Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So I was having a brief chat with two co-workers of mine – Ms. Prannie and Ms. Phae… neither of which are their real names – and Ms. Phae was recounting a date she had a couple of months ago. It was a first date, and all as going well…until it came time to pay.
She said she wanted to “test” him – so she offered to pay the tip. She thought ole boy would say, “No thanks hon, but thank you for offering.”
But ole boy did no such thing. Instead, he busted out his trusty calculator and told her the tip would be $13. She paid the tip, he “failed” the test and they haven’t been out again since.
Ms. Prannie said, “This is going to be the subject of Brooke’s blog tomorrow, watch.”
And Ms. Pran was right…far be it from me to disappoint her :-)
Now, before any dudes start typing their response to this blog, let me say this – if you offer to pay any portion of the bill and he takes you up on it, you can’t be mad at him. I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t want to pay it. But that’s just me.
The guy probably thought she was a progressive, independent woman and appreciated her offering. Or he could be considered a cheap prick…who knows. I think there are many different perspectives you can look at this from, and since there were no follow-up dates, it’s hard to tell which type of man he is.
However, I DO think there are certain guidelines to go by when it comes to picking up the tab on dates, in a relationship, whatever. There are no hard rules per se, but this is MY take - and my take only - on how paying for dates should be handled.
Men Should Pay If:
1. He asks her on the date. This goes for anyone though. If you ask me out, I assume you’re paying. If I ask you on a date – and yes, I’ve done that – then I expect to pay. It hasn’t happened yet, but I DO expect to pay. Most men I’ve asked out on dates were just surprised that I asked them in the first place – so they had no problem paying. I think most men should come prepared to pay for a date, no matter who asks - but I think women should be prepared too…just in case.
2. If it’s the first date. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Now again, if she asked you out and it’s the first date, then you can allow her to pay…but I wouldn’t do it. Women, like Ms. Phae, may be testing you to see if you’re a gentleman, if you’re relationship material, or simply if she’d like to get to know you better. Some lesser women might even decide if they’re going to sleep with you on the first date based on if you pay or not. At any rate, paying for a first date leaves an impression – so it’s up to you if you want to leave a good one or a bad one.
3. It’s her birthday, Valentine’s Day, she gets a new job, got accepted into business school, a holiday or some other special occasion. It just makes you look like a good guy and that you appreciate her or are proud of her. Everyone likes to feel special, so special occasions are the perfect times to treat her.
Women Should Pay If:
1. She asks him out. And don’t test him when the bill comes to see if he’ll reach for his wallet. If you asked him out, you should GENUINELY expect to pay. Only allow him to if he insists.
2. It’s his birthday, he gets a new job or got accepted to law school. Men like to feel special too, so cover him when it’s his time to shine.
3. If she’s Kim Kardashian. That chick and her family made $65 mill last year…I’m jus sayin’ ;-)
Go Dutch If:
1. You’ve been dating for a while. When you’re in a long term relationship, neither of you should expect the other person to pay ALL of the time…unless the person you’re dating is a self made millionaire. Even then, it’s just inconsiderate. We’re in a recession, so take turns – he pays for dinner, you pay for the movie (hopefully dinner won’t be AT the movies! LOL)
2. If you live together. Expenses for joint purchases like groceries, rent, utilities, etc. should be shared if what you’re paying for is for BOTH of you. Same goes for entertainment, joint gifts, vacations, etc. Steady couples, especially ones with similar incomes, should expect to split everything 50/50.
Again, there are no set rules for who pays for what in relationships, or even in casual dating. If you’re comfortable talking about finances with the other person, then your best indicator will come from an honest discussion about what is expected from each of you. Men shouldn’t break the bank trying to woo a woman, only for her to discover he’s secretly broke living in his mama’s basement. And women shouldn’t judge men simply on his ability to treat her to Applebee’s 5 nights a week, or is willing to let her spring for a movie.
I think a rule to follow is to always be prepared to pay for the date, whether you actually plan to or not. No one wants to be bustin’ suds in the kitchen cuz neither one of you can pay the bill. Be honest with yourself and your date. And don’t take advantage of the other person, even if they’re always willing to pay. There’s nothing wrong with treating your man every once in a while to show him that you’re not an ungrateful gold digger. Men, there’s nothing “unmanly” about allowing your lady to treat you to a dinner “just because.”
Just don’t be the dude who’s always looking at his lady like “you got me boo?” EVERY time the bill comes. Then you’re just a Herb.
For both men and women, sometimes a genuine offer to pay goes a long way - just make sure you’re not testing anyone, and that you truly mean it when you offer…or it could backfire on you. Be considerate…and genuine.