I’m a terrible first date. It’s been one first-dating snafu after another. All those taboo topics? Kids? Politics? Religion? Sex? Oh yah, I’ve broached them all. Someone really needs to put a muzzle on me. The words flow from my mouth and I try to reel them back in but they’re slippery little things and always seem to get away…
Perhaps the most repeated offense I make is the topic I don’t bring up. I don’t offer to pay on the first date. If you gasped and covered your mouth, you’re not alone. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) tells me this is incredibly rude and Not The Way To Do Things.
99% of my acquaintances state a guy should pay for the first date. This marks him not just as a man, but a gentleman. Apparently it also tells you he’s not cheap, really does have a job, etc. and etc. If that 99% of my acquaintances says that a guy should pay, then that means while a girl can offer, she should never pay. Guys tell me this. Girls tell me this.
So if I shouldn’t pay, and a guy isn’t going to allow me to pay, then why must I offer? Why is this? Why must this be?
I tried to come up with several reasons behind it. Perhaps the offer is supposed to tell the man she’s considerate. Maybe it tells him she doesn’t expect things. Or that she’s financially conscious during these hard economic times . I get it. Kind of. But not really.
Hear me out.
If 99% of people think that a guy should always pay and the girl shouldn’t… then doesn’t the offer by the girl count as insincere? “I’m offering to pay and I really would do it but then I know you won’t really let me and you shouldn’t let me!” There seems to be no point to checking off that box. It makes it seem like the date is a game show. Offer to pay and you advance to the next round! The reality is I just feel terribly fake when I ask because I know what the outcome will be.
This is, of course, remedied when I’ve made it through to date #2 and I’ve paid for that second meal. If I can’t split a dinner the first time around, then let me pay for the second so I can show I’m considerate and I’m not taking advantage of the situation. This is acceptable, right?
Can I get a yay?
Or should I file this under things I shouldn’t overanalyze at 1:30 AM on my holiday break?
Or maybe just a “quit being a dumbass and offer to pay?”