Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who Should Pay?

Happy Tuesday!

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.



BatMan said...

First BITCH!

Stef said...

wow, I was really late on this one!

I can't believe dude let her pay the tip on the first date! He's wack!

But then again, she shouldn't be testing him, and she damn sure shouldn't have offered if she didn't want to pay. I wouldn't have.

Maybe he really just didn't have it like that, in which case he should have taken her to lunch instead of dinner - it's cheaper!

The Cable Guy said...

Women need to stop playing these games. Men nowadays are a bit more liberal when it comes to that stuff. Now, I wouldn't have let her pay if it was the first date - or the second, or the third - but she shouldn't offer and then hold it against him later.

For all we know, she could have failed a few tests herself throughout the course of the night - which is why he had no problem allowing her to pay the tip. Women are so quick to judge us without thinking that maybe we're testing them too.

Anyway, good guidelines Brooke!

Jay said...

I agree with all your points Brooke. I tend to pay for all dates in the early stages of the relationship, and then once we're in a solid one, I might let her pay the tip or something. If we lived together, I'd split bills, etc.

Dude was kinda wack letting her pay the tip, but we're all too old to be "testing" folks. If you don't want to pay, don't offer.

Annamaria said...

ok i am swamped at work saving the world BUT we're all adults if you wanna "test" or play games don't get mad when the other person tests u right back. For all she knows he may not have had a good time & that's why he LET her pay something..
I agree with Brooke's general guidelines but lets be real times are rough soo work with EACH OTHER people.

Courtney said...

I'm mad Brooke called dude a Herb :-)

Serena W. said...

Courtney I'm cracking up too!

"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."

Brooke that is classic, "herb!"

Anywho I agree with everyone on here, stop the testing! Especially when it comes to paying a bill. She shouldn't have offered to pay the tip and be mad when he agrees with you to pay it.

Now this is what's whack! My friend and her ex-guy went out for her birthday. When the bill came he pulled out his calculator and told her, "Your part of the bill is $20.00."

She was so upset. This was years ago and a special bday (the 21st birthday)! What a way to remember your bday. Your man not picking up your tab nor tip on your special day!

Where was the lunch you may ask...at UNO's Pizzeria. That get's a "C'Mon Son!"

Brooke said...

Pizzeria Uno's?

Okay...assuming her was 21 too, I'm not necessarily mad it was at Uno's...but he made her pay?

yeah....c'mon son. He's a Herb too.

Brooke said...

*he...not "her :-)

Grownblknfocused said...

Sidenote: I wish we can commment from Facebook (or can we)?

First of all, the big losers overall is the women as a whole. When will women ever learn that in society: men pick women. Why do women think it's women testing men in these situations when it is the opposite? Men and women need to get off the "who should pay" debate and ONLY go out with each other if they really believe there is long-term potential (I.E.-marriage). Other than that, why waste each other's time?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree that men pick women.

And you can date just to have fun, there's no reason to dates only if it leads to something long term. If it's casual, then it shouldn't matter who pays. I like the guidelines given (ie: birthdays, special occasions, whoever does the asking, etc.) but like Brooke said, there are no set rules.

Grownblknfocused said...

If men don't pick women, then you tell me in general, which gender is the one getting down on one knee for proposal? (aka the picking)

Anonymous said...

men can propose, but alot of them are afraid to because they don't know if a woman will say yes. Men and women choose EACH OTHER. Just because he gets on one knee doesn't mean she'll accept. She has to choose him BACK.

One could even argue that accepting his proposal means that she chose to marry HIM, and not the next dude.

Stef said...

I agree with anonymous - as a matter of fact, I think there's a saying about women being the ones who choose. If a woman offers sex, MOST men won't turn them down. But a man can offer sex or want sex and be rejected. WE choose who we have sex with, who we marry, who we give babies to. Men can pick who they want to have sex with, but they don't always get it. They can pick the type of woman they want to marry (like a Halle Berry) but they don't always GET that woman. The Halle Berry's and Michelle Obamas CHOSE who they wanted to be with, not the other way around...cuz not just any ole dude can get them.

Men seem to be buying into the whole "single, lonely black woman" thing just as much as women are - and the media has you eating it up. Not all women are desperate enough to be with any ole guy who "chooses" them. It goes both ways. We're not out here accepting rings and proposals from any man off the street feeling "grateful" that a man "chose" us. If men did all the choosing and women had no say, then all dudes would be with tall, modelsque, gorgeous women who worship the ground you walk on. You can pick who you want to be with, but ultimately it's up to the woman to choose if she wants to be with you too.

Grownblknfocused said...

Yes, bottom line "men" pick the women. That's why they usually are the ones who get down on one knee-proposing. It's women who accept/reject that man that is picking her. But in general, its men that do the picking. Men being scared to pick women or propose, that's a bunch of craop. Bottom line,in today's society men don't propose as much because they simply don't think its worth it.

Brooke said...

I see some comments have been happening a couple days later :)

But I must disagree as well that men pick the women. Just because traditionally a man proposes doesn't necessarily mean he does the "picking."

Unless we're talking about a culture other than western or American culture, men don't just "pick" who they want and the woman must be with him out of obligation. Most men only propose to women who they know will say yes, not just anyone they want. It takes two people to choose each other.

A man can pick who he'd like to ask out, but if the woman says no, his "picking" means nothing. If the woman says yes, you can say that she "chose" him too. Women get asked out all day every day by men who'd like to "pick" them to date - but women choose out of all those men who she says yes to. The same could be said for men, if that's the case.

All of this men and women back and forth stuff is nonsense.

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