The other night, while discussing dating challenges that men and women both face in the current dating climate which seems to have become more about how much money a man is willing to spend on dates before asking for sex, than two people trying to reach a common goal of marriage, one of the topics discussed was how expensive dating can be. I then suggested to help minimize the cost of getting to know someone, especially in this economy where a lot of people are working two jobs just to make ends meet, that he should suggest to the woman of interest that they go half on the bill, at least until they’ve agreed to be exclusive or in a committed relationship. He laughed and told me that even though I am a black woman that I knew very little about them. Because a black woman would never agree to that, and if she did, it would more than likely lessen the chances of him getting a second date.
I foolishly countered his response by saying that independent women of the 21st century, who pay their own bills, drive their own cars, have their own place, and a good paying job should have no problem with footing her own bill when it comes to casual dating; because in my opinion, until you agree not to see other people, it is just that, casual dating. As we continued to tell each other how wrong the other person was for assuming such a thing, we agreed to conduct a poll by posting the question on our Facebook pages the next day. So, when yesterday rolled around, we did just that, we both received responses within minutes of posting the question from women stating that there was no way they would agree to go on a date with a man who wasn’t paying and if they did agree to it, he would definitely lose points in their eyes because a real man pays for dates.
To my dismay, I had to admit he was right and that I was wrong. I was a woman left stranded on an island all by myself, because unlike my female counterparts, I believed that a woman should be open to going Dutch while getting to know someone. As I fought through my disappointment, I had to ask myself how backward is this new era of dating where sex is practically free or only cost the man a few drinks at the bar, but getting to know someone and attempting to build a friendship before committing can often costs more than a monthly car note? The man invests time and money, whereas the woman only has to invest her time, doesn’t seem quite fair to me. Isn’t his time just as valuable as hers?
As I began scouring the web and jotting down notes on why I disagreed with the women about not being open to splitting the bill, I was beginning to lose hope until I stumbled upon an article entitled: Why More Women Need To Learn Dutch. I laughed and jumped for joy as Jet Magazine dating guru, Anslem Samuel Rocque, made a very good case about why a man and woman should split the bill on a first date. Seeing as how the two are strangers and the purpose of the date is to get to know one another, the women should not feel as though she has the right to access his wallet before even learning his middle name. Going Dutch keeps things on a level playing field; not allowing any one person to feel as though they have the upper hand in the situation, or better yet that they’ve been duped into spending money on someone who was never really interested in them in the first place.
After reading the article, I then recalled a status update I’d read on Facebook a couple of weeks ago about not giving husband benefits to a man who is just a boyfriend or someone you’re casually dating. With that being said, I feel the same should apply to women as well. Men should stop giving wife benefits to people they aren’t sure is even wife material. According to Rocque and other men in my circle, they’ve been giving away money to women who end up not being what he’s looking for, leaving him with nothing to show for his efforts and good intentions. And if the woman’s goal really is to get married, then why shouldn’t she have to invest in the process as well?
Sure it’s nice to have a man pay for your meal and yes it makes a woman feel special. But there are other ways to gauge his interest as well. Is he consistent about reaching out to you, and not just via text, or Facebook, asking that you come over around midnight to keep him “company”? Does he actually follow through when you two make plans, and arrive on time, showing that he can’t wait for your date to begin? Does he compliment you often or show interest in your well being and hobbies?
Being asked to split the bill until you are exclusive should not be so easily frowned upon or taken as though he can’t provide for you, because if you two decide to get married, he will spend the rest of his life providing for you. If you still disagree with me, that’s all fine and dandy as well as your right. However, if dating were a job, a person probably wouldn’t receive the full range of the benefits until 90 days after their start date. But women want benefits of dating on day one, but again I ask, why should women receive benefits that they haven’t even earned?