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There is nothing that defines our generation of dating like the subject of how much we spend on the people that we date and/or sleep with. Like clockwork, there’s usually a $200 date debate once every five weeks. Most recently, we were gifted with a text thread that detailed a conversation between a single mother and a guy she was seeing. The woman has three children by two different men and when she asked the guy who she was currently seeing for $20 for the kids’ field trip, he didn’t want to give it to her. His argument was that it was the kids’ fathers’ responsibility to take care of that expense and he was adamant about that throughout the entire conversation.

Most people would say the man in question wasn’t wrong for what he said, though some feel he harped on his point about the kids’ dads for too long and ended up looking like he was doing the most. The fact of the matter, to me, is his response was warranted; though I do feel this type of situation is nuanced. Even from a male perspective, there are still two different schools of thought. From the interaction between the two folks, I can tell this woman is probably dealing with a young millennial guy. When I spoke to a few older men about this scenario their views were completely different. The older gentlemen didn’t take much issue with helping this woman out with $20. They were even more willing to assist if they knew the money was really a loan.

There’s a generational gap when it comes to what is chivalrous. People in my generation — millennials — see chivalry as a barter system in which you still get something in return for a deed you perform. Older generations don’t seem to operate with that same expectation. I am by no means saying that giving money to women is chivalrous and you should do it. What I am saying is that there’s a sect of men that see this situation as an opportunity for a man to take on his proverbial role as a provider. There are some men that believe that if they are sleeping with a woman, the least they could do is hold her down if something happens. I want to make it clear that doing so is a noble act, but still, in essence, a courtesy.

The newer generation of guys, for lack of a better term, isn’t with the sh-ts. They will ask why money is needed, which is valid. Once it’s learned that money is for a woman’s kids, they will question the fathers’ involvement which is, again, valid. Now an old school guy’s logic may be, “Let me show you what a man is supposed to do.” Guys from this generation may see this as an opportunity to be very frank about a woman’s decision making regarding whom she has children with. And that’s exactly what we saw in the situation above.

What we don’t know about this relationship is if these two are dating regularly, or if this is strictly a friends with benefits/purely sexual relationship. Are there deeper emotions involved? Do they have a plan for the future? If this pair isn’t actually dating, that may explain a lot about this guy’s reaction. He may think he has no reason to take on funding anything for this woman if their situation is casual, which brings up another conversation about what a man should be doing for a woman he’s having sex with. The truth is many men have sex with women without having to give up anything. Right or wrong, that is the reality and men have become accustomed to this — another point that may provide insight into this man’s reaction.

Some may view this situation as a guy berating a woman at a very vulnerable time. Others will see a guy simply trying to drive home the fact that this woman has to make better decisions. I personally have dated women with children who have asked to borrow money at times. I have never had an issue loaning money — if you were good for it and I got it back, we were even Steven.

What this scenario really reveals is that many of us still place conditions on what we’re willing to do for people and why — and have expectations of what people should be willing to do for us that we don’t always communicate. By definition, chivalry shouldn’t conditional. In this case, the woman depended on the notion of chivalry to assist her in her time of need. Had she been dealing with a traditional man who believes in chivalry this may have never been an issue to begin with.

These are my words and I make no apologies.

Damnpops loves writing, food, and Badu. He’s not a biter, he’s a writer for his self and others. You can follow his works here and also with Everything Girls Love. Follow him on Instagram: @Damnitpops

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