Should Men Always Pay On A Date?

The short answer is no.

The medium answer:  Since men and women have equal standing and equal rights in a relationship and on a date, ideally they will split the bill. If they start dating regularly, it can become inconvenient to split the bill every time so after a few dates, they can alternate paying or they can get a joint bank account and use a card that draws funds from that account to pay for things.

The long answer:

The following is based on my comments to a woman who believed that men should always pay on a date. She described herself as a "traditional lady" yet at the same time she had some very modern, feminist ideas. Recognizing the inherent contradictions in such a stance, I responded to her.  Since then, I've expanded my arguments for this website.

> Men should pay.

Of course you advocate this tradition, as most women do. However, you advocate it only because it's in your financial interest to do so, not because you're a so-called "traditional lady." I say this because you don't advocate other traditions such as "a woman's opinion is worthless" or "women should stay home barefoot and pregnant and stick to jobs like cooking and cleaning" or "it's a husband's right to beat his wife". I don't see you advocating those ideas. Why not? They are just as traditional as "men should pay on a date". All of those ideas have been dominant in our culture and tradition for a very long time.

If you're going to adhere to traditional values as a guide on how men and women should behave, you have to be consistent. You can't cherry-pick traditional values and adhere only to the ones that benefit you. I suppose you can, but then don't claim that you're being "traditional" because you're not.... you're ignoring the bulk of tradition and choosing to follow only the bits that benefit you. Fact is, your refusal to pay for yourself on a date has nothing to do with tradition. You simply drag tradition into it as an excuse to avoid paying. Unwillingness to spend your money is your true, primary motive and you're hiding behind tradition to justify it.

Maybe to "prove" to a man like me that you're not cheap, you will go Dutch on a date but you'll never go out with him again because you have to pay when you go out with him and you don't want to pay. You prefer to get hand-outs at the man's expense.

I admit that this "man should pay" tradition had some practical sense when it was started because women were not allowed to hold jobs back then. So of course men had to pay simply because women had nothing to pay with. If we still lived in those times, I would gladly pay for all dates.

Now times have changed. Women have equal rights, at least legally. They have jobs, they have money, they are responsible, educated, employed adults. There is no longer any reason to perpetuate an archaic tradition that says men should pay... unless you're a woman who doesn't want to split the bill because she's cheap.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a woman will rush to label a man "cheap" merely because he doesn't pay for her. But look at the woman: Not only does she not pay for her date's meal, she doesn't even want to pay for her own meal! Talk about cheap! If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black.  There is a politically-correct term for this kind of sexist, double-standard behavior: chivalry.

So let's recap: If a man wants the woman to pay for her own meal, he's cheap. If a woman wants the man to pay for both meals, she's "traditional". Interesting double standard. Like I said, if you're going to adhere to archaic double standards, you have to embrace them all and not just cherry pick the ones you like.

> Don't toss centuries of developed behavior out with such a cavalier disdain.

Why not? Centuries of developed behavior have no significance to me at all whatsoever. In essence, you're saying "You should do this because other people before you have done it." which basically means "You have to display slavish conformity to tradition".  I disagree.  Doing something only because other people have done the same thing in the past is beyond absurd to me. It's the mindless, robotic repetition of some act without purpose or understanding.

I can choose to pay for a woman, but only because I want to be nice to her, not out of some sense of obligation. If I choose to be nice by paying for several dates and she never returns the favor even after a few hints from me, it will be painfully obvious that she can only take and not give, so I will have to cease being nice by dumping her. However, I doubt such a woman will even want to go out with me given my up-frontness on this issue.

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