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Guys, do you pay everything on a first date?


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Here's an issue that's been bugging me for a while now. It seems to be expected from a man to pay drinks and dinner, and whatever else comes along (taxi, tickets to the concert) on a first date. Why is that?

 

If we would be living in the early 1900's, I would fully understand. The man has a job, the woman was expected to take care of the household. Women had no right to vote, had worse jobs than men, and were generally seen as a lesser creature than a man. The one with the (higher) income paid the date. Makes sense.

 

But it's 2013. We moved on. We learned from our mistakes. (Young) women nowadays often have jobs too. Good jobs. Emancipation has overcome all differences, and at least on paper, men and women are equal. So, why did the etiquette of dating not follow these developments?

 

Are women that cheap that they forget the fight for emancipation as soon as it involves some free food and drinks? (Yes, those words are deliberately provocative).

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Whatever age we live in, the man is wooing or trying to court the woman not the other way round. We could possibly still be tied strongly to that behaviour pattern biologically with the consequence that it generally feels instinctively 'wrong' even though logically you are correct for this day and age. Not saying I'm right but just putting it forward for critique.

Edited by StringJunky
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I think the problem stems from both ends. In my own dealings and as someone who is generally uncomfortable not paying for her own dinner, some guys can be pretty insistent on footing the bill; I guess out of an ingrained social expectation. I have no idea if this is the norm, though I can say that it has been my experience more often than not.

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Whoever makes the offer seems to pay, even when it's not a date — or not possibly a date.

 

Hey Captain Panic, let me buy you lunch, I've got some science questions to kick around with you.

 

Besides, I think women don't want to appear slutty, and within reason, what guy would refuse a free meal? So women are bound to lose a lot more money than when guys ask (and guys get rejected more often).

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Are you looking to split the bill or are you looking for an acknowledgement of equality? In other words, if your date offered to split the bill or even pay half, would you accept or would you wave the offer off, content that she had at least offered? If you asked a woman out and she said, "I can't, I had some emergency repairs on my car and I'm completely tapped out for now", would that be enough of an acknowledgement to allow you to pay for the whole date?

 

Also, who asked who out? I think there is a bit (a small bit) of decorum that says you should pay if you're the one asking. Of course, you may be doubly disappointed if, after the date, she doesn't ask you out in return.

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It seems to be expected from a man to pay drinks and dinner, and whatever else comes along (taxi, tickets to the concert) on a first date. Why is that?

 

Because he wants to get laid.

 

In addition to the social traditions already referenced, it could be an (even unconscious) attempt to invoke quid pro quo. Setup an interaction where something is owed to the man and the payment might be made later with sex.

 

On the social side, for millenia men have had to prove their ability to provide for and protect potential offspring in order to be found attractive. The strong pack leader has access to resources, and those who market their resource availability tend to have greater access to mates than those who do not market them (or than those who simply don't have such resources available).

 

While less common today, our biology is still inclined in that direction. In a crude, blunt, and powerfully oversimplified version... Paying for the first date is evidence that we could pay for food and diapers down the road.

Edited by iNow
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When the subject of 'dates' has come up with my sons (22 and 24) they laugh at me. Apparently the concept of a date does not exist the way it did when I was dating.

 

By the time what I would call a first date occurs (two people getting together for food/drink/entertainment/talking) the two people have known each other for at least a month, met up multiple times at events with plenty of friends around, and are 'talking'. Who pays is completely flexible at this point and seems to be based on who has money. No strong feelings about it on either side.

 

'Talking' means both sides are showing interest in the other and view each other as potential boyfriend/girlfriend material. Sometimes when they are done 'talking' they act like, what from my perspective, seems to be a couple. Bestowing the title 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' may come months later, and grants the boyfriend/girlfriend the right to certain expectations regarding time together and behavior with members of the opposite sex. In practice it means the girl demands more time with just the two of them, and the guy grudgingly agrees.

 

If they are young enough, the title of 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' requires an update to 'In a Relationship' on Facebook. This is an absolutely critical milestone to many of the girls. The guys seem to want to put off this step as long as possible.

 

The commencement of sexual relations can occur anytime between 'Hello' and the Facebook update.

 

 

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The commencement of sexual relations can occur anytime between 'Hello' and the Facebook update.

 

And if you're REALLY good or just won the genetic lottery, it might even happen before "Hello." :)

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And if you're REALLY good or just won the genetic lottery, it might even happen before "Hello." smile.png

 

I always try to slip a quick greeting of some sort in though.It's just polite.

 

I think it's about being seen to be a capable provider. This would make sense from an evolutionary point of view.

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Yeah, spare parts of AWESOME!!! [/barney]

 

Would that be the guy played by Neil Patrick Harris, or the guy in a purple dinosaur suit? Either way, I think some kind of hideous square of spare parts is being rounded with flatteringly low levels of testosterone.

 

Edited by Iggy
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Are women that cheap that they forget the fight for emancipation as soon as it involves some free food and drinks? (Yes, those words are deliberately provocative).

As others have said, the man is usually asking so it is a courtesy to offer to pay.

 

If I had a daughter, I think I would say something like the following:

 

Being for women's rights does not make genders neutral. Women will still be different than men. Women bear the most costs from sex in terms of disease, pregnancy and child rearing. It isn't fair, but nature doesn't care. So, you will find that men are more likely to be playing the field, since the sexual costs to them are relatively low. Quantity over quality, until they are ready to settle down.

 

One way to distinguish the players from the serious is to expect more while dating. If they live in another town, expect them to visit most often, no need to meet them halfway, etc. If they deem you worthy, they will do more than meet you halfway. When you do settle down with the "one", you will more than likely to more than half of the child-rearing and cleaning(men can't see dirt). And you will be expected or want to work and have a career. Don't expect to be treated better after dating.

 

Then the daughter would probably say something like "Oh dad, your like so old fashioned. You have no clue" and my wife would probably chime in "Oh, now he says that, let me tell you how HE was when we dated. blah, blah, blah." Glad I didn't have a daughter.

Edited by john5746
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Would that be the guy played by Neil Patrick Harris, or the guy in a purple dinosaur suit?

Either way, Barney = guy in a suit.

 

Either way, I think some kind of hideous square of spare parts is being rounded with flatteringly low levels of testosterone.

"Hello, Leg Warehouse? My friend Iggy is looking for something to stand on... What's that, nothing?! Byethanxsomuch!" tongue.pngsmile.png

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If I may summarize everybody's answer here: the men pay because men and women are NOT equal. History and biology can back that up easily.

 

But my point was that all of history is not valid. Our biology should also be ignored. Emancipation (on the scale of evolution, and millenia of history) is a very new concept... Women only have equal right for what, one, two generations?

 

If we follow the historical reasoning, then there are very good reasons why men and women are not equal. Yes, men want to get laid. And yes, men want to impress, and all that. But the days are over that we just form a group of dudes, hop on a boat, sail across some sea, and pillage and rape everything we find on the other side. We have computer games and internet pr0n for that now.

 

But my point is that emancipation teaches us that men and women ARE equal. So, isn't social convention just lagging behind a bit?

 

zapatos, even if guys meet girls differently, I want to bet that your boys sometimes offer the girls some drinks, while I doubt that the girls ever do the reverse, and offer the guys something. Although I don't know the specifics of your situation, I think that offering a girl a drink is actually a strong hint, and a signal that shows interest. But the point still stands: in a world where we have emancipation and equal rights, why doesn't the reverse happen?

 

Is our social rule of conduct still based on ancient values? And why doesn't anyone care? Is emancipation so shallow that it was only about voting and being allowed and have a career? (I hope I am not offending anyone yet, because the way this discussion is going, I might soon propose to reverse emancipation again - since women obviously appreciate the inequality wink.png ).

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I remember some good restaurant in France where the man receives a catalog (with prices) and the woman a catalog (without prices). The wine catalog is showed only to the man.



If I may summarize everybody's answer here: the men pay because men and women are NOT equal. History and biology can back that up easily.

But my point was that all of history is not valid. Our biology should also be ignored. Emancipation (on the scale of evolution, and millenia of history) is a very new concept... Women only have equal right for what, one, two generations?

If we follow the historical reasoning, then there are very good reasons why men and women are not equal. Yes, men want to get laid. And yes, men want to impress, and all that. But the days are over that we just form a group of dudes, hop on a boat, sail across some sea, and pillage and rape everything we find on the other side. We have computer games and internet pr0n for that now.

But my point is that emancipation teaches us that men and women ARE equal. So, isn't social convention just lagging behind a bit?

zapatos, even if guys meet girls differently, I want to bet that your boys sometimes offer the girls some drinks, while I doubt that the girls ever do the reverse, and offer the guys something. Although I don't know the specifics of your situation, I think that offering a girl a drink is actually a strong hint, and a signal that shows interest. But the point still stands: in a world where we have emancipation and equal rights, why doesn't the reverse happen?

Is our social rule of conduct still based on ancient values? And why doesn't anyone care? Is emancipation so shallow that it was only about voting and being allowed and have a career? (I hope I am not offending anyone yet, because the way this discussion is going, I might soon propose to reverse emancipation again - since women obviously appreciate the inequality wink.png ).

If you mean by "not equal" the fact that we are different (mathematically thinking), yes we are different.

 

But we are both Human Beings and as such we should be given the same rights. Which is a social rule on which many do not agree if you take a look around the globe.

 

Sure our social rules are based on ancient values: that's the foundations of social rules. You don't wake up each morning with new social rules, they are hard to change. Not even a law can change that easily.

 

I think intelligent women do care.

 

And in you last sentence, (since women obviously appreciate the inequality), the word "inequality" may be badly interpreted IMHO.

Edited by michel123456
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I'm trying to wrap my head around what most guys would assume if a woman walked up to them at a bar and offered to buy them a drink. Some might think it's simply bold role reversal, while most others would assume it was an open invitation to have sex. And unfortunately, these days a lot of men don't think very highly of women they don't have to work very hard to get into bed with.

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If I may summarize everybody's answer here: the men pay because men and women are NOT equal. History and biology can back that up easily.

 

But my point was that all of history is not valid. Our biology should also be ignored. Emancipation (on the scale of evolution, and millenia of history) is a very new concept... Women only have equal right for what, one, two generations?

Well, I would have appreciated women being more forward in my younger days, so I am not arguing against it. But, you really want to ignore biology? Gay people also are fighting for equal rights. Do you expect them to sleep with the opposite sex? Do you expect women to grow a pair, grab their crotch and spit?

 

Women wanting to be treated equitably in the workplace doesn't mean they need to become men.

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But my point is that emancipation teaches us that men and women ARE equal. So, isn't social convention just lagging behind a bit?

Saying men and women are equal is overstating it a bit. They may have some attributes that are equal, but men and women are very different from each other. In social situations the differences are glaring, and no amount of time will change that.

zapatos, even if guys meet girls differently, I want to bet that your boys sometimes offer the girls some drinks, while I doubt that the girls ever do the reverse, and offer the guys something. Although I don't know the specifics of your situation, I think that offering a girl a drink is actually a strong hint, and a signal that shows interest. But the point still stands: in a world where we have emancipation and equal rights, why doesn't the reverse happen?

The boys are often more assertive than the girls, but many of the girls are also assertive. Emancipation and equal rights allows this to happen, but socially, on average, guys are more assertive than girls. It's not just a legal thing, it is a biological thing.

Is our social rule of conduct still based on ancient values? And why doesn't anyone care? Is emancipation so shallow that it was only about voting and being allowed and have a career? (I hope I am not offending anyone yet, because the way this discussion is going, I might soon propose to reverse emancipation again - since women obviously appreciate the inequality wink.png ).

I know I'm beginning to repeat myself, but social rules of conduct weren't put in place to make men and women different, they exist because men and women are different. I think emancipation came about exactly for reasons like careers and voting. I cannot think of one woman I know who would have any desire to act socially like men. Why would they want to, from their perspective, lower themselves to our level?

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  • 1 month later...

There was once when I met a girl who would staunchly refuse me to pay the complete bill for the reason that men and women are equal. She did say that now is not the time for me to provide for her.
I guess some girls don't like to be too dependent, when they have the ability to provide for themselves, but they still like the idea that someone's always there to catch her back?

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I go dutch on the first date, because I have a particular philosophy about long-term relationships, and it's about the other person being able to foot their own capabilities. I consider relationships to have a level of economics. It shows right away that compromise needs to be met in order for a relationship to occur.

 

On one date that I went on in January of 2012 or so, the girl and I went to a bar whereby we started drinking cheap mixed drinks. I was only willing to drink about $20 worth of drinks, but she wanted me to drink more liquor, and I had told her that I only brought so much cash with me: This was also to limit my alcohol consumption. After which, she showed some disdain and contempt, but she kindly was willing to pay for the rest of the drinks.

 

However, in one relationship I had, I did sometimes pay for the girlfriend. This often came to situations, such as movie OR dinner. The dating relationship did have a sexual nature to it. I did not pay to have sex. I paid because she would often spend her money to take long-distance trips to visit me. It was an attempt to establish equilibrium.

 

Logically, men are not women.

Biologically, men are not women.

As such, it is not possible in a social situation for men to be women or women to be men.

The sexes are not equal. Get over it. Find compromise.

Edited by Genecks
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