Last week, a (male) LW wrote in complaining about how a woman he’d been out with seven times or so had only paid for about 10% of their dates. This, he noted, was not uncommon in his and his friends’ dating experience. He wrote: “This isn’t the first woman that I’ve had to spend money on. There’ve been others, of course. I’ve heard complaints from friends and other men about women NOT offering to pay. And you know what? I’m tired of it. Men are tired of it.” He went on to say that women have credit cards, educations, and good jobs, and he doesn’t understand where they get this old-fashioned idea that men are supposed to always pay for dates. “Personally, I work just as hard as any woman does for my money,” he said, “and I don’t find it fair. I just don’t want any woman getting the idea that I’m OK with it or that she can take advantage. I don’t want to be her ATM.” Lovely, right?
As of this morning, the post has nearly 230 comments; people have a lot of thoughts about his argument, and there seem to be different ideas of what is normal and expected. So I thought I would open the discussion up further and ask:
How do you handle who pays for dates when you go out? If you identify as heterosexual and exclusively date people of the opposite sex, is it always the man who pays? Always the person who does the asking out (and, if so, is it always the man who does the asking?)? Do you take turns, split the bill evenly, go dutch (each pay your own expenses)? If you identify as something other than hetero and occasionally or exclusively date people of the same sex as you (or who are gender fluid or non-binary), does that affect who picks up the check? And if you’re in a long-term relationship – even married and living together – how do you handle paying for dates?
Related: 52 Cheap Date Ideas