Dating is not easy. It is a tricky dance with many unwritten rules and an ever-changing protocol. Yet, if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s the fact that women like it when the man is smoooth. Smooth like when you stealthily incorporate a double entendre into the conversation to make the point you’re into her and have a quick laugh, or when you order a bottle of wine, expertly yet without pretention, or when you deftly grab the bill and offer to pay before she can even pull out her wallet.
My suggestion—always—is the man pays—or at least offers to—on the first date.
This isn’t because women make less money than men (though they do—a 2016 report in China Daily Asia says that in Hong Kong, there’s a 15% gender wage gap and in Singapore, it’s 30%) or because women are prima donnas who expect to be taken care of (though some are and I would suggest you not date them).
The reason why is because women go weak in the knees for a man who is smooth.
Here’s the deal…it’s the 21st century and you don’t have to be taller than her or make more money than her or catch a bear with your bare hands for her, but you still need to be able to handle certain situations. Paying the bill on the first date is an opportune moment to show her you’ve got moves.
Many of the women in my database are natural-born leaders but when I look at the feedback I’ve received in their profile session, many tell me they want a man who has confidence, swagger and can take the lead during the date. (The more alpha a woman is the more important it is you can take control of situations.)
Obviously, another reason to pay that first bill is to signal you “like like” her. Splitting the bill is something friends who like each other do. You’re on a date; so keep the situation romantic and don’t go platonic.
Some of you are going to make less money than your date—which is totally cool—and some of you don’t want to splurge on the first date—which is a smart move. In these cases, when you are making arrangements for your date, suggest something that is within your means. Go for a walk and grab an ice cream. Or pack a picnic. You don’t need to organize a lavish feast for your first time out.
You may worry that by paying for the first date, you will set a precedent and she will forever expect you to pay. That won’t happen. Each date (and all the texting and calling in between) will give you a chance to share with her what your thoughts are on outings and what your financial situation allows you to do. She’ll be receptive and respectful to your situation.
However, make a note: If she does not thank you after you’ve paid for something, isn’t generous with her finances, attention or energy, or disregards your financial situation, you know you’re dealing with someone who will take you and your financial resources for granted; it’s probably best for you to (smoothly) move on.
First published in Maitre D’ate