Pay to Play

So a friend and I were discussing paying while dating and in a relationship. Both of us admitted that we are old fashioned kind of gals and don’t care much for the 50/50 bit. We also stated that we don’t much care for a guy asking us to pay either. But we aren’t stingy. I don’t mind paying for dates, I just like to feel like a lady who is being courted. If we are doing 50/50 then it doesn’t feel that way. I don’t have a formula for what percentage is should be. It differs depending on the guy for various reasons.

The key is that I do like to contribute in a relationship. I don’t want a guy to end up asking me to start paying for things but I have found that, inevitabely, this will happen. But here’s how it goes:

Date 1 – guy pays, no questions
Date 2- guy pays again
Date 3- I offer to help, he says no, sometimes adds an insulted face or an “I’m the man, I pay”
Sometime during the dating game the guy ask in some way or another when I will pay.
Umm, K. I pay. No problem. And then I find myself paying more and more.

Morale of the story, those guys wanted to show off in the beginining which then lead the woman to be accostumed to a certain behavior. Then the guy may not be able to keep up with the expense or start to feel taken advantage of. The woman, assuming she is not selfish, wants to show she isn’t all about self and she agrees to pay. But then she finds herself paying more than she thought. Maybe even 50/50 and she starts to become resentful. And who wants to have that conversation about money? Not comfortable.

So what’s the fix? I think women need to be clear about their views regarding financially contributing  when dating. I have a friend who states it point blank early on in dating and she hasn’t raised a complaint. I think if you tell a guy, hey, I do like to be courted but I’m not selfish and will contribute from time to time (and then actually do that, maybe, earlier on in the relationship) then everyone should be clear on what’s expected. On the guys front, do what you can afford to do and if a woman offers then accept that (although not before the first two dates, real talk- if she offers before that she’s just doing what she thinks is nice).

But that’s just my thoughts.

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