How come? Well, pretty much every girlfriend I have claims that it is the guy’s obligation to pay for dinner and drinks on a date. And one friend told me she was out recently where she tried to pay and the guy told her “come on, let me be a man” and insisted on paying. Another friend of a friend uses dating to fund her dinners out. Whenever she is low on funds, she goes online and finds some random guy to take her out for drinks or dinner. The guy always seems to pay.
This is interesting. I have asked if there is any discussion around this when it comes time to pay the bill but from my limited polling of friends they say there is not. The woman may make some half-hearted attempt to pay, but that is generally to be polite.
How is this still the norm? I should mention that my friends are all in their 40s and they are all at least as well off as the men they are dating.
What does this payment dynamic do?
Well, another friend went out on two dates with someone who paid for both and after the second one, she decided that they were just not suited to each other. He emailed to ask her out again and she spent two entire days agonizing over how to tell him this. She felt like she owed him something more for the $40 he had shelled out on her behalf instead of the standard “I don’t think we are on the same page – see you later,” email that she did eventually end up sending him. As we discussed this, she said it would have been way easier to break it off if she didn’t feel like she was in dinner debt!
A more extreme example of this involves a friend that went out with a guy some years ago. He took her out for a fancy dinner and when she did not “put out” at the end of the night, he made his displeasure known and never contacted her again. Good riddance in that case is all she could say. That said, it was an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, she is a strong and independent person and does not let people wield power over her, but not everyone is as strong as her.
So, my opinion on all of this? Guys get to buy power for the cost of a cheap dinner. Pretty good deal. Women are handing over their sovereignty for dinner and drinks. Am I being a bit extreme? Maybe. After all, some women are using it to fund their nights out as noted above and may know exactly what they are doing but they are helping perpetuate a system that does not serve anyone.
This dating and paying system is establishing a pattern where women are asking men to take care of them. This dating and money pattern potentially sets the precedent going forward if the relationship between these two people continues. When you are suddenly being supported and taken care of by someone else it changes the entire dynamic of the power in the relationship. Just ask my kids. I pay for them and I am the decision maker in the household.
Do women need to be taken care of? What do they really need out of a relationship? They need to be loved and respected and in my opinion, automatically assuming that a woman cannot pay and take care of herself is not showing respect.
I have met a number of widows in my capacity as a volunteer income tax preparer for seniors. These women outlived their husbands and in every case, they have were not the financial decision makers in their households. It is challenging to say the least to start learning how to deal with money as a senior citizen.
How do stop this pattern? Well, I believe it begins right at the beginning. Going on a coffee date? Pay for you own coffee.