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When Should A Woman Pay On A Date?

When Should A Woman Pay On A Date?

By Jen Duchene for

An article in Time reports that “men would like women to chip in more frequently on dates but are afraid to ask.” I don’t know much about dating, but I am a people-pleasing expert. Staying silent out of fear will not make your wants happen. Interesting times and shifting equations mean the choice to chip in or not on a date is up to you. You decide your own rules.

But with freedom comes the need to speak up. Why wait for the moment the bill hits the table to decide if you are paying? Will you let the man you’re with decide who you should be?

More from YourTango: New Relationship Advice: 10 Basic Rules

Chivalry is not dead, but dishonesty should be. Know your values and be willing to stand behind your own beliefs. Do you believe a man should pay for every date? Or do you prefer to share the dating costs and decisions as you get to know one another? There is power in paying.

Every human panic button is pushed in the dating game: self worth, hangups and money issues, to name a few. Toss in food, drink and possible sex, and suddenly the stakes are enormous. In my opinion, dating should be handled like a quest. What do you need to do to have an enjoyable experience? Engaging in practices that empower you and your partner are key to a successful union. If this includes paying your way, embrace it on your terms.

Another helpful question you could ask yourself is what the “end game” in dating is for you. What do you value in a relationship? If your goal is to date a chivalrous man who opens doors and willingly pays, then be very clear with yourself and with your new man. Share your relationship breakers or makers — before the precedent becomes routine and resentments build (on either end). A confident woman is willing to talk money before the check arrives. Yes, there is a risk that your man walks, but if that’s the case, why waste time on the wrong person?

Danger lies in assuming your hints are heard. While it might be embarrassing to admit your earnings are limited, or that you don’t believe in going dutch, saying what is on your mind is the most effective way to get the result you crave. As you practice being direct, you won’t get everything you ask for, but you will increase your confidence and feel empowered by your success.

More from YourTango: Dealbreakers: 7 Ways To Kill A First Date Before It Even Starts

If you’re wondering how to create a dating-game plan to get clear about what you want when it comes to paying (or any other dating issue!), here is a 3-step formula to get you started:

1. Visualize it. Imagine you are dating your perfect partner. Visualize what happens, how he treats you and how you treat him. Who is paying and what are you doing? How does it feel when you express your needs? What is important to you? Spend five minutes a day for a month refining your vision and acting as if it has already happened.

2. Write it down. Pay attention to what comes up in your vision. What surprised you? Get as detailed as possible about what you require from your partner. What would be a bonus? State your turn-offs. Your ideal date must be defined clearly in your mind to become a reality. Some ideas to get you thinking: How should your partner treat you? What would make you feel uncomfortable on a date and what would be blissful? How do you feel about paying for dates? When will you talk to him about paying? How will you handle it? How will he?

3. What are you willing to do differently than you are now to ensure the success of dating your ideal mate? Compose a list. For example, when would you pay for a date? Would you tell the truth? Are you willing to wear your heart on your sleeve? If your ideal man showed up and wanted you to go dutch, would you?

There is no right or wrong in the choices you make, as long as they feel good and are respectful to you and your partner. You may have decided you want to go dutch, but then the love of your life shows up and insists on paying for everything. At that moment you must determine whether the principle is worth fighting for, or if it is time to receive with gratitude. You’ll be ready to make that choice if you’ve given it proper thought beforehand.

More from YourTango: How To Avoid A Dating Disaster: 3 Ways To ‘Screen’ Your Dates

If you or someone you know is overwhelmed from saying yes to everyone else and unsure what you want, I am ready to help with expert advice and coaching. Get more tips by downloading my FREE e-book 3 Ways to say No without being Pushy or a Pushover. My goal is to help you create sanctuary and clarity around what you do want, as quickly as possible.

This article originally appeared on Navigating A Relationship Landmine: Who Pays The Bill?.

Read more: Dating, Love, Relationships, , , ,

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4:50AM PDT on Mar 27, 2014

When my husband and I were dating, we took turns. Then when it was my turn, I began cooking (not always cheaper, but tasted better). Eventually, I would send him to the store to buy the ingredients, and I would cook, so I guess he was still paying for the date. We still take turns paying for meals out, even though the money is coming from the same account.

6:39AM PDT on Mar 26, 2014


6:15PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014


7:26AM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

I think that the first date should be paid for by the man. If you decide to go out again then you can take turns picking the spot and paying for it. Seeing what each picks is a good way to find out about someone.

6:30AM PDT on Mar 16, 2014


7:49AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

It's pretty simple - if he asks you out, he pays and if you ask him out, you pay. You can't ask someone out and then expect them to pay.

My boyfriend always insisted on paying when we first started dating but I told him off if I had asked him out - then it's obviously on me ;)

12:53PM PDT on Mar 12, 2014

Thank you.

4:03AM PDT on Mar 10, 2014

Thank you.

12:54PM PDT on Mar 9, 2014


9:50AM PDT on Mar 9, 2014

thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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