I recently joined an online dating site and I’m having success meeting great girls, but the cost of dating is starting to add up. What is your advice on who pays? Generally I meet for drinks on a first date, if that goes well I try and plan something fun like bowling for a second date, then if all is going well dinner for a third date. I feel obliged to pay for everything at the beginning of a relationship, especially when the girl doesn’t offer to contribute to the costs of these things. Is this a good way to go about things? At what stage is it okay to ask your date to start splitting the cost? – Ash, 25.
Thanks for your question. This is a tricky, tricky topic!
The direct answer is you have the right to ask her to split the cost at anytime. However that doesn’t make it an effective choice if you want your date to feel special, cared for, and excited about you.
From what you’ve shared with me, it sounds like you are enjoying your role as the masculine pursuer. If not you would be waiting around for girls to ask you out on dates they’ve planned. It sounds like you are familiar with the idea that women desire to be courted in the early stages of a relationship.
Expectations are always a killer to building a relationship. Why should the girl contribute to these costs when you are the one planning them and inviting her? She may even think it would be offensive to you if she offered to pay, in a way emasculating your ability to provide.
Ask yourself if you enjoy paying for dates or do you only pay because you think you should. Resentment is never attractive. If you are doing something you resent it will always create barriers to intimacy. You are faking a characteristic in order to attract her. This will backfire when she learns your real desires.
If you truly don’t enjoy paying for dates then you have a choice of finding a woman who wants to take this responsibility. Just know that this woman will likely also have ideas on what types of dates, the planning of them, and the general leadership of the relationship. This could cause issues down the road when you both want to be in the masculine role. There can only be one driver in a car at one time.
A good rule of thumb is whoever does the asking does the paying. This ensures that you won’t have to commit to paying for something you can’t afford. And it keeps you squarely in the masculine role of initiating dates.
Dates don’t have to cost anything. You could suggest a walk on the beach or going to watch the sunset if you don’t want to spend any money.
Equality is tricky. It’s stale. It doesn’t allow for the polarity which is responsible for creating passion and attraction. Watch out that you don’t end up more like friends, coworkers or even brother and sister in your attempt to become equal.
It’s a good idea to avoid negotiating cost splitting until you are thinking of being in a relationship with someone, not casual dating. While you are getting to know them make sure to ask them about their philosophy about money. And what their expectations or dreams are for the future. Some women dream about becoming a stay at home mother, while others dream of being CEO. Find out what dream fits with yours.
Masculinity is hardly about money. It’s about leadership, responsibility, strength, focus, encouragement, clarity, and the ability to take care of others and protect them. Discover for yourself which dynamic forms of the masculine that you want to express in your life and relationships.
Anthea Kerou is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Santa Monica specializing in dating coaching. She is available for private coaching sessions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit heartfacewellness.com or facebook.com/heartfacewellness for more information.
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