Earlier this month, Marissa Ellis wrote a piece for MadameNoire called Dating Dynamics: When Should [Women] Start Paying for Dates? I was asked to provide the male perspective on women contributing financially when dating. I knew this would be a sensitive topic so I prayed on it first, then I came up with the following points of clarification.
What is the Status of the Relationship?
Establishing the status of the relationship is critical to any discussion pertaining to how much and if a man should pay. A simple breakdown might go as follows.
First Date: The man should pay.
Second Date: The man should pay but as Marissa mentioned, the woman can begin to chip in for smaller items. For example, if you go to the movies, you can offer to help pay for concession items. If you go to dinner, you can consider helping with the drinks or the tip. However, I think any offer should be genuine. If you don’t want to pay or don’t feel like that’s your role as a woman, then don’t bother offering for offering sake, since there is a very real possibility that he might take you up on your offer. He may refuse but you shouldn’t make the offer expecting him to refuse. It’s a date, not an SAT test.
Third Date or more: By the third date (or more), you should begin communicating some of your expectations with your person of interest. I know this “communicating” with the person you like idea is a crazy, but bear with me. Usually by the third date, you have an idea of your level of interest. You’ve already gone on two semi-awkward getting to you know you type dates and you’re probably transitioning into a dating rhythm. If you haven’t paid already, I believe a casual conversation about financial expectations can be discussed (among other things). You don’t invoke your inner Donald Trump and threaten to fire anyone who doesn’t meet your expectations, but I see no harm in discussing them, especially if you plan to continue dating. It’ll be easier to cope with disappointment on the third date than the third month/year.