I consider myself to be a feminist and I’m vocal in the fight for equality between men and women. When it comes to my opinions on dating, I have one belief that a lot of people (mainly guys) think goes against my feminist identity: I think guys should pay when they take women out.
- Chivalry doesn’t negate equality. Not all traditions are damaging to the feminist movement. Men being polite and well-mannered doesn’t hurt women. In fact, being outwardly courteous and respectful is always better in a potentially nerve-racking environment with a stranger. Things like opening doors, buying flowers, or picking up the bill are small acts of chivalry that don’t negatively affect the fight for equality or mean that they’re taking way women’s rights.
- There are more harmful gender roles to fix. We have a long way to go before men and women are equal, and there are a lot of issues that still need our attention. A guy buying a woman dinner or a drink isn’t one of them. We should probably focus on problems like toxic masculinity and forced femininity instead of little acts of kindness and courtesy.
- I can take care of myself, but being cared for isn’t a bad thing. Needing to be cared for doesn’t make me weak. No matter your gender, it feels good. By paying for dinner, the guy’s just showing that he’s willing to care for his date should they end up in a relationship. This is just one act (of many) that’s a good way to show care and consideration.
- Generosity is a desirable trait in a partner. Relationships are give and take. If one partner gives in one way (i.e. picking up the bill) then the other partner is likely to reciprocate in another. For instance, after my boyfriend bought me a nice dinner, I surprised him with a coffee table book I thought he would love. If the man pays for food on a first date, it shows his generosity right off the bat. Not a bad way to start a potential romantic connection! Women understand that it’s a two-way street and most if not all of them are happy to give back.
- If the man does the asking, he should cover the expenses. If the woman asks the man out, that’s another story. However, since it’s still relatively common for men to approach women, I think it’s only fair that the party that does the asking is the one that picks up the tab. In my opinion, the person agreeing to go on the date should be treated well for taking the time to get to know the stranger who asked.
- It’s an easy way to say, “Thank you, I had a good time.” Not all dates are great, but for those that are, it’s important to let the other person know. One simple way that men can express the fact that they liked hanging out with their dates is by paying for the date at the end of the night. It’s true what they say—actions sometimes do speak louder than words.
- Unfortunately, men still generally get paid more. It definitely depends on the respective careers of the two people on the date, but if they’re in similar fields, there’s sadly a good chance the man takes home a bigger paycheck. That’s probably how the tradition of the man paying started, and we haven’t quite gotten to a financial point when that tradition should be obsolete.
- Preparing for a date is often expensive for women. Society expects a lot from women in the grooming department. Let’s be honest, we can’t really roll out of bed and walk right into a first date. Technically I guess we could, but it wouldn’t be received very well. That means we’re expected to pay for makeup, hair, outfit, nails…the list goes on. It’s extremely expensive to look the way we need to look to live up to society’s expectations. At that point, the least the man can do is pay the dinner tab.
- It’s simply a nice gesture. At the end of the day, paying for a date is just a nice thing to do! I guarantee it will make a girl smile, and it will make her feel more confident about the date in general. Even if she insists on splitting the bill, I’m sure she’ll appreciate the offer. I know I always do.