselves to be dependent? The issue is that many women still like being taken care of (in both financial and non-financial ways) and many men still like taking care of them. This is all well and good, but it shouldn't create an atmosphere of right and wrong regarding everyone's expectations.
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There are many ways to be chivalrous; you can hold the door open, pull out her seat, offer her your jacket on a cold day, etc. Being a gentleman is about the way you act, and believe it or not, you don't have to pay a fee for that title.
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Many women do deserve it! But there are also women who will barely touch their food, respond to texts instead of talking to you, or are just a complete bore. Either way, this is not someone you'd be happy to spend your money on.
And that leads us to the next reason...
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How do you know you want to spend time and money on this girl? You're in that interviewing period, judging
evaluating each other, keeping a keen eye out for both potential connections and potential deal-breakers. Don't you want to spend money on someone you care about, rather than someone who is still a stranger, or at best a shallow acquaintance? Spending money on others is best done when it feels good to make them happy, not out of obligation.
Photo credit: j.o.h.n. walker, Flickr
It's not hard to come across a woman who makes more than you, and that's just fine. If she's better qualified or has a higher skill-set then she has every right to be paid what she's worth. But is it right that the old-fashioned stereotype of men being more financially secure prevails through the cold hard facts of the situation at hand? She probably doesn't need a free meal, but she'll definitely enjoy it. You, on the other hand, may have just spent your hard-earned cash on a lady who throws down $79 on a haircut just because she can.
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When a man is burdened by spending valuable time on a woman he realized he never should have gone out with in the first place, spending extra money is just adding insult to injury. This is when you suggest splitting the bill. Or just exiting through a bathroom window...
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Hemorrhaging your own hard-earned cash is only one of the ways you can make a lady feel special. Money is an easy ticket to making someone feel good, but why not go the extra mile and ask her interesting and thought provoking questions about who she is? (And then pay attention to her answers, buddy.) Or show her who you are by relating some good stories or interesting experiences you've had. If you're charming, engaging and fun to be around, then it won't feel like you have to pay for her time.
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