Date Culture

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Should a woman offer to pay?

29th January 2009

Here are some interesting excerpts from an online conversation (from a New York Giants football message board):

Question: Hey guys. Over the last month I’ve been seeing a girl who I met through a mutual friend and it’s been going really, really well. After a week of hanging out with her and our mutual friend(s) I actually asked her out just me and her and we’ve gone out 5 times in 3 weeks, each time getting better and better. Obviously, there’s always (on some level) that apprehensiveness in the beginning, but we’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with each other and the dates kept getting better. I really mean all of this. Every second we spend together we’re laughing and have interesting things to do and talk about.

Here’s my question though. It’s been 5 dates — 5 expensive dates. I’m talking really nice restaurants, most of which in Manhattan, than in the bar running up a pretty sizable tab for two people on a couple of the nights. As good as everything’s been, she hasn’t once even offered to put a dime into the evenings. I’m not cheap I promise. I happily paid over 150 bucks total for date one. A little less than that for dates two and three, but by the 4th, 5th, and now what’s going to be a 6th time going out together, I’m getting a little sick of dropping that kind of money.

It’s not that I don’t have it to do, and it’s not that I object at all to little things like just a dinner and maybe a bite to eat at a diner, but we just keep finding fun things to do lately. The check comes at the end of everything and she doesn’t even consider saying “let me get this one” or “Alright fine but this is the last time, and I’m getting the drinks. I’ve even been paying for the train tickets into the city.

Am I getting played here? I’m starting to think I am and maybe she’s just pretty good at this kind of thing. I asked her to a movie tonight and she was excited and said sure, so that’s a good sign I guess, but even with that I doubt she’d throw in anything. All and all, I’m a little under 850 bucks invested into this relationship and she’s spent I think 99c on a pack of gum for herself (she did give me a piece).

I want to stress how great we get along and how much we have in common, but is it normal for two people who have gone out a half dozen times and spent some time together before that, for the guy to be paying the entire bill every time? If it is normal I’ll suck it up… I just want to know if I’m being played here.

Answer 1: I always pay just because its the gentlemanly thing to do. However usually the girl will at least offer to chip in or help out, especially when it gets really expensive. Obviously I dont know in your situation, but it might be something to worry about. I don’t think you’re totally off base with this.

Answer 2: I’ve found it to be very beneficial NOT offering to pay for anything of hers in the beginning when going on dates.

Answer 3: If you ask a chick out, you should pay for everything. Don’t be a cheap ass.

Answer 4: I’ll pay if it’s necessary (she can’t), otherwise, I’ve learned it sends the wrong message, namely, Can I buy you things in exchange for sex? I used to always offer to pay for any and everything. No more.

Answer 5: She should offer but a lot of girls are traditional like that. To be perfectly frank, you’re the one being a douche here. You dont have to go to nice restaurants all the time! Insecure guys do that.

Answer 6: An offer to help pay should have been made by now. I usually keep the dates a bit more sensible at the beginning because if you go top shelf from day one they will expect top shelf going forward. Move forward, but be cautious and be aware that she may be looking for just a good time and you are offering that up.

Answer 7: If you’re in her pants why keep blowing big cash? You shouldn’t have done that right off the bat, because she’s playing you for your wallet. But, if you’re hitting it then there’s your tradeoff. “It’s going really well” has to be qualified by the dude, and whether he really understands women or not.

Answer 8: IS your issue that she isn’t at least offering to pay, or that she isn’t actually paying? If it’s the former, I agree that it says a lot about her. Usually at this stage of a dating relationship it is not unreasonable that a girl will offer, even if it’s an empty offer.

However, if it’s the latter, then I think you are expecting something that doesn’t normally occur. Especially early on in a relationship, if you are asking the girl out you are paying and that is what is generally expected.

You can broach this tactfully, though, if money is an issue. You can simply tell her you really enjoy her company and you want to continue getting together. But, every date can’t be as elaborate with the current state of teh economy, etc.

Answer 9: Get some chinese delivery for $20, pop open a $10 bottle of wine and you hvae a bed close by. You’ve set the bar high on these first 6 dates. Time to scale it down and re-set expectations.

Answer 10: It’s weird that she hasn’t offered to chip in once. That being said, I would still expect to pay for a girl 9 times out of 10. Just the way the dating world works. You said you enjoy getting served at nice NYC restaurants. Who doesn’t? But it’s a luxury you and I can’t really afford regularly. I think what you need to do is scale down your dates. There’s a lot you can do for a lot less money. From the sound of it, it sounds like you guys have good chemistry, so I’d say the setting doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

Answer 11: Very bad sign that she hasn’t offered to pay at least once. not a deal-breaker, but a bad sign. I would test her. this is what you do:

go to a restaurant without her once and befriend a waiter/waitress and explain that you’re going to bring in this girl that you’re unsure about and you want to test her. it would help if this is a waiter (guy) who can sympathize with your plight. plan to bring her in on a night when this same guy is working and you’ll put your plan into action.

Arrange it so that he will bring the check to your table while you are in the bathroom. however, instruct him to place the check on HER side of the table, facing HER. then ask him to see what she does while you’re not there. If she doesn’t open it and just pushes it across the table for you to take care of, then she’s a gold-digging whore and there’s no future to speak of.

Answer 12: There’s no harm in talking to her about it. the trick is to find a way to bring it up that doesn’t make you sound cheap or selfish and doesn’t make her feel self-conscious. something like “hey, i’m more than happy to keep seeing you, but i’m a little concerned that i’m being played here. how about this- next time, you invite me and i’ll go wherever you take me.” see how she reacts. if she takes you out (doesn’t matter whether expensive or not), you’ll know she digs you. if she doesn’t, you may have been played. it may be that she lacks the funds, and you can tactfully inquire about that too…but only if she agrees to take you on that next date (you can even offer to pay for it once you see that her interest in you is legit).

Answer 13: If this girl genuinely likes to be with you, then don’t feel at all hesitant to ask her to pay for her share, I mean shit if your spending hundreds of $ going out and your not even a couple she should be paying her way. I was in a similar situation, I’ve been seeing this Girl for about 4 months now and when we first started going out I’d usually pay for everything, not that I would go to really pricey places though, pretty much BK, and shit. Anyway after a month she started to feel kinda bad because she didn’t really want to be in a relationship and felt she was using me, so she pays for everything that she get’s when we go out.

So I guess it comes down for you finding out whether or not she genuinely likes you, or is using you. I think you should start doing things that don’t cost much, that are still fun(watch movies at home, do outdoor things, eat at less expensive places). you shouldn’t feel like you have to entertain her. If she only likes to do expensive things chances are she is totally using you.

Answer 14: I did what I wanted and went where I wanted and with whoever was smart enough to go. Spent what it took to please me. She appreciated it or didn’t. I never attributed money or expected anything for money and never let it enter the equation of what I thought about her. Dropped money oriented people fast and compeltely and moved on quickly. Not part of the calculus in any relationship I was interested in. Went out for less than $10 when I did not have money, spent a fortune when I did. I always thought I spent it on me…not her.

Answer 15: Don’t get her in the habit of expecting expensive dates all the time. If she’s really into you, she’ll appreciate just hanging out for a slice of pizza just as much as she would for a steak dinner. As for who pays, if you’ve been doing the asking, then it’s not unreasonable for her to expect you to pay. When I was dating my husband, if he asked me out, he paid and I never offered. But what I did to “reciprocate” was offer to make him home cooked meals or I’d ask him out to events at which point I’d pay (or try to — he would never let me).

Answer 16: If you’ve slept with her, start going to cheaper places.

Answer 17: You ask a woman out, you pay. That’s how it goes. Then, you decide that you’re ‘dating’, and you’re an ‘item’, and you pay. Then, you fall in love…talk about the future….get engaged. And once again, you pay.

You see, at this point, you’re really renting…but you’re paying none-the-less. Here’s where things change. You decide to get married. NOW…not only are you paying, you’ll be expected to pay…forever. Even if you divorce, kids or no kids, you’re paying. You will always pay. I suppose that you can call this getting “played”, but the facts are facts. You will ALWAYS pay in one form or another.

Answer 18: Be a MAN. 5 dates in 3 weeks, you are already in her pants, you are making the decisions on where to go and now you want her to pay. How do you look in a mirror? That means resolve this how you want. If it bothers you, spend less, if it doesn’t, don’t change your habits. Stop worrying about why she does what she does, and do what you want.

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