Should men pay for dates?

A fellow blogger, Will Deyamport, asked me this question last week, when we realized that we had differing views, we decided to write up our opinions and let you all decide who you agree with.  Since Will is my guest, I will let him lead the response…

Should men pay for dates?

Will Says…

Will Deyamport, Author of Peoplegogy

How can I say this as gingerly as possible?  Dating is a bad investment for men.  Dinner and a movie can cost between $50 to $70.  That’s just dinner and a movie.  What about an exhibit opening, a play, a concert, etc?  Throw in dinner and those dates could cost between $100 to $250.  And if a dude takes a woman out on three or four dates, he could be out $500.  That’s more than I pay for rent.

Dating is supposed to be about getting to know one another.  But, the money issue has turned it into a game.  Instead of two people just enjoying each other’s company or reveling in a new experience or discovering something new about themselves, it has become a series of financial transactions and high stakes expectations.  Whether it is the woman expecting to be wined and dined (no McDonald’s) or the man expecting to be compensated in booty, the money involved in dating is getting in the way of people connecting.

Then there is the whole equality thing.  If you believe in total equality between men and women, then you should believe that women should pay for dates or at least go half.  In the 21st century, there is no place for the archaic practice of men paying for dates.  Especially, in a time in which more women are graduating from college than men and when there are more women CEOs, governors, executives, department heads, and entrepreneurs than ever.  It is time for women to start picking up the tab.

LaKesha Says…

One day I was in Wendy’s and this guy comes up to me and asks if I will buy his food.  I quickly responded, “No.”  He then replied, “but you would be ok  if I bought your food?” to which I replied, “Yes.”

I believe in traditional male and female relationship roles and in my opinion, the man should want to provide for and protect his woman.  If you can’t afford to take a woman to a five star restaurant and can only afford McDonald’s then that’s where you should go.  If she can’t appreciate that, she obviously is not the woman for you and you are not the man for her.  If you continue to overspend to impress her, you are setting yourself up for failure because the relationship has a low probabilty of lasting.  Many men are so consumed with trying to impress a woman, that they have lost sight of the true purpose of a date which is to get to know each other.  If all you feel you have to offer is money, don’t be surprised if that’s all she cares about.

When a guy asks me out, I never tell him where to take me on the date.  I let him take me where he feels comfortable or where he thinks I would enjoy.  It is very obvious if the location is outside of his price range or comfort zone which is a sign that he is being fake and no matter how much money he is spending, I lose interest.  A man’s ability to date within his means is a testament to his decision making skills and ability to be an honest partner in the relationship.

Some of the best dates that I have been on have been where there was little to no money spent because the emphasis was on us spending time together and getting to know each other.  I enjoy being wined and dined as much as the next girl but it should not be the basis of our relationship so don’t take this to mean that you should never a woman out on a nice date because that definitely isn’t my point.

As for me paying for a date, maybe as we progress in the relationship but honestly, I don’t want to be with a guy that expects or even desires that I pay for our dates.  I think it sets the tone for the relationship that may be to come.  I want a husband who will be the head of the house and will take the lead in providing for our family.  I have no problem doing my part to help out but if he wants to be the head, then he needs to act like the head and lead like the head which means among other things, picking up the tab.

Ok, it’s your turn… Will wants to know which one of us do you agree with… or do you have other thoughts?  Cast your vote in the poll and/or leave a comment.


10 thoughts on “Should men pay for dates?

  1. Dean Cantave says:

    I like Lakeshas point but in essence dating is a gamble and most times a loss proposition for guys, period. In our endeavors to find a woman we have to initiate the date, and spend money to get the ball rolling. I believe in reciprocity and my mother talks about this all the time and she comes from a time where tradition in dating and chilvary was the norm. Today, the game has changed. But I will say that their are certain types pf men out there that just have to pay… fortunately I’m not one of them and this blog post doesn’t apply to Dean Cantave…lol. But for the brother that wants to find a woman she’s going to be interested in one thing… your potential and what you can do for her long-term. So if she uses a date to guage how you might operate from a financial and decision-making standpoint as Lakesha suggests, than fine. Let her judge and critique you however she see’s fit and than keep it moving! Also, let me add that if as a man you initiate you’re supposed to pay but if she initiates let her pay. We live in a historically different economic landscape than we did when my parent’s and grandparent’s were coming up… and as Will said, women are outpacing is financially so what’s the incentive? You both have good points!


  2. Roderick Frizzelle says:

    For me… I would not feel right if I did not pay for the date… I cherish the role of being able to pay for the date and anything else for my lady….

    Hey.. But that’s just me..


  3. I believe men should be more creative with dates; perhaps, in the beginning of relationships most women want to be wined and dined so that they can see that you are really serious about them. But, men, come on, you can be more creative. Set up a picnic date in the backyard of your home OR set up a romantic dinner in your dining room with lit candles and soft music, etc. Taking the time out to think about what your girl enjoys and providing that atmosphere for her warms her heart more than anything.


  4. I am shocked to see the results showing taking turns. I would suggest that if they are established as a couple, but in my opinion the person who extends the date invitation should be prepared to pay. If the man has been invited out, it would be a nice gesture to motion for the check, that will get you invited out and treated again, but at some point if a relationship develops you are going to have to pay and I mean dearly.


  5. Cindy Reese says:

    Great article–but I just want to know where Will lives that he only pays less than $500 a month rent. Can I live there too?

    Seriously, in this economic environment, I think we have to update our expectations as women. I voted ‘taking turns’. Frankly, the dude pays for the first date usually because he is doing the asking. If I like the fella and want to see him again that same week or even the next one, it makes sense for me to offer to pay. I understand that since men do most of the asking, they do the majority of paying to get to know women.

    Both men and women are going in to relationships with more stuff–mortgages, kids (or child support), student loans etc. . . it just makes sense to take time and get to know people, without blowing a lot of money on movies and dinners. Frankly, that kind of stuff is for teenagers. Adults can certainly find ways to get to know each other that doesn’t cost money. My (now) husband and I visited art galleries (free) together, had picnics where I packed tuna sandwiches (yes we are cheap!) and took walks. I remember those times more fondly than any restaurant or movies and those are things that we still do as a couple.


  6. Cindy, I live in Mississippi…. At the very least, women should split the bill. A man is taking a big gamble on a date, and always paying on a gamble is tantamount to a crap shoot.


  7. I mostly agree with Will although there isn’t so much equality around. There may be more women CEOs than ever but they are still less than 10% of all the CEOs. Philosophically though, if I went on dates now I wouldn’t feel comfortable if the guy paid all the time, I would feel he was trying to buy something.


  8. Scandellish says:

    I think it depends on the circumstances. If a guy asks a girl to attend an activity or place that the girl had no intention of attending or even known about then the guy should foot the bill. That’s just common sense. Still, when the situation is flipped and the girl asks the guy to attend something the same gesture is not always extended. The old ‘hard wiring’ that men are supposed to pay kicks in. As Will says here, things have changed in the landscape of breadwinning, especially in the black community. Women have just as much $ as men and in many cases even more. The old concept of dating has worn on men and we no longer feel it is necessary to ‘pay for someone’s attention.’ Hell, most of the time we are interested in the person but we don’t necessarily know them enough to truly say that we like them or not. With this said, the best approach is to keep it simple in the beginning. Guys we can pay for dates but do your internet research first to find different, clever and cost-efficient things to do. Focus on venues where you and your date are able to converse and enjoy each other’s company (or not) while relaxing having fun (isn’t that the purpose of dating?). I typically use the first opportunity or two to simply meet a person at a location (as opposed to picking them up). I’ll say ‘hey I’m going to ___ this evening, you should stop by and have a drink with me.’ If they come then they are definitely interested and it’s up to you to decide if you are interested enough to pay. If they don’t show, then of course you know what’s up immediately. Lastly fellas, don’t buy into the theory that ‘if he doesn’t pay for me, then he simply isn’t committed enough or not a man’ BS…turn that upside down and say ‘if she needs me to pay to validate me (or herself), then she probably isn’t into me very much, she’s just looking for something to do.’ Save your time, money and energy for someone who’s truly willing to share. My two cents….love the blog pretty lady.


  9. I agree with a few points others have made.

    In response to Will: Men are the leaders. Men are the protectors and men are the providers. I feel men choose to put out $50-$70 per date because they don’t put much thought into the date. Some men mess up when they ask the woman what she would like to do. Of course she wants to make sure you can provide for her so she is going to choose something that will cost you. There are many free parks, museums, events, etc. that occur that you can attend or visit for your dates. Use that to your advantage. Call her, ask her when she is free and tell her your plan. Women love men with plans!! LOL. I love non-traditional dates. I would rather you spend quality time with me than your money.

    In response to LaKesha: Yes!


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