Monday, June 29, 2009

She Wants to Pay for Dates

Dear Terry,

I've a question about the initial "dating jitters." I meet guys locally, but I also date online.

I met a guy online, talked for 3-4 days over email and phone, and agreed to go out on a date. We live in different places, and we even had an informal talk about one of us moving to his/my city if things really got so far, based on the kind of jobs we might get. So far, so good.

He came over on a weekend, he had the flight ticket and hotel booked for him. I insisted on at least paying for the dinner locally and for tickets to concerts, tourist attractions here, and surprisingly even the waitress/waiter would say 'let the gentleman pay ma'am' (when I told him I'd pay, he still took his credit card out, and the waitress would take his all the time).

He said he's getting embarrassed before the waiters 'coz I wanted to share the expenses, and strongly insisted on me to not take out my credit card the next time.

Turned out, we both didn't feel we're right for each other after the date (we had different interests, he's type A, and I'm not and other such things and we had no chemistry intellectually or emotionally (we didn't get physical, though he made an gentle advance, I didnt give any encouragement). Anyway, we both called it off. After our date, I thanked him for taking me out, and offered to pay my share of the expenses, and he gently said it's okay. After few times, I couldn't drag it further.

Whatever it is, his income is irrelevant to me, and we're still two new people on a date. I still don't get it, he paid for a very major portion, flight and the hotel. Am I supposed to leave everything to the guy ?

(Even if it's a local guy- I'd genuinely offer to pay but the guys feel a little embarrassed that I insist sometimes, if he pays on 1st date, I insist to pay on 2nd ) which is sometimes refused and mostly not.

Contrary to this, few years ago, I went out on a date with a man who would always make me pay on dates, he got on to my nerves 'coz I wanted him to pay sometimes too, though not all the time ] - If I do that to a guy, won't he feel the same way I felt with the guy who let me spend all the time.

Interestingly, I read dating advice everywhere that, if a man doesn't pay on a date, or agrees to share expenses with you, he's not worth it blah blah. How true is that ?

This boils down to the question: Who's supposed to pay on dates in general? Is it okay ( 'coz I feel a little guilty - out of feeling, in case this doesn't work out, it's like the guy spent a lot of money on our dates which isnt that fair, you wouldn't always know it'd work and it's easy not to feel guilty to say NO to dating a guy just 'coz u feel obligated.)

Is it okay when the guys pay it all, all the time?

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

-Money to Spend

Dear Money-

I understand why you want to pay for dates. You're a considerate person. You're fair-minded. You don't want to hit anyone up for a free meal.

And a lot of guys claim they want a woman to pay, at least some of the time. But when you actually try to pay for one of them, lines blur, and they get confused: Maybe she's trying to tell me she's not interested.

So you let them pay for the first and second date. If you feel uncomfortable, you can casually say (after dinner, for instance), "I'm having such a great time. Would it be okay if I bought you a drink?" This way he knows you enjoy his company, but you're not on the prowl for a meal ticket.

If he says yes, great. Buy that drink. But if he insists on getting it, let him.

It comes as no mystery to me why you felt compelled to offer to split expenses after your date spent so much time and money coming to visit you (I would have felt the same way), but when a guy insists on paying, do yourself a favor and let him.

Console yourself with the probability that if the relationship shows promise, you will have plenty of opportunity to pay for him after, say, a third or fourth date, when you're both standing on surer ground.

If the idea letting him pay still sticks in your craw, remember this: Most women only earn about 72% of a man's salary for doing the same job. We get charged more for haircuts and drycleaning. So, let a man right the scales once in a while.

You're clearly not the type of woman who takes men for cash and prizes, so cut yourself some slack. Also, remember, letting a man for a date in no way obligates you to "get physical" with him, and any man who suggests otherwise would be better off hiring a hooker. He's kidding himself if he thinks he's going to find the love of his life.

And, as for men who refuse to pay on first dates, I'm afraid I have to agree with most of the dating advice you've already read: It suggests a rigid, paranoid personality, and it would turn me right off.