Gotta talk about it. After listening to an episode of the Toilet Talk Show, I felt like I wanted to add my piece… but I also want to give my readers a chance to weigh in.
I don’t think that my blog really reaches the main target demographic for this post; young single men… but who knows… maybe some of the female readers will share this post and educate their male friends.
Why should a man pay for the first date?
He’s taking care of her needs
In traditional gender roles, the man takes care of the woman. Granted, we’ve moved away from tradition in many ways – and in most cases it is for the better. Some things will never change though, including a woman’s vulnerability as the smaller sex and the one responsible for childbearing.
Similarly, a man’s role as protector (if not provider) is unlikely to change too drastically. Women just need protection sometimes. The dating game reflects some of the constants of these roles.
At least initially, a woman wants to see that a man is willing (if not always able) to protect her.
Seeing to her needs is a simple way to show this… if you provide for her when she doesn’t need it, you’re telling her that if ever she needed help, you would not be opposed to offering it. This is why you should be on your best behaviour on the first date. Remember to open her door. Remember to avoid the swear words. Remember to walk on the outside of the pavement, closer to oncoming traffic.
After the first few dates though, she might be completely happy to provide for herself, or for you both, once she is reassured that you are okay with being the ‘strong’ one if ever she needs you to be.
He’s the host
If you’ve asked a someone out, chosen the date, the place and agreed on the time, you don’t want them to back out because it’s financially infeasible.
If you invite someone somewhere, you are the host. This means that they will look to you to ensure their comfort and entertainment.
Think about it; if your friend invited you to a dinner party you might bring a bottle of wine, or a bouquet of flowers… but that’s your choice. If you showed up only to find out that you had to pay at the door, how would you feel?
As a freelancer, I veer wildly between flush and broke. If you ask me out to a nice restaurant at the wrong time… I’m likely to flat out refuse (rather than stick to salad and sparkling water) and a perfect opportunity to start something beautiful might be lost.
If you ask, you pay… because by being the ask-er you’ve indicated that you can afford to engage in the activity. Of course, this also means that if she’s the one who asked you out… you can expect her to pay!
It’s a gift
Like flowers or a box of chocolates… the first date is a gift. It can be the way you say “I’m into you and if you’re into me I will treat you right, make you feel special… this is a token of my esteem.”
Nobody should have to pay for their own gift.
I once loaned a boyfriend $300. I loaned it to him because he wanted to take me out, but couldn’t afford it at the time. He asked for me to front him the money and insisted that he would repay me.
That night, we went to a nightclub. I got in free. I had maybe $40 worth of drinks. I got tired and went to nap in the car while he continued partying. He got wasted… came back to the car, sat in the drivers’ seat and promptly threw up. I ended up having to drive him home.
A few days later he gave me $200 and a bouquet of flowers. He said he’d bought the flowers with the other $100 he owed me.
I quickly figured out that this guy was frivolous and unreliable. If I wanted to feel safe… if I wanted to feel special, I’d be staying sober, driving myself and buying myself hundred-dollar bouquets of flowers for the rest of our relationship.
In a society where men are portrayed as happy to get the physical ‘perks’ of a relationship with zero investment of time and emotion, women often need some proof that a man is willing to go out of his way for something that isn’t sexual.
A date is NOT meant to be sexual – it’s an opportunity for two people to see how much they enjoy each other’s company.
On a related note, it’s important to remember that on your first date, you are NOT paying for sex. There are women who would take food or money or gifts from a virtual stranger or casual friend in exchange for sex… but trust me, the woman you’re about to take out probably isn’t that desperate for food – or for sex. There should be no expectation that she ‘put out’ because you paid for a movie ticket.
If I’m asked out on a date, I automatically assume that we’re creating the embryo of a relationship. Yes, I said embryo… and yes, that may sound like a scary word if you aren’t ready for commitment, but make no mistake, many women think like this. In my book, someone who just wants to hook up wouldn’t put that much effort into the pursuit.
If you only want sex… you’d better tell her that BEFORE she agrees to go out on a date with you. Sex is free and easy, so if a woman wanted that, she could get it without sitting around trying to make awkward conversation with a man for no good reason. She could get it without dressing up and doing her hair. Trust me, it’s easy. Don’t make a woman actually spend TIME with you for nothing. Her time ain’t cheap… and your boy bits aren’t valuable enough to pay her for it.
Now, inevitably, some women will disagree with me. They will say that times have changed, that a man no longer has to woo a woman. I haven’t done an exhaustive study, but I am willing to bet that most women still expect a man to pay for the first date. The purpose of this post was simply to explain why.
What do you think, ladies? Have I hit the nail on the head?