The most awkward part of every date is the inevitable moment the check arrives. This holds true for me in particular, since I'm usually broke. I feel less manly if I don't pay the bill after a first date, but I also resent the fact that I'm forced to eat ramen for the rest of the month after taking someone out to dinner.
The old-fashioned notion that a man has to pay for dinner dates back to the times when women weren't allowed to work and consequently didn't have their own money. Even though this hasn't been the case for quite some time, getting rid of these old customs has proven to be very difficult.
Personally, I think it's perfectly fine for a woman to chip in. It shows that she's considerate. But in turn, I will always refuse to let her pay, showing that I'm considerate, too. At least this is the way it goes down in my mind, which is the only place I can get a date. I decided to get the opinions of some people on the street who do go out on a lot of dates.
MUNCHIES: You just had a nice dinner with a girl, and the check arrives. Who pays? I do, not for any particular reason. That's just what I prefer. I have money, so I pay. What else am I supposed to spend it on?
You have money, so you pay. Don't your dates have cash of their own? Well, that depends. But I happen to believe that the man is supposed to pay for the woman.
You don't think that's old fashioned? Yes, but that doesn't mean it has to change. The woman does laundry, cleaning and cooking. The man pays for the food.
In short: You pay, the woman shuts up and does the laundry. Exactly.
MUNCHIES: Who do you think has to foot the bill after a date? You're supposed to take turns paying. I offer to pay, but when she offers to split the check, I'll accept that. If you date a lot and you pay for everything, it ends up costing you a lot of money.
How did you go about it the last time you went on a date? We split the check. One time, a woman paid for everything, but only because I lost my wallet. And that wasn't an excuse.
Does it matter if one person makes more money than the other? No. We're living in modern times, so it doesn't matter who has more. You just divide it up evenly.
MUNCHIES: In your opinion, who pays for the drinks after a date? It depends on the situation. If you're only just getting to know each other, I believe that the man should pay.
How would you feel if a woman insisted on paying while you were on your first date? I wouldn't like that during a first date. I think I would feel very strange, probably a little bit emasculated.
MUNCHIES: When you go out to dinner with a boy, who pays the bill? The man. Not the boy, the man. That's really important. If he doesn't, it's not chivalrous. Only on the first date, though. After that the woman should offer to pay a portion.
Why does the man have to pay? Is your time worth more than his? No, that's not it. I'm looking at it from a traditional perspective. The man is still the person who should take care of the woman. Aside from that, most dates I go on, were initiated by the guy.
Is it a dealbreaker if your date doesn't pay? I think my girlfriends would have a lot to say about this, but if he doesn't pay, I wouldn't find it attractive. It does depend on how the date went. If he's really great, I can live with it, but if he wasn't amazing to begin with, then nevermind.
MUNCHIES: Let's say you're going on a date and have a few beers. Who pays the bill? In general, I prefer paying for myself. If the date was really great, I like paying the entire bill just to make a statement that women are perfectly capable of paying. If the date sucked, I would split the check.
So you'd never let the man pay the full amount? It would be very sweet of him to offer, but no, I'd rather not do that. We're emancipated enough and don't always need that.
Still, you would pay for everything if the date was really good. Isn't that a bit backwards? Yes, it is, but it's mostly because women still have this notion that the man has to pay, and I don't agree with that. I find it a bit strange when a man is uncomfortable with me paying. If you can pay the whole bill, why can't I? These old habits are still too deeply ingrained and it's about time we find a fun way to forcibly remove them.
MUNCHIES: Who should pay for a date, the man or the woman? On a first date, the man should pay.
Why? Chivalry. It's a charming tradition and there's no need to change it.
Does this old-fashioned division of roles still fit into our current society? The woman can definitely reciprocate from time to time, but I don't think emancipation should lead to the loss of all traditions. It shouldn't go so far that we lose old customs.
Simply put: the negative parts of the old male-female dynamic should be removed, and the positive parts have to stay? Absolutely, that sums it up. Well done.
MUNCHIES: Who is supposed to pay for a date, according to you? I do think a man should pay for the first date. It's about making an effort for the woman. The man still has to conquer the woman.
So paying for dinner is a part of that conquering process? I think so. I find it attractive when a man does something like that for me. I think the man also prefers it. You often see that it makes guys feel uncomfortable when you offer to pay.
If the man doesn't pay, does it change the way you think about him? He becomes less of a real man. Paying is manly.
This article originally appeared in Dutch on MUNCHIES NL in July 2016.