Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

As our society continues along the complex and arduous road towards gender equality, it's important to consider how dating and romance should be impacted. With equal rights must come equal effort and equal responsibility. It's well past time for women to start pulling their weight on dates by contributing financially, and releasing men from outdated expectations of chivalry. The problem is, both men and women are still programmed by society to expect traditional behaviors and gender roles specifically when it comes to dating. It's as though the world of romance is stuck in a time capsule, while the rest of society evolves around it.

This is a tricky subject to address, because both genders may fear being taken advantage of by being the first to enact change. Men risk missing out on dating opportunities by failing to meet women's outdated expectations. Meanwhile, women are encouraged to expect chivalry from their dates, and to use those behaviors to gauge whether a man will make a good partner. It can be difficult to detach from these messages. But it's necessary.

This myTake is for both women and men, because both genders need to work together to make progress on this issue through cooperation, mutual compassion, and trust. Being on the same page is so important, because it's the only way that we can work together. That said, women bear a greater responsibility in certain aspects, like offering to split the bill on dates. I hope that it will offer readers some inspiration for how to take action in their own lives.

Chivalry goes both ways.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

Equality doesn't mean that you can't be polite. Opening the door for your date, pulling out their chair, or offering them a jacket if they look cold are all lovely gestures. So is offering to pay for their dinner or buy them a drink. But those behaviors should be a two way street, and should not be expected of someone just because of their gender. Even more importantly, letting go of outdated social norms does NOT mean letting go of basic manners, consideration, compassion, and kindness. Those virtues are often forgotten these days, and that may be the biggest problem of all. Compassion, kindness, and general politeness are invaluable tools that will help you navigate our society's rapidly changing social waters.

Ladies: Understand that old-fashioned chivalry doesn't necessarily express how a guy feels about you or how much he values you. Yes, it can be charming, I admit. But it doesn't mean that the guy is kind or smart a good match for you. It doesn't mean that he respects you, that he loves you, or that the relationship will last. It just means that he knows how to open a door, and has decided to do so in this particular instance, either because he genuinely wants to perform a kind gesture or because he is simply following society's rules. Try to see past it.

Gentlemen: Be aware that women are constantly bombarded with messages from the media, entertainment, and even friends and family members, telling them that chivalrous men are the "good guys", the ones who will respect them and treat them well. These messages are damaging to both genders, because not only do they put unfair pressure on men, but they also confuse women about how to recognize a good partner. The best thing you can do to combat this is show the women in your life that pulling out their chair is not what makes you a good man or a desirable partner. Your kindness, compassion, intelligence, and personality are responsible for that.

Plan to either pay for yourself or split the bill.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age


Regardless of your gender, be prepared to cover your own costs when you head out on a date. It's fair, it's polite, and it keeps things simple- you can't go wrong. If one of you wants to insist on paying for the other, that's totally okay, but it should never be an expectation. And if your date does pay for your share, make sure to return the favor next time!

Men: You might be worried that you'll offend or displease your date by asking to split the bill. That's a tough one, and there is no perfect solution. Ultimately, you have a choice: stand up for change, or go with the flow. It's totally up to you. (But do you really want to date the type of girl who is going to stop liking you just because you wanted to split the bill, anyway?)

Women: Be mindful that men may feel pressured or obligated to offer to pay for you, due to outdated social norms. Don't put your date in that position! Take initiative and offer to split the bill/ pay for yourself. It's only fair. If he insists on paying, that's fine- but try again next time. Women have a responsibility to actively release men from the expectation of always paying.

But don't be obnoxious about it.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

The point of splitting the bill is to establish a balanced and fair dynamic between you and your date, not to be frugal or obsessive about money. If you order one drink and your date orders two, let it go. Making a fuss over small amounts will add stress and awkwardness to the interaction for both you and your date, and may make you seem petty or stingy. Likewise, if you ordered an appetizer and your date didn't, it shouldn't be a big deal. You can offer to cover the extra amount if you want to, especially if you ordered something pricey, or you know that your date is on a tight budget. But it shouldn't be necessary to request separate checks just because of one extra drink or side salad.

If you suggest an expensive outing, consider your date's finances first.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age


While expecting to split the bill is generally a good rule of thumb, suggesting a super pricey restaurant or other extravagant outing can change the financial dynamic of the date a little bit. Keep in mind that if your date is on a tight budget or the activity is super expensive, they might have trouble affording their share. Ideally, they will tell you this beforehand, and suggest a cheaper activity. But they might be embarrassed about their finances, or they might assume that if you suggested the date, you are offering to pay for it. If your date looks panicked when the bill arrives, step in. Alternately, you can always discuss payment for the activity in advance, to see what your date can afford. (Or, just stick to cheaper dates so you don't have to worry about this in the first place.)

Come up with a financial plan for your relationship.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

Once you've established a long term relationship with someone, it becomes extra important to agree on a fair way of managing relationship expenses. This might mean splitting the bill on dates, or taking turns paying, or each of you paying separately. Once the relationship gets serious enough, a shared bank account is also an option to consider. This makes it way easier to pay for expenses without using multiple cards or keeping track of who paid last. My boyfriend and I use a shared account for every cost that we want to split 50-50, so we no longer have to discuss which of us will pay or keep track of our receipts. It makes splitting the bill totally painless. (Just make sure you don't put too much money in it at a time, since sharing an account is a very serious commitment.)

Women should consider making the first move.

Dating Etiquette for the Modern Age

As a woman, I'm aware of the confusing mixed messages that females receive when it comes to this topic. We're encouraged to pull our weight by asking men out, but we're also told that men like the chase and will be less interested in a woman who takes the initiative. Rise above the nonsense, ladies. A guy who really likes you isn't going to turn you down just because you like him too. (And look at it this way: if he DOES lose interest just because you made the first move, then you probably dodged a bullet, anyhow.)

Happy dating! Thanks for reading!

Image sources:

atishhomechowdhury.wordpress.com

bernos.com

cartoonstock.com

pinterest.com

loanscanada.ca

sheknows.com


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I agreed with all points. A guy who REALLY likes a girl won't turn her down just because she made the first move, or offered to pay.

    On the pay thing, I think that whoever asked the other on the date assumes responsibility to pay. But that would assume women start asking more often, as well

    MANY people are clinging to olden times and if that trend continues then society will become more and more unbalanced

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Most people follow ' traditional dating practices' and will continue to for many many more years to come because of one simple thing called Human Nature. As you said, you want people to change how they date by splitting the bills and whatnot. But guess what people don't have to do shit to be "modern'. You obviously don't understand the dynamics of dating. Women will always be the ones most chased and men would always do the ones doing the most chasing. Because of this, the 'chaser' is the one who has to do the impressing (at first) that is why guys would pick up women with flowers and pay for dates, because he knows there are about 5 other guys he has to compete with... Women, are very well aware of this so if a guy doesn't impress her she knows she has options and would continue to play the field until she finds the right guy. So there is no "gender equality' in the real dating world. Maybe for you who follow feminism might be insecure that you are being sexist for not splitting the bill, but remember the majority of women and people in general don't follow feminism and women still want romance and a guy to "sweep us off" our feet.

    About 3-4 weeks ago another "Feminist" wrote a Take saying the very opposite of everything you said and guess what... All the women agreed with her, and they want a guy who still follows traditional dating etiquette. So I don't see dating patterns drastically changing anytime soon because most people have no issue with the way things are and they're not going to change how they date just to please 'Modern Society" because they don't have to.

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    • Obviously not everyone will change their behavior, and certainly not right away. And that's okay. I am not trying to force anyone into anything. If you're not interested in changing, then you don't have to. But a huge population of men are getting fed up with the current system, and I don't really blame them. Women shouldn't get to pick and choose when they want equality and when they want preferential treatment. That's unfair.

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    • So you don't date yet you wrote a whole MY Take on dating which you have no experience in?

      The guys who are complaining (small %) are the ones who are upset they got rejected and splitting the bill isn't going to help them.

      It isn't a system as you keep pointing out... its actually survival of the fittest.

    • Don't date yet? No experience? That's not exactly what I said. I haven't been on as many first dates as some people probably have, but I definitely have dating experience.

      Look, if this isn't for you, that's okay. I never expected to change every person's mind. If you want to look at it as survival of the fittest that's up to you. But logically, I don't see how it's fair for women to have equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal pay, and still have all the privilege when it comes to dating. That's something that I personally just don't feel good about. And I've also had much more fulfilling dating experiences since I stopped expecting men to pay.

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What Guys Said 28

  • Chivalry has virtually nothing to do with women and absolutely nothing to do with dating. It was a code of conduct relating to one on one combat, war and the duties of a knight.

    I really wish people would educate themselves on that.

    And no thanks I'll do things the old fashioned way, I'm not at all interested in the modern way of doing things.

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    • Similar here. However, I pitch in or help out occasionally, otherwise I feel like I'm abusing their generosity.

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    • Words evolve. Baby >> babe >> bae. I hate the word bae, I never could stand it. But I don't think someone saw the Danish word for poop and thought "Oh, that must be a term of endearment." It was probably just people evolving terms of endearment from baby, and it is a coincidence that it happens to be the Danish word for poop.

    • Which doesn't necessarily mean that people should use the word. But language does evolve, that's reality. It's why we're not all here on GAG typing "Here ye here ye! Canst thou offer advice for wooing thine fair lady?" or whatever.

  • While I will say Yes I will also say a big No.

    Men and women have to act differently in dating, not to say like in the olden days, but it has to be clear who's the man and who's the woman. Why? Because for me for example, as a man, I want to feel like I'm dating a woman, not myself or my buddy.

    About the finances I agree fully.

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    • Yeah, I don't mean that men can't act masculine or that women can't act feminine.

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    • Yeah that is taking the whole thing a step further. I don't know if I would propose to a guy, at least unless I knew that he wanted it to be my job. But I just chose that photo to represent the idea of women making the first move.

    • I understand yes

  • We do not split bills but we do split the expenses such as on a date one pays for dinner and the other pays for the movie. Or on a trip one pays for the car rental and the other pays for the hotel room. Things like that. It seems to work well for us.

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  • Ridiculous ideas. Society never invented these so called rules in the first place. They were built around nature. Testosterone makes you bold and brave and socially in your face ie it makes men confident enough to chase women and to try and impress them. Women on the other hand are more timid and reserved but get to pick and choose a potential partner from all of her suitors. It works this way in every species and animals don't have a blanket and uniform society. All the info flying around these days Is mostly bullshit. Society didn't train us into gender roles and behaviours, thats developed naturally through millions of years of evolution. What society tries to do is steer people away from their base nature and Darwinian theories like natural selection. The more layers of rules and indoctrination they plaster onto us, the more the rich can control us and make us productive for their benefit. I've only met 2 girls and a young boy if 17 on this site who had the first clue how the world really works behind the whitewash of lies. The rest are just drones who accept anything comes out of their propaganda boxes

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  • If I ask a girl out , I'm paying and if she attempts to split the bill , Imma hold her in a head lock until the waiter swipes my card.

    I think dates should be fun and effortless. If you have to change the way you date, then I don't see things working out because now you're going to start overthinking every little thing and you spend more time worrying than actually having fun.

    I actually like the old way and I wouldn't change because paying for a date and being chivalrous doesn't make the woman unequal to me.

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    • There are a whole lot of men who would disagree with you.

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    • @Armourdillo I was speaking specifically about me.

    • "Imma hold her in a head lock until the waiter swipes my card" 😂😃

  • Men like the chase? We do? I wonder how true that is.

    The person who pays for the date ought to be the person who asked the other person out on a date. If I offer to take you to a restaurant for example then I'll pay for that. You can solve that problem up front by being assertive when asking for a date.

    If women want to reciprocate then it's not just on bill paying it ought to be on making the first move as well, ask a guy out on a date, offer to take him to do something, if you actually care or give a shit, that shouldn't bother you.

    With regards to chivalry. If women want men to act like gentlemen then women should reciprocate and act ladylike. It's hilarious the amount of times I've read women demanding gentlemen but are hardly ladylike themselves. It's a 2 way street.

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    • Yeah I mentioned that too. Women should feel free to make the first move. But it does get complicated by the mixed messages that we receive- whether or not they speak the truth. As for chivalry, I think both genders should be polite and respectful, and beyond that, it's just whatever you want to do.

    • If you're after a serious relationship with someone mature then you ought to be able to approach them and ask them out, offer to take them somewhere or do a joint activity. If they respond badly to that it's a big red flag to move on. It'll save you so much time just cutting through the chaff like that.

  • Men hate women. We really do we hate you and we do not want to date you. And guys like me don't even want to have sex with you. You women still make excuses for your poor behavior when you know it was wrong. This is why I don't trust you women. You blame others, it's society's fault, the media, the elites. No your fault. You knew it was wrong and when men speak out you shamed us. Calling us bitter, women hating men.
    Men are done with women there is no going back. You choose the govenment over men so date the government not us men. Even to this day women are saying MGTOW are bitter. Guess what we are fucking bitter because we have a good reason to do so. All you women know how to do is spread your legs. How the hell can a make take a whore seriously?

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    • If you're not interested in dating, then I guess this myTake is not really intended for you.

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    • Who on earth said false rape accusations were okay?

      I see that you're using this myTake as an opportunity to air ALL your grievances related to women, even those that have literally nothing to do with the issue at hand. I hope that's therapeutic for you, because it's not achieving much else.

    • Jesus Christ man, either you are trolling very well or you have some deep seeded relationship/ interpersonal issues. I see a lot of projection in your comment, and I gotta say: Women aren't anywhere near as bad as you think they are... Sad to see you are 49 and have that bitter outlook. I hope someone out there can change your viewpoint because as long as you choose to look at the world and women as such, that's all you will be presented with.
      Wish you well amigo :)

  • I believe men should lead the way on a date: pay, choose location, open doors etc.. But both genders should stay off their phones!

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    • Ugh, phones. I hate those pieces of plastic sitting on a restaurant table.

  • Well its kinda about time women invested in dating really...

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  • i agree completely and honestly quite like the last picture.

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  • Great read. I think this should be the guide to 21st century dating.

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  • Good take. I feel that if a woman asked me out it would be a huge burden off my shoulders. I often confuse being nice with genuine interest and get rejected all the time as a result.

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  • Using a proposal as a picture for "the first move" is a bit...

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    • I don't know exactly what you're trying to say since you left out the last word of your sentence, lol. But the photo is just meant to symbolize women taking the initiative more in dating. It was hard to find any other photo that showed a woman making the first move that was clear enough. It's just representative.

    • Handing a rose would have worked too.

    • I actually tried that first. But I couldn't find a picture that showed (clearly) a woman giving a flower to a man. Evey picture showed the other way round.

  • I keep it old-school. Fuck this weak, liberal, beta shit.

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  • To be blunt, most men fear being taking advantage of if he pays. Bitches be out here looking for a free meal.

    So this is how I approach this.

    When it comes to finances and how to pay for the date, I usually don't mind covering the first date if the date doesn't cost a lot. For example, I would set up a first date to be either breakfast/lunch (dinner costs more), a coffee shop, a smoothie shop, etc.

    When my girlfriend and I first started dating, we went to a diner for brunch. The tab after tip for the both of us was about $23. I could do that no problem.

    After the first date, if I really like her and I think she is genuinely interested in me, I don't mind paying for dates if I can afford it.

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  • Chivalry does not exist anymore. Feminism killed that. it's over

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    • You missed the point there a little.

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    • It doesn't really matter whether or not traditional, one-sides chivalry is dead. We can still fight for polite and considerate behavior to go both ways. You may not realize this since you didn't read the myTake (ahem) but I'm talking here about what we SHOULD do, not what we ARE doing.

    • Well I agree with that

  • LMFAOSH...

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    • Care to elaborate?

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    • Asker... I took the time to reread your take. I believe I misread the take in the first place. I think it might be good for guys of certain character , personality and a certain age group as well. So , I'm sorry for misreading your take and it seems fair enough for those who can benefit themselfs with it.

    • Okay, I guess that explains the confusion. Thanks for giving it another chance.

  • Thank you

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  • Thank You

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  • Easy. Just be yourself.

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  • Great Take.

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  • I'm just not getting married or getting into a relationship. It's not worth it.

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  • Just be honest.

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  • ya me personally I've always hated and resented the gender role that guys have to be the initiators, because of how one-sided it feels.

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  • That's cool

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  • Never considered thinking about the other's finances before. Thanks

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  • Excellent take!

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  • Which girl goes on her knees?

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What Girls Said 16

  • I think splitting the bill is always awkward even with friends unless it's a big group. one person should pay and the other should pay the next time. I personally wouldn't split unless the date was really bad and I wanted to leave. I'm definitely a "bougie" person, but I dont see the point in going somewhere really expensive and fancy for the first day. you never know someone's financial status. I've seen g wagons being parked in apartment lots. just pick a popular place that's averagely priced unless you plan on paying for the whole thing.

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    • Taking turns is also fine. But if you don't have another date with someone, then you won't necessarily have an opportunity to get them back. It can be awkward to split the bill, I agree, but it's ultimately the simplest way to keep things fair.

  • My parents raised me with manners, so all of this seems like common sense to me. I have no problem making the first move as a female, it shows the guy you're either interested in or seeing that you're not afraid to take initiative. No matter who I am going out with I always pay for my own meal.

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  • This is really well written and I agree 100%. Things just aren't the same they used to be and I think many of us have to adapt

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  • GREAT TAKE! I've been trying to encourage more women to make the first move, and to pay for dates, for months now. It just makes sense!

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  • This is well written! It's so confusing these days I l have given up on "right vs wrong" and just follow my feelings!

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  • either one can make the first move but just don't make it until you know you have a GREEN light. I asked him first if he was SINGLE, after I got an EXTREMELY green light then I made the first move by suggesting that we meet up and have a date. BEFORE our date (we have been corresponding through facebook messages for about a month or two), we had our first PHONE conversation. So if either one wants to make the first move, just don't continue seeing someone until you get the green light that they also like you and want to see you and are single and looking for a relationship. Either one can ask, boy or girl. In my case I asked first, and he said yes he is single and looking and sorry he didn't sweep me off my feet yet. good luck

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  • I like the last paragraph I think it is relating to me at this moment. What to do?

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  • Well written. I can't find fault with any of those suggestions and regularly ask to take out and pay for our dates.

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  • Doesn't sound like you've dated much...

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    • You know, you're right, I haven't been on a lot of first dates/ casual dates. I'm more of a relationship person. That being said, I realize that a lot of this is easier said than done. I'm not saying that it is simple or easy. All I'm saying is that if our society wants change, we have to make that change for ourselves. It is not going to fall into our laps, is it?

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    • I like it, I don't need it.

    • www.court-records.net/.../miles-smirk(c).gif

      "I think it has to do with a woman knowing her own sexual value, which is a powerful thing. If a guy doesn't see my value, I'm not going to waste my time. It's like an insult to me as an attractive woman."

      Did this come straight out of a tv drama?

  • I couldnt even get the person I like to hook up with me again lol

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  • I agree

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  • I always try to split or at least pay for something but guys usually don't let me :/
    don't get me wrong, I do appreciate it and it's a nice gesture if he was the one to ask me out but I still ask because I think it's unfair to make it one sided lol I even ended up arguing a couple times (on +2nd dates) which discouraged me from dating them tbh if they can't share the bill or even let me get dessert for us what Is he going to share with me in the future? one guy went as far as to try and give me money when I cooked dinner for us and I got mad so he put the bills under a dirty plate before leaving >:( I went crazy

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    • Trying to pay you when you cooked for him? Yikes! I don't blame you for being upset by that. You took it too far, dude! (But he probably meant well.)

  • Good take

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  • I've never split the bill, but we've always taken turns paying.

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  • good

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  • so stay single and dont have to deal with all this crap... .

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