The man is still paying on dates. What assumptions are we making?
A young man lives in a large city making do with a job that pays well, but requires a very tight budget. The challenge? When he dates, women still expect him to pay for everything for the first few times. It exhausts his monthly budget in two dates. Quite a risky investment for a relationship that may go nowhere.
Why are women still expecting men to pay? What assumptions are women making about their date? That if he can pay he will make a good spouse? That if he can pay, he will be able to take care of us?
What statement is it making about us? That if we pay we will be labeled a feminist and we’ll lose any chance of making it in this relationship? That we are not capable of paying our way? That “he likes me if he pays”?
Sounds like the Abilene Paradox. Everyone wants to change the system but everyone is afraid to change it.
How do we overcome this? It’s risky to openly talk about it in the first or second date. If the woman suggests payment, the man might be offended. She might be mortified that he’s paying but keeps her mouth shut.
But here’s the data from the research linked above: 2/3 of men think women should contribute. Yes they’re ambivalent but it doesn’t sound like they would stop dating a woman that wanted to pay.
Why should women ante up? If dating is about figuring out whether the other person is a potential mate, this is quite important. Picking the right spouse is essential for our life options. A man that wants us to contribute equally will respect our career choices. He will want us to succeed financially. He will be more open to us contributing equally to the family’s finances. These are all important characteristics for the type of marriages we are in today. They are also important to ensuring that we can share responsibilities of our home life.
So women, let’s take responsibility for ourselves and offer to pay equally. Let’s talk about it openly and stop making decisions based on ancient assumptions that no longer hold true. Let’s grow up and move into the 21st century.