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This week, I was asked by my local Fox affiliate to comment on a recently-released study about dating behavior. The report, carried out by the American Sociological Association, found that 58% of women- and a whopping 84% of men- think the man should pick up the check, even well into the relationship.
What do I think?
Well, it depends on the generation. The study focused on men and women in their mid-thirties, a group that is generally neither traditional nor cutting edge. The findings, however, indicate a skew towards the older view that men should always pay. This was practical in the days where women didn’t work and were largely dependent on the support of their family or husband, but in today’s world I think it’s an outdated notion. In time when women are increasingly more educated and better paid than their male dates, it makes sense to pick up the tab every now and again.
No, I’m not saying you should split the first date, or that you should even fight to pay 50% of the time! Men like to feel powerful, and one of the easiest ways to do this is pick up the check: is there a bigger turn-on than “I got this”? Let them pay on the first date, and whenever they insist.
Note the word powerful, though. If he’s gaining it, you must be giving some up. An assertive, modern woman doesn’t want to be “bought” and most men today don’t want a woman they must completely support. By offering to pick up the bill on the second or third date, you’re showing him that you’re independent and respect his money. A flippant “thanks” every time he foots the bill only makes you look like a user, and shows him that you expect this kind of treatment.
Remember: men want to spoil you without it being a requirement.