Author Topic: Etiquette of paying on dates  (Read 3646 times)

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blueberrypancakes

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Etiquette of paying on dates
« on: October 17, 2011, 05:48:09 PM »
About a month ago I met a truly sweet and wonderful guy, and we've been out for dinner/coffee/whatever about a dozen times.

 I let him grab the bill the first couple times, then reached for it myself.  He playfully snagged it from me and said, "A gentlemen doesn't ask a lady out and then expect her to pay."  He also always makes sure he gets to the door first so he can open it for me.

I did manage to pay once, as I had the credit card at the ready when our server came with the bill.  ;D 

Should I just let it go? Keep trying every once in awhile?  I was in a pretty lousy relationship before this guy so I'm not quite used to being treated like this.  I just don't want to insult him or anything by trying to steal the check from him.

Oh, and I have tried to reverse it and asked HIM out for coffee, so he couldn't say he asked me out.... only he gets there first and buys his own drink.   :P

WillyNilly

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 06:04:19 PM »
This is a rather traditional courtship method.  The traditional way to reciprocate is to subtly host, instead of overtly.  For example, invite him over for a home cooked meal, or out to a picnic, where you have provided the food.  Or 'have' some concert/theater/lecture/convention tickets and invite him along with you.  Etc.

Plus there is a mindset - not universal, so you know, judge your situation individually - that it costs more to be female, and presenting  your most attractive self is a form of repayment (because like it or not, it is a truth that a man is judged by the attractiveness of his mate).  Waxing, hair appointments, manicures, etc all cost money and so you investing in your appearance, and then accompanying him publicly ups his social status.  This is merely one way to look at things and not every subscribes to this mindset (and of those who do, not everyone is willing or able to openly admit it), but its something to bear in mind.

Senasaurus Rex

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 06:35:39 PM »
WillyNilly did have have good suggestions about how to subtlety recuperate. However I suggest that you ask yourself if and why you feel the need to even things out and why this bothers you. Are you just being self conscious about money spent on you or does it have to do with your expectations of relationships? My experiences is that when they say this like "a gentleman..." it mans that they want more conservative/ traditional roles in the relationship (this of course is not always true). Are you okay with this, could this be why you are uncomfortable with him always paying? Do you see yourself wanting this? If you do I would take WillyNilly advice and just see where the relationship goes but if you are looking for something else in the relationship I recommend speaking with him soon about the expectations you both have.

blueberrypancakes

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 08:30:33 PM »
WillyNilly did have have good suggestions about how to subtlety recuperate. However I suggest that you ask yourself if and why you feel the need to even things out and why this bothers you. Are you just being self conscious about money spent on you or does it have to do with your expectations of relationships?

I don't know, I guess I'm self conscious about it.  I suppose I got used to paying most of the time with my ex.  I did like WillyNilly's suggestions and will use them - he has been over for dinner, so there's something.  It's not that I'm uncomfortable with him always paying; this is just different for me. I guess I need to get used to being treated nicely. =)

turnip

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 08:40:33 PM »
Have you asked him out to dinner?  It would be interesting to see if he'd let you pay under those circumstances.

If he continues to insist on paying, I think you should probably just take it slowly and continue to see how you feel about it.  I don't think you are in danger of being rude to let him pay for everything if that is his preference.    If it were *me*, I would insist on paying for an equal share of dinners, and if it turned into a source of tension then it would indicate that it was not the relationship for me, but I don't think it's a dynamic that is wrong for other people.

blarg314

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 09:52:36 PM »

I think it depends very strongly on what you want out of a relationship and a partner.

Some women love having the guy pay every time. Some expect it, and splitting the check/taking turns would be a deal breaker. Some guys prefer to pay and do the asking out, other feel like they are being taken advantage of.  Or he may be willing to split, but feel that he should insist.

I'd try asking him out yourself, and insist on paying. If he doesn't let you pay then, then you can either discuss it with him, or decide what you want to do.  I know that for me, personally, insisting on paying would be a real turn-off from a guy.  I'm not interested in traditional gender roles and courtship styles, so a guy who insisted on following them would not be the one for me.



LifeOnPluto

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 10:06:42 PM »
Blarg's post is (as always) very insightful.

For me, his insistence on paying every single time would make me wonder whether he had other very traditional ideas of male and female roles? For example, if we got married and had kids, would he expect me to give up my career and stay at home until they were grown up?

Personally, if he didn't stop paying for everything in the near future, I'd raise the issue with him and tell him that it made me rather uncomfortable.

AlephReish

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 10:59:24 PM »
I've been dating a "Southern gentleman" for the past three months. He picks up the check most of the time. It's how he was raised/what he believes is right, plus he knows that my finances are more precarious than his. In no way does it mean that he believes in traditional gender roles in other arenas. He knows that I'm in school to become a teacher (he already is one) and he is incredibly encouraging. I cook for him, he cooks for me. (He's actually a better cook than I am, but I make a better apple crisp.) When I can, I pay for things - I was going to buy our Renaissance Festival tickets, but then I won 'em in a contest. When he was sick, I brought him a selection of teas and a toy. A few times, I've said to him specifically "You've had a cruddy day, I'm taking YOU out to dinner tonight." We're going away to a wedding of a friend of mine next weekend, and I've already booked the room with my own credit card.

Mostly, I've decided that this is part of how he shows that he cherishes and respects and loves me. I just show it in other ways. I've decided not to make a big deal or a source of tension out of something that makes him happy and that doesn't bother me. I admit that at first, it was very new to me, most guys I've dated have been more 50/50 about it... but, for me, it wasn't important enough to make a big deal about. He knows that I don't expect him to pay for me. And his other behaviors show me that this isn't possessive or controlling or about traditional gender role enforcement.

You'll have to decide which way he means it, and if you want to bring it up or not.

Ceallach

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 11:09:25 PM »
I have been in this position, and I think it's a good idea to continue to offer (or make gesture to pay) occasionally.   An air of assumption or entitlement is never pleasant, even if the other person is already planning on paying and has set a precedent.   Don't make a thing of it (unless it genuinely concerns you), and let yourself accept some generosity.  But I'd definitely try to pay sometimes.  Plus in doing so you allow them to actually express their generosity and have it acknowledged instead of it being the unspoken assumption.  :-)

And I also POD PPs in that this may be an indication of his views on other matters, it's certainly worth exploring as you get to know him.  (Not necessarily a bad thing, just a getting-to-know-you thing).

"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Cosmasia

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 04:58:19 PM »
As other's have said, it can often be a sign of the person having other gender role ideals as well. Not always, but it's a logical assumption to make since men paying for dates in and of itself is a made up gender role.

To me that would be a dealbreaker as I don't like gender roles and I don't find it attractive when other people conform to them in that way.
However if the person is just doing it to be nice then I find it great, because I do the same when I can.

If you want to make it more equal with the paying, for whatever reason you personally have, I'd probably say to your date that "hey let me pay this time, I'm getting a little uncomfortable with you insisting on paying constantly *smile sweetly*". Substitute the reason for whatever reason you may have obviously.

Just keep in mind that your history with unkind partners is probably making you feel weird about the fact that someone is choosing to be nice to you. Just remember that you do deserve to be treated as kindly as you treat others and that your past is the past for a reason, it's definitely not worth bringing along with you through life.  :) But it's still important to explore the reason why he is insisting, so that you can find out if you have conflicting gender role ideals. But if he is just doing it out of kindness, then try to relax in the fact that someone wants to treat you sweetly, and make continuous efforts to treat him sweetly back.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 05:02:32 PM by Cosmasia »
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WillyNilly

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 05:44:13 PM »
I just want to point out that "gender roles" is a sliding scale.  My DF pays for 90% of dates.  And yes he conforms to certain gender roles - he opens doors for me, insists on walking 'street side', will always take the heavier bag, etc.  But he's not radical - he's fine with women working, and having independence and making decisions and all that stuff.  His boss is a woman and he zero issue with it.  He has plenty of female friends, and doesn't modify his language or stories or general behavior around them or treat them differently then his guy friends (except for opening doors for them, letting them enter first, etc).  To him slight gender roles are simply an easy default.  And to me often they are too. 

I'm much handier then him - I don't particularly trust him to handle power tools.  And we both agree I'm the better driver. So the roles aren't strict or defined, etc.

But the simple fact is, he makes more money then me, and it makes him feel good to buy me dinner.  But on the opposite token, although I'm not obligated to, I enjoy cooking him dinner, and I'm much more inclined for example to iron my own clothes, so I offer to iron his.  Just like he carries heavy stuff because he lifts weights, so he looks at it as a supplement to his workouts.  So we do follow gender roles, but not out of obligation to our genders, but simply because we tends towards them anyway. 

It could be your new flame is follow a gender role because its comfortable for him, but doesn't need you to subscribe to any for yourself.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 01:15:50 AM »
I just want to point out that "gender roles" is a sliding scale.  My DF pays for 90% of dates.  And yes he conforms to certain gender roles - he opens doors for me, insists on walking 'street side', will always take the heavier bag, etc.  But he's not radical - he's fine with women working, and having independence and making decisions and all that stuff.  His boss is a woman and he zero issue with it.  He has plenty of female friends, and doesn't modify his language or stories or general behavior around them or treat them differently then his guy friends (except for opening doors for them, letting them enter first, etc).  To him slight gender roles are simply an easy default.  And to me often they are too. 

I'm much handier then him - I don't particularly trust him to handle power tools.  And we both agree I'm the better driver. So the roles aren't strict or defined, etc.

But the simple fact is, he makes more money then me, and it makes him feel good to buy me dinner.  But on the opposite token, although I'm not obligated to, I enjoy cooking him dinner, and I'm much more inclined for example to iron my own clothes, so I offer to iron his.  Just like he carries heavy stuff because he lifts weights, so he looks at it as a supplement to his workouts.  So we do follow gender roles, but not out of obligation to our genders, but simply because we tends towards them anyway. 

It could be your new flame is follow a gender role because its comfortable for him, but doesn't need you to subscribe to any for yourself.

On the same note, need your oil changed?  Dark Magdalena does it.  Shower is broken?  Let Dark Magdalena fix it.  Screen door won't stay shut?  Dark Magdalena has the tools!  Need to splice some wires?  Dark Magdalena can do it...but Dark Boyfriend actually does something similar for a living, so I let him do it even though I am fully capable of fixing it myself.  I met Dark Boyfriend by slide tackling him at soccer practice when I was 12; I have never since then let him forget that women can do anything men can.  That being said:

Whoever gets to the door first opens it.
He drives if we're both going somewhere (unless it requires my vehicle because he has a tiny Mazda and I have an SUV.)
He pays at dinner and at the bars.  If he doesn't want to, he asks me to.  (I quit trying to pay before he could, or offering to pay, a long time ago.)
He pays for movies, snacks in the car, and other purchases.

Like you said, WillyNilly, there are gender rules, both they are not restrictive.

OP, continue to offer to pay, but don't be too argumentative about it, as I think that would be off-putting.  It does take some getting used to if your'e not used to it (I wasn't when I started finally dating Dark Boyfriend).  Find ways to give back and you'll stop worrying about it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 01:18:06 AM by Dark Magdalena »
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ClaireC79

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 01:50:02 PM »
Ask him out and insist on paying for those - he's arguing that if he does the asking he pays - and I can't see anything wrong with that rule, providing it works both ways

MacadamiaNut

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 03:49:55 PM »
About a month ago I met a truly sweet and wonderful guy, and we've been out for dinner/coffee/whatever about a dozen times.

 I let him grab the bill the first couple times, then reached for it myself.  He playfully snagged it from me and said, "A gentlemen doesn't ask a lady out and then expect her to pay."  He also always makes sure he gets to the door first so he can open it for me.

I did manage to pay once, as I had the credit card at the ready when our server came with the bill.  ;D 

Should I just let it go? Keep trying every once in awhile?  I was in a pretty lousy relationship before this guy so I'm not quite used to being treated like this.  I just don't want to insult him or anything by trying to steal the check from him.

Oh, and I have tried to reverse it and asked HIM out for coffee, so he couldn't say he asked me out.... only he gets there first and buys his own drink.   :P

The bolded is what matters most, IMO.  Don't look for problems where there aren't any.  That just causes, well... problems!  Yes, I would just let it go and yes, I would keep trying once in a while.  More often than not, these are the types of guys I end up with.  I have not found in any of them something wrong by way of "gender roles" insistence or the like.  Believe me, if he's a jerk, you'll see it in other ways. 

I lean towards what some other posters have said.  I'll occasionally pre-invite him to dinner and make it clear it's my treat beforehand - and make sure he knows how happy it would make me to do so (that always works  ;)).  Buy him a snack when I go to the washroom in the rest stop while he fills gas on road trips.  Arrive at the movie theater early having already purchased the tickets before he gets there.  Things like that.  I find that as long as *everything* isn't one-sided, it should be fine.  It is when one person is doing *all* the giving and the other is doing *all* the taking and no giving that these things can get out of hand.  Good luck, OP!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 03:51:55 PM by MacadamiaNut »
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blueberrypancakes

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Re: Etiquette of paying on dates
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2011, 06:37:54 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I got the jump on him and asked him out for dinner last night, and when he reached for the bill, I said, "Hey mister, I asked you out so hand it over!" He did with a smile and a thank you.  So I just have to make sure I ask him out before he asks me every once in awhile.   ;D

MacadamiaNut, I'm definitely not looking for problems!! I just wanted some other opinions on the subject so I don't come across as rude or anything to him.  Like I said, it's not that I'm uncomfortable with it, I'm just not used to it.