When it comes to who pays for the first date… you would think that in 2017, this question would be non-existent. However, based on what I’ve seen, and heard, this question is alive and well, among daters.

Who Pays In Traditional Dating?

In his blog about traditional dating, Berit Broggard of Match.com says that…

“Traditional dating is best defined in contrast to modern forms of dating such as online dating and speed dating. The first meetings of traditional dating are face to face; only two people meet and the time frame is longer than in, for instance, speed dating. Traditional dating once had clearly defined rules. For example, girls didn’t call boys, and the guy always paid. Today the rules of traditional dating are less clearly defined.”

So, back in the day, or for those that still believe in traditional dating… the man was the one who paid for dates.

What’s So Confusing About Dating?

It’s not that dating is confusing, it’s like Berit said…

“Today the rules of traditional dating are less clearly defined.”

You have men who believe in paying for the first date. They even believe in paying for a few dates after that. Then, you have men who prefer the first date to be, “dutch.” There are the women who believe that men should pay regardless of what, “date-number” they’re on. Of course, there are those that believe in sharing financial responsibility. I’ve even spoken with women who believe that paying for dates is exclusively a man’s role regardless of what stage they’re at. Those same women believe that paying for a date, is a treat only.

So What’s The Problem?

Over the past 5-10 years, men have begun pushing-back against paying for dates. What’s their reasoning?

  1. Women make equal, or, more money than men.
  2. Times have changed.
  3. Women are far more independent than ever.
  4. Men feel taken advantage of.
  5. Dating is a mutual investment.
  6. Some women only want equality when it benefits them.

All these reasons have truth in them.  At least, in the minds of some men.  Women [are] making a lot more than they did in the past. In many cases, more than men. Especially black women vs black men. So why do some women still expect men to pay for most, if not all the dates?

Times [have] definitely changed…

“The rules of traditional dating once seemed less complex. In the 1950s, the man did the asking, the calling, and the paying. A man would ask a woman out several days ahead for a specific date and time. If she accepted, he would arrange for a time to pick her up. He would then take her to a dinner and a movie. Though premarital sex sometimes happened, it wasn’t expected.” Says Broggard.

So, why do some women still expect men to be traditional when times have changed? Think about it…women have changed. Their income [has] changed.  Women [are] more independent. Relying a lot less on the income of a man. Think about it. If we are making the same amount of money annually, why should I have to invest, while she saves her money? Is she more valuable than me? Is she better than me? Why do [I], as the man, have to assume all the risk? Even I have to admit, this does make sense to a certain extent.

The Cost Of Dating Isn’t What It Used To Be

Photo Credit: Neonbrand

In his blog about the increased cost of dating, Benjamin Ritter of the Good Men Project says that…

“A year of dating, twice a week, has an average price tag of over $12,000. Gulp. And men are expected to pick up the tab.”

The average income in the United States is $52,000. That’s almost 1/3 the income of the average American. Do you still feel that men should carry the financial weight of dating?

When dating, (especially in the beginning), I believe that men need to be frugal with their spending (based on their budget), and stop spending their hard-earned cash on women who don’t deserve it.

Dating is all about the experience, not the venue or the amount you pay for the date. A woman who expects for you to break the bank, or take her to some expensive restaurant to impress her within the first few dates, isn’t someone you should invest-in.

As a man, It doesn’t mean you’re being cheap. It means you’re being smart.  Every woman isn’t worth the effort, or the investment. Like I said in my blog about, “dating when you’re broke,” Be creative. Plan dates that are fun and cheap, but don’t break the bank. Try a walk, or picnic in the park. Even roller-skating or a museum.

This strategy will keep the cost of dating down (for men). It will also give you a better atmosphere to truly get to know the other person, without the distractions.

Women Have Expenses Too!

Obviously this doesn’t mean that women don’t have some expenses.  Ann Brown of, Madamenoire says,

“Once a date is made, there’s also the matter of needing money to prepare for your first encounter. On average, a woman can pay less than $100 per month on dating.”

In my opinion, you can’t add something that you would normally do, into your dating expenses.  Getting your hair and nails done, is something that women do consistently. While I do see the point Ann is trying to make here, it still doesn’t add up to a dating expense.

So, Who Pays For The First Date?

On the first date, men should pay 100% of the time. If you can’t pay or be creative with your first date plans (or any date), don’t date. Do not expect, or ask a woman to pay for the first date.

When it comes to who pays for all subsequent dates… that part is up to the two parties involved.  Do what works for you. However, before the first date occurs, ask the tough question… “How do you feel about who pays for dates?” The answer to this question will help you decide how, and if you should move forward.

At the end of the day, “stay in your love lane.” There are men and women who will fit almost any budget or any dating style. Just make sure you ask the tough questions, before the first date, and then, proceed accordingly.