I was at a dinner party the other day and everyone I knew got to talking about whether guys should pay up on the first date or even every date. I was surprised at how many guys and girls expected the dude to pay. It seems like an archaic expectation to me. It made sense back in the day that the male party would have to pay because women weren’t really allowed to work. Now that we ladies are the future HBICs (Head Bitches In Charge) of the world, it doesn’t really make sense that we anticipate guys will “take care” of us, right?
I think a lot of guys expect/like it because it’s sort of an ego thing. It feels nice to be able to take care of somebody else. However if it’s a nice feeling, shouldn’t everyone be allowed to feel it? It also seems unfair because you never know what someone’s financial situation is, especially when it comes to people our age and in this economy. What if you made more than the dude? Is it really fair that he shells out all the cash?
I personally like when things are more equal and the parties take turns or just split the bill. (Like, someone gets dinner, the other person gets the movie.) I am an independent person and it’s difficult for me to accept money or gifts from someone I barely know which is presumably the situation on a first date. Plus, I think it’s sort of hypocritical of me to critique the unfair ways women are treated because of sexism then expect special treatment on a date because I am chick.
If we keep having these random, gendered expectations . . . it just makes me wonder what a same-sex couple does on the first date? If it’s two guys or two girls: then what? I know a lot of people go by the rule, if you were the one who asked then you pay, which sounds totally fine.
There’s not really any wrong or right answer to this because I believe in dating and relationships two people (or three people, hey!) are allowed to make whatever rules and set whatever boundaries they want. Lots of people like fulfilling traditional roles and feel most comfortable and happy that way. From the conversation I had the other day, I was just surprised to see it was so many people.
What do you think? Should guys pay on the first date? Or . . . ?