I Never Let Guys Pay For Me On Dates & I Like It That Way

I’ve been on dates where I let a guy pay for me plenty of times but I usually try to only let that happen when the date was so dull, I felt like I was doing the guy a favor by spending time with him. I’m not pretending that everyone should be following my example but generally speaking when the check comes around, I’d usually prefer to open my wallet and pay my own way.

  1. I like to avoid the awkwardness when the waiter asks. The waiter is completely lovely throughout the entire meal… until he comes by to ask if we’d like to split the bill and he immediately becomes my worst enemy. When he asks that, he’s really not asking me, he’s asking the man I’m with if he’s going to pay for me or just for himself. If he doesn’t answer right away, it gets real uncomfortable real fast. I’d prefer to just say that we’ll be paying separately—that way I get to keep my confidence and avoid the date ending on that note or forcing me to try to recover a more normal tone.
  2. I don’t want to feel like I owe anyone anything. The reason money exists is to eliminate the double coincidence of wants that was required of the bartering system. So, people trade their time, skills and services for money to then get the objects or experiences we want. Following this basic economic premise, you spend money on me, I then feel like I owe something to you in return no matter what that is (a second date, making out, sex, my first born). I hate that feeling of indebtedness, especially to someone I might not know that well yet.
  3. Men paying is an antiquated tradition. The reason men usually pay for women to begin with is that they’re traditionally supposed to act as the providers for us. I’m not really looking for someone to just provide for me. We have a much more equal and complex gender dynamic now than ever before and it seems counterintuitive to keep hanging on to this tradition. I have my own money and I can pay for myself, thank you.
  4. I probably make just as much money as him. We’re both full-grown adults with full-time jobs. I’m just as financially able to pay for a date as a man is, so why does the responsibility just fall on him every time? In an equal partnership, why would one person be on the hook for everything, financially speaking?
  5. I don’t want to be accused of taking advantage of someone for a free meal. I get so sick of guys talking about women using them for free meals/drinks. I’ve never done that on purpose, although I have let a guy pay for me and then not gone on a second date a couple times. Honestly, whether a woman wants a free meal or not, if you got along well and you both had a good time, you’re probably going to go out again. Men seriously need to stop blaming bad dates on women. For me, one way of stopping this is not giving them the excuse of saying that they paid for me.
  6. Honestly, I’m probably going to feel guilty and I know it. I’m not even Catholic and I can’t escape that old Catholic guilt. Even if I never see this guy again in my life, if I think back, I’m probably still going to feel a bit bad about it if I let him pay for me and then I ditch him. I just don’t like the feeling that I may have taken advantage of someone. Maybe I’m being too sensitive about it, but that’s just how I am. It’s not about him, it’s about me.
  7. I’m an independent woman—I’m used to it. I’ve someone managed to consistently feed myself by my own means since I moved out of my mom’s house. I’ve learned to take care of myself. That’s what I’m used to and that’s how I like it. Paying for myself tonight is no different. If I wasn’t on this date, I would’ve had to either cook dinner or buy something else anyway.
  8. If I had a good time, it’s worth the money. A teacher I once had said something that stuck with me when it comes to deciding what to buy. If you get more hours of enjoyment out of something than the amount of hours it took you to earn the money, then buy it. If I had two hours of fun, it’s worth two hours’ worth of my pay. I’d rather spend my money on something fun instead of paying bills all the time. Why wouldn’t I?
Lauren is a mass of blonde hair that makes puns. As a freelance and not-so-freelance writer from the Midwest, she types fast and thinks of things to type faster. Away from a computer keyboard, she loves books, art, theatre, music, politics, cooking and long walks that inevitably end in her getting lost.