Chivalry and Equality Went On A Date. Guess Who Paid?

who pays

Andrew Smiler wonders why changes in gender roles have had a minimal impact on dating.

Gender roles have changed dramatically over the last forty years or so. In 1970, men outnumbered women on college campuses two to one; today, women outnumber men by a several percentage points. Women have moved into a variety of jobs that weren’t open to them. They’re members of every branch of the US Military and can now participate in combat. They serve in high political office, holding a record 20 seats in the US Senate; Secretaries of State Albright, Rice, and Clinton, were 4th in line to the presidency (after the Vice-President and President Pro Tempore of the Senate).

Men’s roles have also changed. In 1970, about 2% of households were headed by a single-parent father; today, it’s about 8%. That’s coupled with a shift from dad as provider-disciplinarian to dad as someone who is involved and emotionally present for his children. The younger generations are also doing more housework than their fathers did, although parity has yet to be achieved. And fewer men than ever are working in “traditional” male jobs like manufacturing, especially after the recent “mancession.”

So with all this change, what’s happened to dating? Although it’s fashionable to talk about “hookup culture” and lament the end of dating, the research is clear that dating is still very common and that only a minority of teens and young adults participate in hookup culture.

A recently released study by Ana L. Jaramillo-Sierra and Katherine R. Allen from Virginia Tech, looked at one piece of dating: who pays. The article, will be published in the academic journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

Working with a few colleagues, and under the supervision of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), they offered students taking Human Sexuality courses extra credit for writing a one page essays in response to the question “how do you decide who pays for things such as movies, gas, dates, meals, trips, condoms/other contraceptives, and so forth, in a dating relationship?” The directions also asked how the length of relationship (e.g., first dates vs. long term), type of expense, and other issues effect the decision. There were other essay options for obtaining extra credit; thirty four young men aged 18 to 25 answered this question. All of the guys wrote about their experiences dating women, so I will too. The authors make no claims about how these issues might related to same-sex couples.

The study demonstrates that equality hasn’t reached the dating realm yet; at least, not when it comes to paying. To be sure, progress is being made. About half of the young men who answered this question said the couple should split costs more-or-less equally. Of course, this also means that half the young men believe they should be picking up most, if not all, of the costs.
Among the guys who thought she should pick up the check, several thought expenses should be split fifty-fifty. But several modern gentlemen expected to pay more than their girlfriends, even though they thought she should pick up the check regularly. Neither the guys nor the authors put a number on it, but I suspect these modern gentlemen would be comfortable paying sixty to seventy-five percent of the costs.

But equality also took another hit. Every guy in the study said that it was the dude’s responsibility to pay all costs for the first few dates. It didn’t matter what they expected for an established couple that recognized themselves as boyfriend-girlfriend, every guy said it was his job to foot the bill while “courting.” (I note that “all” is from the 29 guys who talked about differences between the initial stage and later stages; the other 5 guys only talked about established couples.)

The guys gave several reasons for paying for those first dates:

  • To impress the girl
  • To demonstrate they care (because one way to show caring is to provide for another person)
  • To act like a gentleman
  • To conform to social expectations

I have no problem with the first three of these, and I think they’d all work just fine in the other direction. The girl could pay in order to impress the guy, show him she cares, and still be a lady. It’s the last one that bothers me. Despite all the other changes in gender roles over the last forty years, why do we still expect the guy to pay for the first date?

We’ve seen greater public acknowledgement of women’s sexual desires, including the whole media frenzy over “cougars.” Similarly, most boys and men now understand that sex should be mutually pleasing and not just focused on his orgasm.

Yet we seem to have missed the equality puzzle piece that says girls and women can and should pay for first dates. Nor have we really said that girls can and should initiate first dates instead of just indicating that they’re interested and waiting for the guy to ask. We need to move from “Call Me Maybe” to “I’d like to take you on a date.”

Maybe that’s why we hear whispered horror stories about teenage girls throwing themselves—or at least their bodies—at teenage boys. Nobody has really talked to them about how to start a relationship or challenge the notion that “guys just want sex,” so they rely on gender stereotypes.

Then again, asking someone on a first date is one of the scariest things a teenage boy or young man can do. The risk of hearing “no” is huge: it means that you’re not good enough, not desirable enough. It’s a very different rejection than when trying out for a team, applying for a job, or the like. In those settings, a guy might not be the most skilled, might have a bad day, etc. and thus it’s easier to accept the no. When it comes to dating, that no is necessarily a rejection of the guy; it is explicitly about him. Given our general concern about girls’ self-esteem, maybe that’s why we haven’t pushed them to start asking boys out.

Of course, we’ll also need to teach boys what to do when a girl asks them out or insists on paying for those first dates. We all need to understand that it doesn’t mean she’s sexually aggressive, easy, or a slut, but rather that she’s just expressing her interest, trying to impress him, and perhaps trying to show that she cares. Boys and men will also need to understand that being asked out—and saying yes—doesn’t somehow threaten their masculinity or make them “whipped.”

Equality between men and women isn’t just about elevating women by increasing their access to education and professions or reducing the amount of unpaid housework and childcare they do. Creating a more equal society means that women will need to give up their privileged position as guests (vs. payers) in first dates (and later in the relationship) and will need to share decision making about their special day.

–Photo: Moriza / flickr

About Andrew Smiler

Andrew Smiler, PhD is a therapist, evaluator, author, and speaker residing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA). He is the author of “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of promiscuous young male sexuality” and co-author, with Chris Kilmartin, of “The Masculine Self (5th edition)”. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity and has taught at Wake Forest University and SUNY Oswego. Dr. Smiler's research focuses on definitions of masculinity. He also studies normative aspects of sexual development, such as age and perception of first kiss, first “serious” relationship, and first intercourse among 15-25 year olds. Follow him @AndrewSmiler.


  1. I think what this article fails to mention – and what many fail to see is how sexism is pervasive in the way we see women and men. the Men’s Rights Activist groups talk about how women are valued for their beauty and it is their defining factor. Dating is this way still – men see a desirable woman and pay for her – that is how our society was built. Of course I don’t agree with this, but sexism works like this – why do women have to wax, shave, do their nails, do their hair, buy expensive makeup, perfume, heels, dresses all for a date? Men don’t do this, women do. Until men are comfortable taking out a girl wearing sweatshirts and jeans like they do, they CANNOT EXPECT ALL THE INEQUALITIES OF THE WORLD THAT DON’T BENEFIT MEN TO GO AWAY. If your girlfriend is making an effort like all women are EXPECTED to, then you should at least understand there is a REASON why men pay on the first date and etc. There is a REASON why valentine’s day is catered FOR WOMEN. Because women spend 365 days a year pleasing you and being eye candy and it’s damn EXPENSIVE. No man pays for this, but WOMEN HAVE TO DO IT to be a part of this society – women cannot opt out of having to look feminine in order to go on a date, all men EXPECT WOMEN to look beautiful and PLAY THEIR PART. Until this real issue is addressed – nothing will be resolved. Men and women still play roles – LETS DISCUSS ALL THE ROLES and not just issues that benefit men, i.e. why do I have to pay for my beautiful date who spends a ton of money for birth control, plan B pill, and her looks? boohoo. Want real change? – be okay with women who don’t need to dress up/wear makeup, or pay 50/50 for every time she has to buy a new dress to that work event to be your eye candy or birth control – the choice is yours.

  2. If I invite, I pay. If he invites, he pays. Exceptions exist of course, but that’s my general rule. I also split the bill on occassion.

  3. If a ask a man out I expect to pay. If he asks he pays. If we go on more dates I expect us to split, you would be surprised at how many men have issues with that but I don’t want to be accused of using a a man for money. And yes It would be awesome if men would ever consider tbat they benefit from women paying all expenses for birth control.

  4. 20 years ago, when I was dating, I gave the issue of who pays a great deal of thought. It seemed unfair for the man to bear all the burden of the expense. If I was dating someone, after a few dates I would offer ways that I could participate such as making him dinner or a picnic or buying tickets to an event we both wanted to see. When there are great income differences in a couple, that can be a factor, but it should be both people participating in a way that both agree is fair.

    On the other hand, I did experiment with going on first dates where either I paid or I gave a small gift to the man on our first date. This caused a really terrible shift. Suddenly, if I offered to pay, I wan’t a “good girl” I was an “easy girl”. The whole power dynamic changed. The men were offput by this unexpected change. They would suddenly become more sexually aggressive or angry. What was intended as a kind gesture of someone interested in them because a power struggle. I simply decided that it wasn’t a good tactic. I always brought enough to pay for us both on the first date, but my personal experience led me to believe that it was too soon for society in general to accept a woman paying for the first date. It is 20 years later, have things changed? Would a woman still be thought “easy” for offering to pay on the first date?

    I also think who wanted to ask first should factor in to who pays for a date. If a man is interested, but a woman hasn’t come to the same conclusion yet, then let him use the wine and dine as a way to let her know him as a good partner. Why pay to go out on a date you didn’t initiate with a person you don’t know and don’t have any feelings for yet?

  5. My guide has always been, whomever asks for the date pays. That being said, if someone is taking me out to dinner, I will always pay for the valet, movie tickets, the drinks while we wait for our table, etc.
    But I agree with Chanelle above. We pay for the birth control (last boyfriend swore he’d chip in and I never saw it – probably why he’s an ex) and we get paid 80 cents on the dollar for doing the same work. So I stick to my, whomever asks, pays.

  6. Equality/Women’s Lib/Feminism is killing chivalry.
    Men should pay for dinner, especially in long-term relationships, and decent, chivalrous, GENTLEMEN do! With short-term flings/hook-ups it doesn’t really matter who pays and I guess the type of women who are into this – and they attract a similar type of man – will be willing to pay their share of the dinner bill (and if she doesn’t she’s just a parasite and a free-loader, or perhaps she’s paying for dinner with sex, which would make him a smart man and her a dumb woman (unless she’s already showing signs of scurvy and protein-deficiency). You see, there’s nothing for them to lose and there’s nothing for them to gain, relationship-wise (meaning committed, loving, exclusive romantic relationship). There’s no-one to impress, there’s no investment of time, energy, emotions involved.

    I really would expect the guy to pay and in my eyes he would have a higher status than the guy who was willing to always go Dutch. Of course, if I invited a man to dinner, or we were celebrating his birthday I would WANT to pay. Knowing that the kind of guy I am attracted to is a guy who is traditional, chivalrous and expects to pay, I will refrain from making a scene or embarrassing him in the restaurant, so would at the beginning of the evening tell him that I am going to pay, or otherwise I would get up from the table after we have had our meal and I would go settle the bill with the waiter. I know many men who feel very uncomfortable not paying, or allowing a woman to pay her portion, so I would therefore be very sensitive and discreet about it.

    However, as someone who believes in long-term commitment and therefore investing emotionally and otherwise in a relationship I would constantly spoil my man in other ways, such as buying him clothing, books that he might like to read or some item that may assist him in his sporting or adventurous endeavours.

    I have never and will never subscribe to Feminism – it is as awful as all the other “isms” I despise. I am not grateful for what the Women’s Lib Movement has done for me because they have done nothing for me. These he-women are on a quest to emasculate men which they are slowly succeeding in (Metroman – WHAT EXACTLY is this species??). Some men are even now saying things like “I’m in touch with my feminine side”- that’s scary – as scary as the obnoxious women who slag guys off for holding the door open for them. These women have alienated and confused men and they are attempting to change the way men inherently are. Men are hard-wired a certain way, and there is nothing wrong with that – I love it, it is the way it ought to be, forever. Some men are as offensive as some women, and they deserve one another. Some men want women who are equal and therefore will pay, and that’s okay. They will find a women who is so bent on being equal to him that she has shed all or most of her femininity.

    Fortunately, the world is filled with different types. The Metroman and the Feminist can live their lives in confused equality.

    MANY women (maybe not too many in the US), want a man who IS their “superior”, the head of the household (even if she works), is decisive, knows exactly who he is, where he stands and what his role is in this world. For sure that is the only kind of man I can respect fully with regard to long-term, romantic involvement, which is the ONLY involvement which is good enough for me.

    • “I am not grateful for what the Women’s Lib Movement has done for me because they have done nothing for me.”

      You don’t vote, then? Thank God!

    • Lorenda, you are one powerful, insightful, wise woman.

      Apparently, you have become crystal clear on the true power and necessary balance that authentic femininity creates. Bravo! Men can grow and evolve in the presence of women like you!

      I’m meeting many women like you and it’s a joy.

    • Lorenda, since you can own property, drive a car, vote, sign a legal document, take birth control, get custody of children in a divorce etc etc “Women’s Lib” has done a lot for you. You do a huge disservice to women who came before, some of whom died for these rights you don’t even think about.

  7. Christina says:

    I’ve heard that men tend to fundamentally desire a challenge and to be protective; whereas women tend to desire being pursued and to be provided for. This makes evolutionary sense as a woman needs a mate dedicated to her and strong enough to protect her and her children from predators. Thus on some fundamental level the “man asking a woman out and paying for the bill” fulfills this desire.

    Since we are only a nano-second away in evolutionary terms from our hunter-gather ancestors, this desire is not going to be eradicated in the population. Other issues you raised, like women in the workforce, are just adaptations of the woman’s historical role of gathering food for the family. It is not a complete rewriting of our evolutionary biology, just an adaptation of it to our modern age.

    In the same way, a man is no longer required to kill a lion to prove his worth, but he still must show his ability to protect and provide on some fundamental level. Ergo – he asks the woman out and pays for the first few dates.

    • Women being unable to protect and provide for themselves and their children is social convention, not an evolutionary mandate. Stone Age women didn’t just sit around the fire, busily lactating. Hunter-gatherers get about 70% of their calories from gathering, and historically the rest comes primarily from small game and communal hunts.

  8. I think this article overlooked a social expectation that has nothing to do with gender:
    The one who asks/invites, is the one who pays.

    I invite someone for coffee or dinner or whatever, and it will be my treat. If (s)he invites me, I expect him/her to pay. So I think it’s because men usually ask women out on dates, it’s logical that men usually pay. Now we could discuss why men usually are the ones asking. But that’s another story. It simply emphasizes there is more to conforming to social expectations, than the article implies.

    Another overlooked courtesy;
    Paying your fair share doesn’t mean equal share.

    Again; this hasn’t anything to do with gender, it has to do with financial means. I’ve paid more than friends while I already had a job and they were still in college. Many of us have in similar situations. Practically in the every day informal setting, it’s what makes the amount we each pay fair, even when it’s not equal.

    There is a gender issue to this, however. This article generously exaggerates the current state of equality. Especially financial equality does not exist yet. Women get paid less for the same jobs. And it’s not a small amount. No. Think 20% off your salary. Even 35% less when you’ve made it to the top.

    Another interesting fact that may also contribute; statistically the man is usually a few years older than the woman in relationships. So we could assume that’s usually the case while dating. Since people earn more money with age, that means the financial gap between two individuals on a date widens even more.

    Hence; when a man and a woman go on a date together, even without prior knowledge of their financial situations, odds are very good he’s got a better filled wallet than she does.

    There is a catch to this. Could this behavior stimulate a perpetuating cycle? Aren’t we emphasizing stereotypical views of men and women each time a man pays? We could be wondering if men make more money, because they’re expected to have more expenses than women. Yet though I could believe that is the reason why parents grant boys more allowances than they generally do girls, which is indeed setting a wrong example, I strongly doubt that is really the underlying cause for inequality of paid salary.

    The way things practically are in our daily lives, doesn’t mean it’s the way they should be. The question is; where and how do we solve inequality? And unlike the article tries to oversimplify, that doesn’t mean the inequality of paying for dates. It’s the bigger picture in which the female side of the scale is still off.

  9. Chanelle (C.M.) says:

    I don’t think guys should HAVE to pay, but I do think it’s a very nice gesture and I would be unhappy if it wasn’t done on the first date. Honestly, splitting things 60-40 or 70-30 sounds okay to me. Are men paying for women’s birth control pills that she has to buy exactly every 28 days? What about the annual pap smears she needs because she’s sexually active with him? I doubt it. Women typically put a lot more effort/money (I know I’m stereotyping here) into getting ready for dates than men do – clothes, hair straighteners, perfume, makeup. When you factor all that, plus the fact that WOMEN ARE PAID LESS THAN MEN, into it men are probably the ones paying less even if they do pay for every date. I will note that when a man pays for dinner, I like to pay tip and, if we’re going to a movie after, I always offer to pay for my own ticket.

  10. I’ve never gone on a casual date assuming the guy would pay for me, actually- the only times I’ve made this assumption have been with my partner, and that’s because we share our finances- he simply tends to keep more cash on hand, but we share everything, and at times when I have more cash, I pay for him. I’ve never understood why it seems normal to some people for the man to pay for everything unless he’s specifically invited the woman to do something she cannot afford to do, and they’re both aware of this. Otherwise it seems like it’s expected that the man needs to buy her time, and why would you want to date someone who isn’t as happy to be there as you are?

  11. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    I’ve heard enough women complain about cheap Sierra-Club type gearhead yuppies to have ever in my life contemplated asking her to pay any portion. Even if I knew the woman just planned on having me because I was “hot,” I’ve always paid. I’ve always done a call or email the next day, though, too.

  12. I’ve paid for things before, mainly when its been my idea to go somewhere.
    Othertimes I wanted to go on date and girl was broke and she refused until she got paid, which just annoyed me lol.
    I don’t really care who pays, I’ve had girls pay for me too.

  13. I’m a woman, and i always insisted on paying atleast 40-50% of the time whenever I was with a guy – whether it was a date or a business meeting.

    What I found was that while I was coming from a place of pride & honor – a.k.a – “I earn well, I should contribute to this lunch / date.” – over a period of time the guys would begin to act like the “child” in the relationship… they’d either throw more tantrums for no sound reason, they would get crabby & disrespectful and they’d even begin to “expect a certain high standard” from me – like i should be a certain weight or have a certain dress style or wear atleast 5″ heels.

    It was quite confusing to me. For a long time I wondered if it was me – you know – if I was being to “mother-ish” in the whole pay for yourself thing. But after closely studying this routine for a few years, i’ve come to the conclusion that that wasn’t the problem at all.

    I think what really was happening was that I was coming of as “approval-seeking” or “appeasing” or “making up for some deficiency” – instead of actually communicating that I was happy to pay because I felt honor-bound to do so.

    I also think that guys face the same thing day in and day out. There are tons of great guys who are happy to pay the bill – but then some silly woman will disrespect them, act entitled & just generally presume that it is her right to make demands of their hard work. That’s why so many men today question why they should pay – when they are going to be disrespected anyway.

    The answer, as I have understood it, is that for each of us who believes in being responsible for ourselves, who works hard for an honest living & who genuinely wants to be with people whom we respect & who respect us… it is for us to also master the art of communicating our value with confidence & self respect.

    If we aren’t trying to appease our way into love – but someone else treats us like so – i say, take a step back, examine what you’re doing, and communicate in no uncertain terms that you expect a certain “standard” as well. If the other person is genuinely worth it, they’ll correct their attitude. If not, just make an exit. There is no point in putting up with this only to end up feeling jaded. Instead spend time mastering your communication (verbal & non-verbal) so that when you really do meet someone worth your time, there is unquestionable & irresistible attraction / love.

  14. “But equality also took another hit. Every guy in the study said that it was the dude’s responsibility to pay all costs for the first few dates. It didn’t matter what they expected for an established couple that recognized themselves as boyfriend-girlfriend, every guy said it was his job to foot the bill while “courting.” ”

    From which I infer- there aren’t many 2nd dates for guys who don’t pony up on the first.

    “I’m not really this tall, I’m just sitting on my wallet”- maybe my all time favorite Playboy cartoon.

  15. Carlton says:

    I think if your’e going to write an article about gender roles it would be nice to refer to women as women instead of girls.

  16. John Anderson says:

    A muslim friend of mine had a conundrum. He couldn’t accept interest, but didn’t feel that he should provide his money for free to a bank, which is going to use it to generate profit. He finally decided to take the interest and give it to the poor. That way businessmen wouldn’t make money for free and he wouldn’t be profiting from usery.

    If women really feel that they want to pay, but don’t feel comfortable speaking up on a date, why not pay for a meal for someone else? Their are lots of food pantries that could use donations. Women could “stand up for feminism” and still help society.

    • Megan Sailsbury says:

      I’m all for charity, but not out of obligation to a third party. We shouldn’t need an excuse to feed the poor. Also, I fail to see how that “stands up for feminism.” Paying for dates shouldn’t be viewed as a sacrifice, but a gift, no matter which party picks up the tab.

      • I hear Billy Joel’s “Always a Woman,” in my head as I write this. I am trying to restrain myself from questioning the manhood of any respondents who share the author’s view that paying for a couple of dates by the man qualifies as inequality. I will say one thing to that notion, if all of the men who feel so strongly that splitting dating costs is appropriate due to equality, I challenge you to campaign equally hard for equal pay for women. Men make on average 22% more for the same job that women do, and if for no other reason than a little respect for that inequality, have the decency to pick up a couple of checks early in the courtship.

        As a stay at home dad who is working hard to combat stereotypes that constantly tell men that they are incapable of rearing children or running a house as well as women, I find it incredibly disappointing to think that men taking on equal responsibility at home means we need to address who pays for dinner. Truth be told, equality has been incredibly good to us. Having more responsibility in raising the kids; well, just wait until you have them; until then, you can never understand how rewarding being a committed parent is. Taking on more chores at home; I take care of my stuff and organize things the way I want; as a responsible adult, I enjoy having a measure of control over those things. Taking equal responsibility in grocery shopping; I get to buy the exact foods I want, not settle for what someone else thinks I should want. Sharing cooking duty; it is fun to cook together with my wife. It is also fun when we take turns doing it. You see, when you only have the responsibility every other day, you can concentrate more when it is your day. It is not a rush to get one more thing done.

        This “equality shift” for men as posed by the author is laughable. It is not as if my wife sat me down and told me that in the last forty years there has been an equality shift so now I must stay home. All of the chores and the decision to stay home, were mine. Society, feminism, my wife – none of these told me what to do. Do not use my choice, and the choice of countless other men to take equal responsibility as an argument that our roles are changing and everyone should go dutch when dating. There are still huge differences between equality for men and women and finding one discrepancy where women have the upper hand is absurd to complain about.

        Now, back to Always a Woman. I love women and I especially love my wife. Women are amazing and are so much better than us, God bless them for putting up with us. With that said, women can be just like Billy Joel describes, callous and manipulative; shy and intense; honest and hypocritical; and Billy Joel loves them all the more for these contrasts. While they can be those things, there is a better word to describe women, mesmerizing. Let women be women and let the men be men. In the workplace, absolutely, there needs to be fairness, but relationships are not about fairness, they are about throwing yourself “all in” and seeing what you get back, sometimes you get what you give, sometimes more, sometimes less. If you’re unwilling to throw yourself in, then by all means ask the waitress to run two cards, but don’t be surprised if the results are less than you hope.

        • Bob, I am pretty sure I love you.

          Your wife is incredibly lucky to have you.

          I hope men of the next generation can be something like you- appreciative of women, understanding and open minded. Because I feel like this generation is going to the darn pits.

          Women are paying for dates, asking men out
          And men are calling women names, and expecting porn stars for girlfriends and wives.

          Its madness.

  17. I always split bills on early dates. Some men were ok with it, others not so much so (they wanted to pay). Now in a relationship with one “pot” we take turns paying for things to “treat” the other and it is pretty even who pays for what even if it comes out of the same pot. It just feels nice to get something for J or for him to get something for me.

  18. Michelle says:

    I don’t believe that generalizing about “women” and “men” is a productive way to approach this conversation. Each woman and man on this earth is going to have different perspectives or preferences in regards to dating, to which each woman and man on this earth is equally entitled. I believe that to criticize or harp on anyone for their dating preferences or perspectives is another way of saying “my way of thinking is better,” which is to judge someone. I don’t believe that judging anyone is any better than gender-role stereotyping anyone; they are both mistakes that ALL human beings make from time to time. I believe that if we truly want to see change happen in regards to anything in the world, we need to be able to connect with each other from a place of love and compassion. Thats all.

  19. There are surveys that show the majority of women still think men should pay on dates.
    Those surveys are misogynistic.

    Women are powerless and they cannot even “desire” to change the status quo, let alone change it.

    Sometimes, the misogynistic part of my brain suspects that maybe women like this status quo in dating more than men.

    • what’s misogynistic is thinking that women are too addle-brained by their patriarchy programming to be able to change, to desire to change, to want to make the world fair, even if it might cost them a perk.

      Frankly, I like to think women are better than that.

  20. Whether any of us like it or not, dating is always a test of sorts. Some people strip away any nuance and talk about dating as a job interview or audition, and I wouldn’t want to participate in that. Still, it is a way to get to know someone, and that’s a matter of “testing” a person’s behavior against what you expect or hope to see. Obviously, this happens before the date begins.

    If I was to date again, I’d discuss paying with a potential date. I couldn’t imagine approaching a stranger for a date, so I’d be talking with someone and getting to know her before I ever asked her out, which would hopefully create some level of trust and make the discussion pretty easy and a valuable source of information.

    For example, if a women used a rubric like Carla’s, and she was honest about it, well then I’d know where I stood with her and whether her offer to split costs (cuz I’m so hot) fit with my interest in her. Then again, if she needed me to demonstrate my interest in her with cash and she was honest about that, I’d walk away. Her dating criteria would be a source of important information for me, and it would make her a fling option for me, but not an LTR option.

    The test I apply or you apply is itself a test observed by the potential date. The criteria I set for a woman I might date says as much about me as her matching or not matching that criteria says about her, and vice versa.

    • Herschele says:


      A big problem is that disingenuous, hypocritical women like Carla are not easily identifiable. The internet allows people anonymity and a woman can talk about her dating strategies, how she compartmentalizes men easily.

      In real life a lot of women do exactly what Carla does without even giving a thought, without even being consciously aware about their prejudice. Many men end up dating and having relationships with such women.

  21. Women like Heather and Megan feel the need to demonize men and attribute a sinister and selfish reason to why they insist on paying for dates (their need to have CONTROL)

    The real reason why men feel the need to pay on dates; why they feel there is an unwritten rule that a man must pay; and why they insist on paying even when the handful of women in this society offer to pay or split the bill is because men are ingrained with the belief that women don’t find them as naturally, physically and sexually attractive as they find women. Men feel that women don’t desire them as much as they desire women and they must somehow compensate for this disparity. They have been told that a large part of their relevance and usefulness to women comes from how they “treat” a woman, make her feel, impress her, entertain her and which ultimately leads to them paying for dates

    Obviously, this explanation is too sympathetic towards men and therefore unacceptable. I understand that many women are being consumed with hatred as they read this.

    That the reason men insist on paying is not because they selfishly want power but because they feel so powerless to begin with.

    No guy deep down wants to pay. Every guy feels its an unfair expectation. But they are AFRAID that even if they slightly show their reluctance to pay, they will go out of the good books of women and their dating and relationship opportunities will seriously decline.

    Its amazing how these women manage to twist this manifestation of men’s powerlessness in dating into a display of their power. How ironic.

    • Megan Sailsbury says:

      Excuse me? Where exactly have I “demonized” men? I haven’t attributed any motives to guys’ insistence on paying, I’ve merely pointed out the fact that it happens. If you think that’s demonization, you really need to have your head examined, maybe get some meds to keep the paranoia in line.

    • KC Krupp says:

      “Women like Heather and Megan feel the need to demonize men and attribute a sinister and selfish reason to why they insist on paying for dates (their need to have CONTROL)”

      This, in my opinion, is harsh and uncalled for. I’ve seen Megan and Heather express some pretty strong opinions, but I haven’t seen any outright demonize men at all in this thread, or even in general. I would say that I feel that some of their opinions come from the perspective of being a woman looking on the experiences from men on the outside and such may jump to conclusions or assumptions about men’s motives, values, or world view. Just as a man can’t really describe or ever understand the experiences of a woman, I would say the same for women of men.

      I definitely don’t agree with Heather on her world view, and I have seen how the world view she lives by can lead to the demonization of men, but that’s a far cry from saying that Heather herself demonizes or doesn’t care about men. In fact I believe that Heather (and Meagan) really does genuinely care about men otherwise she wouldn’t spend her time here on this site and put up with the antagonism of some of its commentators.

    • John Anderson says:

      “The real reason why men feel the need to pay on dates; why they feel there is an unwritten rule that a man must pay; and why they insist on paying even when the handful of women in this society offer to pay or split the bill is because men are ingrained with the belief that women don’t find them as naturally, physically and sexually attractive as they find women.”

      It’s even simpler than that. Men are valued by society for what they can provide, their utility often defined in financial terms. Women are part of society so they value men for their utility. On a date it’s typically demonstrated financially through paying the bill.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        You are spot on John. We live in a society that allows women all the options and limits the options for men. Today if a wife in a marriage without kids decides to be a home maker, she has it as a “choice” but if the man in that marriage wants to stay home, he’s a lazy bum.

        “I am women, hear me roar” but honey, make sure you pay the bill and leave a good tip, ok? So glad I’m an old married guy. No way I could handle the dating scene these days.

    • Tim I like that you gave us ladies something to think about when you said : “The real reason why men feel the need to pay on dates; why they feel there is an unwritten rule that a man must pay; and why they insist on paying even when the handful of women in this society offer to pay or split the bill is because men are ingrained with the belief that women don’t find them as naturally, physically and sexually attractive as they find women. Men feel that women don’t desire them as much as they desire women and they must somehow compensate for this disparity. They have been told that a large part of their relevance and usefulness to women comes from how they “treat” a woman, make her feel, impress her, entertain her and which ultimately leads to them paying for dates”

      I honestly never thought of it this way and am really intrigued if it is true.

      But you are also confusing me here,

      If a man wants what he wants , why would he not want to pay? Women have to pay for hair, makeup, jewelry, perfumes, the right clothing and attain/maintain the right body before a man even approaches her, AND YOU DONT WANT TO PAY FOR A DARN MEAL? Give me a break!

  22. I think, whether I split the bill or not, depends on what I want from dating.

    If I’m sizing a man up for a LTR then I expect him to pay and demonstrate how serious he is about me.
    However if its just a fling then I just require the guy to be hot…someone I’m sexually enthusiastic about and always split the bill.

  23. I think, whether I split the bill or not, depends on what I want from dating.

    If I’m sizing a man up for a LTR then I expect him to pay and demonstrate how serious he is about me.
    However if its just a fling then I just require the guy to be hot…someone I am sexually nthusisasitc about and always split the bill.

    • And there we have it. Tell me Carla, if a man fits the first group in your eyes and he insists on splitting the bill, does he stay in that group or is it turn-off for you?

      • I don’t think I owe an explanation to you. I look after my interests in dating, I’m sure the men I date are doing the same.

        • @Jax…

          Re Carla’s reply.

          You have been dismissed!

        • That is a pathetic reply to your assertion of how you act.

        • Whoa, where did that come from? I am actually interested in the answer to that question. It is a valid inquire to a declaration you made. That response was totally unnecessary and snarky. Jax you are correct. That comment told you all you need to know about her. Personally, as a woman, I pay for dates all the time. However, my initial interest in them will determine wether or not I would pay for the first date.

    • Interesting how you compartmentalize men.

      I don’t think that any self respecting man would want to be in the former category of yours. Just letting you know of a man’s perspective. I’d like to hear from more men how they feel about this though.

      • John Anderson says:

        Not sure if I’d want to be in either category. Used for sex or used for money. I would think that if I were used for sex at least she’d pay the entire bill.

      • I typically go for a hit-and-quit approach until I can decide further. In her case, I don’t even put her # in my phone.

      • Yann Hiver says:

        Normally, I don’t find paying to be such a big deal; if I go out with my little brother, I pay too.

        But if I get a whiff that it is somehow expected of me, I’ll likely lose interest in my date.

        At the other end of the scale, it also annoys me when I am about to pay and my date makes a big fuss about it; it makes me feel like she somehow wants to avoid feelings of reciprocation (as if).

        I guess I can some it up as: don’t be weird about money. If I offer to pay, be grateful as I would be when you pay.

    • Ninakuar says:

      I don’t understand why she is getting so much hate.
      She wants a different type of guy for flings and a different type for relationships. What is so un-understandable and offensive about it?

      Many women can, to varying degrees, identify with her in that they do seem to gravitate towards different types of men for flings and for LTR’s respectively. Carla is simply being honest about what usually goes without saying for most women.

      I would also add that the terms of dating and the sexual boundaries are different for each man. With some men, a woman might feel attracted to straightaway and sex comes into the equation very early (think hooking up, flings) . With others, a woman might need time to grow into and like them for their inner qualities and therefore sex comes much later in dating.

      • Ninakuar says:


      • Calling it “hate” is disingenuous, I think. I merely asked her to clarify what would happen to her attraction if a man didn’t play by her rules. She decided to get defensive about it.

        But that, in a nutshell, is the point. Whether a bill is split or paid entirely by the man is a decision, when one gets down to it, made entirely by the woman. I have heard plenty of women who have said. “I don’t mind splitting the bill, but he should at least offer first, otherwise he looks cheap.” “I’ve split the bill, but I never went out with that guy again, I don’t date cheapskates”

        and then of course, there are women like this:

        who I think are more common than women like to admit.

        • It doesnt matter if 80% of women have the mindset you talk about. All the men should pursue the other 20%.

          • Good advice, now go convince that “80%” to wear a sign round their necks advising everybody of that fact.

      • I just think it’s interesting that I was vilified by another commenter earlier for saying more or less the same thing, just from a male perspective. I think the main reason most guys get upset about this sort of thing is because it’s the exact opposite of what they are told growing up. Even though they see women largely gravitating towards “bad boys” — motorcycle-riding, leather-jacket-wearing, former jocks, etc. — they are constantly bombarded with the message that young women are “just going through a phase” that they would come out of soon enough. To hear in your 30s and 40s that there are women out there who are still very much attracted to these bad boys — well, that’s just something that drives right down to the core of who we are. If we identify with being “good men” as I imagine most guys commenting on this site would, then it’s hard to cope with the reality that many of the women we interact with daily still desire bad boys.

        Personally, I turned in my good man card long ago, and have been reaping the benefits ever since. But I definitely understand where these guys are coming from, and why Carla’s statements are so disconcerting to them.

        • @DD…

          “Personally, I turned in my good man card long ago, and have been reaping the benefits ever since. But I definitely understand where these guys are coming from, and why Carla’s statements are so disconcerting to them.”

          Carla is like about 70%-80% of women in America. It’s just that their logic appear twisted and skewed. They have hardly any requirements for the fling guy whom they are about to give their bodies too. He can fuck her senseless and get all the pussy he wants and when he wants it. She never has headaches for him.

          Yet, somehow Mr. Nice has to prove he is worthy. Then when he does, he gets hardly any sex! It’s crazy ass backwards. The “bad boy”, whom they just want to fuck, gets a free pass at everything. But, their husbands, whom they profess to love, are required to earn sex. No man in his right mind knowing this to be the state of affairs would do it.

          This is the narcissism in a lot of American women. Somehow we men are suppose to be happy and content with their behavior. Then when “the phase is over” we are to embrace them like your lost child found in the wilderness.

          No Thanks!!

      • John Anderson says:

        I don’t think I expressed hate. Just responding to the question of how I would feel if I was in either category. The reasoning is somewhat along the lines of if we were only interested in each other for sex, there would be no need to go on a date. We could just hook up. The thinking is I must be interested in her in a LTR. If she was ONLY interested in sex and there’s nothing wrong with that, I’d expect her to pick up the entire check.

        As far as being in the LTR category, let’s look at what she said.

        “If I’m sizing a man up for a LTR then I expect him to pay and demonstrate how serious he is about me.”

        Would you perceive a man saying I expect sex on every date as a signal of how serious a woman is about me as innocently? How would she know that a man is not serious and instead has limited means? Some probably suspect “serious” as code for “wealthy”.

        • Megan Sailsbury says:

          I don’t know that it’s code for “wealthy,” but it’s absolutely a double standard. As you say, what does a man get to demand as demonstration that his date is “serious” about him? I’m betting Carla’s answer would be “nothing,” maybe with a charge of sexism attached.

          Although I don’t think it’s much better when you say she should pick up the tab if she just wants sex. That has the same unseemly aroma of prostitution and sexual entitlement as it would were the genders reversed. Paying for dinner does not mean you “deserve” to get laid.

          • John Anderson says:

            I don’t have a problem with prostitution in theory. If you have consenting adults, I don’t see why money exchanging hands to achieve the consent invalidates it. The thing that concerns me in practice is coerced consent. If a person has to work 80 hours to make ends meet and resorts to prostitution because they can make the same money in 10 hours, is that coercive enough to negate consent? What standard of living (if any) above subsistence must a person make before it would not be considered coercive? If a person (truly) freely engages in prostitution, I have no problem with it.

            • Megan Sailsbury says:

              Can we NOT get totally sidetracked just because I used the word ‘prostitution?’ This has nothing to do with the dynamic of picking up a tab on a date.

        • So? Men have been doing this for a looooong time. They have ‘women they wife’ and ‘women they pump and dump’. I’m in a male dominated career and have many guy friends and I get to hear allll the time about how they ONLY split the check with women they want to sleep with, or women they don’t see a future with because they don’t want to put any sort of effort or money towards her.

          In my dating experiences, this has been true nearly 100% of the time. If a guy offers to pay for the date, there’s a very strong chance he’ll ask for a second date (of which I’ll pay), but if he wants to split the check it’s almost guaranteed he’ll try to put his hand up my shirt by the end of the evening. It’s almost uncanny.

          • THANK YOU DYLAN!!!
            I am so done with women accepting this “split the bill” crap and men complaining about this “all women want bad boys” crap.
            NO! Men pay if they want her, he would have NO problem with it.
            And no! GIRLS want bad boys, WOMEN want good men. If you REALLY wanted a woman, you would see that. What these males want is a bad girl who looks like a porn star and gets upset that she may not want him back

    • Melenas says:

      Ladies and gentlemen of the manosphere, here is the Anti-NAWALT.

    • I think this comment explains why I’m single. And glad to be lol.

  24. I’ve thought about this issue too. I wonder if it’s because men can feel under continual pressure to prove their manhood. And that’s because of gender ranking: ranking men above women in a patriarchal society. So men constantly need to prove that they deserve that “high” place. (Women needn’t prove their social inferiority.) So, in taking on a manly leadership role of paying for the date, he can feel more confident in his manhood. Yes, there’s a sacrifice. But it’s worth it to secure one’s precarious manhood.

    I would love to get rid of a system that ranks men above women. I feel that as we stop gender-ranking men above women the pattern will dwindle. And since half of men are now okay with women paying, it looks like we are making some progress.

    • Its because there is a huge uncertainty in dating and you never know why a person rejected you. I was on a fantastic date where we split the bill. The girl later ended things. My Mom always tells me it was because I didn’t pay. I am pretty sure she is wrong but I will never know for sure. I do know one thing though…if that is indeed the reason she ended things then I don’t want to be with her.

    • KC Krupp says:

      Yes, (sarcasm) because it’s always because it’s always that men feel as though they are better or superior to women. (end sarcasm)

      When are people going to realize we don’t rank men above women, rather society has a trapped in a ‘man box’ and a ‘women box.’ The men aren’t competing with the woman on a date, they are competing with OTHER MEN. They are trying to make sure they rank higher on the social totem pole than the other men in the room and so they perform their gender based on what has been drilled into their heads will rank them above that woman’s other potential suitors.

      Why are so many women stuck in trying to rationalize and explain the way men feel?

      Believe me, I recognize that there are some sexist guys who are stuck in some backwards notion of ‘a man’s role’ and ‘a women’s role,’ and they are the minority.

      Why might a guy feel a lot of pressure to pay, even when the woman insists that she wants to split? Maybe because WOMEN in their lives continue to insist that ‘it demonstrates he is a leader,’ ‘if he doesn’t pay she’ll reject him,’ ‘if she offers to pay it mean’s she’s testing him.’ Dating services have done surveys like this many many times and the premier dating advice coming from them is that their FEMALE clients believe the man should pay.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        I agree Krupp I think its cultural. I have never ever met in my entire a man who believes to be superior to women. Ever. I dont say they exist, but just they are very rare.

        The most common meme I have stumbled around on the net, is the opposite. Some guys feel women are superior to men. But beside memes and superstitions witch are created more from ignorance and wrong inputs takes time to unlearn.

        And it doesent help that women use all the subterfuges and tests on guys. Be straightforward say what you want. But please dont forget you are dating another human being. Threat him as such.

  25. Mr Supertypo says:

    Rarely very rarely I have to pay for a date. The wast majority of time we share everything. Only tree women over a xxx falls out of the norm. Two of them I payed (witch one was unemployed, so its ok, the other one was in her 40’s so she has older culture of dating) the 3’d one she insisted eloquently to pay everything.

    Beside the 3 women, everything was kinda equal. I made my “moves” she made her’s. Usually I avoid movies, I dont even understand why go to the movie. If I want to see a movie, I invite her to my place, otherwise we go to the café, dancing, dinner, bowling or something else. I like to know the girl so I have to talk to her, do some activities with her, not just sit quietly in a dark room looking to a film. And when the movie is over, its late and we split. No thanks.

    I avoid the movie at all cost!

    • Its because you live in a Scandinavian country. You are probably better looking than 75% of guys your age, you are a DJ which greatly adds to your appeal.

    • I can’t believe you said women are privileged because they get their meals paid for. We may have come a long way in gender equality, but women are still absent in positions of power relative to men (see Foreign Policy’s recent Power Issue for more on that) and women still get paid less than men for equal work (see any recent article about this).

      In my view, men should keep paying for meals until women are ACTUALLY equal with men. But we still live in a society where women don’t get paid equal for equal work and women have a hard time getting into higher paid professions – in part due to sexism or harassment (this happened to me).

      So I assure you, women are not ‘privileged’ because they get their meals paid for! No, it is the men who are privileged, with their access to power positions, their higher paid jobs, etc!

      • Alex,

        I completely understand you are referring to inequality in a more global sense. However, by your logic college-aged men should be paying for their college-aged female dates even though they are in similar economic situations. How is it fair for these young men to assume this economic responsibility just to be proactive about inequality? Wouldn’t this just reinforce the idea that time with women is being “bought?”

        Also, what message does this send for the future of the relationship? If she gets a higher paying job does the responsibility switch?

        • In University and as far back as High School women are still expected to put a certain amount of money into their appearance and most men expect women to look a certain way. Things like waxing, hair products, hair straighteners, makeup, perfume etc all cost a lot more for women than for all but the most “metro” men.

          I can’t imagine that hairy legs, or god forbid (sarcasm) armpits would met with a positive response from any man. I invite you to look up waxing prices in your area – that’s just one small example.

          Until society is equal in that respect (and grooming is a big part of the mating dance) then I fail to see how men paying for dinner is unequal.

          (Notwithstanding couples where the woman makes a lot more than the man, if such a fairytale pairing exists)

      • @ Alex(andra?),

        [Interesting, I believe andr- is the latin root for man: how (in)appropriate!]

        Whatever. I think it reveals your inner frustration when you say “women are not ‘privileged’ because they get their meals paid for! No, it is the men who are privileged, with their access to power positions, their higher paid jobs, etc!” You must see the hypocritical nature of this statement, at least in a literal sense. To call an obvious privilege not a privilege, simply because you see other privileges as outweighing that privilege is clearly a logical fallacy. And the exclamation points along with phrases like “I can’t believe” indicate that your argument is steeped in emotion and therefore doesn’t adhere to logical fairness. OK, you may have valid points, although I could legitimately argue against them. What you convey by your tone and your dismissive nature is that you see women as a victim of men. Focusing on the negative aspects of feminism and ignoring the real issues that men face (even though this one is admittedly small) will only serve to make men think you would rather be a victim than have equality.

  26. I never got into this who pays thingy. I always paid whether she was interested or not. It’s the cost of doing business.

    While in a relationship, a real one: not this 4-6 month serial dating shit, we go back and forth. Sometimes I pay. Sometimes she pays. Most of the time (say 70%) I pay. I am high income ans she a single mom working as a police officer and getting her Masters.

  27. IMHO dating is an outdated social game that has outlasted its utility and must be discarded as early as possible. If anybody wants to play this game, then they have to play by the rules of the game, i.e guy has to foot the expenses. If somebody wants to go on date and pay all expenses, then its his problem. One of my friends never went on date with anybody, but has been with several ladies.

    BTW I agree with Tom Leykis.

  28. As long as I make 77 cents on the dollar, you can pay for 23% of dates. We split 77% of dates equally. As the wage gap shrinks, women pay proportionally more until we all split everything. Cool?

    • KC Krupp says:

      I don’t know what age bracket you’re in, but women in my age range (the under 30 crowd) earn more on average than men, 8% more on average and 20% more if you’re in Memphis or Atlanta; here’s a few links you can go check out for yourself:,8599,2015274,00.html

      So, by your logic I should move to Memphis and make her pay for 20% of the dates and then we can split the remaining 80% of the time.

      • Megan Sailsbury says:

        I’ve come to distrust all such studies, myself. There’s too many contradictory claims – I want to know what they’re leaving out. They don’t tell you that, of course, as it might undermine their attempt to be inflammatory.

        • Megan Sailsbury says:

          That said, I do believe that if either person has a significantly higher income than the other, that should influence who pays what. Not dictate, but influence.

          • KC Krupp says:

            I agree with you on both counts, that a large income difference should definitely influence who pays more and that studies that produce statistics like that are highly suspect. Statistics have a habit of always being twisted somehow, such as the CDC’s ‘well we don’t define that as rape, so we’re not going to include it in our summary report or fact sheets.’

            My answer to katt was really just a facetious reply to what I saw, and maybe I misinterpreted it, as sarcastic, derailing, and unhelpful. The thing is I fully recognize that a gap does exist, exactly how big it is, what causes it, and when there is and isn’t a gap is an important discussion to have. Using a comment like that in the context of this conversation is about as helpful as if while having a conversation about the wage gap I said something like:

            “Well since men pay for more in a relationship than women it’s fair that women make less than men. When women start taking responsibility for paying for dates then we’ll consider giving them equal pay.”

    • Jonathan G says:

      katt: If your employer pays you only 77% of what it pays men doing the same job for the same number of hours with the same level of experience and performance, why haven’t you sued yet? It sounds like it’d be a slam-dunk case.

    • @katt.

      I work six hours a week more than you, I’ll retire five years later and die four years sooner.

      I’ll trade you my (supposed) 23% pay increase for 9 more years retirement.

      The irony of course is that men put more money into the Social Security fund but then don’t live long enough to collect on it, so it goes to… you guessed it. Women.

      Now, kindly take your irrelevant and highly dubious claim that has absolutely nothing to do with this topic and exit stage left.

  29. I have to say that when I have talked with this issue with my female friends 75% of them said they expect the man both to ask them out and pay. They respond they would be livid if they had to pay for the date, or if they were even asked to contribute, but then turn around and complain that men won’t ask them out or that there are not any good men around anymore. My mother taught me to hold the door for women. I hold it for everyone now. It still really ticks her off when she makes a comment about how chivalrous that is and I respond with chivalry is sexist and it is simply my desire to be polite, not that I think anyone deserves that because of their gender.

    • Nice one Josh. It’s great to be polite, but if we are “chivalrous” to women, then we are implying that they are weaker than us. If only more women thought this way too.

      • Megan Sailsbury says:

        I hold the door for everyone, too. I’m Texan, it’s a thing we do…. But there was this one guy (a date) who flipped out when I held the door for him and demanded I shut it so he could open it for me. And yeah, that was bizarre and stupid and a little demeaning. If that’s what passes for “chivalry,” then you’re quite right – I’ll pass. Now admittedly, that’s ONE guy next to countless guys who smiled and said thanks. But it does show that some men take the whole chivalry thing too far.

        I guess it depends on how you understand chivalry. If it’s synonymous with common courtesy, great, let’s have more. If it’s common courtesy reserved for women, I have to wonder why. And if you’re going to flip out over a woman showing common courtesy to you because it’s not her place? Go to hell.

  30. A. Dude says:

    @ff, stereotype much? I assume by your comment you are homosexual. Don’t you want equality and to be treated just like everyone else? Seems strange, then, that you make comments like that, putting a wedge between your “kind” and another “kind.” We’re all humans, we all have strengths and faults. It looks like you’re choosing to disparage an entire demographic, based on the comments of a few. Sad.

  31. heterosexuals are confused people. they are so confused that they don’t understand themselves. Sad

  32. What if one persons earns a lot more money than the other?
    The last time a man invited me out I said no because his invitation to the opera with dinner afterwords would cost me 150-200$ when I payed my part.
    I did not want to exploit him.
    We met in a funeral.
    He just wanted to get to know me better.

    If he had suggested something inexpensive like a picnic I would have said yes. Then I would not feel I exploited him economically.

    And strangely enough I would have said yes if he was wild enough to suggest something like a weekend trip to London or Paris.
    Women are complicated creatures.

    • KC Krupp says:

      It’s a shame that if you genuinely wanted to get to know him better as well that the make or break point was the price. I understand that you felt like you would have exploited him if you had let him pay; I actually really appreciate that, many women I’ve met would not have spent a second thought about that.

      If you or any other woman finds themselves in a place like that in the future I hope would hope that they, if they genuinely want to get to know the guy, rather than just turning him down recommend an alternative date. I’m sure he would have been happy to go with you on that picnic and if you’d said something like “The opera sounds like fun, but you know what, I’ve been really wanting to get out and have a picnic in the park, why don’t we have a picnic instead?”

      • Megan Sailsbury says:

        Agreed, on all counts. It’s been my experience that EVERYONE forgets other people might not have their discretionary income, with the sole exception of those who have none. I’m sure Opera Man would have been just as happy had you suggested a less expensive option.

    • Why didn’t you just suggest something else? It’s not even that you chickened out, it’s that it didn’t even cross your mind to be honest and say “I’d like to, but why don’t we do something more casual like a picnic?”. That’s why I find women complicated, they are passengers in their own lives.

  33. Mr Supertypo says:


  34. From the article: “When it comes to dating, that no is necessarily a rejection of the guy; it is explicitly about him.”

    This statement is just flat out wrong, and does far more to hurt guys’ self-esteem than to help. I can immediately think of dozens of reasons why a guy might get rejected for a date that have nothing to do with the guy in question. When I finally figured this out for myself, and learned not to take the rejections personally, my dating success increased dramatically. I understand that the author is trying to be helpful, and I agree with the general thesis presented, but this specific idea needs to be thrown out and buried.

  35. William says:

    Men continue to pay because men AND WOMAN continue to tell men to pay, its seen as a huge deal breaker by woman.
    Also “whoever sets up the date pays” works for woman because men are taught by BOTH genders to initiate everything.
    Hell look at valentines day, is there any gift geared towards men that isnt lingerie?

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      Also “whoever sets up the date pays” works for woman because men are taught by BOTH genders to initiate everything.

      Yes, whenever I hear a woman claim that dating should be more equitable and up-to-date, but then go on to say that whoever does the asking pays, that raises an immediate red flag.

      • William says:

        What I’ve learned is that people will break gender roles down, until they see something they’re gaining by supporting the gender roles.

        That’s why we have woman supporting the return of chivalry and who support the idea of ‘courting’.

        • Megan Sailsbury says:

          When did the men on this site get so paranoid? As I said earlier, I’ve asked plenty of guys out. Only one didn’t object to me paying.

          • Valter Viglietti says:

            Megan, the problem is, you don’t matter
            Statistically speaking, of course! 😀
            We’re not talking about YOU here, we’re talking about the whole world. Hence, basing your reasoning on your own experience alone, is pointless.

            I’m glad you ask guys out, and I admire you for that.
            Alas, most women do not, just as many (most?) women do not like to pay while dating.
            The men’s comments here aren’t paranoid, they’re usually based on facts.

            And, as amatter of facts, talking about equality is easy, letting go of (own) privileges is not.

            • Megan Sailsbury says:

              No, the problem is, you’re ignoring the fact that women like me exist. I’m not a damn unicorn, you know. My experience is not totally unique. There was another woman talking about how the guys she dated didn’t like it when she paid, either.

              So, gee…. maybe the situation isn’t ENTIRELY the fault of women? Were I prone to stereotyping, I could easily start pissing and moaning about how guys say they want us to pay our share, then throw hissy fits when we try. But some of us are aware of the uselessness of that type of thing.

              • Valter Viglietti says:

                I’m not ignoring it. I acknowledge it, and I’m glad.
                Still, you’re a minority.
                “There was another woman…”. Gee, now it’s two; statistically overwhelming, isn’t it? 😉

                Look, I tend to only date women similar to you (I liked the “Go to hell” part in another of your comments). It’s not that I’m ignoring your position. 🙂
                It’s that women like you are still too few, dammit! 😆
                And we the discourse is about the world at large, minorities and exceptions don’t matter much.

                • Megan Sailsbury says:

                  Here. There was another woman HERE. That’s two out of what? Four? Maybe six if I missed a couple. Not so statistically insignificant. Again, I’m not a unicorn.

                  As for minorities and exceptions… just how many women do you want? All of us? Nobody’s “type” is going to apply to the majority of the acceptable gender(s).

                  • Why do you always come up with that “you only want one woman so why do you care about statistics” argument ?

                    • Megan Sailsbury says:

                      Why do you keep talking like you have any idea what I’m saying, when you clearly don’t?

                  • @Megan…

                    “Nobody’s “type” is going to apply to the majority of the acceptable gender(s).”

                    And just how do you know this?

                    I think it is primarily women that have an emotional attachment to their “type.” I find men do not. We are willing to compromise; if she has 80% of what we’re seeking men are OK. Seems a lot of women are “all or nothing.”


                    • Megan Sailsbury says:

                      Jules, I know it because people aren’t that uniform. As for men not caring about type, bullshit. Everyone has standards and preferences.

              • Megan, they ignore women like you (though I am staunchly against women paying and asking men out, if a man wants you, he will go for you- period.)
                because they WANT to complain about women. They see women gaining equality as a stab at their masculinity (for reasons they strangely are unable to eloquently elaborate on.)

                They think that they are due submissive kitten sex bombs because society of the past where men controlled women more told them so. And that any deviation is that must be crushed – if not by law at least by wretched namecalling and verbal abuse.

                All I can say is, ladies raise your son to be real men and buy large amount of batteries. This generation of men are too violently minded and verbally offensive as well incredibly sexist, hypocritical and undeserving of the magnificence that is women. Subconscious vagina envy. Of course, they think im calling bull. Their subconscious understands though. Also, I blame hip hop culture. This treat and call women names while still getting them is an expectation many men are now adopting and sadly many women are acquiescing to. Its sad all around. Its like if women must be treated like women they must also be stepped all over and treated like doormats.

          • Bay Area Guy says:

            As I said earlier, I’ve asked plenty of guys out. Only one didn’t object to me paying.

            Sigh. Do people not understand what a “generalization” is? It doesn’t mean that every single member of a given demographic conforms to a rule or stereotype. Just most.

            Therefore, Megan, while you, Joanna, and Julie may ask out men, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of women do not.

            I live in the S.F. Bay Area, which is the progressive capital of the nation. I don’t know a single guy whose girlfriend ever asked him out or did the initiating.

            As I said before, you play to the rule, not the exception.

            • Megan Sailsbury says:

              So, if we can conclude from your anecdotal experience that “most women don’t ask men out,” why can’t we conclude from my anecdotal experience that “most men don’t actually want the woman to pay?” You kinda ignored that part.


              • Bay Area Guy says:

                why can’t we conclude from my anecdotal experience that “most men don’t actually want the woman to pay?”

                I actually don’t dispute the paying part. Guys act that way because they’re idiots, brainwashed into accepting old chivalrous conventions, even though they get little out of it.

                I’m talking about who does the asking out.

                • Megan Sailsbury says:

                  You were complaining that the rule that the person who asks pays was set up to favor women because we never ask anyway. So, sorry, but you don’t get to separate them now.

                • When I pay for dates, I get something out of it – the sense of pride, authority, and independence that comes with being in financial control of the situation. If men think they’re getting nothing out of paying, it’s because they’re taking those bits for granted. It’s easy to say women are taking advantage of men because they seem to get more materially out of the interaction, but think about what’s really being bought.

                  • John Anderson says:

                    There is a theory that suggests that people pay for what they value. Her time and attention is considered valuable, not his. Think about what is being valued. Kind of puts a different spin on think about what is being bought.

                  • Aphyde “When I pay for dates, I get something out of it – the sense of pride, authority, and independence that comes with being in financial control of the situation. If men think they’re getting nothing out of paying, it’s because they’re taking those bits for granted. It’s easy to say women are taking advantage of men because they seem to get more materially out of the interaction, but think about what’s really being bought.”

                    THIS!!!!!!!!!!! THIS!!!!!!!!!!! THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                    YES GOD!!!

            • KC Krupp says:

              I’m in Chicago, not SF, so maybe the culture is different here, and while more often than not I had to be the one to initiate while I was dating it was not too uncommon for the woman to initiate.

              In fact three of the last four women I dated before getting married all initiated at least one phase in the dating process, whether it was starting the conversation with me, asking for my number, or calling and asking me out.

              I’ve noticed that the older a woman was the more likely she was to initiate (and I’m not talking that old, I’m talking typically a year or two out of college and up). I think a lot of it has to do with level of experience and being force-fed storybook romance mentality. When you don’t know what you’re doing and you feel uncomfortable it’s easiest to resort to what you’ve been exposed to the most. Heck, the reason my mom is with her current boyfriend (for 5 years now) is because she saw him in the Best Buy parking lot, hunted him down in the store (strangely enough they were both there to buy new TVs), and said hello first.

          • You can go on a dating site. If your not seriously deformed you will get a dozen dating offers in a week. You can tell all of them that you’ll only go out with them if you pay on the date. Let me know how many refuse.

  36. Oh, I should note that I don’t have these conversations with girls whilst on dates.

  37. Sigh. I’m glad you wrote this article, but I’ve had this conversation with women many, many times – they just don’t get it. They still don’t understand that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But hey, if there are guys willing to do it, then what can I say. It’s really just sad that women don’t feel any kind of sense of justice, I’m not sure how they can continue to expect men to:

    – take all the risk asking them out
    – initiate any sexual contact
    – pay for the ‘privilege’ of dating her
    etc etc

    What makes me laugh is when women try to come up with justifications like: “well, whoever does the asking out should pay”. HAH! Only because women very rarely ask guys out.

    I lived in the Netherlands for a while, at least there are women SOMEWHERE on earth that are willing to take on the bad with the good of equality – I got asked out, we split our bill, she kissed me at the end of the night, and I called her to arrange another date. It was very evenly split, and because of it I had a hell of a lot more respect for her than I do most of the hypocritical women here. I don’t even ‘date’ anymore here, it’s not fun to have to play all these stupid games, take all the risk myself, pay for girls who sometimes earn a lot more than I do (I dated a high flying lawyer who didn’t make any effort to suggest splitting the bill – I was unemployed at the time). So yeah, fuck that. I’m out.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      Agreed 100%.
      Especially the “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

      Alas, human beings (whatever the gender) like to think their privileges are a given, and others’ privileges are an option.
      That’s why you hear so many women talking about equality, but so few are willing to give up their privileges.

      Personally, if a woman thinks in a traditional, role-gendered way (money included – and especially when it’s about money), I know we aren’t a good match.
      WHo wants to be with someone who likes to take advantage of you?!?

      Of course, when I was younger and sex-starved 😉 I wasn’t able to be that much discriminating… :roll:

    • By have your cake and eat it too do you mean that women must be treated like submissive doormats in order to be paid for?

      Is that all it is for men? Treat a woman like trash or treat a woman like trash?

      And then you wonder why women see all men as jerks? That mentality is disheartening. Lesbians are the luckiest women in the world.

  38. I think the commenters here wildly overestimate how much young men and women pay attention to gender issues when on a date. Most guys offer to pay because they think it will lead to a better chance of them landing the girl. Many girls, even those who are willing to pay, will still sit back and let the guy pay. Not because of “gender roles” or anything like that, but because “Why pay for a dinner when you can eat for free?” Incentives matter.

    And besides, despite the rhetoric, I’ve known dozens of women who’ve admitted to me personally that they feel insulted if the guy doesn’t cover the first date. More than a handful will admit that they will even test a guy by offering to cover half the cost of the date, and if he bites then no second date for him.

    The part that most people forget is that most people don’t pay attention to the political aspects of gender roles to the same extent that the readers of GMP do. They just want a fun, simple dating experience. If that means guys largely paying first, then so be it. Most of the people I’ve talked to about it don’t really seem to care all that much.

  39. Bay Area Guy says:

    As Tom Leykis would say, never pay for dates or act like a “gentleman.” Any man who does so is a fool. Why should a guy do anything for a woman that she wouldn’t do for him?

    • Megan Sailsbury says:

      What if she is willing? What if she’s generous and polite? What happens to your “never,” then?

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Yes, Tom Leykis should definitely be our foundation for social and interpersonal decision-making.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          Yes, Tom Leykis should definitely be our foundation for social and interpersonal decision-making.

          Ah yes, I figured you would react in such a manner. Too much red pill truth to handle?

          Also, in his defense, he never purports to be any kind of expert on marriage or long term relationships. His mission is teaching guys to get laid. The fact that nice guys/gentlemen don’t get laid is no longer debatable.

          Answer me this, Joanna. If you’re a confused, young man, would it be more advisable to follow the advice of someone like Tom Leykis, or a random female feminist?

          Moment of truth here.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Wait, my choices are Tom Leykis or a random female feminist?

            This is a funny parallel universe you’ve created, Bay Area Guy.

            My feeling is that there is a plethora of relationship and dating advice in the world. Most of the time, some one-on-one therapy is probably better than almost all of it, but barring that, probably best to read a lot of dating advice and see what fits you – morally, ethically and personally.

            • Nope. Only choices are Leykis or random female feminist. “Random male feminist” isn’t even an option, Joanna…let alone one-on-one conversations with other human beings.

          • Megan Sailsbury says:

            Well, false dichotomy. But even so, if your only options for understanding women are A) a man telling you that women are vending machines that dispense sex as soon as you submit the proper code, or B) a woman telling you that, dude, women are human beings, too? I’d go with B every time, on basis of both gender and argument.

            • “Women are vending machines that dispense sex as soon as you submit the proper code…”

              Tyler Durden (Owen Cook) RSD PUA would agree with that statement….apparently, according to PUA rules, a guy should never give flowers, gifts, or pay for drinks or dinner if he is trying to “sarge” a girl (i.e., pick up a girl in a club for sex)….

              • This is nonsense. Any PUA who’d actually believe that “women are vending machines” is stuck in the stone age.

                TD’s argument, and what I teach guys, is a bit more subtle. If a woman is not attracted to you, then buying her anything is just a waste of money. You can’t buy attraction, it has to be there from the start. If a girl IS attracted to you, then there it’s not necessary to buy her anything (since she already likes you), but it generally won’t hurt you much if you decide to anyway. Either way, if money is important to you, then you’re better off saving it than spending it on more drinks at a bar.

                The way you put it, it makes TD (and other PUAs by association) out to be far more misogynistic than they actually are, which is why there is so much anti-PUA hate on this site. The PUA “rule” on this is far more nuanced and considerate of women’s stated desires.

                • Megan Sailsbury says:

                  The reason “there’s so much anti-PUA hate on this site” is that PUAs are despicable for failing to treat women as people in the first place. I don’t care if you think your cheat code is more nuanced than someone else’s, you’re still saying women are vending machines for sex.

                  • I’m not saying women are vending machines for sex, YOU are. You have a much lower opinion of women than I do if you think anyone can walk up and use some “cheat code” to get a woman to have sex with them.

                    I agree that much of what PUAs espouse is nonsense, and I’ve said so repeatedly in my comments and have also repeatedly called out one of the GMP contributors for repackaging and rebranding old PUA tactics as genuine dating advice.

                    Still, none of that explains why you think it’s so terrible to tell guys not to waste money on women who aren’t interested in them. I don’t care what the circumstance or who its coming from, that’s still good advice, and something that men need to hear.

                    • Megan Sailsbury says:

                      “I’m not saying women are vending machines for sex, YOU are.”

                      Actually, what I’m saying is that that’s a stupid, obnoxious, misogynistic philosophy espoused by the PUA industry. If you can’t comprehend that much, I’m not going to waste my time on anything else.

                    • KC Krupp says:

                      I’m not for a second going to suggest that the PUA doesn’t have a lot of misogyny, because a lot of the people who end up in that community end up there because they are frustrated and angry, and yes a lot of them are very misogynistic; I was there once.

                      At the same time, I’m thankful for the time I spent there, and I’m thankful that I found the more positive PUAs that focus more on “internal game/self-improvement type stuff” than running routines the likes of Mystery Method, RSD , etc. The PUA community is actually what straightened me out.

                      The thing is most people ever hear about the PUA industry is the routines and scripts and the bullshit marketing slogans. What most people don’t realize is that the routines are for beginners so they can build confidence and don’t need them anymore; it’s also from almost 10 years ago and any PUA who really knew what he was doing wasn’t even promoting that stuff any more by the time The Game came out.

                      The slogans? That’s pure marketing. Claiming you have the “cheat code for women” sells books, cds, and seminars. Let’s be honest, everyone is looking for the secret code to make life easier: Make cash from home by doing nothing!, melt away belly fat instantly with these 5 tricks. If you ever talk to people who are in the PUA community (and I still do on occasion) they’ll never tell you anything like that.

                      I haven’t been in the PUA community for about 6 years, so I have no idea what it’s like now, this was when the “industry” aspect was just starting. I’m lucky that I was able to learn the right things and keep a positive spin on them. While they do say a lot of stupid misogynistic stuff the underlying message is “Dude, the girl’s not the problem, it’s you – you need to fix you.”

                    • KC I’m glad you spoke up on this because usually when someone wants to talk about the PUA community its either exaggerated positive or exaggerated negative when in fact both exist. Kinda like nearly every subculture in existence.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      Yes Krupp, bravo….bravo.

                      What most people fail to understand, is PUA dont have magick cheats or tricks to make a woman fall in love with you or letting them magically spread legs out of nowhere. PUA is all about changing yourself to fit the dating reality. Yes you find misogynist to some degree, but on the other hand you also find misandry in feminism, but claiming that PUA’s are all about misogyny is wrong. So practically gendered bias is everywhere. And lets not forget there are also female PUA’s.

          • KC Krupp says:

            You can still be a gentleman and “get laid.” It’s about how you deliver the action no necessarily what the action is. You can pay for a date in a way that is weak and needy and you can pay for a date in a way that is sexy and confident. Too many people take the PUA advice to seriously without understanding the ideas and concepts behind it.

            Personally I would be really worried if a girl wanted to drop $50 the first or second time we’re going out unless she happens to be really well of. Why would either person spend a lot of money on someone that they’re still “feeling out?”

            • And why not? Some website reported a couple years back that men in Denver drop an average of $200+ on the first date. While I doubt the real number is actually that high, considering the ratio of marriagable men to women in the city it’s probably somewhere in the ballpark.

              I’ve had a couple of women drop $50 on dates early in the relationship, and in both cases it lead to relatively happy medium-term (6+ months) relationships. Despited all the talk of gender equality, men still take on an overwhelming majority of the costs and risks associated with beginning a long-term relationship. A willing who’s willing to offload some of that cost on herself is going to be a winner in my book.

              • KC Krupp says:

                Because it’s dumb, in my opinion, to drop $200 on crummy company, because now you’ve lost out on money and time instead of just time. A date is supposed to be about finding out if you enjoy being around and are attracted to each other, and if you need to spend $200 to figure that out, then – just wow.

                I like the willingness to offload some of the cost, I agree, a winner for sure, it’s that I don’t think either of us should be spending large sums of money early on. The way I see it is, before I invest money like that into anything, I want to make sure I make my money and my future time is well spent. I wouldn’t mind if a woman I’ve been dating for a while spent a sizable amount of money on me.

                I always treated the first couple dates like a “get to know you period.” When I started doing ice cream, walking in the park, going to the farmer’s market or street fair, or watching the free Wed or Sat night fireworks show dates (I’m in Chicago) I started connecting with my dates much better and much earlier in the “courting” process. I still would rather make dinner at home with my wife than go out to a restaurant.

                • Agreed with you on all points. It’s a dumb system, but if it’s the one we’re stuck with, then there’s no reason why men should be covering all the costs. Like you, I’ve learned to avoid expensive dating as much as possible, and have moved toward cheaper, at or near home get-togethers in their place.

                  • Megan Sailsbury says:

                    I prefer cheaper stuff, myself, but not at-home.

                    I remember once, when I was a teen, this guy asked me out and took me to the priciest place in town. I knew I wasn’t paying, but still – stickerr shock. I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu without even reading the description. It was terrible, and I still felt like a freeloader. All round, not a great first date.

                    At-home stuff, though… that (to me) feels like expectation of ending up in bed. I don’t care for it.

                    So, I like low-cost stuff. Dinner at a decent-but-not-fancy restaurant, hanging out at the park or a cafe, ice cream is good in summer.

                    • KC Krupp says:

                      Seriously I can’t promote the ice cream date enough, as long as your date isn’t lactose intolerant of course. I love the ice cream date. It’s fun and almost a bit childish in a good way, I find most people love ice cream (and if your date doesn’t she will tell you), it’s more unique than the “let’s grab coffee,” you can keep it really short or extend it out for hours so if you don’t click it’s easy to end it and go your separate ways, and here’s my favorite part:

                      After you get your ice cream (get it in a cup with a spoon) and sit down you ask her about how her’s is, she’ll ask you about yours, and then you offer her a taste – if she’s comfortable with you she’ll take a taste and then return the favor. (Seriously get it in a cup with a spoon, licking someone else’s ice cream cone is gross.)

              • @DD…

                “……relatively happy medium-term (6+ months) relationships.”

                Just what the hell is a 6 month relationship? Seriously.

                This whole serial dating thingy is just crap.

                • Different strokes for different folks. I’ve been in several long-term, multi-year relationships. They have their advantages, but I’m at a point where I’m happier doing the short-term casual thing. Most of the women I meet and date are in their late 20s and early 30s, and I tell them right up front that I’m not interested in marriage. A lot of them just want a cool guy to hang out with while they continue the search for “Mr. Right” and that’s where I come in.

                  It’s what works for me, but it’s not something I would necessarily promote for others. The traditional long-term monogamous model of dating and relationships isn’t the only workable option out there…

                  • @DD…

                    OK. I have to respect your opinion.

                    I guess the struggle for me is the form of dating which you speak seems like you are in the picture strictly for the sex (“hang out with”).

                    Anyhow as you say, different strokes for different folks. It is not for me.

          • Wow, I’m surprised the name Tom Leykis even made it past the moderators. Still, I can’t buy off on his philosophy. I think Tom sometimes forgets that he has this semi-famous radio talk-show host thing going for him that most other guys don’t. Any man that insists on not paying for anything or ever being a gentleman risks spending many nights alone.

            On the other hand, I don’t think anything suggest in the article or the comments sections will work for most young men. Women are all over the map when it comes to the “who pays on the first date” question. I’ve dated avowed feminists who would NEVER dream of picking up the check on the first date, and were still hesitant to do so on later dates. I’ve also dated “traditional” conservative women who’ve enthusiastically offered to pick up the check. I can see how this leaves so many men frustrated, as there is no longer any real dating script to follow. Most guys are just left out there to figure it out on their own.

            I agree with the author that women really should start asserting themselves more in the dating process. Otherwise, too many lost young men will continue to turn to the likes of Tom Leykis and PUA “gurus” for help which is something I doubt many reading this piece would like to see.

        • He makes plenty of valid arguments, many of which have gotten me sex that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and spared me from plenty of unsavory women.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Joanna

          A friend’s mom had a warning for us. She told us that when she was younger, she and her other married friends would go out without their wedding rings on and try to get men to buy them things knowing full well that they weren’t going to cheat. I guess it’s kind of like guys having a contest to see who can get the most attractive girl or see who can have sex with the most women. It was a contest to see who could get the most “stuff”. I guess the advice is along these same lines.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        What if she is willing? What if she’s generous and polite? What happens to your “never,” then?

        Okay, obviously, there are some exceptions. If a woman is warm, friendly, and feminine, and is able to fulfill traditional feminine obligations, then she’ll have earned respect and the right to enjoy some chivalrous treatment.

        However, a good rule of thumb is to play to the general rule, not the exception.

        You don’t want to come across as a nice, supplicating gentleman at first. By doing so, you’re basically saying that you’re her inferior, and that you value her too much. Which is a major turn-off.

        • Megan Sailsbury says:

          “Traditional female roles” like hot and cold running sex, staying barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, or both? I don’t think you should be on this site, frankly. You seem to have missed the point.

        • Megan Sailsbury says:

          Also, there’s a world of difference between “chivalrous treatment” and basic respect.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Bay Area Guy

      If you look at sex as a commodity which women control, any actions or advice that reduces the value of that commodity will be met with push back from those most interested in ensuring maximum value for it. I’ve seen the same push back especially from feminists concerning men going their own way or those guys who have life size dolls instead of girlfriends. You even see a lot of push back in those articles that complain about men preferring porn to girlfriends.

      In general, I figure that as long as you’re not hurting anyone go for it. I think you can make an argument for those guys exiting the dating scene as hurting themselves, but I’ve never seen a compassionate article concerning these men in gender justice conscious circles. Making fun of someone who is hurting or feeling inadequate has never struck me as being constructive. Makes me think that the big problem was reducing the value of sex by reducing the demand for it.

    • Tom L. sounds like a misogynistic a-hole. Men who think like that are probably just mad of their homosexual tendencies. No man hates a woman as much as he hates the intuition he is gay.

  40. When we were overwhelmed and impoverished students in grad school, there was really no time for going out “on dates”…it was more like Booze Cruise hookup, after exam parties, Friday afternoon Beer Rounds, and the like….once we became a couple and I could that my guy was a keeper, I invited him out to a fancy white tablecloth restaurant and I gladly paid (because I was so happy with him)…I had been to the same restaurant with my ex the year before and he paid then, but it wasn’t much fun….

    I think when you get to a certain point in your life and you realize that you should only spend time with people you enjoy, then your heart and wallet may open up because you are happy and want to share your bounty (no matter how meager)…

  41. Boys and men will also need to understand that being asked out—and saying yes—doesn’t somehow threaten their masculinity or make them “whipped.”
    I think it may also be worth looking at messages that tell guys that they always have to say yes to any chance with an attractive woman just to verify their manhood.

    I say this because in a situation where a woman asks a guy out the thought of feeling “whipped” isn’t the only thing that could be running though his head. There is also despair. As in just as a woman asking a guy could leave him feeling he must say no to keep from feeling “whipped” a woman that asks him out he may feel the need to say yes because of the belief that “guys want to have sex in any way shape or form”.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the air needs to be cleared for guys so that they can make their dating choices based on their own interests rather than the interests of others.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Danny

      I was invited to lunch by a female friend. On our way there we bumped into a mutual friend. During our conversation she mentioned that she was taking me to lunch. Of course, I told him that was only because she knows I put out (by mow you should realize that on occasion I must do something stupid). It keeps me young. We all had a laugh because we all knew each other.

      When we met up again, he asked how things went. She mentioned that she didn’t get any. I complained that she only bought me a $9.00 lunch. Our friend told her that he has his standards. We all laughed again, but there is another point and that is that if a man is asked out and accepts, he shouldn’t feel obligated to put out.

  42. Whoever invites, pays. It’s that simple.

    • Megan Sailsbury says:

      See, that was always the rule when I identified as a lesbian (still is, when I date women). But when I started seeing guys, it turned into a minefield. A lot of guys get offended by a serious suggestion that I pay (as to a token offer quickly dropped). I don’t know if THEY see it as “the man’s role,” or some implication that they can’t afford to “treat me right,” or what, but they don’t like it. I’ve asked out one – ONE – guy who was pleased that I was willing to pay for his dinner.

      So, it’s an awkward situation for women. You don’t want to insult… well, anyone – but especially not this great guy you’re trying to signal you want. And you sure as hell don’t want to fight about it. So, what are we supposed to do?

    • John Anderson says:

      @ David Kaiser

      That was always the rule for me too growing up. It does put a lot of power in the hands of the person with the money though and how would you handle deciding where to go. I also believed that if you’re paying, you decide. It kind of makes sense as you’re the best judge of what you can afford. If the other person wants input into the date, does that mean they should have to pay at least part?

      • Megan Sailsbury says:

        Well, there’s a limit to the authority conferred. If you use the fact that you’re paying to insist on a movie the other person doesn’t want to see, or haul your shellfish-allergic date to Red Lobster, you probably won’t have much of a first date, let alone a second.

        Regardless of who pays what, if you’re doing something together, you should make plans together.

  43. Yeah, mate, it’s no privilege to be treated like a “guest” in your own dating life. Why has chivalry (particularly in dating) remained? Because of a crap ton of other ways in which we still socialise men and women to remain in outdated gender roles. We socialise men to take control and be in charge and we socialise women to negotiate and to make “keeping the peace” their top priority. And then you add onto that the way we’ve socialised both men and women NOT to trust what women say, and to assume that men probably know better than women. And then you end up with situations like this:

    Basically, a woman says she’ll pay for herself, the man insists on paying and no matter how much the woman protests the man basically forces her to let him pay for her. I’ve had this happen to me when I was in high school, and it wasn’t even a date! I had to get wicked aggressive (i.e. behave in a very non-feminine way) in order to convince the guy to let me pay for my own movie ticket. I’ve had similar experiences when being offered seats on a bus, or having a man who was behind me quickly move in front of me to open a door for me. I’ve had this experience when carrying heavy objects and when I’ve refused offers of help, had the man physically take the object from me despite my protests.

    • I also find it wicked problematic that the onus is being placed on women to “take control” and start making decisions about dating…when everything that men and women are socialised to do is against that. Actually, not only in terms of socialisation…all the power dynamics in play here are absolutely AGAINST a woman taking control of situations.

      Telling the person with the least decision making power in a relationship to suddenly start making decisions doesn’t work.

      • Since when do women have less decision making power in relationships?

      • @heathern:

        “I also find it wicked problematic that the onus is being placed on women to “take control” and start making decisions about dating…when everything that men and women are socialised to do is against that”

        Are women ever responsible for anything Heather? I mean it seriously looks like you’re using the patriarchy as an excuse why none of this is women’s fault. I thought feminism’s goal was to *increase* women’s agency. You don’t gain increased agency by sitting around and waiting for someone to give it to you. Are you serious?

        Man, if this is what dating has become, count me the heck out.

    • I have the exact same problem as you and the article you linked. It’s actually rather disrespectful when you aren’t allowed the option to pay your own way.

    • Danielle Kail says:

      I have always found this custom ugly as soon as I first learned it. Like many women with Asperger’s Syndrome, I learned about this thing later in life. Expecting men to pick up the tab encourages the stereotype of men with predatory designs justifying themselfs by the price of the meal. Or women as manipulative, using sexuality as a bargening chip. Now if you could give me some tips about how to get out of the very uncomfortable check fight, I would love to hear anything you suggest. Thank you for your article. I’ve enjoyed it.

      • KC Krupp says:

        I’ve mentioned a few scattered throughout several other comments:

        1. Avoid expensive dates entirely when you first start dating someone. Do stuff that focuses on you two needing to get to know one another. I love going for a walk around a park, garden, or along the beach, having a picnic, or getting ice cream; even if I end up paying it’s only a couple bucks.

        2. If you’re okay with paying and don’t want a fight I when the check arrives would usually say something like “Why don’t you get it next time?” with a big of cockiness and confidence.

        3. Before either of you spend any money (before ordering because it may change her order) make it a point to bring it up, but don’t treat it like it’s too big a deal, joke around with it. I would say something like “I have this rule about first dates: I always split the bill. You see, I don’t want to have you pay and then I’m sitting here feeling like I have to put out at the end of the night, I mean I’m still just getting to know you. If you’re lucky I’ll might let you pay next time.”

        4. You can also just be upfront about it and just say: “Hey, serious topic for a moment: I think we should split the bill. I think it’s really important that we get to know each other as equals, and I just can’t feel that way if either you or I pay.”

        None of these are a one-size-fits-all solution, and recognize that each one has the chance of carrying some sort of consequence with it (especially that last one,) but hey, better to find out sooner that there’s going to be a problem then later and be out $100. 🙂

        • Jameseq says:

          great post krupp. i hope the young hetero/bi men reading, have bookmarked your comment for future reference

    • John Anderson says:

      @ HeatherN

      “Basically, a woman says she’ll pay for herself, the man insists on paying”

      I think part of the problem is that women are taught to “be nice” and men realize that it isn’t always true. Men if they’re interested in having a second date will err on the side of paying. I know a guy who asked his girlfriend what she wanted for either Valentine’s Day or their anniversary I can’t remember which. She told him she didn’t want anything. She didn’t mean it. She threw a fit and he ended up spending like $1,000 in gifts to smooth it over. He essentially had to spend 4 or 5 times what he would have spent had he just ignored her and bought her something.

      • I know this one guy, and a girl told him something then got all upset when he believed her. So if your date treated your self-assertion with contempt, it’s because that girl had lousy communication skills. OK? All better.

  44. A . Dude says:

    Great article, I have been thinking about this a lot recently. And I don’t think this just applies to dating…even after 18 years of marriage, there are certain roles I, as the husband, am “expected” to fulfill, despite a push towards more equality in the marriage. My wife, and I suspect from what hear many women, expect husbands to play a bigger role around the house (cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, etc, beyond just cleaning up after oneself). And I get that, I really do, especially in dual-income families. I think it is fair, even in my family where I am the sole-breadwinner and my wife is a stay-at-home-mom. I’m cool with that, because her role can be a difficult one. And helping her, can reap benefits for me, but that is a completely different topic…

    My problem with this is, that I am still expected to fulfill the traditionally male roles (driver, groundskeeper, repairman, plumber, bug-killer, etc.). There is a one-way push in my marriage for gender-role equality. I love to cook, I have no problem doing dishes, I’ll even scrub the toilets…but I would LOVE to see her cut the grass, or maybe drive us somewhere once…just once. Isn’t THAT equality?


  1. […] starting conversation the next day if “he” wants the relationship to continue. Hetrerosexual American guys assume they’ll pay for the first date, regardless of whether they endorse traditional or egalitarian gender […]

  2. […] out or aren’t good at reading the non-verbal signals women use to send interest instead of asking a guy out. Many of them get labeled as nice guys and compared to bad boys. As a result, these […]

  3. […] to move from ‘Call Me Maybe‘ to ‘I’d like to take you on a date.’” -Andrew Smiler, July 10, […]

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