the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Can The Ladies Pay Sometimes?
November 3, 2009, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , , ,

PayingforDinnerIt seems that there are entirely too many stipulations and rules when it comes to dating and male-female friendships these days. Case in point: who should pay for what, when to call, who can call, and the like. And I, for one, can’t stand it. Is it really that complicated? Ok, it is that complicated, but should it be? No.

The main thing I don’t understand is this concept that some people have that says the man must pay for everything. Where does that come from?

I know men feel the need to provide. I understand it — I am, after all, a man — and that’s great, but does that mean that your girl can’t take you out to dinner every now and again? Does that mean that if you’re hanging out with a female friend that she can’t pick up the tab for dinner? Doesn’t she make money too? Wasn’t she all gung-ho about being i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t before you met and started dating? She bought and paid for all her own stuff then, right? So clearly she’s capable of paying for things… but why doesn’t she? What’s changed?

Any good relationship is all about shared responsibility. It’s about working 50-50 with the other person in the relationship. Why shouldn’t paying for food and activities be included in that 50%? I’m not saying that you have to split everything down the middle, but a little reciprocity never hurt anyone. Has it?

I know that there are some people, specifically some men, who flat out refuse to let a woman pay for anything. Honestly, that’s a pride issue. That’s your male ego puffing up and not wanting to accept anything from anyone, but especially from a woman. Get over it. It’s really not that serious.

For me, personally, if I’m out with female friends, we’ll normally go dutch and split it, or I’ll get this time, she’ll get the next. When it comes to dating, I’ll definitely pay for the first few dates, but once we are in a committed relationship, I would like her to share some of the responsibility and pay for a few things here and there. We don’t necessarily have to make sure that if I’ve spent $100 this month, that you’ve spent the same, but it’s more of the principle of the idea for me.

But that’s me. What do you think? Should there be reciprocity in who pays for what in a relationship, or even a friendship? Should it be something that’s discussed openly or just assumed? Why do men seem to have such an issue with women paying for things?


8 Comments so far
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I agree, I’ve never had a problem paying.

Comment by Melzie

This is a good post. I think it is the men who many times insist on paying out of pride. Pride can be good: “I’m proud of my son”, or pride can be bad – I can think of many times when pride was the wrong decision. Back to this example though – I once was with someone from a business setting and they had invited me to spend the weekend with them at their home in a different state form where I loved. I was young and inexperienced and assumed because they’d always paid in the business setting, that they’d pay for my meals when we ate out that weekend. I felt very bad when it became obvious that wasn’t the deal. Since that day, I always pull a credit card out to pay dutch at the very least, I never assume someone is paying my part.

And when it comes to dating, I always loved it when the girl wanted to pay, or even offered to pay ahead of time. It always sent me the message that they weren’t just after a free ride, they were willing to contribute to the relationship as well.

Comment by Nelson McDonald

Never have a problem with doing this at all. However,I sometimes find it hard to allow a man to pay for me. I don’t think the dynamics should change much if a friendship should evolve into a relationship. It is something that should be discussed as everyone looks at this topic in a different light. So I don’t see the problem in setting the record straight so both parties are on one accord.

I can kind of see why men have an issue with a woman paying because as I’ve said before I sometimes have a problem allowing a man to pay for me. That is because I never want a man to feel like he has to take care of me financially because that is how I was brought up by my mom *uh oh..that is a whole different spin off/sidebar topic LOL* So I think it is a pride/issue thing for men, they may feel that a woman is taking care of him. MOST men don’t want that at all.

Comment by Krystle

Hey Stu! Long time reader, first time commenter (I think lol). Interesting topic here. Post-feminism dating is so complicated now. The rules have changed dramatically.

I’m still trying to figure out my own rules that I want to follow (and require a date to follow). Part of me is quite old-fashioned in that I appreciate a man wining and dining, but another part of me enjoys treating too. It feels good to gift someone.

“Any good relationship is all about shared responsibility. It’s about working 50-50 with the other person in the relationship.”

This sounds nice in theory but it rarely works this way in reality because people have different scales.

Case in point: My last relationship was with someone who liked to pay for outings and buy me gifts. When we first started dating, he had just quit his job and was going to school while I was out of school and working. He didn’t have a car but I did so I’d drive (gas is expensive in CA!) and he’d pay for our outing. When he got a (high-paying job), we just continued that way…but I got tired of driving pretty quickly and would’ve liked to change THAT up (i.e. him drive, I treat him to outings). Both of us were getting aggravated with the set-up because we were counting our own contributions as more than 50%. What’s my point? 50/50 is subjective.

My current policy is to give what I feel like giving and pay for what I feel like paying for, and if both people are happy, then I’ve found my match!

For the record: Some men have a skewed view of what “independent” means, and try to use that to graduate (or deteriorate) to gigolo/pimpin’ status. So many women are on-guard about that and decide not to pay for anything in their next whatever-ship until they are sure that’s not the deal. This is a first date convo topic to me. A man’s response to “Who should pay?” helps me assess his gender role expectations. Those expectations help me assess his values.

Comment by Jara

I think you’ve hit on a very critical point, 50/50 is subjective. I dare say that if you are close buddies, then this issue isn’t one of much significance. I also say that if you are in a committed relationship with someone and the relationship is all that you have ever dreamt of… then how much you are spending doesn’t really matter because you know the giving will be reciprocated. If you find yourself in awkward situations about money, chances are you and this person should NOT spend a lot of time together when it comes to things that cost. Assess the relationship that causes distress over money…surely it’s not an important one. This is really an easy thing when the relationship (whatever kind) is right and comfortable.

Comment by Donita

One more thing: your way of handling a friendship date is very equitable. My mom does it this way and most of her platonic friends are male. With most of my friendship dates, we tend to just pay for ourselves or treat the other person if we’re getting together to celebrate something. A few of my friends (who are not originally from America) like the “you treat me, I treat you” practice, so that’s what I do with them.

Comment by Jara

I totally agree with Jara. I have gone on dates with men before having a job and got treated to outings all of the time. Once I picked up a job and a place to call my own(which didn’t take long at all), the outings completely stopped. I was the one paying. “Let’s go out” became “when can I come over?”. Sad to say, some men praise a woman’s independence only because it gives them less responsibility. Hmm..not sure if “responsibility” was the correct term to use. However, you bring up an interesting topic. I personally wouldn’t mind paying, but I don’t want to be taken advantage of.

Comment by cre8tivelygiftd

I agree to a certain degree; I am old school and remembered the things grandma and grandpa taught me when it came to men seeking women. Times have changed and I have no problem paying depending on what my relationship is with the man I love to spend time with. If I make a suggestion to do something I will usually pay for it, today most men/women don’t have the income or the finances to treat all the time so if I want to continue to have a good time getting to know a person even better by spending that extra quality time together “I say YES”! Why not if you can afford it. I don’t believe all men have pride because they want to be the one to pay for everything it could be the only thing they were taught too! There are some things that still hold value, principals and morals in it, I can go either way!

Comment by Vickie

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