Where you stand on the issue of financial responsibility in the dating world might say something about the kind of dating expectations you are likely to have. For example, traditionally-minded singles are more likely to favor conventional gender stereotypes. Women might think it chivalrous if a man pays for the date each time but that kind of “chivalry” might lead some men to entertain the notion that they have paid for far more than just dinner and a movie, which can understandably lead to some potentially awkward, if not dangerous, situations. In the same respect, some women may be inclined to feel indebted to the men that take them out. Progressive singles, on the other hand, are likely to take a far more relaxed approach to dating and have generally outgrown the old-fashioned ideas that only serve to lock men and women into rigid gender roles.
For singles that could use a crash course in financial etiquette, consider the following suggested guidelines:
- Both men and women should always be prepared to pay all or part of the bill on a date. Neither gender should automatically assume that the other is paying and no matter who ends up paying; gratitude should always be expressed using a simple “thank you” without any additional strings attached.
- As a general rule of thumb, if the date is your idea then it should also be your treat. This is not to say that it would be inappropriate to accept your date’s offer to pitch in if such an offer happens to be made but you should at least have enough funds to cover the entire expense if need be. Whether you are a man or a woman, if you don’t have the means to treat your date, then either plan an activity that doesn’t cost anything or simply hold off on making invitations until you can afford to see them through.
- Rather than going through the trouble of dividing a bill straight down the middle, consider taking turns picking up the bill. For example, if your date paid for dinner, then offer to pay the tip, buy a round of drinks or maybe get the tickets for an after-dinner movie. Taking turns paying for things allows both singles to chip into the date while avoiding the inconvenience and preconceived notions that are often attached to the idea of going Dutch on a date.