This may seem terribly unfair, and one sided. Women want some changes, while holding on to some of the old fashioned principles, grabbing at the best of both worlds. But changes often start out by throwing things off balance until everyone makes the adjustments.
The safest thing for a man to do in this situation is to offer to pay. That is what would be expected of him, and deep down he knows it. He may also be scoring points for something he may want later. You can bet that one crossed his mind a few times.
A woman who asks a man out on a date, should be prepared to pay for it. Despite what she may be wanting the man to do, she was the one who asked, she should be ready to pay. But that won't stop her from judging him based on his actions of course, but at least she won't be left holding a tab for a dinner she has no money to pay for.
"Fact is, men don't need to be wined and dined."
It's the mixed signals between men and women that occur because of the liberating changes in the way society views our growth as people in general. We develop new skills and with them comes different expectations, and responsibilities. We can want it all, but having it all means we have to make some trades, some sacrifices. It took a while for men to get used to the idea that women wanted to open their own doors. Some women wanted to rush in and beat the man to the door, just so she could open it herself, while other women still waited behind, giving the man that head start to open it for her. I know that caused some awkward moments. Women are usually the ones to push for change, because men have always been in charge, and don't need the kinds of changes that will turn that around.
Most men admit to liking it when a woman takes control. They think it's sexy when a woman asserts herself towards a man, they don't care if dinner is part of the deal or not. Fact is, men don't need to be wined and dined. The dinner date for them is more like a means to an end anything they have to do to better their chances of a 'happy ending', they're willing to do.
Changes are being made, yet it's true, some things will never change.