Who Pays for What

Back in mom and dad's day that was an easy question to answer. The man always did all the asking and always paid for everything. That was a long time ago and things have changed a lot. Back in the old days women rarely worked and if they did, it was at very low paying jobs. They never made anywhere near what a man made for doing the same job so it was fair that the man paid all of the expenses for a date. Since then women have gained a lot of traction in the work force and make salaries more comparable to the salaries that men make now. So the question of who should pay for what is a fair one.

When a man asks a woman out on a first date, he should be prepared to pay for all of the expenses of the date. But that only applies to a first date. After that who pays for what gets a little more difficult to define and depends on many different things.

For example: if the woman makes as much money as you do, then you shouldn't pay for all of her entertainment expenses unless you are very, VERY serious about her and are trying to impress her.

"Who gets the check" seems to be a modern version of the old battle of the sexes and who has the upper hand.

Self-supporting, independent, successful women sometimes deeply resent the idea of not paying their own way. Men have been known to slip the waiter an extra tip to see to it that the check is delivered to their side of the table at the strategic moment that a woman is preparing to pay for it. Is it because he wants to appear masculine and "in charge", or is it because he would be embarrassed to have a woman pay for his dinner, or because he really likes the woman and wants to pay? Women...even the self-supporting, independent, successful ones, have trouble determining the man's motive.

If the woman asks you out, then it is safe to assume that she intends to pay for the evening's festivities but you should still offer to pay for your part. You don't want to look like a freeloader. If she does pay for an evening out, it is only a matter of good manners that you should reciprocate.

After you have been dating the same woman for a few months, you should easily fall into a pattern of who pays for what and when. If your salaries are more less equal, splitting the check is an acceptable way to go.

Eventually, if you date the same woman long enough, there will come a time when you decide to vacation together. If you know a woman well enough to vacation with her, then your relationship should be well enough established to openly discuss financial matters. If it isn't that far along, then postpone vacationing together. If it is, then the two of you can determine who should pay for what. In general, each of you should pay your own airfare and half of the food and lodging since you are both going to enjoy the vacation together.

While it seems complicated, you can always go by the rule that you should at least offer to pay your portion of the bill, or all of it if you can afford to and the woman should do the same. Once you get closer and more committed, these questions will be less important and you will fall into a pattern that is good for both of you.

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