In a perfect world, money would not be an issue. Or maybe if I had a perfect personality (instead of my neurotic, analytical self), dating costs would not be an issue. Or maybe if we lived in a world where traditional female and male roles of nurturer and provider did not exist, then it would not be an issue.
I thought I would share some of my thoughts on how to split the costs of dating.
According to reddit, 44% of women are bothered when asked to split the costs of dating. Another poll indicated that 64% of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses and 44% of men would stop dating a women who never pays. The article cited that there is a sense of “tapered chilvary” where the guy will pay for most things from the start, and the couple is expected to achieve a more egalitarian sense of splitting the costs later on.
I see that there are two distinct periods where the behaviour is different and where who pays for the dating cost varies.
Now, I would not say that I am super traditional, but I do evaluate whether the guy is a cheapskate or if he is a gentleman. I am not a gold digger, far from it, but I do not want to be taken advantage of and I do not agree to expensive dates unless I was interested in the guy. It's not the expensive dates that impress but the quality of the company (and if you're cute, that helps too). So a cup of coffee or a quick bowl of ramen noodles is plenty impressive! I always offer to pay and I am not that judgmental if on the first date, the guy accepts my payment of my own share.
On a second date one time (the first date, he ate a large meal and I just had a glass of wine) I went for a quick meal with this guy who bragged he made over 6 figures. He ended up going to the bathroom at the end of the meal and the bill came (maybe he really really needed to go to the bathroom, but I personally would make sure I hold it until after the bill comes). I ended up paying and he had no qualms about it. I was not super impressed but that's the judgmental side of me talking! Needless to say, there was no third date.
Now, in the dating period, things change because of the more egalitarian approach to relationships. Although I am 100% sure that my boyfriend spends more on me than I do on him (e.g. he gets me flowers, chocolates, pays for some dinners) sometimes I felt that I was paying more, for example, paying for more meals in a row. It led to a very non-romantic feeling, resentment. And the resentment was likely not for good reason too, as I only FELT like I was paying more, there was no proof. Therefore, one of my girlfriends suggested using the Payback App (you know, the one you use for trips and travel). It is a brilliant idea and doesn't look terrible when you use it (for example, what looks terrible is each of you putting in $10 for a $18 bill and trying to split the change between both of you). It just involves one person paying for the date cost and inputting it into the app. Next date, the other person pays for the date cost and whoever “owes” the other money pays the next time. So no actual exchange of money or nickel and dimeing at the end of the day.
Related: Finances and Relationships
So far, my boyfriend and I have used this on one of our getaways and it has worked well. Also, staying in and cooking together works well too!
On a somewhat related note, if you want to really save money, meet someone online, as the costs of dating are significantly less, according to Time magazine because people who meet online get married after 18.5 months of meeting, and those who meet the conventional way get married after an average of 42 months of meeting. Of course, this assumes that every relationship is destined toward marriage or cohabitation, which is of course, not always the case.
Readers, what do you think? How do you split your dating expenses? (Note that I am talking about dating expenses, not household expenses!)