Years ago, when your grandparents went on their first date, who do you think picked up the tab? I bet it was gramps. And when your parents started dating? I bet your dad paid the bills. The question is: Is this old-time norm past its prime? The answer, according to nearly half of women in a recent Chapman University poll, is no. Of 17,000 women questioned, 44 percent said they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect to help with the check at all. In fact, they admitted theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be annoyed if their date expected them to pitch in on dates. And 39 percent of women said that even when they offer to pay, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re just being polite and hope their date will insist on picking up the check.
What these women are saying is that, despite egalitarianism, feminism, and all the high-minded isms we now stand for, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still something sacred about courtship. And although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re perfectly entitled to ask for equality in the workplace without practicing equality in your dating life, it does create some tension.
True story: Not long ago, I took a girl out for drinks and dinner and picked up the tab at the end of the date. No big deal. Four or five dates later, I was still picking up the tabs. She hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t offered to help, and I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t asked. To be fair, our romance would have fizzled regardlessÃ¢â‚¬”the flame just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bright enough. But the fact that I was the only one investing in our relationshipÃ¢â‚¬”at least financiallyÃ¢â‚¬”definitely made me less anxious to wait around and see if the embers to burst into flames.
So how should you handle the big, un-sexy money issue in your dating life? First, understand that guys are still mostly OK with paying more than you do. According to the aforementioned poll, 84 percent of men claim that they still cover most dating expenses. But 64 percent of men also said they think a woman should chip in after the first few dates.
The upshot? If you care about the guyÃ¢â‚¬”and if you see a potential future with himÃ¢â‚¬”IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d recommend splitting the bill after the first few dates. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an easy way to avoid possibly sending the message that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re stingy, inconsiderate, or worseÃ¢â‚¬”dating him for his money. After all, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t your half of dinner a small price to pay for a shot at a lasting, meaningful relationship?