Y’all, we need to have a serious discussion. I’ve noticed an alarming trend in my recent dating life, and I don’t know if I’m the crazy one here, if I’ve lately just found more duds than usual, or if culture changed when I wasn’t looking. But, men have stopped paying on dates.
Here are the facts:
Of the last 6 men I’ve spent time with (excluding a friend who is in a relationship),
- 2 have not paid at all (in one instance, I had to literally go to the car to get my wallet. In the other, we awkwardly haggled over whose card to use based on who had cash.)
- 1 paid but only for my two drinks – never offered to buy dinner, even though we were together from 5:30-8:00 pm. You know, dinner time.
- 1 paid but said I could get it next time.
- 2 paid for everything.
I’ve tried to analyze this situation. Of course, none of these were technically “dates”, if you define date by a man saying, “I would like to take you on a date”, vs. “hey, wanna hang out”? For the sake of the discussion, we can use that excuse, but it doesn’t really hold water since two of these “non-dates” paid.
We could blame it on them not having much money, but 5 of these 6 are very gainfully employed. All of them knew I was not (not that it’s other people’s responsibility to pay for me because I’m broke – that’s not their fault, and I’m no socialist. But remember, this is a dating situation).
We could say this was just a Northern thing, but one who paid is from Illinois, and one who didn’t, born and bred in Georgia. All live in the South (and are evenly divided between Georgia and Tennessee…so that’s not it, either).
So, the only similarity I can see between those who paid and in contrast to those who didn’t is age. The two who paid are over 35. All of the rest are under.
I’m enough of a feminist to feel a little bad that men have to pay all the time and to appreciate that (under usual circumstances), I am perfectly capable of buying my own dinner. But, that’s not the point. Society has dictated for centuries(??), that when a man and a woman go out, the man pays – or at least the person who did the asking pays (in this case, the man, of course). Also, up until two months ago, I don’t think I’ve ever once paid on a date.
So, what’s going on? Has every millennial man conspired to stop paying for us independent women? And why now – I’ve dated men my age (or younger) before, and this is a new phenomenon. Or, are my expectations just antiquated? If this is the new world, I’ll adjust – but I just want to know if I have to.
(Lest I be misconstrued, I’m always grateful when a man pays. Yes, experience has taught me to expect it, but I don’t take it for granted and think it’s a very kind gesture.)
What do you think? If you’re a woman, have you ever paid (on a first date)- does that bother you? Men, what do you think – should guys be expected to pay? Please discuss because I need to know how big of a line item to put in my monthly budget for dates.