Dating is exhausting. I don't really like it at all. Dating is all about judging, testing, and interviewing the crap out of the other person. I know that first impressions are important and all, but during the initial phase of dating, it feels almost cut-throat and ruthless.
As a woman, I know most men think that dating is easier for us. Yes, it seems like all we need to do is look good and show up and we don't need to do all the gender-sterotyped “courting” activities. For example, guys do the pursuing and girls just sit and wait. It can and it can't be depending on the type of woman you are. For me, the concept of who should pay or who shouldn't pay for the date and activities is stressful. For example, because of who I am (is it because I am a proud feminist? Or I am a confused feminist? Or I feel obliged to?) I feel really guilty and bad whenever a guy pays for things. I feel like I am obligated (or should) pay for something too. Even if I was interested in the person, I would still pay. Yes, they say that when you are NOT interested in a guy women usually pay because they feel that they don't want to “owe” the guy.
How many dates should occur before people start splitting the dates more evenly? Does it matter how much each other makes? For example, if the guy made more than the girl (e.g. she is a starving student and in school) should the guy pay more often?
Fake Reach for Wallet
Do men feel annoyed when a girl doesn't at least pull the “fake reach” for the wallet? Do they get annoyed when a girl pulls a “fake reach” but then doesn't follow through with actually paying for the bill?
I suppose these answers depend on the individual. Probably some guys get annoyed if the girl doesn't ever bother to pay, and some guys feel that it is a ‘mans' job to pay for things. Gender stereotypes, as much as they are annoying and we wish that they were obliterated, are still present.
That being said, many guys allow the girl to do the fake reach, go through with the fake reach, and pay for dinner or the date even though the guy did the asking. Guys just don't think about the subtle nuances like this and they don't think much of it. However, many girls end up feeling annoyed that the guy let them do this and they secretly think “I can't believe you just let me pay for dinner even if you asked me out and planned this date. You cheapo.”
I know, I know. I am sounding very UNFEMINIST right now. I hate dating.
Going Dutch is a Bad Idea
All I know is that going dutch (where each person pays for their share or they split the dinner bill down the middle 50/50) is a bad idea. Some may disagree with me of course, but to me, it just absolutely kills the romance. I think this is the case even as the relationship evolves and the initial dating period is over. Although I am a big proponent of gender equality and gender equity, to me, splitting the bill down the middle doesn't seem like “love”. It seems like a tit for tat arrangement and it doesn't exemplify the concept of love, which is being selfless and considerate of your partner.
Tit for Tat Breeds Resentment?
Another way that dates can be split is the “I pay this time you pay next time” arrangement. This is probably the best of the options available, where even though the guy probably does the asking, the guy and girl alternate paying for dates and dinners. This is probably the most equitable and the most “romantic” of the bunch, but I think that if the tit for tat arrangement gets too “tit for tat” then it can breed resentment and become very unromantic. For example, if one person makes double the amount of the other person and when the bill comes, the person with higher income goes “it's your turn” the person with lower income (haha i.e. ME) just wants to slap the other person in the face. I think that essentially, being cheap with love isn't romantic. I think that if I was head over heels with someone, I wouldn't care, but in the initial stages and phases of dating, it is just not kosher to “expect” someone to do something for you. Know what I mean?
Readers, what do you think? How do you usually split your dates during the initial dating period?