Is paying for a first-date, as a male, sexist or chivalrous or both?

In an 'equal' society, why am I making a down payment just to see a woman? Well, certainly, the U. S. is anything but equal, but this concept still bugs me. When I was younger, money never factored in to it. Either we had it or we didn't, and we would both buy meals for each other when we did have it. Going on picnics with home made food and stuff. I only went to a real restaurant a couple of times, and that was with my (ex) fiance when I was 17; so, I didn't care what I had to pay, because we were already together, and I adored her. It was about spending time with one another, not which one of us was the 'provider'.

(Although, seriously? 50 bucks for a hamburger that isn't even as good as Wendy's? And that was in 2007! >_> Although, the view was very nice up in a tower overlooking Dallas.)

So, why am I supposed to buy her meal when she's just a stranger to me? I'm just supposed to, because if you don't, then you're an asshole. Even if she makes more money than me.

If a chick expects me to pay for the first date, just to get a free meal and run out, then fuck that.

One of my female acquaintances outwardly told me that she thinks that men should treat women better than women treat men, and that it's their 'role' to be the provider. That's some seriously old fashioned thinking for a liberal, incidentally.

Then, I have to question whether equality is even possible, given our innate desires. Men, to chase down a woman and bump her over the head, so to speak, with a club: claiming victory. And the woman, chasing and ultimately wanting to be controlled and protected and chased and desired. Masculine being power and feminine wanting to be controlled by that power. I. e., 'you're the man, so you should be able to catch me a chicken,' so to speak.

I'm not saying this is always true, just that those seem, to me, to be the innate instincts of men and women; however, intellect, the ability to reason, isn't included in that.

I just see it as archaic.

  • A man should always pay for a woman's meal.
    Vote A
  • Many (narcissistic) women want it both ways: supposed equality and special treatment.
    Vote B
  • If it's a first date, they should both pay for their own food.
    Vote C
  • I really don't know or care.
    Vote D
  • If it's the first date, then the man should pay at first, then when they're actually going out more, the woman should offer to pay for a meal out of respect for what the man has done.
    Vote E
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girl

  • I never got that thing about guys paying. When I was younger and watched my popular older brother go on many dates, I always thought it was dumb that he would have to pay for her. Plus, once I started dating myself, if the guy tried to pay for me I felt very awkward and uncomfortable. I actually hated it. I think that both people on the date should just pay for themselves. It the logical thing to me. However, if either guy or girl insists on paying as "their treat" then it's just a kind thing to do but not necessary.

    • Whoever asks out who and picks the place should ultimately be prepared to foot the bill. That being said- most first dates are better over happy hour or drinks not a full on 5 course meal.

      I make a better than average salary so I usually insist on paying half if I don't plan to see the guy again over $50 or pay the next time if I do. In my experience though, a man that lets you pay on the first date won't treat you well overall.

    • That brings up a whole 'nother issue: women feeling the need to look as pretty as possible in order to find a date, instead of taking initiate sometimes and asking a guy out: which does happen, but some women feel like a guy would be put off by that--another issue. The traditional mindset is a woman dropping ridiculously ambiguous clues until the man finally catches on and asks her out--meaning that the woman actually initiated happenings, but ultimately, since the man asked her out, he is supposed to pay.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 3

  • I picked the last option only because it's the closest to the real answer, for me. I think that whoever ASKED the other person out and suggested the place should be prepared to pay and should pay. After that, take turns. However, if one person is better off financially than the other and tends to suggest more expensive places then they should be prepared to shoulder more of the shared costs of dating, because it would not be fair for them to suggest an expensive restaurant when it is technically the other person's turn and then expect them to pay for it.

    I should also admit I did not read your description. Too long.

    • And if it just so happens that males overwhelmingly are the ones who ask females out and have traditionally been expected to be the ones to ask females out, then so be it, right? At least tell it how it is. Don't go all circumvent. How many guys have you asked out in your lifetime? I'm going to go out on a limb and say 0.

      Sorry. I wasn't really gearing my question towards those averse to reading.

    • Show All
    • You assume that what makes or would make your dating life unfulfilled would make mine unfulfilled, for one.

    • And okay. Fair enough.

  • On my bf and I's first date, he paid for the tickets and I paid for the candy. So it wasn't exactly 50/50, but we both spent money on each other.

  • I like when a guy pays for the first date. To me that's akin to opening doors and walking on the outer edge of the sidewalk. It shows me that you think I'm worth spending money on. If it's a really expensive first date, however I'll insist on splitting the tab.

    • Chivalry over equality. I can at least respect that. As long as it's not while asserting that you're for total equality and also want to be treated as the goal and princess or the special one.

    • And walking on the outer edge of the sidewalk shows you that he values your life above his own.

What Guys Said 6

  • If you invite some one to date you pay - that's common courtesy. If a man asks a woman out to an date then he should pay since he asked. Problems arise when women, who seem independent at first by being the ones to ask out a man, then demand that the man pay for the dinner that the woman invited him to.

    So, if you invite you pay. But if the two of you are together then you should beforehand establish who pays and when - it doesn't have to be a 50/50 thing because chances are that one of you (most frequently the man) will be earning more than the other so you have to divide how you pay for stuff relative to individual income.

    • I suppose that makes sense.

    • Show All
    • Wanted to hear it from the horses mouth. I already know why you said what you said. And, it really doesn't make much of a difference about what I've said. Men overwhelmingly ask out women, so naturally you would say the initiator should pay. And hey, do what you do.

      But, if you like, we can talk about the female wage gap. Is that an overall gap, or is it based on hourly salary and hours worked or the type of job worked? Do men typically do more dangerous jobs and work longer hours?

      But, who knows. Maybe it is misogyny. My mother isn't helping my perspective of women, atm, and I'd be remiss to really say that I had no biases towards women. Then again, in the end, we all have biases: that doesn't make them founded on deep, racist-type hate. Some are founded on disappointment and/or disillusion. You want to call me anything, feel free to call me a misanthrope. An equal opportunist hater of humanity, and each race and gender maintained in it. At this point, I'm just focused on females

    • Oh. I assumed you were the OP, for a second. In any case, think what you want. Like you, I don't care what other people think of me. I care about ideas.

      And, tbh, I wouldn't have a problem with males being identified as the protectors and providers. The problem is when we have this subtle thing. Like we pretend everything is equal, when we have these rigid gender roles still in place. I despise it. Worst of all I hate pretending. Maybe they're evolutionary, maybe social creations. I don't know. And, the problem is I feel as though things are expected of males, and there isn't any respect behind those expectations, anymore. It's just something they're 'supposed' to do. If I were respected for the things I do then that would be that.

  • Well, I believe in opening and holding a woman's door, offering her my hand if we're going stepping off a huge curb (just an example), walking on the outside of the sidewalk, and paying for first dates.

    I do those things because I was taught that this is how you treat a special lady, but I was also taught that women are fully capable beings that don't NEED to be taken care of. I try to care for them because I WANT to.

    Despite what anyone has to say about it that's just how I feel, and I will not change. If this is a sexist attitude then, well, label me however you want.

  • Never thought I'd see the day when doing everything I was taught to do as a "gentleman" could be twisted and misconstrued as sexism. Goddamn shame.

    • Yeah, the good 'ol days when women couldn't vote or work. God damn shame they can provide for themselves, these days. Clearly, you're not keen on equality.

    • Show All
    • Steve I don't think men should take it that way at all. Holding doors open and paying for dinner has never been anything the women I know get offended by. Unless she is a poor school teacher or something let her pick up the bill once every 5 or so dates. It is just our way of showing we appreciate what you do for us and like spending time with you.

    • @sjoes006 I've had several women *friends* get offended when I opened the door for them. And, incidentally, in a friendship setting, no one ever pays for someone else's meal just because they're female. They only pay if they're expecting or trying to get laid, which I find hilariously ironic, since it's supposed to be 'gentlemanly'.

      What I've found is it depends on their personality. If they're old fashioned or overly submissive, then they won't say anything. If they have any sort of dominance and they're any part feminist--two traits which are usually mutually inclusive--then they'll get defensive or wack me. Or if they have an ounce of pride, which is also usually higher in feminists.

      Then, other times, with strangers, incidentally, it's always nice to open the door for a stranger--male or female (equality)--then they just walk on through without saying 'thank you', like someone like you is expected to use up your time to open doors for them.

  • No, you haven't earned a free meal until you've said "I love you". Pay for your own damn over priced bowl of chopped vegetables.

  • I voted E, because well, the Women I know in this day & Age PREFERS to pay / split the bill.
    I mean, lets face it, its bad enough when your a woman, your MAN is excellent company, he's making you laugh, he's offering to pay 100% of the bill, ( he may ask you to drop some bills for the tip ) but that's still pretty dam reasonable.

    it can work viseversa because I rather not be sexist on this, but I'm old Fashioned, I love paying bills, but mind you, I did not pop outta my mom's vagina just to pay bills.. #rebel.

    first time , it should be on the Man. 2nd and after, they can split depending on the woman's mood.
    KIDDIN' !

    xoxoxoxo. Happy Reading hahaha.

    • I really think it's an insult to an independent and/or femenist woman. Basically saying, "I will provide for you since you're a woman, and as such incapable of providing for yourself."

      So, why do you think it's better for a split on later dates? My reasoning is that later on, when I know I like her, then I don't mind paying. But, at first, she's just some stranger. But really, the kind of woman I would be interested in would realize the pressure on a guy to pay for the first date, then offer to pay for her own because she's not incapable of providing for herself and neither of us know how the date will go. Maybe I sound like a money hog, but it can rack up if you go out with a lot of women, most of them probably coming along just for the free meal. That's something I can't stand: women who have no interest in you, but the free meal. It's taking advantage of kindness, like a sociopath.

    • Well, being honest, I'm no rich white man, or rich man in general, I make 9.50 an hour.
      I don't care for money, as long as I'm having fun, Money is nothing to me. my kinda of paper is #420. ..

      you want to set a good "First Impression" as a gentlemen ( assuming you are )
      some women like this, some will tolerate it, and some will ( whatever... ).

      Well, if it "racks up " too much for you, why are you even going on dates?
      LOL, hahahah~
      & as for the free meal, wow, women in your area must suck huevos. ( excuse my Spanish )

      but hey, you can have fun if they want a free meal, you can just smile & look good doing it, its your money, make yourself happy with it. right ?

      xoxo, great response, great read. Live life my friend.

  • Definitely E. Vast majority of guys initiate the date so they should pay for it, subsequently if successful and more dates happen then it is only fair to repay the favour.

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