Who Pays on a First Date?

I’m kinda old fashioned about who pays when you’re out on a date, particularly a first date. Here’s my take on this issue.

If I ask her out, she’s my guest and the expense is my responsibility.

I wouldn’t invite my friends to a dinner party and expect them to pay or contribute towards the cost of it, so why would I expect to, from someone I invite to go out to dinner.

If my guests bring a bottle to the party great, if she offers to take me for a coffee or a drink after the date great. I will accept gracefully.

Nor am I am expecting anything out of the date except pleasant company.

Offering to share or split the bill may seem to be a nice gesture but it kind of suggests that
a. she doesn’t value my company,
b. she doesn’t want to feel obligated
c. I’m expecting something in return (sex)

None of which would endear me to ask her for another date.

I’ve heard it often, that dating can be expensive. Why do I have to cover the cost all the time? and other versions of who pays?

Well, if you can’t afford the stake don’t get in the game or don’t sit at the table (pun intended).

Dating is part of the courting ritual that keeps the human race from becoming extinct. Male Bowerbirds compete with other male Bowerbirds constructing elaborate nests in order to attract a mate, knowing full well that she will choose the one she feels will best serve her (no pun intended). They don’t moan about how much effort it takes to make it and why it’s not fair and that she should pitch in building it.

As with most species, with Homo Sapiens the man does the chasing and the woman does the choosing. She chooses the suitor who best courts her. Homo-Sapiens has three hard-wired primal directives. These are to Provide, Protect, and Procreate and because it’s competitive out there, you need to stand out among the bucket-load of Alpha males with far better game than you.

Why would you want to handicap yourself by flagging that you can’t afford to take her out unless she pays for herself or that you’re just plain cheap? If you can’t afford to pay for her as your guest what kind of message does that send to her about the kind of provider you’ll be if you were to hitch up?

Ladies, why do you want to sell yourself short? If he doesn’t think you’re worth a few dinner dates, why do you think he’s worth the effort of you being interested? (but keep it real, don’t order up Lobster and a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild every time he takes you out).

Once you’re dating regularly (4-5 months) and you’re in an exclusive relationship you should be close enough to discuss how you will pay for your social outings fairly.

I do it by setting up a joint debit card a/c into which we both pitch in equal $ amounts. We both have our own card access to the a/c and the balance never exceeds $500. This account is then only used when we go out. When the a/c gets to a low balance we again tip in more funds in equal amounts. It’s fair, it’s elegant (none of that arguing about the bill in front of waiters) and the courting ritual remains socially intact.

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