Twice over the weekend I had a conversation with two single friends about who pays for meet-ups vs. dates vs. ongoing relationships.
Let’s get this out of the way:
- I don’t think there is a correct answer
- I’m a feminist
- I have money issues (usually with people who have more than I do)
So knowing all this and knowing that dating in 2016 isn’t what it was 30 years ago. We’re meeting online and then meeting in person. We’re not “dating” as “dating” was traditionally known. Women make more money then they ever have. They can pay their own way and some don’t like feeling “bought”. And you never know if there’s going to be a spark until you meet in person.
When you meet someone online you might agree for a coffee or drink or even dinner right off the bat. I think if it’s a coffee or a drink, it’s fair – you can pick up, he can pick up, or you get separate cheques. I don’t think there should be any expectation for anyone to pick-up the bill on a first-meet. It gets a little trickier for dinner, which is why I try and avoid that for a first-meet. My friends agreed that if they weren’t interested in seeing the gentleman again they would insist on splitting the bill or paying for it 100%. I’d be less inclined to pay 100% but would be happy to split evenly – working out to the penny is so tacky.
For second dates and beyond it gets a little trickier. I don’t think that any man in 2016 thinks that if he pays the dinner bill he’s going to get lucky (and I’ll make sure he understands this clearly if its even hinted at). I always expect to pay half when I go out to dinner with someone new, my reach for my wallet is not a coy attempt at him insisting on paying. But if he insists heartfully then I’ll go with it. Often I’ve dated men that make significantly more then I do and for them treating me for dinner is their way of sharing their successfulness. They can’t/won’t go out and slay a deer for me to show they can provide – so they buy me dinner instead. This is where I can get a little uncomfortable – I’m a woman with a great job and my own money… so if they won’t allow me to buy dinner once in a while, then I’ll cook for them – wine, appies, dinner, dessert in my home.
In longer term relationships its always kind of gone in a you pay sometimes, I pay sometimes and it will all equal out in the end. The exception being my last major relationship where I was paying 100% for everything… because he was spending $900 in online gaming and porn… but that’s another story..
One of my friends dates had said he’s got a 60/40 rule – he’ll pay for 60% of drinks/dinner and expects his date to pay 40%… I have no idea where this calculation came from – but it feels offensive!
What are your thoughts on who pays for a first-meet vs. a first date vs. ongoing relationship?