You have had a great date, great conversation, and then that awkward moment comes when the check arrives. Who pays? Do you pull out your wallet, offer some money toward the bill, offer to pay the tip, or offer to pay the whole check?
As women over 40, many of us have our own incomes and are self-sufficient. However, there still lie some facts that put many women at a financial disadvantage. Women still only earn 76-78 cents to every dollar a man earns for this age group, depending on which study you read. That leaves less money for basic necessities in our lives. Not only this, but women have added medical expenses and extra expense for feminine hygiene products, which are expensive! Women, also, usually carry the burden of the expense of birth control. Our dry cleaning costs more, too. Also, many women have the financial burden of raising children. Now, some men will argue that they pay child support, which is a fair argument to consider. But ask any single woman raising children if the child support covers the cost of raising the children and she will more than likely tell you not even close! This is not to say that there are not women who earn just as much as the men in their lives or more. There are plenty of them out there, too. However, on average, men do earn more.
That being said, should women offer to pay for dinner? I say absolutely offer. However, from my personal experience, few men will ever take you up on this for a variety of reasons. First, many men have a natural tendency (per socialization) to pay, and to “take care of” women. They are natural providers and protectors. There are also men out there who are uncomfortable with women having as much money as they do, and paying makes them feel like a man and provider. Whatever the case, my suggestion is to at least offer (unless this was discussed in advance). More than likely , he will turn down your offer and pay. If this is the case, you could offer to cover the tip. Of course, all of this is only for the first date!
With additional dates, I will usually still offer. You will probably want to discuss this for future dates because this will set the precedent for the relationship, if one develops. Consider all future possibilities of your choices. You, as a woman, do not want to set yourself up for a position of financial disadvantage.
One more point I would like to make on this subject is where you go, dinner or coffee, or something else. Since most men will pick up the tab for a fist date, whether by habit or societal norms, you may want to consider allowing him to choose what you do on your first date. This will benefit you in several ways. First, he will usually choose something in a price point he is comfortable with. Second, you will learn a lot about him by his choice of where to go. Sometimes, men will not want the responsibility of choosing a place, and leave it up to you. Choose something mid-priced with table options that are conducive to having a conversation. You want to be able to talk to him!
Of course, these are only my views and yours may be different. Choose what works for you! Enjoy your dinner date!
- Who should pay for a date? Mystery of Gender Equality and Dating Bills (gingerbunnyme.wordpress.com)