We’ve all heard that when heterosexual couples go out on a date, the guy should pay. Though, I’m pretty sure this began before a lot of women’s rights acts. In this day and age it’s become more of a cliché –Yet still a common practice amongst many couples. Should the rule remain in our society today? Homosexual couples don’t seem to be any more confused than heterosexuals in the dating game, but I suppose it’s a habit we’ve yet been able to break. For the longest time I’ve always said that I couldn’t care less about how much money the guy I’m dating made. It mattered much more who they were as a person, and how we felt about each other. As long as we could go out once in a while and neither of us were struggling financially in a way that effected our relationship, I always felt their income shouldn’t be of a concern to me. I always said that I didn’t care if the guy treated me to dinner or not. For the most part, I still stand by this, but I’ve noticed I might care about all of this a little more than I thought. I’ve dated the unemployed and the six-figure income guys and the happiness of our relationship or reason for it’s end never varied much. (Although, some of those relationships were when I was a lot younger and probably in part while I was still living with my parents.) But, I recently dated a guy for a few months and I knew he didn’t have an incredibly high income or much extra money floating around to play with. He paid for my dinner and drinks the first few times we went out, and then we began to split the bill. I’d been an advocate of how fair this was and thought that I had no problem with this. But, after some time, I found myself complaining that he never paid for anything for me. This wasn’t even true because he still purchased some of my drinks, or occasionally covered larger portions of the bill –But I caught myself complaining to him anyway.
So what was it? Did I feel insulted? Was it that it’s somehow ingrained into me that the social norm on a date is being taken out by the guy, who covers all the costs? Was I just feeling like being cheap? And so, should we try to completely drop this rule? Is it possible to drop? Should we replace it with a new rule? I thought I was the one who wanted to do away with the rules and games of dating. It makes sense that whoever suggests the place/activity, should cover the cost of it –But will it ever be a common norm that the girl pays for the guy? Should the norm for everything be to always be split? Should the guy pay at the beginning and then everyone for themselves? Again, why should it be the guy, then? Should we base it off of who has a higher income? Yes, many studies show that men are still paid more than women on average –But of course this isn’t the case in every situation. Should we base it off of who has less bills to pay? Should a girl take it as an insult if a guy doesn’t want to pay for her? I guess it’s the type of thing that will continue to be a judgment call and unique to each relationship. If I can state I believe one thing, know it makes sense in my head, but still be bothered by not being treated once in a while, how is anyone else supposed to know how to go about it anyway?!
I suppose I’ll continue my trend of watching the waitress place the check on the table, reaching for my wallet, asking how much I owe as the guy turns it over, hope for the “I got it” reply, ask “are you sure?”, if confirmed, thank them, and if not pay my portion, while secretly being a little bit disappointed. It’s become such a routine, I’ve sometimes found myself actually asking my date, “Did you want me to do the fake wallet-grab to be polite or should I just ask if you just going to pay for it?” I think it’s coded into my genetic make-up at this point to initially assume the odds of the guy paying for me are pretty high.