Cancel 0 The two of us are completely lost in engaging conversation over dinner. The Chilean sea bass was delicious. Things are going well. And then the check arrives. He picks up the bill, waves me off, and offers to pay. You know, as a modern day working woman and all. Money is already an extremely touchy and pesky subject to breach with a significant other, let alone a new love interest.
While the act conforms to traditional notions of masculinity and gender roles, the recent social and economic mobility of women has challenged the status quo of dating etiquette. Going Dutch on a first date is a common occurrence nowadays when men can claim gender equality and weasel their way out of what is supposed to be a respectable, romantic, and courteous gesture.
It feels good to be treated and taken out, especially if he initiated the date. Going Dutch implies a platonic involvement, usually a sign that neither party is interested in pursuing a romantic connection.
But when a man picks up the tab, it also lets a woman know that he values her company and is willing to invest in their date. It shows a strong, dependable commitment from the man. There are inherent problems that exist within these differentiated gender roles, though. Men may feel like they are owed something or being taken advantage of for a free meal. Women are less likely to engage in sexual activity if they pay for themselves.
As a rule of thumb, those who initiate should pay because they are the ones hosting. Besides, we all take risks in dating. Save the splurging on someone you know you like. What happens after the first date? Who should take care of the expenses then? When, if ever, is it okay to go Dutch?
Some can argue that women want the best of both worlds: Sometimes, men and women can inadvertently pigeon-hole themselves in traditional outdated roles. Men would like women to pay yet feel guilty when she does while women offer to pay but secretly resent men when he accepts. Ideally, there should be equal contribution in a relationship whether it is financial or otherwise barring any exceptions like a partner losing their job or undergoing financial hardships.
How should that be handled? Does the balance of power tip more to one side? Ultimately, a couple needs to figure out what works for them. Financial compatibility is just as important as emotional, physical and intellectual compatibility. They say that issues of sex, power and money are all related.
Figuring out finances is an organic process grounded in mutual respect and consideration for each other. If he paid for the first date, you may offer to treat the next time. Some couples prefer to go Dutch because it makes the division easier. But splitting the costs lacks elements of love, care and reciprocity. One of the charming aspects about being in a relationship is romance doing special things for the one you care about and you are essentially taking that right out of the equation by going halfsies.
Finding a compatible mate is hard enough. And now, here comes another thing to worry about on your next date. The check arrives — who is going to pay?