Considering The Age-Old Question, Who Pays For Dinner?
There are times I wish that discussions that take place between the Feminspire staff members were made public to you guys — you would see that not every person’s brand of feminism is the same, and you would get a feel for our unique personalities outside of this interwebz “newsroom.”
Then we say something silly, joking, ridiculous, or otherwise too inappropriate to be shared, and I’m glad our staff discussions are safe from prying eyes.
Anyway, to the topic at hand, and it is ALWAYS at hand: who the heck is footing the bill? I don’t care WHO you’re dating, it’s on your mind.
Recently I went out with a stellar guy (second date), and we discussed who would be paying for dinner. I’ve always been the type to “go Dutch” on absolutely everything unless it was someone’s birthday or some other celebration (“Yay, you got the job!”).
He knows my hours at work are very limited and said it would make him feel “scummy” to let me pay for my own dinner. I agreed to let him pay. He’s been breaking all my rules (he also opens doors, initiates hand-holding, and waits until the end of the first date for kisses), and for some reason I can’t seem to get enough.
So that brings up a question… is financial equality the only way to a totally equal relationship? One staffer brought up the point that one partner can make more money than the other partner, which is totally valid, and one of the issues at play in this fledgling “thing” that my date and I have been enjoying (too soon to call it a relationship, too exciting to call it a fling!).
I’m the kind of woman who has spent half an hour outside my high school library, standing outside a door because a male friend is trying to hold it open for me. Neither of us would budge (we’re both still pretty stubborn), and this would happen once or twice a week. Suffice to say, neither of us had anything productive to be doing that hour.
So for me to allow a man to pick up the tab (which, admittedly, has happened before, but only on dates when I felt too timid to speak up)… it’s uncomfortable, awkward and new.
In a way, I sort of like it. I’ve always hated the idea of chivalry — the idea that women required certain treatment of men. I still hate the idea. But I had a friend tell me, when I was with my ex, “If he wants to buy you that damn Coach purse, let him.”
So I’ve slowly eased up on my “rules.” I backed off, and I’m still backing off. But only on the condition that “he” — whomever “he” may be — eases up as well. If I want to open the door for him or if I want to buy dinner, I want him to let me.
I don’t want there to be this idea that I can’t contribute to an equal and healthy relationship. I want to be on the giving as well as the receiving end of respect and love, in all aspects of things.
I’m really excited to see where things go with this new guy. When I told him I wanted to pay for my own dinner, his response (after a bit of thoughtful discussion) was, “I asked you out. When you ask me out, you can pay.”
He beat me to asking for date three, but you can bet that I’ll be the one to ask for date four.
How do you feel about letting your significant other or whatever person you’re seeing foot the bill? What do you think of “chivalry”? Share with me in the comments below!
Written by Becky Havens