Aye yi yi! Every once in a while, I’m distressed by the pay inequity between men and women. So when a reader asked who should pay for dates, I thought, “The guys!” Turns out, the guys heartily disagree. Here’s a sampling of their responses:
While I’m a guy who always pays for dates, be they platonic or romantic (because I like to treat, regardless of gender), it’s always nice if the woman offers to pay. I feel like when women invoke that whole “old fashioned” thing, it opens a can of worms. It used to be old fashioned for women to stay at home, be financially dependant on the man, etc. The old fashioned way wasn’t fair, thus the women’s rights movement. However, those same women will expect men to revert to traditional roles on occasions like dates. You can’t pick and choose your liberation. Either you free yourself completely from tradition, or you’re a hypocrite. Not to mention there are a lot of bonehead men who falsely believe that if they pay for a date, the woman owes them sex. Rubbish. I have a wonderful, independent woman in my life who picks up the tab as often as I (even when I pay, she offers to pay the tip). The only expectation women should have on a date is to be treated with the utmost respect and kindness. So, while I usually agree with your columns, I can’t agree this time.
Some clarification: 1. I think it’s fairly normal to share financial responsibilities for outings when a couple has settled into a committed, romantic relationship.
2. A lot of women buy into the belief that they should pay the man back with sex.
3. Do you truly believe that you can’t pick and choose your liberation? Isn’t that precisely what most people do?
If I ask you out, I should pay because I am asking you to accompany me and take time out of your life for me. But if someone asks me out, out of nowhere, I think it is only fair that they make it as easy as possible for me on the first date. Because, if I happened to like the person, I would promise to take care of things financially from that point on.
You really missed the mark. Whoever makes the date picks up the bill. Period. Plus, you tell women to ask guys out and then tell guys to pay. That’s hypocritical. I’m a regular reader and you screwed up.
A little hostile, are we? It was only an opinion. Like this one: you catch butterflies with sugar, not vinegar. Read on.
I’m wondering how the guy who gets asked out will feel when he learns that he is expected to pay for the date. Life is too complicated to expect the guy to always pay. So, if you asked me out, I would offer to pay or to share the cost, but I would feel OK if you said, “No, I invited you so I’ll pay. Perhaps if we go out again you can pay.” I would be surprised if you didn’t receive mail from women who disagree with you on this. Some women are offended if the guy automatically reaches for his wallet. I think that might have to do with their expectations of his expectations because he paid for the date. Anyway, take this with a grain of salt and keep writing such a fine column.
Yikes! I never said that if a woman asks a man out that he pays. I gave an opinion to one man in a specific situation. Still, your points are well taken. Sign me, “no longer old-fashioned.” I’ve joined the 21st century. Thanks to all of you.
P.S. Be very surprised. Only men wrote in to correct me.