Paying on a Date

Hello Karen,

I have a quick question: I’ve just gotten back into the dating “scene” after many years of being in a relationship.  What’s the deal with paying on dates?  Thanks for any guidance you can offer. – Judy, NJ

Hi, Judy,

What a great question to get cleared up, as you navigate this new adventure in your life.

Dating can be Confusing – for Everyone

The rules of dating used to be simple, many years ago:

Man asks woman out.

Woman says “yes” or “no”..Man pays

Man pursues, plans, courts.

Man proposes

Woman says “yes” or “no”.

Simple.  Everyone knew their roles, knew what to expect, and could figure out what to do next, given what stage things were at in a developing relationship.

Now, there are many more variations on what dating looks like.  In fact, lots of women are initiating, asking, paying, and proposing.

We’re Still in the Stone Age

Here’s the (possible, and maybe even probable) fly in that ointment, however:  our DNA hasn’t changed appreciably in many, many thousands of years.

So, although we are “evolving”, our basic drives are pretty similar to many years ago.  In fact, it’s fascinating to me that when I’m working with a new (single) client, and we’re doing her “blueprint” work, I often hear a long list of required qualities that are a blend of evolved and more feminine qualities (compassion, sensitivity, etc.), with the more traditional masculine ones (strong, can fix stuff, provider).  And the women who require the “strong provider who can fix things” are frequently very independent, who do very well for themselves – so it’s not a “need”, but something almost primordial going on.

Well, the men have the same thing going on.  Their DNA has them being driven to provide and protect.

How does that play out in dating?  He wants to provide a woman with a great experience.  He wants to “win” at taking her somewhere she loves, and then paying for it.

What does he get for it?  The massive return on his investment, which he can’t really get anywhere else (but another woman) is the appreciation from a woman.  That is like getting high-test fuel in his tank, which he can use to go out and kick butt in his life (so you can see how valuable this would be for a man!).

There is way more to this topic, but here’s what I want you to get for now:  let a man pay, and make sure you are generous with your appreciation for what he provided for you (and no, I am *not* talking about being se*xu*al with him).

The exceptions to this:

  • You know you’re on a date with a man who is struggling financially; and rather than diminishing him, ask him if he’d like you to help with the check
  • You know you have no interest in seeing him again; offering to split the check is often code for “not interested in you”, without having to say “no, thanks”, which makes many women uncomfortable.
  • He asks you to split it.  Depending on what you require, that’s either going to be fine with you, or you’ll have information that may have you know he’s not a candidate for you.

You can see that a lot hinges on knowing what you require in a man (and knowing yourself, too).  This is work you really want to have done – before you begin dating.  If you’d like any help with that, please email me and we can talk about options.